Sailfeed
February 10th

FLIR Ocean Scout TK, a $599 handheld true thermal marine camera!

Posted by // February 10, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 10, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

FLIR_Ocean_Scout_TK_aPanbo.JPGNew this morning and shipping soon is the FLIR Ocean Scout TK thermal camera. It looks a lot like the existing and beautifully made Ocean Scout series, except that it is about two thirds the size and half the weight. What’s really small, though, is the $599 retail price, which is almost one quarter what even the bottom-of-the-series OS 240 model costs. Now it’s true that the TK will become the lowest resolution Ocean Scout camera with the least range, but there’s a lot more to true thermal vision than resolution and range…

FLIR_Ocean_Scout_TK_screen1_aPanbo.JPGThe reason that FLIR can produce a much lower cost Scout camera is the ultra compact Lepton thermal imager they’ve been manufacturing in high volume for end products like the FLIR One personal imager, not to mention the nifty AX8 marine thermal monitoring system (which I’ve seen slickly integrate with Raymarine MFDs, and will write up soon).…

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February 8th

YACHTIE APPRECIATION WEEK: Good Times and New Moorings at Dominica

Posted by // February 8, 2016 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

Prince Rupert's Bay

Attention all Caribbean cruisers! This is an event you’ll want to check out if you’re in the area. My old partner-in-crime Hank Schmitt and his organization, Offshore Passage Opportunities (OPO), have conspired with the Tourism Board of Dominica and with the Dominica Portsmouth Association of Yacht Security (PAYS) to launch the first annual Yachtie Appreciation Week (YAW) in Prince Rupert’s Bay (see photo up top) this February 14-21. During the event all visiting yachts will get free moorings and their “yachtie” crews will be eligible for discounts on island tours and will also get to enjoy some serious partying in the evenings.…

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February 8th

The Numbers Are In: January 2016 Cruising Budget

Posted by // February 8, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Cruising, ,

Eastport pram

They say budgets are made to be broken. Maybe they don’t say that but it sounds good when you’re trying to defend your broken budget. This month we managed to spend $539.55 more than we had said we would. The cause? Amazon. Even 800 miles away from home we can’t escape its pull. Not that I’m complaining that is. We had a bunch of little items like an external hard drive, skin suit, some spare vhf radios and a bunch of sail making and repair items. All told it came to about $500. Rachel’s parents packed an extra suitcase when they came down to visit and upon opening it felt like christmas morning!

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February 7th

Isbjorn Offshore: Road Town to St. Barth’s on Port Tack.

Posted by // February 7, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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Landfall in Ile Fourche, sailing onto the mooring.

Landfall in Ile Fourche, sailing onto the mooring.

Scroll down for a full gallery of photos from the first half of Leg 2.

Superbowl Sunday! In the French West Indies, nobody cares! And neither do I! I’m writing from a small waterfront cafe in St. Barth’s, enjoying a delightful cappuccino and having just finished a buttery croissant. We’re midway through the second passage of 2016, bound this afternoon for Antigua. All but one of the six crew from Isbjorn is ashore now, walking off our mild hangovers from Le Select last night (otherwise known as Cheeseburger in Paradise, where legend has it Buffett wrote the song). 

Greg is on a mission to the airport to try and retrieve his bags that the airline lost on his way to St Thomas.…

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February 6th

Lowrance & Simrad StructureScan 3D, hello interferometry

Posted by // February 6, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 6, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Lowrance_Simrad_StructureScan_3D_kit_cPanbo.jpgWhen I wrote about the StructureScan 3D announcement last July, I recall feeling a dite skeptical. Sure, the screenshots suggested that new users could more easily understand the 3D presentation of the sidescan data, but I wondered if they wouldn’t go back to the apparently more detailed 2D presentation once they got a handle on it. But I was wrong. On-water demos have taught me that SS3D is much more than a visual gimmick. The 3D view can be really useful, especially for fishing, even though the new 3D transducer also produces the best 2D StructureScan imagery yet, plus there’s some interesting and potentially valuable science going on behind the screens…

Lowrance_Simrad_StructureScan_3D_3window_cPanbo.jpgClick the thumbnail image above for a full size screen showing StructureScan 3D at work running a major Fort Lauderdale channel last November.…

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February 5th

On the way towards Antigua!

Posted by // February 5, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

A short blog arrived from Andy and crew this morning. The first planned stop is Île Fourchue, a small island just off St. Barts. Great anchorage and fun hiking, no one lives on the island and not many trees are around. I wouldn’t be surprised if Andy get everyone to join in for a sunrise hike one morning. 

Blog from Andy:
Strange weather pattern. Departed Road Town at 1930 last night, sailed off the anchor. First time since leaving the Bay we had big genoa on! North wind on departure as Low moved over us. Motor through calm at midnight, now sailing again on easy south wind on other side of Low.…

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February 4th

VOYAGING WITH KIDS: The Ultimate Guide for Cruising Families

Posted by // February 4, 2016 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

Kids cover

Lin Pardey gave me a hug and handed me a copy of this book when I saw her at Annapolis, and now I’ve finally gotten around to reading it. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Of course, I do have to admit I am biased. I know and have worked with several of the people involved in creating the book–two of the authors, the publisher, and the editor–but I wouldn’t be pimping it if it wasn’t good. All these people are some of the best in the business.

I can think of many magazine articles I’ve read (and edited) over the years on this subject–how to live the cruising dream with kids in tow–but offhand I can’t think of any books.…

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February 4th

Wrecked in thick fog

Posted by // February 4, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

The wreck of Tara

It’s always a tragedy when someone is lost at sea but it seems more personal when someone is lost in familiar waters. I have sailed the waters off Cape Town, South Africa since I was a small kid and for the most part they have been inviting and benign. But things can change very quickly as a crew sailing from Langebaan, a small seaside town located around a 100 miles up the west coast of South Africa, to  Cape Town found out. Earlier this week in the early hours of the morning they ran into thick fog and without visibility they ran aground.
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February 4th

Slowly Waking Up

Posted by // February 4, 2016 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

Maintenance,

What is this delicious piece of gorgeousness? A blocked toilet hose? I don’t know about you, but this puts me in mind of arterial plaques and makes me want to treat my circulatory system with gentle kindness.

More importantly, does this mean that things are afoot aboard the Good Ship Papillon? Indeed it does! Erik is tearing through our to-do list like a lion taking down a zebra. The girls and I are waiting out the worst of the destruction from afar. If all goes well, the four of us will move back into our floating home in another month, and this blog will emerge from hibernation.…

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February 4th

Isbjorn Offshore Sailing: Putting the boat back together.

Posted by // February 4, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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If you read the last post you’ll know that halfway south to Grenada, the boat broke. Amazingly, aside from three deliveries I canceled before the boat ever left the dock (thanks to crappy boats), I’ve never had to turn around on an offshore trip before. But, as I’m all too aware, if you do this stuff long enough, things are going to happen, even to the best of us.

To recap, sailing close-hauled about 200 miles south of the BVI, in a 25-30 knot ESE’ly trade wind, the old Harken Mark 2 furler jammed as we tried to roll the sail in before a tack.…

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