Gryphonsolo2 – Round the world solo speed record attempt going on now

If you like to follow sailors from the comfort of your armchair check out

Joe Harris is attempting to break the solo speed record for going around the world by sailboat.  He’s been at it 3 days so far.

I found out about it in CrusingWorld Magazine which I very much enjoy reading cover to cover.  Mostly I ogle the Caribbean catamaran charter pictures.

You can read about the boat refit in preparation for the attempt here.





Trans Atlantic Race 2015 – going on now

A bunch of big boats are racing across the Atlantic from Newport, Rhode Island to the southern tip of Wales.

Here is a link to a cool website that tracks the boats in the race.



It’s kind of fun to play with the sliders for playback and playback speed.

Look for the lead boat in the race (The white one).  There’s a reason it’s in the lead.  It’s a Herreshoff design that is  125 feet long.  When I checked earlier today it was doing 14.2 knots.    The boat’s name is Mariette of 1915.    The next boat in size seems to be around 53 feet.

I’ve put a link to the boat’s website under the name, but there are a lot of great images of it if you just enter the name in Google and select the “Images” option.

She sails like a bird – Tall Ship Hermione

“She sails like a bird”-quote by Lafayette during the first voyage of Hermione 1780. Go to this link to learn more about the ship.

A few weeks ago we visited the tall ship Hermione. We had planned to sail out and escort her into Annapolis, but it turned out she came in before we could get there. So instead we planned to go up to Annapolis and tour the ship and then head out for day of sailing. The morning started out with almost no wind so we fired up the trustee little 4 hp outboard and headed up to Annapolis.

The trip was pretty uneventful but as we pulled into the harbor we could see Hermione, so we grabbed a mooring ball, called the water taxi and headed over.


There was quite a line, but we had a great time while waiting with a couple of guys from Michigan who had driven there the day before specifically to see the Hermione and then go to a few museums. Chatting and joking with them made the wait very fun. The great thing about waiting in the long line there on the Annapolis Harbor dock under the hot sun was that there are plenty of pubs nearby so we took turns and headed over for a little bit of adult refreshment.

The tour only allows visitors to go on the upper deck, so we didn’t get to go down into the gun deck or crew quarters or anything like that, but it’s still quite interesting. Here is the view looking up the mast:

Main mast

Mast view

we took a few pictures posing with ship components, probably not all that interesting.

CapnRehab driving a stationary ship

CapnRehab driving a stationary ship


Capn “B” driving a capstan

One thing that was very interesting is the size of some of the equipment on this ship. Here is a small cleat


“Small cleat”

notice that it’s the size of about half a person.

And, since I’m on a boat it’s time for selfie. I tried to get red boat in the background, but I don’t think I did so too well since it’s not in the picture.


The wind did a great job of picking up. We were able to sail off the mooring ball and cruise out into the Chesapeake. Once we got out there the wind was honking pretty good and we got quite a heel on the boat. Five hours of fun.  It was a really great sail!


We played “Dodge the tankers” and then saw something pretty interesting. This very large boat was zooming pretty fast up the side of the bay opposite where we were. We sailed over in that direction trying to cut it off to get a look at it, and then it turned 180° and went speeding off in the other direction. At this point we thought we had lost it so I snapped this picture as it was heading away. Right after that it did another 180° turn and headed back up the bay.

A long look through the binoculars revealed that it was the “Reliance“. Capn “B” hailed them on the VHF radio and asked them what they were doing. A very friendly captain responded and told us they were doing engine checks, and that the last turn was then heading back to Baltimore. We had a few more questions and found out that they were a cable laying ship which I thought was pretty interesting.



I’ve experimented with smaller pictures in this post.  Let me know if the quality is too bad or if it’s okay to continue like this. Also let me know if you know of an easy way to make picture sizes smaller. I’m using paint, but it’s a couple of steps.


Red Boat

Red Boat

Weekend before last I had my first sail of the year.  I was invited by “B” to go out on red boat (aka Luchador).  I met him last year on “Old Shoes” and really enjoy his company.

