Archive for February, 2009

Today’s mermaid


Big Daddy: No capes!


We’re doing the Big Daddy Regatta two weeks from now.  Like the Great Pumpkin race, it is a themed event, and this year the theme is superhero costumes.  My crew Edward is thinking of wearing a costume.  I’m trying to warn him off capes, for reasons amply illustrated below:

Today’s (real live) mermaid followup

Nadya Vessey, in her element.

Way back in the early day’s of Never Sea Land, I posted a news story about double amputee Nadya Vessey’s quest to swim with artificial mermaid tail.  That post is one of the most popular at NSL, accounting for over a third of all traffic and generating 823 comments to date.  Now we are glad to see that her dream is a reality!

Effects shop fulfills amputee’s mermaid dream
Good: double amputee gets prosthetic legs so she can walk. Better: double amputee gets realistic-looking mermaid tail so she can swim. Awesome: it’s developed and built by Weta, the special-effects company that did work for the “Lord of the Rings” movies, as well as “King Kong” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” series.

Nadya Vessey’s legs were amputated below the knee when she was a child due to illness. At one point, reports Stuff, a child asked her what happened to her legs and she told him she was a mermaid. The idea stuck with her, so she wrote to Weta Workshop in Wellington, New Zealand, two years ago asking for a mermaid tail. To her surprise, they said they’d do it.

Now she has a fully functional mermaid tail with an attached suit, making her look practically just like a real mermaid (if, you know, mermaids were real). 

Links: full story, video on YouTube 

Thanks to Marina for the find.

Today’s mermaid


Olson 34 pic of the day

photo ©

Fellow Olson 34 owner Brian Boschma (Red Sky) graciously invited me to crew for the Corinthian Midwinters.  I had a great time and made some new friends.  This shot is from Saturday; Sunday’s race was in the pouring rain.  Good times!  Read all about it at

Creating a mermaid

How to.

Today’s mermaid


David Crosby’s Mayan


For only $1M you can own David Crosby’s 1947 59′  Alden centerboard schooner Mayan, currently lying Santa Barbara.   In a recent interview, the current owner said “I started sailing when I was 11, and so I’ve been sailing 54 years. …    I wrote many songs on this boat.  Down in that main cabin there, I wrote ‘Wooden Ships,’ I wrote ‘Page 43.’ I wrote ‘Carry Me.’ ” 

As beautiful below as above, and quick on the water, she would be a delight to own and sail, although one knowledgeable source estimates she would take $4000/mo to keep in prime condition. 

Thanks to S/A for the find.

I don’t like Mondays


Marine critters that keep us safe (?)

Some of the nation’s most sophisticated military submarines are based in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, an inlet of islands, peninsulas and harbors that is worryingly vulnerable to terrorist attack from a furtive diver or brazen suicide swimmer.

But the Navy’s plan to use a squadron of highly trained dolphins and sea lions to patrol and protect the submarine fleet is running into opposition from those who fear the glacier-fed waters of the sound are too frigid for warm-water dolphins.

Full story, via Navagear

Sam Davies Roxy Redux

Nice recap video for those undergoing VG withdrawal.

Mini Transat 6.50 USA670 — the deal of a lifetime


Mini Transat Boat (USA-670) MAY 2007

Big discount – great opportunity for any of you recession-proof Anarchists. The boat is in good condition and is quite well equipped. Brand new bottom job finished in October ’08 and only in the water for 3 months. Just completed the Lauderdale to Key West Race with decent results given the conditions. Please see website for complete equipment list, info about the boat and photos.     $46,000

This is an incredble deal on a turn-key, completely tricked out Zero.  I often think (while working on the head in my boat) that I might have better off with this very boat. 

End of an era

It is with profound sadness that NSL reports on the departure of part-owner and master mixologist Martin Cate from the best bar in the universe, Alameda’s Forbidden Island.  Watch the video above, and remember if you can.  If you missed the glory that was FI under Martin’s management, then know it was truly a Golden Age.

Vendée globe 2008/2009 : Arrivée de Samantha Davies Skipper Roxy

Just in time for Valentine’s Day…

Samantha Davies, GBR, (Roxy) crossed the finishing line at 00hrs 41mins 01 secs as the third competitor to complete this epic sixth edition of the Vendée Globe solo non stop around the world race and return to Les Sables d’Olonne.

Ironically Davies will have to wait two days and two hours (50 hours) to see whether she hang on to third place in this sixth Vendée Globe as the final result will depend on Marc Guillemot’s finishing time.

Guillemot was given a time compensation for standing by the badly injured skipper Yann Elies who was rescued from his Open 60 Generali on 20th December.

95 days 4 hours 39 mins 01 sec WITH redress: Roxy crossed the finish in the midst of a dark February night, in the small hours of St Valentine’s day, having sailed 27 470 actual miles on the water at an average speed of 12.02 knots.

Davies is the first British competitor to complete this edition of the race, which began off Les Sables d’Olonne back on 9th November 2008, and leads home Brian Thompson, GBR (Bahrain Team Pindar) and Dee Caffari, GBR, (Aviva) who are on course to finish in fifth and sixth places respectively. They are likely to finish late Sunday or Monday.

If she is not displaced from third place (if Marc Guillemot does not finish before Monday morning), she will become only the second woman on the podium in the history of the race and the third British sailor after Ellen MacArthur in 2000-2001 and Mike Golding in 2004-2005.

Never set sail on a Friday


‘Twas Friday morn when we set sail,
And we had not got far from land,
When the Captain, he spied a lovely mermaid,
With a comb and a glass in her hand.

from The Mermaid, trad.

It’s one of the many traditions/superstitions of the sea that it’s bad luck to set sail on a Friday.  So isn’t it doubly so to set sail on a day like today, Friday the 13th? 

For voyage planning, NSL provides a list of all the Friday the 13ths for the next 100 years or so:

 13 February 2009
13 March 2009
13 November 2009
13 August 2010
13 May 2011
13 January 2012
13 April 2012
13 July 2012
13 September 2013
Continue reading ‘Never set sail on a Friday’