October 26th

The hardest part of cruising

Posted by // October 26, 2014 // COMMENT (14 Comments)


The view from the deck

I don’t want to be here right now.

We’re living in Totem on the hardstand, on stilts in the shipyard. There is a lot of noise, and a lot of dirt, and a lot of chaos. Chunks of Totem’s interior are torn up. We climb a wobbly ladder with a rise that must be double a normal step to get on board. We have no refrigeration. It is hot, under tropical sun during the day and in the breeze-less yard at night. We share communal bathrooms in the yard and try desperately to avoid needing them at night.

But our present circumstance has nothing to do with my discontent.…

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October 24th

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Following a recent ocean science expedition that took record-setting sailor and Ocean Research Project (ORP) founder, Matthew Rutherford, and ORP field operations scientist, Nicole Trenholm, to the waters of Yokohama, Japan for a first-ever continent to continent marine debris survey – ORP marked its two-year anniversary at Heavy Seas Brewery on October 17th, asserting plans to use drones to survey a major outlet glacier in Greenland while collecting nearby ocean heat information by ship to distinguished guests, including Senator Tom Harkin and Governor Martin O’Malley.

According to Rutherford and Trenholm, it’s “the next natural step in the future of ocean research” and a mission they intend to carry out.…

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October 23rd

Podcast: Offshore Weather Essay

Posted by // October 23, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Andy discusses his way of getting and interpreting weather forecasts offshore, and why he thinks people tend to overanalyze it to the detriment of their enjoyment of ocean sailing. This is apart educational, part rant, and part just what works for Andy & Mia. What works for you when it comes to offshore weather?

Click here for the direct download.

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October 23rd

Lloyds coffehouse

As I may have mentioned, I am in the midst of getting Lunacy ready for a run down to the W’Indies. This is always a fraught process, what with the normal anxieties of worrying about whether the boat is truly ready to go offshore, putting together crew, and watching the unruly fall weather unfold. Historically for me this anxiety has always been compounded by my fussy insurance company, ACE, which insists on vetting my crews and making me fill out lots of forms before they’ll give me an endorsement for a passage to the Caribbean.

Marine insurance, of course, is how the whole concept of insurance first got started.…

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October 22nd

Welcome to the shipyard

Posted by // October 22, 2014 // COMMENT (3 Comments)

Cruising, Maintenance, , , ,


PSS Satun, a Thai shipyard just a hop over the southern border with Malaysia, sits at the edge of a small village up a winding muddy river. Because we can only enter the river at high tide, we spend the night before our haulout at a bend where the depth drops enough to keep water under the keel through a full swing. Surrounded by mangroves, we watch fishermen wade knee-deep in the mud at low tide, pushing boxes and collecting something- crabs?- from the flats.


Crossing into Thailand to this spot retraces the same route that brought us here nearly a year ago.…

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October 21st

Note: The movie makes it’s theatrical debut this Friday in New York City at the Quad Cinema. Click for tickets. Click here to watch the trailer.

Mia and I watched ‘Red Dot on the Ocean’ last night, the film about Matt Rutherford and his historic ‘Solo the America’s’ voyage. In a word: inspiring. If you don’t read any further, just take my advice and watch the film. It deserves to become a classic, and I hope it will.

Matt is one of my closest friends in the sailing industry, and so this review will absolutely be biased. I know Matt’s story, I’ve heard it countless times, I’ve written about it countless times and I’ve been one of Matt’s biggest fans since I first met him in 2009.…

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October 21st

Written by Ben Ellison on Oct 21, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


It was easy to gather a slew of devices currently on board Gizmo that hunger for a USB power supply at least occasionally. Heck, when the Verizon Android Galaxy phone is providing an LTE WiFi hotspot and also streaming Bluetooth audio to the Fusion IP700 stereo as it is now — I’m online while listening to a Maine radio station — it needs to be charged almost constantly. The hard-working phone is also why I keep those two USB charged/charging batteries topped up for shore trips (and, yes, they do make great press event swag, thank you Simrad and FLIR).…

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October 21st

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything solely for myself, let alone by hand. Feels strange to put pencil to paper, and awkwardly slow. My brain thinks these sentences faster than my hand can scrawl them down. On the computer, my typing can keep up. Still, somehow this feels better.

I ran my first ultramarathon on Sunday, October 5 over at Blue Marsh Lake, about 5 minutes from my dad’s house, the house I grew up in, outside Reading. The ‘Blues Cruise Ultra 50K’ put on by the Pagoda Pacers Athletic Club.

Saturday night had been later and involved more red wine that I’d have preferred.…

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October 21st

Watch the official trailer of the Matt Rutherford story about his epic voyage around the america’s and his unbelievable childhood that put him on the path to become one of the greatest sailors of the modern world. Red Dot on the Ocean premiere’s this Friday, October 24, at the Quad Cinema in New York City. Look for Andy Schell’s full review later today, Tuesday October 21.…

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