HAUNTED HALLOWEEN GHOST SHIPS – Ghost ships, or phantom ships, make up a big part of the seafaring lore that has been passed down by sailors and fisherman throughout the years. The ships are said to be spectral apparitions that materialize on the horizon before quickly disappearing, and they are believed to be a sign of bad things to come. The term is also used to describe abandoned vessels that are found adrift with no crew or passengers, often under frightening and mysterious circumstances. Whether real stories of these derelict ships or legends about phantom craft trawling the seas, the following are the ten most famous ghost ships that continue to provoke speculation and mystery in the nautical world. CHECK OUT THE VIDEO ABOVE IF YOU DARE…
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REPORT FROM THE BOATS:
Like flipping a light switch. Off to on in so much as an instant, the anticipated westerlies of the South Atlantic have finally arrived—28 knots now—and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly life onboard can change. One minute you’re enjoying a nice casual sleep, twelve knots of wind and comfortable in your sleeping bag. Things are pretty mellow, tranquillo as Charlie says. Your iPod probably ran out of battery while you were dreaming, dreaming about home, maybe a steak in Cape Town. It really doesn’t matter—you are dreaming.
Something wakes you and you open your eyes and ears to a very different, very alarming setting. It’s pretty chaotic, actually. Your eyes adjust to the darkness, slowly, with the only light coming from red headlamps of the guys doing very much the same all around you. As the boat careens through the night like an out of control freight train, carving a trench through the ocean while obliterating every bit of water in its way, it is loud—constant loud like the rumble of distant thunder. You can actually hear the speed, feel the speed. Like accelerating in a sports car with your eyes closed, off-road, in the rain.
People on deck are yelling, bags down below are flying, waves are shooting through the hatch, and all you and everyone else just rising from their bunks are trying to do is wake up, simply get to your feet. And the kettle’s just tumbled to leeward because the boat is on its side. You hear it clank loudly, twice, on the way down and it lands in the [rapidly filling] bilge with an audible splash—a noise so annoying, so bothersome in principle–that you know it will someday occupy your nightmares. Gonna have to go get that. Like, right now.
Amory Ross, OBR
We’re past the 40th parallel… technically in the Roaring Forties. It’s not roaring at full strength yet, but this evening a frontal system rolled through an the wind speeds have been in the 25 knots range all night.
I knew it was blowing hard when Chuny came back and, out of breath, says, “This is OK, no?” and before I can answer starts throwing all the heavy stacking gear both under and in my bunk because we were nose-diving into the waves and needed the aft weight.
Still, a nice sailing day up until dinnertime. The heavy breeze is welcome.
Matt Knighton, OBR
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Late last night I signed off with quite the sailing story. I’ll follow this up more now in detail that I’ve been educated by the crew. We were all waiting at 19:00 UTC for the six-hourly scheds, these position reports are massive news onboard, it allows us to gauge our performance and it tells us where the rest of the fleet is.
Five minutes before the email had been received, Abu Dhabi popped up on AIS on our computer screens, shortly after it appeared out of the grey horizon passing only four miles just ahead. This was a tactical game Abu Dhabi played, six hours of no one knowing their position and they end up right in front of us before the sched. We think the east wasn’t paying off for them so they joined our line to the west to get to the south to the frontal systems quicker.
The day brought a slight split in the trio up front, we are pushing hard to get south and be the first into the front coming possibly tomorrow. The others are further to our east. It’s all snakes and ladders now, Gain, Loss, Gain, Loss! Its hard to follow, I wonder what it’s like for you couch surfers at home. I bet some are getting less sleep than us, I know my Mom will be and probably all the mothers of their sons aboard too.
Brian Carlin, OBR
Team Vestas Wind
This morning we saw our first albatross. Surprising, because we were only at 32 degrees south. We wondered what it was doing there… Enjoying a holiday up north? We didn’t see any other.
A first for…
Tomorrow, Eric, Thomas, Wolf and Horace will sail for the first time by 40 degrees south. Even though they’re focused on the racing, Eric and Thomas are not taking this lightly. It’s something you want to do when you’re an offshore racer. It’s not the same for Wolf and Horace. We can see that the Roaring Forties legend didn’t really make it to China. Up to us to change this!
