Sunday, May 31, 2009

Follow Up To Thoughts on Anchoring

Craig Smith, presumably related to Peter, left a thoughtful comment on my Thoughts on Anchoring. It seems clear that Rocna makes a premium anchor. I did not mean to dispute that.

Some of us are just not ready to buy another anchor. In the mean time, we may be willing to make minor investments to increase our safety and sleep. We might be willing to do this no matter what anchor we have.

Again, how many anchoring mishaps occur because the maximum holding power of the anchor has been exceeded? I would guess that poor set must dominate as the cause of problems, especially where average weather is involved.

So I am back to the beginning of my quest. If poor or broken set is the problem, how to I improve set or reset without buying another anchor?

I have always understood increasing scope as increasing the amount of rode that is parallel to or on the bottom. The parallel pull is supposed to bury the anchor as opposed to breaking it loose. If an anchor is only partially set, the next big load can do one of three things:
  • Leave it partially set
  • Break it out
  • Fully set it
I cannot affect anchor design, weight or the bottom conditions at that point. I can only change the angle of pull. It just strikes me that kellets, heavy chain, etc. might be useful in this, at least prior to the limit of maximum holding power.

I am glad that Peter Smith posted his knowledge. It changed my thinking on the subject.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cruising Destination: Java

Music from bamboo and fruit from wood. from Jan van der Meer on Vimeo.

Thoughts on Anchoring

We currently carry 5 anchors. Our primary bower is a 60lb (27kg) CQR. We have a kedge that is a 50lb (23kg) Danforth. There is a 60lb (27kg) fisherman with broad flukes for troublesome rock and weed. We have a secondary 25lb (11KG) Danforth that is suitable for rowing out in a dinghy as a kedge. Then there is a 10lb (4kg) dinghy mushroom.

Our primary rode is about 200 feet of 3/8 (10mm) chain. We have about 380 ft of chain in two more lengths. There is about 300 feet of coiled polyester three strand rode for shore ties and/or Med mooring. We recently added 300 feet of 5/8ths 3 strand rode for a parachute anchor that can be used as ground tackle.

We normally anchor with the primary anchor and chain hooked to a bridle. The bridle moves the load off of the bowsprit roller and greatly improves the angle of the rode lowering the point of pull down 5 or 6 feet.

I recently started looking into the concepts of an anchor kellet, chum or buddy that might aid in dampening swinging and further enhancing security with a shorter scope. During an Internet search I came across some interesting papers by New Zealander Peter Smith. Peter is the designer of the Kiwi next generation anchor, Rocna. The new generation of anchors is represented by Rocna, Manson, B├╝gel and Spade among others. The new generation of anchors is focused on maximum holding power. Multiple tests by Yachting Monthly/SAIL and Practical Sailor seem to bear this out.

Peter had an article on kellets that was a bit negative. His claim, which seemed logical enough, was that a kellet will not actually increase holding power. You are better served by a heavier, presumably Rocna, anchor. The paper did acknowledge that the kellet could be useful in dampening swinging and absorbing shocks along the rode.

The interesting things about the papers is that they all seem to emphasise role of maximum holding power. Unless an anchor is much too small, the issue of maximum holding power does not come up for the average cruiser very often. Most people do their best to avoid the big blow. When faced with one, they tend to look for more shelter and start resorting to multiple mooring techniques. The more common problems are a poor or failed set, swinging to the wind or tide that breaks the set and conditions that cause unwanted interactions with other boats.

To that end, Evans Starzinger did some "real world" tests that appeared in Practical Sailor. These tests focused on speed of set and reset as well as anchoring in some nasty conditions in the Beagle Channel in Chile. These test showed that a Bruce style Claw anchor (Manson Ray) usually set and reset faster than the new generation anchors from Manson and Rocna. Evans also reconfirmed that the Ray did not have the maximum holding power of the newbies. In poor conditions of mud and kelp the Ray set in places the newbies would not.

One interesting point that Evans made was that pulling an anchor too fast or hard could keep it from setting in poor conditions. This phenomenon was seen in the Yachting Monthly/SAIL tests where several proven anchors such as Claws and CQRs failed to set at all.

I will proceed cautiously with my construction of a kellet, hoping that it may improve the ease and safety of everyday anchoring.

If I was going to replace one of my anchors, I would probably pick a 75lb Manson Ray or one of the new generation. The new generation have roll bars which can also conflict with a bowsprit.

