Sailing in January

January weather weighs so much on a sailor.  There’s ice and slush everywhere.  The shorts are relegated to a storage bin in the basement.   Even Corona just doesn’t taste any good during Winter.

But there is much out there to set your mind alight in the world of racing. It’s summer in the southern hemisphere, and have you seen what the southern hemisphere looks like?

Ice, icebergs, cold water, a place called “Land of Fire” and the intimidating Cape Horn.

Perfect sailing territory; where’s the rum?  Many bold people and sponsored boats are venturing forth down there.

  1. The New York to San Francisco (the long way around) world record attempt is currently being undertaken a boat named Maserati. Here’s where they are on January 24.
  2. The Vendee Globe, a non-stop solo around-the-world race. Departs England, rounds Horn, passes through three gates in the near-antarctic, and then from South America back up to England. As of January 24, the leaders are 90 miles apart, and some of their competitors are in the other hemisphere.  A number of competitors have lost their keels (apparently they are only designed to last one race) and one sailor was disqualified in the most absurd travesty in the history of race committee decisions.

Ready Player One

Ernie Cline’s Ready Player One deserves to be on everyone’s actual bookshelf. It’s that good.

Here’s a summary of what you learn in chapter one: Imagine Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg becomes an actual trillionare, loses his mind and becomes a recluse, and pledges his entire fortune to whoever can find his video game’s “easter egg”. All this in a world whose physical reality has tanked due to global warming and massive oil shortages.

This book moves at a nice clip and is loaded with jokes about Xyzzy and early Apple computers, and Warcraft. It’ll make a great movie if someone like Alfonso Cuaron on Ron Moore would direct it.