Tuesday, July 07, 2015

A quick look at some numbers...

Krugman asks a question, news that will make you want to repeatedly bash your head against a bulkhead, and in the "things that glow in the dark department"...

The other day I was looking at the changes of population in the Caribbean and it was/is depressing reading.

For instance, here's the population stats for the USVI but if you bother to look into the rest of the Caribbean you're going to see the same story played out...

YearPop.±%
190130,527—    
191127,086  −11.3%
191726,051−3.8%
193022,012−15.5%
194024,889+13.1%
195026,665+7.1%
196032,099+20.4%
197062,468+94.6%
198096,569+54.6%
1990101,809+5.4%
2000108,612+6.7%
2010  106,405−2.0%

Scary numbers when you think about it. An even scarier number is that in 2008 the population density was measured at 162 people per square kilometer.

The increased population combined with a unsustainable economy, an infrastructure way past its sell-by date, and a total lack of anyone in power actually doing anything remotely constructive to fix things does not a pretty picture make.

Or, to put it in common parlance, it's all going to hell in a turbo charged wicker basket. So, if you plan to visit and cruise down here I'd do it sooner rather than later...

Listening to Greg Trooper

So it goes...

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Dumb and dangerous...

This sort of leaves a nasty aftertaste, about those boat people, and just how do you lampoon this sort of shit...

It's the D&D day again... So, try not to blow up, burn down, or otherwise let things get out of hand while listening to our founding fathers spin like tops in their graves.

Listening to Caleb Caudle

So it goes...

Friday, July 03, 2015

Why you might want to dust off your sextant...

A piece of the puzzle, an interesting discussion, and in the "not spontaneous combustion" department...

Over at Just an Earth Bound Misfit ( a blog you should really be reading) there's an interesting bit about the return of LightSquared to the playing field that you need to read and check out the provided links.

Since soulless greed has an annoying habit of trumping common sense these days you might want to work on your celestial navigation skills... Just in case.



Listening to Your Heart Breaks

So it goes...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I suppose it was just a matter of time...

Just plain barbaric, how clean air is not as important as profits, and, if you happen to need some wedding photography, you might want to check out these folks...

Till someone came up with a nautical version of Jam in the Van...


Boating with Clyde Episode #1: Peanut Buzzers and Jammin' with Angelo Spencer et Les Hauts Sommets from Do it for the girls on Vimeo.

Listening to the guy in the boat

So it goes...

Monday, June 29, 2015

So, what do you really get for that extra $425K?

Very interesting, well worth a read, and a good point being made...

Reading a recent issue of Sail magazine I was admiring the look of the new Rustler 36 and, thinking to myself, what a nice cruising boat it would be. Well, right up till the point that I saw it was around $450K for a "sailaway" version.

Which is not to say that the Rustler is not a very, very nice boat but an over half-million dollar, old-school design boat by the time you get it off the dock for something that performs like and will take you to the same places as an old CAL 36 (or insert your favorite older classic plastic 36 here) you could buy for less than $15K.

Throw in a smart $10K bespoke refit and anchor it next to the Rustler 36 and 99% of folks who dinghy by wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two...

Maybe it's just me but I just can't see any way that extra $425K spent would make my life any better.

Just saying.

Listening to a hurdy-gurdy man...

So it goes...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Some common sense amidst the consumerism...

A couple of very good points, a bit of truth in advertising, and in the "if you want a drill, drill em" department...

Deb and TJ (who have the most excellent "The Retirement Project" blog ) sent me a copy of their new book "How Not to Buy a Cruising Boat" which, as it happens, is also now available as a KINDLE book.

Now, as a general rule, I'm not a big fan of what passes for "How-To" books of the sailing/cruising variety these days. The problem is they're either just rehashed clones of books that are already on my book shelf or a concoction of recipes of how to throw money at stuff and buy needless shit. So, I'll be honest and admit I wasn't exactly excited by the prospect of reading HNTBACB if it was the same old same.

So, here's the short form good news... It's a good book and if you are currently thinking about buying a sailboat to go cruising it's a must read.

