GOOD OLD BOAT
NEWSLETTER

December 2001

Contents (what's in this issue)

How to contact us
 
Good Old Boat Magazine
7340 Niagara Lane North
Maple Grove, MN 55311-2655
763-420-8923; 763-420-8921 (fax)


Karen Larson, Editor
Jerry Powlas, Technical Editor
Dianne Sivald, Newsletter Editor

http://www.goodoldboat.com/



And to all a good night!
Some will say that Christmas presents in our household are "non-traditional," whatever that means. One year, for example, Jerry bought me a slip. No, not what you're thinking -- size 10, 12, or 14. This slip was size 30 feet. Just Mystic's size, as it turns out. So I own our dock space. (Well, actually it's a 99-year lease, and a few years have run out already. But I figure I can continue to call it mine for the time being.)
Another year I was given a new mainsail. It just happens to be exactly Mystic's size, coincidentally. You must understand that Jerry's not being cheap. On the contrary, these presents are hugely expensive. And they're mine all mine! It's a blessing to own the mainsail. Now whenever I think we're overpowered, I can call for a reef in my mainsail, and it will be done. Or for that matter, I can do it myself.
 
This year, as the season comes around once again, I can't wait to see what I'm wishing for now. I might just be wishing for a fiberglass repair job.
 
Some of our readers who have been in touch recently on the phone or via email already know that Mystic was hit by lightning in July. We lost nearly all our electronic equipment in one split second in which the lightning flash and the thunder clap occurred simultaneously. We were aboard at anchor at the time. There were no other boats nearby.
Jerry reinstalled a depth sounder, and we had a new GPS and a VHF radio aboard a week or two later when it was time to go on vacation. We had a good time in spite of having vastly simplified our navigation and backup systems. It was good practice for us and a reminder of how spoiled we had become with our many bells and whistles.
But summer rolls into fall, and our boat was hauled out in mid-October. Since the VHF antenna had been reduced to a melted bit of plastic, we were anxious to look the mast over carefully for other damage. To our relief, it seems to be in good condition. What we were unprepared for, however, was the extent of damage to the hull and rudder. We had no leaks because the fiberglass damage was above the waterline. We hadn't noticed these holes in the topsides because they're small and because you can't get a good look at the topsides from the dock.
So the damage was devastating. A through-hull took a lot of the charge. That alone could have sunk us. The rudder is a mass of exit points. The overall impact of our experience was sobering. We realized we were lucky, if you can consider it lucky to have been hit by lightning. We were unhurt. No emergency mayday call was necessary. Mystic remained afloat and can be repaired. Our season was not even shortened as a result of the blast.
 
While Jerry has waffled on the subject of lightning protection, bonding, grounding, and other controversial subjects, he now has been motivated to consider the subject in greater depth. The readers of this magazine will be the eventual beneficiaries of Mystic's brush with Thor. Jerry has no choice but to give the subject a thorough review, and he will, no doubt, share his findings with readers sometime in the future.
 
For now, allow us to thank you all for being part of our community of sailors and for adding your experience to that vast pool of information we share as sailors of good old boats. Together we are building a marvelous base of information useful to each of us. The following benediction has never been as heartfelt as it is this year:
We wish you peace and happiness in the year ahead. Smooth sailing!

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What's coming in the January issue:

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Milk to go!

Probably the best thing I learned at the Annapolis Boat Show in early October was the solution to a problem that has been bugging me on sailing vacations. Since we can't usually reprovision when we're cruising the wilderness of northern Lake Superior, we wind up sailing without milk. We don't go on vacation in order to sail from grocery store to grocery store. The weather's too iffy, and vacation time is too precious. Several years ago (January 1999), I wrote an article about cruising without ice. This is our preference since replenishment of ice requires runs to "civilization," as we know it. But keeping a supply of fresh milk is a problem for most cruisers, even those sailing with iceboxes and refrigerators, if they can't get to a grocery store often.

Our discovery at the boat show was Parmalat milk. I had referred to UHT (ultra-high treated) milk in my article about cruising without ice. But I had never found a source for it and had been unable even to taste this product. Much to my relief, the makers of Parmalat milk have recognized boaters' needs for milk with a long shelf life and set up a booth at the show this year. Best of all, they handed out samples. This is milk that tastes like milk, not like powdered reconstituted milk, not like evaporated or sweetened condensed milk (yuk), not like soy wanna be milk. It is milk. Cow milk. With grins from ear to ear, the fellows in the booth said they tried to get milk from elephants, but it's easier to get it from cows.

