Tuesday, November 30, 2010

MASCF Sailing Race; The Video

This video does a good job at conveying the relaxed vibe and diverse assemblage during the "Sailing Race" at this years Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival on the Miles River.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Beer; Headless Horseman, Betsy Stanford and Dillon Clock Stopper

Ed Salva, one of the charter members of the Classic Moth beer tasting wing, sends this little beer tidbit along..........

"Had an interesting concoction called a Headless Horseman - half guiness / half pumpkin (I used post road). Was very tasty."

If you don't feel like mixing up a Headless Horseman there is always Fisherman's Imperial Pumpkin Stout . Also, a very tasty all in one combo where the pumpkin mellows out the stout.

From todays WaPo Metro section there is the story of 107 year old Betsy Stanford who attributes some of her longevity to this following stout concoction............

"She admits to a particular fondness for a smoothie made of Guinness stout mixed with the nutritional supplement, Ensure, a drop of vanilla flavoring and a sprinkle of nutmeg "if [the stout] is too bitter""
Wow! thats a new one!

And finally George Albaugh points out what he thinks is a very notable name for a beer, the Dillon Clock Stopper from Worth Brewing Company. I agree about the name. Looks like a very interesting lager (with corn - now that's no surprise!) from Idaho.

Correction: George correctly pointed out that in true dyslexic fashion I switched IA into ID and that Worth Brewing Co is actually located in Iowa.

Classic Moth Items on the Web

Two Classic Moth items caught my eye over the weekend.

Lewes, Delaware, Historical Society is restoring what they call a Lewes Moth. Never heard of such a design. The blog post with picture is over here . We may have to send our Delaware Mothist, Bill Boyle, over to Lewes to check this out.

Conception classique Moth voilier.

Also, Francois Vivier, a French traditional boat designer, is offering either plans or a kit for his Classic Moth design (Moth Grand Largue).

Price is 3490 Euros for the kit.

Francois offers up this picture of the kit construction, which looks to be self aligning plywood pieces with no strongback needed..........

Sunday, November 28, 2010

St Barth's CATA Cup

Tillerman's latest post asks the question; If you could escape to anywhere in the world this December, where would you go, what would you be doing?

Hmmm ......... catamaran racing in the Caribbean, St. Barth in particular, seems like a good idea.

A short video of the CATA CUP brings us some high speed, warm weather sailing. (Note the behemoth super yacht "Maltese Falcon" as a backdrop in some of the shots/)

St Barth CATA CUP 2010 - NAV from Matthieu Le Page on Vimeo.

Music Whenever; The Guggenheim Grotto "Her Beautiful Ideas"

Thanksgiving Sunday and thus ends my "Music Whenever" marathon (if four in a row is considered a marathon).

Neat stop motion video.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Music Whenever; Tommy Sparks "She's Got Me Dancing"

Black Friday in the U.S. ; therefore, a crazy music video for a crazy day.

This video starts with a bulked up Amazon shooting eye rays and degenerates from there.

Sorta "Dancing with the Weirdos".

The music is catchy though.

Feel free to impart your interpretation in the comments section.

Tommy Sparks "She's Got Me Dancing" from Eric Wareheim on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Music Whenever; UK Ukulele Orchestra; "The Good, Bad, and the Ugly"

For Turkey Day, a English ukulele group with an off kilter cover of Ennio Morricone's
"The Good, Bad, and the Ugly".

When I first started dating my wife, she told me about a previous boyfriend who took her to a Clint Eastwood marathon and how much she hated it. Then I took her to Monty Python's "Holy Grail" and she wondered if she had picked wrong again, when I spent the whole movie doubled over with laughter in the aisle. I didn't tell her until later that I was also a big fan of Clint Eastwood's spaghetti Westerns.

Turkey Weekend; Music Whenever Bonanza

In honor of Turkey Day and the attendant long holiday weekend, I've decided to subject my suffering blog followers with a "Music Whenever" post on each of the four days.

