Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

So I've been out of town (Kentucky) and out of touch for a bit but with Memorial Day Weekend coming up, I'm heading to Ocean City and thus, Margaritaville for a few days and then I'm moving into an apartment so....Expect to see something new maybe this time next week?

A bunch of friends of mine and I have rented a beach house down in Ocean City for this coming weekend so I'm really looking forward to it. 19 of us relaxing and partying; man do I need it.

We've heard about this place called Seacrets that we're going to have to check out. Tables in the water and inner tubes where you get served? That sounds mighty nice to me. If you check out the link, its in the "About Us" part of the site and I'm pretty sure the owner guy who is describing everything, was drunk during the making of the video. The place is also its own hotel and indie radio station apparently. DJ on the beach later on in the evening? Yeah...I'm thinking this could be OK.

Anyhow, we're gonna grill up some burgers and throwback a few cold ones. To everyone else, have a pleasant Memorial Day and... not to get in anyway political but since its Memorial Day, remember the troops.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Oil Slick in the Gulf of Mexico vs. Windfarm at Cape Cod

Just saw a post about the positive v. negative effects of the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico and the windfarm up by Cape Cod. Since I've written about both of these, I thought I would pass along the info I found at Sea Fever Blog. This blog apparently found it here, at Fast Company. Please enjoy. Its a nice, informative picture.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

North Korean Torpedo Sinks Ship

So an international report "Investigation Result on the Sinking of the ROKS "Cheonan" by The Joint Civilian-Military Investigation Group declared that it was a North Korean torpedo that sank the South Korean ship on March 26th killing 46 sailors. That report can be found here.

Basically, they go through, in a very detailed manner, how everything points to the North Koreans having fired one of their torpedos at the South Korean ship "Cheonan" and sunk it "due to a shockwave and bubble effect produced by an underwater torpedo explosion". 

Their final conclusion was that:
"Based on all such relevant facts and classified analysis, we have reached the clear conclusion that ROKS "Cheonan" was sunk as the result of an external underwater explosion caused by a torpedo made in North Korea. The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the torpedo was fired by a North Korean submarine. There is no other plausible explanation"

The whole story can be found at the BBC website

Personally, I wonder if it has anything to do with North Korea's "naval firing exercises" that they warned South Korea about in February...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Floated Out of New Orleans

So I finally made it out of New Orleans!

There was so much rain down there this weekend that I feel fairly justified putting this in my sailing blog.

I was there to observe the loading of a huge container ship. The morning was pretty nice. Overcast with a nice breeze. Come afternoon though, it would be unfair to call it anything other than a torrential downpour.  Thunder. Lightening. The whole bit. Suffice to say, we didn't do a whole lot more loading. Besides, the crane has caught fire right before lunch so we were waiting for that too.

We finally start back up again at 4. 5 o'clock - more rain. 6 o'clock - no rain. 6:45pm - torrential downpour for an hour followed by light rain. I'm outside this whole time. Luckily, I'd brought my rain jacket. I needed it.

It stopped long enough for me to visit Bourbon Street that evening and try a local stout and have a gator-meat po'boy. Tastes kinda like a synthesis of fish, pork and chicken. Deep-fried. Ummmm.... :-)

Sunday, I woke up to thunder and lightening and a whole lot of rain. Again, a very heavy downpour. Anyhow, I trundle on down to the front desk to check out of the hotel early. The desk clerk looks at me like I'm crazy (one eyebrow raised almost to the forehead and the other trying to push her eye to down next to her nose) and ask "You drivin'?" with a Louisiana accent.

Me - "Yep"
DC - "Have you SEEN the storm outside?"
Me - "Yes..."
DC - "And you're drivin'?" [ her face softens, but only slightly]
Me - "Uh huh [with a smile on my face]"
DC - "Okay..." [ with a look down and to the left, raised eyebrows that suggest "your funeral"]

I have them pull my car around and there are a bunch of people just waiting around in the garage, trying to get into a shuttle. I get in and start to leave and realize that as soon as I pull out, I'm not on the road; I'm driving through a lake.

I had to circle the hotel to get going the right way and you couldn't see that there was a sidewalk at all. I thought my rented Nissan Altima was going to stall out from all the water I presumed was making its way into the engine.

I somehow make it to Canal (how apropos; I'm aware) Street and everyone is in one lane, the closest to the center because the road is highest in the middle and the water was shin deep on the sidewalk and thus  even deeper in the road. At one point I was stopped at a red light a huge black trash bin floated right on by me. It was comical in a nerve-racking kind of way.

I pulled onto the trolley tracks at one point, thinking they would keep me on higher ground but there were trollies coming as well as a cop car, so that was a short-lived dream. Managed to make it the on ramp to the interstate (I-10) and the Acura Integra, two cars in front of me appears to die and just stops. I felt bad as I drove by.

Finally made it back to the airport where I proceeded to wait from 10am to 8pm for a flight back to Baltimore.

There was a storm in Baltimore when I left, a storm in New Orleans that followed me around and its been raining off and on for three days here in Annapolis.

Some sunshine would be nice...hopefully some racing tonight.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Off to New Orleans

I've really been too tired and busy to post much this week.

Did have a lovely Mother's Day down on Surprise with the family; just playing Cranium and reading/napping. The wind has been incredible lately, a fairly consistent 15-25 knots with gusts up to 32, but since my mom doesn't like it when "the boat tips on its side like that!" (read: heels), we didn't go out. Quite the bummer since we would have rocketed around something fierce on Sunday.

No race this week since the captain is off to Montana for a fishing trip and I'm headed down to New Orleans on a business trip for a few days. Should be good, especially if I get to hang out in the French Quarter for a bit.

We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

RACE: Week 3

I don't know what it is, but I feel pretty good today; existentially speaking.

Personally, I think its because its been far too long since I've been sailing. Yesterday's race was only the second time this season. I've really been looking forward to, and planning on, going sailing a fair bit this summer but with moving down to DC, I'm not sure how often its going to happen. I just have to make more of an effort I suppose...

Anyhow, the race yesterday was great! Wind was all over the place with an average of 17-20 knots with the occasional gusts up to 35! It was roaring something fierce. We had a full crew on and a new guy (to the boat, not to sailing) from the Naval Academy who is pretty good at foredeck and was able to help me out. I'm not your worst choice at foredeck and I'm still learning. The new guy Drew is definitely going to be a good teacher. The good thing is that this year, I actually feel like I know what I'm doing when it comes to putting up and taking down the spinnaker...mostly. It was a long race but had some excitement with the wind being as brisk as she was. At one point, we were hard over with about 2 inches of the starboard gunwale in the water, trying to take down the spin and I lost my footing and had to quickly grab the mast with my right hand while keeping the spinnaker in the boat with my left while regaining my footing by standing on one of the starboard shrouds. I caught myself which at least kept me from falling into the jib, and seconds later, the water.

Nothing like a little action to liven up the work week!

I'm pretty sure we came in last, probably on corrected time as well but it was our first race of the season and I was just glad to be out there racing, having fun, and throwing back a few cold ones with some great guys. And since it was Cinco de Mayo yesterday and I really need a Mexican battle to justify drinking, I rounded out the evening with a few Dos Equis at my local cantina.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: 2

Here's another picture I found, courtesy of the Washington Post.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

So I had some good links on here some maps that show what NOAA is predicting in terms of spread of the oil but it was really stopping up my page so I'll just put the links below.

Estimate of Oil Coverage by 1800 5/05/10
Estimate of Oil Coverage by 1800 5/06/10