Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Heritage Cup 2015 - award ceremony

Here I am celebrating my 2d place finish at the 2015 Heritage Cup awards ceremony.  I always feel like a salmon returning to spawn at Sea Cliff - the cove where I first sailed en famille at age 8 on our 18 foot center board boat - a Cape Cod knockabout.  Still sailing small boats and still loving it.   
The race course was north from host Hempstead Harbor Club to Weeks Point G1, downwind across to the harbor to the mouth R2, close reach to R8, finish.  Sailing single-handed I took second, beating the schooner Myth, which struggles going to windward. Ahead of me at the first mark by 100 yards was the Friendship Sloop Natanya.  But they rounded the mark, shook out the reef for the downwind leg in 17-21 kts NE and left me in their wake.
Golden Eye - Bob & Mike Emmert- Regatta Chairmen

Natanya - Friendship sloop

Picking up the mooring single-handed

The trick on this is that the boat should come head to wind, ideally in irons at the mooring.  As that happens you go forward with the lobsterman's gaff.  You can snag the dinghy painter or the pickup mast.  But...a current carrying you beyond the mooring or too much headway carries you beyond the mooring.  So you have to try again.
The other method is a line from bow to stern with a carabiner that you can snap onto the  painter.  I used to do it that way.  Maybe I should again. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Top Ten Sailing Books - Halcyon Yacht Delivery

Endurance Shackleton's Incredible Voyage Alfred Lansing

My favorite is Lansing's account of the famed voyage of Shackleton and comrades whose ship was crushed in the Antarctic ice. Another is Miles Smeeton's Once is Enough, the account of his twice wrecked ketch which was dismasted as they approached Cape Horn.  And, of course, the incomparable Joshua Slocum's classic Sailing Alone Around the World.

Top Ten Sailing Books - Halcyon Yacht Delivery

Once Is Enough Miles SmeetonSailing Alone Around The World Joshua Slocum

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

Navy finally agrees to ease sonar use, settling environmental lawsuit by Natural Resources Defense Council

U.S. Navy finally agrees to ease off sonar that’s deadly to whales and dolphins

by Brian Palmer // Natural Resources Defense Council

Scientists often say that whales and dolphins see with their ears, mapping out their vast, dark underwater environment with an exquisite sensitivity to sound. And for many years now, the growing amount of manmade noise in the ocean has been blinding them.
One particularly devastating source of that noise is used by naval vessels to detect submarines and other objects beneath the surface. The intense, high-volume, and far-ranging sound waves blasted by active sonar are traumatic for marine mammals, and evidence has been mounting for more than a decade that they pose an existential threat to many species.
Since the mid-1990s, NRDC (disclosure) and partner conservation groups have pushed the U.S. Navy to deploy its sonar systems and conduct training exercises in ways that will reduce their impact on whales and dolphins, winning a series of court battles stretching back to 2003 (and going all the way to Supreme Court).
Over the weekend, NRDC and the U.S. Navy finally reached a federal court agreement regarding one of those long-runng fights—in the whales’ favor. As a result of the settlement deal, the navy will silence its sonar in areas around Southern California and Hawaii during certain periods of the year when marine mammal populations are most vulnerable. The agreement, signed off on by the judge today, runs until the end of 2018, when the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service is scheduled to issue new environmental impact statements and authorizations regarding military exercises in sensitive waters.
Advocates hope the win represents a turning point in the military's view that marine mammals are acceptable collateral damage in its training exercises.
Mass strandings are the most visible effect of active sonar on wildlife, and they often coincide with nearby naval deployments. In 2000, for example, 17 whales swam themselves aground in the Bahamas. A government investigation, published more than a year later, concluded that the most likely explanation was mid-frequency sonar emitted by the navy. The sonar caused “some sort of acoustic or impulse trauma” that drove the whales ashore, killing them.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Blowin’ our mind: what Van Morrison means to us // Irish Times

Surrendering to the yarragh: Van Morrison at Orangefield High, his old school in Belfast, in August 2014. Photograph: Exile Productions

“Take me back, take me way, way, way back,” he murmurs in On Hyndford Street. “Where you could feel the silence at half past eleven / On long summer nights / As the wireless played Radio Luxembourg / And the voices whispered across Beechie River . . .”Picking apples, playing around Mrs Kelly’s lamp, stopping at Fusco’s ice-cream shop": in a few brief words Morrison invokes an entire world, the magical summer world of childhood, where you come home at night “feeling wondrous and lit up inside, with a sense of everlasting life”. 
I guess it was twenty five years ago that I became obsessed with Van Morrison.  It started with a joint and Into the Mystic, segued into Rave On John Donne, and then Irish heartbeat (with the Chieftains) lived on my turntable for a couple years.  Paul Muldoon, Glen Hansard, and several others (writers, poets, photographers, producers) recount what Sir George Ivan Morrison has meant to them. At last count I have thirty five albums, and have seen him  a dozen times.  Like me he was born in 1945 - and he is still blowing my mind.  - gwc

