Saturday, July 18, 2009

Village Raider

Here is an interesting double-ender. This is Langskip, a modern Icelandic viking-crusing boat. Not only is it a great design, it has some amazing joinery. It is 55 feet long, 14 feet wide and features a dining table that seats 14. That would allow for plenty of crew when knocking off a coastal village.

I originally saw this over at a great blog, Boat Bits.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Congratulations to Zac!

Zac Sunderland completed his 13 month circumnavigation today to become the youngest solo sailor ever to round the globe.


Zac's blog is here. There is a Los Angeles Times article on the trip here.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Bowsprit

Some readers say they want to hear more about what we are doing, rather than seeing links to other stuff on the Net. Much of the time, we are not doing anything of any interest. A lot of time goes to maintaining the boat.

Here is a project that has taken a couple months that were interrupted by travel, drying and curing time. The bowsprit had become a little ragged. My varnish had gone bad and the painted parts had not been touched for 4 or more years.

I stripped the hardware down as much as possible. The loose iron bits were re-galvanized, repainted and in one case powder coated. I replaced the most worn shackles.

The sprit itself went down to bare wood and got two coats of West epoxy, two coats of epoxy primer and two coats of enamel.

The anchor was in pretty good shape, but got a couple coats of cold galvanizing for good measure.

The sausage bag for the yankee was retired. The yankee now lives on a furler.

If you like watching epoxy dry, this is really interesting.

Point Loma

A week or so ago we visited the end of Point Loma that guards San Diego Bay. There are several monuments on the point including Cabrillo National Monument, The old Point Loma Lighthouse and Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. All of these spots have amazing views of the Pacific, San Diego Bay, Coronado Island and the Navy submarine base. There are live web cams here.

Cabrillo National Monument is dedicated to Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo who stopped here on the1542 Spainish voyage that ventured north of the San Francisco Bay. Unfortunately Cabrillo died on one of the Channel Islands heading north. There is a small museum and a theater that tells his story. The monument is dominated by a huge statue of Cabrillo.

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse was built in 1855, not long after statehood for California. It is well preserved old place.

Ft. Rosecrans is a beautiful military cemetery. It hold veterans of conflicts from the early California Republic and Mexican War (1846) up to the present. It has an interesting feature that many wives and even children are buried next to the veterans.

These are nice places to visit and you go on a week day is very peaceful. The day we were there we saw two submarines coming and going, which is apparently rare.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Clean Water Resources

I have seen a couple of important documentaries on water pollution and ownership rights in the last week.

In the 70's, the Clean Water Act focused on point pollution caused by industrial and municipal sources. Though later weakened by subsequent administrations, this bill made some progress on water quality.

We are now facing additional major water pollution problems caused by agricultural and non-point pollution. Agricultural waste and urban storm water runoff are largely un-regulated. These sources are widely thought to be causing ocean dead zones. Fish that are changing sex and three-legged frogs are also consequences.

PBS's Frontline has a two hour film called Poisoned Waters that looks at the impact of these pollution sources on the Chesapeake Bay and the Puget Sound. This plays well on a computer and is free and on-demand.

Flow, is an award winning film that also looks at these issues. It's main focus is the privatization of water by a few multi-national corporations in conjunction with the World Bank. As part of loan agreement terms, the World Bank is forcing countries such as Bolivia and South Africa into selling water rights to Suez, Thames Water, and Veolia/Vivendi. Private water has become a business with over 400 billion dollars of annual revenue, third behind oil and electricity.

Flow also examines other forms of privatization such as the massive bottled water industry which pumps water out of many US communities without payment or regard for local impact.

Here is the Flow trailer

Saturday, July 4, 2009

New "Youngest" Circumnavigation Update Again

Some regular readers know that we have been following along with three attempts to become the youngest solo circumnavigator. Catching up with our three young sailors...

Zac Sunderland is off the Baja coast a couple hundred miles south of Turtle Bay. Zac is in the home stretch back to Marina del Ray in Los Angeles.

Mike Perham has pushed across the Pacific eastward and is a few hundred miles south of the Panama Canal. He still needs to cross the Caribbean and the Atlantic to get home to England.

Jessica Watson and her team are working hard to get her boat ready to go. The last we heard she is shooting for a September departure from Queensland.

Keep it up mates.

Happy 4th of July

I looked around for a video that represents what America means for me. I found many pieces that twisted the concept of America one way or another. This, I found to have integrity. It summarizes my view the core philosophy found in the Declaration of Independence.

Colin Powell on being American from john casciani on Vimeo.

San Diego July 4th, Part II

Like the swallows of Capistrano, they are back. The mass return of absentee boat owners is signaled by the flapping of American flags over normally quiet boats.

One sailboat provides a contrast. It's owner has raised the Lion of Scotland and the British Union Jack. With a perfectly straight face and a sterling British accent, this sailor has a question for some of the large power boaters. Don't they miss the old days, before the revolution when American colonists paid far less taxes than today? You can see the hurt and mistrust flash in the Americans' eyes. Our British friend does not realize that he is about one Obama sticker away from dire consequences.

Friday, July 3, 2009

San Diego July 4th, um 3rd

It is still about 29 hours until the fireworks go up. Most every parking space in Shelter Island is now taken. Traffic control and the police are out in force. You have to have a permit to come and go tomorrow.

On the water, the La Playa anchorage is overflowing. Usually this spot has permits for about 25 boats, which makes it crowded. They have allowed more boats in as part of raft ups. A friend said he counted 40.

This is all leading up to the Big Bay Boom, which is supposed to be the largest fireworks show west of the Mississippi. There will be at least 4 separate launching platforms in the main bay channel from Shelter Island to the downtown waterfront.

The last few years, I have not been real big on excessive patriotism. I'm missing my quiet slip about now.

Getting Green

EarthFirst has a post on getting green for all the wrong reasons. I guess any reason will do in a pinch. The video sums it up.

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