It beats the hell out of a Retirement Home

On January 26, 2015, in Interesting, by CaptRR


Crystal Serenity


Lee Wachtstetter, 86

FACTUALITY is reporting:

Meet Mama Lee. Mama Lee is 86-years-old, enjoys ballroom dancing, and has been a full-time resident of a cruise ship for the past ten years. It costs her about $164,000 a year, but it really sounds like she’s loving her permanent vacation.

Mama Lee’s real name is Lee Wachtstetter. She’s the widow of a banker and real estate appraiser who also loved cruising. After he died, she took his and her daughter’s advice to cruise until she couldn’t cruise any more. Mama Lee sold her five-bedroom house in Florida and moved onto a Holland America ship for three years before moving to the Crystal Serenityluxury liner, one of the top-ranked ships in the world. She’s been on board for seven years now—save the rare trip to shore, of course.

The complete FACTUALITY post by Adam Clark Estes is here.



Gizmodo is reporting:

The Seek XR is actually just a mechanical upgrade to the original Seek Thermal camera, introducing an adjustable lens that now allows the optics to focus on objects or scenes that are much farther, or closer, than the original version permitted.

That might not seem like much of an upgrade given how radically redesigned the new FLIR ONE is, but having used both devices before, the one feature they were both really lacking was an optical zoom. Spotting animals in the woods, for example, was all but impossible unless they were right in front of you. And what good is being able to spot a wild animal in the dark of night when it’s already on top of you?

With an actual optical zoom the Seek XR is now even more of a legitimate tool and less of a toy, which might make it easier to convince yourself to drop $300 on one later in the month when it’s available for both iOS (Lightning connector-only) and Android (USB OTG support required) devices. [Seek Thermal]



Seattle Boat Show Presentation

On January 24, 2015, in Applications, Navigation, by CaptRR

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My presentation has just concluded and a .pdf of the presenation is HERE.

These are the topics that were covered.  The an live presentation of the various applications for both iOS and Android were shown in real time.

If you missed today’s presentation I will deliver the same presentation next Saturday (1/31/15) at 1415 at the Big Seattle Boat Show at Century Link Field.




Please note The Seattle Seahawks are in the Super Bowl and the boat show will close a day early.  Some things in the Pacific Northwest are more imortant then boating on February 1, 2015.



TheLog is reproting:

KITTERY, Maine (AP) — Even on land, the Ghost looks futuristic and fast.

The angular vessel looks like a waterborne stealth fighter. It rides atop underwater torpedo-shaped tubes powered by a pair of 2,000-horsepower gas turbine engines. Gyroscopes keep the ride smooth.

Sadly, the Ghost is all revved up with no place to go. The brainchild of a wealthy inventor and entrepreneur, the Ghost might never be a familiar household name like Humvee or Apache — even if it works as advertised — because its creator built a warship the Navy isn’t convinced it needs.

“It’s a revolutionary program,” said Gregory Sancoff, founder and CEO of Juliet Marine Systems. “Nothing like this has ever been built by anybody, not even the Navy.”

TheLog’s complete post by David Sharp is here.

(Thanks to John Cessell for the link.)




Bring a Trailer is reporting:

This 1978 Tupolev A-3 Aerosledge (chassis N007) is one of 800 or so amphibious ground effect vehicles built in Ukraine between 1964 through the early 80’s. The seller says it was designed for Cosmonaut splashdown recovery in Siberia, though from what we’ve read they were used for less glamorous tasks such as transportation of mail, passengers and light freight in the same region. This one has been restored to what looks like an impressive standard, and sold at Barrett Jackson eight years ago for $187,000. Find it here on eBay in Clarkesville, Georgia with a reserve and unmet $250k opening bid. Special thanks to BaT reader Carson L. for this submission!

The complete Bring a Trailer post is here.

(Thanks to John Chessell for the link.)


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CNN is reporting:

(CNN)While it’s a form of transport few of us see, shipping packs a punch as a polluter.

According to a recent study, shipping accounts for around 3% of global CO2 emissions. Not surprising when you consider that the engines of the world’s estimated 90,000 cargo ships are in use 24 hours a day while traveling.

Futuristic concepts for container ships powered by alternative energy range from windmill-powered propellers to banks of vertical metal sails. Even though most are still on the drawing board, one concept is starting to be viewed seriously by the shipping industry.

The complete CNN post by Peter Shadbolt is here.


If it were only this easy

On January 21, 2015, in General Boating, Zenith Maritime, by CaptRR


Thanks to Nathan Bradeau via facebook



gCaptain is reporting:

In the latest show of support for the Jones Act, 32 Bipartisan House Members have sent a letter to Senate leadership urging them to reject a “misguided” amendment piggybacked onto a Keystone XL Pipeline bill by Senator John McCain that would repeal the U.S. build requirement of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920.

The letter, which was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, expressed “serious concern” with amendment #2 submitted by Senator McCain as part of the debate on the Keystone XL Pipeline Act (S.1), saying that the amendment would have a harmful effect on the U.S. economy and national security. The letter continued:

“Shipbuilders are vital to America’s national and economic security because they build, repair, maintain and modernize the largest and most sophisticated Navy and Coast Guard in the world as well as America’s fleet of approximately 40,000 commercial vessels. According to a recent study by the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, America’s shipbuilding industry supports more than 400,000 jobs in all 50 states, which boost our economy by almost $60 billion every year. Each direct job in the shipbuilding and repairing industry leads to another 2.7 jobs nationally, and each dollar of direct labor income leads to another $2.03 in labor income in other parts of the economy.

The complete gCaptain post by Mike Schuler is here.


Sailing Fortuitous

Log Type: Supplemental Thoughts
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

– Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

Right now, there’s a guy bobbing around the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a 24′ San Juan sailboat. He claims to be in the process of sailing solo around the world. Some have called him a hero—living the dream of so many cruisers and wannabe cruisers. Others have called him an idiot (or worse), lacking the skill, preparation, and the boat for such a voyage. He calls himself Rimas, and I’m way too deep into this train wreck to look away now.

The details that surround all of this are somewhat sketchy, and this log entry probably lacks the academic rigor for which is known*, but I’ll attempt to briefly point out some of the highlights. According to (1), Rimas Meleshyus left the Soviet Union in 1988, by inexplicably seeking political asylum in the Iranian Embassy in Moscow, followed by stints in New York, St. Thomas, Guam (giving tours in Japanese), and San Francisco. At some point in these travels, he got into sailing, and in May of 2012, he attempted to sail across the Gulf of Alaska in a San Juan 24 named Cesura (2) that he purchased in Juneau. This was his first boat, he’d only been sailing for a year (3), and it showed.

(Ed. Note: I’ve been following Rimas for a couple of years since meeting him at Starbucks here in Anacortes. I’ve even offered him a Captains Course to keep, but to no avail.)


Hippo chases boat

On January 19, 2015, in Interesting, by CaptRR

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Screen Shot only (video is in the link below)

ABC is reporting:

Footage captured at Kafue National Park in Zambia in December shows a humongous hippopotamus lurking in the water and chasing after people in a speedboat.

The driver had gunned the engine to get away — and it was good they did, because the hippo can be seen emerging from the water, feet away from the back of the boat.

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