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Showing posts from 2008

BMW Oracle America's Cup Boat

Great link to video of the new BMW Oracle America's Cup boat: http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=6455028

Why am I here?

Today we got the first real snowstorm of the season.  Of course I have tomorrow off and intended to work on Reboot.  My luck seems to be holding...  Or should I say my lack of luck... I did spend part of today trying to learn to splice double braid line.  I now know how.  It is a lot of work with a high tech line like V-100 that is very stiff.  I may leave the real splices for my new jib and main halyards to people who do this all the time. I do so look forward to Spring!

Woops! Pictures

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According to Aaron Kelly the concrete under the crane gave way.  The crane operator rode the crane all the way into the river.  Then he got to swim back thru the oil and fuel. And, oh by the way, that is Skipper Bud's on the left!

Woops!

From WTMJ - News Radio 620 in Milwaukee: By Dan O'DonnellStory Created: Nov 18, 2008Story Updated: Nov 18, 2008  Crews worked to contain an oil spill Tuesday afternoon after a crane carrying a 25-foot yacht crashed into the river near Skipper Bud's Marina.As much as 90 gallons of diesel fuel and 160 gallons of oil spilled into the river.  Most of it has been contained, and the U.S. Coast guard said the area should be completely cleaned by late Tuesday or early Wednesday.Investigators are still trying to determine precisely what caused the crash.______________________________________________I like the "near Skipper Bud's Marina."  I will nose around, there is nothing near Skipper Bud's that would not be another named marina.  Developing ...

Change in Attitude

Tuesday night at dinner I had an Epiphany!  I realized that after a lifetime of being a conservative that now, at 62, I had become a liberal.  I was now on the dole and could support Obama because he is going to "spread it around" and I will be on the receiving end!  In the morning I realized I wasn't on the dole.  I have contributed all my life to Social Security and if I am lucky the governement will provide me with a 1.25% to 1.5% return on my investment.  I had a second epiphany!  It was only the beer talking! BTW note I said conservative and liberal, not Republican and Democrat!

Southwind Marine Update

I spend most of yesterday at Southwind Marine helping Ken B winterize his boat.  It was a good thing we did as there was ice in his bilge when we started!  And it is only early November!  I did also get a chance to make some progress on sorting Reboot out for the winter. I had a delightful conversation with Brian Reed, the owner of Southwind.  Brian has been making a major investment in Southwind.  Today we watched as the marine construction company vibrated a new metal seawall in place.  Brian explained that the muddy area along the KK river face of Southwind is being converted into finger piers.  This will not only provide new services at Southwind but also clean up a very ugly area of riverfront.  He also told me that the Army Corps of Engineers will be dredging the river.  I will get some pictures of the work in progress when I go down to Southwind next week.

It is soooooooooo cold!

Thank goodness we got all three boats hauled out last weekend.  When I got up this morning it was 32 degress and I don't think it ever got much above 35 all day.  After a miserable spring we now have a very quick transition into winter.  No fair!  I definately have to become a "snow bird" and take the boat South in the winter.  Of course at the moment there are still hurricanes down there, so I guss somewhere around Virgina Beach would be a good spot. Would you believe there are still boats in the water?  They are going to have a very cold trip up the river. Off tomorrow to continue working on getting Reboot ready for winter.

Tis not the season to be jolly!

Could you believe that the local radio stations are playing Christmas music?  Before Halloween?  What is this... Today was the seasonal sad day.  We took Morning Star, a friend's Hunter, up the river yesterday, Reboot today and tomorrow belongs to Why Knot.  On the one hand I don't have to worry about freezing weather and snow.  On the other hand seeing her in her cradle for the winter is just sad.  Amazing that the yard is already pretty full but there are still a far number of boats at McKinley marina. The only unusual part of all of this was the maritime security zone around LCS-1 USS Freedom.  It extends out almost to the marina exit.  Yesterday we got an escort along the breakwall.  Today the Coast Guard just acknowledged we were doing the transit and watched us from a distance.

Death of a business

I stopped by at Inner Harbor Marine the other day to see how it was going.  The store was closed and most of the inventory was gone.  I guess that Aaron has become a victim of the terrible year for boating.  It is always sad to see a small business fail.

USS Freedom (LCS-1) Commissioning

The USS Freedom is the first of a new class of Navy combatant - a "Littoral Combat Ship." With a blue and gold crew of only 40 sailors each on at 300+ foot ship this represents a new level of "minimal crewing." Like SSBN's each crew is on for 4 months at a time, only one crew is manning the ship at a time. Should be interesting to see how they manage to get all the necessary maintenance done with only 40 people! If you have never seen the US Navy commission a ship I strongly recommend you stop by and watch if you are anywhere close to Milwaukee WI on Saturday November 8th at 10 am.

