Making friends with Bermuda blues

10 Jun


pinterest bermuda blues

Bermuda made a late appearance into our cruising plans. Before we’d giving our routing back to New England much critical thought, the seed was planted with an email from a Bermudian. We have a few things in common; if we’d be visiting Bermuda, he’d love to meet up.

It took a little while for this to germinate and grow into a full-fledged plan, but by the time we were halfway through our month in the Easter Caribbean it was locked in—even before the kicker of an available dock and laundry facilities came up! We would sail to back to Connecticut ...

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A Search and Rescue boat’s critical electronics

9 Jun

Written by Adam Hyde on Jun 9, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

RCMSAR Station1 West Vancouver Howie at HelmAs a welcome change from his usual duties, Howie relaxes at the helm of Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) Unit 1’s Falkens class boat — Craig Rae Spirit. More often he’s face down in the water on a training exercise anxiously awaiting rescue from the ocean near Vancouver. Howie is integral to Unit 1’s training program which includes: emergency procedures, first-aid, seamanship, vessel handling, teamwork, electronic navigation and the use of marine electronics. Let’s take a closer look at the training needed to ...

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Maître Coq wins the New York-Vendée race

9 Jun
Jérémie Beyou on Maître Coq wins the New York-Vendée race
Despite the fickle conditions in the final stages of the race it was French sailor Jérémie Beyou who racked up a win on his IMOCA 60 Maître Coq in the inaugural New York-Vendée race. Beyou is a two-time winner of the Solitaire du Figaro, one of Europe’s most challenging sailing events. He also won the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre with Jean-Pierre Dick so he is no slouch when it comes to winning major races, but for this one Beyou was handed a bit of a bone. He was trailing Alex ...
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BOAT DOG ORIENTATION: Can Baxter Hack It Afloat?

7 Jun


This is Baxter, a more-or-less 2-year-old male mongrel (we suspect a Jack Russell terrier mixed with some sort of pit-bull) who came north on the Underdog Railroad from Georgia last fall. We adopted him through Alpha Dog Rescue in Lebanon, Maine, after persistent lobbying from daughter Lucy, who is passionately interested in animals. Lucy has insisted that Baxter is perfect in every way ever since we got him last October, but I have remained skeptical. Yes, he had checked most of the boxes on my own personal list of family-dog criteria (doesn’t pass waste in the house, tractable disposition, willing ...

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Offshore Sailmaking w/ Chuck O’Malley & Isbjorn Update

7 Jun

Before we get to this week’s show, a quick little update on Isbjorn. We’ve changed our schedule for the remainder of the summer, and will return to Annapolis from Newfoundland in August, instead of crossing the Atlantic as planned. Mia and I are realizing that delivering the passages to the high-level that we strive towards is a lot more stressful than we’d anticipated. Having to cross the Atlantic twice to get to the Caribbean in time for our 2017 program was just biting off more than we can chew. We’re learning the hard way that with ocean sailing, stuff ...

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Nail biting end to the York-Vendée race

7 Jun
Current leader – Maître Coq skipped by Jérémie Beyou

The New York-Vendée race is coming down to a nail biting end with the leading boats less than 200 miles from the finish in Les Sable d’ Olonne on the west coast of France. After what had been a week of frenetic sailing with gale force winds and crashing seas, the ocean is suddenly flat as glass as the skippers go in search of breeze. As of writing the leading boat, Maître Coq skipped by Jérémie Beyou was managing just 4 knots of boat speed in seven knots of wind with

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Build and Install a 40 Gallon an Hour Watermaker For Less Than $4,000

7 Jun

completed pump mount

There are so many choices when deciding on a water making system to install on a cruising sailboat. When deep in research for which reverse osmosis device was right for our boat, I saw two main schools of thought in terms of system design. First was the low output, low draw DC watermakers that output 1-5 gallons an hour. Second was the high draw high output models that utilize 110 volt electric motors or engine driven pumps.

First, a brief primer on watermakers for the uninitiated. Essentially you take seawater, clean it of critters and other suspended particles down to ...

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Thermal boat phones: Boat Beacon AIS, Flir One & the Cat S60

6 Jun

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

Boat_Beacon_Flir_One_ship_test_1_aPanbo.jpgThe Boat Beacon app running on the iPhone screen above looks like a fairly ordinary AIS target display app that can also show your own vessel. In this specific example your 28-foot sailboat is plotted on center as you head south at 5 knots into the Solent with the ship Morning Calm overtaking you to starboard. But, hey, it’s pitch dark, the iPhone has a Flir One thermal camera attached, and Boat Beacon’s “Live View” augmented reality feature can now make use of this night vision ...

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Passage notes: St Martin to Bermuda

2 Jun

1 Sailing into the sunset

DSC_7708Only one more passage separates Totem from landfall in the USA. The proximity is palpable, and conversation about what it’s going to be like has dominated dinner table conversations. The comfortable passage north from St Martin to Bermuda fostered cockpit discussion and navel-gazing under the stars, too. Here’s how it went.

Passage metrics

  • Distance: 872 nautical miles
  • Duration: 5 days 4 hours
  • Seas: 1-2 meters
  • Typical breeze: 15-25 kts true
  • Max wind speed: 35 knots (squall)
  • Number of times reefed/unreefed: lost count
  • Diesel burned: 6 gallons (at least one of those was because we wanted warm showers, and another was
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POWER-SAILERS: When Is a Sailboat Not a Sailboat?

31 May

Nuva under power

It’s hard to believe, but there just might be enough of these atrocities now that they qualify as a boat type unto themselves. They’re not really motor-sailers, which have displacement hulls and are rather slow under power. Instead I’ve come to refer to them as power-sailers: powerboats with big outboard engines and planing hulls that can also be sailed. The latest entry into this weird niche market is the new Nuva MS6 out of Barcelona, Spain. It’s got a carbon-fiber rig, a modern square-top mainsail, a retractable bulb keel, and a plumb bow, all of which makes it very much ...

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