JARLE ANDHOEY: Back to Antarctica

Yacht Nilaya under sail

The fanatic "Viking" sailor who lost his steel yacht Berserk and the lives of three crew members last February in a failed attempt to reach the South Pole by ATV is returning to the scene of the crime. Norwegian adventurer Jarle Andhoey, age 34, has obtained a new yacht, Nilaya, a 54-foot Kiwi-built steel sloop, and set out from New Zealand earlier this week for Antarctica, in spite of the fact that he (again) has no permits to travel there. Kiwi authorities launched an air/sea search for the vessel and reportedly located it yesterday, but could not detain it as it was already in international waters. Those aboard did not respond to radio calls.

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ROUND BARBADOS RACE: 140 Gallons of Rum

Round Barbados Race

YES, sports fans... the number is ONE FOUR ZERO. Gallons. That's about how much Extra Old rum I reckon the folks at Mt. Gay had to dole out at the conclusion of the Mt. Gay Rum Round Barbados Race last Saturday. Conditions for the race, now in its second year, were pretty much ideal and by the end of the day no fewer than six different boats had set course records of one description or another. Mt. Gay had pledged to award each record-setting boat its skipper's weight in rum, which means each boat received about 23.3 gallons of rum (assuming an average skipper's weight of 185 pounds and given that spirits weigh about 7.94 pounds per gallon).

I was crewing aboard Spirit of Juno, a Farr 65 chartered by Mt. Gay for the race, and though we did not win any rum, we did finish just a few seconds behind a 78-foot Reichel Pugh maxi, Idea, which set the absolute record for fastest monohull. It was easily the most exciting race finish I've ever been involved in, particularly as our spinnaker blew up just as we crossed the line. I urge you to check out a full account of the race that I posted on Mt. Gay's Sailing Spoken Here blog site.

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Bridgetown, Barbados

Lucky me. Seems I've been promoted to the Mt. Gay Rum beat, my third excursion to the islands in the last two months. Up top you see the view of the anchorage at Bridgetown from my hotel room, a worthy reward for the hellish treatment I received yesterday at the hands of American Airlines. (May they rot in bankruptcy indefinitely.)

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BOATHANDLING: Secrets of a Sensuous Sailor

Couple sailing

It wasn't until I first sailed on a boat with an engine that I understood precisely what is most seductive about sailing. Any who have cursed the din of a motor while afloat will know exactly what I mean. We feel it the very instant we switch our engines off, as the awful over-riding sound of internal combustion dies away. I call it the orgasm of silence, that moment in which it seems all of our senses have suddenly been turned on.

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DEKKER & STOWE: In the Same Neighborhood

Schooner Anne in Georgetown, Guyana

For a while I was thinking that Reid Stowe and Laura Dekker might actually bump into each other somewhere off the northeast coast of South America. But no--in spite of her slow rate of speed, Reid's schooner Anne managed to make landfall in Guyana earlier this week (January 9) and is now tied up in Georgetown, where apparently a figurehead on her bow poked out a window on a local pilot boat.

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AMERICAN PROMISE: In-Mast Furling Pioneer

American Promise at Kittery Point Yacht Yard

Here's a piece of trivia from the Where Are They Now Department: American Promise, the Ted Hood-designed 60-footer that Dodge Morgan sailed around the world non-stop back in 1985-86, is spending the winter at Kittery Point Yacht Yard, just across the river from where I live. I cycled over during the weekend to pay her a visit and found her nicely buttoned up for the season.

I've been thinking a bit about Promise and Morgan ever since he died in September 2010, and the one thing that struck me most when I reviewed the boat's design and original sail plan is that she had an in-mast mainsail furling system.

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MATT RUTHERFORD: East of Cape Horn

Matt Rutherford

Editor's note: Matt Rutherford, currently sailing solo non-stop around the Americas aboard a very small boat, snuck around Cape Horn this morning. Here's an update I received from a buddy of his, Andy Schell, who maintains a blog at Father & Son Sailing.

It's round Cape Horn we all must go, Bring 'em down;

Arms all stiff to the ice and snow, Bring 'em down;

Oh, rock and roll me over boys, Bring 'em down;

And get this damn job over boys, Bring 'em down.

Matt Rutherford finished his blog post, which he uploaded via sat phone to his website early this morning, with that bit of a shanty. He was twenty-five miles east of Cape Horn in his 27-foot Albin Vega St. Brendan. Technically, Matt has not "rounded the Horn" – he must first clear 50 degrees North for that distinction. He is still sailing in the most notorious stretch of ocean in the world – but he has finally turned north.

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DEAD GUY: Sumner "Huey" Long

Huey Long racing aboard Ondine

Editor's note: This news is a month old, but I just heard it yesterday. There will be a memorial service this Saturday at 2 pm at the Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy in New York. The following obit is from Huey's son Russell:

Sumner "Huey" Long, an international yachtsman, shipping executive, and winner of every one of the world's most challenging and dangerous ocean races, died of lymphoma on Dec. 4, at age 90.

Creating a succession of hi-tech racing sailboats named Ondine, and spanning the decades from the 1960s to the 1990s, Mr. Long won every major ocean race in the world, including the Transatlantic Race on four occasions (a record), the Bermuda Race (establishing a course record), the Sydney-Hobart Race (establishing a course record), the Fastnet Race, and the Buenos Aires-Rio Race (also establishing a course record).

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