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Thread: New Boat 4 Sled

  1. #3031
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Spruit View Post
    the world i grew up in, getting 1 Gold Star was something you could brag about to your parents, and might get you a ride to the beach instead of going to church.
    5 stars might excuse you from mowing the lawn for a month.
    What I remember was if you had a really good day in first grade, the teacher would put a stick-on Gold Star on your forehead. I ended up about 8 years later chasing a different Gold Star: a Star Class World's Championship.

    The boat was Star #3497, HOLIDAY TOO, a Skip Etchell's built beauty. #3497, then named MENEHUNE, had literally landed at my feet one day as I was following a local Star class race while walking the shoreline of Newport beach. A bigger than normal southerly swell picked up MENEHUNE as her crew short tacked the beach and deposited the boat stern first into the sand. The stern was splintered forward to the cockpit, but the rest of the boat, except for the owner's pride, was undamaged. We bought the boat for a song from the insurance company, who had declared it a total loss, and set about making repairs, scarfing in new planks of mahogany.

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    Note the wood mast. Over several months I managed to gently plane 6 pounds off the leading edge of the spruce mast, getting the spar from 40 pounds down to 32 without ill effect. Lowell North, a master at keeping noodles up, got his lightened to 28 pounds using a red cedar core.

    In those days, hiking straps were not legal. My pants had pads sewn in the inseam.

    Winning the Star World's was and still is one of the toughest things in one design sailing. Southern California Gold Star winners were legendary and really good sailors. Lowell North (4), Malin Burnham, Bill Ficker, Don Edler, Don Bever all had won at least one Gold Star. They were all in our local fleet and we raced against them most every weekend with a combined crew weight of 220 pounds for myself and best friend as crew. Needless to say, we were fast in light conditions but suffered when the breeze got above 12 knots against the likes of Edler, who with 460 combined pounds on the rail had a quarter knot more speed up wind. To gain weight, we'd wear 4 or 5 sets of sweat pants and wool sweaters, and get them good and wet if we thought the breeze was going to be up, as it usually did after 1 pm on a Southern California afternoon.

    I wasn't alone on the steep learning curve. Tom Blackaller, a future Star Class World's Champ himself, could barely break out of the back half of the fleet with his all varnished Star GOOD GRIEF!

    We never won a Gold Star ...came close one year with a 3rd in Cascais, Portugal... Thanks for posting the 5 Gold Stars. Brought back good memories.

    And here's 3 minutes of modern day, professional Star Class Racing. 40 years after HOLIDAY III the winner gets $40,000. Check out the plethora of Gold Stars in this fleet. Even the best can break their mast in the storm that hits the last race. Yiii Doggies. Pretty competitive for a boat designed 119 years ago
    Last edited by sleddog; 02-16-2019 at 03:11 PM.

  2. #3032
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    With 3 layers of fleece I hiked to the Cliff this morning for sunrise. It was clear and cold just inland and 85 feet above Monterey Bay: 33 degrees and 10 knots of northerly wind felt like windchill of 27.

    The sun rose promptly at 6:55 over the still snow capped Diablo Range, north of the Salinas Valley. The sun's upper limb, as viewed through binos and sunglasses, twinkled emerald, back-lighting distance trees and providing a different sort of green flash.

    Before being too blinded I pivoted 180 to look west along the Cliff. Below, a wetsuit surfer was already out in water whose temp probably exceeded the air temp by 20 degrees

    As I watched the surfer, a bright ruby reflection in a soon to bloom willow bush about 50 yards distant caught my eye. It had to be, and indeed was, my hummingbird friend Andre's radiant throat and head reflecting the rising sun.

    I walked west till abeam of Andre', about 6 feet the other side of the Cliff fence.

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    Listening close in the quiet of the early morning, I could hear Andre' singing. I decided to return the favor and choosing between "Sweet Georgia Brown", "Stars and Stripes Forever," and "The Music Man," I whistled "76 Trombones (Caught the Morning Sun)" complete with oompahs.

    I'm pretty sure Andre' had not heard this tune whistled before, as he craned his shimmering ruby neck my direction as if to say "WTF is that??"

    Today at the Cliff ended on another high note. By 6:10 pm, a small crowd had assembled to watch the rise of the "Super Snow" Full Moon, bigger than usual on it's closest approach this year.

    We were not disappointed.

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    No doubt Andre' too was watching from his perch somewhere nearby.

    Standby for a 6.6 foot high tide tomorrow morning.
    Last edited by sleddog; 02-19-2019 at 10:26 PM.

  3. #3033
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Mixed feelings about a species extinction reportedly because of climate change, while a single member of two different species thought extinct have been rediscovered.

    In Queensland, Northern Australia, in the Torres Strait, near the Great Barrier Reef small, ratlike rodents, the Melomys, could once be seen scurrying across the sand and coral rubble of the small, 12 acre Australian island of Bramble Cay.

    As late at the 1970's, fishermen would see Melomys, a rodent round in body and long in whisker and tail,
    when visiting the Bramble Cay, which is dotted with a few grass clumps, shorebirds and nesting sea turtles. But by 1992 the 1970's population of several hundred Melomys had dropped sharply.

    Since then, researchers have been unable to find any Melomys, and suspected the species had become "the first mammal to go extinct because of human-made climate change" i.e. rising sea level. Earlier this week, the Australian Environmental Minister confirmed the extinction with a statement that the Melomys had gone from "endangered," to "extinct."

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    Meanwhile, 1,000 miles northwest of Bramble Cay, in a little visited area of Indonesian islands, researchers from the environmental group Global Wildlife Conservation were probing into giant termite nests when what should appear but a single Wallace's Giant Bee. This bee, dubbed the "flying bulldog," has a wing span of more than 2 inches, is as long as your thumb, and enjoys mining termite resin with it's large mandibles.

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    The Wallace's Bee was thought extinct when the last two sighted and captured 38 years earlier were sold (dead) on E-Bay.
    Say what? The bee’s habitat is threatened by massive deforestation for agriculture, as well as mining, and the bee's size and rarity make it a target for collectors. There is, at present, no legal protection against hunting and marketing Wallace’s Giant Bee.

    On a happier note, 130 degrees of longitude to the east, on the Island of Fernandina, in the Galapagos, a single member of a species of giant tortoise believed to have been extinct for more than 100 years has been discovered on the Galapagos island of Fernandina, according to Ecuador's government.

    The last known time a Fernandina Giant Tortoise was seen alive was 1906.

    An adult female believed to be more than a century old was seen alive on Sunday during an expedition by the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative (GTRI), according to a government statement.

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    Washington Tapia, GTRI director and expedition leader, said that genetic studies will be carried out to "reconfirm" that the tortoise found belongs to the Fernandina Island species.

    Experts believe she is not alone. The tracks and scent of other tortoises, believed to be of the same species, were also observed by the team. Conservationists have taken the tortoise to a breeding center on the nearby island of Santa Cruz.

    The Fernandina Giant Tortoise is one of 14 giant tortoise species native to the Galapagos Islands, most of which are endangered. The tortoises have been killed over the past two centuries, both for food and for their oil, according to the Galapagos Conservancy, which jointly forms GTRI with the Galapagos National Park."This encourages us to strengthen our search plans to find other (tortoises), which will allow us to start a breeding program in captivity to recover this species," said Danny Rueda, director of the Galapagos National Park.

    Yay for the Giant Tortoise!
    Last edited by sleddog; Today at 07:25 AM.

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