Yann Riou, OBR
Dongfeng Race Team
Twenty days ago, the idea of being at sea for twenty days was a bit daunting. Twenty days without a shower, twenty days without a run, twenty days with only a few changes of clothes. Twenty days without ice cream, steak, nor spinach.
“Here we are twenty days into it. On day 3 it was really like holy cow, we still have a long way to go, but now it’s 20 days. It helps really being in the moment, one day at a time,” Sally said.
Sally is right. Out here, it really is one day at a time. It’s one “sked” (aka position report) at a time. It’s sailing with the conditions you have, and doing the ultimate best with them. It’s not thinking about day 26 and preparing the sails and boat for day 26 because then you’ll be slow. Out here, you have to deal with today.
Corinna Halloran, OBR
We’ve been thinking about all that has happened so far… And we realised that, not being in a confortable situation at the start has placed us where we are now. At least this is what Iker told me today, and that helped me understanding how and why we ended up in this situation.
Crossing the Doldrums was difficult cause the west paid off and caused Brunel and Abu Dhabi to open a gap.
Then, we chose to sail close to land, off the Brazilian coast, which is usually not that difficult, but the wind was really not consistent. We thought it was a safer option because the St Helena High was placed south at that time, but we didn’t end up sailing fast enough. Basically, after the Doldrums, we’ve been in the wrong place.
We are far from the end of the race and we can still move up. We have six days of sailing ahead of us and we won’t let go.
Francisco Vignale, OBR
MIRW – The triangular race course saw the teams sailing upwind to the first mark before hoisting their spinnakers for the reach and then heading downwind again to the third mark, close to where they had started. Then it was another windward – leeward leg before the boats headed for the last upwind and to the finish line.
The course was suitable for both racing and charter divisions – something that Marmaris International Race Week prides itself upon. This regatta has the unique approach of hosting an event suited to competitive racing as well as pleasure sailing for those that wish to enter for fun. CHECK OUT DAY 4 ABOVE!
ROUTE DU RHUM – The countdown begins for the youngest skipper in the Route du Rhum — Paul Hignard. The French teenager is set to sail solo and unassisted from St. Malo in France to Guadeloupe on a boat he rented following 12 months of fundraising. Check out his story above!
OPTI WORLDS – During the morning we could breath the closing of this Championship , the boys were playing “metegol” and ping pong all together, exchanging t-shirts and talking with friends and while waiting to go shore. The lack of wind delayed the scheduled departure for 3 hours.
Finally at 14hs enable signal was given and all Optimist sailed to the court.
There were 6 knots from East, the optisailor Swiss Nicolaz Rolaz that had to defend the title was ten at the first race.
The race results was Russia first, followed by the US and the Virgin Islands in third place.
The time was over, it was 15.55 and the Race Committe was in the deadline to start another race.
Nicolaz Rolaz from Switzerland was the Optimist World Champion 2014. While the Spanish Aina Colom was the Women’s Champion , who shared with us some words: “It was my first optiworld and I did not imagine this at first, then as the tournament progressed I could get my goals and I did it” with 14 years remaining a world : “I hope to compete again in the optiworld next year” says wishing to be a new optiworld champion .
The Swiss fleet come ashore together displaying the flag of the country, the Swiss champion Nicolaz said: “I cannot describe what I feel, It was much training and effort, It has been a long journey to Argentina, I didn’t imagine I could. This is my last year in optimist because I have 15 years old but I will continue in other classes competing and why not, try to go to the Olympics. “
The Final Results were: 1st SUI Nicolas Rolaz that had a very comfortable finish with 38.0 points, followed by Voravong Rachrattanaruk representing Thailand with 60.0 points and third Dimitris Papadimitriou from Greece with 63.0 points.
HAPPY HOUR FRIDAY – A super fun Halloween drink….THE VAMPIRE ELIXIR! First we make up a nice batch of edible blood to rim our glass with! Once our martini glass is delightfully bloody, we shake up our elixir: a delicious, slightly creamy blend of flavored vodka, white chocolate liqueur, and half and half. This cocktail is so creepy and festive, and a huge hit at Halloween parties! From the Tipsy Bartender!
