Sailfeed
August 29th

Not All Ovens Are Created Equal

Posted by // August 29, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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It’s that magical time of year again when birthday madness reigns supreme in our household. Indy, Erik, and Stylish all have their birthdays within a three week period, and so when the end of August rolls around, I feel like I do nothing but wrap presents and bake cakes.
I took care of the present-acquisition in Canada back in May, and dutifully toted my partially-depackaged goods (the kids haven’t seen a board game arrive in its box since 2010) from Toronto through Vancouver, Seattle, Auckland, Noumea, and now Brisbane. Step one: complete.
But baked goods are more of a just-in-time sort of product.…
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August 29th

EchoPilot Platinum FLS, better than expected

Posted by // August 29, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 29, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Echopilot_Platinum_FLS_on_Maine_ledge_cPanbo.jpg

She: “HEY! Do you realize you’re steering right at a ledge?!?” He: “Yes, dear.” While it was a tough cruise for my lovely first mate, I did learn a lot about what an EchoPilot FLS Platinum Video Engine can actually do. If you click the photo above to full size, for instance, note how the FLS in the Garmin video window is showing especially shallow water about 55 feet ahead, though in a rather vague, pixilated manner. Note, too, that the more conventional and less expensive Raymarine CHIRP DownView/sonar is at least suggesting a shallowing trend.…

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August 28th

Podcast: Cutting Loose Down Under

Posted by // August 28, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

This is the Voice of Experience piece I wrote for SAIL magazine back in 2013 about my experience losing an anchor on my first-ever charter as a 20-year-old in New Zealand. Without further ado, enjoy this weeks (embarassing) Essay Friday. What’s some of your stupid mistakes onboard?…

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August 28th

By Kimball Livingston Posted August 28, 2014

Hurricane Marie, in the Pacific off Mexico, has been downgraded from its 140-knot top wind speeds to the status of a tropical storm. But not without supplying some thrill rides to the boldest of Southern California surfers, not without flooding parts of Seal Beach, and not without beating up Catalina Island’s southerly-exposed harbor at Avalon and interrupting ferry service from the mainland.

The images here were circulated by the Catalina Island Yacht Club and have appeared in multiple news accounts. All or most of them can be credited to Erica Minuto. CIYC dates its Avalon shoreline location and pilings (but not the current clubhouse) to 1903.…

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August 26th

Wing-and-wing

With children fortuitously exiled in sleep-away summer activities, my bride Clare and I had a chance last week to venture out on Lunacy for several days on our own. We originally thought we might visit the Damariscotta River, but heading out from Portland last Monday we were plagued by light air and had no reasonable hope of its increasing considerably in the days ahead. This is a problem that often confronts the cruising sailor: when the wind lapses do you simply switch on the motor and go where you wanted to go anyway, or do you sail more slowly and go someplace you hadn’t thought of?…

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August 26th

Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 26, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Mariner_headset_review_PMY_9-2004_cPanbo.jpg

Apparently, the folks at Cruising Solutions have not forgotten that I once characterized their useful and still popular Mariner 500 intercom headsets as “making a boater look unfashionably similar to a Soviet tank driver,” and hence asked me to test their latest solution to the problem of verbal communications when captain and crew are in different areas of a boat. They are called “My Team Talks” Bluetooth headsets and they’re much more than modern looking intercoms. “Bring state-of-the-art multiplex communication technology to your boat” is not an overstatement…

Cruising_Solutions_My_Team_Talks_headset_aPanbo.jpg

The technology that Cruising Solutions has selected for boat use (and to presumably support for a long time) was developed by headset specialists Sena, whose main market is motorcyclists.…

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August 26th

Escape from Visby: Sailing north in a Baltic Sea snorter

Posted by // August 26, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Cruising,

Note: the photos in the post below look MUCH better in their original form on 59-north.com. Click here to see the article, with accompanying photos, in it’s intended glory.

At 10:30pm, on the fifth night in the harbor of the medieval city of Visby, I dove into the cold, dark water in nothing but a Speedo and my triathlon wetsuit.

It was darker - and colder - than it looks in the photo (if that's possible). And also rougher. But it was adventure!

It was darker – and colder – than it looks in the photo (if that’s possible). And also rougher. But it was adventure!


Over the previous four nights, the weather had deteriorated to the point that the harbor itself offered little respite.…

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August 25th

59N Podcast: Kristen Berry

Posted by // August 25, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

People,

Kristen Berry is one of the head trainers at J/World Annapolis sailing school. Andy chatted with him in early August about his racing and cruising career, his transition into professional sailing from managing political campaigns (you’d be surprised at the similarities), his thoughts on what racers can learn from cruisers (and vice versa) and how he creates successful trainig programs at J/World and manages successful ocean racing campaigns. J/World Annapolis is now the Official Training Partner of World Cruising Club USA, and are hosting their first Ocean ‘OPS’ course on September 22-23. The Ocean Preparedness Seminar will be a hands-on weekend learning safety and emergency management specific to ocean sailing.…

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August 25th

Do you understand flag etiquette?

Posted by // August 25, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Techniques,

Courtesy flags

Flag etiquette rules aren’t required as a cruiser, but you should know the basics to avoid embarrassing yourself or offending others. Beyond that is up to you, but there’s a whole language to flags that is interesting to learn. As a fan of flag etiquette.  I like to think I know a few things about flags, but I learned so much from this great infographic that reader John Tissot of the East Freemantle Yacht Club emailed!

Eleven years ago this month, we sailed with a group of fellow Seattle Yacht Club members on an organized cruise. It was our first time clearing into another country, and we were so excited to use our snappy new Canadian courtesy flag when we cleared in at Ganges.…

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August 23rd

Come FLY with Totem!

Posted by // August 23, 2014 // COMMENT (4 Comments)

Cruising

Mexico sunrise

This week we hit our six year cruisaversary. On August 21, 2008, friends sailed us out of the entrance to Eagle Harbor, Washington, and on our way to adventures afloat. We did not anticipate that we’d be out this long, not knowing at what ages the children might pine for “normal” land lives, how the life would meet our expectations, or we’d string together our finances. With lumps in the road, it still has stuck together, and I am grateful every day to live this life afloat with my family.

To celebrate six years, Jamie pulled a digital track of our travels since departure (and a small party of fellow sailors!).…

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