This methinks is the denouement of a Cheech and Chong movie that never got made. The facts, predictably, are a bit hazy. The ship, M/V Gold Star, owned by some Syrian guy, flagged in Tanzania, had nine crew on board. They allegedly set fire to something on board the ship Friday night when they were 30 miles north of Malta. The cargo, maybe? Then they jumped overboard.
News & Views
Another multihull pioneer bites the dust. Unfortunately, I just received an e-mail this morning from Hanneke Boon, Jim Wharram's design partner, regarding the passing of another of Jim's partners, Ruth Wharram, who crossed the Atlantic and back with Jim and Jutta Schultze-Rohnhof (see photo up top) back in 1955-58 on the catamarans Tangaroa and Rongo. She always played an integral role in the development of Wharram's career and business and was an accomplished ocean sailor.
I have a few distant memories of Bustins Island from when we used to visit my father's sister Cynthia and her family there. I remember Archie Ross, a larger-than-life character who used to run the little ferry boat that trundles back and forth between Bustins and nearby South Freeport. I remember walking in my bare feet from my aunt's cottage down a dirt trail to a little store where we bought ice cream in Dixie Cups that we ate with wooden spoons. This memory in particular still stands out in my mind as an epiphany of juvenile summer bliss.
The Lunacy Report
I have previously opined on the other recent West Coast sailing tragedies (the one America's Cup fatality in May, the four fatalities on Aegean in the Ensenada Race last April, and the five fatalities on Low Speed Chase in the Farallones Race also last April), but have only mentioned in passing the incident aboard the Columbia Carbon 32 Uncontrollable Urge, wherein one crew member, Craig Williams, was killed after the boat lost its rudder and was driven ashore on San Clemente Island during the Islands Race this past March. Just yesterday the four surviving crew published their account of the accident in a joint statement released online. It's worth taking a look at, as it contradicts, implicitly and explicitly, some earlier published accounts.
The "cruising dream" can manifest itself in many strange and different ways. Say, for example, you're living in Arizona and are due to appear in court to face 16 counts of messing around sexually with an underage boy. Might be a good time to take a little road trip to Florida with the wife and the dogs and the assault rifles and look for a boat to buy, wouldn't you say?
Word has it that Dick Newick, one of the great pioneer multihull designers, passed away on Wednesday night. I met Newick a few years ago here in Portsmouth (he once maintained a home across the river in Kittery Point, Maine) and was struck by a fundamental boat-design axiom of his that he shared with me. There are, he claimed, three desirable characteristics that most clients would like to see in any boat--performance, low cost, and comfort. "You can have any two," he told me. "But you can never have all three."
Pretty much every time I test-sail and review a boat for a magazine I think of that and remember Dick. So far I have yet to find a boat that proves him wrong.
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Offshore Passage Opportunities
Attainable Adventure Cruising
Blue Planet Times
Father & Son Sailing
Cruising Sailor's BB
Good Old Boat
North American Sailor
Liz Clark and the Voyage of Swell
Onboard with Mark Corke
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