Friday, February 27, 2009

Documentry on Mav's

Check out this video on the world's largest surfable wave. Mavrick's (in Northern California) has had 40-50 foot waves slamming the coast already this year. This year's surf contest is offering the biggest purse ever, $150k to the winner. All we need now is Mother Nature to cooperate and the surf organizers to pull the trigger and bring in the top big wave riders from around the globe. The vid is here.

Enjoy Your Weekend!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pic of the Day

These dating services really need to screen their applicants. I mean, I am all for blind dates, but come on!!

10 Amazing Pools

I have been in some amazing pools myself. Pools that have waterfalls and caves, infinity pools overlooking Banderas Bay, slides, rope bridges and hot mineral springs inside caves. Here is an impressive list from around the world.

A Keepa from Hookipa

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pic of the Day

Applied Geometry
Click the pic for a full view.

Couple Rescued After 40 Days at Sea

A British couple who, between them, have sailed the Atlantic Ocean a total of 11 times, have been saved from the middle of that same ocean by an Italian tanker after spending 40 days disabled and drifting.

Stuart Armstrong, 51, and his partner Andrea Davison, 48, are on board supertanker Indian Point and heading back to Amsterdam.

Although they escaped unhurt, they were tired, exhausted and grateful to be heading home after their six-week ordeal.

The drama began on January 9, six days after the couple left the Cape Verde Islands off the West Coast of Africa on board their yacht Sara and headed for Antigua where they intended to anchor until April.

But midway through the 2,550-mile journey disaster struck and the rudder on the 13-metre yacht jammed to starboard. Attempts to fix it were useless. At this stage the couple, who live on the yacht in Majorca, were in the middle of the Atlantic, 1,200 miles from Antigua – five days sailing time away and out of range for any rescue attempt.

Speaking from the bridge of the Indian Point, Mr Armstrong said: 'In effect we were sailing round and round in circles as the rudder was stuck all the way over.

'The coastguard said it was too dangerous for anyone to come out so we just had to carry on drifting in the middle of the ocean.

'We tried to counteract our continual turning by putting droves over the side to try and help point the boat towards land but we didn’t really have any great success.

'At first we were not too bothered as we had a good supply of dry provisions, the usual things you have on a boat - pasta, kidney beans, biscuits, rice and soya. There was also plenty of water to keep us going, the radio was still working and we had power so there was no need to be too worried. Read the full story here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why I Am Sticking to Water Sports

When I was a teen back in the 70's, hang gliding was the extreme sport that captivated my imagination. I wanted to try it so bad. I studied the sport and knew the dangers but still wanted to try it. I tried to sell my parents on the idea and even quoting a statistic that I read about how driving a car was more dangerous than hang gliding. Well silly, driving a car is one of the most dangerous things you can do, statistically speaking. In college, I was the lifeguard at the university pool. Everyday this guy named Larry Tudor would come in and do his laps. I asked him about his dedication to swimming and he said he was a hang glider. Turns out that at the time he held the straight distance record for the sport (at the time his record was over 100 miles and in 1990 he took it to 330 miles in 9 hours). So I asked him to take me out the next time he launched. We headed out to a dry lake bed outside of Las Vegas and man this guy could soar! It was so cool to watch him fly. I never did hang glide or parasail but once in Cabo I did some behind the boat with a parachute. That was fun and a lot less dangerous (I think). The video below is an example of why I am sticking with water sports. Water can sting, but it usually won't break anything.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Don't Forget To Smell The Roses

Click the pic for a detailed view.

