STRANDED ON A WHAT?!
Cruising for the first time without our two sons as crew, Jo Anna and I head north from Virginia to Nova Scotia. After dealing with fog for four days, we discover a netherworld of outlandish people and animals all living in a shack and a castle, where it seems a spell is cast.
Realizing that the cruising experience doesn't get any more fulfilling than this, we stay for a month, visiting nowhere else in Nova Scotia.
This is Part One of a two-part Caper, the preamble to Part Two, a bizarre survival thriller.
News on New Wing Rig from Randy Smyth
In this special edition capercast, Jim Brown shares news about the development of a new type of Wing Rig developed by Olympian sailor Randy Smyth.
Jim learned about this firsthand from Randy after Randy won the Class 5 category of the 2017 Everglades Challenge Race in Florida.
Lots of fun in this one, as Jim shares details via his cell phone. (Because of this unique recording situation, the audio quality of this capercast is not as clear as when Jim produces them in his office-studio. But as usual, his great storytelling voice and excitement make this special edition a worthwhile listen.
Here begins what we hope will be an occasional, continuing series on how the ordinary mortal can go cruising on a budget in today's world. This edition considers the mindset, initial planning and suggests a boat type, designed expressly for owner-building. Listeners with opinions on this subject are invited to participate by sending a contact email to outrig.org AT gmail.com
THE CAVE AND THE DITCH
How is it that some of us, probably including many listeners to these Capers, become so enrapt? Committed? Predisposed? HOOKED on our boats?
These two Capers tend to support the predisposed explanation, for it seems to me that the lives of many individuals are die-cast by exposure to some copacetic stimulus that occurs very early in life. The quest to identify that stimulus can be futile unless one truly concentrates on her origins. Success in that quest can be quite comforting when one attempts to apprehend the course of life.
It may take a special place or a specific time -- such as playing in an irrigation ditch or squirming in a cave -- for such contact with one's "Pre-Disposition," These parables may suggest a way for others to find the source of this formative buoyancy.
In this continuation of Scrimshaw's passage around Cape Thank God, I attempt to explain the dominant presence of navigating in a family crew before GPS. Jo Anna and I found it necessary to continually check each other's work, and we often found mistakes!
This challenge was somewhat amplified when we became dependent on celestial navigation, and meeting that challenge brought us closer than ever as mom and dad, man and wife, captain and mate, and our "deck apes."
Also in this Caper is the answer from another cruising couple, Fran and Mort Van Howe, as to what their sailing has meant to them in their lives.
THE WAY TO CAPE THANK GOD
Intending to describe family cruising with one's wife as literally First Mate, I get hung up in the details of our cruise through the San Blas Islands and to Cartegena, Colombia (our favorite port).
From there, we beat up through the Southwest Caribbean to the islands of San Andres and Providencia where, seeking local knowledge of the route ahead, I benefit from meeting Captain John Bull.
This is all to set the scene for the next Capercast, which tells of our greatest navigational challenge, wherein Jo Anna and I -- while dealing with the urgency of finding our way -- become close to being one, an entity together with our sons.
GREATEST BOAT RIDE
Story of SCRIMSHAW's greatest one-day boat ride, her transit of the Panama Canal. Despite some very humbling episodes, and eighteen years of trying to get back to the Caribbean, we change oceans at the isthmus that shows us five different Panamas, and reveals "America's Experiment With Socialism," the Panama Canal Zone where "American Soil" that has since been returned to it's in-rightful owners.
At 34 minutes, this is the longest Capercast yet. While it gives me a chance to really fluster CRISTI, we need to know what our listeners think of the longer format.
We should all get equal time to talk about our kids, but that would need we all have Podcasts. In this Caper, I tell of our experiences while family cruising in a too-small boat when the Captain has a too-big temper and his kids have a normal sibling rivalry.
In the end, it is the kids who guide the boat and solve the problems. As parents, it seems to me that the best thing we can do for them -- and for us -- is to just spend time together.
OCEAN RACING THEN AND NOW
On Christmas Day just past, a remarkable solo circumnavigation speed record was set by a Frenchman sailing a big multihull. He had made five previous attempts and finally succeeded. At the same time, other incredible speeds were being achieved in monohulls, also sailed by the French.
In this Caper, I compare today's ocean racing with examples of how it was done in the early days of modern, lightweight seafaring.
HARD KNOCKS AND SOFT MUD
This Caper reviews the survival story in the previous edition, hoping to learn a little more from the merciful close call, and the hard knocks loss as told by Lance Leonard.
As if there is some parallel, I tell of my own almost desperate encounter with “pluff mud” and a falling tide.
Finally, I appeal for help, of another kind.
A recent survival story, this “caper” features a recorded interview with my long-time friend Lance Leonard.
