Friday, April 24, 2009

Volvo: Fleet closing in on Boston

With Ericsson 4 487 miles from Boston, with a 36 mile lead over Telefonica Blue and the trailer - Telefonica Black 618 miles from the finish, the fleet will probably reach Boston on Monday.
Here's the 2d viewer.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bowsprite: Schooners of New York Harbor

Bowsprite has a collection of water colors, and specs on the principal passenger-carrying traditional sailing craft now working New York Harbor. Here is the oldest - South Street Seaport's iron Pioneer. For the rest of the squadron check out Bowsprite.

Qingdao harbor - tugs, warships, and lifeboat racing

Tugster likes to get up close and watch the tugs push freighters around. Here's a shot of a warship getting pushed around - in Qingdao, China. There's some sort of friendly gathering of warships there for a multinational naval parade.
Highlights include a lifeboat (吊船) race, and a stubby Chinese nuclear submarine.
Images: China Daily

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Schooner Mary E hauled out on City Island for maintenance

The 100 year old schooner Mary E, which long called Greenport home, but now sails from Port Jefferson, is on the hard at Consolidated, at the opposite end of Pilot Street from City Island Y.C. where I keep North River 2.

Looks like painting, new prop and rudder from what I saw yesterday.

Goliath Crane and Allie B arrive at Black Sea port

All the way from Quncy, Mass the Allie B and its tow - the Brooklyn Bridge, laden with the Goliath Crane, arrived April 16 in Mangalia, Romania. The whole voyage can be seen here on George Graham's site.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Issuma: Why I am hugging the coast of Brasil

Richard Hudson in Issuma is single-handed now, 2000 miles up the coast from Montevideo.

He explains the currents and conditions that led him to take the risks of sailing quite close to the coast, with its hazards of high traffic, and the lee shore if the wind shifts to the east.

Volvo: Across the Equator - a tight pack

All 7 boats have crossed the Equator. Telefonica Blue, which did the last 4000 miles of the epic Qingdao to Rio leg without a headstay, showed its speed by being first at the Fernando de Noronha scoring mark - the equatorial island off the Brazil coast. The next 5 boats were separated by only 14 miles DTF across a stretch of the South Atlantic as they passed over to the north. 3500 miles to Boston.

The usual silly celebrations occurred at the crossings.

Here's the 2-D graphic showing race position.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Whales and Lobsters

Whales and lobster don't have much to do with each other, what with one scurrying along the bottom grabbing anything they can and the other scooping up mouthfuls of krill shrimp and zooplankton salad. The Right Whale about whose survival marine zoologists worry is the species about which Melville waxed in Moby Dick , Chapter 75 : " the Right Whale I take to have been a Stoic; the Sperm Whale, a Platonian, who might have taken up Spinoza in his latter years".

But the lobsters ply the same waters as the giant mammals and so, to avoid entanglement, the lobstermen have been forced to buy sinking line, some of which which we see coiled up here at the base of the traps stacked up on the dock at Simmons Wharf in Friendship during the off-season.

The Gulf of Maine Lobster Fishermen's rope exchange program helped many lobstermen with the replacement of old - perfectly usable - line with new - whale-friendly "sinking line".

One might get the impression driving the coast that lobstermen have an idyllic life, picking up lobster traps here and there about the rivers and bays, on sunny summer afternoons. That would be wrong. October, November, December are big months and the crustaceans lie in deep water 25 miles out to sea where lobstermen (and they are nearly all men) bait, set, tend, and haul the traps, band, and finally sell the product of 500 - 800 traps per license holder.

Images: drawing - Bowsprite; Photos: line exchange - Gulf of Maine Lobster; Simmons Wharf - Friendship, ME - gwc

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What we call our boats: our virtues, vices, dreams, and fantasies

Posted by Picasa Prodigal (Maple Juice Cove, Cushing), Red October (Port Clyde); Monhegan; Outlaw, Addiction, Bad Company (Friendship); My Girl (Hathorn Point, Cushing); Suspicion (Friendship); Dreadnought (Monhegan/Tenants Harbor)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Volvo: Rio to Boston - underway - 16 days - 4,900nm

That's an estimated average boat speed of 12.76 kts, in case you were wondering. That includes dodging squalls and light air in the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, called The Doldrums.

The fleet headed out on Holy Saturday and is stuck in fluky air, sails striking rigging as the big ocean swell bounces them around. Lots of sail repair, little progress two days out.
April 27 - eta Boston.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Henry Hild

The Henry Hild is, I believe, the only active wooden workboat in New York harbor. A WWII vintage Navy boat, it was bequeathed to John Barron by the late sailmaker, Henry Hild. It is seen here on a mooring at Barron's boatyard on the east side of City Island.

Barron's is one of the handful of yards to which you can entrust a wooden boat - like my North River 2 - an L. Francis Herreshoff-designed Buzzards Bay 14 built in 1985 at The Boat School in Eastport, Maine.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lighthouses of New York Harbor

Here's an audio slideshow from the Times, narrated by a Coast Guard petty officer, describing the lighthouses of New York. Particular mention is made of Stepping Stones off City Island and Execution Rocks off Sands Point.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Issuma: underway north from La Plata, Buenos Aires

So it's sunrise for Richard and crew as they head north from the La Plata River/Buenos Aires and Montevideo.  The current course hugs the east coast of Brazil  - see the graphic.  Issuma's blog link is in the blogroll at the top of the page.

Good time of year to be heading north.  It would be great to see Issuma in New York in May.  And Labrador in June??  Just guessing, but knowing Richard's yearning for high latitudes, it could be in the works.