Best places to sail in Thailand

11 Feb

Phang Nga Bay

There are a handful of places we’ll never forget from our months of sailing in Thailand. We found a lot to love (and a lot we could do without). These are our favorites spots: the places that capture, in one way or another, what for us was the best of cruising along the Andaman Sea coast of Thailand.

Hippy Bar

Koh Phayam. When we first arrived in January 2014 a friend with us exclaimed – “this is like Phuket in the 80s!” Without cars or utilities, this sleepy little island near the border of Myanmar is geared towards more basic ...

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Colin Firth to Play Donald Crowhurst in Biopic

10 Feb

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Talk about a long wait. The book, The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst, by Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall, was completely out of print for some years, but a cult favorite and the subject of many late night cockpit ruminations.

It tells the tale of Donald Crowhurst who, along with the likes of Bernard Moitessier, Robin Knox-Johnson, and Chay Blyth, entered the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968, the first singlehanded, non-stop round-the-world race. Indebted and under intense pressure to succeed, yet woefully unprepared and inexperienced, Crowhurst never made it farther than the South Atlantic. He faked ...

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United Nations, United Ocean?

10 Feb

Posted by Kimball Livingston February 10, 2015

Dr. Sylvia Earle, oceanographer, diver, explorer and warrior on behalf of oceans stewardship, was chief scientist at NOAA until she figured out that the job came with a muzzle. Today she lends herself to many causes and runs Mission Blue, a nonprofit initiative aiming to ignite support for a global network of marine protected areas – Hope Spots, she calls them – large enough “to save and restore the blue heart of the planet.”

Dr. Earle is also a National Geographic Explorer in Residence. We each contributed to this project . . ...

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Franz Amussen

10 Feb

Franz Amussen, host of the ‘Sailing the Med’ podcast, joins Andy to discuss his namesake podcast. They recorded over Skype, Andy in Toronto for the boat show there, Franz in his home in Salt Lake City. 

This is the first part of a two-part episode, and is mostly Franz interviewing Andy about his own sailing career, cruising in the Baltic, Swedish customs and other fun stuff. Towards the end the tables are turned and Franz is the one answering questions, but they ran out of time before getting too far into it. Stay tuned for a Part 2 coming up ...

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Wire Fraud Cruisers Nabbed in Bahamas

9 Feb

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The Winberg’s second attempt to flee justice aboard a cruising sailboat has been foiled. The couple faced trial for wire fraud, and decades in prison, if convicted.

The couple and their seven children tried to flee the country in early December, but ended up sinking in Galveston Bay, Texas. Their infant wasn’t breathing, but was revived with CPR. The locals knew something was up when they fled ASAP, and abandoned the boat. It turned out they’d given fake names.

Now, two months later they almost got away with it again…almost. A different boat, a different coast, and they were ...

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Simple marine cell boosting: Wilson Sleek 4G (weBoost Drive 4G) and Digital Antenna Bullet

9 Feb

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 9, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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New FCC regulations have caused turmoil in the world of cell boosters and now leading manufacturer Wilson Electronics has changed its name to weBoost. Thus, the Wilson Sleek 4G (460107) above, one of the very first new breed boosters last April, has just morphed into the weBoost Dash 4G-S (470107). Adding to the confusion is the boater’s need to replace that wimpy car top antenna with a possibly illegal marine model — I’m happily using a Digital Antenna 1285 Bullet in my testing ...

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Carrying on Regardless

9 Feb

Posted by KL – February 8, 2015 – Lead photo of Skud 18s racing in Miami by Walter Cooper

A week or so ago at the Miami Olympic classes regatta — ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami — I ran into Maureen McKinnon, back on the campaign trail. You should remember Maureen as the gold medal crew for Paralympic hero sailor Nick Scandone.

Just getting to the 2008 Paralympic Games in Qingdao, with Nick in the late stages of ALS, was a thin-line ride between a dream and a nightmare. But they made the finish line. They made the top of ...

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Cruising in Thailand: what we won’t miss

6 Feb

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There are a lot of great reasons to sail in Thailand. But for all those things we really enjoyed, there were plenty of things we won’t miss. What didn’t we like? Here are some reflections based on nearly half a year spend in Thailand between 2013 and 2014.

It’s lousy underwater. Thailand is supposed to be famous for great dive sites and snorkeling. I don’t doubt that years ago, they were great. But now, it’s mostly pretty dead underwater- clear signs of overfishing. We were always within sight of fishing boats, many of them the paired trawlers that drag ...

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Flyin’ Hawaiian Sinks of Monterey

5 Feb

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This boat was one of the many eyesores dotting Richardson Bay, where about 200 liveaboards anchor with apparent impunity to local, state, and federal laws regarding registration and holding tanks. I always assumed it was built just as a floating home, and had no inkling of the owner’s dream of sailing her to Hawaii. I’d heard about her construction, all from materials purchased at Home Depot. I kayaked around her one day with a friend and deemed her unseaworthy beyond the confines of greater San Francisco Bay, and maybe a stretch within.

More here in the Marin Independent Journal. ...

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Lowrance MotorGuide Xi5 SmartSteer trolling control, life changing

5 Feb

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 5, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Lowrance_SmartSteer_MotoGuide_Xi5_in_action.jpgTwo Maine blizzards later it’s nice to recall that just a week ago I was casting a lure off a similarly tricked-out Yellowfin 24 Bay Boat. I didn’t land a pose-worthy fish like my friend Chris Woodward, but the important thing about this photo is how well that trolling motor is holding an “anchor” position. Note the nonchalant skipper, despite a brisk wind and strong current both pushing him toward the channel marker aft, not to mention rocks to starboard and us to port. The ...

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