XS WORLD NEWS – Go to our XS World News page for sailing news from around the world. We keep adding links and RSS feeds so you can get sailing news and events from around the world. The page is constantly being updated everyday and every hour thru RSS feeds so check back a couple of times daily for up to minute news. XS Sailing -Where Sailing Lives!
ROUTE DU RHUM – Sailing Legend Robin Knox Johnston is going racing again ‘Because I bloody well want to! I m not yet ready for the pipe, slippers and TV!
Preparing to race in the Rhum class with his historic Grey Power, built in 1997 as Fila which won the Around Alone in 1998, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is today slightly preoccupied, tussling with a gremlin which means he cannot get incoming calls on his Iridium satellite phone. He has been ‘in discussions’ with the experts from some days now and it rankles with him that as yet they can find no solution.
And while he is positively brimming with enthusiasm, itching to get back to sea with a passion which surely eclipses that of some of his po faced younger French professional counterparts, he just needs to tick off a few items before he can cast off and go solo racing again, solo for the first time since his Velux 5 Oceans circumnavigation in 2006-7.
He is ready to take on La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe for the second time, 24 years after he last raced when he finished 14th on Sea Falcon/Olympus III in 20d 20h 19m 50s.
“You cannot get away from fighting technology and bureaucracy now, not even at sea. So I don’t go to sea to just get away from it, most of it is necessary in a race like this. It is not unreasonable to have this kit to try and keep the sponsors happy and they are quite rightly trying to check it works. Our problem surfaced a week ago in the UK and it has not been fixed. They are sitting in their office in London, I am here trying to do two dozen things and I am wondering why they can’t just sort that out. The thing with the computer industry is that it is not customer orientated but process orientated. I went out to do my 1000 miles qualifier and everything was down. All I had was my iPhone when I was close to the shore. What is wrong with this industry? My attitude has not changed at all since my last race!”
“I am doing this because I bloody well want to. I have been working hard with the Clipper Race the last year. I did the Sydney-Hobart and loved it. I looked around to see what was coming up and here we are. It is a race I have done before.”
“There are more people here now than in 1982, the age and profile of the people who visit is much the same. I don’t know any other race that attracts this much attention. It is phenomenal. In many ways of course I would just like to get on with my boat. The constant interruptions get in the way sometimes.”
“There are bound to be questions about my age. They ask what I think of doing this at 75 and I say I am still 45. That is how I feel. I think I am 45 and that is where I stay. I feel no different to when I last raced. I am pretty fit. I lead an active life. I think of myself as young and that is it. I treat myself as young and I am just not ready for the slippers, pipe and television. That is not coming in a hurry.”
“The real challenge is going to be the first 72 hours, when do you tack?”
“I run basically the same software and stuff I did before, taking down the weather frequently and checking it. I use what continues to work for me. I don’t use a routing programme. Providing I can download the weather I am happy. The fundamental thing is the autopilots, as long as they work I will reach my destination. They said ‘How will you navigate if you have a problem?’ I said I will use the sun. I am a professional navigator. I did not get the gold medal from the Institute of Navigation for experiments with Renaissance navigation for not understanding how this all works. You want to know how the Vikings did it? Well I will show you! I will make a compass and steer the course I want. I can do that in a day.”
I have not even looked to see who else is in the class. I will just get out there, go racing. I have said to everyone I will really start racing when I get to Finisterre.
It is fun to have a few of my older contemporaries here, Patrick Morvan and Loick Peyron and a few others. Loick is such a great sailor and a lovely person I have such a lot of respect for him.
“ In Britain we don’t get the coverage in the media, that is why we only have four Brits here. A sponsor will only put money into this something because he wants a return on it. In Britain television still perceives sailing as non televisual. I did the Today programme last year and the researcher was telling me that sailing is elitist. And I say so is driving, there are people out there with Rolls Royces. Go to a sailing club and you’ll see there is nothing elitist about it.”
“ I have no clue what this will cost me. I have worked hard all my life. I have saved some money and I want to go and do this race. I am spending some money to do it. I have not stopped to think about it, I will get the boat ready and go racing. I just get on with it.”
