Archive for August, 2007

Plastic in the ocean


Cynthia Vanderlip, manager of the State of Hawaii’s Kure Atoll Wildlife Sanctuary, cut open the dead body of a fledgling Laysan albatross (nicknamed “Shed Bird”) to find more than half a pound of plastic in its stomach.

Concentrated on the right are all the items retrieved from inside the bird: Plastic lighters, bottle caps, and other plastics that are carelessly tossed often wind up floating on the ocean surface, where they are occasionally consumed by foraging seabirds and other marine creatures.

[via BoingBoing]

Long weekend – Whup Jamboree

Unknown group sings one our favorite party shanties.  Happy Labor Day — we will be laboring on the new boat!

Mermaid Guitar


Legendary guitar builder Andy Manson, father of Led Zeppelin’s instantly recognisable tripleneck guitar has put his ultimate creation “The Mermaid” up for sale exclusively on, vowing to donate half the proceeds to charity.

Taking just under thee years to build, Andy has decided to sell his work of art to the highest bidder, looking to raise six figures and donate half to charity Harvest Help, an organisation supporting communities in rural Africa, helping them with sustainable farming projects and increasing self-reliance.

Andy said, “As you can imagine, with the time, effort and materials used in her construction, she is worth a considerable sum. As I stand to make a lot of money from her, I want her existence to benefit others—not just myself and the winning bidder. Naturally, I would love to see her go to a guitar player though.”


Norseboat News from Natsiq


Hello David,

Here are some pics showing “Natsiq”, our n°43 Norseboat sailing in France.
We did appreciate how the Norseboat’s hull goes easily (keeping us dry) through the waves (up to 1m, when speedy huge motorboats cross our ride), around Med’ coast.
You can post some as you like in your nice website: “Neversealand”.
You can view some other in “” (go to “récentes navigations”, “photos”, “2 Norseboats en Méditerranée”): [link] we went sailing with Norseboat n°54 along French Riviera “Côte d’Azur”.
Did you sail your Norseboat this Summer?

Take care,
from south of France.

Thanks for the pictures, Charles!  I am glad you are having fun.  Indeed, I find that the Norseboat’s excellent ability to handle steep chop and boat wakes is one of it’s most practical features.  

This has been the summer of rowing for Searaven, and the centerboard has been out of her as part of an upgrade.  On older Norseboats, the centerboard is a bit loose in the trunk and when the wind is slack and the boat is rolling it bangs and makes the trunk flex, and one worries about the trunk-floor joint.  I understand these problems have been fixed now, but this summer we took out the centerboard, hogged out a big space and made a lead weight to make the centerboard heavier.  What we didn’t know was that the centerboard is itself filled with a kind of putty that has small lead pellets in it.   The lead weight (about 12 lbs, 5 kg) was epoxied in place, faired and painted.  I made some clamps so that the forward thwart can be fixed to the rails, and there are angle irons on the bottom of the thwart that keep the trunk from flexing.  All this strengthening was with an eye toward accomplishing my long-time dream of sailing Searaven from Santa Cruz to Monterey, 22 nm across the open ocean.   

More pictures of Natsiq:





Click the picture below to see a large gallery of two Norseboats sailing the Med — fantastic!  The parent page for other photo galleries is here.


Today’s mermaid


Pirate wenches of the day


Today’s mermaid


Pirate Jenny – Black Flag

Pirate Jenny raises a Black Flag at Berbatti’s Pan, Portland, 1999.

This is not my favorite song of theirs, but it is the only video I could find on the web from The Greatest Pirate Band Ever.

Ulua Progress

Setting up molds.  Note alignment string contraption. 

Station molds on strong back.  Unfortunately, alignment string contraption is not stiff enough and drifted out of true.  So I will start over with some improvements, and also use a jig to hold the plumb bob in place as I work.  It will probably be better to make the string holder so that the stems can be faired with battens without taking the string down.

Ulua progress has been a bit slow, owing to weekends taken up with rowing (around Alameda in a windstorm),  sailing and fishing, completing some projects on the Searaven, and procrastination.  The molds are up though, and I hope to have everything aligned and the hull planked through Labor Day Weekend, since the following weekend I will be at the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend.

Other progress

  • Fabricated inner stems from mahogany
  • Purchased ash and mahogany for i’akos
  • Purchased doug fir for boom
  • Puchased foam, fiberglass, and epoxy from Fiberglass Hawaii for hull sheathing and ama
  • Purchased windsurf board mast (Fiberspar 3200 460)
  • Received quote from sailmaker (Halsey Lidgard in San Mateo)


  • Buy and install bandsaw.  Table saw/jig saw not enough!
  • Fair stems with spokeshave
  • Complete mold alignment
  • Plank hull

A cure for Hump Day

Pirate performers The Musical Blades invite you to Drink, Drink, Drink.  I heard these guys first on Bilgemunky Radio, they are really great! 

Today’s animated gif mermaids


Pirate wench of the day


OK, it is a cheapo Hallowe’en costume, so shoot me.

Heavy Seas


Dark Roasted Blend as a terrific two-part article with pics galore of ships battling stormy seas.  Very scary!

Links open in separate windows

Simply adorable

Click to embiggen

The new Norseboat 12.5 has been announced!  She is a cute baby sister to the standard 17.5′ model.   You can vote for her in SAIL’s boat-of-the-year contest here.

Today’s mermaid