Sunday, September 11, 2011

Constellation survives the storm

Constellation returns after the thunderstorm that struck boats in the Jack and Jill Race at Elephant Butte Lake. The Etchells sails back with her damaged mainsail lowered after things got a bit wild during the race -- which had started with three hours of nearly no wind.

Earlier, I'd been singlehanding another Etchells, Carol Anne's "Black Magic" (Etchells USA 125) and generally struggling with minimal to no win. That change. Time fast-forwarded as a thunderstorm approached and then ripped part of the mainsail on Black Magic. Nor was she the only boat with damaged sails or rigging.

View from the patio of the Rock Canyon Marina at Elephant Butte Lake on September 10, 2011. In background, USA 38 Constellation returns from the race after a dramatic encounter with a thunderstorm.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten years ago

Ten years ago, on the morning of the eleventh of September, just before going to work I found out that something very wrong was happening out east. Only at work did I realize that what had happened was an attack against our country. Work was cut short that day as all of us were evacuated. And that was a great disappointment as I became angry that attackers were not only killing Americans but beginning to change our way of life.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

HMS Surprise on the Far Side of the World

Originally built as the "Rose", this ship became the "Surprise" for the movie "Master and Commander", where she played the part of a small British frigate in Napoleonic-era adventures.

Surprise bow

Surprise midships

Surprise stern

View of bow from south

Starboard profile with canoe

View of Surprise through Star of India lumber port

starboard view

another starboard view

Surprise views

View up the rigging of the Surprise

View of Star of India from the deck of the Surprise at the San Diego Maritime Museum. The Surprise, formerly Rose, is a re-creation of a frigate from the age of fighting sail that was used in the movie "Master and Commander" as well as in one of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.

Cannon pointed aft on quarterdeck of "Surprise". This ship was one of many that had been added to the San Diego Maritime Museum in the many years since we'd last visited.

Deck of the "Surprise"

Double wheel

Cannon. The main deck of the Surprise was interesting, with cannon resting on an elevated platform, with limited height overhead, but a center aisle with plenty of headroom for modern visitors.

Cannon detailing

View out gunport -- toward Anthony's restaurant

View of Star of India


Friday, September 02, 2011

America's Cup Yachts at the San Diego Maritime Museum, in the dock

Two International America's Cup Class (IACC) racing sailboats, "Abracadabra" (nearest) and "Stars and Stripes (USA 34, furthest).

What a difference a few days and seven thousand feet of altitude make. Our travels lately have included time in the scorching heat of southern Arizona, a cool waterfront respite in San Diego, and time near Heron Lake and the mountains of the New Mexico and Colorado borderland.

San Diego is home to many former America's Cup yachts, including one that was described in a recent post on this blog (a former "Stars and Stripes" that was USA 11 among the numbering of the IACC yachts and which is based out of Shelter Island in San Diego).

We hope to go out on one of the old cup boats in a future trip. We couldn't succeed in making ontact with the people who schedule the cup boats out of the San Diego Maritime Museum, but we plan to be more persistent in the future.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Русская (Советский) подводная лодка в Сан-Диего, Калифорния

Погружение! Погружение!
Photographic portrait of Russian (Soviet era) B39 Project 641 "Foxtrot" submarine at the San Diego Maritime Museum (Сан - Диего, Морской музей). The Cold-War submarine has been described as unsophisticated and uncomfortable, yet quiet and lethal. The "Foxtrot" could fire six torpedoes from its forward torpedo tubes and additional torpedoes aft. The torpedoes could be conventional, or could be nuclear-armed torpedoes with a fifteen-kiloton explosive warhead.

In some of the following captions, I've attempted some translations, with the help of the Internet. I can't vouch for their accuracy, but they may be good for amusement value if nothing else. If nothing else, this post may satisfy any residual cold-war nostalgia (холодной войны ностальгия). It might also be interesting to find an expert to learn how far off some of these translation attempts went amiss.

San Diego Maritime Museum photograph of B39 "Foxtrot" submarine cruising on the surface under her own power.

Submarine viewed from the ferry Berkeley at the San Diego Maritime Museum. () This was one of many acquisitions that the maritime museum made since we had last visited there more than ten years ago. It is of course a matter of irony that a former Soviet cold-war era sub is in the heart of San Diego, major home port of the US Pacific fleet and home to many US submarines.

Forward torpedo tubes. ИП-6 = IP-6 РП-6 = FP-6

Machinery with warning labels. ОГНЕОПАСНО! FLAMMABLE!

Captain's cabin (Капитана кабины). Only a few senior officers received private quarters on the B39 Foxtrot, and even these were quite confined. Bunks for enlisted sailors were placed wherever they could fit, and "hot bunking" was likely for many. Interesting, in the interest of hygiene and conserving restricted water supplies, crew members were issued paper bed sheets and paper underclothing, which were both disposable. Thin rough wool blankets completed their comforts -- and the submariners were elite members of the vital Soviet military machine.

Soviet Navy Unit Emblems (ВМФ СССР Группа Эмблемы)

Soviet Maritime Flags (Советские флаги Морской)

Soviet Navy Officer Insignia (ВМФ СССР сотрудник Insignia/Герб ранга)

Detail of Officer Insignia. Shown here on the top row are insignia for captains; on the lower row are insignia for lieutenants.

Service Branch Insignia for Soviet Navy Officers (Направление Insignia для советских офицеров флота)

Engine telegraph, showing that the submarine is stopped. I've attempted to read and translate some of the labels; bear with any likely mistakes.
At bottom, the telegraph indicates that the boat is stopped. СТОП = STOP
At left are the forward speeds, from flank speed at top left.

МАЛЫЙ SMALL (low speed/slow)

Just a couple of spaces to the right of the stop signal is ТОВСЬ ЭКОНОМ ХОД , which I can best approximate as the TOVS ECONOMY STATUS. I believe this would be using the smaller electric engine for running quietly submerged at very slow speeds for up to a few days at a time. (The larger electric engines would only last for something like overnight and would require surfacing at least to snorkel depth in order to recharge the engines.)

Further to the right are the reverse speeds. НАЗАД = BACK (reverse)
МАЛЫЙ = SMALL (low speed/slow)

The indicator position for the medium (СРЕДНЙ) and high speed (ПОЛНЫЙ) positions is overlaid with a label that reads НЕ РАБОТАЕТ = DOES NOT WORK. (And presumably, that's one reason why the submarine was a bargain!) (grin)

Same engine telegraph, shot with flash.


Star of India, iron sailing bark, oldest merchantman sailing today

The Star of India, formerly Euterpe, is the flagship of the San Diego Maritime Museum and sails occasionally.

View of Star of India with San Diego city skyline -- a contrast of old and new

Stern view of the Star of India, taken from the stern of the Surprise

Large windlass. In this era, mechanical equipment was becoming more powerful and sophisticated to help small crews handle large iron ships and try to remain competitive against the increasing threat of steamers

Main hatch at the level of the 'tween decks (below the open-air main deck and above the hold)

Bo'sun's locker in the 'tween deck forecastle; nerve center for maintenance, rigging, and ropework on the ship

Sail ho! On board the Star of India

From on deck: view aloft with fore lower topsail in center y main topsails in background with corner of fore staysail at right

Topsails and corner of staysail on the Star of India

Portion of fore staysail view up from the foredeck of the Star of India