Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A Sailor's Top Ten Blogs of 2007

Here is my list of the Top Ten Blogs that have entertained and informed this particular sailor the most in 2007.

What can I say about the EVK4 SuperBlog that has not already been said? Edward's superb blog has the unique distinction of being the only blog to make my Top Ten list three years in a row. Edward is not a sailing rock star (yet), just a regular guy who day sails with friends and family on San Francisco Bay, with a dream to sail across the Pacific to Hawaii one day. I think I enjoy his blog so much because his sense of humor is even weirder than mine. My left coast alter ego. May you achieve your dream in 2008.

And then we have 1000 Days at Sea, the blog of Reid Stowe and Soanya Ahmad as they attempt to achieve a world record by staying at sea without making landfall for 1000 days on their 70 foot gaff-rigged schooner Anne. Love them or hate them, they have energized fans and detractors alike. There's a thread about them on Sailing Anarchy that has over 9,000 posts and which accuses Reid of almost every imaginable sin under the sun. There's even a parody blog. So we can't ignore them. But as we armchair critics render judgment, Reid and Soanya
are currently a quarter of the way towards their goal, sailing the Southern Ocean, and sending back stories of eating fenugreek sprouts, seeing the black behind the blue sky, and speculating about weightless toothbrushes! Honest. Even I couldn't make this stuff up.

Is it a blog? It says it's a blog. But it doesn't allow comments. Shall I let it on the list? Oh well, I guess it's too good to leave out. Rule 69 Blog, described as "hand-grenade journalism" by the author Magnus Wheatley, is the best source of news and strong opinions on the yachting controversies of the day. From the Olympics to the America's Cup and beyond, Magnus has a point of view and is not afraid to express it. I just wish I could rant back at him in the comments occasionally.

As a Laser sailor I must include two excellent blogs by the sailors who won the Laser Radial and Laser US Olympic Trials this year. Anna Tunnicliffe and Andrew Campbell write about Laser regattas of course, but they have both found time to fit other sailing activities into a busy year of Olympic campaigning. Anna and her crew made it to the podium at US Sailing’s Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship and Andrew has been exploring many tactical and racing rules questions in his Monday Morning Tactician series. Good luck to them both in China.

And here's a pic of Anna flying a Bladerider Moth.

You didn't really want pictures of Reid or Edward did you?

I'm not much of a windsurfer but I have to admit I am enthralled by the exploits of Michael who writes
The Peconic Puffin. This guy goes out windsurfing in ice and rain and freezing slush and 50 knot winds and then makes us believe how much fun it was. Truly amazing.

A blog I've been following since I first discovered the medium is
frogma, the story of Bonnie, a New York based sailor and kayaker. Truth is she writes more often about kayaking than sailing, but that's OK. Her blog is honest, down-to-earth, direct... and at the same time inspiring. I guess it's a characteristic of every blog on this list, but her enthusiasm for her sport (paddling in this case) just shines through in every post and makes you want to give it a try.

Several readers of Proper Course recommended tugster: a waterblog for this list, and I can see why. The author Will Van Dorp works on greater New York harbor and posts on his blog photos of what he sees on the water. Tugs, sunsets, barges, birds, container ships, rudders, tillers, men at work, fishnets, kayakers... even some sailing craft occasionally. Strangely addictive.

The author of Captain JP's log writes about life on the river in another major port, the Thames in London, as well as musing on various aspects of sailing and watery pursuits in general. But perhaps his most ambitious venture was a series of posts on the Celebrity Yacht Race, an event that seems to have been totally overlooked by the mainstream yachting press.

I've saved the best for last. If I had to choose one blog as the top sailing blog of 2007 it would be Messing About in Sailboats by Adam Turinas. Entertaining, witty, informative, topical... Adam's blog covers everything from the America's Cup to Naming a Boat the Cockney Way, from "great places to sail" to why a yacht is naked without a heavy machine gun. Adam also has a gift for promoting participation and pulling together our community of sailing bloggers. The most striking example of this art was his group project to choose the Top 10 Sailing Songs. A gazillion readers sent in ideas, no doubt motivated by his promise to send out a CD of the top songs to all participants. He has been posting videos of sailing songs on his blog for several months now and shows no signs of running out of material. What a brilliant idea! And thanks for the CD mate, it's played almost daily in the Tillerman household.

So there we have it. Apologies to all the excellent blogs that didn't make the list this year. Every year the number of high quality boating blogs increases and it becomes harder and harder to choose only ten. Congratulations to the Top Ten. What a mix! I wonder what new blogs will emerge in 2008 to challenge them?


Mal Kiely [Lancelots Pram] said...

Great list there! Thank you!
Mal :)

Anonymous said...

I am honored. Wow. Thanks TMan. Just the shot in the arm I need for 2008.

Have a great time in Cabarete

Happy New Year


PeconicPuffin said...

Thank you very much! I start 2008 a fraud, however. Dialogue in the Peconic Puffin bedroom this AM.

Me (pacing): It's blowing 25 knots in rain, the Tillerman put me on his list for sailing in crazy conditions and what am I doing?

Sally: Making your wife tea.

EVK4 said...

Whew, I knew my end-of-year push would work. And you haven't even received my bribe yet, I might be looking good for 2008!

I think I'll have my graphics guy design some sort of "tillerman top ten seal of approval" to put on the SupraBlogue.

thanks tillerman and I am honored to be in such good company...ummm, yeah, Reid too.

bonnie said...

Also honored.

I paddled yesterday and today!

But I did actually think about sailing! Paddling back up the basin into a headwind I was trying to picture how I would be sailing it in a dinghy.

I'm not looking forward to the slippage that's sure to have happened to my extremely newly acquired dinghy-sailing skills during the winter hiatus.

JP said...

Wow, thanks Tillerman - and keep up the good work yourself.

Happy New Year!

Zen said...

Good show you guys!

Peter A. Mello said...

Great post with lots to explore. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Well we didn't make it this year! Congrats to all that did. Well done to all those who make the effort to get sailing out there on the web.

Alan Spicer said...

Don't forget to stop by my blog as well. Maybe I'll make next years top ten list?


Alan Spicer

Anonymous said...

WOW -good work! I really want you all to meet a family that sailed around the world.... a true story -- Chasing Sunsets - will be hard to put down! Don't miss this one.

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