Friday, June 22, 2018

To the Antarctic aboard the yawl Adele

North Cove- the boat basin just west of New York's World Trade Center is a stopping point or home for an array of boats: afternoon cruise boats, the Colgate 26's of North Cove Marina sailing school, ocean racers, and mega yachts.
Today we went aboard one of the Clipper Round the World racers but found ourselves drawn to the yawl Adele (55m LOA, 10m beam).  The shots below are mine except the overhead.  But to get the feel of it at sea check out 
Adele in the deep South Atlantic - video as the boat heads to South Georgia Island - launching point for whalers and explorers of the deep south. 
What is life really like aboard a superyacht - the 55m yawl Adele. 
by David Glenn February 2017

Superyacht Adele

For two memorable weeks in 2009, I was accommodated in the port aft guest cabin, a twin-berth, mahogany-lined cocoon of comfort of Adele, a 54m modern classic by Hoek Design, built at Vitters and launched in 2005. This was my diary at the time:
My cabin insulates me entirely from the conditions outside. As I write this I’m looking through the porthole up at snow-covered peaks on South Georgia’s rugged coastline, but sitting here it’s hard to tell I’m aboard a yacht. The air conditioning keeps the cabin at a comfortable constant temperature and although one of Adele’s three generators is always running there’s only the faintest background hum from the air con.
Occasionally an electric motor or hydraulic pump whirrs into action, barely audible, a sign that the crew are launching or retrieving one of the three tenders, weighing anchor or unfurling and trimming a sail.
There’s a phone at my bunkside with a Fleetline and Iridium link to the outside world and best of all a network connection point for my laptop which links me to the yacht’s internal server and e-mail system. With my own onboard e-mail address issued as soon as I arrived I have been able to send anyone aboard an e-mail or leave a message on the yacht’s server to be sent to the outside world twice a day.
Text and small pictures are OK and that’s how this blog is happening. For the yacht it isn’t exactly cheap and the bill can run into several hundred dollars a day but if you have to keep in touch you can. Sadly, we do need to keep in touch…

Breakfast is served at a time agreed with the guests – there are eight of us – the owner Jan-Eric Osterlund and his wife Jennifer, the skipper, chef Claire Oliver and chief stewardess Anne Hall-Reace. Anne alternates her job with Liesel Havercroft so that she can get time off at home in South Africa, a system increasingly used in this extremely demanding service industry. For this demanding trip it’s her tour of duty.
Shortly after breakfast skipper Andre will produce The Daily Mail – yes, Adele subscribes to this satellite transmission service which is then printed out each morning. As we are only two hours behind GMT we are impressively up to date with what’s going on 8,000 miles away. Some of us think this is a shame but there’s always a rush for the Mail mainly to see the cricket and rugby scores.
Together with the papers will be a satellite derived weather check, printed out for all to peruse and as we get closer to a departure time for Brazil these charts become increasingly interesting and important to analyse.
The day’s plan of action will have been mapped out the evening before so that the crew know when to launch boats, have packed lunches together and when to expect us back for lunch, tea or dinner. While we’ve been in South Georgia the weather has been distinctly mixed and it’s become cold with snow and high winds so going ashore for some wildlife adventure normally means a thermal layer, fleeces, full oilies, long boots with walking boots in another pack, gloves, head gear and lifejackets. We all look as though we’re going to the moon by the time we’re ready to disembark.
We take grab bags full of emergency kit including sleeping bags, a tent and emergency rations. One must never forget that this remote, barely inhabited island will not support human life for much time in extreme conditions and if for any reason we couldn’t get back to Adele, which is our lifeline, we must be prepared to hunker down ashore. Radios are used extensively and if the shore party splits it’s essential both groups can communicate with the yacht.
There are three tenders from which to choose, a aluminium hulled RIB with a 35hp diesel outboard – good for running up the beach – a Castoldi jet boat, excellent for shallow waters, and the biggest a small launch driven by an outdrive unit which can cope with fairly rough conditions. They are all stowed on the foredeck and can be launched remarkably quickly by a halyard run to a powered drum winch. Bosun Georgina Swan and deckhand Quinton are responsible for getting us ashore and drive the boats with great skill, difficult sometimes with a sea running as they manoeuvre alongside the boarding platform.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

On a Canoe Trip Along the U.S.-Canada Border, Solitude and Shooting Stars

It’s that time of year.  Thoughts of editors at the New York Times migrate Maine.  Lobster shacks appear in the food pages, environmentalists chat with lobstermen, fishermen and explorers head to border lakes in search of landlocked salmon, dark skies, and Thoreauvian contemplation.

Today’s offerings include a lovely account of a canoe voyage along the eastern border with Canada by By Porter Fox, the author of the forthcoming Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America’s Forgotten Border  - GWC

On a Canoe Trip Along the U.S.-Canada Border, Solitude and Shooting Stars

The wind started blowing at two in the morning. Branches and leaves ricocheted off the tent, and the trees around Diggity Stream groaned. I barely slept as gusts burst off the lake and rattled the tentpoles. When I finally got up, it was 5:30 a.m.

Fog flowed from the mountains into Spednic Lake. The eastern sky was an arc of amber light. Wind roaring through the trees was thick with the dank scent of lake water turning over. Northern Maine gets cold in early October, and I had spent most of the night shivering beneath clear skies and a swirl of stars. The Milky Way ran exactly over the middle of the campsite, perpendicular to the stream.

The last thing I saw before falling asleep was a shooting star splitting the sky in two.

