To almost no one’s surprise, Francis Joyon managed to add the NYC-Lizard Transatlantic record to his impressive solo sailing trophy cabinet (which already housed the 24-hour record, the East-West Transatlantic record, and the biggest and most important of all, the RTW solo record).
It can be counted as mildly surprising, given that he was trailing Thomas Coville’s 2008 reference time for a good chunk of the course as he rode a southerly depression that took him off the Great Circle route, that he smashed the record by such a massive margin, besting Colville in the end by 16 hours, 34 minutes (that’s about a 12 percent jump in performance).… Read More
To our surprise, Kumai was delightful. Yes, it is a funny, dusty frontier town with absolutely nothing to recommend it aesthetically, but it was incredibly friendly. After our weeks in Bali, it was also really nice to be able to walk down the street without having 10 people try to sell us something. Here, nobody tried to sell us anything at all! It was something of a study in contradictions, with the massive shipping traffic and relatively modern vessels and structures next to very traditional boats like this one (he’s waving, of course). Read More
Before we went up the river, we spent time talking about what we were going to see.…
So it turns out finding a beach in San Carlos isn’t that easy. We got in the dinghy and zipped back out the way we had come in but realized that the shoreline everywhere was just rock. The beach out front of the actual town is sandy (I believe), but over here near the marina is not, and we didn’t feel like a three mile dinghy ride. The only semi-normal looking beach we saw was situated in a tiny cove with a bunch of houses crowded up around it. Eventually that’s where we headed.
We swam and played and explored. Explored is just a kid’s word for picked up junk.… Read More
We left last night right after putting the kids to bed. It’s the second short passage in a row that we’ve done this way, and to be honest I wish we could make every stretch over twenty miles this way. The kids sleep like logs and Ali and I are free to enjoy the quiet starry night for as long as we are able before waking the other up for some sound sleep.
About an hour in it was getting dark, the lights of town were receding, and we were getting ready for bed and night watches. Ali was downstairs washing up when I stuck my head in the door and got a whiff of her.… Read More
Charlie is excited for a couple of sailing movies. I’ve got a really short one that he might like.
Both he and I have long followed the unpredictable and interesting life of Hans Klaar (here, here and here). Klaar is currently on the Portuguese coast, planning to sail his self-built catamaran, Ontong Java, up some rivers as he heads north and beyond. He’s looking for someone to sail with him, so if you are game for an unusual summer internship, email me here.
Here’s Klaar’s description of what he is after: “So if you do know of anyone who would like to do a spot of river and costal excursions in this region of Old Europe, if they are fit, from now till september, then send them to me.… Read More
FRIDAY THE 14TH (June 2013) is a date that no doubt will live infamously in the memories of the owner of this 80-foot Jongert 2400M that was utterly and completely destroyed by fire at Prickly Bay in Grenada late last week. (Unless, of course, this is an insure-and-burn situation…) According to a bluewater cruiser named Mark, who took this series of photos from aboard his Beneteau 393 Sea Life, the fire is believed to have started behind an electrical panel and raged for over eight hours. Grenadian authorities responded promptly, but weren’t able to do much, as their boats carried no working pumps.… Read More
|Summer 2010 – lemonade
|Summer 2013 – handwashing
Last night was Family Movie Night. We don’t do it often, but Grannie had taken a stroll through the local used DVD emporium, and sent us Ghostbusters as part of a care package. And who can say no to that?
As the film started and books started floating through the library, Indy pasted herself to my side and Erik and I shared a look. I suddenly remembered that a few of the ghosts in the film were pretty scary. I had misgivings; I did not want to induce a Gremlins reaction.
I come from a family of four kids. …
Written by Ben Ellison on Jun 17, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
Any boater with an iPad has an amazing selection of apps these days, and the Android selection isn’t bad either. For some time I’ve meant to catch up on interesting new charting entries like SEAiq and SeaNav plus major improvements in category leaders like Navionics Mobile, C-Map Plan2Nav, and Garmin BlueChart Mobile. (And also clever ideas like SARMOB, which can turn multiple smartphones into an active man overboard system, and Boat Battery, which can help us figure out our electrical appetites and share specific device power profiles.) But today I’m going to focus entirely on the spanking new Nobeltec TimeZero iPad app, because I think it’s amazing…
I haven’t actually cruised with the TimeZero app yet but I was able to preview it before it made the iTunes store last week and, as the top screen indicates, I have already seen its excellent (Bad Elf Pro powered) tracking while underway in car and dinghy.… Read More
This morning we hiked up to the top of the hill where the cemetery and the big white cross that go with it lord over the town. Headstones just sort of crawled all over the rocky hilltops in every direction. Makes one wonder if you simply go up there and dig your own when a loved one dies or if there actually is someone in charge.
We were walking out of the marina with the kids in hand when a security guard suddenly wished me a Happy Father’s Day. “Hoy?” I asked. Today? “Si. Si.” We had no clue.… Read More
|A reminder that we’re related
We knew our trip up the river from Kumai would be a privileged experience, to see wild, exotic and endangered animals- the Borneo orangutan in particular. What we didn’t expect is how tangibly we’d find the evidence of threats against these creatures and their habitat.
Orangutans in the wild are now limited to Sumatra, and Borneo (an island shared by Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei). Their habitat is rapidly being lost, primarily as a result of pressure from logging for timber, and to develop palm oil plantations. In addition to the obvious habitat destruction, plantation developers put a bounty on the heads of orangs and the (also endangered) proboscis monkey- despite their protected status under Indonesian law.… Read More