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Member Since 28 Nov 2011
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Topics I've Started

3 Way results in boat Crash near LaGuardia - TSA hysteriics

24 June 2014 - 07:44 PM

A fishing boat smashed head on into runway approach lights at La Guardia Airport early Sunday after the vessels drunken captain deserted the helm for a three-way sex romp  exposing a stunning security weakness, sources told The Post.
Police were unable to reach the boat to determine whether it was a threat for about 30 minutes, even though a Port Authority police vessel was tied up at a nearby dock.
There was no crew available to operate it because, in a money-saving move, the PA had decided to operate its navy only during daylight hours.
The PA Police Department finally had to call for help from the NYPDs Harbor Unit.
If those on board the love boat had been terrorists with bad intentions, they could have easily succeeded, a PAPD official said.
If they had hand-held rockets, they would have had plenty of time to fire at planes.


Rutherford issues invite for his next expedition - Greenland and Arcti

07 June 2014 - 02:13 AM

Matt Rutherford posted his latest report from his non-stop TransPacificExpedition (42 days out). Towards the end he offers a interesting invite: 



"...The luxuries of civilization only satisfy those wants which they themselves create.  Well, at least that’s what the great scientist and Antarctic explorer Apsley Cherry-Garrard used to say.  I can’t say I disagree, yet some luxuries of civilization sound awfully nice right about now. 
The Harbor 29 is a 30 foot version of a Harbor 25 depending on how you want to look at it.  It’s a light boat displacing around 6,500 lbs, the weight loss is not structural there are just less bells and whistles, and no heavy headliner.  I think four gung-ho racers doing shifts, two at a time, four on, four off, could do really well in a Newport to Bermuda or Trans-Pac race with this boat.  But she provides very few creature comforts.
A bucket on a line is one of our most important multi-purpose pieces of gear on this boat.  We actually have two buckets, a clean bucket and a dirty bucket.  Our buckets are our dishwasher, our laundry machine, our shower, and if things got really bad, our emergency bilge pump. 
Making fresh water with a manual water maker is a time consuming process, so we only have fresh water for drinking and re-hydrating our freeze dried food. 
For everything else its good old sea water in a bucket.  I’ve been using buckets in this manner for every major expedition I’ve ever done as a captain or single-handed.  
That’s around 493 days at sea, counting today (not including boat deliveries).  It’s not that I like roughing it, I just haven’t had the money to buy an electric water maker and a boat with enough power to run it.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get an electric water maker for Ault, my 42 foot steel schooner one day in the near future. It would certainly be a nice change of pace.
We don’t have refrigeration, nor have I in the past, so once again we are living off of freeze dried food.  Its healthy food, at least I’ve never gotten scurvy.  It tastes good too, but it always has the same consistency.  Every meal is some version of what I call, sailor slop. Since I’ve been living off of freeze dried food as long as I’ve been using buckets for everything, I’m growing a bit tired of it. 
We don’t have a stove either, just a removable gimbaled single burner that you screw a one pound propane tank into. We did bring 7 pounds of popcorn kernels and some canned ham in an effort to change things up.  But it’s still mostly sailor slop for every meal.  
If this sounds like fun you guys are more than welcome to join me and Nikki on our next trip. Actually I hope to be heading back to the Arctic next year.
We have been working out the details on a project with the University of Maine doing glacier research in East Greenland on Ault
As I write this we are passing 30 miles north of Wake Island.  It is funny to think that when I first starting sailing being 30 miles from land made me feel like I was way out to sea.  Now if I’m 30 miles from land I feel like I’m about to run aground. The winds have been fairly steady easterlies for the last five days but I’m afraid that won’t last much longer.  I expect light winds, we might even have to motor a bit. After nearly 5,000 miles at sea we have only burned around 3 gallons of diesel, talk about environmentally friendly research!  In another 700 miles we will turn north, leave the easterly trades and head for Japan. ...."
photos on oceanresearchproject.org

