Sunday, August 7, 2022


 7 August 2022: We're a week into August and true to form, the weather is driving everyone crazy. A 1200 year drought in the American West and only a few hundred miles east, devastating rain and serious flooding. And here in the Northeast, heat, humidity and worse, no rain to speak of. My grass hasn't needed cutting in over three weeks and looks like straw; were it a bit longer, I could bale it and sell it for cow/horse feed! 

This week's post is a revisit of one we did several years ago but we found it interesting to many of our readers. This is not a repost, just more on the story with some new images to demonstrate the concept.


 Historians have classified the invention of dazzle camouflage as a stroke of genius. On the surface, the idea of painting cool patterns over ships and making them stand out sounds absurd, as that would make them an easy target. But in reality, the geometric patterns made out of contrasting colors, curves, and shapes not only helped mask the true size of vehicles, but also confused enemy observes about its true shape and where it was heading when observed through a periscope.

A certain pattern of wavy curves would make the ship look smaller and also shifted the perceived movement into a different direction. All these tricks made it extremely difficult for an enemy to target such camouflage ships with torpedoes. Just the way a modern day sniper studies everything from wind speed to enemy movement before taking the shot, U-boat torpedoes also had to be launched after assessing the size and pace of a ship.

It was less about merely pulling the trigger and more about predicting where the enemy ship would be a minute after launching the torpedo. By camouflaging the ships, it became difficult to pinpoint the relative position of a ship a few minutes into the future. Miscalculating the target's movement by even a few degrees was enough to miss the mark, and this allowed the ships to evade the torpedoes. 

Dazzle camouflage can still be found on ships like the USS Freedom, but its use has drastically reduced in the modern era.


Makes one wonder why smugglers and drug runners don't use this interesting technique! Maybe it doesn't work so well when viewed from above!

Stay cool, friends.

Until next week, 

                                     Fair Winds,

                                            Old Salt

Monday, August 1, 2022


 1 August 2022: August! Summer's half done and flying by! Maybe flying is a good thing the way the world is going! Droughts, heat waves, monkey pox - what's next? locusts? Anyway, a little positive news about four ladies who set a world record doing something most of us mortals can barely comprehend! Maybe you've seen this - it was in the "regular" news, but bears repeating!


A group of four rowers achieved the seemingly impossible: rowing across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii. Better yet, they did it in record time. On July 26, the Lat 35 team broke the women's world record when they completed the Great Pacific Race in 34 days, 14 hours, and 11 minutes. The rowers — Libby Costello, Sophia Denison-Johnston, Brooke Downes, and Adrienne Smith — launched from San Francisco and arrived in Honolulu, a journey totaling 2,400 nautical miles.

The team amassed quite the following as they documented their voyage. Though the rowers were often seen smiling and singing along to music in their many dispatches, they also battled powerful winds, sleep deprivation, seasickness, salt sores, and other expected challenges that come with that much time in the open ocean. What's more, the team, which is Lat 35's first all-women's, had never rowed an ocean before, making preparation that much more important. 


To achieve their goal, the team rowed in pairs for two-hour shifts. They rowed all day, each day, and slept in 90-minute increments. Costello, an environmental engineer and endurance athlete, was the team's lead technician and para-anchor specialist. Denison-Johnston, an Olympic hopeful in flat-water rowing, was the skipper and lead medic. Downes, another Olympic hopeful, served as the lead navigator and second medic. Smith, a triathlete and yoga instructor, was the logistics and campaign manager, as well as a technician.

"The ocean is wild, just like us . . . and we keep rolling with what she gives us with full hearts and lots of laughter," Smith wrote in one of her final Instagram posts before the team made land. She thanked the team's supporters online, adding, "We read your messages as a group and are in awe of how our decision to be in action of living big is inspiring you and your families."

In addition to breaking the world record, Lat 35 used their journey to raise awareness and funds for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. As of July 26, the team had surpassed their goal of $10,000. Ahead, watch the moment the team completed their record-breaking journey, and see notable moments from along the way.


We would not want to challenge any of them to an arm wrestling match! Talk about being in good shape!

Until next time,

                                    Fair Winds,

                                             Old Salt