Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Ferry Collides with a Group of Kayakers on Hudson River - Old Salt BlogOld Salt Blog

Update: Recreation and Commerce Collide on NY Waterways // NY Times
I am disturbed by the press accounts which suggest that the Manhattan Kayak company guide did not have a marine band radio.  For many years I sailed a seventeen foot keel boat  on the Hudson (North) River from the George Washington Bridge to the harbor. The dangers are many on the busy river with a swift current.  I always kept my VHF on channels 16 and 13 (emergency and commercial) to hear the many "securitay" calls as vessels announced their position and intentions.   Whenever I feared that visibility was not good I too made a "securitay" call.  The news accounts do not report that the kayak guide made such a call as the squadron approached the 39th Street terminal.

As I recall New York Waterway captains announced their intention when underway .  I always gave the NY Waterway terminal a wide berth because the ferries back out swiftly and their ability to see the kayaks  (or low freeboard boats like mine) was limited. There is a reason why the lobstermen in Maine refer to kayakers as speed bumps.  Neither bright colors nor pennants flying from the stern is sufficient.  A guide such as the one who suffered injury should not have crossed behind the ferry terminal without announcing his squadron's position and intentions.

Ferry Collides with a Group of Kayakers on Hudson River - Old Salt BlogOld Salt Blog

by Rick Spilman

...On a personal note, which may or may not relate to the collision, having kayaked the Hudson for the last 25 years or so, I always carry a waterproof VHF radio clipped to my vest whenever I paddle the river.  I keep it turned on so I can here where the traffic is and to let others know where I am if need be. Paddlers individually and in groups are not specifically required to carry a radio. Nevertheless, a radio can be a lifesaver. I know that it may not have necessarily be common practice for individuals or groups of kayaks to make Security calls when crossing near a ferry terminal or other similar congested areas, but perhaps it should be. As the smallest and the slowest boats in a very busy harbor, we can’t always rely on others to see us....

L. Francis Herrreshoff - Patent US1613890 - Sailboat - Google Patents

L. Francis Herreshoff designed my boat - a Buzzards Bay 14.

L. Francis Herreshoff Patent US1613890 - Sailboat - Google Patents

DESCRIPTION  (OCR text may contain errors)
1,613, 90 11 1927' L. F. HERRESHOFF 8 SAIL BQA'I Filed Dec. 11, 1925 3 Sheet's-Sheet 1 Jan. 11 1927.

1,613,890 L. F. HERRESHOFF SAIL BOAT Filed Dec. 11 1925 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.


Jan. 11 1927.

| F. HERRESHOFF SAIL son Filed Dec. 11,

1925 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVEN TOR.


Patented Jan. 11, 1927.




Application flied December 11, 1925, Serial lilo. 74,728.

This invention relates to various types of sailing craft, hereinafter referred to as sail boats, and is more especially concerned with such craft designed for racing purposes.

The invention has for its chief object to improve the mast and sail construction of sail boats with a view to increasing their efficiency.
The nature of the invention will be readily understood from the following description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, and the novel features will be particularly pointed out ll]. the appended claims.

In the drawings- Figure 1 is a perspective view of a sail boat embodying its invention;

Figs. 2 and 3 are diagrammatic views, partly in cross-section, showing the position of the sails and mast in tacking;

Fig. 4 is a cross-sectional perspective view illustrating certain details of the mast construction and the means for securing the stays and sails thereto;

Fig'. 5 is a vertical, cross-sectional view through the step bearing for the mast- Fig. 6 is a horizontal cross sectional view showing another method of fastening the sail to a mast; and

Fig. 7 is a vertical cross-sectional view through the hearing at the lower end of the spar which serves as a stay for the mast.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Rudy Van Gelder - DVD from "Perfect Takes" Blue Note.avi - YouTube

The great sound engineer Rudy VanGelder has died.  Many of the great jazz recordings of the '50's and '60's were recorded lived and engineered at his Hackensack and, later, Englewood Cliffs studios.  As Peter Keepnews notes in his Times obituary:

The many albums he engineered for Blue Note, Prestige, Impulse and other labels in the 1950s and ’60s included acknowledged classics like Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme,” Miles Davis’s “Walkin’,” Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage,” Sonny Rollins’s “Saxophone Colossus” and Horace Silver’s “Song for My Father.”

