Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mayan for Sale

David Crosby's Alden Schooner, Mayan, is for sale. We saw this boat tied up in Santa Barbara, but did not see the name. She looked to be in great condition. You can find the listing on Yachtworld. There are some nice pictures, both current and historical. The boat was featured on the cover of the album CSN.

How to Pay for Cruising in a Down Economy

That doesn't look like a hospital bed to me!

Here is an interesting story from the UK on how one couple funded their cruising dreams. There seem to be a number of lessons in this story of using 40-50,000 in GBP disability benefits to purchase a boat and sail away.

A blog post is here , a Guardian story is here and the BBC story is here.

Ingrid Photo Gallery


A new fish, Psychedelica, has been discovered off of the coast of Indonesia's Ambon Island. It is also called a Frog Fish because of the way it bounces along the bottom.

Here is a list of stories with more details.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Maritime Museum of San Diego

Last month, we visited the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The museum is billed as having the best collection of historic vessels in the world. After visiting a number of these types of these institutions from San Francisco to Maine, I would say that this may be true. There are at least seven major vessels as well as some small yachts and working boats from the early days of San Diego history. The major vessels include:
I found these ships very interesting.

The B-39 sub, for instance, was eye opening. This was a cold war submarine commissioned by the Soviets in the 1970s. Many of the systems seemed more primitive than US World War II subs. The B-39 reminded me of the USS Pompano in San Francisco, whose keel was laid in 1936.

Here is a short slide show of some of the vessels.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Trawlers, Large and Small

PassageMaker Magazine's Trawler Fest has begun here at the Kona Kai Marina (map) in Shelter Island, San Diego.

Along with various seminars and speakers, about 25 trawlers of all sizes are on display. These include Nordhavn, DeFever and many others. The festival continues through the 28th.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ingrid Restoration

A 1940's era wooden Ingrid is undergoing restoration at Koehler Kraft Boat Yard in San Diego. Corine had run across the owner at the San Diego Yacht Club back in December. He offered to sell it to her. I don't have any contact information, but interested parties should probably contact the boat yard.

Wooden Ingrid Restoration

She recently went back into the water after the hull had been worked on, faired and painted. She has a ways to go on the rigging and interior.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Boat, Free to a Good Home

No, this is not the latest BMW-Oracle Racing platform. It is the Sea Shadow (IX-529). The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Navy is trying to give away this and other formerly top secret, cold war era vessels. They are probably headed to a museum, but if you make the right case, who knows?

Vulcan CO2 Flyover Map

Purdue University's Vulcan Project is collaborating with NASA and the Department of Energy to catalog North American CO2 production. They have summarized their data in a Google Earth application. Below, is a short video demonstrating the application. Just watching a couple minutes of video you can learn quite a bit about the demographics of CO2 emissions.

It is too bad that NASA lost the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) satellite this morning. Tools such as these make it easier for all of us to understand the magnitude of the problem.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rescue at Sea

Here is an interesting story of the rescue at sea of Leo Sherman. It occurred off the coast of Madagascar last month after his catamaran, Queenqueg II, capsized. It was posted on the AMVER (Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System) blog.

Pictured is Mr. Leo Sherman with Captain Kim of the M/V Auto Banner that rescued him. (photo courtesy of Leo Sherman).

Mr Sherman shares some emergency preparation tips that would have helped his situation.

Another report of the rescue can be found here.

Queenqueg II's Blog.

Latitude 38 ran the story.

US Navy Slide Show

Check out the great photos in the US Navy Year in Pictures 2008.

Mike Perham Update

I have been following some of the youngest circumnavigation attempts of sailors like Zac Sunderland, Jessica Watson and Mike Perham. A reader has informed me of better sources of information on Mike Perham. Check out and the MarineTrack map. Thanks to tuftey for this information.

Mike is currently in South Africa sorting some autopilot issues. Good luck to Mike.

I also think that it is important to point out that in the end there may be only one youngest circumnavigator, but that does not detract from the fact that these kids have already achieved far more than most of us in the sailing world.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

J. Craig Venter's Sailing Lab

We pass this boat on the way out from our slip in San Diego. At 95 feet, she is quite impressive, so I decided to google her. It turns out this is J. Craig Venter's yacht, Sorcerer II, that was used for a two year expedition to collect and catalog sea microbes around the world. The work included sequencing the DNA of the specimens. There is a brief site on the expedition here. There are leads to more science here.

Some of you may remember Venter as the guy who pushed the commercial side of the race during the Human Genome Project. He is currently working at Synthetic Genomics trying to bioengineer microbes to produce clean fuel sources.

Sorcerer II is also for sale and shown on Luxist.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mad Mariner's Docking Game

Now that the Admiral (aka Corine) is in charge of docking, I am stuck playing Mad Mariner's Docking Game if I want bring a boat safely to port.

P.S. I also got a reprimand for posting a picture of Jessica Watson.

New Dinghy Chocks

I have been working on new dinghy chocks for Maitreya's cabin and foredeck. The existing layout was built for an 7 foot, 11 inch Dyer Midget, so we had been strapping our larger 9 foot Fatty Knees to the cabin. This had worked fairly well, but minor shifting at see would dig up the paint on the cabin and deck.

My new San Diego friend, John, took me up to Frost Hardwood Lumber where we found some Jatobá. Jatobá or Brazilian Cherry is a very heavy and tough tropical hardwood. It is a poor man's teak. I then proceeded to dull John's wonderful chop saw cutting up the stock. Thanks to John for all the help with this.

I continued to hack and screw and bolt the wood until I came up with something that will hold the dinghy in place. It is times like this that I miss my woodworking whiz friends back in Berkeley. Michael and John, where are you when I need you?