There are a lot of opinions out there. Many of them express important and valid, if not conflicting observations.

A couple other books that I have found helpful areThe Complete Book of Anchoring and Mooring by Earl R. Hinz and Staying Put!: The Art of Anchoring by Brian Fagan.

Moby Nick on Film

Alone across the Atlantic in 30 days - HD Version from nickj on Vimeo.

Here is a video that explains Nick's (from the last post) voyage.

Big Oceans Tiny Boat and a Small World

Last week when I was back home in the Berkeley Marina for a couple of days I noticed a very cute bright red boat berthed right on N-dock with lots of advertisements on the hull, surely in the cruising/crossing oceans mode.
Jolanda and Tod invited me over for another very nice dinner on Tiburonica and to my surprise and amusement Nick, the captain of Constellation and the guy Jak put a link on to our website a couple of months ago joined in the fun. What a very small (sailing) world indeed :-)

Nick has a great website where you can follow his trip along with pictures and the latest info. In person he is a fun guy, great storyteller and an amazingly adventurous Aussie! It turned out that his boat is fully upgraded after the Atlantic crossing mainly with new gadgets donated to him by several sponsors and folks who just love to follow the dream and live it along with him.
Maitreya and the crew will surely check back often as Nick and Constellation are scheduled to depart for Half Moon Bay this weekend and hopefully ready to cross the Pacific to Hawaii shortly thereafter.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Brion Toss in San Diego

Master rigger Brion Toss will be giving a talk on traditional rigging at the Ancient Mariner's Sailing Society meeting June 4th, 7:30pm at the San Diego Yacht Club.

Brion is the author of several books including the rigging standard, The Complete Rigger's Apprentice: Tools and Techniques for Modern and Traditional Rigging.

I have attended some of his classes and talks in Port Townsend. The presentations are always very educational as well as quite entertaining.

Get a Grip

Wake Up, Freak Out - then Get a Grip from Leo Murray on Vimeo.

Working with Your Hands

I saw a post on the blog A Shipwright in Training about the merits of working with your hands. It references the New York Times Magazine article The Case for Working With Your Hands by Matthew B. Crawford.

I know I like working with my hands after spending the last 20 or so years working entirely in my head as a computer program. Certainly many of our cable TV and Silicon Valley heroes these days combine skilled craftsmanship with a creative flair. I think of shows where people build motorcycles, houses or bust myths. In Silicon Valley, it is Make Magazine and people combining hardware and software into robots, cell phones and an array of other goodies.

The author Michael Ruhlman specializes in books about creative craftsmanship like The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection and Wooden Boats: In Pursuit of the Perfect Craft at an American Boatyard.

Marketing folks will tell you that customized products are the future in a cookie cutter world.

Fixing and building will become more important as the world's resources shrink. The trades have gotten a bad name. There is flexibility in the trade careers from entry level repair to full blown custom work affordable by only the rich.

I believe that these trade jobs are a lot more rewarding than flipping burgers or being a middle manager.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

And they're off....

The National Hurricane Center is tracking TD One, the first tropical depression of the new hurricane season in the Atlantic.

Death Valley Slides

On the way back to San Diego, we headed east and visited Death Valley.

Prior to entering the park, we stayed the night at the Panamint Springs Resort. They didn't have the Big Kahuna, but they did serve some other, mighty tasty burgers, along with over 200 kinds of beer.

In the park, we visited Ubehebe Crater, Scotty's Castle, Stove Pipe Wells, Furnace Creek, Badwater and generally covered most of the paved roads.

We would like to go back in the winter and do some more hikes. It was only about 99F, but one short hike up the lip of the Ubehebe volcano dried us out pretty good.

H1N1 Pig Roast

Dan and Melanie's H1N1 Apocalypse Pig Roast was a lot of fun. Dan had built a great smoker that handled a small 45 pound pig in about 13 hours. The pig cooked all night with three of us peeking at it and trying to keep the smoker temperature between 190 and 210 F. This made for the most tender, succulent pig we have ever cooked. Matt was able to remove the whole ham and back leg by twisting like on a well cooked chicken. The smoke had penetrated the meat an inch in some places. Mmmm, mmm.

Low Tide

Low tide Saturday May 23, Oakland Estuary. Ouch.

