It's almost three months since I posted the Top Ten Sailing Blogs of 2005. Since then a lot has changed in the boatie blogosphere. (By the way if a law blog is a blawg, is a sailing blog a slog? No, that doesn't seem right. Or is a boating blog a bloat? No?)
Anyway, as I was saying, things have changed. Most of the top ten are still active though some have posted less frequently in recent months, perhaps a symptom of the northern hemisphere winter and less sailing activity. But there are also some new contenders for top ten ratings out there.
Foremost among the newer sailing blogs, in my mind, is Live Sail Die. LSD is written by a couple of sailing instructors from the sailing school at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron and has a clean, attractive website design and an always interesting mix of breaking boating news and personal sailing anecdotes. Plus if you're nice to them they will even send you Live Sail Die stickers!
Another frequent poster is Dan Kim from Adrift at Sea. Dan is fitting out a brand new Telstar trimaran and is telling us all the details from the electrical system to
the safety gear and even the lettering. It's a fascinating account by a guy who has clearly thought out all the details for his dream boat. I look forward to reading about all the voyages he is planning -- all over New England, to the Chesapeake, and to Key West.
Then we have Peter Huston at Buffalo Niagara Sailing who is doing a sterling job of stimulating sailing activity in his region with posts on such diverse subjects as high school sailing, stupid rules that discourage participation and youth sailing opportunities in other parts of the country. Always thoughtful, always opiniated. You may not always agree with him but he does make you think.
Eli Boat has some strong opinions too. He has recently ranted about kay-whackers as he calls them, asking "how many morons are actually into kayaking?" and the Mac 26x which he calls a "floating ass-box". He also educated us on subjects such as electronics and carbon fiber, but my favorite posts on his blog are when he tells us about sailing in Cape Cod Frosties and his attempts at ice-boating. Eli Boat is just like a box of chocolates -- you never know what you're gonna get.
Talking of kay-whackers, I mean kayakers, I've also been following a couple of kayaking blogs lately. Partly because I have a yen to try out kayaking one day; and partly because there are some great kayaking bloggers out there. Bonnie at frogma has kept me entertained the last few months with her tales of paddling at various sites around New York City in the winter along with occasional other accounts of NYC life. By the way is there anywhere in the USA other than Manhattan where kayakers take a break for sushi? (Trick question - the answer is yes - Bonnie paddles over to New Jersey for her sushi. Go figure.) And she even gets to go sailing sometimes. One thing I have discovered is that kayakers are really into "rolling" - which as far as I can gather is a variation on underwater power yoga. Here is how Bonnie celebrated New Year's Day.
H2uho started life as a blog of "bonehead moves on the water" but has lately branched out in a more general watery blog with musing on such diverse topics as waves, long-distance kayaking and the green flash.
I've been trying to expand the geographical coverage of my boating blog viewing. My blogroll currently includes blogs from USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Switzerland and Italy. Ah yes, Italy -- the home of sNIPEOUT. I wish I could read Italian because it looks like an amazing mixture of great pics, amusing notes and sailing news. I occasionally try and translate some of his stuff into English using Google Translate but the result loses something in the translation, I am sure.
On the other hand, I'm not at all sure I can classify About Sailing at about.com as a blog at all, but Ward Esaak continues to produce fascinating news and stories and advice about sailing that are as compulsive reading as the best blogs. He also keeps giving me the occasional plug so I owe him one.
Also check out the blog of one of my most frequent commenters Litoralis. He ranges from drawing our attention to a cute legal joke about sea sponges, ranting on about the relative health of dinghy sailing in the UK as compared to the US, and doing some shameless name-dropping about the summer he worked for an America's Cup syndicate. Apparently he sailed a Star last year but plans to move up to a Laser this year. Smart move. If you read his blog carefully you will find that at least as of today (31 March 2006) he hasn't actually done any sailing since he started his blog. But he talks a good talk.
Finally we have one of the most original sailing blogs to hit the scene, The Captain Humphreys Project. Actually a vlog, not a blog, a humorous daily video blog about a former bartender planning to sail around the world in an 11 foot boat. A very professional production. But I haven't quite worked out yet whether it is about a real sail-round-the-world project or just a theme around which to develop some hilarious comedy sketches. Time will tell. In any case, compelling viewing. Check him out.
So there you have it. Just ten of the blogs that would be strong contenders for the top ten list if I were drawing it up now. So you writers of the original top ten, look to your laurels. The competition is snapping at your heels.