Sailfeed
August 28th

Clearing into Comoros

Posted by // August 28, 2015 // COMMENT (4 Comments)

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Mutsamudu and totem

Comoros, an island nation tucked between Mozambique and Madagascar, is the landfall I have most anticipated among our planned Indian Ocean destinations.

DSC_3792

Comoros does not have published official fees or processes for private boats to visit; there is no tourism industry here. That’s what happens when more than twenty coups are attempted since independence from France in 1975. It’s been led by a series of military officers, a French mercenary, an Ayatollah, and the odd career politician. The first peaceful, democratic change of leadership took place less than ten years ago, and even after that, there was an invasion by African Union forces because the military leader on Anjouan (who had previously seized power, later rigged elections, and is believed responsible for the torture and disappearance of many) refused to step down.…

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August 28th

Teenage Record Setters

Posted by // August 28, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

maidentrip
I watched a really great movie last night. Maidentrip, a documentary about Laura Dekker and her solo circumnavigation to become the youngest person ever to make a lap of the planet. It was great on so many levels but what resonated with me most was that when I was a teenager I read the book Dove by Robin Lee Graham, the California kid who set off at 16 to become the youngest person ever to sail alone around the world. I could not get enough of the book and a series of articles that came out in National Geographic, but when the movie came out with Deborah Raffin playing a starring role I was as good as gone.
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August 27th

Nuuk stopover

Posted by // August 27, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

After almost two months in the High Arctic, arriving in Nuuk felt almost like coming home. As on Aventura’s two previous visits, we were welcomed warmly on arrival by the harbormaster Johannes Lindemans.

This time I had come prepared and presented Johannes with a dedicated copy of my atlas.
As there was no free space anywhere in the small boat harbour, we had to tie up alongside a boat flying the Russian flag. The crew came out to take our lines, and the captain called across: “So nice to see you again, Jimmy, last time we met at the lecture you gave at the Russian Geographical Society in St Petersburg.”

Another copy of the atlas was presented to Daniel Gavrilov, who told me that his current voyage around the Arctic had been inspired by what I said on that memorable evening.…

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August 27th

Calypso Cups Bluetooth LE wind sensor, TDWLB pressure too

Posted by // August 27, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 27, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Calypso_CUPS4_Bluetooth_wind_sensor_boxed_cPanbo_.jpgCalypso Marine Instruments is a new company located in Spain and their first product is the CUPS 4 wireless and solar-powered wind sensor seen above before assembly. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy — also known as BLE or Smart Bluetooth — to send wind data to BLE compatible mobile devices. I’ve used both iOS and Android versions of Calypso’s own AnemoTracker app to view the data, but other apps can access it and a NMEA bridge/display will porportedly be introduced at METS…

Calypso_CUPS4_Bluetooth_wind_sensor_rail_mount_cPanbo_.jpgThe Calypso Cups 4 hardware has been mounted on Gizmo’s flybridge rail since early May.…

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August 25th

Andy, Mia & World Cruising Club at Annapolis Sailboat Show

Posted by // August 25, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Mia and Andy will be exhibiting, as usual, with World Cruising Club at the annual Sailboat Show in Annapolis, October 8-12, 2015. Find us in text O-17, near the Marriott parking lot entrance. In addition to the booth, we’ve got LOTS going on in and around the show. Check it out:

Isbjörn Open House

When: Friday, October 9, 4-6pm & Sunday, October 11, 4-6pm.
Where: Port Annapolis Marina, D Dock (7074 Bembe Beach Rd)

What: Tour Isbjörn, our 1972 Swan 48, for a chance to see a properly outfitting ocean sailing yacht.
Cost: Free!
Details: Show up at Pot A and join us to check out the boat!…

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August 25th

Isbjörn Refit Parties at Port Annapolis Marina

Posted by // August 25, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Join Andy, Mia, Andy’s Dad Dennis, rigging guru Mike Meer & ocean sailor extraordinaire Paul Exner for a day (or a week!) of refit work and fun times at Port Annapolis! Click here for more information, or click the ‘Refit Registration’ button below to signup. It’s of course free!

So here’s the deal – it’s free to signup to join us for a day or more, and we’ll provide nourishment and expertise. Click the button below to signup & join us:

Work Projects Include:

  • Re-rig, including installing new titanium chainplates from Colligo Marine.
  • Overhauling & servicing the Harken roller furling gear.
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August 24th

Simon Börjeson

Posted by // August 24, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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Episode 117 is Simon Borjeson, a twenty-something Swedish sailor and athlete living in Norway and working as an engineer in the oil industry. I met Simon at the start of the ARC Europe rally in Portsmouth, VA. He, along with three of his friends, were crewing onboard Euphoria, a brand-new Xc-42 that Simon’s dad Len had recently bought.

Simon discusses growing up and sailing with his family, what it’s like on a long ocean passage, how Swedish sailing and boating culture works, why Swedes don’t drink and drive and how his sailing actually helped his preparation for the Stockholm Swimrun in June.…

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August 24th

MODERN CRUISING SAILS: Sail Construction and Materials

Posted by // August 24, 2015 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

Under sail

To function as a proper airfoil a modern Marconi sail must present a curved surface to the wind. To the casual eye a sail may look like a flat two-dimensional piece of cloth, but in fact it has a very specific curved shape built into it. This shape is carefully engineered, depending on what sort of sail it is and how it will be used.

To turn a piece of flat fabric into a curved foil, the fabric must be cut into panels and stitched back together again. By cutting a convex curve along one edge of a panel and stitching it to a straight edge on an adjacent panel, a process is called broadseaming, a unitary curved surface is created once all the panels are joined together.…

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August 24th

Written by Guest Writer on Aug 24, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Helm_with_TZT_2_15L_displays_courtesy_F_Khedouri_aPanbo.jpgWritten by Fred Khedouri

A few days ago, just about every square inch of panel space on the main helm of my 32-foot Carolina Classic express-style sportfishing boat got covered over with the shiny black glass of two new Furuno TZTL 15F multifunction displays, the newly launched second generation of the Furuno TZ Touch series. The rest of the system includes a 12kW four-foot open array radar, a DFF1-UHD black box sonar, a smaller first-generation TZT 9 display mounted on the tower helm, and a Furuno 711C autopilot.

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August 24th

Self-steering on board

Posted by // August 24, 2015 // COMMENT (3 Comments)

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Siobhan steeringAutopilot? Windvane? Both, or hard-core hand-steering? Problems with our autopilot have caused some headaches on Totem. So why don’t we have a windvane for self-steering, instead of relying only on an autopilot?

There are a lot of reasons to add a windvane. They don’t need any power, whereas running the autopilot 24×7 on longer passages sucks a fair bit of from the battery bank. A mechanical windvane has fewer moving bits to break down, and no finicky electronics.

We took a hard look at windvanes before we took off in 2008, and were biased to add one to Totem. But like EVERYTHING on a boat, it involved a set of compromises.…

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