Saturday, June 10, 2023

Replacing the garboards. North River 2

We're blessed with Pat Montalbano, a master woodworker at Barron's boatyard. Once the home of the legendary Harold Nevins, Gerber, Kretzer, and Consolidated yards we are down to a precious few on City Island.
Last year's towing accident yielded a new rudder and Geico canceling its policy.
This is purely maintenance of my nearly forty year old mahogany sloop.
The garboard is the bottom plank where the lead keel meets the horizontal pieces that provide lateral stability.  It's made from 2X8 mahogany which now live in a gentle arc.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

GGR NEWS - Day 276: Jeremy Bagshaw ETA Friday 9th, final finisher 277 day out from Les Sables d’Olonne – GGR2022 over!

GGR NEWS - Day 276: Jeremy Bagshaw ETA Friday 9th, final finisher 277 day out from Les Sables d’Olonne – GGR2022 over!

Day 276: Jeremy Bagshaw ETA Friday 9th, final finisher 277 day out from Les Sables d’Olonne – GGR2022 over!

Dateline: Les Sables d'Olonne, Thursday, 8th of June, 2023

  • After 23 days of continuous headwinds approaching Les Sables d’Olonne Jeremy Bagshaw (South Africa) in Chichester Class is on his final approach. ETA 1700 UTC on  1900 hours French time
  • Storms, barnacles, water shortages and a broken forestay in the last run to the finish, nothing was spared to Olleanna’s skipper in the GGR2022
  • Guy Waites(GBR) out of the GGR but continuing his two-stop circumnavigation is 1000 miles behind and expected in 10 days just in time for the GGR official Prize Giving ceremony on June 24th !
  • GGR 2018 Film “The Voyage of Madmen” available Free to Accredited Media for review!
Olleanna, full speed towards les Sables d’Olonne, is keen to finish after nine months at sea! Credit:  JL Lhomond /GGR2022

Things were looking good onboard Olleanna last month on the 19th of May. After nine months at sea, Olleanna was 500 miles West of Cape Finisterre and 820 miles from Les Sables d’Olonnes, about a week away from finishing his circumnavigation after nearly 30000 miles and many adventures along the way. Jeremy had run out of coffee and sweets and was keen for a quick landing back to where he started! But then it all changed!

Alas, on that day at 1900 UTC, Jeremy called the GGR Race Office to report the failure of the stainless plate holding the forestay, meaning he no longer had a usable forestay. His call is HERE. He was able to secure the reefing gear and removed the sail. The mast was not damaged, and all other standing rigging was fine including the outer forestay connected to the end of the bowsprit, the inner forestay and the two running backstays.

This meant he could only use his staysail on the inner forestay and the light genoa on the outer forestay, taking longer to complete the course. However, adding insult to injury, the wind soon veered East making it harder and longer for Oleanna to point towards Les Sables d’Olonne, instead pointing towards Ireland or Gijon in Spain, two places he visited prior to the GGR start in September 2022. Unbelievably this headwind has not veered for 23 days straight dragging that one week to go, into another 23 days! He tweeted "I'm trying to remember what wind & sea from aft of the beam feels like. It must be nice?”

Jeremy cannot use the medium genoa pictured here, but is certainly pushing through to get to Les Sables d’Olonne asap! Credit: Nora Havel / GGR2022

Low on water, slowed down by barnacles, and sailing in storms, a round-the-world odyssey

Two days later, he called GGR control running low on water with only 7 litres of freshwater only, using 500 ml a day, having lost his emergency water in a leaking container. He started drinking the fluid from canned vegetables as the slow days of sailing to windward with a damaged boat continued on and on as the wind remained from dead ahead. Finally he decided to use his emergency manual Survivor 06 watermaker, producing 250ml per hour of pumping.

It was not the first time he was low on water, as he was in the same situation in the Indian Ocean after being slowed down by barnacle growth. After a good start-mid fleet despite sailing the smallest boat in the GGR 2022, Jeremy was soon plagued by a barnacle infestation that slowed him down enough that he moored several days in South Africa to scrape Olleana’s hull. The dreaded shells came back with a vengeance in the Indian Ocean forcing him to stop several days in Hobart, lift the boat, before continuing in Chichester Class.