The Parmalat Web site <http.//www.parmalatusa.com> calls their process "Ultra Pasteurization," saying that it is "a revolutionary process that heats the milk to a temperature of 284F, killing all bacteria that could cause the milk to spoil . . . Parmalat's milk contains only Grade A pure 100% real cow's milk, produced with no chemicals or preservatives."

This milk lasts six months, needs no refrigeration until it's open (without a cooler we'll have to buy small sizes), comes in consumable quantities such as quarts and half-pints, and comes in all the regular varieties such as whole milk, 2%, 1%, skim, and yes, even chocolate and a few flavors such as banana and strawberry.

Who are these people who are making my dream come true? We knew only that Parmalat was founded in Italy. The Web site elaborates, "Our parent company, Parmalat Finanziaria S.p.A., is headquartered in Italy. Founded by entrepreneur Calisto Tanzi in Parma, Italy, in 1961, Parmalat began with the development of a seemingly ordinary, but nonetheless revolutionary, product: the world's first shelf-stable milk.

"The innovation of the ultra pasteurization process and a special package allows everybody to have fresh milk everywhere without the need of refrigeration. Parmalat's Milk Box became an instant success and soon achieved a prominent place onstore shelves around the world. From this radical beginning, we have g rown to be one of the world's leading international food companies, with annual sales exceeding $6 billion (of which 31.2% in Europe; 30.8% in North and Central America; 27.7% in South America and 10.3% in rest of the world).

"Parmalat USA is based in Wallington, New Jersey, with strong resources in research and development, distribution, technology, and marketing. We are also part of a larger Parmalat North American operation, which includes Parmalat Canada and Parmalat Mexico. We began operations in the United States in 1982 with our Pomi (tomatoes) label, and during the past 18 years, we have aggressively sought to increase processing capacity, distribution systems, and brand equity.

"Having established a strong presence in the Southeast with the acquisition of an Atlanta dairy plant in 1991, we soon targeted the Northeast by acquiring Farmland Dairies, as well as seven other large dairy processing plants . . . Our regional sales offices are located in California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. Our retail distribution has grown to include: Georgia, eastern Alabama, South Carolina, and Northern Florida in the Southeast; New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Maine, Delaware, and New Hampshire in the Northeast. In addition, Parmalat USA now offers distribution in California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Arizona.

"Beginning with $5 million in dairy sales in 1992 and expanding to $650 million in 1999, Parmalat (USA), with its continuous growth, has become the only national milk brand for aseptic and fresh milk products."

Naturally they didn't stop with milk (and as it seems the tomatoes with which they opened the North American market). Parmalat now sells variations such as lactose-free milk, egg nog, and other packaged drinks and completely different product lines, such as cookies, frozen specialties (gelato of course -- this is an Italian company), gourmet treats (example: focaccia bread), and so on.

Can I find it on my grocer's shelf in Minneapolis? Not yet. But the Parmalat Web site makes ordering possible. And by calling a toll-free number (888-727-6252), I learned that Parmalat milk is sold on the shelves of K-Mart and Wal Mart stores. Bringing milk back to our cruising diet is something I look forward to doing next summer.

Karen Larson


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Mail Buoy

You've got to be kidding
The other day I received a phone call. The two people on the phone said that a friend of mine had referred them to me. They went on to say that next spring they would be buying a 45-foot sailboat and would be sailing it from New Jersey down to the Caribbean and beyond. Since they had never been on a sailboat before, they wanted to know if I would take them out for an hour or two and teach them how to sail!
Don Launer

We certainly hope Don took these folks out and showed them everything they needed to know!

 
70 years man and boy
Herewith my subscription to Good Old Boat and a photograph of my last (?) good old boat in Secret Cove, British Columbia. I say last as I enter my 70th year, and my arms are aching, my bank balance scraping the bottom, and the crew is threatening mutiny! I guess this makes 27 boats I've owned from a 53-foot Nicholson down, not counting the many, many I've skippered in my years as a master mariner, including some interesting projects such as the survey for the Channel Tunnel between England and France.

