Isbjorn in Sweden // Finally, People Know How to Pronounce Our Boat Name!

4 Aug

Andy & his dad Dennis flying the drone in Mollön Isbjorn in the background anchored to the cliffs.

Andy & his dad Dennis flying the drone in Mollön Isbjorn in the background anchored to the cliffs.

I’m writing from the newly organized nav station on Isbjorn, our S&S Swan 48. We’re stern-to at the dock in Marstrand, the center of sailing on Sweden’s west coast. Next weekend in fact is the RC44 Cup, a creation of Russell Coutts that, according to the event website, “links the world’s most highly rated sailors with heavy profiles from the international business community. The RC44 is sealed by an 8-man squad consisting of 50% professionals and 50% amateurs.” The last time ...

Read More

First blood and a new record

3 Aug
Mapfre out front and storming toward a new record
 
In their first head to head battle the newly revamped Volvo 65’s were put through their paces yesterday and a little history was made along the way. Billed by the VOR as Leg 0, the seven refitted VOR 65’s were really put to the test in the around -the-island race. The island being the Isle of Wight on England’s south coast. With winds gusting above forty knots kicking up lumpy seas, some of the aerial footage looked as if the boats were pummeling along in the Southern Ocean.
 
Leg 0 is
...
Read More

EDWARD ALLCARD (1914-2017): A Life Well Lived

2 Aug

Edward 1958

Sad news from the mountain fastness of Andorra: Edward Cecil Allcard, born October 31, 1914, died last week on Friday, July 28, at age 102, of complications related to a broken leg he suffered on July 3. He was the very last of what some have termed the “Ulysses generation” of bluewater sailors, which included such notables as William Robinson, Miles and Beryl Smeeton, Bill Tilman, John Caldwell, and Ernle Bradford, among others, who took up the sport in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Edward, who I had the honor of visiting with last year, was himself quite ...

Read More

AIS and radar from the hurricane season stragglers

1 Aug

Off Samana on VHF with Akira

 

Pinterest radar AIS aboarSunrise tinted the margins of Puerto Rico’s rugged profile with a warm glow. Making landfall on the west coast after a week of bumpy, on-again / off-again passage making from the Bahamas was a relief. Totem and her crew are the stragglers of southbound boats for hurricane season, long since expected to have the anchor set in Grenada…already a month in Puerto Rico, where we didn’t expect to stop at all!

Changing plans, unexpected events, and making the most of where you are: this may just be the definition of cruising. From the Bahamas, our intention was to pass ...

Read More

201: Brion Toss RECYCLED

31 Jul

#201: Brion Toss is a certified Master Rigger and author of the bible on the subject, The Rigger’s Apprentice. I’ve long admired Brion and first got to meet him in 2008 at the Annapolis Sailboat Show, right before I became a rigger’s apprentice myself. I’ve managed to keep in touch with him over the years (and of course have a copy of his book aboard Isbjorn), and finally we’re teaming up to host a hands-on rigging seminar weekend in Annapolis this coming October, 2017. This is a recycled version of a lengthy and informative chat I had with Brion back ...

Read More

Smörgåsboat: The tasty testing buffet installed on Gizmo for 2017

31 Jul

Written by Ben Ellison on Jul 31, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Gizmo_lower_helm_July_2017_cPanbo.jpg

While I do think that Gizmo offers a bountiful spread of delicious marine electronics these days, a more serious title for this entry might read: “Guilt: All the darn gear I’ve borrowed but haven’t reviewed yet!” So the plan here is to share some first impressions of various new installs and thus begin discussions toward future deeper reviews. You might enjoy clicking the yummy helm photo above bigger before we dig into the details…

Gizmo_lower_helm2_fall_2010_cPanbo.JPGAnd before getting into the lower helm 2017, please share my perverse ...

Read More

LONGSHOREMANSHIP: How to Load a Truck on a Sailboat

25 Jul

Loading the truck

I get queries about this all the time. There’s definitely a right way and a wrong way. The video below shows the right way. It’s a good idea to practice using someone else’s truck until you get the hang of it.

The guys in this video, allegedly, have never screwed up and lost a truck. Evidently this is the only way to get vehicles on and off Île de la Gonâve, which is 15 miles off the Haitian coast in the middle of the Golfe de la Gonâve. Here’s another video demonstrating the same technique with a significantly larger ...

Read More

AC retrospective – and a change of opinion

25 Jul
The dust has long settled on the 35th America’s Cup and many a pundit has weighed in on what went wrong and what went right. The Auld Mug rode a First Class flight back to the Land of the Long White Cloud and knowing how Kiwis are when they celebrate I am sure that big drinks were drunk out of the cup. And goodonthem;  they won. Now it’s my time for a little opinion piece. 

It’s funny how a single image can change the way you think, isn’t it?  I read a long piece by Angus Phillips, ...
Read More

200: Mia Karlsson

24 Jul

#200: It’s been a long-time coming, but Mia Karlsson is FINALLY on the podcast! Mia is my wife, of course, and while we don’t share a last name, we share just about everything else! Mia tongue-in-cheek promised to be the 200th episode on the show, long before she ever thought I’d make it this far, so I called her bluff! We recorded a long & rambling chat just before setting out across the Atlantic while Isbjorn was anchored in St. Croix. As I record this intro, we’ve made it to Sweden and Mia has completed her 4th Atlantic crossing, one ...

Read More

Bahamas lookback II: falling short

24 Jul

_DSC6760

Three months of cruising the Bahamas left many impressions. After too much time on the mainland, escaping east across the Gulf Stream felt like freedom: a refreshing change in outlook, a new place to sink into and explore – one that several circumnavigators we respect claimed among their favorites. There’s a lot to love about these islands (our favorite features summarized here). That said, it left is wanting. This is at least partly a case of poorly set expectations; we are also burdened (while blessed) by the tremendous depth and breadth of places we’ve experienced over the years. ...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group