Our lives are so busy these days with cell phones, texting, tweeting, work, kids, and all the other things that fill our lives. This note is to remind you that there is much more to life and and that it takes effort to slow down and "smell the roses". A good way to do this is to go sailing with friends, take a long walk, listen to your favorite album, take a friend for a picnic, lay in a hammock or just lose all the distractions. One thing I notice is that there are so many things going on we forget to appreciate the people in our lives. Next time you see your parents, spouse, best friend, or even someone you really like and are just getting to know, stop and look them right in the eyes. The eyes are the window to the soul. Look deeply into their eyes. I think they will be shocked as there is so much stimuli around us we are forgetting to look each other in the eyes. And next time you pass a rose bush, take a wiff!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Condition Black

If you are interested, the 52 min. version can be found on

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Subs Collide

First we heard about the satellites colliding in space. Now we have subs colliding in the ocean. What next? The moon and the earth? Here is the scoop: A Royal Navy nuclear submarine was involved in a collision with a French nuclear sub in the middle of the Atlantic, the MOD has confirmed. HMS Vanguard and Le Triomphant were badly damaged in the crash in heavy seas earlier this month. First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathon Band said the submarines came into contact at low speed and no injuries were reported. Both the UK and France insisted nuclear security had not been compromised.
BBC defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt said the incident was "incredibly embarrassing" for the Ministry of Defence.
HMS Vanguard returned to its home base Faslane on the Firth of Clyde under her own power on 14 February. "Very visible dents and scrapes" could be seen as tugs towed her in to the port on the final stage of the journey, our correspondent said.

The submarines are equipped with sonar to detect other vessels nearby but our correspondent said it might be the case that the anti-sonar devices, meant to hide the submarines from enemies, were "too effective". "This is clearly a one-in-a-million chance when you think about how big the Atlantic is," she said. The two submarines are key parts of each nation's nuclear deterrent, and would have been carrying missiles, though both the UK and France have insisted there was no danger of a nuclear incident. They were carrying around 240 sailors between them. A French naval spokesman said the collision did not result in any injuries to the crew. Le Triomphant is based at L'Ile Longue near Brest, north-west France. HMS Vanguard arrived back in Faslane on Saturday. On 6 February, France's defence ministry had said that Le Triomphant "collided with an immersed object (probably a container)" when coming back from patrolling, and that the vessel's sonar dome was damaged. But in a subsequent statement, it admitted that the collision between the two submarines took place. "They briefly came into contact at a very low speed while submerged," the statement added.

Top Nautical Movies

Here is an extensive list of movies that relate to the mariner. Some of my favs include: Dead Calm, Wind, Captain Ron and White Squall. See the whole list here.

Memorable Pool Scenes

Not much happening in the bonehead department today so let's go to the movies. Here we have a list of swimming pool scenes. Not on the list is the scene from "Wild Things" with Neve Campbell and Denise Richards. The movie also features a great sailboat at the end of the flick. Anyway here is the list.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Top Spots for SCUBA

Lion Fish

I have been diving since college and it is one of my favorite things to do when we travel to tropical ports. Fiji, Thailand, Bali, Tahiti, BVI's, Cozumel, Hawaii are just a few of the spots I have gotten wet. If you have ever considered getting certified, now is the time. I got mine when I was on the swim team at UNLV. We were taking a trip to Hawaii for training and the coach thought it would be a great idea to get certified. Since we were all great swimmers, it was easy. The dive we took was not the best. One mistake we made was not to hire a divemaster and a boat. We carried our equipment out to the head of Hunamma Bay to a place called the Toilet Bowl. My friend Dave was my dive buddy and in we went. We were in the water for about 20 minutes when I ran out of air. I gave Dave the signal that I was out of air - finger across the neck. He thought I wanted to "practice" buddy breathing. I gave him the signal again and he reluctantly gave me his regulator. As soon as I passed it back, he ran out of air. So he thinks I have plenty of air and he gives me the signal. Now we are both giving each other the signal and neither has any air. We were in 30' of water so we both did a slow swim to the surface and made it up without a problem. It was a funny start to some great diving adventures all over the world. He is a list of some of the greatest dive spots on the planet.

Pic of the Day

Click for a larger view.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Saling Quotes

"Sailing alone soothes me because the sea is fair, not cruel. It judges only your ability. It does not care who or what you are. It does not ask your age, color, sex, address, sexual orientation, education or IQ, but only your competence. It requires only that you can sail. If you can, you survive. If you can't, better stay ashore. That's fair, more fair than most of us experience on land...and refreshing."

A sure cure for seasickness? Stand under a tree.

