Monday, April 28, 2014


This morning in New Haven CT, my sixth grandchild and third granddaughter was born.

She was 8lb 3oz at birth, exactly the same as her big sister, Isabel.

Her parents have named her Juliet Elizabeth.

Mother and baby are both doing fine.

This afternoon Juliet was sleeping peacefully in my arms when this photo was taken.

Twenty years ago I owned six boats and had zero grandchildren.

Now I own one boat and have six grandchildren.

Life is good.

The RS Aero - from the Horse's Mouth

Views from a couple of Irish sailors after test-sailing the RS Aero this weekend.

Why do they look so happy?

Why do they look so wet?

Why does it look like there isn't any wind?

Daniel, a Vareo sailor about my age, says it planes upwind. I wonder how much wind they had for the demo? Looking forward to seeing some video of it sailing upwind.

Finn, who is a young guy who sails a Laser for Ireland, says his first impressions are it's fun and quick and simple.

So far so good…

At the Beach

Can't wait to get to the beach this summer but I will have to ask some of the more artistic people in the family to help me create a 3-D drawing in sand like this one.

The original is in New Zealand and was created by Jamie Harkins with help from fellow artists Lucia Lupf, David Rendu and Constanza Nightingale. Photo by Paul Gibson.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

More RS Aero News

Just a few more snippets of news about the RS Aero I picked up from around the Interwebs. It's not that I'm obsessed about this boat or anything…

You really can stack two RS Aero hulls on top of your car. Much has been made of how light the RS Aero hull is (66 lbs) and the advantages of this for both sailing performance and handling on the land. The hulls are also designed to be stackable. So putting two on your roof rack is a breeze. Ideal for sailing couples? His and hers?

Here is the RS Sailing van all ready to go to some RS Aero demos in Ireland this weekend. (Two RS Aeros on the roof and a new RS400 on the trailer.)

There is already a fleet of RS Aeros racing.  Even though the first production boats in the UK aren't supposed to be available until May, at least three RS Aeros have been racing at Gurnard Sailing Club on the Isle of Wight, according to the race reports and results on the GSC website. The RS Aeros are racing in the GSC medium handicap fleet against Lasers and Laser Radials. Looks like they are using a PY handicap of 1040 for the RS Aero 9 and 1065 for the RS Aero 7 - as compared to 1088 for the Laser.

There is some RS Aero demo happening soon at Hayling Island in the UK, for the trade I'm guessing. George Yioulos, the owner of the well respected dinghy dealership West Coast Sailing in Portland Oregon, has been posting on Dinghy Anarchy about the RS Aero. Apparently he was heading out yesterday to the UK to test sail the RS Aero at Hayling Island and promises reports and videos when he gets back. He had previously posted that he had heard that "some US journos might be invited too." Not sure what all that's about but I expect we will be hearing more in the next few weeks.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

RS Aero Spotlight: Hull

Here is the first of what I expect will be a series of videos from RS Sailing about different aspects of the RS Aero design. This one is about the hull.

I'm not a boat designer so I don't totally understand all the implications of some of the technical details discussed here. Perhaps some of my more expert readers can weigh in on such questions as….

Does a long chine really make the boat extremely stable on all points of sailing? And what do they mean by stability? It's easy to steer it in a straight line or it's hard to capsize it?

Does the fact that a heavier person won't have much more wetted surface than a light person mean that the boat will be almost as fast in light airs for a heavy sailor? Especially considering he might well be sailing with a larger sail?

Did I hear Jo right? The chine "peels the spray off" which "reduces the spray drag on the topsides"? I had never heard of spray drag on topsides before. Is that a euphemism for "waves smashing into the sailor's head is not fast"? Does this mean it will be a drier ride than a Laser?

What's the significance of that point about planing with the bow high "keeps a very safe manner of sailing for all skills"? It won't capsize very easily on a reach? The bow won't dig into the waves downwind?

Spot any other interesting features about the boat?

Any idea where this video was shot?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Scow Friday

Could that be Baydog on the left. Gee whiz it sure looks like him.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Moose on the Loose Half Marathon 2014

I didn't really plan to run the Moose on the Loose Half Marathon in Nashua, NH last Sunday. Well, if I did, I didn't tell anybody about it. That post The Trouble with New England was just a hypothetical list of half marathons in every New England state that someone might run if they were crazy enough.

But somehow I found myself in Nashua at 7:30 am on Sunday morning. The race start was scheduled for 9:00 am. I was early. I am always early for running races and sailing regattas. Probably some personality disorder, I guess.

