Michigan” To You!
The Outboard Marathon National Championship Boat Race, billed in boat-racing
circles as the world’s toughest outboard
marathon, will take place August 8 and 9.
While most outboard marathons run multiple circles on a closed course, the Top O’
Michigan race, as it’s dubbed, follows the
state’s Inland Waterway on two 40-mile legs
from the start/finish line at DeVoe Beach,
in Indian River. On Saturday, the boats
head downstream from Indian River through
Mullet Lake, into the Cheboygan River, then
back to DeVoe Beach. On Sunday, they race
across Burt Lake, upstream to the Crooked
River, to Conway, and return via Mullet Lake
and Indian River to DeVoe Beach.
The event draws up to 100 racers from all
over North America and from several foreign
countries, including an annual contingent
of competitors from Ecuador, which hosts a
similar type of outboard marathon.
Check out www.tomorc.com for more
information and a map of the course.
— DAN ARMITAGE
Photography Beneath The Sea is an exhibition of underwater imagery by nine
California photographers who record the world beneath the ocean.
The exhibit is set to open at The Mariners’ Museum, in Newport News, Virginia,
on August 22.
The Perfect Pendulum Clock
Contemporaries of 18th-century British clockmaker John Harrison
derided him for his claims that he could design a timepiece that
would remain accurate to within a second for 100 days.
But now, 250 years after his death, an instrument known
as “Clock B” has proved him right.
Harrison was a self-educated carpenter and clockmaker who went on to invent the marine chronometer, whereby ships could accurately work out their
longitude either east or west of the prime meridian
at Greenwich, England. Up until that time, ships
relied on other methods, such as dead reckoning and lunar observations, to determine their
from previous page
positions. But these techniques were far from accurate, especially after
a long voyage, when errors could lead to shipwreck. So important was
the marine chronometer that Harrison ultimately was awarded several
major prizes for his work, and he was very wealthy by the time he died
at the age of 83.
Another of his inventions is making the news these days. At a
recent London conference, “Harrison Decoded: Toward a Perfect
Pendulum Clock,” a clock built exactly to his plans and specifications
was unveiled. Encased under a plastic dome with wax seals to prevent
tampering, the clock was noted to be one-quarter of a second behind
Greenwich Mean Time at the beginning of the trial in January. At the
end of the trial, which ended exactly 100 days later, the clock had lost
only five-eighths of one second. “It is a quite extraordinary achievement,” said Rory McEvoy, curator of horology at the Royal Museums
Greenwich, “and a complete vindication of Harrison, who suffered
ridicule ... to achieve such accuracy.” — MARK CORKE