Friday, December 19, 2014


When the wind dies, will the RS Aero owner be the first sailor back to the club bar?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blue Guitar - A Quiz

Today I have a quiz for you - with a difference.

When we were at Bitter End YC earlier this month, this boat was anchored there.

The Blue Guitar was also at BEYC when we were there last year.

In both years we were told by other guests that it was Eric Clapton's boat. But we never saw Eric Clapton. The only non-crew member we saw from the boat was a lady about our age who came over in a launch to BEYC a few times, apparently to walk on the trails there.

And here's the quiz part. It's all about how you decide what information you can trust on the Internet. I was reading a book a few months ago that said that one of the most important skills we can teach children today is to know how to verify sources, especially on the Internet. We are almost at the point where you can find any fact you want on the Internet. But can you trust everything you find there? And what do you do if there is conflicting information?

You will find many sources on the Internet which support the fact that the Blue Guitar is Eric Clapton's boat. You will also find other sources which say that Eric's boat is actually this boat, the motor yacht Va Bene.

You will find at least one source that claims Eric Clapton owns both the Va Bene and the Blue Guitar.

And you will find at least one source that names other people as the owners of the Blue Guitar.

So what's going on?  Should I believe what I was told - that the Blue Guitar is Eric Clapton's boat?

Have a dig around on the Interwebs yourself and tell me what you think. But I don't just want a yes or no answer. I want to understand your reasoning. Why should I believe some things I find on the Internet about the Blue Guitar and disbelieve others?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Red Wine and Duct Tape

Just got back from 10 days at the Bitter End YC in the BVI where I ate too much, drank too much... and sailed, kayaked, paddle-boarded, swam, hiked, ran and stargazed just the right amount.

While I was there, someone told me the secret about the difference between men and women that has eluded me these last 66 years...

Women think red wine will fix everything.

Whereas men think duct tape will fix everything.

I never knew.

I think I'll open a bottle of red wine now.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


The next America's Cup will be held in Bermuda.

What a brilliant choice!

A natural amphitheater.

Excellent winds.

And it's British.

What more could you ask for?

And if you're still not convinced, read what Charles Doane - a much better writer and a much better sailor than me - has to say about this decision on his blog Wave Train.

Why Not Bermuda?

"We should just kick back and savor the madness…"

Monday, December 01, 2014

Best Sailing Blog on the Planet of 2014

Some years I have published a list of the top ten (or approximately ten) of my favorite sailing blogs of the year.

Some years I haven't.

It's tough to choose only ten blogs, balancing the wishes to include old favorites while recognizing promising newcomers.

Not to mention that inclusion on my top ten list has usually been the kiss of death for at least three blogs on the list which have been abandoned by their authors within a few months.

So this year I am dong something a bit different.

I am announcing that one blog, a relatively new blog, is the undisputed Best Sailing Blog on the Planet of 2014.

Pause for fanfare…


And the winner is…

by Damian

I could give you a long list of all the excellent posts that Damian has written this year. But please go and browse the blog yourself. There's excellent advice on how to be a better sailor. There are thought-provoking series of posts about important issues in our sport like how clubs can retain younger members and the ethics of protests. There's humor. There's poetry. There's sports psychology. There's a guest post by an Oppie Mum and hilarious advice on boat maintenance.

If I wasn't already writing a sailing blog, I think Damian's writing in the last year would inspire me to start one.

And so many times I have read one of Damian's posts and thought, "I wished I could write a post as good as that."

Subscribe to The Final Beat. Sign up to get it by email. Follow it. Read it. Leave comments.

It's the best sailing blog on the planet.

RS Aero at Carnac

RS AERO Carnac by voile-magazine

I can't get enough of RS Aero porn.

Especially when it's French porn.

I think I'll have a cold shower now.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Is Blogging Dead?

There's a great article over on ProBlogger, by guest author Steff Green, titled Is Blogging Dead?

Subscriber numbers are down. Younger people aren't starting new blogs. The action has moved to other social media platforms accessed by smartphones and it's all about shorter, punchier messages than the average blog post.

I expect all of my watery blogger friends have seen the same trends.

Is it time to recognize the inevitable and organize the wildest funeral party ever to bury all our blogs?


I confess I didn't tell you the whole truth.

OK. I lied.

The full title of Steff's blog post is actually Is Blogging Dead? How Blogs are changing and How You Can Stay on Top.

Steff is full of ideas on how to respond to the trends in the blogging world, with suggestions on how to take advantage of the swing to social media, rethink where the conversations about your blog posts will be happening, and make money from your blog in this new world.

Whether you are a blogger or a reader or both, tell me, do you think blogging is dead?

Or, if you think the patient may still be breathing, then what do bloggers need to do to resuscitate the corpse?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Random Things I Am Thankful For This Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for…

My sailing friends 
especially the ones who drove 
down from Massachusetts so many times 
to train with me in Rhode Island this year

The RS Aero 
perhaps the best new singlehanded sailing boat 
since the Laser

Cup-holders on boats 

The winter solstice

Trapezoid courses

Form N-400



My blog readers 
especially those of you who 
take the trouble to leave a comment 
or send me an email

Waking up





 especially rum after sailing 

The farmers, growers, fishers, brewers, and winemakers 
of New England 

The Oxford comma 

IEEE 802.11

Rule 43.1(a) 


The Leinster Burger 
at Aidan's Pub 

especially beer after sailing 

All the people who work in restaurants and bars and pubs 

Even More Extreme Sudoku
Antoine Alary 

Six little people

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

RS Aero - Focus on Cup Holder

For those of my readers who thought I had finished writing about the RS Aero, fear not, I still have a lot more to say about the Aero and what I learned while sailing it at Minorca Sailing.

There are many positive attributes to the Aero -  its light weight, its acceleration, its hi-tech, sexy, modern feel and look… But I didn't appreciate one of its most important features on my first few days sailing the boat. I had noticed this cylindrical indentation in the cockpit floor at the back of the hiking strap. And I saw that there was a small hole from its center to the outside of underneath of the hull. But I couldn't figure out what it was. Could it be part of the method for draining water from the cockpit? But that didn't seem to be necessary as there are perfectly good drain flaps in the transom.

Eventually I asked some of the instructors at Minorca Sailing. This caused much scratching of heads. One young instructor suggested it might be an air expansion hole for the hull but that didn't seem to make any sense at all to me. And then the chief instructor worked it out…

"It's a cupholder!!!"

Of course it is. A cupholder.

I found some random bottle of water, and put it in the cupholder, and photographed it. (Actually the upholder could have accommodated a somewhat larger bottle.) Perfect!

Wow! Just wow! These guys at RS Sailing have thought of everything. I've never ever owned a boat with a cupholder before.

This may just clinch the deal.