Withthe summer sailing season in the northeast rapidly approaching, it’s time tobegin thinking about your summer vacation plans. There are multiple spots to set off from inthe northeast and literally thousands of small seaside towns and harbors toexplore. With so many cruisingdestinations in New England to consider, planning a route and choosing whichlocations to visit can be somewhat overwhelming. However, if your plans are to cruise NewEngland’s major islands, you are surely in store for an unforgettableexperience. My recommendation would beto begin from Newport, RI and to plan an easterly route, allowing for theopportunities to visit Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.
Newport,RI offers several charter options across a broad range of companies andyachts. When selecting a company tocharter from and a boat for your vacation, it’s important to consider the typesof marine electronics on board. As New England is notorious for fog, it iscrucial that your boat possesses an accurate radar system as well as GPS for your trip. Once, you have made your charter selection,it’s time to begin your cruise.
A10 mile sail south from Newport will bring you to Block Island, and will enablethe remainder of your trip to take advantage of the southwesterly sea breeze,which should provide for a pleasant run or reach to the other islands on youragenda. In Block Island, you may pick upa mooring or anchor in sheltered, Great Salt Pond, the island’s mainharbor. Once anchored, spend the dayexploring the Victorian Gothic buildings of the main town of New Shoreham ortake a taxi to the southern end of the island to get a glimpse of the MoheganBluffs, which offer spectacular views of the ocean and surrounding beaches.
FromBlock Island, a day’s sail of approximately 40 miles east will bring you toMartha’s Vineyard, off Cape Cod’s southern shore. There are several popular anchorages andharbors on the Vineyard, each offering a different atmosphere andexperience. If you are in search of aquiet and quaint anchorage, Vineyard Haven, on the island’s northern shore maybe the spot for you. While in VineyardHaven, you can spend the day cruising the streets of Oak Bluffs or make a visitto the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club. FromOak Bluffs, a short taxi ride will bring you to the town of Menemsha, on theisland’s western shore and famous for its sunset views of the ElizabethanIslands. Edgartown is another popularovernight location on the Vineyard and is the island’s urban center. As strong currents run though Edgartown’sharbor, be sure that you have the proper anchor to keep yousecure. Edgartown offers a busy nightlife as there are several local bars and restaurants to explore.
Thelast leg of your trip is a 20 to 25 mile sail across Nantucket Sound to theisland of Nantucket. Nantucket providesan extremely sheltered anchorage in its major harbor, known as GreatHarbor. If you plan on picking up amooring for your stay, be sure to call well in advance, as they are in highdemand in the summer months. While onthe island, take the time to visit the island’s two yacht clubs, Great HarborYacht Club and the Nantucket Yacht Club. You can visit the beaches on the island’s southern shore or catch thesunset in the town of Madaket on Smith Point, Nantucket’s west end. As the island is a hot spot for summertourists, the night life of Town is also not to be missed.
Wherever your travels take you this summer, cruisingNew England’s major islands will truly be an unbelievable adventure. With dependable southwesterly sea breezes andcomfortable temperatures, sailing in New England is a very rewardingexperience, one which will not be forgotten for years to come.
Ifyou’ve been thinking that you missed your chance to get south for the winterand do some Caribbean cruising, you couldn’t be more wrong. With lower air fares and cheaper charteragreements in the early and late spring, and into the summer, now is the time,more than ever to book your vacation. Thereis a plethora of charter companies in the Virgin Islands, offering bothmono-hulls and catamarans and both captained and non-captained options. Cruising is also relatively hassle free asUnited States residents are able to come and go as they please in the U.S.V.I.without the need of a passport. As aformer resident of St. Thomas, I would strongly urge every sailor at some pointin their life, to book a bare boat charter in the Virgin Islands.