Let those who know not how to pray go to sea.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Give a man a boat, he cannot afford to eat again.

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark:
One: Don't miss the boat.
Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat.
Three: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
Four: Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
Five: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
Six: Build your future on high ground.
Seven: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
Eight: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
Nine: When you're stressed, float a while.
Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

'In all systems, as complexity approaches infinity, the mean time between failure drops to zero.'

"Most of my money I spent on boats and women. The rest I squandered'.

"When I die, I want to go quietly, in my sleep; like my grandfather.
Not screaming in terror like his passengers."

CANNON BALLS: In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon, but prevent them from rolling about the deck. The best storage method devised was a square based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of thirty cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem - how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding/rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey," with sixteen round indentations. If this plate was made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys." Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the cannon balls would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey!"

"Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, much of that comes from bad judgment."

Girls don't lay down in boats they can't stand up in.

Lecky's Wrinkles:
"There is nothing so distressing as running ashore, unless there is also doubt as to which continent the shore belongs."

"There is never any excuse to put the comfort of the crew above the safety of the vessel"

"To me, nothing made by man is more beautiful than a sailboat under way in fine weather, and to be on that sailboat is to be as close to heaven as I expect to get. It is unalloyed happiness."

"The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span, those days spent sailing."

"Them that dies'll be the lucky ones"
- Long John Silver in Treasure Island

Sailboats are safe in a harbor. But that's not what boats were made for.

To quote Mark Twain:
"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed
by the things you did not do than by the things you did do.
So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is."

"The gravity of the situation is only increased by the slant of the ramp"

A small boat and a suitcase full of money beats a 40 footer tied to the Bank every time.

This new ship here is fitted according to the reported increase of knowledge among mankind. Namely, she is cumbered end to end, with bells and trumpets and clock and wires . . . she can call voices out of the air of the waters to con the ship while her crew sleep. But sleep Thou lightly. It has not yet been told to me that the Sea has ceased to be the Sea.
- Rudyard Kipling

"The man who would be fully employed should procure a ship or a woman, for no two things produce more trouble" - Plautus 254-184 B.C.

"There are three kinds of people in the world,
Those who can count and those who can't."

In the long run, all solutions are temporary, so go ahead and use duct tape.

Flashlight: A cylindrical object that is used to store dead batteries.

And why do you, lad, look so pale?
Is it for love, or lack of ale?

"A powerboat and a sailboat both went to sea. From the powerboat, voices asked - when will we get there? From the sailboat, voices answered - we are!!!"

Sir Francis Bacon, "They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea."

"Son, you have to remember that people like terra firma - the more firma, the less terra."

"Nothing goes to windward like a 747."

Nothing is as permanent as a good temporary solution."

In rough and rolling seas all good sailors sit to pee

Only a fool becomes embroiled in an argument on a singlehanded boat.

"You can observe a lot just by watching."

Approaching a dock with a boat it is like approaching a woman in a bar,
very seldom is a slow approach a poor approach."

"That packet of assorted miseries which we call a ship." - Rudyard Kipling

'If you have to be somewhere by a certain date, you aren't cruising, you're racing.

And my absolute fav of all time...

"My drinking team has a sailing problem!"

Oh, one more:

"The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet
so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and
impatient when least effective."
-Henry David Thoreau

Monday, February 09, 2009

Strange Things in Space

Here is an interesting list of some very unusual things in our galaxy. We are only scratching the surface as far as our knowledge of the final frontier and these images and their explanations will boggle the mind.

