Monday, January 20, 2020

A series you should be watching...

Somewhat late to the party, woodland camo in space, and in the "Mops and buckets just aren't going to cut it" department...

Bádóirín an excellent sailing series on Galway Hookers and the families who race them Ireland that you may want to watch while it's available.


Riveting stuff.

Listening to a social justice playlist

So it goes...

Saturday, January 18, 2020

What a great idea...

Scary climate news out of Africa, an interesting article on plastic waste in Trinidad, and in the "Following the smart money" department...

Latitude 38 had some interesting coverage of a Singlehanded Sailing Society seminar on emergency steering systems by the SSS. Not only was the seminar on the water but it included a hands on emergency steering race as part of the day.

A great way to illustrate a point!

Seriously, not only should everyone have some sort of emergency steering sorted out when they go offshore but it's only common sense to have actually put said steering system through its paces so you know how (or if) it works.

I'd love to see some of the cattle cruising rallies include just this sort of seminar and race into their workshop component.

Listening to The Brothers Comatose

So it goes...

Friday, January 17, 2020

Excellent news...

An interesting read, a very neat resource, and in the "tRump quiet on the Puerto Rico earthquakes" department...

I just noticed that Duckworks (a great resource for excellent boat stuff) is now selling Danny Greene's nesting Chameleon design available as printed plans or download.

Definitely worth checking out.

Listening to Little Wings

So it goes...

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

How comparative shopping and knowing how to do things yourself is a goodly thing...

A reminder of note, Moldy Chum with something important about NEPA, and today in the "Just when you think the bar couldn't get any lower" department...

I was looking at Defender's pricing on rope the other day while throwing around some rigging ideas when I had a brief moment of clarity and found myself asking a couple of questions.

Why the hell does everyone seem to think that Defender is the best discount store around anymore?

Fact of the matter is, I seldom buy anything from Defender these days because there most always seems to be someone selling the same stuff for less. Sure their yearly sale seems to be good but for the last three years running most of the deep discounts were on the sort of Brand X stuff you bring in a sale as lost leaders.

How do they get away with charging twenty-four frelling dollars for an eyesplice in Amsteel?

Seriously, the Brummel eye splice is dead easy and the alternative simple tapered bury with lock stitching is even easier. Either splice will only set you back five to ten minutes of not very laborious labor so why'd anyone pay twenty-four bucks to have someone do it for you?

Just saying.

Listening to Chip Taylor & The New Ukrainians

So it goes...

Thursday, January 09, 2020

A cause worth supporting


An important reminder, something on the current state of affairs regarding Puerto Rico, and in the "Just in case you haven't been paying attention" department...

Feel like doing something good for people and you happen to need a calendar? As it happens the hip calendar this year is Le Panthéon de la Mini featuring Skippers from the most recent Mini-Transat.



We're talking some serious eye candy!

Better yet, the profits from the calendar support SOS MEDITERRANEE which is a very good cause.



Buy the calendar, you know it's the right thing to do, but do it soon as it's a limited edition!

Listening to Spanglish Fly

So it goes...

Monday, January 06, 2020

on why I'm not throwing away good batteries...

Scary news regarding the Panama Canal, some interesting progress on identifying tsunami earthquakes, and an excellent point in cartoon form...

I've been thinking, rather a lot in fact, about new batteries for "So It Goes" and thinking about Lithium batteries in particular.

I like that Lithium batteries that are lighter. I like the fact that Lithium batteries charge faster than lead acid. I also like the idea that you get to use more than 50% of the battery's energy without shortening the life of the battery. I also really like the idea that Lithium batteries are supposed to outlast lead acid by a huge factor.

So, when it's time to replace the still-working-just-fine Trojan golf cart batteries aboard SOG I'll be replacing them with Lithium... Right?