Formost American cruisers, I would recommend beginning your vacation from St.Thomas, either from downtown Charlotte Amalie or from Red Hook on the east endof the island. Although averagetemperatures in the U.S.V.I. during the winter are in the 80s, make sure tobring some sailing gear, as passing rainsqualls are a daily occurrence. Onceyou’ve made your selection on which charter company to use, it’s time to planyour trip. Several companies willprovide you with a pre-planned itinerary or an option to plan your own route. With literally thousands of unbelievablygorgeous spots to visit in the V.I., this can be somewhat overwhelming, so hereare a few options to consider.
Ifyour itinerary has you setting off from St. Thomas, you may want to spend sometime in Charlotte Amalie, the capitol of the small island territory, before youcast off. The city offers hundreds ofshops and restaurants and a rich history of the island chain, dating back tothe early Dutch sugar cane plantation days. While downtown, a short 15 or so minute cab ride will take you to thehighest point on the island, and in all of the U.S.V.I., known as MountainTop. Mountain Top offers remarkableviews of the U.S. and British Virgins, as well as a notorious concoction knownas the banana daiquiri.
Ashort sail east from Charlotte Amalie will take you to St. Thomas’ eastern townof Red Hook. Red Hook is a very quaintboaters’ town and a jump-off point to St. John and the B.V.I. While in the east end, you should take theopportunity to check out the St. Thomas Yacht Club in Cowpet Bay. The club generally welcomes all cruisers withsome sort of yacht club affiliation with open arms. Dockage is very limited, so I would recommendanchoring in beautiful and very sheltered Christmas Cove for the night if youplan on enjoying the club or Red Hook’s night life. Also well worth checking out is LinquistBeach. Linquist is a very quiet spot andI personally think it is the most beautiful beach on the entire island.
FromRed Hook, a nice cruise across gorgeous Pilsbury Sound will bring you to St.John and its pristine national park. St.John is by far the most beautiful of the U.S.V.I. and possesses severalbreath-taking beaches and bays. Beginning from Cruz Bay, the island’s urban center, a sail east acrossthe northern shore will take you to the most popular spots in the area. Relax at Hawksnest Beach in Caneel Bay orexplore the underwater snorkel tour at Trunk Bay. Maho Bay is a very popular destination for anovernight stay, as it’s sheltered from the southeast Trade Winds and provideseasy access to the Sir Francis Drake Channel. One location not to be missed is Waterlemon Cay in Leinster Bay. The hundreds of basket-ball sized starfishall over the tiny cay make it absolutely worth the swim. St. John offers almost an unlimited amount ofcruising destinations and attractions but because much of the island is anational park, small anchoring or mooring fees may apply.
With its unparallelednatural beauty and pristine sailing conditions, the U.S.V.I. is by far the mostideal location for American cruisers. The dependable southeastern Trade Winds make the sailing a blast and thehospitable and friendly atmosphere on shore provide for a truly relaxingvacation. With airline and charterprices declining, now’s the time to leave your cold weather sailing gear at home and head south!
I have had to deal with getting ready to frostbite, racing, and a mid-term this last week, so I didn't get anything done on the hulls. I did however receive a few parts shipments to be revealed later, and did a little shopping.
Over the weekend I contacted a friendly canadian who was selling off old F17 sails and seemed to have what I was looking for in the appropriate price range.
Bottom line: ZoomKitty will be sporting a chute soon!
The JDPMR is not a typical 6mR race. It is a point to point race run by the PMYC from Pt Monroe to eagle harbor red nun to the west point buoy to Jefferson Head and finish at Pt Monroe. It was fore cast for under 5 knots and rain the day before so i stoked up on beer, sammies and rum to keep us more happy. However, the day dawed sunny and blowing 10 knots by 9am.