There were plenty of Porta Potties. It's very important to have to have enough porta potties. So I used the facilities and collected my cool Moose on the Loose shirt and my cool Moose on the Loose pint glass. The pint glasses were really for awards but as I never win awards at running races (well hardly ever) I had paid a bit extra at registration to get a cool Moose on the Loose pint glass. I went back to my car and called my wife and waited for the start.

And then it started to rain. The weather forecast all week had said that Sunday would be a beautiful sunny cool day, perfect for running. But the night before the race the evil weather forecasters changed the plan and said it would be a miserable rainy cold day, awful for running. I dug out my hat and my rain jacket from my bag.

I chatted to some other runners before the start as we sheltered under a tree from the rain. One couple told me some story about how they had been running half marathons all winter including one when it was 6 degrees F. Complete lies of course. Didn't believe a word of it.

The course was absolutely gorgeous. Well, most of it was. Well, it would have been if it hadn't been for the bloody rain.  It was a two lap course, and about three quarters of each lap was in Mine Falls Park. As it says on the Nashua city website…

The name "Mine Falls" derives from the 1700s, when low quality lead was supposedly mined from the island below the falls. In the early 1800s the potential of the Nashua River to drive the wheels of industry was recognized. Workers used shovels and mules to dig the three-mile long canal, which provides a vertical drop of 36 feet at the mills.

So now there is a linear park in the center of the city with a river and a canal and a millpond and all these paths winding along the water with bridges to cross the canal at various points. Spectacular.

Let's talk about my run. My plan, such as it was, was to run the first 8 miles at an easy relaxed pace, speed up a bit for miles 9-12, and go even faster for the final mile. It didn't quite work out like that. I did run the first 8 miles at what felt like an easy relaxed pace. But then when I stepped up the effort I found I was working harder but actually going slightly slower in miles 9-12, and then I was totally knackered (that's a technical running term) so I went even slower in the final mile. Perhaps there is something wrong with my training program? Oh yeah, I didn't really finish the half marathon training program. That might be it.

But it was fun.  The scenery made it fun. The other runners made it fun. I enjoyed some light banter with another runner (about half my age) as we kept passing and re-passing each other around the course. I made encouraging sounds at other runners whom I passed in the final few miles. Even though I was knackered they looked even more knackered than I felt.

And all too soon we were at the finish line. That's a lie of course. When you are as slow as me, the finish is never "all too soon." And I was lapped by the winner on the first lap. Yes, the winner (some kid about a third my age) was actually running twice as fast as I was and finished the race before I was even half way round. He'll probably blow his knees out by the time he's my age.

I went over to check the results. I was sixth in my age group!!! Woo hoo!!! And I was the second oldest person in the race and I wasn't last!!! Woo hoo!!! It looked as if they had already done the awards ceremony. That's a measure of how slow I really was. But as I was looking at the results the race director came over to talk to me and he asked me how old I was and when he heard he gave me another cool Moose on the Loose pint mug. Woo hoo!!! And I got a finisher's medal of course.

So I may have been slow but I did have some swag. And, after all, that's what why we run, isn't it? It's all about the swag.

Only bad thing was that I never did see the moose.  Why would that be?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What Keeps Me Young

My grandkids make me laugh.

Isabel (2) was given a new sled towards the end of the winter.
Where is she going today?
Is she looking for snow?
Or does she think it's a boat?

Owen (3) broke his arm this week.
He was very brave at the hospital.
Here he is, having a bath, keeping his cast dry with a bread bag.
A bread bag?

My grandkids make me laugh.

Laughing keeps me young.


Eostre is the Easter beer.

It's a beer of promise and rebirth, spring-like in its zesty flavor.

It's light and hoppy, made from Pale malt and Goldings hops.

I'm sure you know that Eostre was an ancient Goddess of Spring, also known as Ostara.

Her followers celebrated her festival at this time of year, many centuries before the Christians came along and stole her name and changed it into the name for their festival.

When I lived in England, Eostre was traditionally the time that sailing clubs opened their seasons. Both of the clubs that I was a member of there had major regattas for club members on Eostre weekend (which is a 4 day holiday.)

So let's raise a glass of Eostre to Eostre.

Happy Eostre.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Smoke Rise

Lake Kinnelon, Smoke Rise - Kinnelon NJ - 1960

I wasn't there in 1960 but I did sail Sunfish regattas there in the 1990s.

