Friday, February 26, 2010

City Taking Gamble On Seaplane Marina - County By County News Story - WFTV Orlando

6 Weeks out....we'll see how this flies:
"TAVARES, Fla. -- The city of Tavares is already calling itself America's seaplane city even though its multi-million dollar seaplane marina is still under construction. City leaders are taking a gamble on whether their new marina will attract tourists.

For the last two years, city leaders have said, 'If they build it, people will come.' The new marina on Lake Dora is taking shape, but some critics still insist a seaplane base will never fly.

Construction crews are in the home stretch. In six weeks, Tavares gets a brand-new image."

BBC News - Vast Antarctic iceberg 'threatens marine life'

BBC News - Vast Antarctic iceberg 'threatens marine life': "They say the iceberg, which is 78km long and up to 39km wide, could have consequences for the area's colonies of emperor penguins.

The emblematic birds may be forced to travel further afield to find food.

The iceberg calved from the Mertz Glacier Tongue after it was hit by another huge iceberg, called B9B."

Sailing Around The World With Solar

Artist's Rendering of the Solar Powered Catamaran
You’ll be able to admire the solar ship in person at its two U.S. stops, New York and San Francisco. PlanetSolar is committed to solar education and a lower-carbon way of doing business, to boot: the company’s website is hosted on a server powered by a solar installation, employees ride electric bikes instead of cars when taking short jaunts, the offices are in a partially solar-powered building, and they’ve been keeping track of the carbon impact of their project with the nonprofit MyClimate."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Serial Killer Whale

These aren't domesticated animals, just really smart.

The scary thing is that is could have been any of us who have been so close we could touch him.

Round-the-world girl sailor on home stretch

What next? Your 16 and already solo'd around the world... "SYDNEY — An Australian schoolgirl bidding to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world hit the home stretch Wednesday, passing South Africa's Cape of Good Hope for her final Indian Ocean leg.

Jessica Watson passed the Cape, a rocky headland near the point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, shortly after midnight GMT, marking the last landmark of her journey before she returns to Australia."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

San Diego Obvious Choice to Host America’s Cup

The News: "No sooner had the title of America’s Cup passed into the hands of BMW Oracle Racing, than the rumor mill began to spin about where the next cup challenge will take place.

With good reason, too. The influx of tourism dollars an event of this magnitude brings to its host city is enough to make even the most stalwart city councilmember giddy. Not to mention the economic benefit that comes from housing and feeding several dozen sailing teams for up to a year before the race.

It’s been speculated that the race would stay in Valencia since, after all, the teams are already established there with everything they need. Other sound arguments favor San Francisco Bay because Golden Gate Yacht Club is where BOR calls home and where the cup will be on display. But another worthy contender has thrown her hat into the ring: the fair city of San Diego.

Having already been the host city three times, San Diego is no stranger to America’s Cup. The last time the race came to San Diego was 1995, bringing with it an estimated $500 million in revenue to the local economy."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dolphins have diabetes off switch

"A study in dolphins has revealed genetic clues that could help medical researchers to treat type 2 diabetes.

Scientists from the US National Marine Mammal Foundation said that bottlenose dolphins are resistant to insulin - just like people with diabetes.

But in dolphins, they say, this resistance is switched on and off.

The researchers presented the findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego."

Zac Sunderland at Los Angeles Times Travel & Adventure Show

You don't need a drivers license to sail around the world, but you certainly do to drive a car in LA!

"Zac’s next challenge? Maybe penetrating Panama’s infamously dense Darien jungle, he said. Or sailing the rugged Northwest Passage. But first … um, he’d like to get a driver’s license. Yes, the kid who sailed solo around the globe said he flunked his driver’s test. We’re betting he’s up to the challenge."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

America's Cup showcases latest sailing technology

This will have to do until we can get the internet live on our contact lenses: "When Australian helmsman James Spithill steers Oracle's giant trimaran, he wears futuristic dark glasses linked to a small laptop and battery which he carries in a small backpack that make him look like 'RoboCop'.

The high-tech glasses allow him to see vital information on wind, sail loads and other topics from wherever he stands on the boat, in addition to deflecting any glare from the Mediterranean Sea in Valencia where Oracle is facing defending champions Alinghi's catamaran in the 33rd America's Cup.

'The first time I used them I had a really difficult time. It actually takes a fair bit of your vision away. Like anything though once you start it you get used to it,' the 30-year-old said."

Plans unveiled for world's largest yacht "The floating palace has been designed at a whopping 656 feet (200 meters) in length -- as long as two football fields end-to-end.

If built, it would surpass the world's current largest private yacht, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich's 'Eclipse,' by 99 feet (30 meters).

