Friday, December 3, 2010

Bollards of Steal - the trilogy

What was this guy thinking?  Surfs up, lets take my 6 ton yacht

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Beer can traffic Jam

round and round it goes
when it stop only skipper knows
after years of going round the pot 
starting, everybody knows their spot  
when were off with a breather
 the lot will follow the leader

round and round it goes
 with beer cans everybody knows
 set the sail and trim the sheet
on this leg, I will bring the heat

round and round it will go,
while the wind will blow
when it stops i will yell
zero brain this is hell

round and round we will sail
when it stops I might bail

Friday, November 26, 2010

Traffic Jams

Are traffic jams and mental dullness killing sailing? What if this is the reason for all the displays of “Bollards of steel” and idiotic behaviour out there?

Sailing has always been an adventure for me. It was a way of breaking free from the world into a realm of my own. Get out there, battle the elements, never knowing what will come next. Sailing was a way of loosing myself, but finding myself at the same time. It was as if when on the water , the world made sense again and I knew who I was.  It did not only hook me emotionally, but mentally it got my brain unstuck form 1st gear and took me to 5th in seconds

But as the years sailed by, the fog rolled in over adventure and the dullness settled in on my mind. By now most of you are saying: “What the f*&@? Cleat off and run that by me again

Ever watched a goldfish in a round bowl?  Round and round it goes with no personality and brain power near zero. Same can be said of the usual beer can races at the club, it always starts with a traffic jam, because everybody wants the prime spot.  Then the buzzer goes and fleet is off.  The usual suspects are in the lead and everybody just follows their lead.  Every week the same course, the same bunch, the same tactics, the same heading, the same cans. When do we use our brain? When will we finally say: “You are killing the sailor in me”?
Isn’t this the kind of Sailing that breeds the egotistic, idiotic and untactful sailors we see on you tube?  Not thinking of the consequences if something goes wrong, just to prove they have Bollards of steal?

When do we say enough is enough? When do we take back sailing?

Note:  This is a generalization of repeated club racing around the same cans every week.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yawing, swaying, CONFUSING

.......and it continues....surging, heaving, pitching, rolling, CONFUSING.  These are all terms we use little in the sailing life and almost never while in the presence of a landlubber.  WHY?  Because it is so difficult to describe these terms of boat motion without looking like a fool and making the other person feel even more so.

uumm , swaying is when the boat goes like this (gesturing with hands) and moves along that axis thing..... 

So how do we do this?  This morning on my pre-work sail fix , I came across a post on Bowsprite and was amazed at how easy it was to remember and describe these terms using a drunken sailor as an example

Next time someone asks you what is swaying - grab a bottle of rum, drink half the bottle and show them.

or send them to this link

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pirates - no eye patch, just bazooka

So a while ago we celebrated "talk like a pirate day" and we all went out to our local pub and said: "Arrgh me matey, give me ya best bottle of rum!!"

Since child hood, most of us would put pirate flags on our little toy boats and pretend to plunder and pillage the oceans of the world (bath tub).  And at the school play, we all fought over the role for Captain Red Beard.  The Pirates of the Caribbean  movies series just made being a pirate so cool.  And even led to Lego bringing out a Pirate range of little lego pirates and commanders, even including the treasure chest.  No, they didn't stop there, they even created Lego Pirates, the game.

Would you be the Pirate or the Officer?? - Pirate
I think most of us, when we were young, were  drawn to becoming a pirate for the lure of adventure on the high seas and chests of gold coins. But as we grew older, this dream faded away and reality kicked in - Sailing on the oceans of the world is all the adventure we need.  Conquering the elements, our treasure.

Still today, in the age of gps tracking, long range missiles and real-time imagery, pirates are still a reality.  With the first Somali pirate trial (read more) underway , I hope it will lead to a decline in piracy activity, so we can enjoy the lure of the ocean and treasure of conquering the elements without the fear of running into a scary mother f(*&%@ with a bazooka on his shoulder.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And what is this I hear of a classic being remade into a modern sci fi film?  Yes, Moby Dick 2010  is coming.  Hope it is not going to be a let down like Sharktopus (shockingly bad movie) or Titanic 2

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bollards of Steal - the sequel

Is it just me or are more and more sailors taking chances out there?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bollards of Steal

Has this guy got bollards of steal or is he just an idiot putting his life and that of his crew on the line?