The reason it's good is that they did all of the right stuff we're told is needful and still had problems. Which is not to say they did not make some mistakes along the way as well but they had the good sense to learn from them. A surprisingly rare trait in writers dispensing advice of a nautical nature.

Take their issues/problems with some marine tradesmen...

They don't like surveyors. Point of fact; this state of affairs is contrary to most everyone's advice on how to buy a boat. The current accepted carved in granite mindset is that whenever buying a boat you MUST GET A SURVEY! As it happens, I know quite a few surveyors but, then again, I have been known to travel in rather unsavory circles from time to time so hardly surprising. Fact of the matter is that all but one of the surveyors I know are either crooks, incompetent, or a mix of the two... Would I have a beer with them? Sure (though I'd keep my hand on my wallet while I'm doing it). Would I trust them to survey my own boat or a friends? Hell no! Well, actually, if I needed a survey that said my boat was in great shape and worth a shitload of money so I could defraud an insurance company I might (I hear the current going rate for this sort of service is 15% of the take).

Their input on other marine "experts" is also very good.

I have one niggle with the book (which had me throwing my virtual book against the virtual bulkhead several times) which is that some standard false comparisons that everbody uses crept in (the worst being their table comparing dinghies). I also took some issue with their measurement of needed HP for a given boat. That said, they are minor issues.

All in all, it is a very good additon to my book shelf and one I'll be recommending to folks right along with Fatty Goodlanders "Buy, Outfit, & Sail" and Geoff Pack's "Blue Water Countdown".

Listening to some bottom line stuff

So it goes...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Something you need to read...

Something well worth reading, FYI on appropriate use of language, and an important question you should ask yourself every once in awhile...

In a week with more than its fair share of bad news  a lot of folks have been focused on the loss overboard of Carly Hill of Oryx. Jill from Yacht Mollymawk covers the important stuff better than most and it's really a must read.

Listening to Chicano Batman and digging it

So it goes...



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Here's a project of interest...

John Scalzi making some needful points, a sky pilot getting it right, and Badtux pointing out the obvious...

A long time ago I read the book "Sailing the Farm" by Ken Neumeyer and while there is a lot of good ideas, some excellent information on seaweed and other content of a useful sort, it suffered greatly from the fact that a lot of the projects/ideas were just not practical aboard a boat or, in their current form of evolution, simply did not work. Which is not to say he was not on the right track or his theories were wrong but it was simply not quite ready for prime time.

Tragically, as fate would have it, Ken Neumeyer was never able to write a sequel to "Sailing the Farm" but I'm sure that if he had it would have contained a boat sized, scaled down, and demountable version of something like this solar dehydrator from Mother Earth News.

Actually, maybe it's time to look at "Sailing the Farm" again and see how we can apply current tech and materials...

Listening to The Platters (2015 version)

So it goes...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

It's been a shitty week...

One every 98 minutes is seriously fucked up, something you should know if you plan to cruise Guatemala, and Donkey Mountain makes a good point/prediction...

It's the first day of summer and in France the streets are alive with the sound of music during the Fête de la Musique and I'm well and I'm more than a little depressed.

It's been a horrible week. The sort of week you really just wish you had not read the news at all, topped off by a senseless racist massacre in a church in South Carolina.

Made even worse, if that is even possible, by listening to a clown car of spineless, self-serving politicians running for president and FAUX news say that it wasn't about racism, that there was really no racism in the US of A anymore, and that all things considered it was really the fault of any number of things but certainly had nothing to do with racism or guns.

Yeah right...

Of course, as some folks will no doubt write in and tell me...

 "But that doesn't have anything to do with boats or cruising, it's depressing, so you shouldn't write about this sort of thing"

... Here's the thing, it really does have something to do with boats and cruising because I've been at cruiser get-togethers and had to listen to stupid racist jokes and generally stupid comments of a racial nature far more often than you'd expect in a community that prides itself on being non-racist, open-minded, and welcoming to all...

The sad fact is that overt racism has become so prevalent these days that it's considered normal and when confronted with it instead of doing something about it far too many just pretend it doesn't exist...

But it does and we should all be doing something about it.

Listening to Fortunate Youth

So it goes...