Lance is a dedicated multihuller with fifty years of experience in sailing fishing and diving charters in the eastern U.S and Caribbean waters, yet he recently lost his boat, and potentially his life, in a different type of multihull catastrophe. This is his story and the lessons learned from it the hard way.
On Fixing Proa Problems
Special holiday podcast featuring a bit of personal news from Jim's travels and some interesting thoughts on proas.
Jim talks about visiting a new small boat gathering event in Cedar Key, Florida during late Fall. He also shares about the restoration of his old boat SCRIMSHAW at a secret boatyard in South Florida ... also known as a place where many old boats go to die. (But there is much planned life left for SRIMSHAW though).
Also, Jim talks extensively about certain challenges with the development of modern proas. Anyone unfamiliar with proas may learn a lot from him in short time he talks about this amazing genre among multihulls.
PARK IT, DAD
This Caper is based on one of my favorite stories from, "Among The Multihulls - Volume 2." It tells of a passage from Bermuda to New England in son Russell’s proa when I was recruited as crew.
It turned out to be an intense father and son adventure ... including descriptions of the proa's handling in storm waves!
I had previously not been interested in proas, but this voyage really turned my head. I have since concluded that the proa is the most conceptually perfect of all sailing machines, and I suspect this configuration will play an important part in the future “green recovery” for humankind.
More on this if requested. HAPPY HOLIDAYS
BEWARE, PROA CONSTRUCTOR
The above title is taken from a sign posted over Dick Newick’s shop in the early 1970s when he was developing his “Atlantic” versions of the “shunting” proa.
This Caper, however, is my fictional reconstruction of Stone Age history, when the Pacific proa was invented by a young Micronesian woman who could think by-longitudinally.
CAT / TRI COMPARISONS PART FOUR: MOTION, ACCOMMODATION AND SAFETY
This Caper offers my understanding of the differences between cats and tris in riding motion, weatherliness and tacking.
Also, there are pivotal contrasts in their accommodation plans and underwing pounding. Finally, I attempt to draw comparisons in their respective chances for survival from collision, shipwreck and capsize.
CAT / TRI COMPARISONS PART THREE: CONFIGURATIONS and STRUCTURES
The contrasting design challenges between catamaran and trimaran are met equally well today by understanding the differing load paths in their respective structures.
In addition, because of the catamaran’s “Siamese twin” nature, it requires substantial duplication of components, whereas the trimaran requires three hulls. This explains in part the relatively high cost of both types for construction and maintenance.
CATAMARAN-TRIMARAN COMPARISONS - PART ONE
In response to feedback from listeners, this “caper” is the first of a three-part series on comparing different types of watercraft: rafts, dugout canoes, catamarans, trimarans proas and monohulls.
Jim describes the basic configurations and how they evolved to suit specific applications, from pre-history to the present. This session begins about 4,000 years ago.
VOICES FROM THE PAST, PART TWO
Jim’s most illustrious client, Mark Hassall, reads a long quote from the movie actor and consummate seaman Sterling Hayden to explain Mark’s philosophy of how, “A voyage, like a life, should be based on a firm foundation of financial unrest.”
Then Mark faces almost certain death as a castaway in the Indian Ocean, and Jim inserts his own vignette of using the “debris field” tactic of recovering seven people who have been swept overboard by a single wave.
Jim asks for listener response to these Voices cessions, for he has a trove of such audio in his OutRig Collection.
VOICES FROM THE PAST, PART ONE
By mining old video footage for its sound tracks, Jim brings us the actual voices of the several seafaring pioneers whose stories he has told in previous Capercasts.
In this first cession of a two-part series, he includes the voices of Woody Brown, Arthur Piver and James Wharram with his mate Hanneke Boon. She explains the logic of the polygamoust relationship James maintained, at considerable cost, with up to five women at once, all equal partners in their catamaran design enterprise enterprise.
GRABBING THE BOTTOM
Three more anchoring episodes illustrate the tenuousness of Grabbing The Bottom, with some conclusions about the weight of ground tackle and the crew’s the ability to retrieve the anchor.
Jim asks for feedback as to how much “how-to” information, relative to straight storytelling, listeners may want.
HIJACKED AND SHIPWRECKED
There are two contrasting anchoring predicaments here: Jim's boat and his family crew are hijacked by a "sea monster" and towed out to sea.
How they get free. Then, a different vessel is embayed and destroyed, its crew stranded on a desert island. How they sail again.
THE DINGHY THAT TRIED TO CLIMB THE MAST
In this anchoring fiasco, Jim tells of how even an experienced sailor can get so screwed up so fast in a boat ... even if he designed and built the boat himself and has sailed it for forty years.
This begins a three-part series on anchoring in which some sessions do not have a happy ending, but some conclusions are drawn.