12 November 2011

Light headwinds.  Drizzle turning to real rain.  Twelve miles to the next anchorage; I have a rendezvous I'd like to keep.  I could motor.  I decide to sail.  The other yachties obviously think I'm nuts.  But my rig is easy to handle and efficient.  I have an excellent self-steering gear and I recently bought a new waterproof jacket, so I'll stay dry when I'm on deck.

I don't have to be on deck for long, of course.  Just get the sail set, adjust the steering gear and kill the engine that got me out of the anchorage.  I can lay my course!  I'm making 3 knots!  What's not to like?

A little while later I make my favourite rainy-day sailing drink.  So it's 9 00 am, but who's going to know?  I half fill a mug with heavy red wine.  I grate in nutmeg and sprinkle cinnamon; meanwhile the kettle burbles on the stove.  I pour water from it into the mug.  Steam rises.  Bliss.

Later the rain gets heavier and the wind lighter.  I end up motoring.  But I tried.  And really, really enjoyed my little boat doing her best for me.

01 November 2011

 I discovered this on The Marine Quarterly website: http://www.themarinequarterly.com/2011/10/ 

Too many satellites, not enough fun

Posted on October 25, 2011 

Somewhere between Sicily and Malta under a big roof of stars we were designing a new kind of yacht race. It would be sailed in one-designs, so there would be no advantage for rich owners. And navigation would be done only with equipment on the boat – logs, compasses, sextants, all that. Satellites and radar would be outlawed. Seats of the pants would be encouraged, and judgement would be by brain rather than ARPA and its descendants.

It’ll never catch on.

To say it resonanted would be a masterpiece of understatement.  I worry, of course, about the size and complexity of these one-designs and, in spite of the fact that 'seat of the pants' thinking would be encouraged, I doubt the designers would be able to think outside the circle sufficiently flexibly to advocate junk rig for its efficiency, simplicity and safety.  But it's a start - and an extension of the gloriously-Corinthian Jester Challenge.