Isbjorn a Offshore: An Ocean Thick with Phosphorescence

28 May

28 May, 2017

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I put too much hot sauce on my leftover rice & beans just now. ‘Jack’s Bay Pepper Sauce’ from St. Croix. Really tasty, but runnier than anticipated out of the bottle, which I shook with a tad too much fervor. My lips are tingly.

Isbjorn is running down the miles on the home stretch. 300 miles to Horta. Under another dark black sky, just a few stars peaking out through some misty cloud cover, she veritably FLIES along, touching double-digit surfs and doing a steady 8.5 in the lulls. We bravely have the spinnaker up, ‘Ol ...

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Isbjorn Offshore: A Mid-Ocean Swim

27 May

Thursday May 25
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Midnight watch. A new day. Wind WSW 10-15. Isbjorn is running at 6.5 knots on starboard, the genoa poled out to weather, rolling in an annoying cross swell still leftover from Monday’s gale.

I have the first half (0000-0200), Mia will come on for the second half. Unless I’m feeling particularly inspired, in which case I’ll stay up longer. We enacted this new ‘shared’ watch routine for the two of us to allow each some time alone in the cockpit at night. It’s the part I like best about offshore sailing, and what I’d been missing ...

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The Future is Here – embrace it

25 May
The Volvo Ocean Race – wet all the way


It has been a week since the Volvo Ocean Race made their big announcement in Sweden about the future of the event and I have found it interesting to read all the comments both for and against their proposed changes. Was it Abraham Lincoln who said “You can fool some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never fool all of the people all of the time?” I think it was him ...
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Isbjorn Offshore: A Black, No Horizon Night

24 May

May 21, 0900

Low, grey clouds overhead. They’re moving off to our right, carried by the chilly northerly wind. A few hints of blue sky are visible to the north. Thane & Brenda are on watch. It’s dry outside, but cool. They’re in fully foulies, gloves & wool hats. The wind has a bite to it, especially without the warming sun overhead. It’s a proper North Atlantic day today.

Isbjorn romps east on 60 degrees apparent under small sails – triple-reefed mainsail & double-reefed genoa, the staysail rigged and furled on the foredeck just in case. We’re slightly under-canvassed now, ...

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Isbjorn Offshore: Moseying Downwind

24 May

May 18, 1000

The wind is sloooowly filling in from the NNW. We motored all night after trying to tack offshore once through Town Cut, 18 hours in total, setting sail finally at 0400 this morning. When the sea is flat we can make 4-5 knots in only 6-7 knots apparent, close-reaching. When the odd wave slews the boat around the sails slat and we slow right down. The forecast is in our favor though – if it holds true, it looks like we’ll have wind, and behind us, for the next ten days…

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All hands on deck for ...

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Isbjorn Offshore: Riding the Azores High

24 May

Before we dive into the start of our trans-Atlantic, let’s recap our arrival and layover in Bermuda. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out a few videos we posted on our Instagram (instagram.com/59northsailing) and Facebook pages (facebook.com/59north) – they show better than I can tell how it went down.

We had a SERIOUSLY gnarly arrival in Bermuda, the wind building and building from the SW as we made landfall south of Gibb’s Hill light. We made it all the way on celestial, so it was special seeing the lighthouse appear before the dawn right where ...

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Monitoring 2017: Siren, QuikTrak, DotMobile, Yacht Protector, GOST, Maretron, Boat Command & GoFree

23 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 23, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

MIBS2017_Siren_Marine_Dan_Harper_cPanbo.jpgThere was so much going on with remote boat monitoring, tracking, and control at the Miami International Boat Show that I started wondering if 2017 would be the year this technology takes off. I’ve long thought that many boat owners would really appreciate the peace of mind offered by good monitoring if only they experienced it. And while this hardware/service category is confusing because there are so many things that can be done in so many ways, wow, there sure are a lot of companies that ...

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Great Circle Sails to the Rescue

23 May
Esprit de Corps IV (EDC) – the boat that came to the rescue of Monterey
Ok that attention grabbing headline is a bit of click baiting to get your interest in this story. To be exact it was a boat that has new Great Circle Sails that went to the rescue last week of another yacht during the Antigua to Bermuda race. Esprit de Corps IV (EDC) is a Volvo 60 and they were sailing north on a clear moonlit night when ahead of them they saw a flare go off.

“It was perfect sailing conditions,” Gilles Barbot, ...
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192: Susie Goodall / Golden Globe 2018

22 May

Susie Goodall is a badass. Mia & I met her in Antigua in February after she’d just completed a solo trans-Atlantic crossing in her Rustler 36. At just 26, she is the first woman to enter next year’s Gold Globe Race, essentially a reenactment of the famous race that Sir Robin Knox-Johnston won in 1968, establishing nonstop solo ocean racing. Susie was prepping for the return voyage to England when we spoke, which will fulfill the races qualifying passage requirement. Despite her youth, she’s an accomplished sailor, having worked as a skipper with Rubicon 3 in the Arctic and has ...

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A foiling future for the Volvo Ocean Race

18 May

There was a much hyped, big announcement this morning about the future of the Volvo Ocean Race and the announcement lived up to the hype; at least I think that it did. The big question to be answered was would future races be raced in  monohulls or multihulls and I think that the event CEO Mark Turner split the issue quite nicely when he stated, “We had a lot of debate about multihull versus monohull – strong arguments in both directions. We decided on three hulls – a monohull plus catamaran.” What he means is that the offshore part ...
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