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?… Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 26, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
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…
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.… Read More
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!
Over the previous four nights, the weather had deteriorated to the point that the harbor itself offered little respite.… Read More
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.… Read More
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.… Read More
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!).… Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 22, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
Garmin’s SmartMode station control seemed like an obviously great idea when introduced with the 8000 Glass Helm series in early 2013. The basic feature simply lets you group 8000 displays at a helm (station) and control what the various screens are showing all at once. But the interface designers went a smart step further by naming the default SmartModes after the overall tasks at hand, instead of the conventional specifics about the tools needed, like “chart/radar/cam”. Thus the 8212 now being tested on Gizmo came with CRUISING, DOCKING, ANCHORING, and FISHING modes already suggested, and I’ve been adding my own in the same task-not-tool spirit…
Another sign of Garmin’s interface smarts is the well-done SmartMode explanatory graphic that pops up when you set up a Station.… Read More
Andy spoke with master rigger Brion Toss from Bermuda several years back about the art and science of a proper rope whipping. It was originally for an article in Yachting World, but we’ve repurposed it into another Essay Friday episode. Brion is set to come on the podcast soon for a full-on interview, but in the meantime, enjoy his philosophy on rope whippings and learn a thing or two this week!… Read More
It takes many years of diligent saving and personal sacrifice to afford the boat of your dreams and cruising adventure. Or, you can limit your selection set to what fits into a ready budget, and trade years of anticipation for years of cruising.
That’s what Steve Dolman did. His modest sloop, Mary Powell, was not a candidate for swagging at a boat show or splashing across a magazine cover. But the simple monohull was kinder to the budget, and it meant he could go- soon. We met Steve in Mexico, hung out again in Tonga, and caught up recently once more in Malaysia.… Read More
There comes a time in every person’s life when she must ask herself, “do I want to move to Papua New Guinea?”
It isn’t always “Papua New Guinea.” Sometimes it is “a new town.” Or “take a different job.” Or “go back to school.” It just happens to be Papua New Guinea in my case, because that is the way my life seems to work. Like Belle, I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I’ll just never be the one with the big house, the minivan, the soy latte and the lululemons. I’d rather learn Tok Pisin.
Moving aboard was a big DIWTMTPNG moment for me.… Read More