This newspaper owner is doing OK

Calixe in Toronto

Times may be tough for some newspaper owners, but Santa Barbara News-Press co-publisher Wendy McCaw appears to be getting by just fine.

Her helicopter-toting 193-foot motoryacht Calixe is in Toronto, drawing plenty of admiring looks.

Ms McCaw and her fiancé, Arthur von Wiesenberger, are co-publishers of the News-Press, a newspaper she purchased in 2000 from the New York Times company.

She is divorced from cellular telephone tycoon Craig McCaw and has been a controversial newspaper owner.

In 2007, a National Labor Relations Board judge ordered the News-Press to reinstate eight employees it had fired for union organizing.

In 2006, six editors quit the paper over editorial ethics, an issue highlighted in the film Citizen McCaw.

Calixe’s helicopter

Maintaining the IT infrastructure at sea

My friend Bruce is doing a little sailing in French Polynesia, taking the opportunity to join up with friends of his who are sailing their yacht from Ecuador to New Zealand.

It’s not all fresh fish, tradewinds and cocktails at sundown, however. According to a blog post from Bruce’s shipmate Roger, a neighbouring yacht has had its share of trouble:

Wasabi seemed to be having a computer meltdown—they had problems with all four of their laptops. I offered to help sort things out, but it was hard going. One computer appears to have a bad video board, another needed a complete reformat. The other two, the navigation computers, were having problems communicating with the touch screen panel in the cockpit.

I’m kind of glad there were no IT systems to maintain on our boat 20 years ago. All we had to worry about was: would the mast stay up, was there enough water under the keel, and where could I buy some ice for the icebox.

Old boat lives on

In an idle moment I thought I’d Google the name of the sailboat that I sold 12 years ago after sailing from Vancouver to Auckland. And I got a pleasant surprise. Out of the perhaps dozens of boats named Oceana, one of the first search results was obviously our faithful old boat.

It’s wonderful to see that she is not only still afloat (in the Caribbean) but that her current owners, Andy and Christina, are bloggers.

Sailing and blogging. It’s such a change from the late 1980s when we had no GPS, no refrigeration or watermaker, and not even a radio transmitter! We thought reaching port, and sending a fax from a Pacific Island post office to family at home was high tech. 🙂