Back in San Diego

After a large loop to the Bay Area and back through Death Valley we have arrived back at the Kona Kai in San Diego. Even though home is small, it feels good to be back.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Back in Berkeley

You know your back in the Berkeley Marina when it is 11 am and you can see whitecaps all the way to the Golden Gate. The usual 15 to 18 knots through the teeth. 20+ degrees less than San Diego plus wind chill factor.

We saw one intrepid Bear boat head out for a little fun.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Land Yacht

I'm heading to the Bay Area tonight to catch a big party - The H1N1 Apocalypse Pig Roast. I'll be ridin the dog on the red eye.

You meet the nicest people on Greyhound...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Rescue Ship 14 - Stavanger. She is 108 years old, 47 feet long and 31 tons. It is too bad the narration is in Norwegian. There is also a web page here. This link will take you to a listing of all of her sister ships in the Eldre Klasse.

Traditional Rigging and Metal Work in San Diego

In the modern cruising world dominated by fiberglass and stainless steel, it is getting harder to find stuff to d things the old way. I am stripping down the bowsprit of paint and gear. After 33 years things are a little rusty and paint sick. Some of the galvanized iron work is in need of a re-coat. After hunting a bit I found a few resources in San Diego.

The guys at Thomas Marine were very helpful in pointing me to American Rigging and R.W. Little. I appreciate a business that is helpful and would rather point you in the right direction than just take on unneeded work.

R.W. Little is a small business that specializes in sand blasting, sprayed zinc, powder coating and other metal refinishing treatments. Their prices seem reasonable and other work they have done looks great. They are going to refinish the cranze for the inner stay and some galvanized turnbuckles.

American Rigging is a pretty fascinating place. It is located very near the Navy shipyards at the south end of the city. They carry Crosby galvanized fittings among many other very large products. They provide rigging fittings, wire, chain, slings and synthetic ropes for commercial and military shipping. They were very happy to talk to me about some hundred dollar items,even though they spend most of their time on very large contracts.

San Diego has several West Marine stores, one of them is the largest in the world. They just don't know anything about galvanized gear unless it goes on an anchor.

Cruising Destination: Galapagos

Galapagos from Darek Sepiolo on Vimeo.

The Pale Blue Dot

EARTH: The Pale Blue Dot from Michael Marantz on Vimeo.

Nice time lapse video accompanying Carl Sagan's essay. Let's hope we have it in us to prove Carl right.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Storm Video from Spirit of Mystery

Here is some video taken on Pete Goss' Spirit of Mystery back in March. The notes on the video post say:
This video shows the beginning part of the Southern Ocean storm that knocked down Pete Goss' "Spirit of Mystery" and broke Mark's leg. The popping noises are drops of freezing rain hitting the camera & deck. More info @
San Diego seems nice and warm, even when it is foggy!

New "Youngest" Circumnavigation Update

We have been occasionally following 2, and soon to be 3 young sailors on their attempts to become the youngest solo circumnavigator.

When we last caught up with Mike Perham, he was in Hobart. He is now in Auckland dealing with more mechanical difficulties as he heads eastbound. Next, he has another large piece of southern ocean to cover. Lets hope he can get his steering mechanism fixed soon.

Zac Sunderland has crossed the Atlantic and Caribbean, westbound. He reached Panama City a couple days ago and has started through the Canal. He has a jaunt up the west coast of central America to reach home in Marina Del Rey. It is unclear if he will be racing against the hurricane season or will hang back for a while.

Happy birthday to Jessica Watson,who turned 16 on Monday and was applying for a boating licence in Australia. Jessica is still preparing for a September departure.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sailors Make Better Journalists?

Reader, er, Googler, "Sailor Chick" has chastised me for not finding out that Paul Oliva of the San Francisco Chronicle figured, or at least published, the Onzin Institute hoax out on May 15. had their own followup post on Sunday, May 17th. Brad ("Eerste") Hampton of YachtPals dreamed up the whole scheme for April Fools and did actually put April Fools at the bottom of their article below the images, which I did not see.

We first saw the story in the print edition of The Log on May 17th.

This is why journalists should make better journalists. One wonders how many seemingly more-legitimate stories are pushed around the net in this fashion.

Colin Archer seilas fra Haugesund 2007

Wind, sails and chillout music down the Haugesund River in Norway.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sailors Make Better Lovers?

This is story of Dutch humor and bad journalism. Many sailing news outlets including The Log, Scuttlebutt,, and Yachting Monthly, have been republishing a press release from the Onzin Institute purporting to scientifically prove that sailors are more virile. The report includes quotes from Dr. Hijgen Krachtig. The article was written by Eerste Grasmaand.