“ It is getting harder for everyone. I am afraid that is the way life is. Until we get media coverage and an interest like there is here in France, then we will struggle. Where are all the British media here?
“ I did the 1000 miles qualifier. We have been right through the boat and have replaced a lot of stuff. There are no big changes.”
“ If it is tough I don’t think the others will like it. I don’t have any real hopes or aspirations. Last time I did it I think 30 per cent of the boats fell out on the first days. We are not looking at too much at the moment, F5 at the most as we look at the forecasts now.”
“ I just love being at sea. I am a relaxed person on the boat at sea. But once the start gun goes the focus changes and I will be watching the others a bit. I just want to get rid of everything and get out there.”
AC NEWS – Where do you think the next AC should be sailed… San Diego or Bermuda? Go vote in our ‘XS Poll’ over there on the upper right side of the site just below XS Chat. The XS collective has always been right! So far it looks like San Diego is winning the poll in the early rounds. Do you agree? Vote today.. it only takes a second… no personal info and no email required – just click on your answer then click on ‘vote’!
SOLO SAILORS – Vincent Beauvarlet is a French sailor. He started his career as a windsurfer and youth world champion in 1990. He discovered offshore sailing quickly participating in the Route du Rhum, Québec St Malo.
Today, three days before the start of La Route du Rhum, he goes on a long journey from Cancale (France close to St Malo, start of the Route du Rhum) to Guadeloupe (French caribbean island, arrival of the Route du Rhum and where he was born 40 years ago) alone onboard a very small multihull – a Multi 23 (VPLP Design ) called “Ocean Love Dream”.
He won’t go as fast as the big multihull Spindrift but Vincent’ll try to create a new record – to set the fastest Atlantic crossing alone onboard a dinghy multihull. It’s not a holiday, it’s an aventure. Vincent, take care !
By Gilles Morelle
To follow Vincent go to www.vincent-beauvarlet.com
SPONSORS AND SAILING – The Royal Geelong Yacht Club has welcomed the State Government’s decision to renew its funding support of the iconic Festival of Sails regatta for a further three years, cementing its position as a permanent fixture on the Victorian Major Events calendar.
Making the announcement in Geelong, Premier Denis Napthine said the decision to provide ongoing support to the 171 year old event was a tangible reinforcement of the Government’s dedication to regional major events.
“Dating back to 1844, the Festival of Sails has grown to become the size and quality of event to reinforce Victoria’s reputation as the sporting capital of Australia,” he said.
“This leading regatta attracts some of the world’s best sailors to Geelong over the week of competition in January each year on Port Philip and Corio Bays, delivering strong economic and community benefits to regional Victoria.”
Royal Geelong Yacht Club Commodore Ian Murray said he was delighted with the Government’s decision to continue to support the biggest yachting event in the southern hemisphere.
“We have a long and proud history in delivering a fantastic event attracting more than 4000 competitors and more than 100,000 spectators over the course of the Festival,” he said.
“The Club is extremely grateful for the confidence the Government has shown – and continues to show – in our event and we are looking forward to continuing to grow the event with a particular focus on expanding our interstate and international reach for both competitors and visitors to our region.”
Commodore Murray also acknowledged the valuable support of the City of Greater Geelong which works with the yacht club to deliver the hugely popular four day, Shoreside Festival.
“This event is a great example of the community, local and state Governments all coming together to deliver a sporting and tourism highlight that Geelong and Victoria can truly be proud of,” he said.
“Today’s funding announcement is crucial to the event’s success and we look forward to the Festival becoming bigger and better in the years ahead.”
The 2015 Festival of Sails will be held from Saturday, January 17 through to Monday,
January 26, 2015.
STAR SAILING – Want to see 40 great sailing champions in action in stunning Nassau in the Bahamas? The Star Sailors League, an emerging international circuit, is offering the chance to win a four-day holiday for two people with accommodation at the luxury Atlantis resort and water park. To take part (closing date is midnight on Sunday, 9th November), just like the official Fan Page and leave your details at this address: http://starsailorsleague.pgtb.me/QhPfS5
SOLO SAILORS – Early 2013, Przemyslaw Karwasiecki (aka PK) took delivery of his brand new boat. The goal: being able to sail offshore single handed. It didn’t look like much of a boat, being only 21 feet, but the stakes were huge. PK was aiming to race from California to Hawaii that same summer!
