CRAZY CRUISING GUYS: Updates on Reid Stowe and Jarle Andhoey

Schooner Anne

It's been a while since I mentioned Reid Stowe, not because I've lost interest in him, but because he went dark for several weeks, not long after he and his family arrived in the jungles of Guyana aboard their schooner Anne back in early January. Now he's got his communications sorted and is again transmitting regular updates.

Last we visited with Reid he was booking into Guyana at Georgetown and accidentally violated the local pilot boat with his bow. Since then he's made friends with the pilots and got some help conning Anne up the coast and into the Essequibo River.

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JOSHUA SLOCUM'S LIBERDADE: Where Is She Now?

Joshua Slocum and family aboard Liberdade

One nice thing about this blogging game is that you sometimes get useful feedback. For example: about two years ago I put up a post about Joshua Slocum and his bizarre homemade 35-foot dory/junk Liberdade, which he sailed from South America to the U.S. in 1888 with his family after they were shipwrecked on the Brazilian coast. This included a brief end note as to the fate of the boat, to the effect that it had been donated to the Smithsonian Institution, but that it wasn't known whether the Smithsonian still had the boat hidden in its vaults, or whether Slocum had ultimately retrieved it.

Well... now I know what really happened.

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ETAP YACHTS: Surviving the 2012 Apocalypse (and Bankruptcy?)

World destruction and ETAP Yachts

What if the Mayans were right? What if the world as we know it really does come to an end on December 21, 2012? If it's true, one of the only ways you'll be able to survive is aboard an unsinkable sailboat from Belgian boatbuilder ETAP. This according to doomsday prophet Patrick Geryl.

You remember ETAP, right? They were marketing their unique, rather innovative cruising sailboats here in the U.S. until the economy fell off a cliff in 2008. The big selling point on these boats was their double-skinned foam-filled hulls, which made it impossible for them to sink, even when filled with water.

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MORGAN OUT ISLAND 41: The Original Charter Barge

Morgan Out Island 41

The legendary designer/builder Charley Morgan allegedly conceived this boat in a fit of pique when the IOR supplanted the old CCA rule as the racing rating rule du jour back in 1970. If so, it was an auspicious tantrum, as the Out Island 41 turned out to be an extremely successful boat and ultimately helped transform the business of fiberglass sailboat production. The OI 41 was not only one of the first designs targeted at the emerging bareboat charter industry, it was also one of the first center-cockpit boats and one of the first to blatantly discount sailing performance in favor of maximum accommodation space.

As such, the OI 41 is a boat many serious sailors love to hate--for its bulky plastic appearance, for its less than mediocre performance, and for the profound change it wrought in mass-production priorities. It is also, however, still much loved and prized among more pragmatic cruisers who value comfort, space, and nice low purchase prices.

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MATT RUTHERFORD: Resupply and Homeward Bound

Matt Rutherford

Editor's note: I received another update yesterday on the fate of Matt Rutherford, who is sailing solo non-stop around the Americas aboard an Albin Vega, from his buddy Andy Schell at Father & Son Sailing. Matt is now off Brazil, where he recently had to meet a vessel off Recife to receive parts and gear needed to finish his voyage.

Two days ago (on February 29), I received this e-mail from Simon Edwards, Matt's longtime delivery-skipper friend and his biggest shoreside supporter of the Around the Americas expedition: "It's done. He picked the gear up this morning. Fantastic response from people, $30,000 [for Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating] and still coming. Will write more, trying to anchor up in Sandy Hook in freezing rain. Still, hard to complain being as Rutherford set the bar too high!!!"

Can't argue with that. Matt is in the middle of setting the bar arguably higher than it's ever been set before. He's been compared to some of the sailing pioneers like Chichester and Robin Knox-Johnston, one of his heroes. And the cool part is those comparisons came from Herb McCormick, who recently completed his own Around the Americas expedition, albeit one with stops and aboard a boat with heat. The comments below came in an interview that the Washington Post conducted with McCormick for a recent article.

"What Matt is trying to do, I'm absolutely blown away by it," McCormick said. "He's doing this in a boat that, frankly, I'd be scared to sail from Newport to Bermuda. I'm in awe of the guy. This is such a mammoth undertaking, and to do it without stopping—alone—is mind-boggling."

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WINTER PROJECT: Corroded Sea Chest & Other Tidbits

Aluminum sea chest

Lunacy is again spending the winter inside at Maine Yacht Center, and though there are no ambitious modifications underway, like last year's bowsprit, I have been trying to address some smaller issues that have been bugging me. Number one on this list was the big Marelon seacock on the boat's one and only raw-water inlet, which feeds the toilet, washdown pump, and auxiliary engine. I've been worried about this seacock failing someday, ever since a sister seacock, on the galley sink outlet, started weeping steadily and had to be replaced a few years ago.

Turns out it wasn't the seacock I should have been worried about. On removing the custom-fabricated aluminum sea chest that sits atop the seacock (so they could in turn remove the seacock), the guys at MYC found the metal in one of the chest's male hose barbs (see above) had corroded and was breaking away.

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JARLE ANDHOEY: Retreat from Antarctica

Jarle Andhoey

Norwegian Jarle Andhoey and his crew aboard the outlaw vessel Nilaya have announced they are leaving Antarctic waters and are sailing north again, reportedly for South America. To escape the area they evidently must first transit a 200-mile belt of sea ice. The Maori political activist, Busby Noble, who is aboard without a passport (accidentally or not, depending on which reports you read), has told the media he now plans to get a temporary passport in Argentina so he can return to his home in New Zealand.

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BEAUTIFUL DREAMERS: Every Cruise Begins With a Vision

Cruising under sail: an ideal vision

One of the most remarkable things about sailboats is their capacity to inspire us to dream. Inside every cruising sailor's head there is a fantasy, be it of a palm-studded tropical lagoon, an antique Mediterranean harbor, some barren high-latitude fjord, or just the cove around the next headland. And all of these visions, however various, can be both personified and provoked by that most magical of objects: a boat propelled by sails.

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Subcategories

  • Boats & Gear

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

  • The Lunacy Report

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

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    Updates on what’s going on in the sport of sailing generally (most usually, but not always, relating to cruising under sail) and in the sailing industry, plus news nuggets and personal views on all manner of nautical subjects.

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    Longer articles by me that treat sailing and the sea in a more literary manner, short reviews of nautical books I think readers might enjoy reading, plus occasional excerpts from nautical books that I’d like to share with readers.

  • Techniques & Tactics

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

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