Coast Guard Surf Training off San Francisco

Never mind Mavericks, check this out. The Coast Guard was out off Ocean Beach practicing heavy surf operations recently. This is also why mariners are not supposed to be inshore south and west of the City when big surf is running. Get out around that 4 mile buoy.

Interesting Shipping Blog

The image above is a visualization that shows the number of ships registered to each country by foreign owners. These are otherwise known as flags of convenience. Ship owners register ships in other countries to avoid regulations, taxes and liability. The book The Outlaw Sea by William Langewiesche describes these practices in detail.

The visualization is an example of the interesting content at the shipping blog gCaptain.

Friday, February 20, 2009

New "Youngest" Circumnavigation Attempt

Jessica Watson, 15 years old, of New Zealand is about to attempt to circumnavigate, non-stop and unassisted. This sounds much tougher than the current solo circumnavigations underway by Zac Sunderland (16) and Mike Perham (15). Zac and Mike make regular stops to provision and rest.

Psychologically this has to be tough on any sailor especially one this young. She will be sixteen when she starts later this year. The trip will likely take nine months or more in her 34 foot S&S.

Circumnavigational one-ups(wo)manship is all the rage these days.

Her website can be found here.

Fair Winds to Jessica.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Whales and Freighters and Subs! Oh My

As you may have heard, French and British nuclear submarines have collided in the Atlantic. If they can't see each other one wonders if they can see little cruising boats. Lets not forget the Japanese fishing boat Ehime Maru.

Maybe it was just a game of chicken. When will the AIS with Geiger counters hit the market?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Women's Sailing Resources

Corine came across a great women's cruising site. Women and Cruising is chock full of great resources for women (and men) interested in cruising. The site was created by Kathy Parsons (pictured), Pam Wall and Gwen Hamlin. Check it out.

We also have this link in our resources area.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Iridium Satellite Collision

An Iridium satellite crashed into an inactive Russian satellite today. This was one of 66 Iridium craft, so it is unclear how this will affect coverage for cruisers and other users such as the defense department. News summaries can be found here. The BBC reported that Iridium will shift another unit to take the destroyed ones place. That report suggested that it might take 30 days to complete the shift. The Iridium web site did not carry a press release.

Can you hear me now?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Peruvian "Noah's Ark"

This is the sad story of the Chilean Navy capturing a boat load of endangered and rare animals off of Peru as reported by Reuters UK. The menagerie included toucans, macaws, parrots and turtles.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Fabulous sailing photography. Checkout this collection at

Whale Watching on Schooner America

The schooner America has been out doing whale watching tours from San Diego Bay. This is a replica of the first winner of the America's Cup Race. It is part of the business helmed by Dennis Conner that stages day sails on Stars and Stripes.

The day we saw her, she was out in light airs. She was quite a contrast to the BMW Oracle Trimaran that was also sailing that afternoon.

Trawler Fest Coming to Kona Kai

Our non-sailing friends who enjoy stinkpots may be interested in Trawler Fest here in San Diego. It will be held at the Kona Kai Marina on February 24-28. The festival is hosted by PassageMaker magazine.

One of the more interesting exhibits will be Wind Horse, Steve and Linda Dashew's FPB (fast passage boat). This is a motor driven cruiser that descends from the long line of Sundeer sailing vessels.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Balmy North Sea Weather

We are experiencing some much needed rain in San Diego. They are predicting perhaps as much as 1.8 inches (4.6 cm) over 4 days. This is a lot for Southern California where annual rainfall is 10 inches (25 cm) or less. Readers from other parts of the globe will laugh at this.

One place with different weather is the North Sea coast of Holland. I came across this little shop of horrors for small boaters at

Friday, February 6, 2009

Switch to 406 MHz EPIRBs

Just a reminder that the old 121.5 and 243 MHz EPIRB beacon frequencies are no longer being monitored by the Coast Guard or other international search and rescue organizations. You must have a newer model 406 MHz beacon for your distress call to be heard.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

La Niña

The Niña or a reasonable facsimile is visiting Kona Kai Marina. This is a reproduction of the small ship that Christopher Columbus sailed to the new world. It has been swarmed by school children and nautical buffs. Rather odd and tall, a design that looks fairly unstable. It is rigged as a Caravela Redonda which is a mix of square and lateen sails.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

For Rent

One of our neighbors here in Shelter Island has been coming and going by helicopter the last few days. You too can charter Leight Star for $115,000 (89,500 Euros) a week. It is unclear if that price includes the chopper and pilot.

BMW-Oracle Trimaran Practices

We went out to test some new equipment yesterday and the BMW-Oracle Trimaran showed up for practice. It was moving very fast even in the light 8-13 knot winds off of Point Loma.

Monday, February 2, 2009

One Person's Groundhog Day

CNN ran a public "assignment" asking people what day in their life would they like to do over, ala Groundhog Day. One sailor posted this response and the following slides:

I would choose anyday during a 3 week sail across the Atlantic Ocean. Where a crew of strangers with no experience came together as a team covering each others back as we faced storms and doldrums, isolation and comradarie.
The middle of the ocean is a most beautiful and remote place. Cut off from our known world. The rat race of our cities, the news, politics, wars over territory and cultural clashes we were used to seeing on a daily basis all become irrelevant out there. It was a complete daily breath of fresh air
The endless universe shines above, and the phosphorescence shines below. I wish I was still out there in that marine paradise.

Google Earth and Oceans

Google Earth 5.0 is being released and has added a huge amount of data on the oceans of the world. This includes much of the topology of the sea floor as well as a lot of special media links pertaining to oceanography. Here is an article at the New York Times.

The Cruising Yacht SiteRing

Previous | List | Random | Join | Next

SiteRing by