With less than 5 months to go, PK jumped on the horse and started to practice. Each sail out was a great challenge: understanding the electronics feedback and autopilot tuning, power management (solar panel and fuel cell), stacking, boat’s organization and safety gear are key elements for any safe passage.
Most importantly, PK had to practice offshore in order to perfect his boat handling skills in powerful wind.
PK succeeded to participate to numerous offshore races, all ultimately challenging and also managed to complete his 400nm qualifying passage for the Mini 6.50 Pacific Challenge race from Los Angeles to Hawaii. The day of the start, PK got a case of cold feet and decided to sit the race out. This was a very tough but wise decision, with hopefully the chance to do it another time.
PK continued to sail and race his boat in Southern California. After completing the more than challenging Guadalupe Island Race, often called “a race tougher than a crossing to Hawaii”, PK entered the 2014 SingleHanded Transpac! With now more experience, but still only less than 18 months after purchasing his new boat, PK was going to become the third sailor to race from California to Hawaii on a 21 foot boat!
The Pacific Singlehanded Sailing Association is proud to have Przemyslaw Karwasiecki tell us amount his amazing adventure on November 10th. Come join us from 8pm to 9pm at Pacific Mariners Yacht Club (13915 Panay Way. Marina Del Rey, CA 90292).”
DESTOPNEWS – The Sailing Updates – #44
RS:X Youth World in Florida
Johnie Berntsson wins the Bermuda Gold Cup in Hamilton
Going South in the Virtual Volvo Ocean Race #VVOR
VOR – Team Brunel is still in the lead but not by much! The top four boars have converged and are only 10 miles of each other. Any one boat could snatch the lead! TO FOLLOW THE FLEET CLICK HERE
REPORT FROM THE BOATS:
Forrest Gump once wisely said: “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” That could never be more true than today. Except our chocolate got squished as well; it’s still good, we still love it, but it’s just been a bit sticky and messy the last 24 hours.
Last night, as we happily made our way southwest, we got caught under our own personal rain cloud that sucked every ounce of wind. Our “parade” was both literally and figuratively rained on. By morning, we were 90 miles behind MAPFRE, and by 1pm, we were another 49 miles behind. Unsure if “gutted” gives the best description of the mood of all of us on board – but it felt like we had all been stabbed in the stomach.
Yes, today was not easy, but we did not allow ourselves to slow us down – we sailed with the conditions given and sailed at 100% performance.
So, as I’ve said before: don’t rule us out. Don’t expect anything but the best from us. Don’t stop believin’. There is still thousands of miles left, and with a newly added “Ice Gate” in the Southern Ocean, the next couple of days racing may get even closer. We are fighting and that’s the most important part. After all, who knows what chocolates we’ll have tomorrow…
Corinna Halloran, OBR
Someone flicked the switch last night. We cruised in considerable comfort for the majority of yesterday evening until a shady grey cloud line crept up from the west. It had all the signs of significant breeze, enough to get the full compliment of crew on deck for a speedy sail change.
We waited, we looked and we were patient! Zero materialised, nothing in the cloud line. Two further attempts of front line clouds move in towards us. Zero, then wallop! It came at 24-26 knots of fun, pure surfing enjoyment. The darkness rolled in before I had any opportunity to capture the excitement. The night didn’t disappoint either, many gybes, stacks and then re-stacks later we sailed our way into the best pressure. It did however finally drop out light.
This is where the leaders gained distance and the pack behind compressed.
Wouter doesn’t seem fazed by any of this, his concern now is setting up for the sling-shot east, believing we are in the right placed area when the low-pressure systems develops to the west of us.
Brian Carlin, OBR
Team Vestas Wind
Might have been one of the nicest days out we’ve seen although not from a sailing perspective… I guess this is what you’d expect on the edge of a high-pressure system. Bright skies, warm on deck but light-ish breeze. Fortunately the winds never really dipped below 10 knots allowing us to keep good pace. Almost no sea state makes sailing at 15 knots feel like you’re standing still if you’re down below deck.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing is searching for pockets of better breeze anticipating small mileage gains that will accelerate our route to the westerly winds that will hopefully shorten our trip to Cape Town.