Matt Rutherford reports 35 days out

02 June 2014 - 02:07 PM

Matt Rutherford and Nicole Trenholm are on the first ever continent to continent non-stop marine survey. They are 35 days out and here is his latest report:


"..Today we pass from the western hemisphere into the eastern hemisphere, 24 hours vanish and like magic and an entire day disappears.  All of our samples have to be properly logged with descriptions about things like, wind speed, sea state, time of day.  All of our samples are logged using UTC time AKA Greenwich Mean Time.  It?s crazy to think that when we log our sample today we are using a time zone that?s literally on the opposite side of the planet.  Since longitude defines where time zones begin and end, Greenwich England is the beginning and end of time.  King of all time zones.


During this voyage we are sailing 25% of the circumference of our planet.  I?m not sure where all the time zones begin and end.  Because of our research one clock on our boat is always is set to Greenwich mean time, which means I can’t tell you exactly what time it is we?re I?m at, but I can always tell you what time it is in England.


Time is very important in the modern world, but time as we know it only exists because we want it to.  You think a dinosaur was ever worried about being late, or a whale swimming in the ocean cares what time it is?  One of the most beautiful aspects of sailing the open ocean is that you can unplug from the modern world.  There is no internet, no cellphones, no traffic, just the immense desolation of the open ocean.


All of that will be changing soon.  Iridium claims they will be launching new satellites in 2017.  They say by 2018 there will be 3G internet from the North Pole to the South Pole.  It will make it possible to show you guys live video feed from the open ocean, which will be pretty cool for those following future expeditions.  But that also means we won’t be able to get away from it all like we can now.  The ups and downs of technology.

No two ocean crossings are the same, even along the same route at the same time of year.  I read an article that went viral about some guy who crossed the Pacific Ocean saying how he had seen less life than his last crossing ten years before so the Pacific Ocean must be in a state of serious decline.


Many people have seen this article with a picture of a guy standing in the companionway of a fancy looking very yellow sailboat.  It amazes me what goes viral.  I have done 13 trips back and forth to and from the Caribbean (same route as the Caribbean 1500) doing sailboat deliveries.  Some trips I see a tremendous amount of marine life and some trips I see none.  A simple observation lacks scientific rigor, yet these are the types of articles that spread like wildfire across the internet.

There are many other examples.  Articles about islands of trash, giant robots that can clean our ocean of trash in 5 years, or ?the west coast is being fried by Fukashima radiation?.  None of these are true, yes Fukashima dumped a lot of radioactive isotopes into the water but according to a top radiation scientist I talked to at Woods Hole University, not nearly enough to fry the west coast of America. What do all these articles have in common?  Doom and Gloom.  As I said in an earlier blog, the media likes to sensualize stories. Why, because it sells.  There are HUGE problems facing our oceans, plastic trash is just one of many.  The world?s oceans are in a state of decline, but the best way to teach people about these issues is not by saying ?the sky is falling, the sky is falling?.


When I sailed the Pacific Ocean north to south in 2011 I didn?t see much life over those 10,000 miles, but we have seen quite a bit on this crossing.  Fishing hasn?t been bad either. After the Hawaiian Islands the trades died off and moved south, we went south chasing after them but we couldn?t go fast enough to stay in the stronger winds.  We weren’t completely becalmed but 5-7 knots of wind is pretty close. The first day sailing along at 1.5-2.5 knots is a nice break.  Sailing this 30 foot day sailor 7,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean double handed is a lot of work.  Light winds meant we could clean the inside of the boat, do maintenance, and wash the sweat out of our dirty clothes with a bucket of sea water.  By the third day of moving 2 knots you start getting aggravated and when the wind picks back up is a huge relief.

We now have good easterly trade winds once again and are making good time.  Nikki and I are holding up well, except my heat rash, and so is Sakura..."


photos and more at Oceanresearchproject.org

Matt Rutherford 28 days out disses racers

23 May 2014 - 02:46 PM

Interesting comment from Matt Rutherford on his latest post - sounds like he is dissing racers in his latest update at oceanresearchproject.org 



At this point we have sailed more miles than it would take to get from Annapolis Maryland to England, and we are only halfway there.  We have been making good time averaging 120-135 miles a day, which is very good considering we are dragging a net doing research, and I’m a super conservative sailor.  I never push a boat harder than it wants to be pushed (unless I’m trying to run away from a storm). 


