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Monthly Archives: August 2009

We won the Port Medoc race.  I’m sitting outside on a sidewalk, it’s sunny, and I can barely see the screen, so I’ll do an update later with more info.  Just wanted to let everyone know.


Ryan Passes His Final Paper Work Inspection 2 minutes before the race start.

Ryan Passes His Final Paper Work Inspection 2 minutes before the race start.

After spending the last month preparing Mryna for measurement.. Myrna passed inspection!!!. Ryan had a few last minute paperwork details and one tiny hurdle it will be more fun for Ryan to tell first hand. BOTTOM LINE Ryan and Myrna started the Port Medoc Race in wind and sunshine @ 10AM French time. After sorting last minute items and crossing the line last Ryan quickly maneuvered Myrna up to third place befor racing down the French Coast. Details to follow.

Headed to Start Line

Headed to Start Line

Vont Ryan !

Vont Ryan !

I’m taking the long way to get some training in, but I’ll be there by the 23rd.  That’s all for now.


This included removing the entire system, bringing it home with a battery and troubleshooting it in my bedroom.  Then I removed the Rudder Reference Unit and smashed it with a hammer to see what was inside (encapsulated in an epoxy block).  Figured out which wires were what, found some corrosion, and jury rigged another brand’s RRU to make sure that was the problem.  Then today, I went to Lorient and went on a hunt for a part that is no longer in production, AND I FOUND IT!  Came back to the boat, replaced all of the wiring, hooked it all up and presto, it’s all better.  So I’m looking to go sailing tomorrow.  I have a bunch of little things to do first to prepare for my trip to Port Medoc, which is where the race starts from.  There is apparently nothing there, so I have to bring pretty much everything to make sure I can fix stuff.

That be all.


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See how shiny.  That’s why I didn’t use anti fouling paint.  They kick up, so I’m kosher at the dock.  I’ll see how they do after a few days of sailing, and decide if I want to keep it this way for next season.

Blog# 607

I mentioned before about having newer, smaller rudders made.

A.  It wasn’t in the budget.

B. When I sailed Myrna again, she was happy with the original rudders.  So I just concentrated on making them a little faster.  They are not perfectly fair by Olympic standards or anything, but they are a vast improvement over what they used to be.  I can tell these rudders didn’t come out of the mold perfectly, and making them perfect would have required covering the entire blade with fairing compound and starting from scratch.  There is no time for that.  However, the keel for this boat is solid carbon and pretty much came out perfectly.  I took it all the way back to bare carbon, primed it and painted it.  That’s all.  Much more time in the rudders.

Blog# 608

And here’s a picture of me doing something on the boat.

Blog# 625

I want to include this because this is a fake picture.  I’m pretending to do something in this picture.  I’m actually holding onto the bobstay and pinching the boat cradle.  This is when Tif and I brought the boat downtown and she thought it was important to have a picture of me and the boat on this occasion, and I don’t like posing for pictures.  So there you go.  I fake doing stuff for pictures all the time, to avoid fake smiling.  I can’t be only person that does that.

And finally, here is a nerdy rudder story.   I went AMCO (Jedi Master mini builders in town)  with a friend on a random trip, and they had a top prototype in the shed who was replacing his new generation rudders with an older design from Finot.  By older design I mean 1985!  He tested the rudders with the new design on one side and the older, much larger, design on the other side.  And well, all I know is he’s putting the 1985 vintage Finot rudders on his boat for this year’s Mini Transat.  My guess is that although small rudders mean less wetted surface and less drag, they also stall earlier, and require more helm to control the boat in real sailing conditions, so in the end they may be as draggy, or more, and less effective.  It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the Mini Transat.

I launch Myrna tomorrow.


Just returned fr0m Morocco today.  I flew in to Paris last night and immediately went to the cheapest expensive hotel I could find to catch up on sleep.  In the morning I had coffee, which is considered breakfast here, and then got in a fight with a homeless guy, or mime, I can’t tell, but I think it was about leaving him staggering space on the side walk.  Then I was off on a whole day long train swapping extravaganza to get to La Trinitie s/Mer.  It’s nice to be back. 

  The trip to Morocco was very easy, and the boat very nice.  The owner and his pros, Gary and Kirstin, were similarly very pleasant.  They have a boat in the Azores and have cruised extensively, including the Arctic and Antarctic(  They should be on their way to the Azores right now, which is about 800 miles or so off the Portuguese coast.

This was my first passage on a luxury yacht, and I have to say is was more like being on a small island condo than what I’m used to, so “pleasant” is a word that keeps popping up when thinking about it. 

Here we are entering Rabat, Morocco. 


And here’s the old town of Rabat.


I would comment more on Morocco, but I was only there for a couple of hours, and doing so would make me sound enormously ignorant.  You know what, that’s never stopped me before!  I’m going for it. 

3…2…1… Morocco is to Europe what Mexico is to the U.S, and Canada.  The only difference in the beans and rice there is the presence of Allah.  Even the airport is familiar with lots of sun burned white people in designer shorts, and racoon eyes from wearing sunglasses without sunscreen.  They even have the essential dead cow/donkey off the highway as you drive to the airport.  I think they watch more satellite TV in Morocco though.  The roofs of apartment complexes bristle with dishes which seem to grow out of them like small plants.  If they represent the number of families in each building, you are looking at some pretty cramped quarters.   

I would have liked to stay longer, but had to get back to reality.  Yes, these observations were limited to a car ride to the airport, which is the worst way to see any place.  When I was a kid I used to read about M.C.Escher’s facination with Moorish 2D design, and later read a lot abot Matisse’s visits to Morocco.  I was only able to catch glimpses of these things from the road.  I have to explore beyond the highway next time. 

Speaking of reality, bye.


P.S. I found the camera, of course.  Everytime I’ve had something stolen it’s popped up in a bag or in my pocket or in my hand…  Of course that means that Myriam’s bike also showed up.  A neighbor “borrowed” it and put it back on the other side of the house.  That’s crime in France for ya.

I’m leaving tomorrow to bring a 90′ cruising yacht to Morocco.  This is to help fund living in France.  The Breymaier family made the contact for me.  They are such a fine people.

This should take a week and then I launch Myrna and go sailing.  Tifenn and I moved her downtown on Friday after doing some work at Technologie Marine.  I had pictures, but apparently someone stole my camera from the car, along with Myriam’s bicycle, while parked at Myriam’s house.  Could be a good time for Negativland to kick up “Myriam’s purse fund” again.  I’ll have my secretary send them an e-mail.

This means no pictures until I get a camera.  I think I have one in Louisiana.  I’ll call my secretary in Louisiana to see if it’s around.

Also my Dad came to visit.  He is on mega world tour and it was great to see him.  He seemed to have a really good time and we both gained weight.

I leave for Concarneau tomorrow morning to meet the boat.  All I know is it’s a new 90′ boat and there are four of us.  Besides the money it’s nice to meet new people, and by going to Morocco I renew my tourist visa for the EU.  All good.


P.S. I don’t really have a satelite secretaries.