It all started just after the World War II when my parents decided to open a small hotel in a town called Hastings, in the south of England, which had a good number of fishing luggers or draggers. These are heavily built wood boats that had to be launched on greased skids down a steep pebble beach and winched up again. So this goodly day I'm sitting on the beach well wrapped against the wind and rain watching a bunch of guys slap tar, yes tar, on the hull of one of the boats. This was their method of antifouling!

I had been sitting for a while when one of the guys, the skipper as it turned out, yells at me, "Don't just sit there on yer arse, git off it and come and lend a hand!" It was some hours later, covered in tar, happy as a pig that I went home loaded with fish. The next day and many after I went as crew on my first experience of "working at sea." I was 13 years old, and the love affair with salt water has never stopped.
Peter Morris

Check's in the mail
My check will be in the mail! As my annual slip renewal and Good Old Boat come due around the same time, I make sure that neither one passes me by, as the consequences could be rather dire!
Steve Brechbiel

Steve, if push comes to shove, go with the slip renewal. We can always get your subscription caught up later.

 
Thank you
Thank you for not barraging me with letters of notice so far in advance as to become meaningless junk mail. Thank you for not kowtowing to the norm with another magazine bent on advertisers' whims. And lastly but most importantly, thank you for Good Old Boat. It's the best, bar none. Count me in for at least the next two years.
Gary Gaynor

Just found you
I recently found your magazine at my local West Marine store. You offer excellent content and probably more of it than most of the other 'big' magazines, even though it is a quarter of their size.
Kevin McGoldrick

A news release we want to share

The first effort to organize do-it-yourself boatbuilders came in 1967 when Jim Betts, a sailboat racer, was frustrated by a lack of new plans, materials, and methods for the amateur builder. He founded the International Amateur Boat Building Society along with the Amateur Boat Building magazine. The society grew to 8,000 members. After five years he sold the organization and magazine but continued his interest in the area and later co-authored the book, Understanding Boat Design, and co-founded the Yacht Design Institute. Over the years he built five of the 11 boats he has owned, two to his own design.


"The time is right," says Betts, "and I'm back. The worldwide recession is hurting the boat business, but the desire is still there." This time he's launching The Small Boat Adventure, a six-hour videotape program featuring more than 300 boat plans in wood, fiberglass, and metal. Another 10 segments cover design, building materials, and shop tips.
"When I launched IABBS 34 years ago," he says, "the audience was about 90 percent dreamers and 10 percent doers. After a few years that changed to about 70/30, and I think that will happen again. All the amateur builder needs is the help we can give to get him started."

For more information, contact the Small Boat Adventure, P.O. Box 1309, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742-1309, <http://www.aboutsba.com>.

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These were very out of date. We removed them to protect the innocent from search engine robots.


Answers to previous questions

About Farley Mowat
Farley Mowat is indeed still about. As I write this I'm looking at his telephone number in my phone book. He lives just an hour's drive from me here in Nova Scotia. He is a great author.
John Coffey
Nova Scotia


Bob Fenton writes:
This was my answer from the Writers Union of Canada (twuc@the-wire.com) or (www.writersunion.ca) in response to my question about Farley Mowat.
"Dear Bob,
We spoke to Farley on Friday, so he is indeed still alive.
Best wishes,
Sarah Webster"

Bob adds: There you go. I am not certain what his full reply to the question, "Farley are you still alive?" would have been, but I'll bet it would have been colorful.
Bob Fenton
Caledonia, Ontario
 

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6 Knots closure

So it's December . . . Here on Long Island we are about a month past die-hard sailing weather. I am one of those fools who keeps a boat in the water all year. I used to haul her for the winter, and then I found myself wishing she were in, when there were occasional days of 45- to 55-degree weather in February.

Yesterday, my better half and I packed up the dockbox and lines, trailed the dinghy (named Lost Shaker of Salt) full of leftover summer sailing supplies (sunscreen, booze, and those little umbrellas for drinks) behind our Bayliner Buccaneer, Margaritaville, as we moved her from her summer berth at a municipal marina by the beach to a neighbor's dock on a canal down the street from us.