Well, actually, there are a couple of things I worry about where Lithium is concerned. The first is the cost factor Lithium batteries are, as we speak, expensive. Sure I've read all of the arguments that Lithium batteries last so long that Lithium is actually cheaper that lead acid once you factor in longevity but I am yet unconvinced that some of those longevity claims may depend on factors other than chemistry.

For instance, while some of the Lithium battery sellers are touting awesome guarantees, will those companies be around to honor them five years from now? My laptop which runs on lithium batteries goes through batteries on a pretty regular basis of needing a new battery every nine months or so. They're supposed to last a lot longer but either a single bad cell or the BMS will malfunction and all of a sudden I'm buying another expensive battery for my computer.

Ever wondered just why there is such a big market in used Lithium chemistry battery cells?

Luckily, I have at least two more good years left in my Trojans, so I can afford to wait for costs to come down on Lithium and get a better handle on whether or not the companies currently doing business will still be around.

In the meantime I'll also be putting together some smaller Lithium batteries for a couple of projects I have in mind to see if the DIY line of thought makes sense for a house bank. For those of a similar mindset you might want to check out Jehu Garcia's channel for a cornucopia of Lithium cell DIY wonderfullness.

Listening to Balún

So it goes

Sunday, January 05, 2020

on the subject of how not to entertain an anchorage...

Badtux with a timely historical observation, some good advice, and in the "Funny how some folks minds work" department...

So, here's a question.


Do you know how to row?

Really?

I ask mainly because over the last few years on the rare occasion I see someone actually rowing, they're mostly getting it wrong. Seriously, rowing is a long way from being rocket science but there is a right and wrong way and a bit of technique; both make for less work and goes a long way to keep you from embarrassing yourself.

As it happens, Off Center Harbor who are purveyors of bespoke media centering around boats and suchlike, has a couple of videos well worth checking out. The first, "Rowing", is an excellent little film that pretty much covers everything you need to know while the second "Advanced Rowing with Havilah Hawkins, Part 1 – Techniques and Maneuvers" really ups your game and can add some serious style points while you're at it.

Then again, you might just want to continue with the kludge method as it's always nice to have nautical flailing for the entertainment value.

Listening to Amy LaVere

So it goes...

Thursday, January 02, 2020

First good reads of the new year...

Something positive on the subject of 'Reef Toxic' sun cream, a glimpse of the negative side of tourism, and sharks in your cat's food...

Southwinds, a freebie sailing magazine well worth reading, has a couple of excellent articles in the current issue on junk rigs.


Yeah, junk rigs!

So, you're still here because?

Listening to The Paranoid Style

So it goes...

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019/2020...

An interesting article on a favorite author, reaping the seeds we've sown, and Neil Innes is no longer with us...

So, it would seem, we've barely made it through another, albeit heinous, year. I don't know about you, dear reader, but I find myself a lot worse for wear and more than glad to be shot of 2019.

Then there's 2020 waiting in the wings for its entrance to the playing field with a certain evil hungry look that does not bode well for any of us, especially for those unprepared for the sort of world best left to the imagination of Stephen King.

Which leaves me hoping we get lucky and our collective better natures kick in and a majority of folks will simply do the right thing. Which really only amounts to just treating everyone like you'd like to be treated. You know, just be nice and treat others with that modicum of respect they deserve.

Maybe that's too difficult for some, considering the current state of affairs we find ourselves in. So, if you can't be nice, you might just want to try to not be an asshole. Hell, give it a try and you might be surprised how good it feels.

That said, here's hoping everyone reading this survives and experiences a healthy, safe, and better 2020.

Listening to the Bonzo Dog Band.

So it goes...

Monday, December 30, 2019

A rather interesting voyage in a little scow...

A rich guy running for president using prison labor, how Nestle is not doing the right thing, and more bad news about Lionfish...

Our friend, Yann Quenet, bespoke designer of interesting small boats, just made a voyage in his latest Baluchon design.



Currently Pacific bound towards Polynesia and Australia.

Good stuff!

Listening to KOKOKO

So it goes...