On SoZ with Bruce, & FUBAR

SoZ Camden cPanbo

Darn, I was hoping to get a shot of Bruce Kessler in his wheelhouse departing the Camden Public Landing this morning, but got distracted by a contest idea (that you’ll find here this weekend). When I looked up, he and his all-ladies-of-a-certain-age crew were headed out into the haze. You may still be able to catch Spirit of Zopilote at Shine Micro’s Live AIS, which, as shown below, can now overlay on Google Earth  (and shows Penobscot Bay thanks to the Penobscot Pilots). I really enjoyed meeting Bruce last summer, but my admiration is up a few notches further after a couple of coffee-sipping hours with him this morning.

Consider this: in the summer of 1957, when I was 10 and by far the the wildest thing in my rural Connecticut home town was the new Lime Rock Race Track, Bruce was the 21–year-old unknown from California who showed up and whupped the big boys in a Ferrari Spyder Scaglietti. A 50th reunion back at Lime Rock is going to cut this summer’s cruise a little short, but Bruce and Joan apparently have plenty of 9 knot cruising left in them. In fact, he showed me how he plans to upgrade SoZ’s all business helm this winter (hello Furuno black box radar).  Bruce also seems to be the guiding spirit behind a rather phenomenal rally called the FUBAR Odyssey 2007. Theoretically, FUBAR stands for Fleet Underway to BAja Rally, but you don’t need to be as old as either of us to know the more general acronym. And no doubt there will be some issues when some 60 cruising power boats, many run by inexperienced owners, make their way from San Diego to La Paz. I’ve already helped a bit with the Ops Manual (the Optional Communications section), and may scheme my way onto part of the trip. I’m hoping that if I hang out with Bruce enough, I’ll be cruising in some fraction of his style one day.

PS. Those doubting AIS presence on Long Island Sound should check out Shine’s Google display, particularly Sag Harbor. For reasons unknown the LSI receivers don’t show on their regular display (harmless registration required for either).


Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

1 Response

  1. DefJef says:

    My AIS is occasionally receiving a few AIS returns from Sag Harbor from Dering Harbor where our mooring is… and occasionally we pick up a merchant vessel going through the Sound, but it seems like not as many as we should be getting. I certainly don’t pull in the number of hits that Shine shows. But I am going to go out and have a careful look this weekend. I am using a NASA and a C80.
    So far it’s a nifty toy and it hasn’t earned its rep yet… but I can see the potential of AIS and I suspect in time it will prove to be almost something you can’t leave without.
    But as I single hand and sail I am not below a heck of a lot to look at the plotter. I do use a Garmin IQue3600 in the cockpit which is a great little WAAS receiver/plotter without the waypoints and so forth but with very cool zooming capabilities. I don’t use many waypoints anyway and have the time to enter them “along the way” without doing routes and building up huge libraries. I don’t see the need for scores and scores of waypoints and routes anyway. I love to hear from someone that does and how they are used in real life navigation.
    If you could feed your own position into something like Shine… you wouldn’t need to have an onboard AIS, but might be able to use theirs via WiFi or some other wireless internet in coastal waters.

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