Kinnelon is just up the road from Mountain Lakes in NJ where we lived from 1989-2007 and there was a healthy rivalry between the sailing clubs in the two towns. We used to have an inter-club Sunfish regatta for the two fleets in September every year. It was (and still is I believe) quaintly known as the Triangular Regatta because it originally included a third club who had dropped out of the event by the time I was involved.

Smoke Rise was also often the location for the Sailing Association of New Jersey Lakes Annual Junior Regatta which both my sons won in turn.

Smoke Rise was also the home of the 1969 U.S. National Sailfish Championship. Those boats in the photo are Sailfish I believe. Note the unusual light wind helming technique!

The picture was shamelessly ripped from The Smoke Rise and Kinnelon Blog.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Trouble with New England

The trouble with New England is that it has six states.

And six is just the right (or wrong) number to motivate obsessive compulsive types who like to create artificial challenges for themselves or others. Things like climbing to the highest point in all six states on the same weekend, or skiing in all six states in the same month, or spending a year researching your favorite beer in each of the the six states.

I think I like the sound of that last one the best.

Where was I? Where am I? Oh yes, artificial challenges.

The Rhode Island Runners Club likes those. One of their annual awards, the New England Cup, is for any member who completes a race in all six New England states during the year.

And if you happened to be a member of that club you might get attracted to that challenge.

But if you were one of those aforementioned obsessive compulsive types who likes to create artificial challenges for yourself, you might like to make it a little harder and try and do something nutty like run a half marathon (not just any old race like a 5k or 10k) in each New England state during the year.

God knows there are enough half marathons around these days. Here (as just a hypothetical example you understand) is one way you could run a half marathon in each New England state in 2014.

  • April 13 - Moose on the Loose Half Marathon - Nashua, NH
  • May 11 - Swamp Meadow Covered Bridge Half Marathon - Foster, RI
  • June 8 - Lime Rock Park Half Marathon - Lakeville, CT
  • July 6 - Mad Half Marathon, Mad River Valley, VT
  • Sep 7 - Freeport Half Marathon - Freeport, ME
  • Oct 19 - Fall River Half Marathon - Fall River, MA

Doesn't that look easy? Nicely spaced about a month apart. Missing out August because it's hot and that's a good time to go to the beach or go sailing.

Wait. Did he say "sailing"?

What if our hypothetical obsessive-compulsive runner were also a sailor? A Laser sailor, say. Would he also get the strange idea that it would be fun to sail his Laser in a regatta in every New England state in the same year?

God knows there are enough Laser regattas around these days. Here (as just a hypothetical example you understand) is one way you could sail a Laser in a regatta in each New England state in 2014.

  • May 17 - Connecticut River Dinghy Distance Race, CT
  • May 31 - New Hampshire Seacoast Regatta - Dover, NH
  • June 21/22 - John Bentley Regatta, New Bedford YC - South Dartmouth, MA
  • June 29 - Maine State Championship Series #2 -  Portland, ME
  • July 12/13 - Newport Regatta, RI
  • August 16/17 - Chiott Vermont Laser Open - Colchester, VT

Doesn't that look easy? Nicely spaced through the summer. And, purely by coincidence, none of the regattas are on the same weekend as any of the half marathons on the first list.

And the beauty of (or the trouble with) New England is that there are so many half marathons and Laser regattas in a year that even if our hypothetical running sailor didn't complete one of these events because his grandchildren came to visit him one weekend or it was rainy or cold or too windy or not windy enough one weekend (the wimp)…. then he could always substitute another race or regatta later in the year. Or even do a few more running races or regattas not on the above list just for the hell of it (the wild thing.)

Of course, if he had any sense, our hypothetical obsessive compulsive running sailor wouldn't tell anyone that he was thinking of doing any of the above. Still less would he admit that he had set himself anything weird like a "goal" to do any of the above.

That would be totally bizarre.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Where am I?

Where am I?

What used to be here?

What are some people hoping it will be in future?

Clue #1: Harbor.

Clue #2: The thing that used to be here didn't move very far.

Clue #3: Ten foot.

Clue #4: When is a harbor not a harbor even when it's new?

Clue #5: Why is there a fox in the woods even though there are no woods?

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Internet Dating

Apparently 20% of relationships these days begin online.

I'm not surprised. The Internet is embedded in almost every aspect of our lives these days.