This was day three of a 4,000-mile journey along the United States-Canada boundary. I grew up in northern Maine and had always been fascinated with our “forgotten border.” At 5,525 miles, including Alaska, the northern boundary is the longest land border between two nations in the world. Most of the eastern third of the line runs along rivers and lakes, like Spednic, so the best way to see it is from the water. With all of the news about growing tension along “the world’s friendliest border,” I thought it would be interesting to travel along it instead of cross it.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Save the tugboat Urger

Save the tugboat Urger
by Will Van Dorp (Tugster)

. . . illustrating what will be lost if present course is maintained.   If you don’t know what’s likely to happen imminentlyUrgeris NOT to be reefed.  But, it’ll be beached at Thruway Lock 13 “living history” exit, with holes “punched” in the hull and that beaching will cost –I’m told–over $3 million.
Why should you care?
First,  listen to this engine, as I recorded it four years ago on a calm day above Amsterdam NY.  Click the thumbnail below left for the sound from inside the engine room and . . . right, from outside.  It’s like the steady panting of a racing horse.  Click here for a list of remaining Atlas-Imperial engines, although I don’t know how out-of-date this info may be.

Here’s that same engine as seen from below, starboard looking aft, and
here, the camera is looking aft along the port side.
Here’s the view port side looking down.
For whatever value it has, Urger is
one of about two dozen NY vessels on the National Register of Historic Places, has been on that list since November 29, 2001.    Click here for what that means in terms of significantly changing the historic floating structure.
Urger was built by Johnston Brothers Shipyard in Ferrysburg, Michigan, in 1901, originally as H. J. Dornbos, a fish tug.  My point . . . if she’s been around this long and is in this good shape, that’s prime reason to keep her that way.
Urger faced significant change before, back in the late 1980s, ending Canal maintenance duty in October 1987.  Then, Schuyler Meyer (1918–1997) stepped forward with a proposal to save her by making her the “ambassador vessel” of the NYS Canals that she did become.  During those ambassador years, scores of thousands of folks–especially school kids–saw her, walked on her, learned from her about NYS.  Read the whole article below if you have time, but signifiant info is concentrated in the rightmost column.   Look at the image he’s holding in the photo.
Urger is a flagship of NYS history, having made public appearances all over the confluent waterways of the state from Lockport (I don’t have photos of her in Buffalo) to
the famous culvert east of Medina to
Oswego, shown here at Lock O-8 with tug Syracuse to
the Upper Bay of New York City, and all the great little towns in between.   I lack the photos myself, but I know she’s been to the southernmost point of the Finger Lakes and upper reaches of Lake Champlain from this video clip.
So what can be done . . .  especially since, given the imminence of converting Urger to a “static display,” time is so short?
First, share this post with anyone you know who might care about Urger.  Seek out your loud, articulate, reasonable, and well-known advocates who know [connected] people and can speak out in the meetings, press, and blogs.  It’s summer, so key political and agency leaders might not be reading their mail, forwarding it to folks with less decision-making power.  Congressman Paul Tonko would like to hear from you. State legislators might be contacted in their home districts, where you can even walk into their local offices.   Talk to your local mayors, business leaders, and union officials.  I was born upstate but haven’t lived there since the 1960s.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

North River 2 - Spring 2018

Blackwatch - 80th Anniversary Newport Bermuda Race

Image result for blackwatch yawl

Designed for the Newport Bermuda Race - Scuttlebutt Sailing News

The Blackwatch logo is a creative symbol that represents a celebration of the 80th Bermuda Race anniversary for the Sparkman & Stephens yawl Black Watch and a nod to the boat’s original owner, Rudy Schaefer, member of the Brooklyn-based Schaefer brewing family. This week, the symbol will is emblazoned on crew shirts and commemorative stickers, and flies on a battle flag set on the 68-footer’s forestay.
As one of the oldest, yet still competitive boats in the race—she won her class in 2012—Black Watch hasn’t slowed down, and her syndicate of five owners are hoping that the steady, reaching breeze forecast will prove once again that this beautiful, heavy displacement boat is meant for this race. This is her 11th Bermuda Race.
“It’s hard to think about a better boat to do the race,” says John Melvin, a member of the ownership syndicate, who was a guest aboard Black Watch when the team won in 2012. “Her whole reason for being is to do this race. She’s such a sweet boat to sail with her heavy displacement and level of comfort. You can push a little more, and she’s always going to be a little different than the other boats.”
Few boats were designed specifically to win this race, and that was the design brief Schaefer gave to Sparkman & Stephens in December of 1937. By May of ’38, for a sum of $40,000, the Henry B. Nevins yard in City Island, New York, completed and launched her as Edlu II. That summer, she finished second in class to another big S&S yawl, Baruna.
John Melvin, a member of the ownership syndicate says that food is taken seriously:
Melvin says that food is a serious affair on Black Watch. Though the powerful hull is truly a racing boat, meals are actually what one would expected of a boat that has perfectly varnished mahogany combings and polished bronze winches. The Bermuda Race menu is the same each year: first night, filet mignon with cream spinach, then shrimp scampi, chicken marsala over rice pilaf with a prune and olive sauce, and chicken tetrazzini towards the end of the race.
“All served in dog bowls,” he adds, “just like most boats.”

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

June Days 六月的日子



Marilyn 站在丁香花前面

这是Marilyn 的药草花园 





Marilyn 跟我们的狗詹姆斯站在一切