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Voyage by *theirison

Voyage is just one example of *theirison‘s ability to fuse different media together for engaging contrasts of feel across his paintings, creating vibrant pieces of beauty and posed energy.


SF worldview

I rarely go to San Francisco, or “The City” as it is called.   This is why.

Via I Love Charts

Some changes

I’ve made some personal changes that really don’t affect anyone else.  That is the point.  After 18 months I quit Facebook, becoming a member of the leading edge of a trend (for once).   This will give me more time for NSL, as a minor side benefit.

In the meantime, I’ve started playing Virtual Regatta, which is another time sink, but at least will teach me something about routing and racing strategy.  It’s free, and fairly compelling.   Right now the Velux 5 Oceans Race is on, and on 31 October the Route du Rhum will begin both in its real and on-line forms.

There is a bit of a learning curve to VR as well — I started about a day and a half late, and the game inserted me at the back of the fleet at around 18500th.   I had the wrong sail up for half a day, and then in the middle of the night there was a big wind shift that I did not correct for (serious players get up a couple of times a night to check on their boats) and so lost a lot of places, down to 23000 or something.   Then I got lucky for a bit, and worked back up to 18300.    Some serious inattention  and an overnight grounding (see figure below) has me again in the back of the fleet at 25394.    So I will have to write off this leg to learning, and try to do better on the RdR when it starts.

Worst Sailing Innovation Ever

As Never Sea Land’s contribution to Tillerman’s Worst Sailing Innovation Ever competition,  I nominate “Land”.

Just as in flying, it is not the medium of transportation that causes most sailing wrecks; it is the abrupt running out of said medium.  And what could be more terrifying than the inexorable approach of a lee shore, in a disabled or simply non-weatherly boat?

Setting aside that, monohull keel-boats have much deeper draft than power boats of similar size, leading to the maxim “There are two kinds of sailors: those who have gone aground, and those who have not gone aground, yet.”   Fortunately, only our wallets and our pride are usually the only things damaged.  And there is the benefit of having plenty of time to contemplate one’s errors while waiting for the tide to lift one out of the mud!

Savage Beauty on the rocks.

© 2010 Peter Lyons /

Another Tiger in a trap.

Low tide in the Delta.  Even shoal-draft cats can make mistakes!
photo: Dave Wilson


NSL has been upgraded from WordPress 2.1 to 2.8.5, the first upgrade since the blog was initiated in April, 2007.   One motivation was to enable me to upload “Today’s Mermaid” posts en masse; other motivations are more obscure.

In backing up, I learned that NSL has a bit more that 1 GB of hosted content.  That’s a  lot of mermaids!

I don’t like Mondays


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’


The above map depicts: 118,226 visits from 27 Jan 2008 to 7 Jan 2009
This map is normally updated daily (latest: 2009-01-07 07:16:19 GMT)

Running total of visits to the above URL since 27 Jan 2008: 123,459
Total since archive, i.e. 27 Jan 2008 – present: 123,459 (not necessarily all displayed – see below).
Visits on previous ‘day’: 379.

NSL uses ClustrMaps (see sidebar on left) to do hit tracking — they reset one’s map and stats once per year, so I thought I’d best archive the stats while I remember.  (Thanks to Richard for the heads up.)  We’ve been getting an average of  358 visitors per day, per the above numbers.

Continue reading ‘ClustrMap’

Best post?

The venerable Tillerman challenges all boat-bloggers to determine their best post of 2008 and submit to some sort of contest.  Last year NSL won a Top 10 Posts award at Proper Course for our mermaid series.  This year’s contest seems to be more slanted toward writing, and that’s a problem since NSL is more about quantity than quality, most of the time.

But here we go, anyway…. 

This post is simply the best because it demonstrates the most significant achieved milestone in the Ulua canoe-building project, and has a great pic my girls and the hull off the molds.

OK, there you are.  If readers have a different opinion, please comment!

1 Jan 09 update:  See all the submissions to Simply the Best here.

Turk’s Head


I tied my first Turk’s Head last night, with the help of my favorite ropework and sailorcraft book, The Arts of the Sailor, by Hervey Garrett Smith.  Everyone should have this book, if only to enjoy its authortative prose style.  And beyond that, it contains an entire chapter on the making of a proper bucket.

Today’s mermaid


Mermaid Sharkey week, Day 7, finito, basta, the tail end.

Underwater Galapagos

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

Mini pic of the day

Hey, that could be me!  I talked to the girls this weekend, they are still glad we bought our Olson 34 Temerity, rather than a Mini.  I still think they are super-cool though.  And we are still a bit nostalgic for Searaven

Google at sea


Google has filed a U.S. patent application to put mobile data centers out at sea, either on ships or fixed platforms. The company said the centers could be used to provide Internet services in areas or situations where land-based connections aren’t feasible.

Could be an invitation to a more-literal form of internet piracy?

Full story at NYT

Float bed?


A bit expensive though:

The floating bed designed by New Zealand designer, David Trubridge is made of natural latex, bamboo and wool. The designer bed comes for a designer price tag of $25,000.

What’s it rate?