But I'm an old-fashioned guy. I met my current love the old-fashioned way. In the real world. It may not have quite been love at first sight. But it was close. At least for me.

We've been together now for over 30 years. We have been through so much together. Moved to a new country. Traveled the world. Grown old together.

She is even better than when I first met her, but for some reason I feel the need for change. Maybe it's a (late) middle-aged crisis but I'm ready for new experiences.

So I went looking for love online.

And a few weeks ago I think I found it.

Wow. I couldn't believe it when I first saw her details on this website I found. Similar in some ways to my current love but not so heavy and way better looking. Very sexy. There were these fantastic pictures. And video. I was blown away.

The way these dating sites work these days is amazing. You can even read reviews from other people who have already dated your prospective partner. Here is what one of those guys said about her…

She is uncomplicated yet sophisticated, she doesn't take forever to get ready, she goes like a train, she has no vices or annoyances, she is an LMB (Low maintenance Bird) as opposed to an HMB, she won't bite you in the arse or take advantage of you when you make a mistake, she will be easy to live with yet rewarding in the long term. She will make you smile.... every time!

Wow. What a recommendation!

She's from England. Like me. I just know we are going to hit it off.

She is planning to come to America this summer.

So last week I took the plunge and made the commitment. She will come to see me this summer and she has already agreed that if I like her, she will come and move into my place around this time next year.

Yes. I really did it. I bought a boat on the Internet. I put down a deposit on an RS Aero.

What did you think I was talking about?

Monday, April 07, 2014

Pretty Gee Destroyed by Fire

My few remaining readers from 2006 may remember that one of the sailing blogs I used to follow way back then was Adrift at Sea, the story of a guy called Dan Kim and his brand new Telstar trimaran which he named Pretty Gee after his deceased wife.

Adrift at Sea was in fact one of the ten blogs in my Boating Blog Roundup which I posted at the end of March 2006.  I wrote about Dan's accounts of how he was fitting out Pretty Gee and all the voyages he was planning -- all over New England, to the Chesapeake, and to Key West.

That same month March 2006 Dan posted a picture of his trimaran on a day when he went to visit her while she was still being built.

I followed Dan's blog for several years but then the emphasis of the blog changed away from sailing and more to his personal life and feelings, so I haven't been following it lately.

Imagine my shock when I heard a couple of days ago that Pretty Gee was destroyed by fire at the Moby Dick Marina in Fairhaven, MA on March 13 this year. Apparently Dan had been working on the boat and had been using a propane heater while doing so. He left the boat to go to lunch and, while at lunch, he received a call from the Fairhaven Fire Department to say that his boat had burned.

There are accounts of the fire on this forum,  and (with some inaccuracies) on South Coast Today here and here.

Such a sad loss. It was obvious from Dan's blog that he poured so much love and care and effort into his boat, and that he enjoyed so much sharing his sailing experiences with his friends. I hope he finds some way to replace her and is able to get back on the water again soon.

Here is a video from happier days of Dan and some of his friends sailing on Pretty Gee.


Sunday, April 06, 2014

Mud Run and Crazy Train

We are babysitting our three eldest grandchildren this glorious early Spring weekend in Massachusetts, because their parents and the baby went off on a trip to Florida where they are sweltering in the tropical heat and humidity somewhere in a hell-hole of a concrete jungle in alligator country. Some kind of "perk" she scored through her blogging activity. I feel sorry for them, poor bastards.

Anyway, always the good old fun-loving grandparents, we decided to take the three kids on Saturday afternoon to a local playground - the North Attleborough World War 1 Memorial Park aka "the one with the big slide."

Unfortunately it was closed, because the whole park had been taken over for a "mud run challenge." Apparently more than 1100 runners were going to be amusing themselves on a 5k mud run obstacle course, with "25-plus obstacles, including monkey bars, walls of different heights, a sandbag carry and rope climbs."

I had heard of these mud runs before.  After taking the kids to a different playground, when we got home I googled about this and other mud runs. Here are a few sample images that I found….

Doesn't that look like fun?

When my daughter-in-law called in the evening to check on her precious kids I told her all about the mud run. Since giving birth to her fourth child a few months back she has started running again and is now in amazing shape. She has been talking about doing a 5k race so I suggested that we should do this N. Attleborough mud run together next year.

Surprisingly, she didn't sound very enthusiastic.

In fact it sounded as if she thought I was crazy.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Captain Andrew

Grandson Andrew.

Coming up to 6 months old.

I think he's ready to go sailing.