March is almost upon us, and with it comes New Caledonia’s big cyclone month. We have been very, very lucky up until now; only Cyclones June and Ian have come anywhere near us. But the weather has gotten rainier and rainier, and I’m reminded that the country was rocked by Cyclone Erica in March a decade ago. As Mad Eye Moody would say: constant vigilance!
The old wisdom tells us that, in a storm, a boat is safer at sea than in a harbor. And I can see the point: there is less to hit out there. But, as the sad story of the Bounty shows, being out at sea isn’t always the greatest strategy. …
I’m thinking about this (again) after watching an exciting video (see below) of a sailboat wiping out trying to enter an inlet at Zumaia in northern Spain. The photo above shows a different boat entering the same inlet successfully, which should give you an idea at a glance of how hairy this can be when conditions are uncooperative.
I can’t make out what type of boat this is in the video:
There are a host of reasons why it makes sense for cruisers to make things that are normally purchased in a store. The most obvious is that you might be out in the middle of a big piece of water, double reefed under blue skies- but no option for a store.
Or maybe you’ve made landfall. Beautiful island, but no store!
Or maybe there IS a store, but supplies are limited, and may not have anything like what you’re seeking…
…or it might not have labels or ingredients that you can understand (or want to!).
This past weekend’s nav workshop was a big success. We kicked off the weekend with a couple of Guinness and some sea stories at Galway Bay pub on Friday night, and then hit the books hard over Saturday and Sunday (with a nice dinner with Matt Rutherford at Ram’s Head Tavern on Saturday night). See some photos of the weekend below.
Thanks to all who attended – it was a great time getting to know you guys and enlightening you a little bit on the history and practice of celestial navigation. The US Sailing Hall of Fame donated the space (which was a perfect setting right on City Dock in Annapolis), and the course was supported by Bacon Sails (who loaned some sextants to practice with) and Weems & Plath, who supplied the plotting tools and a place for Andy to sleep over the weekend!…
Meade Gougeon, 75, completed the Everglades Challenge–a grueling race from St. Petersburg to Key Largo, Florida–on March 5, 2014. Meade sailed solo aboard his outrigger sailing canoe VOYAGER, crossing 325 miles in 4 days and 8 hours.
He slept aboard his vessel, and came in first in the Sailing Canoe class (class 3).
Meade Gougeon is one of the founders of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. in Bay City, Michigan, the manufacturer of WEST SYSTEM Epoxy.…
Paul Exner of Modern Geographic sat down with Andy at the Strictly Sail Chicago boat show and recorded the first-ever LIVE 59º North podcast! Andy and Paul talked all things ocean sailing, from boat design and gear selection to how to handle heavy weather offshore. Thanks to everyone who came to the show, and we look forward to doing more of these in the future!…
If a picture is worth a thousand words, videos are worth millions. Skip Novak’s series of storm sailing videos are great for learning technique and outfitting. Skip Novak crewed and skippered multiple Whitbreads, and was among the first generation of yachtsmen to cruise and explore Antarctica. I’ve never met Skip, but I got friendly with his crews while down in Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica, and enjoyed a few meals aboard Pelagic Australis, his 74-foot expedition beast (Thanks, Skip). I also got a tour of Pelagic, his original, 54-foot steel cutter. Both vessels embody the ethos of simplicity and robustness.…
“Are we really going to get a cyclone? A real one?” The girls looked at me with shining eyes, as though I had brought Christmas back eleven months early.
“Yep.” I shoved the awning onto the spare bunk. “It’s a real cyclone. Tropical Cyclone June.”
“Tropical Cyclone Juin,” said Indy.
“Do we have to go to the cyclone shelter?” asked Stylish.
“Is the wind going to blow the boat over?” Indy made wind hands, puffing out her cheeks and destroying an imaginary fleet.
“Do we get to use the cyclone lines?”
“When is it going to get here?”
“Guys,” I said, pausing in my struggle with the awning, “it is a cyclone, but not a big one. …
I will have WAY more to say about this in due time, but wanted to post it immediately. Thanks to Dave for sharing – you know who you are. Might we have finally reached a tipping point when it comes to taking offshore sailing seriously, instead of a ride to warmer weather?
(Newport Beach, CA)- Coming up this weekend will be the second major offshore event in the Southern California racing calendar, the 5th Annual Islands Race. The race is co-hosted between Newport Harbor YC (the start) and the San Diego YC (the finish).
The participating teams start at 1100 hrs on Friday, March 7th and hope to sprint the 139nm course as fast as possible. The race is an overnight that goes around the beautiful Channel Islands (including Catalina and San Clemente) and it can be deceptively challenging for many boats. The sailing can have spectacular, epic conditions; be capricious with massive breaking Pacific swell hitting the windward side of the islands; or downright mind-numbing with slatting sails, dashing from zephyr to zephyr in the hopes of finishing in time for the party on Saturday night (a party not to be missed!).…
Silly me. I thought publishing my account of abandoning Be Good Too would decrease rather than increase speculative and critical commentary among the baying dogs of the Internet. I suppose I should have known better. Unlike some folks out there, I don’t have the free time to write multiple screeds on all the sailing forums, so I thought I’d address some issues that have been raised here.
1. The most substantive point that has been raised is that it was not wise of us to attempt a non-stop passage from New York to St. John in January in an untried prototype boat.…
This might be the last of this I post for a while, but it’s pretty interesting. I wish it was more detailed, but then Dr. Paris certainly had more important things to tend to. I’m thankful (and frankly surprised), he was able to send me anything at all.
I emailed his shore team a few days ago after speaking with Patrick from Farr, and they forwarded along a few questions I had for Dr. Paris to try and clear up some of the misinformation that’s been going around the web. These are those questions and his reply, unedited, plus some commentary from myself in brackets: