July 30th

Golden Globe Race revisited

Posted by // July 30, 2015 // COMMENT (1 Comment)


Bernard Moitessier was one of the competitors in the first Golden Globe race. Nearing the finish he decided that he didn’t want his time at sea to end so he turned around and sailed to Tahiti.

Has some of the true adventure been lost from modern day ocean racing? My first long offshore race was the Parmelia Race, a 13,000 mile jaunt from England to Australia. Nothing compares with rolling through the Southern Ocean trying to snatch a sun sight after five days of grey skies knowing that you are fast approaching the coast of Western Australia, but not really sure where you are.

Read More
July 29th

OPEN 60 DELIVERY: From Portland to Marblehead with Rich Wilson

Posted by // July 29, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

On deck GA4

I narrowly missed my last chance to sail on an Open 60, way back in 2001 at the Heineken Regatta, when Josh Hall and Gartmore turned up a last-minute no-show due to family issues, so I was pretty psyched about getting aboard Great American IV (ex-Mirabaud) with her skipper Rich Wilson late last week. This was his first outing on the boat this summer, a delivery jaunt from Maine Yacht Center in Portland to her home mooring in Marblehead, a distance of about 100 miles. Also onboard was Jonathan Green, a local Massachusetts racing sailor (on the left in the image up top) who is assisting Rich in tuning up the boat for next year’s Vendeé Globe start in France.…

Read More
July 29th

Arctic Canada Landfall

Posted by // July 29, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

There is still ice about but we can sail again

In the two weeks since we had left Dutch Harbor, we passed through the Bering Strait, crossed the Arctic Circle, turned east at Point Barrow and continued along the North Alaskan coast. We covered a total of 1650 miles, which is a considerable distance bearing in mind that during the second week we had encountered much ice along the route, sometimes quite concentrated, at other times spread out.

Pushing a large block ice out of our way to reach a free lead

Often we had to power our way through, or push the ice out of our way with our 4 metres long ice poles to find a free lead that would allow us to continue on our desired course.…

Read More
July 28th

The First Voyage of Isbjörn

Posted by // July 28, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)


Episode 113 is an essay about the first passage of Andy & Mia’s Swan 48 Isbjorn. They sailed to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, departing Annapolis on July 4, with Charly, Dan, John and Sean onboard as the inaugural crew. Andy talks about the passage and reflects a bit on how it all went down and what it felt like to reach this milestone. To see some photos of the trip, go to…

Read More
July 28th

Cruising Praslin Island, Seychelles

Posted by // July 28, 2015 // COMMENT (7 Comments)


DSC_2577We spent much of our first month in Seychelles anchored off Victoria. With a watermaker on the fritz, it’s been helpful to be near the (very welcoming!) Seychelles Yacht Club and the drinking water tap at their boat ramp. Victoria is also the hub where we can do everything from buy locally grown produce to see new releases at a little cinema. The working harbor has its charm, but we craved clean beaches, water we can swim in, and a bit of peace and quiet.


The kicker was when boats in the harbor were targeted by thieves over a series of events, and petty theft escalated to the assault of a cruising couple.…

Read More
July 27th

Written by Ben Ellison on Jul 27, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Lowrance_StructureScan_3D_split_screen_aPanbo.jpgThe competition around sonar burns hot on many fronts and the more the merrier, I say. At the recent iCast show Lowrance introduced StructureScan 3D, which displays in many ways like the Garmin Panoptix Down looking sonar which I saw demonstrated last February in its Forward looking version. Trade Only’s Chris Landry noticed the similarity too and reports that SS 3D will also be supported on Simrad NSS evo2 displays. The necessary StructureScan 3D transducer and module are due out in December and purportedly improve on SS HD’s standard down and side views as well as enabling the new 3D mode…

Lowrance_StructureScan_3D_full_screen_aPanbo.jpgI’m a longtime fan of StructureScan as a cruising tool — and have been glad to see Garmin and Raymarine join the side-scanning fray that Humminbird started, Panbo links all — but it’s true that few Gizmo visitors easily understand the normal top-down display that I tried to explain here.…

Read More
July 24th

Ice, ice everywhere

Posted by // July 24, 2015 // COMMENT (19 Comments)


Early on Thursday morning we passed Point Barrow at the northwestern extremity of Alaska. In the month since we left Seattle we have logged 3,000 miles and have now reached an important landmark on our current expedition as we now turned east towards the distant Atlantic.

At 71 degrees 23 minutes North, this is the farthest north you may wish to sail as there is nothing between here and the North Pole.

Ice blink over the distant ice cap

What lies between where we are now and the pole is the polar ice cap now rapidly shrinking at an unprecedented rate because of climate change.…

Read More
July 24th

The best apps for cruising- part II

Posted by // July 24, 2015 // COMMENT (4 Comments)

tablet reading

What apps do cruisers actually use on their ipad / android to make life easier, safer, or more fun? The last post covered navigation, weather, and other apps for sailing. This post is about everything else that we find useful to our cruising life. And despite the title, the objective here isn’t actually to list the best, but to share what we- and a lot of other cruisers- actually use to improve life on board…the “best” lists I’ve read weren’t written by cruisers! So here are a few more that we actively use, as well as recommendations from other friends afloat.…

Read More
July 23rd

canned food

Yes, I have done this, and that is me in that photo up there, eating cold ravioli straight out of a can. That’s my old buddy and shipmate Dave Lankshear (he got shipwrecked in Spain with me many moons ago) spoon-feeding me; this during a small gale we sailed through on a 15-day passage from Bermuda to the Azores on my old Alberg 35 yawl Crazy Horse. But no, I have not done this very often, because usually, even on a boat as primitive as Crazy Horse, it is possible, and not too hard, to eat pretty well while cruising.…

Read More
July 22nd

Back on the Homefront – Last Blog with Photos!

Posted by // July 22, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Enjoy the final post from Leg 2, and scroll to the bottom for a selection of photos.


‘That was the worst day of boating I’ve had in 40 years!’

So said my dad after Monday’s motorboat ride up the Delaware Bay and back into familiar waters. He wasn’t kidding.

The Delaware is notorious for it’s biting black flies. We knew this of course, and have indeed experienced it before. In fact, that last trip up the Bay was our fourth on Isbjörn this year alone! But this time was really something.

When we finally rounded Cape May after battling headwinds for a few days and tacking down the New Jersey beaches, the wind shut down, as it often does, and we fired up the diesel.…

Read More