Tuesday, February 28, 2006


On a flight back from California all day. See you tommorow!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Tom Taylor aboard the S/Y Avalon
July 16, 2005 Posted by Picasa

Tom Taylor "Big T" - Rest in Peace

I was reading the Sunday NY Times on a plane bound for the west coast yesterday and, in scanning the obits, came across notice given for Tom Taylor, owner of the Ron Holland -designed S/Y Avalon (formerly Gleam).

I had the privilege of crewing aboard Avalon during the Newport Bucket Regatta, July ought five, and covered it extensively. Though I only met Tom once, he struck me as a generous, affable host and rightly took satisfaction in his beautiful yacht. As well he had a strong competitive spirit - as evidenced by Avalon's victory at the Bucket - and an obvious zest for life (see above photo). "Big T" as he was known, died at age 62. Sad news...and a proof point for the Ecclesiastes quote I mentioned in the last post.

My condolences to the Taylor family.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ecclesiastes 9:10

I'm not generally one for quoting Bible verse...but I'm reading "The Caine Mutiny" by Herman Wouk in my spare time (which means late at night after everyone is asleep) and the protagonist Willie Keith - who joined the Navy during WW II as a Ensign assigned to the mine sweeping destroyer " U.S.S. Caine" in the Pacific Theatre - receives a bible from his dying father suggesting that he reference Ecclesiastes 9:10 as he considers his new position aboard ship.

It's not the longest or most profound verse, but it struck me as basically sound advice and so I thought that I'd pass it along.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Acura Key West - January 17, 2006
(Photo Credit: Thierry MartinezPosted by Picasa

The Bitter End Yacht Club. Unique?

Came across an article on my favorite "sailing" resort, the Bitter End Yacht Club in the B.V.I. My first encounter with the BEYC was aboard a bareboat charter with my family when I was a senior in college...in fact I remember sitting in the cockpit at anchor in the North Sound watching a tanned, khaki clad first mate casually scrub the side of a big charter sailboat after the guests went ashore and thinking "I could do that..." So in a way the BEYC was (partly) responsible for the next four years of my life as a chief deck scrubber, drunken charter guest babysitter and itinerant boat bum. There was, of course, more than met the eye that day I discovered.

But back to the article - the author makes the point that resorts that offer a unique experience inspire an almost unprecedented loyalty among vacationers. The BEYC is one such example certainly and, I think, in the sailing world perhaps the only one. Anyone have other spots that offer the sailing family this type of immersive-yet-comfortable experience?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Volvo "In Port" Race on the Bay

Very exciting news popped over the weekend in the Baltimore Sun - apparently the Volvo fleet will race "in port" around the buoys on the Chesapeake Bay during their four-week stop in Baltimore and Annapolis. The race is set for 1 p.m. April 29, just north of the Bay Bridge, in a deep swath of water between the Magothy and the Chester rivers. If the weather is good and the wind blows true it will be a fine sight the likes of which are rarely seen...according to the article the Volvo Open 70s draw almost 15 feet which means that the risk of grounding on the mud will be a certain factor.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Grenada Sailing Festival 2006
(Photo Credit: Onne Van Der WalPosted by Picasa

A Zephyr First

I've been writing and editing Zephyr for almost a year and today recieved my first blog public relations "pitch."

Out of sheer novelty I'll play along, but future PR flacks beware, the next time you have a go at me you're going to have to reach a little higher than, "given your interest in boating I thought you might like to see that..."

....everyone's favorite evil computer empire has apparently joined forces with KVH (and I have to admit to being intrigued by the technology they claim to be delivering to the boating community).


KVH and Microsoft expand broadband deal to boaters

02/16/2006 10:34 AM

Six weeks after announcing a new initiative to bring MSN TV service to consumers traveling in cars, trucks, RVs and boats, Middleton R.I.’s KVH Industries Inc. has taken the next step in its partnership with Microsoft Corp. and will be rolling out an Internet access and MSN TV service aimed at boaters.

The networking tandem is developing the service, as well as its associated\nhardware and software, and expects the suite to be available for purchase in mid-2006.

Product pricing was not announced, and financial details regarding the partnership were not disclosed.

KVH’s Mobile Internet Receiver will be the core of the service, coupled with MSN TV service, a customized version of the MSN TV 2 Internet and Media Player. The suite will provide in-motion access to web browsing, as well as Microsoft media, messaging, e-mail and other online services. Users will manipulate the service via a wireless keyboard and standard televisions installed on boats.

