Monday, January 16, 2017
Sunday, January 15, 2017
|Rich Wilson's Great Americcan IV|
“We rocketed through the night in a manner that is not at all my style. Yet there seemed an opening to get to Cape Horn if we went very fast and the wind gave us the chance, so we did. It was shocking and noisy and bouncy and noisy and big seas and the boat ricocheting and noisy and fast, fast, fast. And yet, when all was said and done, our little boat icon on the position reports showed 14.9 knots. So for the leaders of this race, who routinely would have little boat icons showing 19 knots, or 21 knots, what must that be like on board other than petrifying. It’s the one aspect of this I do not understand: how can those sailors tolerate that stress? When we do a tack gybe, the first part is to roll up the fractional gennaker. This is a long, hard, grind on the pedestal winch at high speed, or as fast as you can muster. For me, my asthma becomes problematic, not that I have an asthma attack or an anaphylactic episode, but just the fatigue of breathing at a level of 70-80%, when I clearly need 100%. These boats are monsters to manoeuvre singlehanded. Maybe if the storm delays a little bit it will be better. But hope has little role at sea. We await the next weather report forecast and will continue making our plans.”
Posted by George Conk at 8:42 AM
Friday, January 13, 2017
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Sunday, January 1, 2017
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
The hazards of single-handed ocean racing are many. On December 21 Sebastien Destremau was sailing in 30 knots with three reefs in the main when his boat was "knocked down like a dinghy".
A glance at the race tracker shows that 51 days out the fleet is strung out along a line from the Falkland Islands east of Argentina to Cape Leeuwin - western Australia. Nineteen of the twenty nine boats are still racing. In fifteenth position is Rich Wilson aboard Great American. Leading is Armel Le'Cleac'h aboard Banc Populaire, making 16.9 knots with Brit Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) 281 nm behind and 5,900 nm to the finish line. On Christmas Thomson rounded Cape Horn just a mile or two south in variable southerly and southwesterly winds of 16 - 40 kts. He still managed some Christmas cake.
Wilson is at 55 S, 97 E - south of New Zealand. He trails Le Cleac'h by 5,900 nm and has 11,650 nm to finish. Another 2,000 nm behind is Pieter Heerema aboard No Way Back. He is limping along at 3 knots. Is there a way forward?
Posted by George Conk at 9:38 PM
It's a long way from 1963 and the first sailboard to today's kite surfing.
S. Newman Darby, Inventor of the Sailboard, Dies at 88 - The New York Times
S. Newman Darby, a sign painter whose passion for boating led him to invent a sailboard that is widely acknowledged as the first windsurfing craft, died on Dec. 3 at his home in St. Johns, Fla. He was 88.
His daughter Wendy Darby Brown confirmed the death.
Mr. Darby created his sailboard in 1964 out of frustration because the waves on lakes, like the one near his home in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., were not big enough to surf on.
His solution was to attach a sail to a surfboard, and the combination worked. But it was flawed: It could not turn sharply or go well against the wind. So he created a universal joint using a nylon rope to link the sail to the board. This enhanced his control of steering and speed.
Mr. Darby’s enthusiasm spilled over into an article he wrote for Popular Science magazine in 1965 about his invention.
Posted by George Conk at 7:36 PM
Monday, December 19, 2016
Today was a special day. I visited my buddy Arthur- up and about 9 days after a successful heart transplant - his second. The first - as a young man - held up for 25 years +/-. I brought him a copy of the 2017 Calendar of Wooden Boats by Benjamin Mendlowitz - the house photographer of the wooden boat community in tiny Brooklin, Maine - a center of superb craftsmanship. I introduced him to the great sailboat designer Joel White who died 19 years ago.
The great essayist E.B. White wrote about the Maine lake where Arthur's family has a cottage - and On Golden Pond was filmed. - gwc
Joel White, 66, Designer of Wooden Boats - The New York Times
by Richard Goldstein
'There's a certain amount of dewy-eyed enthusiasm about wood that gets a little sticky sometimes,'' Joel White once said. ''People can get so caught up in the Zen of the thing, they sometimes forget what a boat is really for.''
Mr. White was born in Mount Vernon, N.Y., the son of the essayist and author E. B. White and his wife, Katharine, who was fiction editor of The New Yorker. The family moved to a farm in North Brooklin, Me., in the mid-1930's, and the son became immersed in a lifelong love of sailing Maine's coastal waters. He built a 19-foot boat named Martha, in honor of his daughter, that his father sailed after adding his own touch -- carved dolphins, four on each side of the bow, decorated in gold.
One of E. B. White's most enduring essays, ''Once More to the Lake,'' written in 1941, tells of a trip with his son back to the freshwater lake where the father spent vacations as a boy.
Mr. White attended Cornell University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which he obtained a bachelor's degree in naval architecture in 1953. After working on boat building in Newport News, Va., and serving in the Army, he returned to Maine and assumed ownership of the Brooklin boating facility in 1960. His son Steven has been owner and president of the boatyard since 1986.
He was the author of ''Wood, Water & Light: Classic Wooden Boats'' (Norton, 1988) with photographs by Benjamin Mendlowitz. Reviewing the book for The New York Times, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt called it a ''lovely work'' that was ''untainted by snobbery.'' Mr. White read from his father's essays, poems and short stories in a recent audio cassette, ''White on White.''
The editor and writer Roger Angell, Mr. White's half-brother, said that ''he really was a Down Easter. He was reserved in his emotions and instinctively modest.''
Posted by George Conk at 7:52 PM
Sunday, December 18, 2016
The Vendee GlobeTracker shows the fleet spread out across the Indian Ocean the trailers are approaching western Australia while the leaders are half way across te Pacific. the Pacific. Leader Armel Le Cleach has 8,800 miles to go. Brit Alex Thomson trails him by 484 nm. The two leaders are more than half way across the Pacific. A few weeks ago Thomson lost one of the foils, but has been on a favorable tack.
Making 11 knots at the moment, the sole American entry Rich Wilson is 5,300 miles behind the leader in 17th position. 22 of the 29 starters are still racing. The others abandoned the race due to equipment failures,
Posted by George Conk at 7:46 PM
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
As for the scallops, I kind of “wung” it but here are the basics: bread crumbs, lemon zest (1 lemon), fresh herbs (parsley, thyme), parmesan cheese (tablespoonish or more), some shallot, salt and pepper, paprika, red pepper. Mix it all together. Dredge the scallops, put in hot oil (I added a little butter too but probably not necessary) and brown quickly on both sides (crispy surface is good). Serve with lemon. - Ellen
Posted by George Conk at 8:43 PM