Blowin’ our mind: what Van Morrison means to us// Irish Times


In the spring of 1974 I lived in London, training to be a BBC radio producer in what is now the Langham Hotel, on Portland Place. I was subletting a room in a lovely old house on Camden Square. The people who lived in the house were what would shortly be known as “young professionals”. Though they were musically sophisticated and wide-ranging in their tastes, it seemed they had one record and one record only. It was Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, and it played nonstop morning, noon and night.
Though we were all “fallen in a trance”, all under the spell of this remarkable album, I expect that, as an Irishman, I was particularly smitten. It was only a year previously, in 1973, that I’d lived in a near-slum on the selfsame Fitzroy Avenue mentioned in Madame George. For many of us of a certain vintage, the fact that Van Morrison was able to give a voice to our local habitations was no less important than Heaney’s or Hewitt’s naming names. He helped us not only to recognise who we were but to come to some realisations about ourselves.
Those realisations had come long before 1974, of course. The frontman of Them had been a revelation exactly a decade before; Van Morrison was a punk before punk was a twinkle in its own eye-linered eye. I first saw Van Morrison play live not in the Maritime Club, alas, but off the back of a lorry, in the grounds of the King’s Hall, Balmoral, in the very early 1980s. I remember vividly his threatening to leave the makeshift stage if one more bottle or beer can came on to it: a not unreasonable threat, surely. In the 30 years since then I’ve seen him any number of times – occasionally in a double bill with Bob Dylan or Brian Kennedy or his very talented daughter, Shana – but always reinventing his gleeful, glorious self.
Paul Muldoon is a Pulitzer prize-winning poet and author
Glen Hansard (co-writer of Once)

Van Morrison has been in the consciousness since the day you were born. He’s that guy who is on the radio, but he’s also the guy who is doing the most out-there art you can imagine. He’s a very interesting man to be a fan of. He walks every side that musicians fear and crave.

Van is hugely underrated. He’s done every kind of music better than anyone else has done it, back to the punk rock of Gloria.

Van is not interested in who you are; he’s only interested in if you can play. We spent one evening in my early 20s where we played music, just the two of us all night, and he didn’t talk to me at all. We passed the guitar for a whole night. The guitar lost two strings and we still kept going. At the end he stood up and left. And all he said was, “Nice voice, nice songs.”

Everyone in the music industry, everyone, loves to talk about Van, because he’s real. He’s authentic. You don’t get the impression that he got jaded. I’ve spoken to Levon Helm about him, to Robbie Robertson, and they all say they same thing: that guy’s too real.

When you hear a Van story it’s always about some selfish moment. But actually what you realise when you add up all the stories is that he’s only interested in music. There’s a quote from him where he said, “I’m an introvert in an extrovert business.” That’s it perfectly.

Glen Hansard is a musician

Mick Heaney: My father’s famous last words

Don’t be afraid: On my last evening with my father, just before he was transferred to Blackrock Clinic, I spoke to him about pretty much anything except what was about to happen. Photograph: RTÉ
Seamus Heaney's son Mick's reflections the growing literature of contemplation of death: Joan Didion, Tony Judt, and Oliver Sacks come to mind.  Seamus Heaney had no long period to reflect on the impeding end of life.   His last words were a text message to his wife as he was about to head to the OR: Noli timere. Don't be afraid.

Mick Heaney: My father’s famous last words

Zeke Grader, champion of fishermen, dies at 68 | The Press Democrat

Zeke Grader, champion of fishermen, dies at 68 | The Press Democrat

by GuyKovner // the Press Democrat

Zeke Grader, a champion for West Coast commercial fishermen over four decades, pursued his goals in public protests, courts of law and legislative corridors, never losing sight of his early years on the seafood docks in Fort Bragg.
A lawyer, lobbyist and a former Marine Corps reservist, Grader got major laws enacted to protect California’s salmon, waged water battles with powerful interests and risked condemnation by some fisherman for supporting catch limits.
Grader, a Marin County resident for more than 40 years, died Monday of pancreatic cancer at a San Francisco hospice. He was 68.
“Zeke was single-minded,” said his wife, Sausalito attorney Lois A. Prentice. “He had a vision and, no matter what, he never deviated from his vision. I called him a soldier; he had so much passion for what he was doing.”
Accolades came from congressmen, federal officials and colleagues who worked with Grader over his 39-year tenure as the founding executive director of the San Francisco-based Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations.
“Zeke was for decades a tireless fish warrior,” said William Stelle Jr., West Coast regional administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service. “Tough as nails, blunt spoken and full of life, he leaves us better, stronger and in a changed place because of his accomplishments.”
Grader received an environmental hero award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association in 1998, when Rep. Nancy Pelosi said in a speech on the House floor that Grader is “one of those rare leaders who we will look to for guidance on our troubled waters in the next century.”

Jewish majority obsession Gideon levy


Osher map library. USM


Saturday, September 12, 2015

City Island to Manhasset Bay

Execution Rocks reporting 12 kts gusting to 16 kts, south.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Building a Small Sailboat // Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall, the publisher/editor of Talking Points Memo has built a boat, with his son.  From a kit by Chesapeake Light Craft.  The same outfit that provided the kit City Island Yacht Club mate Patrick Smith assembled to row his bride across Falmouth harbor to exchange vows.   Josh's whole account captures the quest. - gwc

Building a Small Sailboat

by Josh Marshall

"It took me a couple times out to get a feel for handling the rig. But the third time out I got it. And it was, quite simply, glorious. She's fast on the water and handles beautifully. Months building her all felt well spent. With a single sail and right against the water, you feel the water and the wind in your muscles and brow. This is what I wanted."