Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Up over 2000 views....WooHoo!!

My view counter shows that this blog has been viewed over 2000 times. My more cynical friends say that I, and I alone must have accounted for over 1700 of those views. I don't think it's been that much. Anyway, thanks to the four or five other regular viewers for the other 300 views,

Extreme Very Long and Very Wide Catamarans

I lifted many a YouTube on the Vendee Globe around the World Singlehanded Race from YacthPals . He has now put out a video compilation on the IShares 2008 series in Extreme 40 catamaarns. Some of the footage is rewound over and over again but it is interesting nonetheless. I just keep thinking of the poor suckers and their groaning shoulder sockets as they dangle 25 feet up on the trampoline netting.

Spring Boat Work....Painting, Varnishing

The procrastinator that I am, sailing season has arrived with me, as usual, woefully unprepared. Severn Sailing Tuesday night series is just around the corner (next week) and I will be expected to uphold, this year as it was in the year gone by, the Classic Moth flag against the (somewhat faster) Laser hordes. I'll probably splash my Classic Moth Maser for the first TESOD, replete with a slapdash of primer covering where I moved the mast step over the winter. Meanwhile my other Classic Moth is upside down as I varnish the bottom (randomness of life is never more represented in varnishing, you never know what you'll get, at least the way I do it). I also have a kayak upside down on saw horses for a paint job. Did I say I hate painting boats!!!... I'm not very good at it, or to rephrase it, not anal enough for a mirror finish or even a gloss finish. My friends have a saying. This paint job is the 20 foot paint job .... looks good at 20 feet, just don't get any closer. Though some of them have figured out how to spray paint their boats ........ the bastards.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Music for Friday; Peter Bradley Adams

Folkie Peter Bradley Adams has been getting a lot of play in my workshop CD player. I think he's from the West Coast. From a radio studio set at WNRN at Charlottesville, VA.

"The Longer I Run"

When my blood runs warm with the warm red wine
I miss the life that I left behind
But when I hear the sound of the blackbirds cry
I know I left in the nick of time

Well this road I'm on's gonna turn to sand
And leave me lost in a far off land
So let me ride the wind til I don't look back
Forget the life that I almost had

If I wander til I die
May I know who's hand I'm in
If my home I'll never find
And let me live again

The longer I run
Then the less that I find
Sellin my soul for a nickel and dime
Breakin my heart to keep singing these rhymes
And losin again

The longer I run
Then the less that I find
Sellin my soul for a nickel and dime
Breakin my heart to keep singing these rhymes
And losin again

Tell my brother please not to look for me
I ain't the man that I used to be
But if my savior comes could you let him know
I've gone away for to save my soul

If I wander til I die
May I know who's hand I'm in
If my home I'll never find
And let me live again

The longer I run
Then the less that I find
Sellin my soul for a nickel and dime
Breakin my heart to keep singing these rhymes
And losin again

The longer I run
Then the less that I find
Sellin my soul for a nickel and dime
Breakin my heart to keep singing these rhymes
And losin again

Losing again

The longer I run
I'm losing again
Losing again

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Beer - Winter Ratings

I have a box in a corner of my workshop which contains my beer stock. Right now, the box is empty, except for the forlorn empty six pack boxes. What better blog topic than to inventory the boxes and write about the beer I have been imbibing over the last three months. I did the requisite Google search on my favorite beers before I wrote this post and quickly realized I am not an expert. I can't wax lyrical about hoppiness, yeast, malts, heavy, light .... I just like what tastes good to my palate.

The explosion of microbrewerys has put a ton of diverse beers out there. It helps that three of my favorite microbrewers, Victory, Troeg Brothers, and Lancaster are more or less local, located in the state of Pennsylvania.

I like dark beers and this winter was one for Stouts.

Top of the list for the last two years has been Brooklyn Brewery's Black Chocolate Stout ..... one very dark beer and very smooth. Not far behind is Victory Brewery's Storm King Stout.

Another perennial favorite is the Troeg Brothers, Troeganator Double Bock.

