EVIL EYE OF THE OCEAN: What the Heck Is It?

Swordfish eyeball

Gino Covacci found this object on the beach in Pompano Beach, Florida, this past Wednesday.

The web has since been abuzz with speculation as to what it might be. Do you think it is:

A) An alien probe sent from a distant planet?

B) An eyeball from a squid?

C) Some kind of sexual organ?

D) An eyeball from a whale?

E) A fetal bowling ball?

F) An eyeball from a swordfish?

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2012 ANNAPOLIS MONOHULL TESTS: Hunter 40 and Zen 24

Mark Pillsbury

After departing the Annapolis show on Sunday morning, I returned to Annapolis Tuesday morning to test-sail boats with my colleague and partner-in-crime Adam Cort from SAIL magazine. We each got in four boats in less than 48 hours, which, believe it or not, is a semi-easy schedule when it comes to post-show testing. On one of the two monohulls I sailed, the new Hunter 40, I shared a test with Cruising World's editor-in-chief Mark Pillsbury, thus continuing the bilateral cooperation initiated by Elaine Lembo and I this past summer. Mark didn't want to cooperate for too long, however, and hopped off the boat about 15 minutes into the sail. In that photo up there you can see the mysterious black RIB that swooped in to steal him away from us.

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LAGOON 380: An Entry-Level Cruising Cat

Lagoon 380

The Lagoon 380 is not the smallest Lagoon catamaran ever built--both the Lagoon 37, its immediate predecessor, and the Lagoon 35CCC were smaller--but it is the smallest Lagoon currently built and one of the smallest dedicated cruising cats that succeeds in combining both reasonable performance and a "big cat" accommodation plan in a single package. It is a carefully balanced exercise in moderation. Designed by Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prevost and first introduced in 2000, the Lagoon 380 is intended to serve both as a charter fleet workhorse (it is co-branded as the Moorings Lagoon 380) and as a serious entry-level cruising cat for private owners. Several hundred of these boats have been built over the years, and it is probably the most successful contemporary cruising cat currently on the market.

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2012 ANNAPOLIS BOAT SHOW: Be Here See That

SAIL Booth at Annapolis

Me and everyone else at SAIL magazine have been running about like the proverbial headless chickens doing what we do here in Annapolis in early October. Most important news first: SAIL has a new location at the show, en plein air (we used to be buried in a tent), directly across from Catalina's in-the-water boats, so be sure to stop by and pick up a pen and a hat and a calendar and subscribe (if you haven't already) and sit in one of our comfy new chairs. The photo here depicts our own Sarah Johnston (with head recently reattached) setting up the new space just before the show opened Thursday.

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LEARNING TO SAIL: First Boats

Kids on duck boat

YOU HEAR LOTS OF COMPLAINTS these days about how there aren't enough young people coming into, and staying involved in, the sport of sailing. Modern sailors, with much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, love to debate the reasons for this. Many heap blame upon the venerable Optimist, the default training dinghy for the last half-century or more, and deride it as being too slow and boring to hold the interest of today's hyperactive media-addled youth. Even at the highest levels, in the exalted realm of the America's Cup, the working assumption seems to be that we must somehow make our sport more exciting and telegenic if it is to survive.

My own experience teaches me this probably isn't the best way to get kids interested in sailing. For children, or anyone, to learn to love sailing, and to get good at it, I think they need, first and foremost, a sense of adventure and/or a desire to connect with nature. Given this, there are then two other important ingredients: access to the water and a boat they can think of as their own. It need not be a fast boat, or a fancy one, or even a pretty one. It just needs to belong to them, figuratively or actually.

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GERRY HUGHES: Deaf Sailor in Non-Stop Solo RTW Bid

Gerry Hughes

HE WAS THE FIRST profoundly deaf sailor to circumnavigate the British Isles (1981), the first sail a solo transat (2005), and now Gerry Hughes is going for the big enchilada: solo non-stop all the way around the world via the Southern Ocean. He left Troon, Scotland, on September 1 and is currently south of the Cape Verdes, about 700 miles north of the equator.

He's already had a fair share of trouble. Tab through the updates on the news page on his website and you'll see he's been puzzling over a busted generator, roller-furler, and windvane since leaving Scotland and has been muttering about having to pull in somewhere for repairs. He was all set to put into the Cape Verdes to deal with the generator, but then managed to sort it out and keep going.

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REMEMBERING BILL KING: Hot Damage Control Tips From a Dead Golden Globe Sailor

Bill King on Galway Blazer II

I WAS AMAZED TO LEARN that Bill King, one of the nine sailors who in 1968 joined in the famous Golden Globe Race, the very first singlehanded non-stop race around the world, died late last week. I had assumed he must have died many years ago, but no... he's been alive and kicking all this while, working his organic farm at Oranmore Castle in County Galway in Ireland. In the end he made it all the way to 102 years before finally passing on to whatever comes next last Friday.

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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.

  • News & Views

    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.

  • Lit Bits

    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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