I remember sitting at a bar in Annapolis 5 or 6 years ago listening to some guy bragging about how he had sailed across the Atlantic in 16 days.  What I found out later is that he destroyed a brand new set of sails, broke this and broke that, he put 30,000 miles of wear and tear on his boat in a 3,000 mile crossing. Who cares how long it takes to get from point A to point B, blue water sailing is not about the destination, it’s about the journey.




Trans Pacific Pollution Survey report day 15

11 May 2014 - 05:31 PM

Sailing 7,000 miles non-stop Calif to Japan  in first of its kind survey - OceanResearchProject.org

"..The trade winds can either be a blessing or a curse.  I sailed roughly 10,000 miles of the Pacific Ocean north to south while sailing around the Americas.  On my way to Cape Horn I had to sail directly into these same trade winds for 41 days straight.  Which is the longest Ive ever been on one tack.  I dont like beating into the wind and seas for 41 minutes, let alone 41 days.  I remember thinking how nice it would be to turn west, put the trades on my quarter and sail across the Pacific (the proper way).  A couple years later, thats exactly what Im doing.

The easterly trade winds do present a problem for our research.  Its hard to slow down the boat enough to drag our Avani net when you have 6 foot seas pushing you along.  Forentino gave us one of their shark drogues before we left, which is supposed to be used in heavy weather.  We deploy it every day while collecting our samples.  Even with a drogue we dont slow down enough, a few days ago I had to start tying an anchor to the back of the drogue, burying the drogue deeper in the water.  Its rather silly to be down to a third reef and dragging a drogue in 15 knots of wind but thats the only way we can slow Sakura down to 3.5kts.

We have accomplished phase 1 of our marine plastics research.  Before we left Nicole spoke with several scientists to determine where scientists have and havent done marine plastics research in the Pacific.  During phase 1 we were trying to find the southeastern edge of the North Pacific Gyre (Pacific Garbage Patch). We thought we found it few days ago, we had to sample in a southerly direction for a few more days to verify the finding, and now its verified.

Phase 2 is a comparative study.  We will sail south of the Hawaiian Islands sampling for micro plastics in the trades winds.  Most of the research has been done in the known Gyre region, very little has been done in the easterly trades. Buy collecting samples in the trades, when back on land, we can compare our findings with the known finding in the Pacific Gyre to determine how much of the micro plastics are staying in the Gyre and how much is getting displaced by the trade winds.

In some ways this expedition reminds me of my circumnavigation of the Americas.  We are on a small boat with a monitor windvane, sloop rig, single line reefing, freeze dried food and a manual water maker.  I used these same systems for 309 days while going around the Americas, in many ways I copied St. Brendan to keep things nice and familiar. On the other hand, Im sailing with a strong, smart, beautiful woman. On a brand new boat, with no black mold, ice bergs, fog and general chaos.  Not to mention this is a research expedition.

Daily life is pretty simple, although its hard for me to say when the day begins as most nights I hardly sleep a wink. Im too busy keeping a course and listening for problems.  Once we do get up we make a cup of coffee, which is breakfast, write a report in the ships log book and prepare to drag our net and collect samples.  It takes a half hour to set up the spinnaker pole and deploy the drogue.  While we are collecting our sample we pump the water maker. Nikki and I take shifts pumping the water maker for an hour and a half to make the 5 litters of water we need for the next 24 hours.  After collecting our samples we pull the drogue, stow away the spinnaker pole and make dinner.  Im not really sure if dinner is the right word for it, as we one eat once a day. The rest of the day we manage the vessel, read, write and try to rest.  Then we do it all over again the next day, and the next day, and the next day. The simplicity of life at sea..."