NEXUS Program

I didn't know if I should laugh or cry.  During the long drive home I changed my mind.  I decided that the Canadian and American Customs and Border Patrol personnel implementing the NEXUS program deserve a lot of credit for what they have accomplished. The NEXUS program is a "trusted traveler" program for Canadian and US Citizens.  It's purpose is the expedite the border crossing for "trusted travelers."  I read the background material and decided that since I would be flipping back and forth across the border next summer in Lakes Superior, Huron, Erie and Ontario, not to mention the St. Lawrence Seaway it would be a good credential to acquire.  WIth a NEXUS card I will, according to the web material, be able to use a marine telephone reporting system when I cross the border. I read the NEXUS material on the web site (link is above) and decided to apply.  Since they warn you that it can take several weeks before you are approved I considered this a reasonable…

Chicago - Mac / Bayview Mac Lessons Learned #2

Pre-race Preparation: Since we tend to either cruise Reboot or race around the buoys I have never really gone from bow to stern checking everything on the boat. I can assure you that Nigel did and he taught me a great deal in the process. First Nigel checked every single connection of every piece of hardware. There were an amazing number of loose items. They all got tightened. Then anything that could snag anything got taped. Anything that could pop open at the wrong moment got tied down with tie wraps. Then Nigel went on to lubricate everything that moved. (I lubricated myself with a beer - it was hot that day!) In the course of checking the moving parts Nigel discovered that the traveler bearings were worn (some) and missing (most.) Once in port at Port Huron he was able to locate replacement bearings and install them. It was amazing how much easier the traveler works when the sheaves have bearings! It turned out to really matter as we were doing a lot of traveler work in very he…

Chicago - Mac / Bayview Mac Lessons Learned #1

Over the course of the next few days I will be blogging on lessons learned in our 22 days "before the mast." OK, Henry Dana did 2 years, but who is counting. Today - Lessons Learned from Sue... First, because it was so extraordinary, I learned it is possible to eat well at sea. Sue took responsibility for the provisioning and the food preparation. She placed a strong emphasis on fresh foods rather than prepared, something I don't even do at home. In the course of her cooking we learned a couple of things: 1) You have to have fiddles to hold the pots on the stove - I have them somewhere, but they really need to get back on the boat. 2) We suffered from not having a tea kettle to boil water. We used an open pan and were constantly spilling water while trying to pour. 3) Know the limit of the stove's ability to tilt. We would race at a greater heeling angle than the stove could swing (see fiddles, above!) 4) Understand the stove's balance. I had never used the ove…

Wild Goose

I met up with Glyn at the MAST post race pizza party last night and got myself a ride today on Glyn's Soverel Wild Goose. With a displacement of 3900 lbs the boat is about as different from Reboot as one can imagine. Very tender (in other words it heals over very easily) and very light it accelerates in seconds compared to Reboot's minutes. We did a series of three windward leeward races (2 laps) in conditions to keep everyone on their toes. At the start the wind was blowing about 10 knots true, in midcourse about 3 knots true, and at the windward mark about 18 - 20 knots in gusts. We were further challenged by the fact that this particular crew had never sailed much less raced together at any time in the past. The results - 2, 2, 1. Sounds pretty good don't you think? Unfortunately there were only two boats in our division! As always it was not about doing things right, but rather not doing things wrong. We missed some sets and got ourselves all tangled up in ou…

Back to Blogging

We are back from the Bayview and Chicago Mac races. We have been moving into a new place and have not had much Internet connectivity. We expect to get full Internet service back today, so we will be blogging again with stories from the races and lessons learned. Stay tuned!

Transiting Home

We apparently did well in the Chicago - Mac. We have not seen the official results. At the moment Ed and I are transiting Reboot back to Milwaukee.

Off to the Races

In rain, of course! Wish us luck

Chicago - Mackinac Race Tracking is up!

We have our transponder on board and operating. You can now track our progress until the end of the Chicago - Mackinac race. The link is: http://charthorizon.com/races/2008_chicago_mackinac/htdocs/ We are in Cruising Division - Cruising Section 1 with a start time of 10:10 CDT tomorrow, Saturday, July 19th. Our section is Crus_01. These are the boats that are closest to Reboot in performance. There are 23 boats in our section. Of particular interest to me are two boats: Final Diversion owned by Joseph Haas and Wejamin owned by Ron/Lynn McLaughlin. Joseph Haas was the previous owner of Reboot. He had named her Diversion III.Wejamin is an older Catalina 42 (a Mark I) of a slightly different configuration. The handicaps indicate that she should be a little bit faster than Reboot. Nigel has done a lot of great work tuning the rig on Reboot so we will hopefully see the benefits of his work starting tomorrow morning. What does one do the day before the big race? One would expe…

Chicago Bound

It is about 1:30 a.m. on Friday morning as I write. We are on our way to Chicago with a crew of three. Ed foolishly called his office and got stuck fixing a problem He will be back with us tomorrow or Saturday for the race. We are motoring again as the wind is once more in our face and we are positioning the boat for the Chicago - Mackinac race. More tomorrow from Chicago!Roger

Transiting - Thurday Morning

After a long night of motoring we are back in Milwaukee for a couple of hours. We shove off for Chicago and the Chicago - Mackinac race later today.

Transiting - Wednesday Morning

We have been working our way to Chicago from Mackinac Island. We started with strong winds in our face and 2 to 4 foot waves. When we turned the corner to head south in Lake Michigan the wind obligingly changed so that it could remain in our face. The waves also complied with the program! We stopped in Charlevoix MI for fuel, a pump out, and water. We only made it in as far as Round Lake as the necessary services were available there. Coming up the Pine River (Lake Charlevoix was once called Pine Lake until they denuded the area of pine trees) we had to wait for a scheduled bridge opening. With 20 knots of wind and 3 knots of current trying to push us onto the bridge we just tied up to the break wall and waited. When the bridge opened we proceeded thru and motored over to the fuel dock. Charlevoix is very pretty, the homes around Round Lake were beautiful. It shows its heritage as a big resort area starting in the 1920’s. Paying attention to the bridge schedule we only spen…

