Monday, April 10, 2006

What A Difference 180 Days Makes

Yahoo podcasts (beta format) is gearing up to dominate the podcasting market by providing a very comprehensive search engine. In November 2005, one of my frequently visited sailing sites Seadated began podcasting. Back then there was only one other sailing podcast that I could find through itunes (furled sails).

Yesterday I did a quick search on Yahoo to see what I could find. My first search was a simple "sail" keyword search. It surprisingly yielded some great results both video and audio podcasts. The first entry was "The Captain Humphreys Video Blog". I have to say it was not exactly what I thought it would be. I will give it another try when the next episode comes out but quickly stopped watching it.

Full Sail Radio caught my attention and I listened to it for a bit. The segment had a great intro to racing for the novice. Thought it was well done. I look forward to future podcasts. I did some other searches as well with racing in the keyword mix and came up with some others. I was surprised to find the Volvo Ocean Race has a podcast.

Turning my attention to itunes I quickly checked out what was available. To my surprise there was a good number as well. Some of them were the same found on yahoo but the point here is that the content is growing. You never know maybe a video podcast of The Skips Blog is in order.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Ode to Teak

Just got back from a long day at the boat. Slowly waking Gray Jay from her winter hibernation. Everything is in good working order. I did notice that the bottom will need a good clean before I put in the VC-17.

Spent most of the day sanding the teak toerails. Have to admit they are in rough shape. Not horrible but rough. Lots of elbow grease is the answer. Spend 3 hour sanding..(2 people) and managed to get 1/3 of the boat done. With each sanding stroke I kept my mantra..."this WILL look good when it is done". I bow to the strength of the teak wood. The boat has been exposed all winter and most likely three to four winters since it has had any wood treatment on the toerails. The rails had some major grain grooves in them which required an awful lot of sanding to smooth out.

I have never applied Cetol before. Got a kick when I read the back of the can. "rags that are used during application may burst into flames. Ensure that they are soaked in water after use". Hmmm...guess I will be using gloves for application. And a mask! Think I will throw my clothes out after soaking them in water!

Lots to do on the boat. Bottom seems to be the major issue. Looking forward to race season now. It seems much much closer now.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I mentioned in an earlier post that I should see if I can find any long range climate forecasts that may have an impact on the weather this year (for example el ninio).

I did some digging and came up with the Environment Canada climate and weather office for Canada. Although this data will not guarantee results it may help spot general trends in the nearby water systems. I can pick 3 nearby stations and analyze the data from them on a day to day or month to month comparison.

Poking around I found the US navy NexSat site which provides some great data on daily weather. The wind indication has upper lower and mid level displays as well as microwave. The data also allows for quick drill down to region for whatever data you are on.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Crisp, and Clean

Received the new Spinnaker today. I bought it online from North Sails and have to say that it is in immaculate condition. It was a grade 10 of 10 sail and is in perfect condition. From the looks of the sail it has not been even flaked to fly yet!

Can't wait to get fly it! I will be going down to the boat this weekend to open it up and do an inspection. The winter was not that hard so I don't expect any surprises.

I was at the club last night to attend the Basin Race Committee meeting (along with the Club Race Committee that I joined as well). Overall joining the committee has given me a few insights into the regatta and overall planning of the season. It has also given me a inside look into some of the problems that they encounter when timing. Should have a post or two in the near future.

I need to create a checklist and prep list for the season. Hopefully I can get that done tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Another Year of Racing Begins

Just want to say sorry to all those readers who visit the Skips blog and have found no new posts for quite some time. While sailing is always on my mind I guess the cold weather got to me and I did what most Canadians do in cold weather...hibernate.

The new (sort of) spinnaker will arrive tomorrow. Looking forward to that. I went with North Sails certified used sails for this year. The main is in great shape other than a tiny rip in the window which I will have fixed shortly.

Just itching to get down to the boat and start the prep work for the year. Have a lot to do. Posts will be slow to start as I slowly gear up for the season. Snow that sort puts a damper on things. Hopefully the weekend will be good. Only a few weeks to launch. Again thanks to those who have been reading. Look for quite a few posts during the racing season.

To all those who are racing as well. Good luck this year and lets hope it is a windy one. I should make a note to check out if there are any long range forecasts for the summer temperatures, winds, weather trends that may have surfaced over the winter months.