YOU can sail a Volvo 60... Tom Perkins and the world's largest yacht...Jim Gray's mysterious disappearance...and much more...

29 Jul 2007

Diary Dates


Hello from Moorea

Anchorage at Baie d'Opunohu in Moorea  BW Media
On Blackwattle we've reached tranquil Moorea, or 'Golden Lizard', just a stone's sail from Tahiti. So close to Papeete, yet the island has managed to keep its lazy pace and faraway feel. We're in Baie d'Opunohu, with volcanic mountains leaping almost vertically beside the lagoon on one side, and in the other direction white surf breaks over the fringing reef. It's a sparkling day, the best snorkeling site on the island is five metres from Blackwattle, and we think we've just found heaven.

Stories of yachts both large and small this week – the mystery of the disappearance of Silicon Valley guru Jim Gray from his small sailing boat almost a year ago, the looming tragedy of Peter Halmos's yacht Legacy, marooned for nearly two years at Miami Keys and the story of the construction of the world's largest yacht by another Silicon Valley notable, billionaire Tom Perkins.

Several cruising tales – 'Letter from the Med' is back again, and destinations as far apart as Turkey and Tahiti are featured.

Two logs of more adventurous tales – that of Adrian Flanagan, attempting to solo navigate over the top of Russia this summer, and the Sea Stallion, a reconstructed Viking sailing ship makes its way south to reach Scotland.

The Great Lakes might be a bonanza for the Marine Industry, but a recent study casts doubt on whether the channels are being maintained properly.

Best products for the week are easily stowed inflatable fenders, and finally – would YOU like to adopt a lighthouse – and get use of the land for nothing? - Read how...

Read on, enjoy, and
Sail safe

By Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor

Mine's Bigger - the World's Largest Yacht
By David A. Kaplan/Sail-World Cruising,
The site is Ciragan Palace, on the banks of the Bosphorus in Istanbul; the scene is sultan-like in its magnificence – fountains of molten chocolate, sushi, baklava, dolma, washed down with Doluca red wine; the occasion, the Government of Turkey honouring a Silicon Valley Billionaire, Thomas J Perkins and his spectacular new sailboat, the largest in the world, just built entirely in a nearby Turkish shipyard – yes, it's the Maltese Falcon, and David Kaplan has just published a book on its creation, cutely called ''Mine's Bigger''... [more]

Scary headgear for the Chukchi Flanagan reports
By Adrian Flanagan,
After another 24 hours with no sleep I managed to collar 4 hours early this morning. I woke at 6.00am (local time) to find the wind had built to 15 knots from the SSW. This put it just behind my port beam, Barrabas’s fastest point of sail. Off went the engine, out came the sails and suddenly we were cruising at 6.5 knots and mercifully silent bar the natural lilting slap of sea on hull... [more]

Vanished at Sea - Legendary Jim Gray's Story
By Steve Silberman,Wired Magazine,
It may remain one of the great sailing mysteries of the decade. Not only was the weather fine, the route innocent and simple, the sailor was experienced and of stable personality. In addition, Jim Gray's personal renown in the Microsoft world caused one of the largest and most high tech privately inspired hunts for a missing boat the US has probably ever seen – with no result.... [more]

More Turkey please!
By Trevor Joyce,
You take two Y generation females out of their comfort zone in Melbourne, pack them like sardines into a fully loaded Boeing 747, fly them for 31 hours to Istanbul and then on to Antalya and you already have two seriously scrambled kids.... [more]

$30m Legacy Aground Since Oct05 - Can She Refloat?
In an extraordinary sequence of events, Peter Halmos' 160-ft. yacht Legacy has been marooned 4 miles off Florida's Key West since Oct. 2005, when she was nearly ripped apart by Hurricane Wilma. The yacht survived. So did Halmos and his crew, though it was a close call. Weathered, fouled and dismasted, she stands in sand and muck, but owner Peter Halmos is determined to refloat her.... [more]

YOU can Sail a Volvo 60 on the Great Barrier Reef
By Sail-World Cruising,
Want more sailing skills? Like a new adventure? There's nothing like entering a race to improve your sailing skills, even though your goal in sailing is simply to go cruising and enjoy the experience. Now there's a new opportunity to join a 'state of the art' boat in two regattas in North Queensland in the area of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It's an opportunity to have a superb holiday while getting in some great sailing.... [more]

Great Lakes' Great Boating Jeopardised
By IBI Magazine,
A new study released by the Great Lakes Commission and the Recreational Marine Research Center of Michigan State University last week reports that boating is 'big business' among 10 Midwestern states, but despite the economic benefits of boating to the Great Lakes, the study said that boating is jeopardised in many Great Lakes shallow-draft harbours by a lack of maintenance dredging.... [more]

Adopt a Lighthouse? - Why not?
By Sail-World Cruising,
Most experienced sailors carry paper charts as well as several GPS's to ensure that, even in the case of a lightning strike, or in the (hopefully unlikely) event that the satellites are suddenly turned off by their owners, the sailor will still be able to navigate. However, governments do not take these precautions in redundancy, and in many countries of the world, lighthouses are being turned off in favour of relying totally on satellite and sonar navigation systems.... [more]

This Week's Best Idea -StowAway Inflatable Fenders
By Sail-World Cruising,
How many fenders do YOU carry on your boat?. Even the smallest boat will need boat fenders at least occasionally. The truth is that no matter how many fenders you carry, there's always an occasion when you might need more – and if you carry too many, where do you store them? .... [more]

Blackwattle in Papeete
By Nancy Knudsen,
Even sailing into Papeete is a surprise.....Papeete, mmmm – somewhere to land in in order to go somewhere else. An arrival point, maybe, on your way to a blissful holiday island in French Polynesia – perhaps Moorea, Bora Bora, or the Tuamotus, or even the more remote Marquesas – but no-one ever goes to Papeete just to go to Papeete. Or do they?more]

Letter from the Med: On the Atlantic Coast
By Ian and Andrea Treleaven,
Arriving in Paris, France a week ago, we have been enjoying a very nice wine country change in a place near Cognac, home or Chateau of Heinz and Elizabeth Oser. A flight to the coast thanks to Heinz’s private plane, we see our new yacht arrive in port at Les Sable D’Olonne on the Atlantic Coast in the Bay of Biscay north of La Rochelle.... [more]

Sea Stallion arrives in Inverie, Scotland
By Viking Museum,
The Sea Stallion from Glendalough is a reconstruction of the 30-meter-long warship exhibited in the Viking Ship Museum. Representing the pinnacle of Viking technology, she is one of the ocean-going longships whose praise is sung in sagas and skaldic verse. latest diaries in her quest to sail across the North Sea to Dublin appear below.... [more]

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