Easy tiger! The missus in a radial-rigged laser at Club Colonna, Antigua this summer. What she lacks in speed, she more than makes up for style and gumption. She was the only lady laser sailor in the weekly regatta.
I am a total an utter muppet. During the daylight hours and sometimes later I am an Internet professional. OK, this is a bit of an oxymoron. I am paid to advise clients on how to use the web to market their wares (no I don't spam people).
One of the first rules is to select your URL very carefully. It becomes your identity. Well in my haste to set up this blog I forgot rule #1. There are actually two sites with a similar web address www.messingaboutinboats.com and www.messingabout.com. They actually have a legitimate claim to the bloody thing as they are the web addresses of the sailing magazine, Messing About In Boats. Doh!
Now I don't know if you have ever checked out this fine organ but I felt that the least I could do would be to subscribe and for a rather aggressively priced $32 per year for Internet subscriptions you get a year's worth. Worth every penny I don't doubt. I would have to proffer that it has a rather narrow audience. It seems to be geared mostly towards the build-your-own crowd. It's chock-full of men with beards and Cornish sailing smocks. The articles are not for the faint of heart. They make Wooden Sailboat look like USA Today.
The page 1 editorial is a long diatribe from the editor about the vicissitudes of using third party mail as a distribution mechanism. Basically, people go for months without receiving the damn thing and then nine show up. It's rather like waiting for a bus.
There are some choice articles. Try this one for size
"...The boat was an ancient wooden Peapod 14' in length, a double ended, round chined pulling boat with high, fine ends and hardly any rocker. Carvel planked of cedar over numerous oak frames...her keel was rotten but her garboards were good...her breast hooks decayed..."
(I don't know what breast hooks are but they seem like the sort of thing Mr Boat Blog would be writing about, that wacky Dutch guy.)
The rest of the magazine is full of articles with subjects like "Cupped Planks and Tunned Hulls" and "How to Build a Tin Canoe." None of my poncy articles about swanning around on overpriced charters in the Med, this is a sailing mag for real men.
I am having nightmares that burly men with adzes showing up outside my door demanding that I relinquish their typepad URL.
Peter McGrath, the Beagle Project dude, pointed me at this guy. Nick is a 25 year old ozzie living in Berlin. With little sailing experience and little $ he has bought a 26' Contessa with the aim of sailing it from Southampton to Melbourne. This guy has got guts!
He is looking for sponsors, so every bit helps. I have pledged to send him something if he gets past the training. Nick has been very creative about raising money. You can help him for free by just making his Google search engine your search engine.
Gumusluk pronounced Goomooshlook is a lovely little protected harbor on the Carian coast of
Turkey. It's round the corner ffrom Bodrum and unlike Bodrum which has become a bit like Blackpool/Atlantic City, it's a peaceful little place.
If you haven't been sailing in Turkey, go now! It's excellent. Great winds, good sea, nice little harbors, fantastic food and very nice people.
A young Brit guy called Paul Easton has created a site for Gumusluk that's worth a surf. Here's a bit about Paul. Please note: I was not the sunsail sailor he rescued. As if!
"I used to run a sailing and windsurfing centerer at the end of the bay! I once had to rescue a sunsail yacht with all their drunken staff on board from the rocks! They managed to get prop rap!
I am now at university in Sheffield in my final year, I have just launched a website for Gumusluk with accommodation etc."
Sadly, I am mostly an armchair sailor these days. My son won't sail and our weekends our mostly taken up with his football (US variety not limey variety). That said I try to read a lot about sailing. There are so many books on sailing that it's sometimes hard to know where to start.
If you haven't already heard of it, I strongly recommend Library Thing. It's a communal book site using social tags (a del.icio.us-like thingy) where users share, rate and tag books they like. You can even swap books.
MARCH 7th, 1835. -- We stayed three days at Concepcion, and then sailed for Valparaiso. The wind being northerly, we only reached the mouth of the harbour of Concepcion before it was dark. Being very near the land, and a fog coming on, the anchor was dropped. Presently a large American whaler appeared alongside of us; and we heard the Yankee swearing at his men to keep quiet, whilst he listened for the breakers. Captain Fitz Roy hailed him, in a loud clear voice, to anchor where he then was. The poor man must have thought the voice came from the shore: such a Babel of cries issued at once from the ship -- every one hallooing out, "Let go the anchor! veer cable! shorten sail!" It was the most laughable thing I ever heard. If the ship's crew had been all captains, and no men, there could not have been a greater uproar of orders. We afterwards found that the mate stuttered: I suppose all hands were assisting him in giving his orders."