Bayview - Mackinac Summary

We are here on Mackinac Island. We arrived at about 5:40 this morning. Our elapsed time for the race was about 41 hours which put us in 13th place out of 16 boats in our division. We had obviously hoped to do better but this was our first Bayview - Mackinac race. The race was fast, wet and cold. We started in a local squall and downpour and spent most of the first day with the main reefed and high winds. We would get Reboot set up with one or two reefs and then the wind would die. We would shake out the reefs and the wind would come back up. We are all pretty tired from the constant sail work. Two events reminded us that this sport has its dangers. The first night the foredeck guy from one of the boats was thrown overboard and dragged for about 1/2 hour. We listened to the radio transmissions and watched the Coast Guard first bring a helo and then a cutter to try to get him out of the water. They were ultimately successful and he is still alive and in the hospital in Alpin…

Going Dark

We will be heading down the Black River and up the St Clair River to Lake Huron to start the Bayview - Mac race in the next few minutes. By race rules we will not be able to receive communications "not generally available to everyone" until after we finish the race. We will blog you from the Pink Pony!

OceanGrafix Charts

We received our OceanGrafix print on demand NOAA charts for the race yesterday. They are beautiful. They have been updated to the last Notice to Mariners and printed on water resistant paper. We will use them as our master race plotting charts. Thanks to the folks at OceanGrafix and JeneLeiner of the Cypress Group for setting us up with such beautiful navigation and safety tools.

At long last A/C

Ed finally decided that he was so hot that he would take another shot at fixing the air conditioning on the boat. And, guess what? Once he set his mind to it he found the fault, a blown circuit breaker that would not reset. We are now truly enjoying one of the major benefits of being on a cruising boat - air conditioning. As the world sweats around us the temperature inside is slowly dropping. The best part is that we are also drying Reboot out at the same time. Tonight is "boat night." We are parked right outside the Budweiser beer tent for what is supposed to be the biggest party night in Port Huron. We all pretty much expect to be in bed pretty early as we have an early start in the morning. It remains to be seen if the party people will make it at all possible to sleep. We got the Sailing Instructions today and found out that the Cruising "B" class start is 12:20 EDT tomorrow. The start line is about 4 miles north of the Blue Water bridge. Our class…

Thursday

Today was sunny and quite warm. We continued to spend the day sorting the boat with a great deal of emphasis on getting the rig tune correct. Boats are starting to arrive on a constant basis, we are now the inner boat of a three boat raft and there are rafts both in front and behind us. Port Huron makes a big event of the race with Sailboat Days. We are tied up right across from the Beer Tent! We have not actually been over there, but they have a very nice and quite mellow band playing this evening. The quay was packed with people all afternoon and evening and there is a continuous stream of powerboat traffic up and down the river. A thunderstorm just rolled in so it is now raining but still quite warm. Not the most desirable sleeping conditions but we expect that the temperature will drop over the next half hour or so. Tomorrow we have to wrap up all our tuning and start focusing on race tactics - do we go up the center of the lake or some other path. We will be looking at…

Working things out

After about 500 sea miles over the past few days we have learned a lot about the rig - forestay tension, little wiggles in the mast that need to be made straight, stuff like that. It is a beautiful sunny day in Port Huron on the Black River and we have started the day working on the rig. Of course we did hit two (count them two!) swarms of flies while transiting so the inside of Reboot is filled with bug bodies. That means everything out of the boat and on to shore while we scrub and clean the inside. Sue is off to the Laundromat to get some cleaning done while we work on the boat. Clean clothing will be very nice for the race. It probably sounds pretty domestic, but the days before the race always have a lot of scrub, clean, and make last minute adjustments as the agenda. Then all that goes by the boards as we focus on going fast! More later tonight.

On the Black River

We pulled into the Black River in Port Huron at sunset today. Some of the race boats are already in town but the city really rolled up the sidewalks by 10 pm. I was remined that I have been here before with my family in our Catalina 30. It does bring back memories. We now have a couple of days to recharge and get ready for the race

Last Legs

We woke this morning and refueled. We are currently heading down Lake Huron to the Blue Water Bridge and the Black River. The weather is a bit overcast but the wind is off the land and warm so I am in shorts and a fleece. The fleece is necessary as the apparent wind is blowing about 20 knots. Don't forget you can follow us at http://shiptrak.org call sign W2ZDB.Roger

Long Day

We have been transiting the mouth of Saginaw Bay for what seems all day (it has been all day!) In fact we have been transiting the mouth of Saginaw Bay all day. The wind has been very variable. Thunderstorms have been parading thru. And we have been trying to go directly into the wind the entire time. Our English crew claim the weather is just like the channel (that would be the English Channel.)We hope to make along the Michigan Coast late tonight and refuel and get some good sleep. We will let you know how it works out.Roger

Slogging and the Nordmeer

We are slogging directly into the wind heading south toward Port Huron. We have a single reef in the main and can not fly the jib. We have chosen to use the engine rather than tack over to Canada and back as we are more concerned about getting in position for the race than the fine points of sailing. I woke this morning (actually, several times during the night for ship sighting and course changes - the joys of being a Captain!) to see the wreck of the Nordmeer. I am now sure that 14 years ago it was a commercial vessel and not the Nordmeer that took down our forestay. The one joy of using the engine is we have abundant hot water so we all took showers this morning. That is one advantage of being on a cruising boat. Later.

Heading South in Lake Huron

We passed thru Mackinac today. We are southbound under motor in Lake Huron near Thunder Bay. The wind is very light and directly in our face with light rain and thunderstorms in the area. We will pass near the site where the our first Reboot, a Catalina 30, was hit by a commercial ship many years ago when my children were very young. We have a parade of commercial vessels coming north and passing us. About an hour ago a sailboat under spinnaker came ghosting by heading North.

