Friday, August 29, 2008

Fish Flops on Friday

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

NBC is clueless

Adam at Messing About In Sailboats posts about NBC's lack of Olympic sailing coverage. I agree, it is pretty abysmal. Even on the website, they can't get the names (or sex) of the sailing competitors right when the competitors' names are WRITTEN ON THEIR SAIL!!!

It's pretty obvious that the sailors in the photo above are not Sarah Mergenthaler and Amanda Clark but are actually Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl.

Friday, April 18, 2008

(Gold)Fish on Fridays

83-year-old Ada Shaw has had her pet goldfish Goldie for 15 years, 50% longer than a goldfish is expected to live even with great care. Goldie is a whopping 15.7 inches long and weighs over two pounds! Shaw, of Folkestone, Kent, cleans his tank once a week and adds a bit of boiling water to keep it warm.

Looks Like A Big Laser

They keep making these big yachts look more and more like Bruce Kirby's humble Laser hull shape:
Wide and flat is fast, apparently.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Photo of the Day: Solomon Sea

I found this on the internet with only the somewhat cryptic caption "Solomon Sea" to indicate where it came from and who these adventurers are.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Iceman 2008 - Crazier than Tillerman?

Some guy from Wisconsin has already rigged up his (unusually rigged) Laser and gone sailing. Why is my boat still sitting under a tarp in my backyard? I'm pretty sure that the lake near my house is completely free from ice, unlike Lake Kegonsa.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Tacticat is now SailX

After much development work from the creators of Tacticat...a new site, called SailX has been launched. If you haven't tried the best online racing simulator, then now's the time to give it a go.

P.S. Obviously all the posts from yesterday were jokes...why would anyone quit sailing to wear silly clothes and walk around hitting a little white ball into a hole in the ground?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Photo of the Day: Look at those hummocks!

What a great idea!!!

Look at this product I found. I need one immediately! I will be the hero of the more bending over to pick up the ball. Think of all the wear and tear I will save on my back! This one even picks up two balls at the same time!!!

Product Review: The LifeStyler

If I got one of these I'd never have to worry about those long walks on par 5 holes again!

Photo of the Day: Pink Socks

Check out those pink socks!!! I just have to get me some!

Quitting Sailing

The time has come. It has become clear to me that sailing just isn't for me. I have become too old and fat for a Laser...and even a Force 5 seems to exciting for me. So, I have decided to take up the ancient sport of golf.

This site will now feature interesting commentary on the how different kinds of grass can affect putting, seasonal allergies, whether walking is too strenuous, the right kind of club covers to buy, the biggest and best umbrellas, how to avoid blisters, etc.

Watch this space...for exciting coverage of GOLF!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Take a Walk on a Virtual Beach


Click the picture to explore Virtual Sand

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Deep Thought: There's Not That Much Water and Air

Left: All the water in the world (1.4087 billion cubic kilometres of it) including sea water, ice, lakes, rivers, ground water, clouds, etc.

Right: All the air in the atmosphere (5140 trillion tonnes of it) gathered into a ball at sea-level density. Shown on the same scale as the Earth.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Windy Landing

Good weather for sailing...not so good for landing an Airbus A320.

Over the weekend, a Lufthansa Airlines flight scraped its wing on the ground during a landing attempt in Hamburg, Germany.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pirate Mural

Check out this massive (180cm X 190cm) pirate ship wall-decal for your kiddies' room. A perfect way to get the li'l sailors off on the right foot. Or peg. Link

Friday, February 15, 2008

Random Photo: Looks Like Fun

I have no idea who this is, or where the photo was taken. Via Pizdaus.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Carnage at the Laser Worlds

Windy conditions in Terrigal for the Laser Worlds.

Been there, done that...well, not at a World championship, and not as badly as poor Deniss Karpak from Estonia (the guy in 193043 who seems to have started this mess).

Don't feel bad Tillerman...even the "kids" capsize in Terrigal.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Little Known Naval History *

The USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) as a combat vessel carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators (fresh water distillers). However, let it be noted that according to her log, "On July 27, 1798, the USS Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."

Her mission: "To destroy and harass English shipping." Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum. Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there 12 November. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.