For my Ale, I have returned to a British brew, Old Speckled Hen, which I first tasted in a North Yorkshire pub several years ago. Here is how one expert, Mr Beerhunter described Old Speckled Hen;

Yeast produces different flavours according to the density of sugars with which it is required to work. At this gravity it creates a beer with a complexity of gently pear-like fruitiness and dryish, nutty maltiness. The hop bitterness in the finish is relatively restrained.

Whew! .... and to me it just tastes good.

And last, my wife bought some TommyKnocker's Nut Brown Ale which came highly recommended. Very drinkable but a little too sweet to be one of my top picks.

I just bought some Pilsner which was a mistake as I always consider that a hot summer drink (when I do like our custom of very chilled beer .... though my winter drinking has been at the cool temperature of the workshop) I have occassionally committed heresy and mixed my Pilsner or IPA 50/50 with orange juice as another summer drink.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

We'll be right back Jill!

Another leadmine disaster video.

This is an oldy that has somehow escaped my attention. A Capri 25 knockdown and bow woman overboard similar to the Melges 24 video posted a while ago. Some of the crew seem frozen but admittedly it is hard to do anything at 90 degrees. There is the fellow in the Tilley hat and the blue life jacket with a death grip on the leeward edge of the companionway and also the fellow in the orange lifejacket who, after enduring being submerged on the leeward rail, gets unceremoniously dumped down below, never to be seen again.

The honorable Tillerman has commented with a link to the reply, posted on his blog, by the owner of the Capri 25, Mark Hammett. Well worth clicking over to get the full story. Let me state that I try to keep my editorial content from being too snarky. My regular readers know that my best sea stories are about my screw-ups.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Music for Fridays; South Austin Jug Band .... JackAss

Don't know much about this band other than it has a mandolin and a violin on top of the guitars and drums. They do a great job on covering this Jeff Beck tune JackAss.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dylan Winter launches his Mirror 19

Now is the season for my cruiser friends, whose leadmines were hauled for the winter and, who have done all sort of needed maintenance or upgrades (such as JM who took a tumble off a ladder from his CAL 36 and now has been limping around on a badly bruised leg), to now get them back in the water. Our friend Dylan Winter , who spent the winter working in New Zealand is now back to continue his trip around England in his Mirror 19. In this video he documents the slight hiccup with the Marina workers in getting his boat back on the water.

Sorry, video has been removed!

Vendee Globe; Steve White Looks Back

Now that the deconstruction of the recently completed Vendee Globe has begun, Steve White's story has to rank as the most improbable of the lot. Without a major sponsor, not sure whether his race would go off at all, having mortgaged his house, and with an older boat, Steve managed an eighth place finish.

Steve and his wife, Kim, give a typical circumspect Brit interview with CowesTV. A very fascinating look at the singlemindedness that one needs in both getting to the starting line and getting around in one piece. In two parts.

Part 1 ..........

and Part 2

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Welcome TP

I ran into my old friend TP on Friday and he said he heard I had a blog but hadn't read it yet. Well our meeting must of jogged something because he went home and added two comments to two of my posts (immediately shaming my three other regular readers who remain silent to this day). We go way back .... we have lots of sea stories to banter around when we get together and he has added one as a comment to an ancient battle in Lasers .

His Blogger ID "Windrustler" is his famous Super Casson International 14 (well .... famous to the Annapolis fleet at that time) which he raced at top level (actually in a fight with John Gallagher for top dog positions of 1 or 2) in the 1970's.

Tom, your comments are so prolific, you are now signed up as guest blogger on this site.

Classic Yachts and I do mean Big....Yachts!

Continuing in the Classic theme, Youtube filmmaker, Hamblepoint, has captured what it must looked like watching the big 'uns beating upwind with a bone in their teeth off the Isle of Wight ..... what it looked like about 100 or so years ago. Even though I'm a committed dinghy sailor, these great yachts are still beautiful (ignore the occassional plastic interloper).

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tucker Thompson; Laser Mayhem

Gary Jobson isn't the only Annapolitan making a living out of producing sailing videos. Tucker Thompson with his company T2P.TV has also been putting out quality sailing videos. His first foray into YouTube is a series called Crash and Burn. This is the video number 1 in what is now up to 14 videos and growing. This is Laser bumper boats during a collegiate regatta at the US Naval Academy.

