Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Maken Renovation



I found Maken in the Boat Haven yard in Port Townsend. She is undergoing a major refit. The spars were off and several planks were being replaced. She is a true Colin Archer redningskoite (rescue boat) type in dimensions and paint. I did not find her listed with the Norwegian Redningsselskapet, so she may not be official.

Another Tahiti Ketch

This was a very pretty Tahiti Ketch seen in Port Hudson Marina. See a previous post about Tahiti Ketches here.

Road Trip from Townsend to Neah Bay



We had a slow Sunday in Port Townsend, so we decided to take a drive to scout out anchorages that might be needed later. We drove across the north edge of the Olympic Peninsula along the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Cape Flattery. This route took us through Sequim, Port Angeles, and Clallam Bay and Sekiu to Neah Bay. Highway 112 is bordered by extremely lush forest and is well worth the slow unhurried drive.

The anchorages are quiet and look like they would give good shelter from southern winter storm patterns. They might not be as safe in a strong northwest blow.

We got some excellent freshly smoked salmon from a traditional Indian smoke house in Neah Bay.

Cruising Gadget: Cockpit Backrests

These backrests fit over the cockpit combings of classical boats. They were very comfortable and easy to store. I hope to make some for Maitreya someday.

Port Townsend Skate Park

This is one of the nicest skateboard parks that I have ever seen. There are 3 or 4 large "pools" with a lot of other assorted ramps, jumps and rails. Nice for a small town without that many diversions for kids.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Big Splash in Port Townsend


The new super sport fisher Cielo Mare was launched last week in Port Townsend. She is 127 feet long. She has been under construction for the last 38 months and was delivered to an undisclosed owner. This was a major project for the marine trades people, especially the yard at Townsend Bay Marine.

On launch day, the engines were not running, so vessel assist pulled her out of the slings of the 300 ton travel lift.

The public was not invited aboard, but the outside finish quality looked really first rate.

The Port Townsend Leader has a story here. The Seattle Times has a story.

Larger pictures can be found here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Parachute Anchor Deployment


This bit of gear was found on Pachuca, an S&S 39. Robert Morales had sailed her to Port Townsend from Fremantle, Australia. The red rope leads back to the cockpit outside the toe rail. In bad weather, the skipper will heave to. A parachute drogue or para anchor and 300 feet of rode is shackled to the aft end of the rope. The anchor is next placed in the water and the rode fed out. Eventually, the rode tightens and begins to break away all of the small nylon attachments leaving the entire deployment in front of the boat. This is a really clever way to deploy a para anchor without needing to go onto the foredeck in bad conditions.

Robert said that he had to deploy an anchor once when the wind was over 40 knots, the seas were large and the boat was taking on some water. He said this worked brilliantly and would highly recommend it.

Robert plans to sail south down the Americas, round the horn and head home to Australia. You can follow his progress on his blog. We hope to see him when he comes to San Francisco.

Good luck to Pachuca.

Been on the Road


We went to Port Townsend for the weekend and it turned into a two week trip.

Some friends of ours had some boat troubles, so I decided to stick around and try to help.

Port Townsend is a boaters paradise. There is so much talent there for building and repairing boats, but more than that the people are so open and friendly.

We saw a lot of interesting stuff that I will share in upcoming posts.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

California Coastal Cleanup Day


The 25th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day is next week on September 19th. You can find a cleanup site here. If you can spare a few hours, please pitch in.

Jester Challenge 2010


Preparations are under way for the 2010 Jester Challenge. This is a transatlantic race for boats 30 feet and under. It is organized in honor of Blondie Hasler, who sailed a modified junk-rigged Folkboat, Jester, in the 1960 and 1964 OSTAR races from Plymouth, England to New York. Hasler was also an early pioneer of wind-powered self-steering for yachts.

2010 will be the third running of the race which is held every two years and runs from Plymouth to Newport, Rhode Island. There are currently 93 entries. Occasional exemptions are made so that boats slightly over 30 feet can participate.

There are links to some of the entries blogs and web pages. If you are interested in offshore, small boat cruising these sites can be very interesting. Entered boats include Twisters, Folkboats, Westerlys, Contessas and many others. A great example blog is World Wide Waites, which details the preparation of the Red Admiral.

Australian Government Wants to Stop Jessica Watson

After Jessica Watson's collision with a huge freighter, the Australian government has been looking for ways to prevent her departure. This would be similar to the ruling by the Dutch government to stop 13 year old Laura Dekker from attempting a solo circumnavigation. Apparently, there are no applicable laws against such a trip.

The exact circumstances of the collision have still not been determined. The authorities are worried that a similar incident further from land could be disastrous.

Read more: news.com.au, courier-mail.com.au

Cruising Destination: California Coast

california coast from michael baca on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dutch Royal Family Visits New York

De Halve Maen (Half Moon) is a replica of Henry Hudson's ship that arrived in New York 400 years ago. It is visiting the City to mark the anniversary. Also in attendance are Prince Willem-Alexander of Orange and Princess Máxima of The Netherlands who were greeted by Hillary Clinton and Mayor Bloomberg.