Mackinac Bridge

We are in sight of the Mackinac Bridge. We will be in Lake Huron by afternoon! Looking good, but the forecast for tonight is thundershowers. Ugh.

In the Manitou Passage

A beautiful dawn finds us half way thru the Manitou Passage on our way North. Most of the trip so far has been downwind with mild weather and cool but not cold nights. We have done about 200 nautical miles so far. Later today we expect to pass into Lake Huron. Last night about 2300 a larger sailboat ghosted by and was out of sight in 30 minutes. We think it must be another competitor.

Off Racing

We are off to do the Bayview and Chicago - Mac Races. You can follow our progress at these web sites: http://shiptrak.org – our call sign is W2ZDB http://www.byc.com/mack/ (For the Bayview – Mac starting July 12th) http://chicagoyachtclub.org/racetomackinac/ (For the Chicago – Mac starting July 19th) We will also try to do some blogging while on the way!

Any day on the water

Is a good day, even if you don't leave the dock. Ferd came up and we got the masthead sorted out: new chocker for the jib sheet; the new masthead wind instrument; and we got the TV antenna that was making the wind instruments read wrong down. Only a few more days until we set sail for the Chicago and Bayview races

Bang

We had to work on Friday night so once again missed the MAST Race. It turns out that we may have been fortunate. All of the GP boats were apparently quite close together at the mark and there was some boat to boat contact that resulted in one competitor being de-masted. Not good. I also heard that there were two de-mastings at the Chicago NOOD races the same day. I guess it is a good time to be a rigger.

Father's Day Sail!

Finally! We worked on Reboot for a bit on Father's day. We then went up the very dirty Milwaukee River (the sludge being pushed downstream from the heavy rains is amazing) for dinner. On the way back the winds were just perfect so we popped the jib after clearing the lift bridges and headed out into the Lake. We got the main up and had a very pleasant sunset sail.

FRUSTRATION

It is Friday afternoon, the wind is howling, the rain is beating against the side of the house! It is really hard to keep a sailing blog going when the weather refuses to cooperate! Maybe next week - no MAST race tonight - I still have been unable to get the jib down and stitched up. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

The Weather outside is Frightful

Just another ugly spring day in Milwaukee. I have the day off and it is once again raining and cold. Will summer every come? Only about 30 days until we kick off the Bayview - Mackinac and Chicago - Mackinac races. We need a week to position the boat at Port Huron so we will be leaving on the 4th of July. Still a lot to do on Reboot but the weather is so discouraging.

First MAST Race Tonight

The first MAST race is tonight. Given the terrible weather and the fact that Reboot is not ready we will not be there. Bummer!

MAST Racing Reminder

Reminder - the first MAST Race is this Friday night, May 30th. See http://mastracing.org for details.

USCG Aux Flotilla 5-17

Reminder - their next meeting is May 20, 2008 from 1900-2100 hours at The Boldt Company. The address is N21 W23340 Ridgeview Parkway Waukesha, WI 53188 North of I-94 & Hwy F North exit 295 (by American) The phone in the meeting room is 262-446-7160

MAST Skippers Meeting

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A reminder that the MAST Skippers Meeting is tonight (May 14th) at 7 pm at the North Pavilion of McKinley Marina. See you there

New Instruments

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Out with the old and in with the new. We removed our old Raymarine ST-50 instruments and have replaced them with Tackticks. Of course the Tackticks are still not quite right. Why is it never easy?



UK Charity Raft Race - Thanks Nigel and Sue!

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Hi Roger & Co,

Yesterday, Sue and I went down to Plymouth to give moral support to the Allspars racing raft team who were competing in a charity raft race.
As you can see from the pictures, it was more like a sailing submarine !!
As I am not an employee of Allspars, only a sub contractor, I was happily not in the team, although I did the bouyancy calculations for them ( 55% / 45% bouyancy / immersion factor).
I had everyone on the weighing scales after some obvious discrepancies with their DECLARED weights !! ( The original factors were 60% / 40% )

The Offshore and Inshore lifeboats must have been short of business..........even trying to sink a few with fire hoses and their prop wash !!!

After a celebratory drink with the team for third place, the weather cleared up and we then drove to WQB to put the sails onboard Rebel.
Two spinnakers, one genniker, No.1, No.2, No.3, No4, and Storm Jib, headsails...... plus the mainsail.

Regards,
Nigel & Sue.







Fog Story

From Nigel... Hi Roger, Yes, we get fog, but it doesn't stop us racing. In 2005 we were racing to Falmouth in about 25 / 50 yards visibility near the finish line. We were very short handed with a rookie crew and no one spare to man the nav station. There is a large isolated danger mark in the middle of the entrance called " Black Rock "...Unlit and with no sound signals. On the Starboard / eastern side of the entrance there is St Anthony's light and fog horn and Pendennis castle on the Port / western side. The finish line was between the castle side and Black Rock.......And yes you guessed it, we went the WRONG side of the rock !! I thought the fog signal was past amidships when I saw a green conical starboard St Mawes bouy ( Opposite to US bouyage) I then knew exactly where I was, and had to drop the kite and turn around 180 degrees to finish the correct side of the rock. We took our own finish times and those of the TWO other yachts that were chasing us ......all…

Crew Search

A great crew search today at SSYC. In addition, we were reminded that if you are looking for a ride (even if you have limited or no experience) you can show up at either SSYC or MYC on any Wednesday night during race season and they will try to place you on a boat.

