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Having ‘Ball at End of Exhausting Day

The Skipper Says : For those of you who enjoy a bit of something when the sun goes under the yardarm, may I recommend a Cannonball, a beverage that is said to have been popular in the British Navy. Pour two jiggers, or not more than four ounces, of rum over ice. Fill up mug or glass with orange juice and add a couple of dashes of angostura bitters. Then settle back and let the calm descend. Rita and Charles Cahill, who spent last winter on their sailboat anchored in Catalina Harbor, were introduced to Cannonballs last week when my Herald Bird was moored at Moonstone Cove, Catalina Island. They pronounced them to be a worthy and healthly libation, a fitting way to end a hard day diving for abalone.

A professional diver, Charles does the work on the bottom while Rita tends the hose and air pump on the deck of their newly outfitted, 22-foot dive boat, a broad-beamed scow with a surprisingly roomy cuddy forward. Commercial abalone diving at Catalina is limited to its windward side.

Charles, with a poetical Irish heart, has composed several songs about diving. His love of the sea emerges strongly in his lyrics. With his old guitar in hand, strumming one of the dozens of songs he has written, his singing is as smooth and unfaltering as Burl Ives’.

Eagle, the 12-Meter challenger of the syndicate associated with the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, is now in local waters being sail- and speed-tested through early July. By mid-July, she’ll be loaded on a freighter bound for Fremantle, Western Australia. There, Eagle will prepare for the America’s Cup challengers’ trials beginning Oct. 5.

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The mysterious explosion that ravaged the 36-foot fiberglass gillnetter, Cindy Fay, off San Clemente Island sometime on Feb. 25 is being investigated by the marine and casualty section of the Coast Guard commandant’s office in Washington, D.C. The boat’s owner and his crewmen were killed in the explosion. There is speculation that the boat’s gillnet snagged a live ordnance or that it was hit by a stray shell or missile. The victims were not fishing in a restricted area. A $50 million wrongful death claim has been filed against the Navy on behalf of the victims’ families in Santa Barbara.

Chatting with Christopher Schack, who runs Dad’s Marine Supply Newport Beach, I learned of a drug-free “remedy” for seasickness. It’s a pair of elastic wrist bands with a button on the inner surface of each. Worn on the wrists in the proper position, the buttons bear upon pressure points that--it’s claimed--prevent motion sickness. Schack says he has sold dozens of the devices, called The Sea Band, and all but one buyer have extolled their virtues.

Sailing Notes

The Sea Explorers in Dana Point Harbor, a boating club for young people sponsored by the Nautical Heritage Society, will hold an informational meeting for those who would learn more about their program. The meeting is tonight at 7 in the County Youth and Group Facility in the harbor’s west basin.

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