Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sailing Photo Quiz

What is the connection between these three photos?

Clue #1 - this is a sailing blog

It's Miller Time!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

February Made Me Shiver

Special Weather Statement for Newport County, Rhode Island

"Potentially life threatening wind chills."

"Temperatures will fall below zero."

"Gusts up tp 40 mph."

"Wind chill values between 15 and 25 degrees below zero."

"Frostbite in 10 minutes or less on exposed skin."


I guess I won't be sailing on Sunday.

Throwback Thursday - Emily - Sailor, Kayaker, Dancer

10 years ago, in February of 2006, I posted this picture of my granddaughter Emily, who was then a couple of months old.

I was obviously very thrilled at being a new grandfather. In that month I posted an imaginary conversation about Laser sailing with her, Hiking, and also a story about how I learned to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for her on an Octopus.

Well Emily didn't turn out to be a Laser sailor, at least not yet. But I have taken her sailing on my Laser a couple of times, the first time being this occasion in 2012.

More recently she has been showing some interest in kayaking. See Emily the Kayaker.

But her real passion these days is dancing. She goes to dancing lessons several times a week and competes in competitions sometimes too. Even at home it seems like she is always practicing her "moves."

She's come a long way in 10 years...

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Top 5 Sailing Blogs of 2015

Is it too late to write a review of the top sailing blogs of 2015?

If it is, then let me say in my defense that Monday was the Chinese New Year so this is actually the perfect time to review the top sailing blogs of last year, the Year of the Goat.

1. First up we have The Final Beat.

I used to promise my readers that I would teach them how to "cheat the nursing home - die on your Laser." Lord Damian, who writes the Final Beat, has a much more challenging aim for his blog, promising that it will help dinghy sailors "Sail Faster, Quicker."

I have been following The Final Beat for quite a while now and I have picked up a lot of great advice from it such as smile - it'll make you sail faster and pulling the elastic on your toe strap can make you go faster. There was something about how George Clooney is a better sailor than me and another post on how to improve your sailing by lolling around in chairs and fondling balls.

Some guy 
who apparently would improve his sailing quicker than me

And if that's not enough there are interviews with top sailors about my feet and even a post by Lord Damian's Auntie Gill on confessions of a failed OppieMum. Brilliant!

There's no doubt about it. The Final Beat is the best sailing blog on the planet about pulling on your elastic and fondling your balls. And Auntie Gill is pretty cool too.

2. Second on my list of top sailing blogs in the Year of the Goat is Improper Course.

What's not to like about a title like that? Someone once asked me which came first, Proper Course or Improper Course. Well that's a great question.  Do you have to be improper before you can be proper? Which came first, Yin or Yang?

There's even a video about proper and improper fractions on Improper Course
You don't find that on many sailing blogs

Anyway, Improper Course is written by a guy called Doug who is a seriously good Laser sailor and by his wife /Pam, so the blog is full of a lot of seriously good advice about Laser sailing from Doug and a lot of entertaining stuff by /Pam about Laser class politics and Valentine's Day. I love the variety of Improper Course. All human life is here. From a photo quiz about a stick in Korea to a fascinating post about offshore leaks. Improper Course is by far my favorite blog about sticks in Korea and offshore leaks written by a lady with a "/" in her name.

3. The third blog on my list is also written by a seriously good Laser sailor, but more to the point he is also a seriously good RS Aero sailor. Michael has been sharing his experiences sailing the RS Aero at AeroNautic. I've been picking up lots of great tips on this blog - everything from how to sail the Aero upwind,  to how to mount a GoPro on a RS Aero, to what to do about a f@#%$d outhaul.

RS Aero outhaul before Michael f@#%$d it up

If you want to learn how to sail an RS Aero well (and who doesn't?) then you need to read AeroNautic. It is undoubtedly the best blog in the solar system about what to do about a f@#%$d outhaul.

4. And while we are on blogs about singlehanded boats from RS Sailing, I must include RS300 393 - adventures of a boat and her incompetent skipper by Chris. As a very incompetent skipper myself, I love blogs by other incompetent skippers. Chris began the difficult journey from RS300 owner to RS300 sailor in July of 2014 and has been blogging about it ever since.

He went to the RS300 Inlands in 2014 and had a good time because he discovered that the RS300 sailors were "at least as friendly and certainly as alcoholic" as his old mates in the OK class,  he achieved his goal of respectfully finishing behind most of them, and he "probably felt less ill than Steve Bolland on Sunday morning."

By April of 2015, Chris had advanced to training to look more glamorous which seemed to consist mainly of trying not to look like "an elderly driver heading the wrong way up a motorway or an old lady at a supermarket checkout suddenly confronted with a request from the cashier to pay for the shopping." He also discovered that he needed to "apply more sex wax to the boat - or the boots."

looking like an elderly driver heading the wrong way up a motorway

Chris is obviously moving up fast in the RS300 class because by October he was asked to write a report for Yachts and Yachting magazine about the RS300 Inlands. He refused and instead wrote a not an event report full of such stuff as insults about the "elderly, tubby, humourless jerks" in the Phantom fleet, complaints about the breakfast at the Bed and Breakfast where he stayed, and musings on what to do when you meet ten Facebook friends whom you don't recognize at a regatta.

This is definitely the best blog in the galaxy about tubby Phantom sailors, feeling less ill than Steve Bolland, and sex wax (whatever that is.)

5. And last, but not least, we have Take the Tiller by Deborah. Now Deborah doesn't sail some new-fangled plastic boat like an RS Aero or an RS300; she sails a Herreshoff Twelve, a design which has been sailed at her club for 100 years - and of course it's made of that stuff called "wood."

But we won't hold that against her because sailing is sailing and racing is racing, and Deborah has written many excellent posts about how to do better in sailboat races, and god knows I need every bit of help I can find in that department.

Lady sailors at Beverly Yacht Club 
some time in the last 100 years.

Take my word for it, Take the Tiller is absolutely the best sailing blog in the universe about swearing, singing and finding the perfect little hat.

So there you have it. The best five sailing blogs of 2015.

Of course you disagree.

There are always some readers who disagree with me.

I just Googled "sailing blogs" and got 18,500,000 results so I admit that I might have overlooked one or two sailing blogs that might be even better than these five, hard as that is to believe.

Please tell me in the comments if you would pick other sailing blogs in your Top Five.

Monday, February 08, 2016

12 Styles of Hiking in a Laser

Here's a fun video demonstrating twelve different styles of hiking in a Laser.

Thanks to @finalbeatsail and @RoosterSailing for sharing this on Twitter.

What is your preferred Laser hiking style?

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Caption Contest

To see the context of this shot, check out the video... It starts to get interesting at about 1:20.