USCG Lifeboat Station Update

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We stopped down yesterday and walked over to see how the clearance project was coming. We found that the bridge has now been removed so that work can start on the wall. We also walked around the corner to the "flushing channel" to see if there was any change on the McKinley side of the channel (the other side is the Milwaukee Yacht Club.) Some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Fog!

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Of course the British Isles are famous for fog. We just needed to show Nigel and Sue that we sometimes get fog too!

A Cruising Community Wiki

A Wiki, according to the ultimate Wiki - Wikipedia is "a collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language[1][2]. Wikis are often used to create collaborativewebsites and to power community websites." Welcome to a Wiki for Cruisers created by CruiserLog at http://www.cruiserlog.com/wiki/index.php?title=Cruising_and_Sailing_Wiki_by_CruiserLog Their request: Please become involved in this project - add your information on countries, cruising regions, ports, marinas, immigration and customs procedures, anchorages, personal notes, passage notes and, even correcting spelling or grammatical errors is a great help. This Wiki is for the free use of all cruisers who may follow in your wake, so please contribute to this resource in the true "spirit of cruising" - to freely share information.Visit YOUR Cruising Wiki: http://www.cruiserlog.com/wiki/There is almost no information about Lake M…

Boat Tailors

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On my way South on I94 from Milwaukee to Winthrop Harbor yesterday I happened to notice a sailboat with a winter cover (and a big sign that said "WINTER COVER") on the right hand side of the road. On my way back North I got off in Racine and headed back to Boat Tailors. Walking in who did I find at the sewing machine but John Verbraken who I sail against in the MAST races on Friday nights. I remembered that I had seen John at Strictly Sail Chicago and that he had mentioned he had gone back to work for Rick DeYoung.

Boat Tailors does custom canvas products for boats. (They do not do sails.) They have two trucks for service work and build each product from a template that they create for the specific boat. For more information see their web site at http://canvasforboats.com/

Crew Search Reminder

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Captain looking for crew? Crew looking for a race boat? Reminder, this Saturday from 3 pm to 6 pm at South Shore Yacht Club. http://www.ssyc.org/_Calendar/userfiles/2008%20CrewSrch.pdf

See you there!

Down the KK and into McKinley

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As requested the Railroad Bridge and the KK bridge opened at 10 am. Trevor cast off Reboot in a very dirty river and off I went. This is the second railroad bridge we pass, it only closes when the Circus Train comes to Milwaukee.


The area on the other side of the bridge is the Milwaukee "Inner Harbor." We turn left, head North, turn right and it's under the Hone Bridge.

This takes us down the river to the Outer Harbor. The opening directly in front of the boat is the "center gap" of the breakwall. Beyond is Lake Michigan. But not today, today we turn left again, heading North again until:

The Entrance to McKinley Marina. The lights on both the Port and Starboard marks are powered by photocells and are out about 50% of the time. The center red light on the breakwall visable through the gap always works. Makes it fun sometimes! Its great there is a red light. Too bad its the wrong one!Heading down the lane between "F" dock and "E" dock. Our slip …

Milwaukee Bay Women’s Sailing Organization Fleet Update

Nearly fifty women sailors from the Milwaukee area gathered at South Shore Yacht Club on April 8th for MBWSO’s Spring Meeting, making it one of MBWSO’s best-attended meetings ever. As further indication of the strong season to come, MBWSO is able to announce the addition of three new skippers to its fleet: Wendy Olson from Milwaukee Yacht Club will skipper the B-25, “Thunder”, this season. Wendy is an experienced scow sailor, and will be bringing out a number of inland lakes sailors to experience Lake Michigan. Laura Livermore will skipper “Wild Goose”, a Soverel 27 well-known in the Friday evening MAST series on Milwaukee Bay. Laura’s crew also comes from the large group of talented MAST sailors. Angie Klemm, who previously competed in the MBWSO series on the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center’s J-24, “Taxi”, has made the leap into boat ownership and becoming a race skipper. She will be helming the T-10 “Eclipse” this season. (Janice Shoman, who previously skippered “Eclipse”…

Yesterday and Today

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It took 5 hours but they finally got Reboot into the water yesterday. We missed our 6 pm bridge reservation so we reset it for this morning (the railroad bridge only opens with a reservation, since the Kinnickinnic River is normally only traveled to put boats in and out of storage and most powerboats don't need the bridge to open it is not considered a big deal.) This morning we will be going down the river to McKinley Marina, Reboot's summer home.

USCG Auxiliary

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When I am down working on Reboot I frequently run into other sailors and boaters. Since talking is a lot more fun than working I like to strike up a conversation when I can.

A couple of days ago I ran into David Johnsen. He is the current Flotilla Commander of the USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 5-17 in Waukesha. We chatted a bit about the local Coast Guard Flotillas and David dropped that 5-17 is actively looking for new members. Also on their agenda for the summer is to get more visibility on the inland Wisconsin lakes rather than just focusing on Lake Michigan. I was also told that it didn't matter that I didn't own a powerboat, I was still welcome.


The Flotilla maintains a web site at: http://a0950517.uscgaux.info/ and has an extensive list of activities, classes, and opportunities available. Perhaps I will see you at one of them!

Tax Day in the US

They tell me taxes are the "price of freedom." I am feeling very free. Perhaps even more free than last year. Sure does not put me in the mood to blog. Night!