On 18 November, she set sail for England. In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English merchantmen, salvaging only the rum aboard each. By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, and though unarmed, she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Her landing party captured a whiskey distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn. Then she headed home.

The USS Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February 1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, NO rum, NO wine, NO whiskey and 38,600 gallons of stagnant water. Now these guys knew how to drink!

* Possibly an urban legend...but who cares, it's a good story anyway.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dolphins Playing with Bubbles

Check out this amazing video of dolphins playing with bubble rings. The control they have over the rings is remarkable.

Apparently, both dolphins and certain whales are known to blow bubble rings. Two ways of creating such rings have been reported: one way is by letting a ring out of their blow hole, the other by creating a water vortex ring and blowing air in the vortex ring.

There are few ways that bubble rings can be created:
  1. Rings can be created by letting air escape through an orifice that is opened and closed abruptly. A bubble-blowing diver falls in this category.
  2. Rings can be created by letting a fixed amount of air escape through an orifice that is permanently opened. The bubble machine of David Whiteis falls in this category
  3. Dolphins create bubble rings by blowing air in a water vortex ring. They create a vortex of water by flipping a fin. They then blow air in the ring. The air goes to the center of the vortex ring. When air and water move in a circular path like they do in the vortex ring, air and water are separated due to the centripetal force. Since the density of water is larger than air, water moves at the outside, while the air ends up in the middle.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Crash of the Week: The Kursk

K-141 Kursk was a Russian nuclear cruise missile submarine which was lost with all hands when it sank in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000.

The Kursk sailed out to sea to perform an exercise of firing dummy torpedoes at Pyotr Velikiy, a Kirov class battlecruiser. On August 12, 2000 at 11:28 local time (07:28 UTC), the missiles were fired, but an explosion occurred soon after on Kursk. The only credible report to-date is that this was due to the failure and explosion of one of Kursk’s new/developmental torpedoes. The chemical explosion blasted with the force of 100-250 kg of TNT and registered 2.2 on the Richter scale. The submarine sank to a depth of 108 metres, approximately 135km (85 miles) off Severomorsk, at 69°40′N, 37°35′E. A second explosion 135 seconds after the initial event measured between 3.5 and 4.4 on the Richter scale, equivalent to 3-7 tons of TNT. Either this explosion or the earlier one propelled large pieces of debris far back through the submarine.

Kursk was eventually raised from her grave by a Dutch team using the barge Giant 4, and 115 of the 118 dead were recovered and laid to rest in Russia.

A particularly scary image...I think this is the collapsed nose cone of a torpedo:

I don't think even Tim Zim could make this look pretty again...even with some wood cladding:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Poetry Corner

In response to Carol Anne's challenge to write a poem about "Where I'm From" based on the model provided by the poem of that name by George Ella Lyons:

I am from Matchbox cars,
from Marmite and conkers.
From emigration and immigration;
I am from the beach and the lake,
from duckweed and stone walls,
oak trees and ski poles.

I'm from home cooking and gardening,
from George and Joan, Geoffrey and Beth.
I'm from do-it-yourself and make-it-look-easy.
From "only boring people get bored" and "do what you're told."
I'm from C-of-E schools, Our Father, and hymns;
science and logic won out in the end.

I'm from Turpin's Green,
cheese-on-toast and toad-in-the-hole.
From a stonemason, his shed full of tools,
and an Australian with two bionic knees.
From the munitions factory, West Africa in the War,
and a Lincolnshire lad with a Cambridge degree.

I'm from the boxes of slides, sorted and labeled.
Memorized stories of mountains and campsites.
Two boys and their Mum;
Dad behind the camera planning the fun.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pull that Halyard Up!

If you are going to motor least pull your main all the way up. Reefing is for sissies.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Warm Day

It is unseasonably warm today in Boston; 66 degrees Fahrenheit in the city. I took a break from work and went for a walk near my office in the Seaport area. Here are some photos I took with the camera on my phone:

A tanker being pushed by a tug.

Sailboats moored near the Boston Harbor Sailing Club

Fishing boats at the Fish Pier

Another view of the fishing boats at the Fish Pier with the white tent of the Bank of America Pavilion in the background