I was planning next to bore you with some details of Lunacy's recent passage from Puerto Rico to Bermuda, but the breaking news is far more compelling. And not just to sailors it seems. In my recent post on the America's Cup I noted that the general public only seems to follow the Cup when there are intriguing characters involved, but now, unfortunately, we've found something else guaranteed to pique their interest. No one seemed terribly interested in AC72s when they were just sailing fast, but now that someone's been killed on one, all the major media have perked up their ears.
News & Views
Just figured something out. That Irish-owned Swan 48, Wolfhound, currently adrift twixt Bermuda and the W'Indies, is ex-Bella Luna, the same Swan 48 that my buddy, A.J. Smith, skippered through Tropical Storm Sean (see photo up top) during the ill-fated 2011 NARC Rally (the one in which Jan Anderson lost her life aboard the Island Packet 38 Triple Stars). Check out Bella Luna's brokerage listing, and you'll see she had a very comprehensive equipment list and some unique features, including a coffee-grinder in her midship cockpit, just like Wolfhound.
A.J., who has worked as a delivery skipper for some 25 years, had a hell of a trip on Bella Luna. He got within 80 miles of Bermuda, nearly lost the rig, fell off a wave so hard the speed log blew out of its through-hull fitting and flooded the boat, and in the end had to bail out and retreat to Charleston, South Carolina, to lick his wounds and put the boat back together.
There she is folks... yours for the taking. This empty Frers-designed Swan 48 of mid-90s vintage, worth I'd guess $500K or more, was adrift approx. 800 southeast of Bermuda as of this past weekend. She was abandoned just north of Bermuda by her Irish owner, Alan McGettigan, and three crew back in February. At the time it was believed she may have sunk soon afterwards, but one Martin Butler recently snapped this image and sent it to the Irish sailing comic Afloat, which is running an account of the boat's abandonment in its current issue.
Over the weekend I had a chance to watch Maidentrip, the new documentary film about Laura Dekker, after Jillian Schlesinger e-mailed me a private Vimeo link on Saturday. This is Schlesinger's directorial debut--her "maidenfilm," if you will--and whatever Laura might think of it, I thought it was pretty damn good.
Coincidentally, Lyall Mercer, who did a stint as Laura's agent and publicist, got in touch after he read my post on how Laura has disowned the film, and we had a long conversation on Friday. Our discussion was a trenchant reminder of what Schlesinger's film might have been, but isn't.
Laura Dekker, current holder of the unofficial "youngest solo circumnavigator" record, who thumbed her nose at Dutch authorities and insisted on doing it her way, has announced in her own typically cryptic fashion that she doesn't think much of a film about her that has just been released to quite positive reviews. Maidentrip (you can see a short clip up top), an independent documentary film by Jillian Schlesinger, debuted last week at the prestigious South by Southwest (SXSW) media festival in Austin, Texas, and immediately won itself an Audience Award. Dekker's own review of the film consisted of a single line posted on the homepage of her website: I am not going to say much about the film Maidentrip, but I won't be representing it as I am not fully standing behind it.
Norway's self-styled Wild Viking sailor guy, Jarle Andhoey, last seen retreating from Antarctica a year ago after failing to establish that anyone other him was responsible for the tragic loss of his boat and three crew in a Ross Sea storm in 2011, has taken to pitching soda pop. As part of a deal with the manufacturer of Solo, a popular Norwegian soft drink, Andhoey will on Wednesday launch a giant 26-foot Solo bottle from Tenerife in the Canary Islands, setting it adrift with a free case of Solo and a giant 12 square-meter message inside. Lest it pose a threat to navigation, the giant bottle is equipped with nav lights, solar panels, a satellite tracker, and an insurance policy.
Ever wonder what your favorite coastal cruising ground is going to look like at the end of this century after the sea level has risen by 10 feet or so? If so, you'll have fun playing with the map tool at the Surging Seas website maintained by Climate Central. It allows you to fiddle with all of the U.S. coastline in the lower 48 and adjust the water level to anywhere between 1 to 10 feet above the current high-tide level. The remaining dry land is shown in white; formerly dry flooded areas are shown in grey-scale satellite imagery. The most vulnerable part of the country, of course, is southern Florida, where, coincidentally, they also have the most boats. As you can see in the image up top, the coastline is going to look very different.
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