ACA Sailing Canoes at 2010 MASCF

I admit, I have a soft spot for the ACA (American Canoe Association) sailing canoes. I've sailed them a couple of times and in a breeze they really scoot along. I keep on picking up one of these sailing canoes as a project that, unfortunately, doesn't go anywhere. I owned an Ultima fiberglass sailing canoe shell that needed to be decked. I sat on the shell for several years, traded it to Bob for some cedar strips, Bob sat on it for several years and finally sold the shell to Joe Depa, who finally put a complete sailing canoe together.

There were three ACA sailing canoes at the Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival this past Octoer (John Depa was one of them) and they acquitted themselves well in the sailing race, taking a fourth and a fifth.

The open sailing canoe administered by the American Canoe Association has two main classes; the five meter with an open rig of approx 55 sq. feet and the ACA class that uses a one-design lateen rig of about 45 sq. feet (there is a third ACA sailing class, the Cruising Canoe which I covered in this post ). All classes must use a leeboard. All of the competitors bring one canoe and switch the rigs out to race in either class. National Championships feature 5 meter racing on one day and ACA racing on the other day.

Finally a picture of one of my projects that got finished off by someone with greater focus. Here is John Depa sailing with the ACA rig...........

Here is Larry Haff and another canoeist, whose name escapes me, sailing the 5 meter rigs.............

Larry Haff............

And the other 5 meter canoe...........

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Music Whenever; Good Old War "My Own Sinking Ship"

A love song using a nautical analogy. Come to think of it, this season didn't have that many capsizes. Too many light air regattas................

P.S. Looks like I'm over 100 music posts.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Last Regatta of the Season; Cooper River Frostbite

The Classic Moths participated in the Cooper River YC November Sunday Frostbite series this past weekend. New travel partner this time. George Albaugh offered up his double deck trailer and I got to ride in luxury in his Volvo station wagon the three hours up to Cooper River. What a glorious day. Weather was more like early October with temps in the mid 60's F; warm enough so I sailed in shorts. Winds were light and typical Cooper River fluky. I think I might have leaned out on the high side twice. There were four Classic Mothists; Mike Parsons, the Wizard of Cooper River, won for the day but most of us had our moment in the sun at one point. We shared a short windward/leeward course with the five Sunfish while the 20 or so Lasers had their own course upriver from us.
Most racers launched their dinghies at Cooper River over a wooden bulkhead. On my turn, my Classic Moth went in the water smoothly. It was so calm, I decided to take about 15 seconds to park my dolly, expecting my Moth to be waiting patiently on my return....... but NOooo!, "Starkers" had floated off just barely out of reach of a Laser sailor launching next to me. I watched as "Starkers" drifted lazily downwind for a good 20 yards and made a decision to commandeer the aft deck of the Laser in an effort to chase her down. Initially 'Uva" (good natured German Laser sailor) refused me boarding rights to his Laser but I settled that by plopping back on his aft deck and pushing off. We drifted after my wayward Moth as I arranged my knees to allow him to steer. Luckily "Starkers" remained upright and the transfer was made with no issues.
On retrieval, a worn forestay rope gave way as I yanked on it to get "Starkers" on the dolly. After a few anxious moments as the mast swung to and fro, I was able to retie the forestay. I'm sure my launching and retrieval shenanigans provided a good measure of amusement to some of the spectators that day.
Pictures from Ed Salva (who had a win and several strong races that Sunday). The Moth fleet after haul out on Sunday afternoon (as always, click on the picture for higher res image).............
And to our apres-sailing beer. Mike Parsons on the left brought out a bottle of the Troegs Brothers Javah Head Stout which the blogmeister on the right is enjoying mightily......... And if you like coffee flavored dark beer, may I also highly recommend Wolavers Alta Gracia Coffee Porter .

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All Paths Lead to Tillerman................

Today marks the second anniversary of this blog. I started Earwigoagin to deliver a response to one of Tillerman's writing assignments....... who would you invite, living or dead, to a dinner party?