Jessica's Trial Run Collision


Jessica Watson's trial sail to Sydney was severely hampered this morning at 2am when her 34 foot boat was involved in a collision with a 63,000 ton freighter. This apparently left the yacht's hull with some minor damage and broke the mast. Jessica diverted to a nearby port for repairs and plans to continue on to Sydney in preparation for her circumnavigation.

There is a story in the Times Online and another at TVNZ.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Jessica's Trial Run

Australian Jessica Watson has begun a 10 day trial run solo sail from Mooloolaba Wharf to Sydney. This is a lead up to her attempted solo, engine-less, non-stop circumnavigation in the southern ocean. She is currently 16, and could become the youngest person to achieve this.

She will be sailing an S&S 34 (10m). This design has successfully circumnavigated several times.

Here is a story from the Brisbane Times.

Tugs in New York City

McAllister Tug Film - Now In HD! from Jon Kane on Vimeo.


Nice shots of the McAllister Tug Line in New York Harbor.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cruising Destination: Rab, Croatia

WEEK.in.RAB from Marko Butrakovic on Vimeo.

I want to go to the island of Rab. How about you?

Good Luck Coconut


When we purchase Maitreya, the previous owner left a coconut in the galley. It had a note with it that said:

The nut was for good luck. If things ever got bad, we would know we had the coconut. If things got really bad, we could open it.

We still have the coconut today. We were worried we might lose it when clearing customs on the way back from Mexico, but we dodged that problem by arriving at 4 am.

Since the boat never got into serious trouble, we figure that the coconut really must work. Either that or the people we bought the boat from built a really great boat. Anyway, never thumb your nose at the gods.

Since that time, when someone we know gets a knew boat or sets out on a long trip, we try to supply them with a coconut.

I looked around the web and did not find much on this tradition. I did find a couple of interesting stories about the fruits.

JFK wrote an important message on a coconut after the sinking of the PT109 in the Salomon Islands during World War II. It said, "ELEVEN ALIVE NATIVE KNOWS POSIT AND REEFS NAURO ISLAND KENNEDY." This led to their rescue. Kennedy kept the coconut in the Oval Office after his election.
During Mardi Gras festivities, the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club of New Orleans throws hand decorated coconuts to revelers. This is the most lucky and sought after souvenir. The Zulus are celebrating their hundredth anniversary this year.


If you are headed out on the ocean, don't leave home without a coconut.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Stromdrane's Fancy Ropework


I ran across Stormdrane's Blog of rope and knot work. He has a beautiful collection of modern and more traditional work. In addition to the watchband and the rope ladder (below), there are many types of lanyards and cases for knives and other small items. Well worth a vist.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hillary Lister Rounds Britain

Hillary Lister has become the first disabled woman to circumnavigate Briton alone. Hillary is 36 and a quadriplegic. She steers and trims her sail using a pair of straws. A Canadian engineer built the system that translates sucks and puffs of the straws into sailing movements on the 20 foot boat.

Hillary has started a foundation that she hopes will enable other disabled sailors to fulfill their dreams.

You can find Hillary's web site here. CNN has a story here.

Congratulations to Hillary on this remarkable accomplishment.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cruising Gadget: Waterproof PC Keyboard


We have had a water proof keyboard on the boat for over a year. This one is from Man & Machine. It has really nice key action for a soft rubberized keyboard.

The rubber keyboard has several advantages on a boat, not the least of which is being water proof. It is low profile and does not slip on charts or the chart table. It is small (15 x 5.5 x 0.6 (in)) and easy to stow. It has a six foot cord, so the PC or laptop can be stored somewhere safe and out of the way.

Prior to this we had a roll-up model from Think Geek (seen below). This one had the advantages of rolling for storage and lighting for the dark watches. The keyboard feedback was not as positive and some keystrokes were missed.


















Thanks to my friend Leo for finding the Man & Machine model.

Cruising Gadget: Wi-Fire Wi-Fi Adapter

I have not tried this product, but it got a good review at Engadget, a top geek equipment site.

This is a Wi-Fi card and antenna in one device. It has a claimed range of 1000 feet. It looks like just the thing for a cruiser with a laptop who does not want a complicated installation. You just plug it into your USB port and connect. Best of all, it is only $59.

Low Bridges, Big Balls

This is Tiare from New Orleans during a LPRC race.




Wiht an even bigger set of balls.... this is Aratinga , an Alden 58 on the east coast. I saw this one on H2uhO.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Jimena Misses Cabo

Hurricane Jimena missed Cabo San Lucas on Tuesday. She is now headed up the western coast towards Mag Bay. The good news is that the winds have dropped and Jimena is now rated category 2. The latest path projections show her hooking back west after landfall possibly over Turtle Bay (see live map in earlier post).

The Associated Press has a report from Cabo here.

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