Hurricane Earl, waiting for the other shoe to drop

Earl is coming, The Stamford-Vineyard race start has been postponed until Saturday morning. A prudent decision, however how many opportunities does one have to sail in challenging conditions.  That said let’s hope Earl keeps his distance.

Another slightly random remark. I like Sailing Anarchy. They do an outstanding job of covering the sport of sailing. They amuse me as well. I do have a criticism however, The gratuitous use of foul language; for me totally unnecessary and mildly offensive. It is unfortunate that this has managed to get them into trouble (they are being sued by Dan Meyers)  I do not see that there is an upside for either party.


Hurricane Earl, the second major hurricane of 2010, began to menace the
eastern United States Tuesday, stirring up seas and promising a soggy and
potentially dangerous Labor Day weekend. To help affected U.S. residents
follow Earl’s progress is Sailing Weather Service (SWS), which recently
helped Ericsson 4 win the 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race and BMW Oracle Racing win
the 33rd America’s Cup.

“We’ve opened a public page for folks to track Earl using data that is
normally available only to US Sailing Members,” said SWS Chief Meteorologist
Chris Bedford. “There are 1-hour time step images of our proprietary model
forecast along the U.S. east coast for the next 3-5 days. Some zoomed model
graphics are available over the Chesapeake and New England. Our plan is to
keep this open until Earl (and maybe Fiona) have passed. With a little luck
we won’t need it again, but to be honest, I’m not too optimistic about

The 2010 Hurricane Season in the Atlantic Ocean began on June 1, 2010, and
will end on November 30, 2010. The Sailing Weather Service Model Data can be
viewed here:

  The America’s cup update  It is looking more and more like the next America’s Cup will be in 72 foot catamarans, in Valencia.


Today is world metrology day, celebrating the standardization of measure. How important is that? I will add here that when lofting “Courageous” S&S chose to give us the offsets in centimeters. They felt it would produce a more accurate set of lines. Remember this is 1973, It was not obvious where we would get tape measures in centimeters; we had to special order them. To further complicate things I seem to recall that  the keel design was delivered to us in tenths of an inch. We had to order yet another set of tapes.

500 mb and the Gulf Stream

Today was the last day of class with Lee Chesneau, we discussed the 500 mb charts in weather. We had a guest speaker, Frank Bohlen who has spent most of his life studying the Gulf Stream. It is such a large feature and contains so much energy, it has a very real impact on weather.

  We only scratched the surface on these subjects, but it points us in the right direction to learn more

I have been stopping each time I return to newport crossing the bridge to check on the progress of the Ospreys that are nesting near the marsh. splendid creatures. I cannot wait to see the offspring.

500 mb tomorrow

  Lee is teaching us weather, at the Mystic Seaport. Tomorrow we will deal with the 500 mb level. I have been waiting for this for a long time. I just finished my assigned reading. It does not matter is terms of the material I am learning, however Lee is teaching Heavy weather avoidance, whereas my intention is to use what I learn to help set up for speed, much like the boats trying to set records do.
  We were also treated to a show at the Planetarium.


Friday evening was my 45th class re-union. I attended St. George’s School. Suddenly I wonder where the time went. It is the second re-union I have ever attended and I never really took the time to look back. Amazingly I was able to recognize everyone and recall their names. I had a very nice time listening to the life story of those I was able to speak with. As you all know everyone has a story.
     This evening was made possible by Jim Gubelmann, classmate, shipmate, friend. who with his wife hosted a dinner for us at his house. I call Jimmy “The glue that binds” He always finds a way to bring people together.
   The re-union continues this weekend, however, this was my only event, I am shortly off to attend Lee Chesneau’s weather course. I have been waiting for several years for him to give this course in my area.

Weather in the Northeast

Emerging from a winter that I personally found hard, despite the fact I have lived through worse. Winter ended with what seemed to be endless rain, here in the northeast. Anyone who has followed the news has seen the damage  too much rain can reek. Like the flowers, we turn our faces to the sun anxious to absorb her glorious rays.
    The rivers in Rhode Island, attracted early industry as they provided power and transportation proved to be the undoing of so many people living near them.
   Spring seems to be about three weeks “early”in stark contrast to last year when we seemed to abruptly have gone  from winter the summer, leaving spring out of the equation. I am already wondering if this mild spring will lead to warmer water leading into the fall and therefore  the possibility of a hurricane. We have dodged this manifestation of nature in recent history, only adding to the potential probability.


I took the photo of the waterspout off the coast of Corsica in September 2001. I had gone to Porto Cervo to race on Columbia the twelve meter. we rarely got off the dock as one Mistral after another kept us ashore.

This was during 9/11. which delayed racing further, not that anyone was focused on sailing with such an event.
We were to be in Monaco for another regatta. The weather continued to delay our departure. Finally, it was leave or miss the regatta. The weather had abated a little. Valiant left before us, reporting big seas in the Straits of Bonifacio; losing her mast shortly thereafter.
We left, cautiously, once in the lee of Corsica, we felt somewhat relived. I took this photo of the water spout from the deck of Columbia; and very pleased to have taken it. Many years ago, while racing on Charisma off Palma di Majorca we started a race amidst more than twenty spouts all around us. It was a spectacular sight. I was never able to take a photograph then, I was otherwise occupied, and had been waiting for another opportunity.