Thursday, May 28, 2015

Some cat rigs with a French flavor...

A good way to spend a day out on the water, politicians in France unanimously doing the right thing (think about that for a minute), and just in case you have not been paying attention...

Over at Voiles Alternative there's a great discussion of the fabled "Punch" catboats from the design office of Phillipe Harle that you might want to check out.

Listening to Ingrid Michaelson

So it goes...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

in the "I need some polka music and I need it fast" department..."

Something interesting about a goldfish's attention span, a worthwhile read (especially the last paragraph), and a survey you might want to take...

A couple of days ago, our cat Willow started growling and a few seconds later I heard an anchor splash a few feet off our beam.

At the time I was in a bay that hosted a half-dozen boats with plenty of room to anchor anywhere and no need at all for a 48-foot cat to drop an anchor ten feet off my starboard side on a very short scope. Which, obviously, was pissing off Willow greatly, had me looking for fenders, and wondering just when did folks cruising start anchoring like it was a downtown parking lot.

The answer to the question remains somewhat hazy but I distinctly remember that in the early 90's the SOP was to anchor as far as humanly possible away from any boats already anchored...

Sure there were the odd exceptions of up close and way too personal anchoring tactics. One that stands out was when friends of ours on a Simpson cat had a bowspritted boat come up behind them so close that when they actually dropped the anchor it landed in one of their sugarscoop transoms (apparently caused by excessive imbibing of Funador brandy).

Of course, even back then bareboats already had a pretty horrible reputation for anchoring way too close but somewhere along the line it would seem the practice has become the norm and not just among bareboat folks but with term charter crews (who really should know better) and the general population of cruisers.

These days it's not unusual to see a big bay, mostly empty and a small knot of boats anchored one atop the other to the point that some of the boats are putting out fenders.

It makes me wonder...

...where I can find a CD of a heavy metal polka band covering Captain Beefheart.

Listening to Temperance Movement

So it goes...

Monday, May 25, 2015

Because we need more people asking why/how...

Why you might want to avoid having a stroke in Virginia, some interesting thoughts regarding Fox news, a man making a whole lot of sense, and an important message to businesses running Memorial Day sales...

One blog with an inquisitive nature I follow regularly had a very interesting post today and you really should read it. While you're over there you might want to pour yourself a cup of coffee and check out some of the other posts as there is a lot of good stuff to read.

You're still here?

Listening to Adrian Duff & the Mayo Brothers

So it goes...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Doing some math...

Some seriously scary shit, Deepwater Horizon the gift that just keeps on giving, and since we were speaking of oil spills...

I need some new chain as our 5/16" high test is getting way past its sell by date. There, I've said it and I'd be lying if I told you I had not been avoiding the subject of new chain for "So It Goes" because it is an expense I never relish thinking about much less going to a purveyor of chain and forking out an obscene amount of money for a 150-foot length of the stuff.

So, Friday we trundled over to the local purveyor of chain to get a quote for 8mm or 5/16" BBB chain (both fit my gypsy). They did not have any 8mm but did have 5/16" BBB for $6.50 a foot... Doing the math that comes to the hellacious amount of $975.

Ouch!

Of course, the chain size I'd prefer is 8mm which costs in the neighborhood of $3 a foot and the total on that, while still pain-inducing, is a whole lot better than $975 and all I have to do to get it is sail to a different island...

I can live with that.

The thing is, 8mm and 5/16" BBB are nearly identical in strength/weight/size and 8mm fits most 5/16" BBB gypsies finest kind. Fact of the matter is, 8mm and other metric chains are calibrated for use in gypsies as the norm so it's pretty much perfect for use on a boat and, if you factor in the fact that it's generally less than half the cost of BBB chain, choosing it is something of a slam dunk.

A quick side note on the high test chain we're replacing is that while stronger than standard chain, it has about half to two-thirds the life cycle. The added strength of high test is at the cost of using an alloy more susceptible to corrosion. Something you might want to factor in next time you're buying chain.

Listening to Valley Queen

So it goes...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Take a couple of minutes and watch a trailer...

About those deliberate lies, a difference of opinion regarding clean water, and something well worth your time...

Some video you should be watching...


Trailer – RAMBLIN' JACK: BEYOND THE MUSIC from Oleg Harencar on Vimeo.

Listening to Kevin Gordon

So it goes...

Friday, May 22, 2015

a simple multi-tool I actually like...

Sweet deals & Donkey Mountain saying the needful, sleazy guns for hire, and a book review you may want to read...

Not being a fan of multi-tools as a rule since they mostly fall into the wrong tool for every job category, I almost didn't check this video out but, since I have a lot of respect for tools made by Crescent, I thought "What the hell"...



At $20 color me seriously impressed.

Listening to a pretty good playlist

So it goes...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A world with options...

Very much worth reading (and acting upon), a little good news, and the word of the day is S-T-E-A-M-P-U-N-K...

Some time ago a rigger of note came up with a very cool clutch system for sailboats that worked great, did little or no damage to the line, and from the looks of it should be cheaper than existing systems due to its overall simplicity of materials and labor.

This one in fact...



Yeah, the Chinese handcuffs clutch... A small block of alloy with a few holes drilled in it, some Kernmantle cover, and a bit of string. Something an inspired DIYer could throw together for $10- $20 bucks a pop with a little sweat equity and a bit of cunning. No rocket science involved but brilliant all the same.

That said, once the idea became a product of the yachting sort not all that affordable anymore.

Of course, the choice of paths is up to you but it's nice to know you have options...

Listening to Kitty, Daisy, & Lewis

So it goes...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

in the "Mom said it" department...

Here's a reason you might want to AVOID Nestle products till the day after hell freezes over, one reason why Bernie would get my vote (if I were not a US Virgin Islander and unable to vote for Presidentof the US of A), and in the "you just can't make this shit up" department...

As it happens, I tend to get a lot of email from boaty folks and a not insignificant number of which who include pithy slogans or quotes as part of their signature.

Like this one...

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Point of fact: Just yesterday I had a baker's dozen of emails from different folks who all had that quote as part of their signature ... Which I can understand because it's a great quote and speaks volumes for folks of the nautically obsessed sort.

That said, the problem with this quote is not the content but the fact that all those people who have adopted it don't know who said it and think it's from Samuel Langhorne Clemens (AKA Mark Twain).

Really.

The actual source of the quote is from the 1991 book "P.S. I Love You: When Mom Wrote, She Always Saved the Best for Last" by H. Jackson Brown in which the quote is attributed to his mother.

That's right, Mark Twain never said or wrote it but Mr Brown's mother did.

Offhand, the quote in question never sounded to me like something Twain would have written or said because it had that upbeat (bordering on saccharine) vibe and seemed to be somewhat out of character for a man known for his caustic edged wit.

Which just goes to show that before you adopt something as the basis for your personal philosophy, a pithy quote to add substance to your signature, or something you want to have tattood to part of your body, that a quick fact check might actually be in order.

Watching/listening to Brandi Carlile

So it goes...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Some Saturday Mini Simmons goodness...

So, about some of that Baltimore looting, a question of note, and in the "let's not forget the bottom line" department...


Mini Simmons by SWOP surfboards from swopsurfboard on Vimeo.

Listening to B. B. King (who is sadly no longer among us)

So it goes...