Thursday, 28 May 2009

Wanted a B and G 12 Volt Network auto pilot ram

Does anyone have or know where to find what is now quite and old bit of kit,it will power a yachts rudder when connected to my Network system.I am told that other makes will do the same job,Simrad,Furuno and Raymarine,others,its technical name is a Linear drive hydraulic ram,suitable for craft over 12 tons.Other parts of the same Network B & G autopilot also considered,repeaters and function control etc.

Contact me at or phone on Cape Town 021 510 7206,if I am not in the office,please leave a message.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Tall ship the Bark Marques

This tall ship was in Salvador Harbour,Brasil in 1977,I was told they wanted crew to go around Cape Horn,I declined as I was going north and knew that nothing goes to windward better than a Boeing 747.

In 1971 Englishman Robin Cecil-Wright bought the Marques and had her extensively repaired and re-rigged in Southhampton, England. She saw use in movies, most notably Dracula, and in television shows such as the The Onedin Line and Poldark. In 1977 Mark Litchfield bought a one-half share in the ship. She was again re-rigged, this time as a barque, largely for her part in the BBC documentary on Charles Darwin as his ship, the HMS Beagle. At this time she was renamed the Bark Marques.

Sadley she was later lost with many hands:

In 1983 she sailed from Bristol, England, to Antigua in the Caribbean for use in charter tours during the northern winter. In the summer of 1984 she sailed to San Juan, Puerto Rico to compete in the Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Races.

The Bark Marques won the first tall ships' race, from Puerto Rico to Bermuda. The ship left Hamilton on the second race, bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 2 June, 1984. On the night of 2 June the ship ran into a gale. In the early hours of 3 June she was hit by a sudden squall and a large wave, possible a rogue wave, and was knocked down onto her side. Although the ship had been converted to a sail training and charter cruise ship, she had retained the main cargo hatch from her days as a commercial vessel. When she was knocked down the main hatch was breached and water flooded into the interior of the ship. She sank in less than a minute, with the loss of 19 of her 28 crew members.

Surinam,the wooden house

Note the Rolls Royce (VW Beetle) to the left of the screen! click on the picture to view full size.

Rain and a lady in Surinam

We were both sheltering from a serious down pour,arriving at the right place at the right time to stay dry.

Vendredi 13,a very large yacht

Friday 13th,an unusual name to call a yacht of any sort,I found her in the dry dock at Martenique,its impossible not to be impressed!

Monday, 25 May 2009

In favour of AIS

Left click on any picture to view full screen size!

We sighted Texaco Brasil when she was not so far off,not quite on a collision course but close enough.

We were this close!

Those who do not have a radar would be well advised to invest in an AIS receiver,with ships known not to keep the best of watches on an ocean passage,its now your best form of defence as you will be alerted to the ship,the heading,speed and even its name will be supplied to you.If we had had such a device we would have called the tanker ship Texaco Brasil a long time before we saw her.