Matt Knighton, OBR
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Yann Riou/Dongfeng Race Team
Early in the morning an alarm goes off showing that we only have 30% battery power left, and that we need to charge. The engine starts but the batteries won’t charge. We switched everything off, satellite, computers, lights, GPS. We then got in touch with land and let them know.
Michel and Iker got on to it and couldn’t find the origin of the problem, and we thought we might have to head to land. We then found out we could charge them when isolated, but not at the same time. Could have something to do with the water issue from the other day, or maybe there’s something not functioning properly we don’t know of.
Now everything is working again but we know that if this happens in the days to come, which are going to be hard, that could get very, very serious. We are getting ready for tough sailing conditions, we checked the mast and the winches. As Iker says, in the south, anything can happen, and the best prepared will get a better result.
Francisco Vignale, OBR
We’re using two different kinds of weather files: the European and the American models. They aren’t always on the same page. You’ve got to pick your side. That’s why we’ve seen the boats take different routes for the past couple of days. Verdict in a few days.
As far as everything else goes, life goes on onboard Dongfeng. These strategic questions keep us awake. We’re also discussing the arrival date in Cape Town. This date sets the number of days off we’ll have before the Leg 2. Sensitive topic…
Yann Riou, OBR
Dongfeng Race Team
MOTH SAILING – The inaugural Foiler-Moth Eurocup ended on Lake Garda in September. GREAT ACTION IN THIS VERY WELL DONE VIDEO WRAP UP!
OPTI WORLDS – Races 1 and 2 of the Second Stage of the Worlds were held in over 20 kt of wind. Enjoy the action.
MIRW – Day two of the Marmaris International Race Week and yet again the weather was ideal for another day of racing. However the plan for today was a special one with the regatta’s only coastal race scheduled to take the fleet outside the Gulf of Marmaris for some offshore sailing.
RC SAILING – The 3×1 is the result of 9 years experience with the model boat business, more than 40 years successful racing with dinghies/big boats and 4 mouths of intensive testing the boat, sails and equipment in all weathers. Now there are sailing more than 280 boats – 200 in germany, the others over the whole world. A fast growing fleet of yacht lovers, who want to sail their love. The strict one design rules guarantees fair and fast sailing over years without the need of a new boat. Check it out at www.stockmaritime.com
AC NEWS – Artemis Racing is pleased to announce its 7th Olympic gold medalist with 2008 Laser Olympic Champion Paul Goodison joining the sailing team.
Paul brings a wealth of Olympic experience to Artemis Racing, having competed at the 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games. He is also a former Laser World Champion claiming the 2009 title in Halifax, Canada.
Since the London Olympics, Paul has won the Melges 32 World Championships in 2012 and the Melges 20 World Championships in 2014, while also sailing in the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series with BAR. More recently, Paul has been developing his foiling skill set, training and competing in the Moth, claiming a respectable 12th rank in his first ever Moth Worlds earlier this year.
“The America’s Cup is the pinnacle of our sport and I’m really excited to be joining Artemis Racing. I’m fortunate to have spent a few weeks at the team base in Alameda, and what has impressed me most is the incredible work ethic and culture within the group. The America’s Cup finals are still almost three years away but with the buzz at the base, you would think they were next week. I took part in the team’s recent foiling camp, and it was great to be working alongside Nathan and Iain and the amazing talents here at Artemis Racing.
I’m looking forward to working with this incredible team on our quest to win the 35th America’s Cup” commented Paul.
Team Manager Iain Percy said “Paul is a tremendous sailing talent and light wind specialist, which will be a key skill in San Diego or Bermuda. He is a complete professional, but more importantly, I’m confident he will fit straight into the culture that we have created at Artemis Racing. His recent experience sailing Moths will also be invaluable as we work to develop and build the most advanced America’s Cup yacht in history.”
Paul joins the team primarily as a Helmsman but will also work in a number of other roles depending on the sailing and testing program.