Broadband Evolution Data Optimized (EVDO) data services, with data rates ranging from 400 Kbps to 2.4 Mbps, will drive access, with the help of a marinized, amplified antenna for two-way mobile connections. The system will also include wi-fi output to provide Internet connectivity to any wi-fi-enabled laptop or other product, making a yacht a “floating hotspot.”


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Thirty Six

It's my birthday today so taking a break...back tommorow. For your reading pleasure here's a jump to a nicely written, first hand account of life aboard the tall ship Lady Washington, a replica of a brig built more than 200 years ago.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine Wishes to Dee Caffari

When I was in seventh grade we had this game called "kill the cow" which was also known, in the less politically correct 1980's as "smear the queer." One kid would grab the ball and run and everyone else would chase him down, tackle him and pile on until he couldn't breathe. Reminds me of what's happening to Cheney right now. Too bad the veep doesn't sail cause then we could pile on with the rest of them and oh, what fun that's proving.

On topic - Happy V DAY Dee!!!!

Having sailed approximately 14,300 miles in 85 days...Dee Caffari is on the verge of passing the halfway mark of her attempt to become the first woman to circumnavigate the world solo non-stop against the prevailing winds and currents. More to be found here in Dee's diary.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Torben Grael helms the classic 12 metre Nyala
to victory during the America's Cup Jubilee
(© Paul Todd /Outside Images NZPosted by Picasa

Fitness for Sailors

For the Northeast U.S. sailors who think that getting in shape for the spring season (yes, it's will be here before you know it) consists of shoveling snow and wistfully mixing rum drinks in front of the telly - here's an article from the Baltimore Sun about the Annapolis Athletic Club sailing fitness class run by veteran Harry Legum.

"When you're sailing, you have to move quickly," said Legum, 41. "You have to explosively get up and start performing. If you're not working out, the chances of getting hurt are higher."

Amen Harry. Who wants to join me in creating a business plan for a national chain of sailing fitness clubs? We could be th
e Bally Total Fitness for weekend warrior buoy racers. We could make a billion and buy the Swan of our dreams. OK, maybe the blizzard of ought six has addled my brain...but how many of us who actually go to a gym wouldn't opt for a fitness program tailored to sailors? And is there a way to strength train the liver?

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Final Report

The Coast Guard has released the Woods report. A local NH channel broke the story...

An excerpt:

As waves tossed the 55-year-old lawyer from side to side, 20-year-old Asher Woods tried unsuccessfully to change course and then to start the 41-foot Naobi's diesel engine, Foster's Daily Democrat reported Friday. When those attempts failed, he released the lifeboat in hopes his father could grab onto it, but his father disappeared, the newspaper reported based on an all-but-final report it obtained Thursday.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Home is the sailor, home from the sea

Back in October I covered the sad tale of the Naobi, a 41-foot, white fiberglass ketch that had gone missing off the Atlantic coast in October. The Boston Globe is reporting case closed - with no further understanding as to the final moments of Stratham, MA lawyer Stephen Woods...at least until the report is published. The article says that by closing the case, the CG is signaling that there will be no criminal charges brought. Good news for Woods' 20 year old son who was found aboard five days after the boat left Cape Cod.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Sorry for my recent absence. Back in the saddle this Thursday.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Maiden Voyage

I don't usually look to the LA Times for my sailing news but here's a terrific story about a "novice" who decided to deflower herself on an ocean voyage from Singapore to Oman....we're talking the Indian Ocean. I myself aspire to park in the Maldives for an extended stay some day and though I enjoy a stint offshore (and am long ovverdue) I'm not certain I'd opt for the 3,000-mile, six-week open-ocean sojurn to the Middle East. But this gal did and at she wrote about it. Rather well in fact...

"It's like living on a roller coaster; 24/7 the small boat slams forward, bouncing hard, leaning on its keel. The wind pours over the starboard rail, tilting my world to port. I'm covered with bruises from slamming into stuff. I learn to cook, sleep and eat at varying angles. When it really howls, I walk on walls. "

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Moonlight on the Nantucket Shoals. Ibis,
Tidal Wave, Estelle, Sagitta & Aeolus

Frederic S. Cozzens (1856-1928)
 Posted by Picasa