Archive for August, 2011

E.E. Cummings

Friday, August 5th, 2011

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
It’s always our self we find in the sea.

American poet Edward Estlin Cummings (1894 – 1962) was more commonly known as e. e. cummings (think of k.d. lang today). As well as writing nearly 3,000 poems, Cummings was also an author, painter and playwright. At the time of his death, he was second to Robert Frost in popularity as a poet.

I keep returning to his couplet and thinking about the truth of his words.

Another Challenge

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Another Challenge, owned and skippered by Chris Lewin, has won the Sydney 38 division of the Sydney-Gold Coast yacht race. This is the yacht that Jessica Watson is taking in the Sydney-Hobart this year with a young crew and she was aboard for the experience.

They raced with a combined crew – some of Chris’s regulars and some of Jess’s team preparing for the Hobart. They finished one hour ahead of second-placed Wizzard but were penalised 10 minutes for missing one HF position report. We haven’t heard any reason for this.

The three other Sydney 38s finished within two hours of the winner, with Eleni being awarded two hours’ redress for standing by Wasabi, who lost its keel about three miles offshore.

Water-ballasted, Wasabi was able to stay afloat and was escorted in to Camden Haven.

Port and starboard and avoiding a collision

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Whether you’re out for a gentle afternoon cruise or racing in a highly competitive regatta, as skipper you need to keep track of all the other vessels approaching yours. And when racing, you probably won’t be able to do that adequately yourself. So you’ll need to appoint one or more lookouts, who relay to you information about the direction or angle of approach and distance off.

Ideally, the lookout is positioned with a clear view of boats approaching on starboard. But, if not, how long between looks?

In S80 Racy Lady’s case, it was too long. In a recent race run by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia she was on port and unaware of the approach of Vanguard, who was on starboard, two-sail reaching, until called by them.

But the rules say that both boats have a responsibility to avoid a collision.

Aboard Vanguard, lookouts had been posted on both sides of the yacht, but crew admitted that Racy Lady must have been in the blind spot, shielded by the genoa.

When called, Racy Lady didn’t have time to take evasive action. Her mast came down on impact and the yacht sank within five minutes of the collision, with crew able to grab only their wallets.

We’ve blogged before about maintaining a proper lookout but it’s worth re-reading.