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Fear, Our Friend

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In six months I will be sailing into the deep ocean once again, bound across the North Atlantic from New England to Scotland in a 41-foot yawl. And so it is time to reflect on the subject that many sailors would rather ignore: fear. 

First off, I must admit the most frightened I've ever been in a boat has been within sight of land, not out on the deep. Racing a Soling near Lake Ontario's Canadian shore, I watched in terror as an electrical storm supercharged the atmosphere so completely that my shaking fingers tingled as I doused the wet sails. There were those many capsizes in windsurfers or Lasers that left me terrified under the shroud of sails until I struggled free. And there have been moments in fog or the black night when other vessels passed far too silently and much too closely.   more...

 



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KWRW - 2005 - J 105 - Wrap up

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Nelson's Daily Log

24.Jan.05  

It was not a pleasant trip home. We left our condo at 6:45 for a 7:45 a.m. flight from Key West. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale on time and took an earlier flight to Philadelphia in hopes of beating the snow storm. But as luck would have it, the snow started before we arrived and several hours later they closed the airport. So we hopped over to Amtrak and took the train to Providence. We arrived in Providence at nearly midnight took a cab to the airport with a crazy cab driver, picked up the car and finally arrived home at 1:20 a.m..
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Key West Wrap-Up

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If you were lucky enough to be at this year's Key West Race Week, the memories should be enough to get you through the rest of the winter. The practice days before the event were breezy, so teams went from après holiday somnolence straight into full-contact sailing. Teams worked out their kinks in a high-twenties breeze on Saturday, and even stronger pressure on Sunday. For the crew of the Swan 45 Plenty, owned by Alex Roepers of Stonington, Conn., the practice days were grueling, but worthwhile. After a crash jibe on Sunday in 32 knots, which resulted in a broken mainsail batten, we decided to protect our assets and head in. We were tired, but dry and warm by the time the Patriots/Colts game came on later that afternoon. Watching the Pats dismantle the vaunted Indianapolis offense left our mostly New England-based team pumped for the week of competition ahead.   more...


 



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Ferry's bucking tide of history

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As president of Hornblower Marine Services, John Waggoner knows a thing or two about the passenger shipping industry.

His Indiana-based company has worked on projects around the globe and currently oversees five ferry services — ranging from a Louisville steamboat to a new high-speed vessel on Lake Michigan. Hornblower also helped train the crew for Rochester's ferry and he rode on the ship last year before the private service suddenly shut down because of financial problems.

Because of his experience, Waggoner is skeptical about Rochester's plan to buy the $42.5 million Spirit of Ontario at a foreclosure auction next month and restart the service this spring as a publicly run venture — with a pledge that the ferry can make money.    more...

 



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Tribal commission rules commercial fisherman made illegal catch

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A panel with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians has ruled against a tribal fisherman accused of illegally harvesting 3,857 pounds of fish from Lake Michigan last fall.

The tribe's Natural Resources Commission late last week upheld a citation issued by state conservation officers to Tommy Battice, a resident of Custer in Mason County.

Battice was fined $250 and forfeited $1,141.90 paid by wholesalers for the whitefish and lake trout he caught. His commercial fishing permit was suspended for 30 days.  more...

 



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Drain in Great Lakes is open, report says

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A conservation group released a study Monday that claims a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging project has punched an expanding “hole” in the upper Great Lakes that has plunged Lake Michigan’s long-term average water level by about a foot.

The announcement comes at a time when water levels have become a sensitive issue in eastern Wisconsin.

Two years ago, Lake Michigan came within about eight inches of its all-time historic low. The drop in water left some dock owners stranded and turned some of the state’s most prized sandy beaches into to grassy marshes. The lake’s level has since rebounded, but it still remains below its long-term average.   more...

 



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State, ferry company will settle over 1,000 reimbursement claims

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(January 25, 2005) — Canadian American Transportation Systems has agreed to pay at least $150,000 in refunds to unhappy consumers who bought tickets for the Spirit of Ontario and never got a chance to use them, state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said Monday.

The state and the private Rochester-based company worked out the deal to settle more than 1,000 claims for refunds. CATS also has agreed to honor additional requests that are filed with the Attorney General's Office within the next 45 days.

Earlier this month, Spitzer had threatened to file a lawsuit if the two sides didn't work out an agreement.   more...


 



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No to Great Lakes sewage

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HOW would you like to have to boil tap water or uncap a container of bottled water every time you wanted to take a drink? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency next month will consider a proposal to allow untreated sewage to be blended with other water flowing into Great Lakes waterways during heavy rainfalls.

Some residents who have problems with sewer backups and communities whose treatment plants are old and in need of multi-billion-dollar repairs may favor mingling untreated sewage and fully treated wastewater during storms and other periods of heavy precipitation.

