Distinctively St Helena

17 Mar

beautiful st helena

Pinterest st helena rough coastline island

St Helena is unique in many ways, and many we’ve been able to experience firsthand during our week so far – coupled with the sincere friendliness of everyone we’ve met, it’s going to be a hard place to leave. I’ve confessed to falling in love a little with every destination, but this is different: I’m sure that in the future when people ask us about our favorite stops, St Helena will be on the shortlist. But before going too far into why we love it so much- here’s a smattering of the qualities that make it stand out as the 181st (yes, one hundred and eighty first) island we’ve visited on Totem.…

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The Run to Panama

16 Mar

Tayana 37 Offshore

Rachel and I schemed to make the 110 mile run from Santiago De Cuba to Port Antonio, Jamaica, over night. We made excellent time, arriving 10 miles offshore around 4 in the morning and sitting hove-to until around 7. I always get nervous about landfalls. Something about all that land being so close after having the open expanse of ocean around me for days. Even with two  sets of electronic charts and a small scale passage chart to reverify my position, I still never quite trust what everything is telling me. I need to see it with my own eyes.

We motored into Port Antonio and tied up to the marina dock around 9AM.

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Flash: C-Map and Navico become sister companies

16 Mar

Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 16, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Boeing_sells_C-Map_to_Altor_(Navico)_aPanbo.jpgHere’s some big news in the small world of marine electronics. Boeing company Jeppesen just sold its marine cartography division to a formerly unknown entity named Digital Marine Solutions (DMS) and it “will trade under the C-Map brand name” (as it did before Jeppesen came along and as many of us could never stop calling it). DMS belongs to the “Nordic-based Altor family of private equity funds” which also owns the Navico family of Lowrance, B&G, Simrad, and GoFree brands. Interesting?

I should not be awake at 2am — a caffeine related miscalculation — but what a lark to receive the Digital Marine Solutions press release and the Jeppesen press release almost simultaneously.…

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Sponsor ROI in spades – Hugo Boss Sky Walk

15 Mar
Image credit Alex Thomson Racing/Mark Lloyd

Sailing, especially sponsored sailing is all about ROI and much less about winning races. I don’t have the actual numbers with me but I am willing to bet that the all-female Team SCA that participated in the last Volvo Ocean Race had a better return on investment for the sponsor than the ROI generated by any of the other boats in the race and SCA was at the back of the pack the entire race – well almost the entire race. Their marketing team did a superb job and the ladies on the boat worked all angles to make sure that the sponsor was happy.
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Reefing, by and large

15 Mar

1 ocean sunset

When do you reef? How should you reef? What are some excellent ways to screw it up? A few thoughts from Jamie (filtered through fun with salty sayings and his fondness for puns).

Pinterest reefing sails sunset 2Many witty phrases stem from seafaring and sailing ships of yore. It’s a wonder that so few truly help while sailing. Three sheets to the wind , hard and fast, batten down the hatches, give a wide berth, know the ropes, mal de mer, hand over fist, the bitter end, and go by the board, are all brilliant, concise phrases that make a situation clear.…

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News: Garmin Nautix, Gemeco resources, GOST Tracker, Go-Free Hooked & Furuno MCU004 keypad

14 Mar

Written by Adam Hyde on Mar 14, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Garmin Nautix and hands-free in-view display Shipping the first week of April for US$400 is a new heads-up display called the Garmin Nautix. A 1.1 oz “hands-free in-view display,” Nautix attaches to your sunglasses and shows NMEA 2000 data transmitted from certain Garmin multifunction displays (GPSMAP 7400/7600, 8400/8600 series) that support the company’s ANT wireless technology. Suitable for polarized or prescription lenses it includes an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust brightness…

A look at the product page shows that it also includes an accelerometer which may (or may not) have to do with detecting which side of the head it is attached to.…

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Morning Haze Crew LIVE

14 Mar

Episode #141 is David Hayes & Isabelle Tremblay and their beautiful girls Rebecca & Demi. The ‘Morning Haze’ family, as we know they – by their boat name of course! – are veterans of the podcast, having been on the show, way back in episode #53. When we spoke then, their boat ‘Morning Haze’ was still on the other side of the Atlantic. Since then, they’ve sailed another several thousand miles together as a family, completing an Atlantic Circle and returning to their shoreside home in Quebec.…

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RAINMAKER RECOVERED: Is There an America’s Cup Connection Or Not?

14 Mar

Rainmaker in Bermuda

As the old saying goes: what goes around comes around. So it is that Gunboat 55 Hull No. 1, Rainmaker, which was tragically abandoned by owner and crew in late January of last year 200 miles off Cape Hatteras, and has since been spotted and photographed adrift in the Atlantic, has at last got spotted and towed to terra firma. More specifically: Bermuda.

We have this via Facebook and Peter Johnstone (the sadly ex-CEO of Gunboat) and more intriguingly via Sailing Anarchy, who claim they’ve received a hot tip that the spotting was done by members of Oracle Team USA, who were idling offshore doing some recreational fishing off Bermie on a no-doubt treasured day off from work.…

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Everything you need to know about sailing to Santiago De Cuba

12 Mar

Our ferry & Cayo Granma

Last post about Cuba!

I put together a list of things that we were not clear on when arriving in Cuba, mostly about money, internet, and transportation. Hopefully this will help future American boats as they venture into Santiago. This information is current as of March, 2016.

Approaching Cuba

They say you should call the Garuda Frontera when approaching Cuba. I tried this and got no response. I did however have my  AIS transmitting and this seemed to alert the port to our arrival. They had the customs people waiting when we arrived and the Cubans knew where we were when sailing along their coast.

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Old Guys and Girls Rule

11 Mar
Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Even people who couldn’t give two hoots about sailboat racing have heard about the brutal beatdown that is the Rolex Sydney Hobart race. Every year, on the day after Christmas, a hundred or so boats thrash their way down the Australian coast and enter the Bass Strait separating Tasmania from the mainland. There, they almost inevitably receive the kind of spanking that breaks boats and spirits and occasionally kills people.

It’s the kind of sailing that landlubbers just cannot get their heads around. Nor can many sailors, come to that. It’s one thing to deal with whatever weather comes your way; it’s quite another to stick your head in the lion’s mouth.…

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