Two barnacle infestations, storms and water shortages were not going to stop Jeremy from completing his circumnavigation! Credit GGR2022/DD&JJ

Hero’s welcome in Les Sables d’Olonne on the 9th of June

Jeremy faced several severe storms on his way to Cape Horn making him the record-holder of foul weather days in the GGR, and some more in the Southern Atlantic where he encountered the worst conditions of his round-the-world voyage.

None of the hurdles Jeremy faced, from storms, breakage, barnacles or water-shortage deterred him from completing his voyage around the world. Never did he depart himself from his sense of humour and his entertaining tweets.

Against tides, winds and overwhelming odds, Jeremy is planned to be in the channel of Les Sables d’Olonne tomorrow Friday 9th of June at 1900hrs local (UTC+2). Come and give him the hero’s welcome he deserves!

One more Sailor expected in LSO before the June 24 prize giving.

Guy Waites (GBR) is no longer in the GGR after he did not make the Hobart Gate before the time limit, but for him either this was not enough to deter him from his dream to solo-circumnavigate the planet. He too was slowed down by barnacles, having to lift Sagarmatha in Cape Town, therefore going in Chichester Class and later stopping in Hobart to replace his liferaft, lost overboard in a severe storm in the Indian Ocean.

Guy Waites (UK), Tradewind 35, Sagarmatha out of the GGR but continuing his two-stop circumnavigation is 1000 miles behind and expected in 10 days just in time for the GGR official Prize Giving ceremony on June 24th ! Credit: Nora Havel / GGR2022

Guy is around 1000 miles behind Jeremy and should arrive in Les Sables d’Olonne on time for the Golden Globe Race 2022 Prize Giving ceremony planned on Saturday 24th of June at 18:00 local on the Place du Tribunal, followed by a concert and festivities. All the GGR 2022 skippers will be there, come and join them for this great closing event for the Golden Globe Race 2022!

FREE REVIEW Copy of the GGR 2022 Documentary “The Voyage Of Madmen” available to Accredited Media.  If you would like to write a review of this outstanding film released NOW please contact us below.  

 The film of the GOLDEN GLOBE RACE 2018 is now available for order, watch trailer here!

Monday, June 5, 2023

The Cult of the Boston Whaler - Boston Globe

 The cult of the classic Boston Whalers - The Boston Globe

In 1958, in a garage in Braintree, an eccentric Harvard grad named Dick Fisher revolutionized nautical design when he began crafting a little boat that looked like a blue bathtub.

He called his creation a Boston Whaler, and the unusual shape of the hull was only half of the radical design. More important was what was inside of the hull, the result of a cutting-edge foam-and-fiberglass construction process that allowed Fisher to make an unbelievable claim. IT'S UNSNKABLE.

“They’re everywhere,” said Quentin Snediker, curator for watercraft at the Mystic Seaport Museum, which has one of Fisher’s original sawed-in-half boats in its collection. “They are the right combination of seaworthiness and fun, which continues to strike a chord.”

Today, the classic Whalers — built until roughly 1993, when the company was sold and then moved to Florida and pivoted to more traditionally hulled boats — remain prized for their nostalgia factor, but also their “affordability.”

Classic Whalers come in various sizes and models, including many that were steered standing up from a center console, a Whaler innovation. Today, they can usually be had for between $5,000 and $25,000. With many new center consoles retailing for well north of $100,000, those old Whalers remain the top recommendation for people looking to get into boating safely, without a lot of experience or deep pockets. In addition, the lightweight construction means they can be towed by the average car.


Kirsten Neuschafer wins single-handed Golden Globe race.

Sir Robin Knox Johnston - sole finisher in the 1968 -1969 race.

                                                    Kirsten Neuschafer - this year's winner

Not just single-handed - one person, on a boat, no outside assistance and NO modern navigation equipment save an emergency position indicating radio beacon, and a satphone!

Sailing like it's 1968.  No routing software. Compass. and one piece of emergency equipment. Wikipedia captures the story of the first race - the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race of 1968:

Nine sailors started the race; four retired before leaving the Atlantic Ocean. Of the five remaining, Chay Blyth, who had set off with absolutely no sailing experience, sailed past the Cape of Good Hope before retiring; Nigel Tetley sank with 1,100 nautical miles (2,000 km) to go while leading; Donald Crowhurst, who, in desperation, attempted to fake a round-the-world voyage to avoid financial ruin, began to show signs of mental illness, and then committed suicide; and Bernard Moitessier, who rejected the philosophy behind a commercialised competition, abandoned the race while in a strong position to win and kept sailing non-stop until he reached Tahiti after circling the globe one and a half times. Robin Knox-Johnston was the only entrant to complete the race, becoming the first man to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world. He was awarded both prizes, and later donated the £5,000 to a fund supporting Crowhurst's family.