Should we applaud or revoke his skipper license?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Sailing Anarchy had a post on the Chesapeake Log canoes the other day.  When I saw it, I was wondering what they were fishing for with so much meat on the rail. Then I saw this trailer and new, SHARKTOPUS!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Got the grey matter?

By grey matter I don't mean the unused part of a mans body between his ears, I mean FOG.  Since there seem to be a current theme on the other blogs of "sailing in darkness", I might as well share an embarrassing story of my early days of sailing.

Being top of my class in sailing school and really loving navigation, I got a position on a 36ft yacht as navigator and "jack-of-all-sails".  This was a recreational yacht, so no serious racing, etc , just the Wednesday night regatta and occasional weekend offshore cruising.  

On the first off shore cruise, it was also my first encounter with navigation blindly and relying only on instruments.  We were approaching a small bay, where we would anchor for the evening, and visibility was down to 2 meters.  So  the seasoned skipper decided to reef down the iron sail to a near idle.  

All of a sudden none of the headings on the compass, GPS or chart plotter were the same.  We could here the waves break over on our port side  and to our right I knew were unsafe waters too.  What to do?  One thing we could trust was the traditional compass so we used that for our heading.  The GPS and chart plotter had the same way points, so we used that to track our progress on a old fashioned chart.  Every 2 minutes I would track our progress on the chart and shout to the Skipper 5 degrees to port or 10 degrees to starboard or keep her steady. 

my Picasso inspired art work - "navigation in the grey" 
We eventually made it to our anchoring spot, even thou it felt like forever. It was one on the most stressful sailing times of my life and as one would have it, as soon as we anchored, the fog lifted an we were in a beautiful bay drinking sherry.

Lesson learned:  
If you go to slow, your electronic nav systems can't pin point your exact course/heading. So go faster.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Whale Tale

There has been a lot of hype over the Southern Right whale that jumped onto a 33ft yacht in Table Bay, Cape Town.

There are a lot of people that think it is a fake photo, since the Skipper is looking ahead with the whale leaping out of the water right next to him.  

BUT what they don't know is that the skipper, Ralph,  is a yoga master and thus very relaxed.  I have personally been out sailing with him. Even in 35 - 40 knts wind, 6ft plus swells,  he keeps his cool and steers Intrepid with confidence and experience.

I am so glad that no one was hurt, since it could have been a totally different scenario if he landed forward or aft of the mast and rigging, flipping the yacht.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Phuza Thursday

In South Africa we have adopted many traditions form our friends on the other side of the big pond: Tequila Tuesdays, Wacky Wednesdays, Casual Friday, etc.  But being South African we have our own too: Phuza Thursday.

'Phuza' is a Zulu word, meaning drink.  Since this has no reference to a specific type of drink, all the colorful people of our country can enjoy this day and feel united.  Children can drink sodas, the dogs can drink water, the English can drink tea, the Jamaicans can drink Rum, the French can drink Champagne, the Boere(farmers) can drink brandy & coke and I,  . . .  .I can drink red wine.

Since it is Phuza Thursday today, I will not bore you with a long post, but leave you with a quote form a book I read:

She always considered the sailboat to be a remarkably therapeutic device.  Just a few minutes on the water purged away the daily stresses while calming the emotions.  She often joked that the country needed more sailboats and fewer psychologists

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sailor Math

So I haven’t sailed in 2 years 4 months, all just to come to the root of who I am, Smilicus.  I usually understand better if the problem can be put into numbers or equations.  It gives me a sort of unclouded, objective, quantifiable view of the bigger picture.

