Posts

Showing posts from August, 2015

An annual pilgrimage to Clare Island

Image
Every year, we visit Clare Island primarily because it's an easy sail from our anchorage but also because there is so much to see there.  The Saw Doctors have immortalized the experienced in their song about the place:

Will you meet me on Clare Island Summer stars are in the sky We'll get the ferry out from Roonagh And wave all our cares goodbye And we'll go dancing at the ceili We'll go kissing on the strand Take our clothes off in the moonlight Skinny-dipping hand in hand And we'll start drinking in the twilight Keep it up until the dawn In both the bars Because there's no guards To take our names and send us home.

Lessons in leadership from the sea

Image
Being in charge of your universe by Daria Blackwell


Many people in leadership positions, myself included, assumed their roles by chance. Not thinking of themselves as leaders, they got things done that needed doing. Someone had to step up to keep the ship from foundering. They may not have had all the skills they needed to fulfill their roles effectively at the time, but they had the right attitude. They knew it could be done.


Voyaging with Kids. A guide to family life afloat.

Image
So you made the decision to go cruising with your family to expose them to a richer life at the edge of nature and replete with cultural experience. You just buy a boat, pack up your kids, and shove off, right?  Oh no. How will you provide for their education, feed them in exotic places where the foods are all different, wash diapers and ensure their safety.  Until now, there has been no resource available for families afloat. Thanks to these authors, everything is now about to change.  


Lightning strikes...twice!

Image
by Daria Blackwell

A boat we once owned had the unlikely misfortune of having been struck by lightning twice. She had a dissipator on her mast, her rig was not unusually tall, and she was always moored in a crowded mooring field.  Yet, somehow, the lightning liked her best.

A study published last year in Science (Science 14 November 2014: Vol. 346 no. 6211 pp. 851-854 DOI: 10.1126/science.125910) concluded that lightning strikes are predicted to increase 12 ± 5% per degree Celsius of global warming and about 50% over this century.  With the increase in likelihood of a strike, what do we need to know to protect ourselves and our vessels?

Here are a few things we learned from our experience.

The versatile ketch rig

Image
by Daria Blackwell

When my husband Alex and I decided we wanted to cross oceans, we had certain criteria we wanted to take into account. Chiefly, we wanted a boat that sailed well, was comfortable and safe when crossing oceans and comfortable at anchor as well. After all, we were going to spend more of our time not moving than moving. But when we did move, we might be needing a stable platform in a storm.  That excluded many of the modern production boats, which tend to be beamy and flat. We also decided that we would be looking at ketch rigs. 

Finding a solution for 'Solution'

Image
Our friend, Carter Bacon, had been planning this trip across the Atlantic for years.  His classic yacht, Solution, is a wooden 50 footer built by Nielsen in Maine in 1963.  He entered the Transatlantic Race of 2015 as a means by which to get her across the pond to sail the other side for a while. His wife, Peggy, would join him  in Ireland where her parents had a home; they intended to cruise for a few weeks before bringing her up to Scotland for the winter and next year's cruising.