Archive for September, 2009 Page 2 of 3

Today’s Mermaid


Just one day left


till Talk Like a Pirate Day!  Yarrrrr….

Today’s mermaid


Today’s mermaid


Today’s mermaid


I don’t like Mondays


… with minus tides.

Today’s mermaid


Mini Transat 2009


It all begins Sunday 13 September! 

Thirty-two years after the race was created, the 17th edition of The Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6,50 will leave on Sunday the 13th of September 2009 to Salvador de Bahia (Brazil). Previously known as Mini-Transat, this now legendary event brings together every two years, skippers of all backgrounds, (small ones, large ones and future large ones) in a spirit made of solidarity, and mutual respect with all nationalities represented! The Charente Maritime / Bahia Transat 6.50 race is the most international solo race with no less than 12 nationalities represented.

Never Sea Land officially supports Americans Jesse Naimark-Rowse (in the Protos) and Craig Horsfield (Serie) in this edition of the Mini Transat! 

Official site:




Bounty Boat Expedition


Following in the footsteps of William Bligh when cast adrift from the Bounty, Don McIntyre and the crew onboard the “Bounty Boat” will sail for Tonga to find extra food and water, then set off to sail across the top of the Fiji and the Vanuatu Island groups, before setting course for the Queensland Coast and a landing at Restoration Island following four weeks at sea on light rations. They then sail north inside the Great Barrier Reef to Thursday Island, and across to Kupang and Timor.

If successful it will be the first time that anyone has ever sailed the same course, in the same way that William Bligh did 221 years before. (1983 and 1990 attempts both used almanacs and charts for navigation, torches, modern time pieces etc, and also made unscheduled stopovers or did not follow the same route or were escorted part of the way). We’ll have no charts, no nautical almanacs, no modern watches, no torches, no toilet paper, no extra landings, all in a boat less than half the size of Bligh’s original “Bounty Boat”…. But let’s get to the finish line and then talk about it.


Crew positions available!

The Mermaid


Illustration by Warwick Goble to The Mermaid, by Alfred Lord Tennyson,1893:
Who would be
A mermaid fair,
Singing alone,
Combing her hair
Under the sea,
In a golden curl
With a comb of pearl,
On a throne?

I would be a mermaid fair;
I would sing to myself the whole of the day;
With a comb of pearl I would comb my hair;
And still as I comb’d I would sing and say,
Who is it loves me? who loves not me?
I would comb my hair till my ringlets would fall
Low adown, low adown,
From under my starry sea-bud crown
Low adown and around,
And I should look like a fountain of gold
Springing alone
With a shrill inner sound,
Over the throne
In the midst of the hall;
Till that great sea-snake under the sea
From his coiled sleeps in the central deeps
Would slowly trail himself sevenfold
Round the hall where I sate, and look in at the gate
With his large calm eyes for the love of me.
And all the mermen under the sea
Would feel their immortality
Die in their hearts for the love of me.

But at night I would wander away, away,
I would fling on each side my low-flowing locks,
And lightly vault from the throne and play
With the mermen in and out of the rocks;
We would run to and fro, and hide and seek,
On the broad sea-wolds in the crimson shells,
Whose silvery spikes are nighest the sea.
But if any came near I would call, and shriek,
And adown the steep like a wave I would leap
From the diamond-ledges that jut from the dells;
For I would not be kiss’d by all who would list,
Of the bold merry mermen under the sea;
They would sue me, and woo me, and flatter me,
In the purple twilights under the sea;
But the king of them all would carry me,
Woo me, and win me, and marry me,
In the branching jaspers under the sea;
Then all the dry pied things that be
In the hueless mosses under the sea
Would curl round my silver feet silently,
All looking up for the love of me.
And if I should carol aloud, from aloft
All things that are forked, and horned, and soft
Would lean out from the hollow sphere of the sea,
All looking down for the love of me.

found at at her discretion

Michael Litter’s Ulua

I was fortunate this week to have a chance to visit Mike Litter in San Francisco to talk story and see his magnificent, 24′ stretch Ulua outrigger canoe.   His craftsmanship is outstanding as you can see from the photos (the first two from Gary Dierkings blog).  He claims that like me, this was his first major woodworking project, but it is hard to credit that!

So beautiful!

Sea trials, Santa Cruz, earlier this year.

Mike and Manu.

Beveled splashguard, I can’t remember the type of wood.  Mike said this part took many, many hours.

Seats are fir.  ‘wales and much of the interior wood is Honduran mahogany, much more expensive than African, but probably works better.  Ring frames and bulkheads are built up from 3x marine ply, much beefier than in builder’s plans.  Iakos and other spars are also fir.

Bulkhead.  Wood cover conceals large plastic deck plate.  Note lack of fillets throughout.  There is no trim strip on the back edge of the cedar strip deck.

Weapons of choice.  Cool Lie-Nielson jointing plane.

Sweet little mouse plane with convex cutting/shaping blade, similar to those used by violin makers.

Another mermaid


From The Graphics Fairy via Michael May’s Adventureblog.

Moby Dick redux


Could be good, could be bad, Hollywood’s inability this century to come up with anything new; relying instead on making 8-figure-budget movies based on comic book characters, old TV sitcoms, and of course remakes, err, reimagings of old movies.   There is a new version of Moby Dick in the works, to be directed by Russian action film maker Timur Bekmambeto, of Wanted fame.


The rumored story line tinkerings are already making me uneasy, but one good piece of news is that six traditional whaleboats have been built over the past summer by our old friends at Norseboat, Ltd (pic above).  They look great, and I hope the CGI whale doesn’t destroy them all so that some will find a good home after filming is completed.

Now, if only they would get cracking on the movie version of In the Heart of the Sea!

Today’s mermaid


Sailboat or tennis court?