It was 28 degrees, and winds were light at 5 to 9 mph as the sunshine warmed our faces under the genny and main. The two-hour trip was fun. We traded frozen Margaritas for hot chocolate with a little Kaluha and Buffett for Christmas carols. A karoke microphone and a little libation are even more dangerous in the winter than the summer. Soon we were belting out Jingle Bells that rivaled the Etta James version coming off the CD player . . . at least we thought so.

As we headed up the last channel, in the distance I saw another sailboat reaching on a reciprocal course. As she got closer I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if that was our old O'Day?" We sold her three years ago and haven't seen her since, although there have been many sightings by friends. Our dear purchaser, who promised to bless her with his own name as an unofficial part of the sale, decided to keep ours. We often meet up with friends and acquaintances who say they saw us out on the water and ask why were we cold to them and didn't wave back. It wasn't us. It was the old Margaritaville.

The boat in the channel is getting a touch closer, and I see that one spreader is dipping a bit. Nah. Couldn't be. Another minute goes by, and she shows her profile at a quarter mile. Gee, those lines look familiar. There is a glint in the sun from a crooked decklight fitting on the mast. I wonder what the odds are? Two Margaritavilles passing in the breeze? At a tenth of a mile or so I see the bent bow rail and remember my "docking lesson" in front of a packed waterside bar one night with friends. We get to within 100 feet and start waving and hollering. By now we are both so excited! We are shouting, 'There's our boat, there's our boat!'

We sailed our first real boat (sunfishes don't count), the O'Day 23 for some five-plus years, and I know every screw, leaky joint, and patched piece of fiberglass in her now 28-year-old hull, by touch. I spent three winters rebuilding her, new galley, cushions, settee, wiring, and every little custom doodad you can think of.

It was a lot like seeing your first love after years apart, and she is back in town from college. She is with a different guy, but she's still wearing a piece of jewelry you gave her: the name, Margaritaville, stenciled on the hull. I suddenly feel guilty about having wanted to sail a larger boat, getting something I could stand up in . . . something that had a regular marine toilet instead of a Porta Potti . . . something that didn't have every square inch of cored deck a mush from years of unchecked freshwater leaks prior to my acquiring her.

She sails by smartly. Upon recognizing us, the owners toss a cold casual glance and say cooly, "This used to be your boat . . ." and continue on their journey so much like that lost love that you see with someone else on the street years later. The flood of memories, trips taken, days in the sun, friends BBQing under the stars, comes flooding back to us.
She sails away; her new owners glancing back knowing we are envious, keeping her happy out in the wind and the waves. I miss her. She was a good boat, but at least she is being put to use and not gathering seagrass at a dock somewhere.

I take a last, longing look at the curves of her stern, and then I stare at her wake and wish the owners would take the name off . . . and give her their own. I think it would bring a sense of closure for me losing my first sailboat.

Jeff Press

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2001 Mini Index of Good Old Boat Articles

The mini-index for the years 1998 - 2000 is in the October 2000 newsletter or in printed form mailed at your request. Call or email us. There is also a fully searchable article listing on the Good Old Boat Web site. Search for article title, author, key words, publication date, and so on.

Feature boats

Seven Bells (part 2), #16, Jan. 2001
Catalina 22, #17, Mar. 2001
Cheoy Lee Offshore 40, #18, May 2001
Lord Nelson 35, #19, July 2001
Tartan 33, #20, Sept. 2001

Review boats

Allied Seawind II, #16, Jan. 2001
Bristol 27, #17, Mar. 2001
4 sailing tenders, #17, Mar. 2001
Cape Dory 25D, #18, May 2001
Catalina 27, #19, July 2001
Baba 40, #20, Sept. 2001
Dana 24, #21, Nov. 2001

Systems

EPIRBs, #16, Jan. 2001
Problems with the sea chest, #17, Mar. 2001
Rudder tubes, #18, May 2001
Low-voltage problems, #18, May 2001

Materials, design, and construction

Skipjacks, #16, Jan. 2001
Schooners, #16, Jan. 2001
The fore-and-aft rig, #17, Mar. 2001
The Metal Boat Society, #18, May 2001
Shoal draft, #19, July 2001
Metal corrosion, part 1, #19, July 2001
Metal corrosion, part 2, #20, Sept. 2001
Resistance in yachts, #20, Sept. 2001
Tartan 33 and the Scheel keel, #20, Sept. 2001
The Viking yacht, #20, Sept. 2001
Monterey boats, #20, Sept. 2001
Hull Form, #21, Nov. 2001
Bowsprits, bumpkins, and belaying pins, #21, Nov. 2001