As most of you know, I like Florida so much, mostly because I hate being cold.  But I have a new perspective on that.  He informed me that there is no such thing as cold weather – just cold clothes.

We put this to the test and went out in “brisk weather.

At the helm, not shivering too bad.

At the helm, not shivering too bad.

Turns out, he was right. I had put on only thermal long john top and bottom, windbreaker pants with insulation, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, ski gloves, ski hat and my REI rainjacket. I was definitely shivering. Once I put on another pair of sweatpants I warmed right up to only feeling cold. I think some kind of warm/waterproof footwear would be appropriate here too.  (Before next winter gets here I definitely need to get some warm clothes!)

It’s always fun to see catamarans on the water, and we got a special treat to go right by the start of a race.

Catamaran race

Catamaran race

The moral of this story is “it’s good to have warm clothes and friend with working boats”.

Racing with no wind

This Wednesday’s race on “Old Shoes” started off with a bit of wind, but eventually fizzled out to nothing.  It’s amazing how different it can be from one week to the next.

2014-06-18 Racing with No Wind

2014-06-18 Racing with No Wind

At least we made it out to the turn around mark, but there was no way we were going to make it across the finish line under sail.  So yet again, another night where we had to fire up the engine.  Still, I was on a sailboat with friendly people and a beer (or two) in my hand.  As they say, a bad day on a sailboat beats a good day at work.

Since the wind wasn’t trying to knock me off the boat like last week, I did get to take a selfie.



or two

Selfie #2

Selfie #2

It was a beautiful sunset.




And best of all, Rehab Jr. came along.  He liked it – says he’ll be back.

2014-06-18 19.26.03


I joined West River Sail Club (WRSC)

I joined the West River Sail Club in Galesville, MD.  They We are active sailors with lots of different fleets.  The catamarans sail on Tuesdays, and Lasers sail on Fridays.  My current plan is to:

1) on Tuesday – tag along and beg rides as crew on catamarans
2) on Wednesday – sail the 30′ pearson
3) On Fridays – get checked out on the club lasers and then start racing with them.

Three days a week MAY be enough sailing, so just in case I’ll throw in a few weekend regattas and races.  Should be a fun summer.

This weekend was the Galesville Heritage race.  I went as crew in one of the club’s Albacore sailboats.  I have to say I enjoyed that I was sailing, but the Albacore is definitely NOT one of my favorite boats.  Anyhow, there were 3 Albacores sailing in our group.  My skipper was good, but the boat was outclassed by the other two privately owned boats.  We came in last of the three, and since our group started last, our boat was last over the finish line – FOR THE WHOLE REGATTA!.  So we won the prize for that.  It’s on the right in the picture below.  Funny, Natty Bo keeps coming up around sailing for me.

My skipper gave me an old WRSC hat that she won but doesn’t wear, so I can show my WRSC pride when I’m out and about. It’s for first place in a race, so I feel a bit like an impostor when I wear it.  Oh well.  It’s on the left below.




Back to Sailing

This post is a bit of old news.  I joined a racing boat.  She’s  a 30′ Pearson named “Old Shoes”.   The crew seemed friendly and the captain was very practical.  I don’t want a lot of shouting and anger when I sail, and it seems like I will fit right in with this group.  I’m very happy about it.

We went for the first practice sail of the season on March 31.  It was terrible weather.  Cold, Freezing Rain, wind gusts exceeding 20 mph.  Exciting.

In preparation I went to REI and got a raincoat (unfortunately I don’t remember the raincoat model name, and there is not model information tag on it).  I wore it with a fleece sweater and waterproof pant coverings.  It all worked pretty well, although without gloves I wound up being pretty cold.  Wearing soggy tennis shoes didn’t help either.  Didn’t stop me from having fun, but next time I expect to be more prepared.

Cold sailing day compete.  Heading back in.

Cold sailing day compete. Heading back in.

They will have competed in 4 races before I get back.  Hope I can come up to speed quickly.