Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Remembering Candy

Candy - that's what we called my sister Kathryn Therese, born December 14, 1952.
Kathryn lost her battle with addiction to cigarettes a year ago, dying at 62, three days after our mother Clare died at 92.  I had my own struggle with Marlboros, the deadly product perfected by Philip Morris.
I miss my sister terribly - even though she drove me nuts. 
Here are some pictures from 1989-1990. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Salvage Team Boards Modern Express in Bay of Biscay - UPDATE - gCaptain

hoto: Marine Nationale

These guys have got nerve...boarding a ship listing 40 degrees in an attempt to attach a tow line to a salvage tug.  First attempt unsuccessful.  They'll try tomorrow- weather permitting. - gwc

Salvage Team Boards Modern Express in Bay of Biscay - UPDATE - gCaptain

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sunday, January 17, 2016

100-Year-Old Negatives Discovered In Block Of Ice In Antarctica


100-Year-Old Negatives Discovered In Block Of Ice In Antarctica

For the past 100 years, a box of never-before-seen negatives has been preserved in a block of ice in Antarctica. Recently, Conservators of the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust came across the 22 exposed, but unprocessed, cellulose nitrate negatives during an attempt to restore an old exploration hut.

The negatives are believed to be from Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1917 Ross Sea Party, a group that was stranded in the hut during a blizzard when their ship blew out to sea. They were eventually rescued, but the box remained buried until now.

South with Shackleton Solo| TotalBoat Show

Henry Worsley bioDAY 65 | -15°C all day – crazy beautifulShackletonShackleton Story

Why is always the question when people undertake this sort of thing: Henry Worsley trekking solo across the Antarctic landmass.  After a 36 year career in the British Army Henry Worsley (perhaps inspired by the Aussie Frank Worsley a legendary Antarctic explorer) has undertaken that project.  He is halfway across.

Today - Day 65 he has passed the south pole and is moving downhill. He managed 15.5 miles:

In crazy temperatures of just -15°C, Henry spends much of a difficult day shrouded in whiteout and progress is limited as a result. But he does get a taste of proper descent late in the day – and ends up playing cat and mouse with a sledge that’s finally taken to the glide. The pressure is now on to pick up the pace and rack up the mileage each day.Follow him at Shackleton Solo
South with Shackleton | TotalBoat Show

Richard G. Hendrickson, Who Recorded the Weather for 85 Years, Dies at 103

Richard G. Hendrickson, Who Recorded the Weather for 85 Years, Dies at 103
by Margalit Fox
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night could stay Richard G. Hendrickson from the swift completion of his appointed rounds. For 85 years, they were his appointed rounds.
A retired poultry and dairy farmer who died on Jan. 9 at 103, Mr. Hendrickson was the nation’s longest-serving volunteer weather watcher. Twice a day, every day since he was 17, in brash weather and benign, he gathered the data from the small weather station on his property in Bridgehampton, N.Y., on the South Fork of Long Island.
Mr. Hendrickson was a member of the Cooperative Observer Program of what is now the National Weather Service. Established in 1890, the program entails a benevolent network of citizen spies, who serve as the eyes, ears and noses of the federal government as they record high and low temperatures, wind speed and direction, rainfall, snowfall and other statistics on the nation’s coasts, in the mountains, on the prairies and in between.
Their work underpins local and national weather reports, boating and aviation forecasts, flood and hurricane warnings, and emergency preparedness plans of all kinds and, of course, farming.
keep reading

Monday, January 11, 2016

Jeff Armstrong (1951-2016)

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king
I've been up and down and over and out and I know one thing
Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race

Frank Sinatra channeling Jeff Armstrong

My best friend died this morning.  One measure of how good a friend Jeff was is that I'm sure many others flatter themselves with the same thought.  Jeff's best friend and guardian angel Nancy and their kids Kathryn and Gordon know that Jeff loved life and loved them.  We all love life but Jeff loved it more.  Whether at the helm, holding forth in his shop, carving wooden spoons and spatulas for friends and family, with a wrench in his hand, or ringing the bell when he sold another Yamaha outboard motor at Jeff's Marine, he luxuriated in his mock persona as "the pirate of the Midcoast".

When Jeff invited me to join him, his brother Peter, and friends Alex and Steve Pags for a fly fishing expedition to Alaska I realized that I was loved more than I had known.  For seven days we floated down the Lake Creek River from placid beginnings to raging rapids.  As we drifted down river I'd snag a few while Jeff and the others landed dozens as they flicked the lures in front of the noses of salmon and trout struggling  upstream. 
- George

At the source of the Lake Creek River

fishing the rapids

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Building Comanche – The Ocean Going Beast from the East | TotalBoat Show

Building Comanche – The Ocean Going Beast from the East | TotalBoat Show

Now that the gnarly Sydney-Hobart Race has come and gone (See this blog post to fill yourself in on this historic race), with the mighty Comanche winning line honors, we thought it might be fun to look into some of the build of this awesome racing machine. (another video of the build is here) Photographer Onne van der Wal was charged with documenting the build of this amazing super racer and his video above shows a Downeast boat yard (Hodgdon Yachts in Boothbay, Maine)  who took on one of the most impressive high-tech builds in recent history. No stranger to high class yachts, Hodgdon nailed this one in a “Downeast meets Uptown Carbon Fiber” success story.
The successes of Comanche are notable in her young one+ year on the circuit so far. And while she has yet to the the overall winner of any of the major races she has entered (which is her mission), she has set impressive records and made quite an impact on the large end of high-tech carbon fiber race boats. Come aboard for a wet and wild ride for part of the Transatlantic Race from Newport to the UK. Comanche might not have won that race – but she did set a new world record for fastest monohull in a 24 hour period (average of 27 knots! NUTS!) And this video shows how the build of the yacht is vital to staying in one piece, much less surviving massive seas at a rapid clip of 25+ knots. Stressful for any boat, hull, skipper and crew, to say the least.
Comanche, now fresh from her newest ocean endeavor across the world and down under in Australia, suffered some damage to her rudder in the Sydney-Hobart Race, but managed to stay intact during a nasty storm which afflicted the fleet and knocked out many top contenders and much of her competition in the first night.  All this high speed sailing and record setting makes one wonder what it must be like to blast along on a 100-foot maxi monohull. Well, thanks to an ambitious video from “Juggy” on the Comanche crew, you can take a ride and get a feeling for this speedster and the stresses she endured to pick up a record and  line honors in Hobart, Tasmania just a few weeks ago.
HOLD on!  And try to imagine going 27 knots for 24 hours on any other sailboat you have been on. And what that boat might look like after. This – ladies and gentlemen – is why boatbuilding of this nature is not for just any old yard guy. It takes lots of talent, lots ofepoxy and carbon fiber and plenty of the green stuff, too.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Miss Stacy tugboat in trouble fights from getting sucked under bridge - YouTube

Miss Stacy tugboat in trouble fights from getting sucked under bridge - YouTube

Braving the elements on the Tappan Zee Bridge

Braving the Elements Atop the New Tappan Zee Bridge