At the start line We had only five minutes to run the line, pick a start point and we were about 20 seconds late at that. We did have clear air and good speed. The only prob....we deciced we wanted the right side after just a bit and most every one else was right of us and wanted the left. We finally got up enough on the j105 Dulcibad nea and could go over her and under the C&c 43. we made out well over by the beach with better wind and probably some + current. There were one or two odd moments: Great white came up from under us out pointing us by 15 to 20 degrees. I didn't see how she got going so high just below us but she soon fell down to our course. abit later we werer coming up on another 35'er and she was just pinching like a bad aunt. we didn't and couldn't live that high so we had to take a hitch to the right to get a clear lane. it was a bit wierd to run into such various tactics in the middle of the sound in teady wind. we held our time quite well to the windwrd mark at eagle harbor and on th3e dead down leg to west point but the better wind and a reaching leg found us settling back in the leaders. The 11 meter smoked by us on that leg. I blew the douse by forgetting i had to get the pole down for a windward takedown. I still not sure why that was called for because we were not going to set it again. We llost about a minute on that fiasco and we were in 5th place by 70 seconds. It doesn't sound too great but compared to the masthead and Assy kites ahead of us we felt entitled to drink Joyce's Rum. comgratulations to the winners. Steve Trunkey always makes a great showing in the old Egress and we love having the West sounders com out for our annual opener. Sockeye US119
I must be one of the few people restoring a boat without a blog. I have decided to start documenting my progress to help other people see what not to do, and maybe pick up a couple interesting ideas.
ZoomKitty is a 1975 Sol Cat 18. I bought it last May after deciding that I needed something easier to transport than an Etchells, and I wanted a catamaran. I fell in love with the looks of the Sol Cat, and found one after weeks of searching.
Tonight I finally started the actual work after staring at the hull in my basement for weeks.
As you can see, it really does need to be faired. I am no longer regretting starting.
I only had time to do the keel and half one side tonight. Hopefully I will have enough motivatation to keep at it. First race of the season is May 22.
For a long time - up until really recently in fact - video production in sailing operated on a very exclusive model. Filming and editing sailboat racing was so expensive compared to other activities that it took a lot of cash to get anything decent to a form viewable by anyone, and that meant sponsor and advertiser dollars galore for the most basic footage. So you'd see VCR and later DVDs offered - for free (sponsor paid) or for sale. Not a great way to get big audiences watching sailing...
Over the past five years, the model has changed. The first change was the easy availability of cheap camcorders and new mounting techniques, which have allowed enthusiasts to create a mountain of raw footage. Easy editing programs have made it possible for basic cuts to be shot, produced, and uploaded in hours. This resulted in the thousands of videos - mostly crap - available on YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Brightcove, and the other video hosts. But the model has kicked up a notch lately, mostly due to a few new consumer-level cameras on the market, and their ability to get HD video to the screen.
And while the costs to get good stuff to the browsers of sailors around the world is a fraction of what the 'old model' productions cost, there IS a cost, and producers and advertisers are finally beginning to realize what an opportunity this presents to them. There are more independent film producers around then ever - anyone with a mac and a nice camera will suffice - and advertisers, having learned that the classic marketing tools are no longer working, are desperate to adapt to the new ways that we all get our information and entertainment.
So a few smart advertisers and sponsors are spending a few grand here and there to get nice clips on the web with a small amount of advertising. And it's a nice system.
Here's a little headcam catamaran clips that shows what I mean. And something a bit more advanced.
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This new model seems a bit more democratic than the old one, and gives anyone access to quick, effective marketing via video rather than just the few who had an 'in' with one of the few video guys in the sport. And it gives the sailing fan more diverse content to play with.
I like it.
Scot once told me, "The day you start a blog is the day you find a new job."Welcome to today, motherfucker.
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OTWA Cast & Crew shot two nights after the big victory. Photo by BMW wing designer Winnie.
Anyway, who knows whether I'll do much with this - it's not like I have a lot of free time to do MORE writing, but I think it's worth playing with. In the meantime, if you haven't seen them, these are our masterpieces from Valencia. Parts 1 and 2 of Gonzo AC, each is a ten-minute long reality show about the America's Cup, the sailors, media people, teams, and our OTWA coverage team. Peter Crawford (Penalty Box Productions) is a pain in my ass, but he is also brilliant as a videographer and editor. Hell, maybe I'll use this blog to put together an entire index from our Valencia coverage.
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This is a second blog entry test.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But in a larger sense we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled, here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here.
It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.