Pirates Again - off Trinadad

From the CruiserLog web site - not confirmed - but these kinds of posts are usually accurate. “ Hello V..,Well, I took a plunge and am on the boat with Richard. We left Trinidad on the March 28th [2008]. Well, you are not going to believe what happened in a million years. Twenty five miles out of Boca, by the oil platforms, we got attacked and shot at by pirates!!!!! We saw the pirogue on the horizon hours before, wondering what they are doing way out. Well they came by on the port side, I guess to check out how many people are on board. He has bamboo fishing rods on each side of the boat, as they came by and turned around at the back of the boat I was yelling watch out for the line, and Richard is going below gesturing for them to move on. They did wave as they went by. There was 6 of them, clean cut and young. Three honking outboards, from Venezuela. I was at the tiller, now they are on the port side again and I see five of them have guns in their laps. I am still not registering. …

Naval Academy Cuts Back Sailing Program

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The USNA is cutting back its sailing program for midshipment. The new Superintendent feels that spending the time with the fleet is better training. Two contrarian views (three, it you count me.) After thirty years in the Navy I know that an extra few weeks during college (which is what the Naval Academy really is first and foremost) isn't going to make a hill of beans of a difference to the fleet, but it will rob the Midshipment of some great lessons and memories.



Sad.Link 1: http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/2008/04_13-59/TOPLink 2: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/05/AR2008040502069.html

Don't detain pirates - bad things might happen to them!

Pretty amazing stuff: "THE Royal Navy, once the scourge of brigands on the high seas, has been told by the Foreign Office not to detain pirates because doing so may breach their human rights." The rest of the article is here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3736239.ece

Some Pirates Captured - Some money recovered

From the AP: France: Hostages Held Off Somalia Freed By ANGELA DOLAND Associated Press Writer1:36 PM CDT, April 11, 2008 PARIS - Helicopter-borne French troops swooped in on Somali pirates Friday after they freed 30 hostages from a yacht, seizing six of the hijackers and recovering sacks of money -- apparently ransom paid by the ship's owners.The pirates boarded the 288-foot French luxury yacht Le Ponant a week ago, capturing its crew -- 22 of whom were French -- off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden. Pirates seized more than two dozen vessels off the Somali coast last year, mostly in hopes of securing ransoms.Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin, the chief of staff of France's armed forces, said the pirates released the hostages after negotiations with the ship's owner. That phase of the operation was calm, with no weapons fired, he said. The hostages were brought smoothly to safely and the pirates went ashore.Once the pirates were on Somali territory, a French attack hel…

French Yacht - 6 pirates captured

French Yacht Crew Freed

Ponant Hijack (French Yacht)

The best coverage I have found of the hijacked French Yacht is here: http://observers.france24.com/en/comment/reply/14930 Apparently the boat is at anchor off the coast of Somolia and being resupplied from shore.

Sailing Club at UWM

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Now that sailing season is almost on us the various local clubs are updating their web sites. As they do we are adding them to our links on the right. Here is the link to the Sailing Club at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee: http://www.uwm.edu/StudentOrg/sailclub/index.html Perhaps the most important thing to realize is that membership in the Sailing Club at UWM is not restricted to members of the UWM community, but rather is open to the general public. Their fleet consists of 7 ynglings and 1 or 3 solings depending on which part of their web site you believe. The fleet is kept at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center.

US Army Corps of Engineers - Detroit District

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This is the link to the US Army Corps of Engineers - Detroit District: http://www.lre.usace.army.mil/index.cfm?chn_ID=1383&lake_id=2

Why do you care? Because they monitor the lake levels in the Great Lakes!

Lots of other interesting stuff on their web site too.

Lake Michigan Yachting Association

Who is the Lake Michigan Yachting Association? They are an association of yacht clubs on Lake Michigan. They also provide individual memberships. Of most interest to me on this site was the link to all of the yacht clubs on Lake Michigan. It is a long list. Their web site is http://www.lmya.net/ Now if you go to the bottom of the first page you will note that the site has not been edited since 2005. And if you link to MAST from the Wisconsin Clubs page you will find the MAST web site that was retired several years ago. Great fun. I wonder what else a little exploring will find?

Waukesha Cruise Fleet

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Powerboater? I found another Milwaukee (OK, Waukesha) Yacht Club while killing time at the 76th Street Milwaukee West Marine. This is the burgee for the Waukesha Cruise Fleet. Their web site is at http://www.waukeshacruisefleet.com/ They have been in existence for over 50 years. Interested in membership? The requirements, from their web site are:"To be a member of the Waukesha Cruise Fleet, you must...- Have a desire to have fun- Have a boat equipped to pass club requirements- Have a boat equipped to pass Coast Guard requirements- Have a desire to learn- Have a desire to participate in Waukesha Cruise Fleet activities- Have a desire to explore new boating horizons"Give them a look. Tell them I sent you!

Milwaukee Harbor Yacht Club

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As I mentioned I was wandering around West Marine waiting for the boys and came across a flyer for the Milwaukee Harbor Yacht Club. Their web site is at http://www.mhyc.org/ and in my effort to have a "hotlink" to every Milwaukee sailing organization they have been added to the quick links down and to the right. The Milwaukee Harbor Yacht Club is a power boater club but we can forgive them for that. After all, some day I may just be too old to sail. More importantly, some day I may need one of them to power out and rescue me! So if you are a local power boater check them out!

West Marine - Spring Boat Prep

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When I stopped by the 76th Street Milwaukee WI West Marine store the other day to pick up the boys they were in the process of helping some customers and then closing the store for the night. Aimlessly wandering around I happened on a stack of these brochures: "Your Guide To Spring Boat Prep." Its a nice little 12 page reminder - long on advice and short on buy this stuff from us. It is free - you might want to pick one up next time you stop in.

