Sunday, May 20, 2018

Some tool building goodness...

Some late justice, a good man, and a conversation we're doomed to repeat until we fix the problem...

This is just neat.



Not to mention seriously handy around boat work.

Listening to Bart & the Bedazzled

So it goes...

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Need WIFI?

An interesting note, profiting from hate, and tRump vs Mr Zip...

Here's  some serious long range WIFI acquisition DIY goodness.



More details can be found here.

Listening to Joachim Cooder

So it goes...

Friday, May 18, 2018

Diversity issues...

Some very needful reading, a good piece about mountain biking that could just as easily be about sailing, and in the "is Congressman Mo Brooks dumber than a bag of hammers" department...

Having a charter business is not all fun, frolic, and doing the happy dance.  Sometimes it gets downright depressing.

For instance, over the last couple of decades we've watched a large portion of our clients suffer from the ongoing stagnant economy and resulting hardships entailed.

Then there's the boats who have been caught between a rock and a hard place by rising prices and a client base that has less and less money to spend each year.

That said, there are some good things as well...

When we started Paradise Connections there were a lot of diversity issues within the fleet. It was pretty much an established fact that some boats did not play well with all groups of people who might charter a boat. In those dark days it was considered OK to say gays were not welcome aboard. Fact of the matter was that on every boat's spec sheet there was a place where they could say yes or no to gay charters. That really bothered us and we would not book boats that said "NO". We also would not book boats that had issues of a racist nature either and while those questions were not on the specs sheets, some crews made it quite clear that not all races were welcome.

We didn't book those boats.

As time passed we noticed a lot of the anti-gay element seemed to have left the charter fleet and seemed to be replaced by folks who were more understanding of the diverse nature of people who charter. In other words things were getting better.

Well, at least we thought so...

Now we're noticing some boats are saying "inquire" regarding gay charters and that's all kinds of wrong.

First of all: It's none of my business what sexual orientation our clients follow and I'm not about to ask them. As it happens, it's not my business whether our clients are Hispanic, Jewish, African-American, Muslim, Asian, or whatever either.

Not my business.

Not the boats' business.

But now we have a new President and all of a sudden we're supposed to ask those questions and somehow it's now ok...

Not going to. Nope not in the land of the free and the home of the brave where everyone is equal.

Which means that folks who feel we need to "inquire" regarding our gay clientele are not going to be listed in our charter brokerage. We'll remove them from our website and they won't get charters from us because we're not going to empower their problematic attitudes that have no place in an industry based on hospitality.

Not on our watch.

Listening to Buffalo Tom

So it goes...

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A dire sympton of a dying industry?

Proof positive the FCC has its head up its ass, some hard facts regarding retirement, and some water contamination skullduggery...

So, the next London Boat Show is not going to be happening.

That, sorta/kinda, shakes my world just a little bit.

Listening to Juliana Hatfield

So it goes...

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Whale bumps...

How 1500 becomes a worrisome number, regarding a recent "accomplishment", and some stuff you really need to know...

I've been spending a lot of time pondering over better ways to build a better auxiliary rudder self-steering gear and I keep thinking whales and rudder shapes.

Why whales you might ask.

Take a look at a humpback whale fin...


Note the bits on the leading edge?

Now check out this rudder from rudder wizards Betts Boats who always seem to be just a step ahead of the cutting edge (pun intended) where foils are concerned.


Notice a similarity?

The word for today is T-U-B-E-R-C-L-E though some folks just call them whale bumps and what those bumps do is affect the flow coming off the bumps forms pairs of counter rotating swirls or eddies coming off each side of the bumps. The bumps act as vortex generators that keep the general flow attached to the suction side of the fin when there is an angle of attack that normally would cause the flow to separate from the leading edge. Which, where rudders are concerned is very much a goodly thing.

There has been a lot of research and application in the aviation world, foils for wind generators but pretty much bugger all in sailing circles. Though, I expect that's about to change quite a bit in the not-too-distant future.

They even use them on surfboards!




So why are we not using them on self-steering foils?

Listening to a whole lotta Springsteen

So it goes...

Monday, May 14, 2018

in the $642 is not pocket change department...

An apt nautical analogy , just the same old same another day/another lie, and some news in the "timey-whimey" department...

Some recent changes from Egypt got me thinking about the shifting sands of bureaucratic attitudes to boats visiting their countries.

On one hand, I get the inclination to tax wealthy visitors who come riding in on castles built of amazing, by their standards, disposable income. While, on the other hand I admit to rankling somewhat when my less-than-ostentatious vessel gets caught in the same net...

Whatever your view I'm pretty sure a $652 fee to clear out becomes a not going to go there note in most folks travel plans.

And people wonder why I hate the word y-a-c-h-t?

Listening to Frightened Rabbit (Scott Hutchison will be missed)

So it goes...

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A reading of a favorite book...

Badtux forgot an important birthday, pretty much what you'd expect, and in the "Not a class act at all" department...

The YouTube channel "Keep Turning Left" is reading Maurice Griffith's "The Magic of the Swatchways" (a favorite book of mine) and it's well worth checking it out.



Listening to Brandi Carlile

So it goes...

Friday, May 11, 2018

This is just so neat...

Barbaric acts at a black site, a bad decision, and an important court ruling for people who live in/on vehicles (note: boats ARE vehicles)...

How about an affordable CNC router capable of routing full sheets of plywood but small enough to store under my quarter berth?



I think I'm in love.

More information can be found here.

Listening to Larry Carlton

So it goes...

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A design that makes some sense...

An infamous name from way back, regarding free range children (or lack of) and NASA has a very cool Genset...

Gypsy from Woods Designs. Check it out.

Listening to ÌFÉ

So it goes...

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

a note to those who keep asking me what smart phone I use...

Regarding science denial, some important fact-checking, and not exactly an endorsement that impresses me...

I don't use phones anymore. Fact of the matter is I have not even owned a phone for over five years and have yet to feel the need to change that state of affairs.

For me, part of the appeal of long passages was always that for the duration of the voyage I would be incommunicado and untethered to the "real" world.

I expect you've also guessed that I'm not a big fan of SSB, HAM radio, or EPIRBs either...

Admittedly, I'm of a generation of sailors and climbers (pre-GPS/EPIRB) who were saddled with the  reality that in going to sea or on an out-of-the-way climb if things went FUBAR you were on your own and self-rescue if possible or death with a modicum of dignity was the order of the day. Well, unless someone happened along within hailing distance.

I do realize I'm not anywhere near being part of what passes for the norm these days and, while I do not consider myself to be anti-social, I do understand that most folk have a lot more need to be connected than others. The last time we went out to eat lunch I found myself keeping tabs on just how many of our fellow diners took and made phone calls during their meals and just how little communication there seemed to be with the folks they were having lunch with. A somewhat sobering look at our collective evolution it would seem.

Listening to five great covers

So it goes...