November 10th

“Lessons of the BOUNTY” — Andy nails it

Posted by // November 10, 2013 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

People, Techniques, , ,

Written by Ben Ellison on Nov 10, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

BOUNTY_issues_--_Courtesy_Jan_Adkins_and_WoodenBoat.jpgI’ll probably always associate Hurricane Sandy and the sinking of the HMS Bounty with last fall’s cruise to the Carolinas and a Fort Lauderdale show that got a little scary just because Sandy’s eye passed by about 160 miles to the east. Soon after flying from Lauderdale to Gizmo’s super safe location in Myrtle Beach (lucky!), I was adding Bounty comments to an entry about how I’d first spotted the storm on a Furuno TZT. What I didn’t mention then was that I’m one of a cohort that had more reason than most to get cold chills over the sinking of a large traditional sailing vessel, a loss that could have been so much worse if it weren’t for an extraordinary USCG rescue operation.…

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November 10th


Late last night, the Hylas 54 ‘Wings’ crossed the finish line of the 2013 Caribbean 1500, and for the second straight year took Line Honors. After a passage of a little over 7 days – and that ran the gamut with weather conditions – ‘Wings’ is happy to be in the islands.

“We crossed the line a bit ago,” wrote the crew, “and are working hard to let our guard completely down in the form of Dark and Stormies. Really looking forward to raising a glass or two with all the Carib 1500 fleet in Nanny Cay next week.”

Over the next few hours we expect a few more yachts to make landfall in the BVI.…

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November 10th

How to use social media to help in a crisis

Posted by // November 10, 2013 // COMMENT (2 Comments)

Techniques, , ,

Typhoon Haiyan ran a course of destruction through the Philippines this week, cutting through the middle of the country on a westbound track. It came with sustained winds of nearly 200 mph (320 km/h)- gusts were up to 235 mph. Can you even imagine what it feels like to be in that kind of wind? Not being able to stand, or walk; the smallest piece of airborne debris hitting with a painful sting. Imagine being in a car going that fast (as if)- you couldn’t hold your hand out the window.

Like this Super Typhoon, we are in Southeast Asia, but very far away from the bad weather.…

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November 9th

Meet Our Neighbours on the Reef

Posted by // November 9, 2013 // COMMENT (2 Comments)

Cruising, ,

There are days I think that we moved onto Papillon not to sail the seven seas, not to give Erik endless tinkering projects, not to spend family time – but to visit every coral reef on Earth.  We are reef peekers.  I feel no shame in that.

Erik and I used to do a lot of diving back in the day, but now we are snorkelers because it lets the kids get involved, and there is so much to see in those first twenty feet, anyway.  Now that Indy has joined the ranks of strong swimmers, it is all the easier. …

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November 9th


This is another guest post from Mike Hixenbaugh, a reporter at the Virginian-Pilot  Newspaper in Portsmouth, VA. The article discusses the distress calls from Thursday night during the Salty Dawg Rally, and I’m quoted in here a couple of times. To see the original article, click here. I will personally have much more to say on this topic in due time…

After distress calls, rally’s decision-making questioned

By Mike Hixenbaugh

The Virginian-Pilot

© November 9, 2013

Two rival sailing organizations, each planning to travel from Hampton Roads to the Caribbean: One group shipped out ahead of schedule last weekend in a single pack to get out ahead of bad weather.…

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November 8th

Resort-style cruising: two weeks at Rebak

Posted by // November 8, 2013 // COMMENT (0 Comments)



We like to take the road less traveled, and chose anchoring in a quiet bay over tying up in a marina, but it was a fine change of pace to soak up the resort style benefits of the Rebak Resort & Marina while my parents were visiting.

It reminded me that cruising comes in all kinds of flavors, and our take is just one way to go. Almost everyone we met at Rebak was residential: either berthed semi-permanently, or flying in and out between their boat, and jobs elsewhere. Either way, it’s a good life and enjoying the good life with lots of benefits (room/berth service!).…

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November 7th


As we approach the seven-days-at-sea mark in this year’s ARC Caribbean 1500, the lead boat, Wings, a Hylas 54, is less than 400 miles out from Tortola. Tal Lira, on the other hand, has made their arrival as planned in the Bahamas after four days at sea.

“Just to inform you that we arrived yesterday evening,” Pauline informed Rally Control this afternoon. “We are on our way to Bluff House Marina and we would like to thank you for your hospitality during the last week!”

Pauline also reported in that they’ve had contact with Morning Haze, the Canadian yacht also bound for the Abacos, and expect to see them arriving sometime today.…

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November 7th

DEHLER 38: A German Cruiser/Racer Reborn

Posted by // November 7, 2013 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Dehler 38 sailplan profile

Dehler was one of a few venerable European sailboat brands that ran out of oxygen during the Great Recession. You may recall that many of their quick, durable, well-built cruiser-racers got sold on this side of the Pond over the years. Hanse Group, which evidently aspires to be the General Motors of European boatbuilding, bought the remains of the business a while back and this Dehler 38, which just debuted in Annapolis, is the first all Hanse-built model they’ve put out. It was the very first boat I test-sailed after the show, and I have to say I was impressed by its performance.…

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November 6th

Raymarine LightHouse II, the paper chart lives on

Posted by // November 6, 2013 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Boats and Gear, , ,

Written by Ben Ellison on Nov 6, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Raymarine_LightHouse_II_w_NOAA_raster_chart_cPanbo.jpgIsn’t it interesting that just after we learned that NOAA will no longer print traditional paper charts, Raymarine announced that all its current plotters will soon be able to use the digitized “raster” equivalent of those same NOAA charts? The “completely redesigned LightHouse II” software that will make this entirely free new feature happen is due out in December, but I got on the water with a beta version last week. I was impressed with how well the raster charts looked and how well they panned and zoomed, even in beta, and there’s much more to like about LightHouse II…

Raymarine_LightHouse_II_chart_folders_cPanbo.jpgRaymarine’s new chart software engine can also display NOAA’s vector charts — known as ENC’s (electronic navigation charts) as opposed to the paper-like RNCs — but first Ray has to convert them all into its new LightHouse chart format.…

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