Congratulations to my Dutch speaking partner and Sail World for figuring out that this was a hoax. If you translate, Onzin Institute means Nonsense Institute, the doctor is Dr. Heavy Breathing and the reporter is roughly April First.

To be fair, there is a joke tag on the Yacthpals and the picture accompanying the Yachting Month piece does not seem serious. The Yachtpals photo of Dr.
Krachtig looks like Senator Patrick Leahy. To be tough, how about some fact checking you parrots!

Schooner Aldebaran

Aldebaran is an immaculate schooner from Pt. Richmond, California owned by Hayden Brown. Can you believe that she is ferro-cement? These pictures were taken by Peter Lyons and Fred Eagle. She is named for the brightest star in the constellation Taurus. There is more information about the yacht here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Archer / Atkin Bookshelf

There is not a lot of writing either by or about Colin Archer and William Atkin. Here are four books and an article concerning them.

Colin Archer and the Seaworthy Double-Ender by John Leather discusses the formation of the Norwegian Society of Sea Rescue (NSSR) by Dr. Oscar Tybring and the design of a standard lifeboat model by Colin Archer. There is an excerpt of the book here.

Magic Ships: The Life Story of Colin Archer by Lorna McDonald. McDonald is an Australian writer who has written many historical books including another one about the Archer Family's move to Australia from Norway.

Of Yachts & Men by William Atkin is a survey of the author's designs and philosophies.

The Sea Remains the Same is an article by Daniel MacNaughton about William Atkin that was published in WoodenBoat shortly after Atkin's passing in 1999.

The Colin Archer books seem to be rare ans somewhat expensive. One may need to import them.

Slow Motion Tube

Footage from the BBC found on Sea Fever.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Aussie Cruising Monthly

The Coastal Passage is an Australian monthly cruising and sailing magazine. Think 48 North only south. They discuss local cruising, rallies to Bali, how to deal with crocodiles and a whole host of stuff. PDFs are available each month. Check it out.

Song of a Ship

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Colin Archer Seiling 2006

Some nice footage from Norway.

Pint-Sized Pirates

Beware! Your cookies may be gone before you know it.

Girly Furly

Real men go out on the bowsprit and hank on sails in all weather. I'm not one of them...

We got our new (to us) roller furler on the yankee yesterday. It is a Profurl off of a hardly-sailed Beneteau.

I never had a problem getting the high-cut yankee down using a downhaul. Getting the sail stowed securely was an issue on the pitching sprit. Big waves could fill our sausage bag. When this happened continuously, it would eventually rip the bag or loosen the ties and carry the clew over the side.

Work begets work. Now I have no excuses not to refinish the bowsprit.

Cruising Destination: Iceland

Iceland from Eva Sturm on Vimeo.

We may or may not ever make it there, but it sure looks cool.

Hats to That

Work all day on the boat and all you get is a hat.

A limited edition may be available to friends of the boat for a small fee. All proceeds will benefit the guy with the embroidery machine.

Let me know if anyone wants one. There may even be a choice of color.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We Miss Kaboom

2009 KFOG Kaboom Fireworks from KFOG on Vimeo.

One of the many things we miss about the Bay Area is Kaboom. This is radio KFOG's annual listener appreciation party. It culminates with an amazing computerized fireworks display synchronized with music. This year's Kaboom was last week. The video will give you a taste of the best fireworks we have seen.

West Coast Classic Boating Events

Summer is coming and the wooden boats are out. Last week was the Yesteryear Regatta in San Diego. The week is the Master Mariner's Regatta in San Francisco. With this in mind, I have assembled a list of the premier west coast classic boat events. I may have left out your favorite. If so, let me know.