I think I am pretty good at this stuff but I am always reminded that having a checklist doesn't hurt.

Update on Pirate Attack (2)

Port Washington (WI) Pirate Festival

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WALK THE PLANK! The 2008 Port Washington (Wisconsin) Pirate Festival runs from Friday June 6th at 6 pm thru Sunday June 8th at 5 pm. There will be a parade on Sunday June 8th at noon, fireworks on Saturday night at 9:30 and live entertainment. See the web site at http://www.portpiratefestival.com/index.html There were about 20,000 people at the 2007 event. This event is run by volunteers and sponsored by local businesses. If you want to help out rather than just attend you can volunteer on the web page above. Enjoy!

Update on Pirate Attack

Apparently the ship has stopped to take on provisions and is being tracked by a French Navy vessel. http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2008/04/06/5210316-ap.html

New West Marine Clerk

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If you can't talk to one, why not talk to the other? Yes, Spencer, my younger son has joined Trevor at West Marine for the summer. Spencer still has a few more weeks of the spring semester at UW-Madison to go but you may start seeing him on weekends and certainly during the week this summer.

Boat Blue - the Clean Boating Act of 2008

Reminder - if you have not already done it, get over to http://www.boatblue.org/takeaction.aspx and send your Senators a message of support for S. 2766 the "Clean Boating Act of 2008." There is a lot more information on the site which is sponsored by the National Marine Manufacturers Assocation and Boat US. DO IT NOW!

Pirates - for real!

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Pirates take French Yacht Crew hostage: http://www.adetocqueville.com/200804041533.m34fxbs01657.htm Another link - pretty much the same information: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080404/ap_on_re_af/somalia_pirate_attack

More Sailing Blogs

Another great site with lots of sailing blogs: http://blog.mailasail.com/ I like the location maps that show you where these various boats are. Enjoy

Sailing Blogs

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We know you like reading sailing blogs. At least you like reading this sailing (mostly) blog. And we do have links to other sailing blogs on our right side (down near the bottom.) But how would you like a link to what I am betting are hundreds of sailing blogs indexed by boat name? And even better, how would you like an index that includes the last time the blog was updated so you are not searching through blogs that have never been updated or were created and never used.

Do we have the place for you: http://www.sailblogs.com! Sailblogs.com uses the X-Journal engine created as the expedition support arm of http://webexpeditions.net. Web Expeditions was created by Tim Harincar as a leading site featuring science and adventure expeditions.

Sailbogs is run by Tim Harincar Internet Engineering and we think it is really cool.

MyBoatsGear

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What would you think of a website dedicated to bringing you the latest in boat equipment? Might be a lot of fun. Mike Hobson has founded My Boats Gear after seeing many potentially popular products go almost unnoticed. I think it is a pretty cool idea so we are adding it to our useful links bar.

One of the fun forms of "gear" at MyBoatsGear is boating oriented web sites including the Boating Websites: Website of the Week.

Mosey on over: http://www.myboatsgear.com/

Foncia Capsize

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Local fisherman Gilles Martin snaps a photo of the 60ft trimaran Foncia as it capsizes off Lorient with Alinghi sailors on board.
Wow - I bet that hurt!More information including some video can be found here: http://www.alinghi.com/en/news/news/index.php?idIndex=200&idContent=15333

Boatworx Inc shutting down

I had a great conversation with Dan Kaderabek who confirmed that Boatworx Inc in Manitowoc is shutting down. The site has been sold to Tower Tech. Tower Tech is part of Broadwind Energy. Dan may be going out of the boat storage and repair business but I doubt he will be all that far away from the Marine industry. Dan's venture is to continue his biodiesel business. He noted how the cost of fuel will hurt many power boaters this summer. Biodiesel offers a lower cost way of making diesel fuel. We wish him all the luck in the world.

It is Rocket Science

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As more and more of you are talking to Trevor on a frequent basis in his role as Assistant Manager at the 76th Street West Marine I thought you might be interested in his alter-ego: Snipers, Hand of A'dal. Yes it's true, my children play video games. (Of course, so do I!) In his role as "leader" of the Guild "Rocket Science" on the "Uther" server Trevor battles for the Alliance against the Horde several nights per week. You can visit his character sheet here http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Uther&n=Snipers (his main, of course, you had to find his alts by yourself.) Are you good enought to be a Rocket Scientist? The guild is here: http://www.rocketsciencewow.com/ (You might note that Cyberwarrior is not a member - that is because I have been deemed not good enough!

The Other Famous British Rock

View Larger MapThe other famous British Rock ---

What's with the Brits and Rocks?

View Larger Map Have you ever noticed how much the Brits' like to build things on rocks? I followed Nigel's instructions and worked my way down the river from Rebel's mooring. What do I find? Of course - a rock with a bunch of funny looking buildings. Want to bet this belongs to the British Navy? I am sure Nigel will let us know!

Where is Rebel?