Maintenance and upgrades

Faux teak decks, #16, Jan. 2001
An aluminum toerail for an old racer, #18, May 2001
Rudder renewal, #18, May 2001
Fitting bronze portlights, #19, July 2001
Stanchion repair, #20, Sept. 2001
Build a leakproof cassic hatch, #21, Nov. 2001
Breakproof tillers, #21, Nov. 2001
Wedging the mast, #21, Nov. 2001

History articles

Catalina Yachts, #16, Jan. 2001
Cherubini Hunters, #17, Mar. 2001
The halcyon days of auxiliary power, #18, May 2001

Engines

The poor sailor's diesel installation, #16, Jan. 2001
Electric propulsion, #20, Sept. 2001
Long-shaft conversion, #21, Nov. 2001

Refits

Getting an Ontario 32 ready for blue water, #16, Jan. 2001
Cape Dory 27 refit (part 1), #16, Jan. 2001
Cape Dory 27 refit (part 2), #17, Mar. 2001
Pearson Triton bluewater refit, #18, May 2001
Chris-Craft Capri 30, #18, May 2001
Mustang, Rod Stephens' New York 32, #19, July 2001
Marshall Sanderling, #20, Sept. 2001
Alberg Corinthian, #20, Sept. 2001
MacGregor Venture Newport, #21, Nov. 2001

Sails

Jibs by the names and numbers, #17, Mar. 2001

  

Profiles

Cyber saints, #16, Jan. 2001
Retiring? No. Three exceptional sailors, #18, May 2001
Three female sailing writers, #19, July 2001
Olin Stephens, #21, Nov. 2001

Good old vendors

South Shore Yachts, #17, Mar. 2001
Matella Manufacturing, #19, July 2001
Bauteck, #20, Sept. 2001
Ken Gebhart and Celestaire, #21, Nov. 2001

Feature articles

Good Old Boat Regatta, #16, Jan. 2001
The partnership, #17, Mar. 2001
Family circle/S.S. Crocker boat, #17, Mar. 2001
Neptune's autumn (fiction), #18, May 2001
Freshwater vs. salty sailors, #18, May 2001
Plastic Classic Regatta, #19, July 2001
Time out (precise time telling), #19, July 2001
Harbormasters, #20, Sept. 2001
Sparkman & Stephens rendezvous, #20, Sept. 2001
Lion on a shoestring, #20, Sept. 2001
Ted Brewer's fireside chat #1, #21, Nov. 2001
Sailing schools, #21, Nov. 2001
Family fun in Maine, #21, Nov. 2001
Master Mariners in San Francisco, #21, Nov. 2001
Alaska: bigger than life, #21, Nov. 2001

How-to articles

Quick and easy (dinghy rack, toilet seat hinge saver, oar refit), #16, Jan. 2001
Love song to a tot (cabin heater), #17, Mar. 2001
Dodger handholds, #17, Mar. 2001
9 steps to boat ownership, #17, Mar. 2001
Quick and easy (dockside air conditioning, anchoring without a centerline cleat, port latches), #17, Mar. 2001
Single-handed mast stepping, #18, May 2001
Extend your sailing season, #18, May 2001
Quick and easy (fiddle rope, mast leak, windless sailing, brass sea rail), #18, May 2001
Stovetop cooking: Welsh cakes, #19, July 2001
Converting small bunks to big ones, #19, July 2001
Small-budget cruising, #19, July 2001
Make your own lazy-jacks, #19, July 2001
Quick and easy (forward hatch ventilation, freeing stuck valves, enlarging the cockpit table, using a bosun's chair for climbing aboard), #19, July 2001
Bubbler and agitation systems, #20, Sept. 2001
One-pot cooking (stews), #20, Sept. 2001
Quick and easy (hatch improvements, a makeshift cutting tool), #20, Sept. 2001
Close encounters with whales, #21, Nov. 2001
Harvesting the bounty of the seas, #21, Nov. 2001
Quick and easy (oarlocks, oar holders, leaky engine hatch gaskets and portlights, lid holder system), #22, Nov. 2001

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An unusual phenomenon at sea

Infrequently, in the days of old, when sailing ships plied all the waters of the globe, sailors would see strange lights in their sails and rigging. This happened during times of inclement weather, when rain and electrical storms were present. The bright lights were a source of mystery and, as was common in those days, they were attributed to either supernatural or religious manifestations. This strange light, which was actually caused by an electrical corona brush discharge, was first given a name by early sailors of the Mediterranean, who would watch in awe as their rain-soaked cotton sails glowed mysteriously. The sailors called the light "Saint Elmo's Fire."

