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Albert Einstein

Here’s something you maybe didn’t know, borrowed from MansfieldStorrsPatch

Despite sailing for over half a century, Einstein was not a very accomplished sailor. According to his biographers, he would lose his direction, his mast would often fall down, and he frequently ran aground and had near collisions with other vessels.

Often sailing near the mouth of the Connecticut River at Old Saybrook, Einstein ran aground on a sand bar once. The New York Times took note, running the following headline in the summer of 1935: “Relative Tide And Sand Bars Trap Einstein.” Another newspaper put it this way: “Einstein’s Miscalculation Leaves Him Stuck On Bar Of Lower Connecticut River.”

Interestingly, Einstein seemed to be indifferent to the dangers of sailing, and the perils were particularly acute since he didn’t know how to swim! It is rather amazing that he didn’t drown. In I944, for example, while sailing on Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks, Einstein’s boat hit a rock and capsized. A rope entangled his leg, and he was trapped briefly underneath the sail, but he managed to find his way to the surface without panicking and was saved by a passing motorboat.

Those who knew Einstein claim that he always took a pencil and a pad of paper with him when he sailed, so that if he got stuck or if the wind died, he could write down his thoughts. Since he liked solitude and privacy, perhaps this was just another aspect of sailing that appealed to Einstein. Perhaps even aspects of his famous Theory Of Relativity were formulated onboard a sailboat.

I always knew sailing was brilliant !

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Shaelyn ….




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Time to move the sailing dream along …!

“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days . . . as you make use of.” —Charles Richards

Get out there and sail the boat. Now !

[or at least very soon]

“…if we are sitting around waiting—maybe even begging and pleading—for our circumstances to change so that we can finally live life the way we really want to live, chances are very good that we will stay stuck waiting forever.”

People wait.

They wait for that elusive day when they’ll finally have enough time (guess what?—you never will), enough education (there is always more to know), enough money (no matter how much you make, someone will always have more). They wait until the children are grown (news flash: just because they’re grown, it doesn’t mean you’re rid of them) or until things settle down at work (they never will).

People wait until . . . until . . . until . . . They wait, and they wait, and they wait, until that fateful day when they wake up and realize that while they were sitting around, paying dues, earning their keep, waiting for that elusive “perfect time,” their entire life has passed them by.

Posted in Ocean Blue, Sailboat Cruising | Leave a comment

Government Farm Bay

Government Farm Bay.gOVERNMENT fARM bAY

I’d always taken a look at this bay on the chart, situated on the western shores of the dam, just north of the Island, and thought that it would make a good lunch stop-over. In all my years of sailing the Vaal, somehow I’d never had the opportunity or made the effort to sail up this way. While seeing the place from the road each time I’d driven to Deneysville, I’d often thought of sailing in and dropping the hook. Well today was the perfect opportunity to check it out from the water-side!

We’d had a wonderful sail from Pennant Nine, with a good westerly wind blowing steadily all afternoon. With full sail up, Ocean Blue was a little over-pressed in the gusts, and we’d furled and unfurled the genoa countless times to keep her on her feet and sailing fast as we beat around Big Bend and up towards the Confluence.

I’ve not often sailed through the Confluence on a single tack, but today was perfect, both sails drawing well as we set course for the south of the Island. Keen to see how Ocean Blue handled the waves in the main dam, we set a course, west of the island toward North Bay. I was about to see Government Farm Bay from the water for the first time.

Alas, it was not meant to be. I don’t recall why I was down below, but I thought, while I was there, to have a quick look in the bilge. Wow! Super, over-flowing-full! The Miura has deep bilges, so ‘full’ means quite a lot of water. Bugger! Well, at least I can now vouch for the bilge pump. It’s not just a monster to look at, it actually moves water at a phenomenal rate. It’s also perfectly located so you can sit on the starboard bunk, back up against the galley bulkhead, and pump with your right hand while still sipping your drink with the left.

It’s called relaxed panic!

Whoever installed the pump did a good job and within 10-15 strokes of the handle, 40l of murky Vaal soup was back where it belonged. The boat had happily resumed it’s status as a sailboat rather than a fish-bowl.

By the time I’d finished duty on the pump, Government Farm Bay had passed me by and we were almost as far as we could go up North Bay. The setting sun saw the wind dying and us turning for home and we lit the braai and settled down to a steady 5.7kt journey under motor back to PNYC.

So after all that, I still haven’t seen Government Farm from the water and on top of it all, I’m puzzled as to how the water is coming aboard. It only seems to do so under sail and also only on a port tack. I guess that means either the bilge pump outlet or the sink gas-drain hole is letting in the water. I think. The only way to test the theory is to set sail again and put a plug in both the holes to test out the theory.

Oh the joys of figuring out a new-old-boat…..!

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De-Naming and Re-Naming

Slow but steady progress is being made. I don’t know what was used to bond the old name on the hull. It certainly took forever to get it off and my fingers are still numb and tingly 2 days later. But, finally, the new old boat is ready to have the champagne bottle uncorked and officially renamed. Once the that’s done, the photo-shop name will be replaced by the actual!

Ocean Blue

I do realise that there’s a huge, under-world battle between the Roman and Greek gods of the wind and sea now looking on the process with raised eyebrows, thinking 1) he didn’t do that right and we’re going to bring bad luck to his ship and 2) he’d better choose us to appease rather than those other gods over there.

Well, I aint Roman or Greek so I guess I’ll just move ahead and do my own thing without paying any of them any attention. Here goes….!

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The difference between men and women ?


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Setting your own course,

Trimming your own sails

Leaving your own wake!

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Sailing Heros

4th place, 2200nm without a keel. I have added a new name to my list of worldly heros!! Well done Jean-Pierre Dick !!

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Ambassador of stubborn determination

So, rather than retire and give in, Mr Jean-Pierre Dick sailing Virbac-Paprec 3 is doggedly pressing on towards the finish after loosing his keel over 2000nm ago. His website states he is “Ambassador of Stubborn Determination“. No kidding! Makes my minor challenges and mishaps on the Vaal seem downright trivial. I shall never be afraid on the Vaal again methinks !

Here is an extract from the official Vendee Globe website ……

After 24 hours of surfing the coast to round Cape Finisterre in 30 knots of wind, rough seas, amongst the busy maritime motorway of cargo ships and fishing boats, a sleep deprived Jean-Pierre Dick(Virbac Paprec 3) has found shelter along the Galician coast, in the mining port of San Ciprián (San Cibrao). At 5:30 this morning, Virbac-Paprec 3 picked up a mooring buoy in the harbour, protected from the prevailing winds and the sea

On today’s Vendée Globe Live, Jean-Pierre said he was exhausted. He was planning to dive and check to the boat so he could further secure it in face of an incoming gale expected between late Thursday lasting until Friday. He also indicated that he had used his engine, which broke the engine seal, in order to finalize his approach to the buoy. He must write a report to the jury to explain the facts. A second report will be issued to specify the start time. The jury will then decide his fate.

Re-start on Sunday?

The big question is when will he be able to resume his route to Les Sables d’Olonne? A potential weather window opens in just over 48 hours. “I set myself a limit of 25 knots of wind “ he explained. In the Bay of Biscay, this weekend, the weather should improve. Virbac-Paprec 3 is currently 291 miles from Les Sables d’Olonne. If he returned to the race on Sunday morning, realistically he could arrive in the Vendée on Monday night. A double victory, fourth place and also, managing to successfully sail 2200 miles without keel.

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