With a myriad of over-the-top luxury toys -- including a two-level cinema, a nightclub and helipad -- the yacht unsurprisingly comes with a hefty price tag.

Berkeley March, the yacht's naval architect, told CNN the boat could cost up to $1 billion (�650 million) to build, 'depending on the needs of the clients.'"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sailing faster than the wind.

I've always admired the physics of sailing: "Both the 113-foot American trimaran, USA 17, and 115-foot Swiss catamaran, Alinghi 5, have been clocked sailing at 15-30 knots (17-35 m.p.h.) in 5-10 knots of wind. And both are displacement hull boats that slice through the water like an aircraft carrier, rather than sliding across the top like a racing hydroplane.

The multihulls can do that because they are very light for their size, with a small amount of their hull surfaces in contact with the water; don’t have wide, heavy keels hanging underneath, and can carry huge amounts of sail area."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Marine Algae Found to Harness Power of Quantum Mechanics

OK this has nothing to do with boating, but when I'm sailing I'm often thinking about these things, physics and marine biology: "Scientists still struggle to understand and harness the spooky physics of quantum mechanics, but nature may have a head start on us humans. Tiny marine algae apparently use the mysterious phenomenon called superposition -- where a particle can be in two places at the same time -- to move around solar energy they harvest through the process of photosynthesis.

This astounding find suggests that biological creatures may have adapted quantum mechanics for survival billions of years ago. It also demonstrates that quantum mechanics can prevail over classical physics even at normal temperatures, given that the algae can send energy flowing through several alternate biological paths simultaneously."

America's Cup: Billionaires' Lawyers Duel - DailyFinance

America's Cup: Billionaires' Lawyers Duel - DailyFinance: "Even by the standards of a rich man's game, the 33rd America's Cup is outrageous. Three years of courtroom warfare between Ellison and Bertarelli's teams of lawyers have produced a highly legalistic set of racing rules, an incredibly precise protocol that borders on the ridiculous. For example, competing boats may be up to 90 feet long and must be measured with water in their ballast tanks -- but the distribution of the water is open to interpretation."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel

More info on this Waterskiing squirrel thing : Now I know where I first saw this! It wasn't my local boat show...he was in Will Ferrell's "Anchorman".  Actually, this is squirrel #8...the average squirrel life span is about 6 years.

Twiggy, a water-skiing squirrel, is appearing at the Atlantic City International Power Boat Show with handler Lou Ann Best. Lou Ann has been doing this for three decades -- and the world-famous squirrel is bringing crowds and smiles, along with helping Lou Ann accomplish a personal goal. Video by Press of Atlantic City digital reporter Dan Good.

America's Cup

Only 6-8 knot winds predicted for the first race Monday:

"Multihulls have been faster than monohulls since whenever the Tahitians strapped two logs together," said New Zealander Mike Drummond, BMW Oracle Racing's design director. "If it had been a Tahitian Empire instead of a British Empire, the world would have sailed multihulls."

They are the fastest, most powerful and downright extreme boats in the 159-year history of the America's Cup. When they hook into even the slightest breeze, their windward hulls fly off the water by up to 20 feet.

Capable of sailing at up to three times the speed of the wind, USA has flirted with 50 knots. Conventional America's Cup yachts average 11 or 12 knots under good conditions."

“Bail Out” Makes Annual List of Top 10

Sign of the times: ALEXANDRIA, Va., February 4, 2010 – Boat names can reveal much about the personality of a boat owner. Or, they can also serve as signposts of the modern era. With the release of the annual Top Ten List of Most Popular Boat Names by Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.), one newcomer to the list stands out. “Bail Out, the number five pick, clearly speaks volumes about what’s on boaters’ minds,” said BoatU.S. President Nancy Michelman. “With today’s economic uncertainty, naming a boat Bail Out could indicate that boating is a survival mechanism for the family that will keep them afloat,” she added."

Plastiki's trial sail.

Boat of plastic bottles has trial sail: "Behind the adventure is a dead serious message: de Rothschild wants to draw attention to a world of plastic waste. Only a fraction of the world's plastic bottles are recycled, he says. The rest end up in landfills or out in the ocean. He figures the way to get the recycling message across is a plastic sailing adventure - a message in a bottle."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Luxury Charter in the Northwest.

Alaskan Adventures: "The Jamal is a U. S. Coast Guard certified, extremely stable, all weather motor yacht that was built for the oceans of the world. Its accommodations have been created for your enjoyment and convenience including air conditioning, washer and dryer, flush toilets, large en suite baths for each stateroom. This world class yacht is ready to take you anywhere in comfort and safety."