Recently I’ve been lucky enough to steer a variety of sailboats nearly back-to-back, and I’ve been amazed at how different each helm felt. Most of the differences can be traced to the boats’ widely varied rudder designs, which caused me to ponder the challenges naval architects face in designing them. Continue reading Reflections on Yacht Design: Rudders →
Ever had trouble staying alert while on those long overnight watches during a race or a delivery? Here are some games we made up to keep ourselves entertained during the Annapolis to Newport race:
- Try to name every state and each state’s capital. We tried to remember them all by starting in alphabetical order
- The same but for European countries
- The same but for African countries. We didn’t make much progress on this one despite the fact that yours truly took a History of Modern Africa class in college that required memorization of precisely these items. Sigh.
- Does anyone know a language the others don’t? Teach them common daily phrases. We chose Norwegian.
We also made up a new game we called “superlatives.” Although the idea isn’t all that novel and on further reflection a game called “superlatives” almost certainly is already a thing, the game seemed novel through the fog of sleep depravation. We’d ask questions like the following and then go in a circle so that each crew member could give his / her own answer:
- What’s the most scared you’ve ever been in your life?
- What’s the most drunk?
- Name an alcoholic beverage with which you’ve “had a falling out” and tell the story
- What’s the best movie ever made?
- What’s the most beautiful boat ever made?
…and so on. We entertained ourselves for hours, day and night. Try it on your next passage!
The first time we raced Odette (from Miami to Havana) we struggled to get her going – especially in light air – and we didn’t have the choreography of sail changes down as well as we would have liked. Since then we’ve spent many more hours aboard getting to know the boat, and we committed two Saturday practices leading up the race to fine tuning our crew maneuvers. All of the hard work paid off in a much better finishing result. Continue reading Racing Annapolis to Newport On The Hylas 56 →