Norway's self-styled Wild Viking sailor guy, Jarle Andhoey, last seen retreating from Antarctica a year ago after failing to establish that anyone other him was responsible for the tragic loss of his boat and three crew in a Ross Sea storm in 2011, has taken to pitching soda pop. As part of a deal with the manufacturer of Solo, a popular Norwegian soft drink, Andhoey will on Wednesday launch a giant 26-foot Solo bottle from Tenerife in the Canary Islands, setting it adrift with a free case of Solo and a giant 12 square-meter message inside. Lest it pose a threat to navigation, the giant bottle is equipped with nav lights, solar panels, a satellite tracker, and an insurance policy.
News & Views
Ever wonder what your favorite coastal cruising ground is going to look like at the end of this century after the sea level has risen by 10 feet or so? If so, you'll have fun playing with the map tool at the Surging Seas website maintained by Climate Central. It allows you to fiddle with all of the U.S. coastline in the lower 48 and adjust the water level to anywhere between 1 to 10 feet above the current high-tide level. The remaining dry land is shown in white; formerly dry flooded areas are shown in grey-scale satellite imagery. The most vulnerable part of the country, of course, is southern Florida, where, coincidentally, they also have the most boats. As you can see in the image up top, the coastline is going to look very different.
I HAVE ALWAYS been very attracted to junk rigs, first, I suppose, because they seem so very strange and archaic. As one early Western proponent, a British cruiser named Brian Platt, who sailed from Hong Kong to California under junk rig in the late 1950s, once wrote: "Nobody could have designed the Chinese Sail, if only for fear of being laughed at. A device so elaborate and clumsy in conception, yet so simple and handy in operation could only have evolved through trial and error."
Boats & Gear
WHEN I FIRST SAILED through the Spanish Virgin Islands back in the late 1990s, the prospect of visiting Vieques was rather daunting. The U.S. Navy, operating out of its old base at Roosevelt Roads, was still using the island as a firing range and both the cruising guide and charts I had on hand were full of dire and confusing warnings about the place. Rather than risk an accidental shelling, I steered clear and focussed instead on the neighboring island of Culebra. But I always wondered about that long bumpy silhouette on the southern horizon, and one of my major goals when I based Lunacy on the east coast of Puerto Rico this winter was to at last find out what's over there.
The Lunacy Report
I HAVEN'T SEEN this boat in person, but from the photos on this Craigslist listing it looks to be in very good condition... and the asking price is just $11K! She's got recent Awlgrip on her topsides, a recently rebuilt freshwater-cooled Atomic-4 engine, a new water tank, a new prop, and a new stuffing box. Looks like an excellent deal for an offshore-capable boat.
LIVE TESTIMONY at the U.S. Coast Guard hearings into the loss of HMS Bounty is wrapping up this week. That and the recent publication of an excellent investigative story in Outside magazine at last make it possible to hazard some answers to the questions that have been nagging me about the tall ship's tragic demise in Hurricane Sandy last October. What seems painfully clear is that Bounty's skipper, Robin Walbridge, bears much of the responsibility for what happened. In that he died with his ship, he has paid a steep price for his culpability. But still he has escaped having to answer to the family of crew member Claudene Christian, who was also lost with the ship, and to the other Bounty crew members whose lives he endangered. Something about that pisses me off. But at the same time, as skipper of a bluewater boat who is sometimes responsible for the lives of others, I cannot help but sympathize with the man.
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Good Old Boat
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Onboard with Mark Corke
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