Ancient Mariners Sailing Society Yesteryear Regatta

San Diego Bay, CA

May 9

San Francisco Master Mariners Regatta

Encinal Yacht Club, Alameda, CA

May 23

Kettenburg Regatta

Southwestern Yacht Club, San Diego, CA

June 7

26th Port Townsend Classic Mariners' Regatta

Wooden Boat Foundation, Port Townsend, WA

June 6 - 7

Bell Street Pier Classic Rendezvous

Classic Yacht Association, Seattle, WA

June 19 - 21

San Diego Wooden Boat Festival

Koehler Craft, San Diego, CA

June 20 - 21

San Francisco Master Mariners Boat Show

Corinthian Yacht Club, Tiburon, CA

June 28

McNish Classic Schooner Race

Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club, Channel Islands Harbor, CA

August 1

The Great San Francisco Schooner Race

San Francisco Yacht Club, San Francisco, CA

August 29

Victoria Classic Boat Festival

Victoria Inner Harbor, BC, Canada

Sept 4 - 6

Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival

Wooden Boat Foundation, Port Townsend, WA

Sept 11 - 13

Jessica Cup

St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, CA

Oct 17 - 18

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Red Bull Air Race Snaps

Back at SDYC

After being out on the hook a few days in Glorietta Bay, we are back at the San Diego Yacht Club.

The rigger is supposed to start work on a furler for our yankee today. This will solve our problem of it washing overboard in heavy seas.

There is a gale off of Point Conception that may move as far south as the border. So, we are not sure what our plans are at this point.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Raising of Rosemary

There is an interesting page at the Howth Yacht Club (Ireland) on the raising of a sunken 1907 yacht, Rosemary. The club has a fleet of Howth 17 footers, which were mostly built around the turn of the last century. Rosemary sank after a collision at the start of the 2007 championship race.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fairlie Heaven

Fairlie Restorations and Designs are the authorities on Fife yachts. A Fife's beauty speaks for itself. Sailing on one of these is in my bucket list.

There is a photo collection here.

Kathy Mansfield also has some great shots of the Fife Regatta and Med Racing.

The 2008 Fife Regatta site is here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Red Bull Air Race in San Diego

The Red Bull Air Race Series will be in San Diego this weekend (May 9 & 10). We were lucky enough to get an anchoring permit for Glorietta Bay, so we will be close to the action. Hope that they "get a bit of smash on" as it says in the Rotterdam vid.

Pacific Plastic Vortex Cleanup

Project Kaisei will begin to attempt to clean up the gigantic Pacific Plastic Vortex this summer. The initial 70 day voyage will focus on studying the problem and testing possible collection methods. The project will also produce a National Geographic documentary on the effort.

This is an extremely large and serious problem. In a previous post, we showed Captain Charles Moore's Ted Conference presentation on the vortex.

Cortez Cruising Guide

We recently got a copy of Sea of Cortez - A Cruisers Guidebook. This is one of the most beautiful guide books we have seen. Some cruisers coming north showed us the book and said they found the information was very helpful and accurate. The book is full of high quality color maps and pictures of hundreds of anchorages. Nice commentaries about local sites and services accompany most of the entries.

The authors, Shawn Breeding and Heather Bansmer, have also set up a complementary web site at - Sea of Cortez: A Cruiser's Guidebook

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bali Marine Life

Macroworld of Bali from Alex.Be. on Vimeo.

Another Day, Another Billionaire

Today Nuberu Blau (ex Kokomo of London) is clearing customs in Shelter Island. She was originally commissioned for Neville Crichton, who is a mega car dealer and a backer of the Alpha Romeo Maxi Yacht Team.

She is 40 meters of aluminum designed to go 12 knots.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Oh Lekker!

The Admiral is melting. David Bowie, Amsterdam and sailing.

Happy Birthday to Pete Seeger and Clearwater

Pete Seeger is 90 today and is still going strong for social and environmental causes. There are many articles on Pete around the web (Guardian, Folk Alley, NPR).

Tonight there will be an appreciation of Pete at the Madison Square Garden. The proceeds will benefit the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.

Clearwater is a boat and an organization founded 1969 to raise awareness of the pollution of the Hudson River. The vessel is a 106 foot replica of 18th and 19th century ships that plied the Hudson.
In another two weeks, Clearwater will be 40 years old.

Rose of Sharon for Sale

Look who pulled in behind us at the Police Dock. Rose of Sharon is headed north after some successful racing in Puerto Vallarta.

The 79 year old Starling Burgess schooner is gorgeous. She is also now for sale. This is strong competition for David Crosby's Mayan which is double the price.

The brokerage posting outlines her illustrious racing career:
ROSE OF SHARON won the Mayor's trophy race in New York in 1971; was the elapsed time record holder in Ancient Mariner race from San Diego to Maui in 13 days; in 1980 she was the overall winner in a 500 boat class in the Ensenada race, she was 2nd in class in the 1983 Victoria B.C. Swiftsure race, and 2nd place in the 1930 Bermuda race. She has won or placed well in the recent Ancient Mariner and Schooner races as well.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Careening an Ingrid

This month's Latitude 38 is running a letter from Barry Spanier on careening his Ingrid in New Zealand. Seminole was one of a group of four Ingrids built on the San Francisco waterfront in the early 70's. Maitreya was the fourth.


