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Web Waypoints - Soundings Online

Web Waypoints

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These stories and others appear daily on www.soundingsonline.com , which also contains a searchable archive of past Soundings stories.

These stories and others appear daily on www.soundingsonline.com , which also contains a searchable archive of past Soundings stories.

Would you like coffee with that stolen boat?

What was supposed to be a relaxing breakfast before a day of fishing this spring turned into a recovery mission after a Tennessee man spotted someone driving off with his boat.

The boat owner sprinted through the door of the Hardee’s restaurant and managed to jump aboard his trailered boat before the thief could get away, according to a WRCB TV news report. The thief continued driving, so the owner used his cell phone to call 911. Authorities intercepted the vehicle about 12 miles away. The thief was arrested and charged with theft by taking, a felony.

A Russian millionaire is rumored to be building the world’s most expensive privately owned yacht. The 438-footer, known only as hull 6154, is expected to run more than $270 million and features 15 staterooms, Jacuzzis, a gym, two helicopter pads, gold and marble head fittings, and storage space for a submarine, according to a news report in England’s Telegraph newspaper. Although initial plans were leaked to the press, no word had gotten out about who commissioned the project. The yacht is being built by Fincantieri of Genoa, Italy, and is expected to be completed by 2010.

Sailing with a jury rig for about a month, 29-year-old Frenchwoman Maud Fontenoy completed this winter a 151-day single-handed westward circumnavigation, against prevailing winds and currents, without stopping. Fontenoy crossed the finish line March 14 off ReunionIsland in the southern Indian Ocean, according to information on her Web site

(www.maudfontenoy.com). A month before, about 900 miles off Australia, the mast on Fontenoy’s 85-footer, L’Oreal, had broken and crashed to the deck. She spent four days cutting away debris and winching the boom upright so she could continue sailing. Last May, British sailor Dee Caffari became the first woman to complete a non-stop solo westabout circumnavigation.

A Canadian television network was in hot water this winter over a program it aired that featured a foul-mouthed man consuming alcohol while helming a boat and telling children to act like him. A character on Global Television’s action sports show “fatbluesky” was operating a powerboat while drinking a beer, and apparently told the “boys and girls” watching at home, that if they were smart they would live the same way he does, a Reuters news report says. The program reportedly aired at 10 a.m. on a Saturday. Members of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ordered the network to broadcast two on-air apologies. The network reportedly admitted the mistake and called the segment “crude and inexcusable.”

An amateur Dutch adventurer this winter kicked off on what he calls the first solo row across the Pacific at the ocean’s widest point. Ralph Tuijin, 35, left Callao, Peru, in mid-March aboard the custom 23.5-foot rowing boat Zeeman Challenger, according to information on his Web site

(www.zeemanoceanchallenge.com). He expected to spend eight months rowing nearly 10,000 miles to Brisbane, Australia. In preparation, Tuijin and his brother, Michael, spent nearly three months rowing across the Atlantic from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Curacao in the Dutch Antilles. He decided to row across the Pacific, in part, to help raise money for a children’s charity in India.