I believe one can easily express yourself (especially myself) by the following equation:

X = L + P + S

Gibberish you say.   Well let me explain

L = Love 

P = Passion

S = Sailor

S = B + Y
B = what’s in your blood(figuratively)  &  Y = other stuff

So let’s define it a bit further. Y (Other stuff) is all the nonsense society wants from you: Car, work, house, clothes, etc.  Although it is a big part of one’s daily life, it is not necessary big part of your being. I believe B(lood) is something that we certainly can’t stay clear of. In this floating soul’s case, it is sailing.
Thus, if you give a closer look to the equation for Sailor (S = B + Y), you will see that when the “sailor becomes you”, there is no P(assion) or L(ove). Since Sailing is in our B(lood), it can’t fall under P(assion) or L(ove), you agree?

I love my wife and she is a big part of my being. I can’t bear to be away from her for too long or not have her in my equation. So thus L(ove) is part of me and my world can’t be without her. L(ove) also includes friends, family and mans-best-friend (sorry not cats).

P(assion) includes those things you are passionate about.  For me it is wine, mtb and boats.  This definitely makes up a part of ones being, so needs to be accounted for in the equation of this floating soul.
If we stay true to the equation, we can see that no matter how you write it, bold, italic, etc S(ailor) will never equal X(me, you).  It will always just be a part of you and if it is your whole, you are not complete X.

X(smilicus) = L(ove) + P(assion) + S(ailor)

I am S(ailor) no more!  I am SMILICUS and I sail.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Gelato Effect


In my previous post I ranted regarding going cold turkey. By trying to sail more and more (on different boats, etc), I was left with the gelato effect. Bear with me and I will try and explain. 

The gelato effect ~ too much leaves you with less.

When I was young we only had normal, boring ice cream -vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. One day I heard about an Italian gelato shop and went to get my scoop of heaven.  Standing there, mesmerized with all the flavours, I heard a voice: “Which one would you like to taste?” 

O, decisions. I started off with one flavour, then the next and the next.  And when I found myself, I have tasted them all, just to start all over again (I have forgotten the first ones I've tasted). Finally I closed my eyes and just pointed at one.  Then that voice was there again: “Regular cone, Sugar cone or Tub?”

Spoiled or rather confused by choice I struggled to make a decision.  Then that voice was there, yet again: “Single or Double scoop?”

I left the shop confused and undecided, but vouched to start all over again tomorrow.

The sailor became me the day that my passion became my obsession. It took over my existence and left no more time for anything else....everything revolved around sailing, unfocused sailing. 

No matter how much I sailed, the need was still there.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lost the plot

Hi, my name is Smilicus and um,um,  I’m a sailing junkie.

How often does one come across a sailor who says: “I sail anything.  It is all about being on the water, feeling the breeze and making it go like the clappers.”   Every club have one or even more.  You know who I am talking about. That jack-of-all-trades sailor, who is always hovering at the club, eaves dropping to hear where his next sailing fix will come from, be it a 3knt sh#@ box or a stripped out racing boat.

I kicked my addiction 2 years, 3 months back.  I went cold turkey, haven’t sailed at all, neither did I tie a Bowline or a reef knot.  Okay, maybe once or twice I used a bowline, but not for sailing purposes.  I ended my membership and just disappeared into the boring realm of the landlubber.

Why? For a very simple reason, but an important one:   I become the Sailor, not the Sailor me. be continued

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The legend of the ghost blogger

~There’s a legend of a blogger that just stopped blogging and haunted other blog sites without anybody noticing or knowing what happened.  ~

A frequent blogger and comment posting IP address just one day disappeared from the bloggesphere into thin air and nobody knew what had happened to this sorry soul.  All we know is he still surfs the web in absolute silence watching, listening and seeing everything that went on. 

He saw the fall of Joe(horse’s mouth) from Tillerman's holy scrolls to the other side, the normal side, the regular blog scrolls.  I saw O Dock coming out of the comment box and onto his own Blogspot, taking up his spot in the social arena.  I saw a spider reappear and a blogger disappear, maybe he is spinned up in a cocoon, just waiting to break free of daily society’s venom.  The ghost saw it all and yet he just kept quiet.

But quiet he is no more, the silence is broken.