I reprint my first post below. Definitely my dinner party is almost entirely populated with sailing technologists and tinkerers. After two years, I've added some more Classic Moth sailors. They're in charge of the beer.


I've created this blog mainly as a response to another writing assignment from blogger Tillerman. www.propercourse.blogspot.com There may be other uses for this blog but for right now lets dig into Tillerman's assignment .... who would you invite to a very special dinner/party? For this party you can get to mix the living and the dead, the friends and the strangers.

Tillerman's a dinghy sailor, I am also a dinghy sailor. Where Tillerman immerses himself in the one-design Laser class, I am usually found in some class where people design or build their own equipment, whether it's hulls, sails, blades, etc.

So my dinner party would definitely have an abundance of what the English call "boffins", in this case those who like to experiment with sailboats, preferably small racing dinghies.

Large parties work best and hopefully all guests are voluble, completely free with their opinions and willing to listen. Wives/ girlfriends are always welcome and indeed are essential. Unfortunately, I don't know any female sailing boffins so my guest list is definitely sexist.

You must start with your COF (circle of friends) boffins which in this case would be Bill Beaver, John Z, George Saunders, Steve Clark, John Kells, Bob Ames, Bob Blomquist, Paul Miller with some left coast COF boffins such as Erich Chase, Del Olsen, Fran DeFaymoreau (4 Naval Architects in this group and everyone has built, in most cases, multiple racing dinghies). I would also add local acquaintance, Aussie Tony Arends. I'd also invite Classic Mothists, George Albaugh, Mike Parsons, Ed Salva, Greg Duncan and Bill Boyle (but he doesn't seem to do parties very well).

Now onto to the special guests;

Austin Farrar - UK deceased - Austin was the premier designer in the International 14 class in the 1950's, was the first one to put a wing mast on the C-class catamaran "Lady Helmsman" founded the sailmaking firm Seahorse sails and was involved in a myriad of experiments. To use that overused phrase; Austin was always an "out of the box" thinker.

Ben Lexcen - i.e. Bob Miller - Australia deceased - Top designer/sailor in the Australian 18 skiffs. Designed the Contender which won the IYRU singlehanded trials in the early 1960's. Designed the wing keeled Australia II that wrested the America's Cup from the Americans. From everything I read, Ben Lexcen was a larger than life character and you need some of those at a party.

Ian Howlett - UK - designed America's Cup 12 meters, IOR tonners, premier yacht designer. House designer for most of the Topper companies dinghy designs. Final kicker in my book is he races an 11' British Moth. What other big name designer gets his jollies from racing an 11' dinghy?

Bruce Kirby - CAN/US - Top designer in the International 14 in the 1960's and 70's. Designer of the Laser. Designer of the Canadian entry into the America's Cup. Designer of the successful Noank Sharpies shoal draft cruisers. I met him in the early 1980's and came away with the impression of a personable, self effacing fellow with loads of stories to tell.

Tom Shnackenberg - NZ - The boffin in charge of New Zealand's America's Cup dominance. Not sure how forthcoming he would be at a party like this but, if he opened up, the stories he could tell...

Eric Arens - US - Eric is actually in my COF but I rarely get to see him. I crewed for Eric in Int. 14's in the 1970's. Eric still sails Int 14's today as crew - age mid 60's! Eric has been commodore of both Severn Sailing Assoc and Richmond YC, is a senior US sailing judge and loves the give and take with interesting people at a party. He's retired now but was a PHD physicist at NASA Goodard Space Center.

Jeff Linton - US - Jeff is a pro, has won several World Championships, has won US Sailing's sailor of the year award, but also designed, built, and races a Classic Moth. Jeff and his wife, Amy, have a wealth of stories to tell. Jeff is very approachable which is not always a characteristic you find in professional sailors.

Chris Thompson - AUS - Chris has written an unpublished history of dinghy sailing, a superb tome of research and writing. Chris races the original Windsurfer and Lasers. I would need someone to keep Tillerman occupied!