The BOC Challenge, Around Alone and the French Obsession the Vendee Globe followed the tragic Golden Globe - after the sole finisher the now legend and still sailing  Sir Robin Knox Johnston. 

Sir Robin was the first single-handed round the world race winner.  And we now have Kirsten Neuschafer - the first woman to win a single-handed RTW race.


Monday, May 29, 2023

Seven Days in May

Lilacs are in bloom

Memorial Day



Muscongus Bay

Back River, East Friendship, ME

Friendship Town Landing

Low tide


Saturday, May 27, 2023

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Nancy Armstrong | Obituaries |

Nancy was a dear friend - the widow of my soulmate Jeff Armstrong who died seven years ago.
- George
Nancy Armstrong | Obituaries |

THOMASTON — Nancy Lee Miles Armstrong, 68, died in her home on May 6, 2023, surrounded by loved ones.

Nancy was born in Waterville on Oct. 18, 1954, to Andrew and Eunice Miles of Clinton. The second girl of five, Nancy was a loving, devoted sister and daughter who grew up enjoying Maine’s pine forests, rivers, lakes and the family camp in Unity. A cheerleader and gifted student, Nancy graduated from Lawrence High School in Fairfield in 1973. In 1977 Nancy graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a degree in nursing and began her career in Waterville at Thayer Hospital. She met Jeffrey Armstrong a few years later and they married in 1982.

Nancy obtained her master’s degree in nursing education and continued her career at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport for over 30 years, working among colleagues and friends. Nancy and Jeff spent many happy years together, raising children, expanding their home in Thomaston, sailing in the Caribbean with loved ones and traveling the world. Nancy and Jeff Nancy enjoyed many close friendships and hosted many gatherings, holidays, and celebrations. She served on the School Board and Harbor Committee. A member of both the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Thomaston and the Anchor Church in Rockport, Nancy’s faith and energy in Christ was inspirational in those around her.

Despite a cancer diagnosis, Nancy continued to live a vibrant life surrounded by friends and family. Nancy dearly enjoyed celebrating the milestones in her children’s lives. In 2016, Nancy attended her son’s college graduation from the University of Maine at Orono, and his wedding in 2021. On Easter of 2023, Nancy was overjoyed with news that both her son and her niece Lexi were expecting children in the fall of this year. Nancy hosted her daughter’s wedding in 2018 and became a grandmother two years later to two adoring grandsons, spending time with them on Hupper Island and taking Andrew to church.

Nancy’s loving spirit, kind nature and passion for gardening, boating, sewing, cooking, exploring and finding joy in the everyday will be passed from her to all who loved her.


Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Gordon Lightfoot, Hitmaking Singer-Songwriter, Is Dead at 84 - The New York Times

Ian and Sylvia Tyson recorded some of Gordon Lightfoot's most beautiful tunes.

Gordon Lightfoot, Hitmaking Singer-Songwriter, Is Dead at 84 - The New York Times

Gordon Lightfoot, the Canadian folk singer whose rich, plaintive baritone and gift for melodic songwriting made him one of the most popular recording artists of the 1970s, died on Monday night in Toronto. He was 84.

His death, at Sunnybrook Hospital, was confirmed by his publicist, Victoria Lord. She did not specify a cause, but Mr. Lightfoot had had a number of health problems in recent years.

Mr. Lightfoot, a fast-rising star in Canada in the early 1960s, broke through to international success when his friends and fellow Canadians Ian and Sylvia Tyson recorded two of his songs, “Early Morning Rain” and “For Lovin’ Me.”

When Peter, Paul and Mary came out with their own versions of those songs — their “For Lovin’ Me” was a Top 40 hit — and Marty Robbins reached the top of the country charts with Mr. Lightfoot’s “Ribbon of Darkness,” Mr. Lightfoot’s reputation soared. Overnight, he joined the ranks of songwriters like Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and Tom Paxton, all of whom influenced his style.At the 1986 Ian and Sylvia Reunion Concert Gordon Lightfoot, Ian and Sylvia, Judy Collins, and Linda Ronstadt all perromed.

Monday, May 1, 2023

A few days in May

 Wednesday to Monday leaves too little time once the two days drive time is subtracted.