Saint Elmo was Bishop of Gaeta, Italy, in the 4th century. He became the patron saint of fire. Fire aboard early wooden sailing ships was much to be feared, so when those sailors saw their sails glowing, as if on fire, they considered that they were being protected by St. Elmo -- a good omen -- and they named the phenomenon accordingly. It was also seen on occasions during the days of the tall ships, when they still had cotton sails that could become saturated with water. I have never heard a report of this occurring since sails have been made of synthetics.
When my brother and I were young teenagers, we would frequently go on camping trips -- sometimes for weeks at a time. On one trip, when I was 12 and my brother 14, we pitched our tent on a high bluff on a deserted section of the upper Delaware River. We had rainy and unsettled weather for several days, with scattered thunderstorms, and our cotton-canvas tent and the ground around it were saturated. (It was 1938 and there were not yet any synthetic tent materials).

On the third night of camping, a bright light awakened my brother and me. There was a dirt road that came through the woods up to the bluff where we were camped. Apparently a car had come up that road and was shining its headlights on our tent. Although it was drizzling slightly, with thunder in the distance, we went out to see who was there. There were no headlights and there was no car. Our tent itself was glowing brightly. We were perplexed -- but with no place to go, we returned to our sleeping bags and watched our glowing tent for the next 20 minutes until the light slowly subsided.

It wasn't until we returned home 10 days later, that we found out we had experienced the very rare meteorological phenomenon known as Saint Elmo's Fire.

During our St. Elmo's Fire episode, when we touched the glowing tent there was no sensation. Presumably, since we were surrounded by the tent, we were at the same electrical potential as the tent's surface. In the limited material that I've been able to read about St. Elmo's Fire, people record hearing a crackling sound -- but we didn't hear this. Other reports on St. Elmo's Fire say that it occurs at the highest point around. That was only partially true for us. Even though our tent was pitched on a high bluff overlooking the upper Delaware River, just behind the tent were tall trees.
Although I have never seen this postulated, I'm convinced that saturated cotton fabric plays a large part in creating the conditions necessary for the event that we experienced as well as the St. Elmo's fire that occurred in the early sailing ships. Chemically, when cotton fabric is saturated with water, the cellulose molecules fairly bristle with OHs -- making the fabric highly conductive. So I think it's more than a coincidence that our glowing tent was saturated cotton -- and when the early sailors saw St. Elmo's Fire in their sails, those sails were also cotton sails saturated with water.

Just a year before our 1938 experience with St. Elmo's Fire the hydrogen-filled, German dirigible Hindenburg burst into flames while landing at Lakehurst, N.J. Just before the ship erupted into flames, observers on the ground observed the corona of a St. Elmo's electrical discharge on the surface of the air-ship. The fabric covering the Hindenburg was cotton, impregnated with an aluminized cellulose acetate butyrate dopant. Since there were thunderstorms in the area the Hindenburg had delayed its landing while weathering heavy rain storms. After the thunderstorms moved away, the Hindenburg prepared to land. The cotton covering of the airship was saturated with rain from the rainstorms, and as the Hindenburg was approaching the field at Lakehurst the saturated cotton fabric was beginning to dry. This reduced the weight of the air-ship, and as it approached the field it was necessary to vent some hydrogen in order to come closer to the ground. This hydrogen release occurred at the same time that observers saw the St. Elmo's electrical discharge on the craft's surface. A month after that disaster a German scientist, who had investigated the disaster, wrote: "The actual cause of the fire was the extremely easy flammability of the airship, brought about by discharges of an electrical nature."

My brother, Philip, and I have never met anyone else who has experienced this strange, meteorological event, and I have never heard of this happening since sails (and tents) have been made from synthetic materials, which are basically non-conductive materials.
Don Launer
Forked River, N.J.
 

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Published December 1, 2001