Archive for October, 2008

Oh, mama.

Speedboat Virgin Money during their recent, abortive attempt to beat the New York to UK transatlantic record.

Happy Hallowe’en


Keep a weather eye out for mer-witches…

The life aquatic on flickr


The Life Aquatic group is a tribute to ocean life and marine biology. Marine Biology is the scientific study of animals, plants and other organisms that live in or near the ocean and other saltwater environments such as estuaries and wetlands. One of the most important reasons for the study of sea life is simply to understand and preserve the world we live in.

15,045 pictures.  That’ll keep you busy.

Today’s mermaid


Underwater Galapagos

7 minutes of underwater scenes and creatures, shot in the  Galapagos September 2008 by Darek Sepiolo, inspired by Hans Zimmer’s   music.

KELT Ocean Matured Cognac


… This is not enough. We seek perfection. In the 18th century, all spirits were shipped in oak barrels. It was found that the spirits developed in an astonishing way during the long sea voyages from Europe to the new world. At that time, the effects of a sea voyage on spirits were barely known. Now, some 200 years later, we know much more about the technical and chemical aspects of the aging process and the phenomenal results which flow from the sea having the chance to work its magic on the spirits.

We now know more, but not all. So, we return to the 18th century to give the final touch of maturation to our spirits. We send them, in oak barrels, once around the world on a three month sea voyage – the Tour du Monde OCEAN MATURATION.

During kelt’s tour du monde OCEAN MATURATION the spirits move constantly with the rolling of the ship. Every molecule of the liquid is in contact with the oak wood repeatedly each day. There are huge variations in temperature, and often extreme heat. The high temperatures persuade the wood to impart the finest of its lignin into the spirits. The constant changes in temperature and air pressure also enable the wood to expand and contract, thereby varying the oxygenation of the spirits. The evaporation increases considerably as does the quality. The »edges« are rounded off and the spirit becomes much more mellow and subtle. This is reflected in both the nose and the taste. Due to the constant movement, temperature and air-pressure variations the molecular structure is rearranged, marrying the blend in a formidable way.

The spirits, already amongst the oldest and finest even before the Tour du Monde, appear to have aged by years or even a decade during their sea voyage around the world. After the OCEAN MATURATION (Tour du Monde) our cognacs return to France for a period of rest in stone chais before they are bottled.

Sounds awesome.  They do a line of cognacs (VSOP, XO, Petra), an Armagnac, and a custom blended Scotch.  Get it on your xmas list now!

Today’s mermaid


Poster for now-seemingly defunct Mermaid Room at the Park Central hotel.

Open 60 panoramas

To further whet your Vendee Globe whistle…


More panorama views (cockpit and cabin) of a different Open 60 here 

Even though these around-the-world 60 footers are quite beamy, living space seems minimal.  I believe the whole front end is given over to sail storage. 

Thanks to LeoV of for the find.

Today’s mermaid


Dead water

In 1893, Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen and his ship Fram were victims of a strange phenomenon as he sailed past the Nordenskiöld Archipelago, north of Siberia.

Nansen wrote afterwards: “Fram appeared to be held back, as if by some mysterious force, and she did not always answer the helm … We made loops in our course, turned sometimes right around, tried all sorts of antics to get clear of it, but to very little purpose.”

Nansen called the effect “dead water”, reporting that it slowed Fram to a quarter of her normal speed.

Research has already shown that dead water occurs when an area of water consists of two or more layers of water with different salinity, and hence density – for example, when fresh water from a melting glacier forms a relatively thin layer on top of denser seawater. Waves that form in the hidden layer can slow the boat with no visible trace.

more at New Scientist

Today’s mermaid


also has a bailout plan.

Morning Light


The girls and I took in Morning Light, Roy Disney’s film of the TransPac campaign he put together crewed by college sailors with no previous ocean experience.  We thought it was terrific, but because the reviews have not been that great, you might want to catch is soon before DVD is your only option.  The photography was excellent, and  I thought the film makers did a good job of being true to the sailing without dumbing it down for  a general audience.  The reality show aspect that I had heard a lot about was not nearly as promenent as I had feard.  All in all, it seemed like truthful storytelling.

Vendee Globe teaser

Rodéo à bord de Groupe Bel !

30 noeuds de Mistral, gerbes d’écumes, ambiance sous-marin. C’est dans ces conditions que la banque images hélico et embarquée de Groupe Bel avant le Vendée Globe a été réalisée. Du rarement vu, dixit les photographes et caméramans de l’équipe.

Rodeo aboard Bel Group!

30 knots of Mistral, jets of skimmings atmosphere submarine. In those circumstances the bank board images of helicopters and Bel Group before the Vendee Globe has been achieved. From rarely seen dixit photographers and cameramen of the team.

Rockin’ preview clip of Vendee Globe from the Groupe Bel.  More here.

Today’s mermaid


I don’t like Mondays


Vendee Globe Open 60 competitor HUGO BOSS rammed by a fishing boat with a big hole in the side and the rig lost.  Very sad news for skipper Alex Thomson.  He still hopes to be repaired and ready by the start of the solo, round-the-world race in just 20 days.