Rudder Problems

As you may know, we have a 1981 Newport 30 sailboat. We have owned her for over 8 years and she has been a fine old boat. A few weeks ago we noticed that the steering was not as responsive as it should be. We checked the cables and everything looked fine. We went out again and in a lull, a smallish wave hit the boat and we heard the rudder hit the boat. That's not good. We suspected that the rudder post and the rudder may not be connected as they should be. We took her over to the yard and they pulled her out and the rudder came off as soon as they had her on the hard. Lucky we didn't loose the rudder sailing! The pin that holds the rudder to the post had disintegrated due to corrosion over the last 20 years. The yard has welded her back together and we should have her back in the water by mid week. Be sure to check your rudder next time you pull your boat out. I have read another story about a Newport 30 who lost their rudder just outside the Gate and it was not pretty.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Blastin' w/ Virgin $$ (aka - Speedboat)

Swimming the Atlantic

A 56-year-old American athlete has become the first woman on record to swim the Atlantic. Jennifer Figge took 24 days to swim from the Cape Verde islands off Africa to Trinidad. The exact distance she covered has yet to be calculated. She swam inside a cage to protect her from sharks. Figge, who had originally planned to make landfall in the Bahamas, now plans to finish by swimming from Trinidad to the British Virgin Islands. She first dreamed of swimming across the Atlantic Ocean as a little girl.

The swimmer finally moved nearer her goal when she left Cape Verde Islands on 12 January, facing waves of up to 9m (30 ft). Each day she would spend up to eight hours in the water at a stretch before returning to her support boat. Crew members would throw the athlete energy drinks as she swam along, if it was too stormy divers would deliver them in person. She saw pilot whales, turtles, and dolphins, but no sharks.
"I was never scared," she told the Associated Press news agency. "Looking back, I wouldn't have it any other way. I can always swim in a pool."

Jennifer Figge's journey comes 10 years after a French swimmer, Benoit Lecomte, made the first known solo trans-Atlantic swim covering 6,400km (4,000 miles) in 73 days. Figge had planned to swim 3,380km (2,100 miles), but she was blown off course and reached Trinidad rather than the Bahamas.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Beer Can Regatta

Click the pic to read the sign.

In down under Darwin, they celebrate each summer with a Beer Can Regatta. Back in 74', there was a huge storm that caused much damage to the city. To rebuild, they brought in a bunch of workers from the south. Seems these guys were not used to the humidity and to balance out the heat factor they drank a ton of beer. Turns out the town ended up with a truckload of beer cans. This was well before recycling programs were in place. What to do with all these beer cans? A young man came up with the regatta idea and it has been in place ever since. Who would of thunk that a boat could drive you to drink? Party on!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Caught in a Storm

Fighting for survival at sea was not how professional skipper Capt. Rick Moore planned to spend his Christmas after delivering gifts to Haiti.

What began as a simple mission to bring Christmas to a poor Haitian village ended with him and his crew being slammed by a ferocious storm at sea, and forced back to Haiti.

Making the best of the incident, and unable to leave, they have now made a DVD of the islands to raise money for the islanders.

'I was supposed to be home for Christmas, but I took this job thinking I could still be home a few days after and see my kids,' said Moore, a charter sailor in the British Virgin Islands. 'I wanted my boys to understand that dad was giving other kids a Christmas, something they were lucky enough to have each year.'

For years, Moore has spent his winters running Wind In My Sails Inc., chartering guests aboard his 50-foot luxury yacht, Sophisticated Lady, in the British Virgin Islands. He spends his summers close to home.

In December, Moore was asked by the Good Samaritan Foundation in BVI to take a collection of donated toys, food, clothing, school and hygiene supplies to Ile Vache, Haiti.

Sophisticated Lady in calmer times - .. .
Moore and a small crew left on Dec. 15, intending to return in 10 days. But Mother Nature had other plans.

'We made the delivery, and those people weren't expecting the gifts,' Moore said. 'They were so appreciative, and they threw us a big celebration to thank us.'

But no one was celebrating during the sail home on Dec. 23.

'When we were coming around the Cape on the south side of Haiti, the winds and currents picked up and held us right there in the water,' Moore said. 'Within three hours, we had a lot of damage done to the boat. We had 40 to 50 knot winds slamming into the ship, and the engine went down, so we had difficulty making way into the storm.'

'The force of the gale, and the erratic sea conditions below the Cape were enough to spin the boat around and blow out both our sails,' Moore wrote in one of his online blogs. 'We were then adrift at sea for about 15 hours, getting slammed repeatedly by huge waves slapping the side of the boat with such force that several more things were broken on the boat.' Continue reading here.