It's true that the practice, called "blending," would save metropolitan Detroit millions of dollars in sewer repairs. But it would also send contaminants down the Detroit River and into Lake Erie.   more....

 



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Invasive species studied

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HANCOCK - Visitors to Isle Royale should take extra precautions before leaving to ensure they don't bring invasive species to the island, said people associated with the park.

Two nuisance species - the sea lamprey and the spiny water flea - have already established a presence at the island. The sea lamprey has been at the island since the mid-1900s, but the park has been able to substantially reduce the numbers.

The spiny water flea has been spotted in Lake Superior waters in Isle Royale, but has yet to make its way inland.

"We're very concerned about it being transported to inland lakes by anglers," said Jean Battle, chief of natural resources for Isle Royale.   more...

 



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Rough Water Seamanship

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by David Pascoe

Many times when we receive a number of emails on a particular subject we will respond with an article like this one. In this case, the subject is boat handing in rough water.

A number of emails addressed the issue of losing control of the boat while running with the seas. Comments ranged anywhere from concluding that their boat had a dangerous defect, to whether they should have bought a catamaran, to whether they shouldn't be considering some other type of boat that will handle better.

Questions such as this point a problem that we've been long familiar with. That problem is a matter of the lack of fundamental boating skills among far too many boat owners. We resist the urge to chuckle at the question because  ultimately this is a serious issue. Taking a boat out into open water is serious business, one that requires a comparable degree of knowledge and skill.   more...

 



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  • I was surprized that there was no comment on the use of trim tabs. That's the fi...more
    - [Bruce Brooks]

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Bilge Water Blues - Solving the Problem of Leftover Bilge Water

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by David Pascoe

People are often baffled by the problem that the typical rotary vane bilge pump (such as Rule) does not remove all the water from the bilge. In fact, most pumps will leave as much as 1-1/2" of water. Plus there is also the matter that the remaining water in the hose when the pump turns off then runs back into the bilge.

And no, you should not use a check valve in the bilge pump line to prevent the back flow of water. The use of a check valve is not recommended due to the potential for sticking and causing the pumping system to fail.

On a sail boat with a deep keel sump, that's probably not a problem, but on a power boat  where the bilge bottom may be nearly flat, that much water remaining in the bilge can cause big problems. For one thing, when the boat gets up on plane, all that water is likely to go rushing aft where it sloshes and splashes around, causing corrosion damage to other things under the deck that shouldn't get wet.   more...

 



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U.P. is site of new snowboarding video

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LAC LA BELLE, Mich. -- Filming is expected to wrap today for a snowboarding video being shot in the Upper Peninsula.

"It's got some cool terrain. I never thought you guys had this kind of snow up here. It's really fun," said professional snowboarder Dirk Dye, who also co-founded ARREX, the California production company that shot the footage.

The video from the Keweenaw Peninsula's Mt. Bohemia is part of a snowboarding movie series that includes clips from Utah, Oregon, Idaho and Japan. The video is to come out in the fall.   more...

 



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Riverbed gouging takes Great Lakes down a foot

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Lakes Michigan and Huron have permanently lost a foot of water because of erosion in the St. Clair River caused by dredging and other man-made meddling, according to a study released Monday.

The decline will continue for the foreseeable future, it warns, battering boaters, marinas, property owners and the shipping industry struggling with water levels at the bottom of historical cycles.

The low water was troublesome, but temporary, experts had assured those struggling with dried-out boat canals.

Now, they're not so sure.

The reason: Erosion created gouges in the river bottom up to 19 feet deep between 1970 and 2000, enlarging the bottleneck at the bottom of Lake Huron where water drains into the lower Great Lakes and Niagara Falls.   more...

 



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SOUTHERN MOST TO SOUTH BEACH

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Key West 2005 wraps up while Acura Miami Race Week 2005 ramps up! The ocean course hosts the larger PHRF & One Design boats March 10-13, while the Melges 24, Etchells & small PHRF boats are on Biscayne Bay March 11-13. For entry information, planning, logistics and more: http://www.premiere-racing.com


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GOING, GOING, GONE

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The lead which Ellen MacArthur has enjoyed for nearly two months over Francis Joyon's solo round the world record pace is gone - replaced by a deficit of 9 hours (-90 miles). MacArthur's 75-foot trimaran B&Q is now faced with an uphill climb, and to make matters worse - the deficit will undoubtedly increase as the light upwind conditions continue to hamper her speed. Worse yet, Joyon was blazing fast on this portion of the 'race track.' The Equator is still 1100 miles to the north and MacArthur must cross it by 0835 GMT on Saturday, 29th January to beat Joyon's passage time.  more...

 



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