Mystery guest - It's got to be one or two of the Frenchmen involved with the design or building of the Vendee Globe 60 footers. Not sure who? as I don't know the players. Someone with good English as this is a Anglo-centric party. Someone who can bring the wine maybe?? What glorious machines those Vendee Globe 60 footers are and the French need to be recognized for driving these designs to the pinnacle they represent in ocean racing.

Other's on the invite list are all sailing dinghy designers with pages of design accomplishments. (but I 'll spare the details);

Jo Richards - UK
Phil Morrison - UK
Paul Bieker - US
Chris Benedict - US deceased.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sabots and other 8' Sailing Dinks

I learned to sail in an 8' El Toro pram . I never raced an El Toro until I was in my 30's when I borrowed one to sail the last El Toro North American Champs held on the East Coast, sometime in the 1980's (St. Mary's Maryland). My most fondest and hair raising recollection about El Toro's was downwind in a breeze. You would camp out on the El Toro's stern, sandwiched between the tiller, desperately trying to keep the pram bow from going under.

The Australian Sabot is a close cousin to the El Toro. Unlike the El Toro which has an adult as well as a junior division, the Australian Sabot is primarily a junior boat. Here is a junior alternately planing and submarining a Sabot in very big breeze; much more breeze than I ever attempted in an El Toro.

Archipelago Rally; Fun in Small Boats

We've covered the Swedish Archipelago Raid in Multihulls . This "Archipelago Rally" is a different sort; a late fall fun day in small dinghy sailboats organized by several New England ex-collegiate sailors. I don't know much more than what I can glean from the video but definitely the emphasis is on fun and not so much on racing. It is organized as a pursuit race with the slower boats starting first and the faster ones starting at timed intervals afterwards. I assume the first boat across the finish line is the winner.

Plus, any video that features the Sea Snark gets my nod!

Video is well done by Boating Local.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

America's Cup in Multihulls

To be expected, BMW Oracle's decision to race the next America's Cup in multihulls created much gnashing of teeth among the old guard. For me, multihulls will provide the excitement that the Ole Cup needs to remain relevant as one of the premier sailing competitions. Next year, teams start tuning up with 45' wingmasted cats before graduating to the 75 footers for the Cup. To get an idea what next years Cup tuneup will be like, one only has to view the Extreme 40 cat series they run in Europe.............

TOH to YachtPals.

Natalie Gazing Trumps Navel Gazing, Naval Gazing and Natal Grazing.

For Tillerman............


Inside Joke.

Regular Programming will resume on the flip side.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Houston, We have lift off...........

What's striking about this video is the neck popping acceleration of this E scow once the chute is up and trimmed. Wowee!!!!!!!

Music Whenever; Mandolin Orange "The Train Song"

I realized that I've never featured a train song in my music selections. Oversight corrected...............

Mandolin Orange - "The Train Song" from Alex Loops on Vimeo.

Sea Snark Thread Continues

Reminder; the Sea Snark thread remains open. Any stories about Sea Snarks gladly accepted for publication on this here blog.

Recently, John Z. pulled out his well traveled Sea Snark to use as a beer cooler for an Octoberfest party he held at his "horse farm". Great centerpiece!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hello! Coast Guard, We've got a problem here...........

Update....From November's issue of Latitude 38 we get the whole story.

"French artist, Julien Berthier, .....created Love-Love - a 21 -ft abandoned boat that appears to be sinking..... Berthier cut off the bow and replaced it with a unique keel - a saildrive was also installed - that allows the boat to motor around in calm water..."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Music Whenever; The Mighty Mighty Bosstones; "Simmer Down"

With the hyper-partisan, hyper-shouting election season of robocalls and wall to wall political ads behind us; how about a Bob Marley/ Skatalites song to mellow us out? "Simmer Down" covered by the Boston ska band, "The Mighty Mighty Bosstones".