Showing posts from April, 2016

Stress release

When on occasion I speculate aloud where we would be if we had stayed in America, Alex always interjects with, "We'd be dead or worse." And I know it to be true. Our health was suffering. The stress really did take a lot out of us. Knotted muscles pulled spines out of alignment, acid ate away at our organs, and blood pressure increased with each passing day. Since living here in Ireland, we've managed to decrease our stress level significantly.

Which anchor sets and holds best?

Anchor Video Series by s/v Panope
A recent series of anchor tests bears mention. Steve Goodwin from s/v Panope has created a series of videos in which he set out to answer questions he has always had about anchoring. He wondered what happened when he dropped an anchor to the bottom and what happened when the wind shifted or current reversed. Would the anchor hold, would it flip around and reset, or would it just pull out?

How "messing about in boats" came to life

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame The Wind in the Willows is a classic, particularly for anyone who loves boats.  The oft quoted story is a mantra for boaters: “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” If you have a chance to visit Henley in the UK, go to the Rowing Museum where they have an amazing exhibit of scenes from the book in diorama style. Some are larger than life sized, others are miniatures. Do the audio tour and hear the story come to life before your eyes. It's well worth the time.

The OCC in Henley, day 3: Farewells and Lay Days

On Sunday morning, the breakfast hall was full of chatter as everyone convened for yet another round. Many people were heading home that day, and only a few stragglers were staying behind. There was pandemonium in the lobby as everyone tried to check out by 9 am, the earliest check out anyone had ever heard of.  But groups had formed in the dining hall and last minute questions, future plans, and pressing issues were discussed.

"I need to Skype with you this week,"  was a common theme for Committee members. "We're sailing from Iceland to Greenland in June. Do you have any advice?"  "We've got a full set of charts for Norway if you need them."  These were snippets of conversations floating in the air.

The OCC in Henley, day 2: The AGM and Awards Dinner

The next morning, we awoke to no hot water in the hotel wing at Greenlands. No worries. Intrepid sailors know what that's like and the chatter at breakfast continued until people scattered to various activities. Dick and Suzie Guckel, Daria and Alex Blackwell and chauffeur (and still Commodore at the time) John Franklin headed over to the Chiltern Valley Brewery and Winery. We spent two hours learning about viticulture, viniculture and beer making as well as tasting wines, beers, and liqueurs. What fun! We learned a lot and we found ourselves giggling and wondering how the AGM would fare later in the afternoon.

The Ocean Cruising Club Heads to Henley: Day 1

The Ocean Cruising Club held its AGM and Annual Awards Dinner in Henley-on-Thames this year. In previous years it had been held in London, the last two aboard the HQS Wellington -- a very nice venue. But this year, instead of just a one-day affair, it was stretched into a weekend event. People started arriving throughout the day on Friday in time for an informal Sea Shanty supper.

Radio Activated Sound Signal (MRASS) Fog Horns

Mariner Radio Activated Sound Signal (MRASS) is being installed at lighthouses in fog prone areas like New England, the Pacific Coast, and the Great Lakes to assist mariners in navigating in fog. The system requires the use of a VHF radio to activate the foghorns via radio signal.

Book and Lecture Series Promoting Ireland's Segment of the Cool Route - Sail Cool Route

Book and Lecture Series Promoting Ireland's Segment of the Cool Route - Sail Cool Route: Thanks to Daria and Alex Blackwell for submitting this article for the newsletter Seminar on Cruising Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way with the Cruising Association a Big Success in London, England The Seminar on Cruising Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way presented by cruising sailors Daria and Alex Blackwell at the Cruising Association Headquarters at Limehouse Basin in …