View Larger MapWe are looking forward to the Chicago - Mac and the Bayview - Mac with Nigel and Sue. Of course that raises a whole bunch more fun - like where do they keep their boat (Rebel), where do they sail it, and so forth. So - from Nigel: Roger, Yes, this is the place and I've also sent you a Google Earth link that should be right on top of Rebels mooring. It usually takes us about 1.5 hours motoring or sailing down to the Plymouth breakwater which then opens onto the English Channel.......not quite the ocean ?? Lake Michigan is both larger and deeper !! However, a good south-westerly gale has a few thousand miles to wind itself up, before it funnels up the channel. If you follow the river south, you can also have a good look at the naval dockyards and the nuclear submarine base.!! Thus, we don't do day sailing, usually at least a long weekend. We spend the travelling time on the river, setting up the sails etc and then packing everything away again when travelling ba…

US Sailing Mandatory Membership Proposal

Text of the Draft requiring mandatory membership in US Sailing to race.Draft Prescriptions from the Racing Rules Committee to implement Board policy with respect to required membership in US SAILING, plus a comment: 1. Add a new prescription to rule 46 as shown below: 46 Person in Charge; Membership Requirement A boat shall have on board a person in charge designated by the member or organization that entered the boat. See rule 75. US SAILING prescribes that the person in charge and each helmsperson shall be members of us SAILING or their own national authority. However, any person may steer the boat for reasons of safety or briefly while the 'helmsperson performs a necessary task. This prescription does not apply to [insert one of the optional inserts shown below in red], and it does not apply at an event for which the organizing authority has obtained a written waiver of the prescription's requirement from US SAILING. Optional insert # 1 local races Note: Some of the RRC mem…

Reboot - Maybe the Rain Will Help

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Here is a quick picture of Reboot. You can see the Southwind Marine symbol on the building in the back and the snow/ice still on the ground. Hopefully the rain today will get rid of the snow and we can get to pre-launch work later on this week.

While down at Southwind I ran into Bill Emory. Bill was part of the group that brought Merlin back from the West Coast. He tells me that they will be putting it an a building at Southwind to start working on getting it ready for the Mac. He promised me a look and a tour so hopefully that will happen soon.

Lat/Long
43.177539 -87.891697

Wild Goose - getting ready to launch

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My friend and the Race Committee Chair of MAST Glyn Livermore has an interesting strategy for winterizing the engine of Wild Goose - he puts it in the basement of his home. Here Glyn, Joe and I get the engine back down to the Goose for spring launch. Now if the 12 inch thick ice in McKinley Marina would just melt!

North Chicago Naval Station

View Larger Map OK - that is what the signs on Interstate 94 say. But everyone in the Navy knows it as "Great Lakes." On the way back from Crowley's Ed and I stopped by. I needed a replacement sticker for my windshield (the last one went when the windshield was hit by a rock and spider webbed.) While we were there we filled up on gas (actually, it was the third fill up of the day.) We bought $10 in Chicago at $3.74 per gal, then again $10 in Chicago at $3.68 per gal. At Great Lakes it was only $3.32 per gallon. We are paying $3.27 in Milwaukee so it was not that bad. Brad told us that Chicago now has a 10.5% sales tax, the highest in the nation, and that is why gas is so expensive. Anyway, after putting out the "low fuel" light for the third time we went to find the MWR (morale, welfare and recreation) run marina. I had been there once before about 7 years ago and had taken away that it was in pretty rough shape. Well, it still is. But wait, there is a $13 mi…

Crowley's Yacht-a-palooza Report

Ed King and I drove down from Milwaukee for Yacht-a-palooza at Crowley's. We picked up former crew member Brad Boman who has moved to Chicago from Kansas City. He is still not back in Milwaukee where he would be useful but at least he is closer. My take is the Yacht-a-palooza suffers from the success of Strickly Sail. THe Strickly Sail show is such a big deal that Crowley's can't really compete. They had two great bands and some good pork sandwiches. That was fun. There was a very cold wind off the lake so that wasn't fun. Perhaps if we had known more people from the Chicago race crowd it would have been a better time.

Going - going - going - GONE!

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As I drove up Lincoln Memorial Drive this afternoon what to my wondering eyes did I see but a big hole where the United States Coast Guard Lifeboat Station Milwaukee once stood - burned - rotted - fell down - flooded - you get the picture. You actually do, its over there on the left. Anyway it's gone so now the work of fixing the seawall and bridge can begin. We will then be getting a nice new play area where once an eyesore stood. Good job Milwaukee County - it only took 7+ years to get the building down.

Southwind Marine Spring Hours

We stopped down at Southwind Marine today to check on Reboot and the spring business hours so we could start our pre-launch work up. FYI: Sunday 9 am to 3 pm Mon - Tues 8 am to 5 pm Wed - 8 am to 8 pm Thur - Sat 8 am to 5 pm We tentatively launch April 21st! Lots to do, lots to do!

Wednesday Night Offshore NOR

Long post - here it is: Notice and Conditions Of Race ­(NOR) Published 3/21/2008 Wednesday Night Offshore Series (For PHRF Fleet) Wednesdays – May 21, 2008 through August 27, 2008 Hosted byThe Milwaukee Yacht Club, Milwaukee WI www.milwaukeeyc.com 0.0 ORGANIZING AUTHORITY & KEY DATES The Milwaukee Yacht Club Race Committee (MYCRC) shall represent the Milwaukee Yacht Club (MYC) as the Organizing Authority for the MYC Wednesday Night Offshore Series. KEY DATES Entry Deadline for the full PHRF WNOS: Friday May 16 2008 Late entries will be accepted, but the MYC Office shall receive a completed entry 1 day prior to the boat’s first race. A boat will be scored only after a completed entry is received and accepted. 1. RULES­ 1.1 The WNOS will be governed by the rules as defined by The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) for 2005-2008, the rules of Lake Michigan (LM) PHRF, except as any of these are changed by the Notice of Race or the Sailing Instructions. 1.2 Racing Rules will be changed …