Archive for the ‘Scary’ Category

Human Arm Found Floating At Olympic Sailing Venue

Clark February 26th, 2016

I’ve have tended to downplay all the press about the filth in Guanabara Bay, the 2016 Olympic sailing venue. I spent a few months living aboard there, and it’s on par with many large ports around the world. Finding a dead dog wouldn’t be out of the ordinary many places in the world, especially in a tropical place where the tends to be lots of flotsam and jetsam. But this kind of takes the cake. I won’t post the photo, in case you don’t want to see such a photo, but the photo is at the end of the story, here.

Happy sailing!

Tough French Cruiser Shot, Stabbed, Bashed, and Robbed off St. Croix

Clark February 22nd, 2016

Arc en Ciel 2(1)-240x171

The whole story is here. Either local law enforcement completely bungled this case, or the victim’s story doesn’t add up. What is a matter of fact, because there were witnesses, is that this guy, at age 70, limped his boat back into port with his femur shattered by a gunshot wound, came alongside a tugboat, then proceeded to throw winch handles and sundry objects at the side of said tugboat for 45 minutes before somebody took notice. Shiver me timbers.

Tragedy At Alabama’s Dauphin Island Race

Clark April 27th, 2015

Apparently a nasty front blew through toward the end of the 57th Dauphin Island Race, while boats were still finishing. Reports say an initial blast of 60 knots was followed by an hour of 30-50 knots. Several boats capsized, leaving several sailors in the water, and several dead and unaccounted for. The Coast Guard has been searching for missing mariners all weekend, and the search continues.

This video, taken in the harbor, gives an idea of what conditions were like:

A firsthand account is here

Full story here and here.

Sailboat Threading the Needle

Clark April 20th, 2015

I have a new hero. Note what they still have to miss even after threading the needle:

Volcanic Eruption and Shockwave in Papua New Guinea

Clark September 11th, 2014

This is something you don’t see every day while cruising along. Full story here.

Dozens of Cars Lost from Deck of Ship in Storm

Clark March 12th, 2014


a) I’m never shipping a car with these guys
b) I’m never sailing the Sea of Japan in winter

In Port and Online

Clark April 28th, 2007

I am devoting this day to actually understanding this website. I hope everyone understands that this has been one-way communication up to this point: I have been sending the updates via Sailmail (very slow radio link) and Matt has been posting them to the website.

Now I have made my first post and I will start responding to comments…people have actually been reading this thing! Matt told me that I have full admin, meaning I can accidentally erase the whole website, so I will tread softly as I learn.

I finally saw something on TV about the tsunami. It’s pretty grim, pulling bodies out of the rubble. At least it’s nice and cold so the bodies are staying fresh. In Thailand they were all rotting in the tropical heat after a day. And there are only ten, whereas there were 300,000 in the the 2004 tsunami.

On Getting Run Over By A Container Ship

Clark March 14th, 2007

If you have arrived at this website, it is either because you are one of my friends and family who have been following my trip around the world, or because you have recently read about me in a magazine and know me as that guy who got run over by a container ship.

Yes, it is true. A container ship did run over me and my little sailboat, but we both survived. Myself and my two crewmembers miraculously came out without a scratch. Condesa took about six months and $40,000 to be herself again.

I will spare the details, since they were printed in magazines and it is part of my job as a writer to sell magazines, but I can pick up where the magazine articles left off.

I bear no grudge against the ship. They just didn’t see us in the first place and didn’t stop because they didn’t know they’d hit us. It probably didn’t even make them spill their coffee, like running over an ant with your car. Since we all make mistakes, and it’s about how we deal with our mistakes that matters, I give the shipping company full points for dealing with me in a gentlemanly manner and paying for all the repairs.

This happy outcome can be attributed to several factors, which if not present would have made for a different result:

  1. None of us was killed or injured
  2. Condesa stayed afloat (see number 1)
  3. The ship was registered in a developed nation. Many ships are registered under flags of convenience, like Liberia or Panama, and their owners would have just laughed it off.
  4. I had some very good advice from friends and family about how to deal with the shipping company in a forthright and gentlemanly manner, which was reciprocated.

How this kind of thing can be avoided in the future is a big ball of wax.

I don’t believe we could have avoided being hit, unless we get into zigging when we should have zagged and other random odds ways of not being at that exact spot on earth at the wrong time. The crux of the issue, as far as Condesa is concerned, is the VHF radio. We should have been in contact early and making our presence known, but again, the hundreds of Brazilian fishermen who were making a mockery of international radio protocols and rendering the emergency channel useless with their mindless babbling, are to blame. It was the World Cup after all, and you know Brazilians and their soccer.

From the ship’s side, it is a discussion that could go on for days. These kinds of accidents happen frequently. There were two fishermen killed in the same kind of incident, by a ship coming from the same port, just three weeks before my accident. Something should be done!

These incidents and these shipping companies aren’t exactly in the public eye. They are the Masters of the Universe who move the world’s trade goods in a massive, endless march across the world’s oceans. Look around you. Chances are every manmade object you can lay your eyes on was transported in a container at some point, or at least on a ship. These companies have names you have never heard of, and many have been in business for hundreds of years. Their accidents don’t happen in a Southern California shopping mall, where lawyers are scrambling to take the case, those at fault want to hush it up, and those injured are sure to collect. They happen in the world’s oceans, often in international waters, and it is hard enough to even find out who owns these ships and the jurisdiction of the incident, not to mention the hundreds of thousands to be lost on legal fees, all for a case that may take years to be heard in maritime court.

There are no statistics, but I would guess that traditional fishermen around the world, often in unlit small craft, meet their ends frequently in this manner.

Technology can solve the problem, for those who can afford it. AIS (Automatic Identification System) should be affordable for small craft in the next few years. With this, you will show up with name and ID number on ship’s screens, just like airliners show up on an air traffic controller’s screen. But the oceans still belong to everyone, and just because you don’t have AIS, or a radio for that matter, doesn’t mean you deserve to get run down.

These ships move at over twenty knots and cut a wide swath. There are humans on watch, and they keep watch like I keep watch. That is to say, they look around every few moments, take a look at the radar, then go back to reading a book, filling out paperwork, or making a cup of coffee. Most of the time it’s just a whole lot of ocean out there. The difference is that I am moving at six knots in a craft that couldn’t kill anyone unless it was dropped on their head.

The moment before impact still give me night sweats.