I don’t recall ever having looked forward to the start of a sailing season as much as this one. At the end of March I was still negotiating snowbanks on sidewalks, and it was impossible to get near the boat in its lair on Boston’s north shore for the thigh-high drifts in the yard. Hopefully, by the time you read these words I’ll be immersed in the joyous task of removing 10 years of bottom paint and that long winter of discontent will be a fast-receding memory. In fact, after holding a sander at head height for a few hours I’ll probably be missing the snow.…Read More
This is the project that started with a new steering wheel, but I’ve drifted to far from the new steering wheel that I’ve almost forgotten that that’s how I started. There is a running theme to this project run amok and it goes like this: After disassembling things to get done what I needed to get done, the disassembled components were in such sad shape that I couldn’t, in good conscience, put them back. This started with peeling wood veneer, which necessitated rebuilding the entire steering console, and now I’m into the wiring. It’s a bit of a cobblers children without shoes scenario: Here I am a marine electrician, but much of my boat’s wiring was a mess.…
Our days have a common flow here. Most morning are consumed with activities on board: reading, routine maintenance, writing, dishes, algebra, whatever seems to need doing.
The heat’s not oppressive at dawn, but it doesn’t take long. I really didn’t think it was possible to be hotter than we were during our summer in the Sea of Cortez, but I don’t remember sweating through clothes before 8am like I do here. I guess we can handle anything tropical now! Meanwhile, our raised-mostly-in-the-tropics youngest, Siobhan, wears long sleeve shirts and leggings and declares she’s perfectly comfortable. Hopefully we haven’t spoiled her forever for high latitudes.…Read More
Tania Aebi spoke at the ARC Europe Rally in Bermuda last Sunday, and Andy recorded it. Tania was skippering Jojo Maria, a Beneteau on it’s way back to New York from the Caribbean. During the Bermuda stopover she regaled the packed house of crew with her tales of circumnavigating in her 26-foot Contessa in the 1980’s at age 18. She was the youngest woman to ever do so single-handed. Her book ‘Maiden Voyage’ remains in print and is an all-time sailing classic. The fleet was based at the St. George’s Dinghy & Sports Club.
Yesterday, my son Will celebrated his 13th birthday. Like all parents, I can remember so clearly the day he was born. Then a decade went whizzing by and before I knew it he was 10. And now, I have a teenager on my hands. Wow, time certainly does move along.
Totally by coincidence, I had a call from an old customer of ours, Charlie Forsdick, and learned that Will was not the only one having a 13th birthday, Voyager, a Sun Odyssey 43 was also turning 13. Charlie and Terry Forsdick had taken delivery of their new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 43 in the Spring of 2002 in Westbrook, CT.…Read More
I spent the day confirming plane tickets and stuffing underwear into a bag. Why? Because it is time, people. Time to return to Papillon. Our good old Papioni-pepperoni.
Not permanently. No, that would be too much to ask. Erik is still firmly in the grip of his work addiction, so we’ll have to ride out the land life for a few months longer. However, the good people of Nouvelle-Calédonie are ready to be rid of our fine vessel, so it is time to jump aboard and sail the boat to Brisbane.
But what kind of a boat are we returning to?…
Here’s an intriguing little news morsel from the Misplaced Wildlife Department. Seems a group of three beluga whales, a decidedly Arctic species that normally wanders no further south than the mouth of the St. Lawrence River in Canada, has been lolling about the past two weeks in Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. Local marine biologists have been acutely interested and are monitoring them closely.
Here are a couple of videos:
The whales evidently have been feasting on menhaden, which are not hard to find in the bay. Biologists say the animals appear healthy, but are worried they may contract a measles-like virus that has plagued local cetaceans in recent years and then return to the Arctic and spread it there.…Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on May 22, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
Most boaters will not experience the benefits of a Lithium Ion main battery bank any time soon, but nearly instant gratification is possible with a portable Li Ion charger pack, some of which can even jump start a small diesel engine. Brands and models are proliferating like fruit flies, but I’m particularly keen on the WeeGo Jump Starter Pro above, which I’ve been testing for a couple of months. It is a veritable Swiss Army knife of an on- or offboard power source…
By Billy Cullen
Imagine tossing a chicken carcass into a cage of hungry wolves, I think that’s a good idea of what feeding time looks like on a lot of offshore racers and delivery boats. As cook, on a sea going racer, you need not worry about comparisons to the finer restaurants in town. The ingredients for success are simple; two large deep pots, garlic and onions, a little planning, and variety, and watch your fingers at feeding time.
If you are cooking for a large crew, I suggest two large deep pots that fit catty corner, or side by side on your stove top.…Read More
By Bruce Niederer
We are constantly testing our products to fully understand and characterize them, and this is important both for ourselves and for our customers. A test method will usually produce results in a timely fashion, but there are times we must use an accelerated test method so we can get the results before we take that last lonely boat ride across the river Styx. This article describes some of the accelerated testing we do here.
WEST SYSTEM® epoxy is often used to provide a moisture barrier for applications that are in frequent or constant contact with water. In order to know how effective our epoxy is at resisting moisture, we have to be able to measure how much water it will absorb.…Read More
How do you get ready to be self-sufficient for weeks or months at a time? In just a few hours, Totem will be underway for Chagos. We have a four week permit for this atoll (populated mainly by coconut crabs), and we don’t expect to arrive in Seychelles until late June. Until then? No markets. No hardware stores. No mobile network. No internet. We will be well and truly off the grid.
I’m not a bucket list kind of person, but Chagos is a bucket list kind of place. This 55-island archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean (pretty much smack in the middle) has long been a haven for cruisers.…Read More
The beautiful and charming Anna Vinnars, voice of the podcast, on the show today to talk about her epic cycling trip from South Africa to Sweden (yes, you read that correctly!). Co-hosted by Ryan Briggs, Andy’s best friend. This is a re-run from one of the very first podcasts Andy ever did, back in the ‘Two Inspired Guys’ days. It’s not so much about sailing, but it’s all about adventure. You’ll dig it. And you’ll fall in love with Anna’s voice like Andy did!Read More