Rudy Van Gelder - DVD from "Perfect Takes" Blue Note.avi - YouTube

Rescue at sea: Etah and the Danish Navy assist|

What the hell do you have to do to get away?  When Ault (Matt Rutherford's Ocean Research Project boat) reached Etah Greenland (700 miles south of the pole, 78 N 68 W) they bumped into an adventure cruise ship.  ORP had finished its work for NASA so they had headed another 100 miles north on a pleasure cruise to the abandoned settlement once used as a jumping off point for the pole in the age of exploration.

But sometimes it's good to have company.  Despite a parachute sea anchor and bare poles they were knocked down in a gale when a stray line wrapped around the propeller.  Now that is a problem.  You might even hope for a tow from an adventure cruise ship.  But they did better.  A ship of the Navy of the  Kingdom of Denmark was conveniently at anchor 100 miles south near the Thule Air Base at the top of Baffin Bay.  Bound by the law of the sea to respond to mariners in distress, the Danes headed north, put Ault under tow, and brought them back to safe harbor where they were able to cut the line wrapped around the propeller.

But don't take my word for it read Matt (Red Dot on the Ocean) Rutherford's first hand account:
NASA, Etah and the Danish Navy |

Etah or bust has been our motto since the boatyard in Sisimiut. Etah is a fjord in the far north of Greenland roughly 700 miles from the North Pole that was used by various explorers during the great age of exploration. It’s a beautiful area, very green, which is abnormal that far north.

Going to Etah was the prize for completing the survey on time. If we didn’t complete the survey or if we didn’t get it done early enough we wouldn’t go. “Etah or Bust” was our rally cry, our motivation; it’s what we all looked forward to.

Etah is only 80 miles north of Qaanaaq and Inglefield fjord so it wasn’t that much further north than we already were. It only took us 24 hours to get there. Unfortunately our timing coincided with an adventure tourist cruise ship. I hate adventure tourism.snip 08snip 09

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

North River 2 - GoPro

Sailing single-handed as usual on Saturday evening, August 20 on Eastchester Bay. Westbound from City Island. Bronx, NY.  Learning to use the GoPro.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

`Walking the dog' on the Back River - GoPro video

James is a Labrador Retriever, so he is a natural swimmer with paws that fan out like paddles.  His hind quarters are above the surface and his tail seems to act like a rudder.  Swimming looks easy - he actually seems to be walking in the water.  James swims long distances, following us as we row - mostly swimming, sometimes running along the shore to get ahead of us.  When I got the Monhegan skiff seven years ago he wanted to get in the boat.  Not now.  He prefers to `walk'.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Ram Island - Saturday evening

MR446: Profiles of Sixteen Eastern Maine Fishing Communities

Jonesport style lobster boats

MR446: Profiles of Sixteen Eastern Maine Fishing Communities - University of Maine, College of Natural Sciences Forestry and  Agriculture (9/2015)

by Teresa R. Johnson, Kevin Athearn, Sara Randall, Marina Garland,
Katelyn Ross, Ken Cline, Chris Petersen, Robin Alden, Carla Guenther

 The region studied represents approximately half of
Maine’s coastline, and it includes the two most fisherydependent
counties in New England—Washington
and Hancock (Hall-Arber et al. 2001). Our investigation
focused on the following Downeast communities:
Vinalhaven, Stonington, Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor,
Southwest Harbor, Bass Harbor, Swan’s Island, Steuben,
Winter Harbor, Gouldsboro, Milbridge, Jonesport,
Beals, Bucks Harbor, Lubec, and Eastport.1
In the past, the communities in this region were
supported by a diversity of fishery resources including
groundfish. Today, however, these communities are
almost completely dependent on the American lobster
resource, which makes them highly vulnerable should
that resource decline as the groundfish stocks did in
the 1990s. Like other small-scale operations, fishermen
in eastern Maine have been significantly affected
by management measures implemented through the
New England Fishery Management Council.

While not
necessarily the intent, the implementation of limited access
fishery management based on regulations of
days at sea has left few active groundfish fishermen in
this region. This is in part because as stocks of fish in
the region declined, fishermen shifted to lobster fishing,
with the expectation of returning to the traditional,
seasonal groundfish fishery when fish stocks were
rebuilt. As managers struggled to reduce overfishing,
however, fishermen in the region found themselves lacking
adequate fishing histories, due in part to a lack of
federal catch-and-effort data from these communities
(Wilson 1999). Today, few fishermen from this region
qualify to participate in the fishery. Similar stories are
heard in other small-scale, fishery-dependent communities
(such as Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts,

Friday, August 5, 2016


Hatchet Cove, Friendship to Monhegan Island via Otter Passage and East Egg Rock with John Beckerman.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hatchet Cove to New Harbor with Taisy

Best times to saltwater fish