Music for Friday; Sea Shanties on the Maine Coast

Singers from the Sweet Chariot Music Festival on Swans Island, Maine take to the Maine Windjammer fleet to sing sea chanties.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Directors Cut, Classic International 14's of the 50's and 60's

I haven't done a Directors Cut for a while. I sailed International 14's in the 1960's and 1970's. This slideshow is of 14's before my time. I inherited these photos from Bill Moss, who acquired them when he was past president of the USIFDA (United States International Fourteen Dinghy Association).

The slideshow starts off with the dinghy floats at Corinthian YC, Seattle, there are several photos of Fourteens from Severn Sailing Association at the original location in Round Bay and at about 3:11 into the video there is a capsize recovery sequence featuring a world famous sailor and writer.

Most of the Fourteens look to be Fairy Marine mouldies.

Boy, I get sentimental when I watch this slideshow.

Now, I am that Speed Bump!

Gary Jobson came to SSA last Friday and gave his stump presentation. Gary is Mr. USA Sailing. Figuratively, with his video production company covering major sailing events and his face being omnipresent on U.S TV for coverage of Olympic sailing and the America's Cup, and now literally as Gary Jobson is to be the next president of U.S Sailing. Gary always introduces the show with about 15 minutes of personal sea stories.

This year, Gary related two stories about how, as an oldster (he's about a year older than me), he now comes up against the youngsters ........ which got me thinking about Lasers and my time in them a long, long time ago. Rewind some thirty years when I was a decent local Laser sailor and, particularly in a breeze, if an oldster perchance got ahead of me, I knew it was just a matter of time before I ground over him ... and it happened just so.

What goes around, comes around. Now when I borrow a Laser, I have become that momentary speed bump for those young and fit Laser hot shots. But I must admit, I take immense satisfaction if I beat just one and, I mean just one, sailor who is under thirty. That's one advantage of an oldster, we keep lowering the bar of victory.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Music for Friday; Swiss Drum Corps "Top Secret"

Confession; I have no musical ability .... none .... can't sing, I'm tone deaf, can't play a musical instrument (well maybe I can handle the kazoo), many times I'm tapping my feet completely out of time with the music ..... You get the idea.

I do love the sound of a good drum line. When my kids were in the high school marching band, the drum section would lead the band onto the field, drumming out a cadence ... nothing more stirring.

You would think Americans with their obsession on American football games and attendant marching bands would dominate drum line but here is the Swiss Drum Corps "Top Secret" playing in Edinburgh, Scotland. Just drums and flags. Wow!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Intercollegiate Racing; Oldster Watches and Learns

In the month of March, I volunteered two weekends helping out the Naval Academy Intercollegiate Team with Race Committee (specifically finish boat with Midshipman James Allsopp).

First up was the John Jackson/Graham Hall Team Race on March 7. Actually it was quite a balmy weekend for the beginning of March. I have done some team racing in International 14's way back in the 1970's but the sport has really advanced. They have developed a Digital N course to enhance team racing moves. This course is short with races usually not taking longer than ten minutes. We had Gavin O'Hare, team race guru (he wrote the US Sailing book on it) as PRO.

Starboard tack roundings open up some quite nifty mark traps I saw that weekend. The short close reach allows luffing duels to hold up the opposition while your teammate scoots away. The downwind legs allow plenty of opportunity to camp on your opponents air. The result was that most team races I watched that weekend were still very much in play on the final beat to the finish. Sometimes the win came down to which team could get the most boats on the starboard tack advantage coming into the finish.

Team racing has become very sophisticated and intercollegiate coaches devote a large portion of their spring practice working on the moves and countermoves. I hope to watch some more.

There is a fellow who travels the intercollegiate racing circuit and his website, Sailgroove.org , is filled with video, sailor and coaches interviews, results

You now can comment anonymously

I just enabled anonymous comments to this blog. (Didn't know that option exists until I started clicking through some setup screens). So if the three or four regular readers of this blog, who I assume are not registered on Google (John Z being one of them), want to add some words of wisdom; I have now allowed that. Go for it.