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These stories and others appear daily on, which also contains a searchable darchive of past Soundings stories.

These stories and others appear daily on, which also contains a searchable darchive of past Soundings stories.

Sailor makes call to the boat ‘exorcist’

In an attempt to avoid bringing bad luck upon himself by changing a boat’s name, a Florida man had his sailboat “exorcised” so he could rename her.

The Marco Island sailor this winter purchased a 2005 Beneteau 423 named Tranquility but wanted to rename her Made Marian in honor of his wife, the Marco Island Sun Times newspaper reports. “Almighty Ruler of the Universe, whose domain covers the vast oceans of the earth, we implore you [to] expunge from your records and recollections the name Tranquility for all time,” an area captain reportedly said during the exorcism. The owner dropped a brick overboard with the name Tranquility written on it, and his wife broke a bottle of champagne against a chock before the boat was rechristened.

Outspoken radio talk show host “Dr. Laura” Schlessinger recently donated her 58-foot sailboat, On the Air, to California’s Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship. The school’s director says the yacht, renamed Bluefin (no report of any exorcisms), will be used for offshore sailing instruction, according to a report in California’s Daily Pilot newspaper. Dr. Laura, who is known for her call-in radio show, is the latest in a list of celebrities who have donated boats to the school. In July 2005 Roy E. Disney, a former Walt Disney Co. board member and retired ocean racer, gave the school his 86-foot CBTF MaxZ86, Pyewacket. Two months earlier, California businessman Jim Kilroy donated Kialoa III, his 80-foot maxi racing yacht, and former Yugoslavian president Milan Panic gave the school a boat in 2003.

A Texas teen’s birthday fishing trip turned tragic when the boat he was on partially sank, and the three adults on board died. Coast Guard authorities in March rescued the 13-year-old from Houston after he spent 28 hours clinging to the boat in the Gulf of Mexico about 10 miles off Galveston, the agency says. The bodies of two of the adults, wearing PFDs, were found nearby. Two days later the Coast Guard called off its search for the missing man, who was said to have attempted to swim to a nearby oil rig. The boy, who also was wearing a PFD, was airlifted to an area hospital for treatment. Water temperature off GalvestonIsland, where the boat was recovered, was between 58 and 62 degrees, the agency says.

New Zealand fishermen long-lining for toothfish this winter off Antarctica hauled in what might be the largest squid ever caught. The crew of the fishing vessel San Aspiring had been fishing in the RossSea when they spotted the colossal squid eating a toothfish that they had hooked. It took the fishermen nearly two hours to maneuver the squid — weighing nearly a half-ton and measuring more than 30 feet — into a cargo net and haul it on board, New Zealand’s Fisheries Minister says in a statement. Colossal squid are estimated to grow as long as 46 feet [they are bigger than giant squid, another species], the statement says. If original measurements are correct, this specimen weighs 330 pounds more than the next-largest squid ever discovered. Experts estimated if calamari were made from the squid, the rings would be as big as tractor tires.