You asked for responses from people with experience careening
their boats. We were sailing Seminole from Tauranga
to Auckland 29 years ago when we were quickly overtaken
by a nasty squall. We were running off quite broad when it
slammed us but I managed to get the sails down. When I
looked aft, though, I was stunned to see my boomkin wiggling
up and down. When I checked over the side, the boomkin attachment
point at the waterline was hanging by only one of
the four bolts. We quickly rigged the genoa halyard aft to a
solid point, and cranked it up tight. With the rig temporarily
safe, we turned on the engine

I went below into the stern and could see there was no
water coming in where the bolts were, so we were safe there,
too. Nonetheless, we decided to head into a deep bay that
was a few miles farther north so we could find good holding
ground to anchor and sort out the problem. With big tides,
we were sure we could just slip in carefully, rest Seminole on
her bottom, and let the tide go out. It was almost high water,
so it seemed reasonable to do.

Since we'd never attempted to careen a boat before, it was
a complete adventure. As the tide went out, we sat in the
cockpit and waited. Within a few hours we were leaning to
starboard more and more. The bay was dead flat calm, and
as time went on Seminole gently laid on her side in the sandy
mud. Before long, we were over the side and wading around
in the mud inspecting the damage. The heads of three of the
four silicon bronze bolts were ripped right off. Since I had
built the boat, there were lots of spare bits and pieces in her
lockers, and as soon as the pad broke the surface, we began
the fix. After punching out the old bolts, we replaced them
with some stainless ones with hex heads and washers, which
didn't look as nice, but were much stronger than the carriage
heads that had failed. A little 5200 made them watertight. By
then we were fully lying on the bottom, with about two feet of
water still around the boat. We shut all the hatches, ports,
and vents and waded to the shore

We took a walk along the bay shore and found a nice little
home with two wonderful people living there. When they found
out we'd careened our boat in their bay, they invited us in. We
were served tea and scones with fresh blackberries. After a
nice conversation we headed back to the beach near the boat.
With very little effort we dug up fifty or sixty pipis, the fine
little cherrystone clams they have in New Zealand. A trip to
the nearby rocks also provided a number of fat mussels and
oysters. A few bits of driftwood made a small fire, and when
there were coals, we just threw in the mollusks and waited
until they opened. We grabbed the steaming shells with two
little sticks and ate the meat inside

By early evening we could see the tide coming up. We
waded back out to the boat, climbed aboard, and waited for
the bay to rise to the occasion. Almost without a sound, we
were slowly returned to upright, then floating. We hauled in
the anchor and powered out of the bay to continue our trip
north. No disaster. In fact, nothin' but fun.

Those were the days. Leaving New Zealand later in the year,
we were wrecked on a tiny island. Seminole is now a fine home
for fish some 70 feet down. But that's another much longer
and more interesting story.

Barry Spanier
ex-Seminole, 38-ft double-ender

Friday, May 1, 2009

Double Ender Geneology Project

I have started a family tree for yacht designs descending from Colin Archer. I have been trying to glean information from odd sources about companies and people that were pre-web. I would appreciate any corrections, clarifications that anyone with better information might have.

Lee Chesneau's Transpac Weather Primer

Lee Chesneau has a passion for weather. He had a long career as a meteorologist for NOAA and the US Navy. The past few years he has been teaching commercial seamen, racers and cruisers how to understand weather forecasts.

I have taken two courses from him at Strictly Sail Pacific. The classes explain the basic dynamics that drive weather systems as well as how those forces are expressed in the NOAA weather products. This basic grounding in marine weather not only lets you look ahead a few days while on a passage, it gives you an understanding of why changes are occurring in data you see in GRIB files and bouy data.

Lee is about to give a Transpac Weather Symposium that focuses this information for this summer's race to Hawaii. Some of the slides for the symposium are pre-posted on his site. The slides are an interesting overview even if you cannot make it to the symposium. is a free and very concise site that organizes the Atlantic and Pacific NOAA Ocean products. Using this site you can get a quick picture of the 96 hours of weather in a minute or two.

Lee's longer workshops are also offered through the Seven Seas Crusing Association.

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