FATHER-DAUGHTER CRUISE: Adventures on Cliff Island

Lucy on Lunacy

ON SATURDAY, the day after I got back from the Newport show, daughter Lucy and I decided to head out on to Casco Bay for an overnight aboard Lunacy all by our wild lonesomes. As you can see from the photo up top, after seven years of incessant indoctrination (courtesy of yours truly), she's become rather expert at hanging out on sailboats.

Believe me, sailing with Lucy wasn't always so relaxing.

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MOTIVE 25R TRIMARAN: And Other Cool Stuff From the 2012 Newport International Boat Show

Motive 25R trimaran

NO, THIS IS NOT A CRUISING BOAT, but Pete Ansel, the motive force behind the Motive trimaran, did spend some time on Friday at the Newport show describing to me the clever canopy that can be erected over the trampoline on this weapon of a craft, just in case you ever decide you want to spend a night on it. Personally, I have absolutely no desire to sleep on this boat, but I sure would like to sail it.

So would Ansel. He and his crew launched this puppy for the first time ever just before the show and were planning to test-sail it for the first time right after the show closed. Indeed, I wouldn't be too surprised if Pete and Co. weren't ripping around Narragansett Bay giggling their heads off even as I write this.

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STEFAN POKORNY: Did He Murder Sean Terry?

Stefan Pokorny

HERE'S ANOTHER STORY for the Creepy Cruiser Killers file. Or not. Did Stefan Pokorny (see photo up top), an Austrian dive instructor who was crewing aboard Finnegan, a 40-foot yacht belonging to Sean Terry, somehow kill Terry this past June somewhere between Chagos and the Seychelles? Or did Terry throw himself overboard in "a fit of anger," as Pokorny claims, on June 22 during a spate of bad weather? Though Pokorny has been detained by authorities in the Seychelles since arriving there--alone--on Terry's boat on June 25, he was finally released last week, as local courts found they had no jurisdiction in the matter.

What they also had, of course, is almost no evidence. It is the classic Perfect Murder scenario: two people leave one place outbound on a long ocean passage, and only one arrives at the next landfall. If the survivor says the missing one fell overboard en route, how the hell do you prove otherwise???

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JUST ADD WATER: Human Evolution and the Sea

Swimming baby/Nirvana cover

IN THE SUMMER OF 2008 I had the great pleasure of meeting James Wharram and Hanneke Boon in Mystic, Connecticut, where, during the course of a free-ranging discussion on boat design, neurotheology, and bluewater sailing (among other things), they recommended I read a book entitled The Aquatic Ape, by Elaine Morgan. I couldn't help but be intrigued, for I have long marveled at the human affinity for seafaring and have always felt there must be some deep connection between our species and the ocean. In spite of being terrestrial creatures, it seems we do have a very primal desire to get down to the shore and, if possible, to travel over the distant horizon we find there.

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LABOR DAY MISHAPS: Racing & Cruising

Drascombe Dabber under sail

I INFLICTED BOTH FORMS of sailing on the family over the long weekend, with rather mixed results. First, on Saturday, we attempted to campaign our 15-foot Drascombe Dabber Mimi in the Round Island Regatta (RIR) in Portsmouth. The photo up top (snapped by a friend on shore with a phone) shows us in our moment of glory, with sails drawing nicely, actually going somewhere.

It certainly was a struggle getting to that point. Very soon after we pulled away from the dock, located just a few short yards from the start line, I knew something was wrong. The jib wouldn't trim properly, and the mainsail and the tiny mizzen (a mere afterthought of a sail) between them could not develop enough power to fight the strong current that was running. In only a moment it was obvious we would be swept into the low-hanging maw of the Pierce Island bridge if action were not taken.

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AEGEAN TRAGEDY: U.S. Sailing Final Report Preview

Aegean SPOT track

I WAS THINKING Thursday morning it was about time for more news on the awful fate of Aegean, the Hunter 376 that slammed straight into North Coronado Island during the Newport Ensenada Race in April. And bingo! Up pops a post from my fellow SAILfeed associate, the mysterious Mariner, describing how a pair of divers from San Diego, Russell Moore and Ed Harris, have found the wreck of the boat right where it should have been, under the cliff where Aegean's SPOT track ended.

Googling around a bit, I see another private team, led by one John Walton, also dove on the wreck, and though this was reported over month ago, few remarked on it at the time. In my last post on Aegean, you may recall I also mentioned that an anonymous poster on Sailing Anarchy who called himself "Anarchist Russell" said he dove on the site and found nothing there. But now it seems likely this is the same Russell Long who got ink this week for finding the wreck, as he and Ed Harris claim to have visited the site three times since May 2, which is when "Anarchist Russell" made his announcement. Presumably they came up empty the first time. For the record, John Walton reportedly made his find on May 7.

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MOTORSAILING: Making the Most of Your Iron Genny

Dowlings fuel dock

THIS IS A COMMON SIGHT at Dowling's fuel dock in St. Georges, Bermuda, both in the spring and the fall when the seasonal stampede of migrating yachts passes through. It never fails to amaze me how many jerry jugs of fuel some bluewater sailors are willing to carry. In this particular case I counted 16 jugs open on the quay waiting to be filled and another four on deck. At five gallons a pop that's an extra 100 gallons of fuel this crew will somehow lash down on the deck of their 40-foot sailboat. At 7.3 pounds per gallon (the most generally accepted average weight for diesel fuel) that's an extra 730 pounds this boat will be carrying well above its center of gravity. Or to look at it another way: that's like sailing around with over 900 feet of quarter-inch high-test anchor chain stored on deck.

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  • Boats & Gear

    Evaluations of both new and older sailboats (primarily cruising sailboats) and of boat gear.

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    Updates on what’s going on aboard my own sailboat Lunacy: breakdowns, maintenance jobs, upgrades, cruises and passages undertaken, etc.

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    Tips and diatribes regarding boathandling, sailhandling, seamanship, navigation, and other realms of nautical expertise.



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