Isbjorn Offshore: Weather from WRI, going direct to Annapolis!

22 May

Since I emailed in this morning, we’ve received the WX update I was looking for from WRI, and it basically confirmed my analysis of the GRIB forecast I got earlier. They sent a fantastically detailed outlook, which I won’t include here, but their conclusion was basically what I’d hoped for earlier. Just makes me feel better having a real weather professional backing us up! WRI said:

“Conclusion: To maximize a Gulfstream assist, recommend RL – 31-33N/79-00W, RL –
33-58N/75-23W, direct- Cape Hatteras, direct – Annapolis. This will also keep
you in close reach-close hauled winds into this evening, becoming more
beam-broad reaching tomorrow morning.

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Isbjorn Offshore: Sneaking behind the cold front

22 May

‘Variable’ is the word for the weather on this passage north from Florida to Annapolis. Since departing Friday morning, we’ve had it all – light downwind sailing, light close reaching, heavy downwind sailing and currently even heavier close reaching, which later today is going to become a dead beat to windward.

We’ve been angling towards Charleston instead of taking a more direct route towards Hatteras to give the weather a chance to progress. A big low is just squatting east of the infamous cape, and before we can decide which route to take, the weather itself needs to make up its mind.

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Isbjorn Offshore: Ft. Lauderdale-Annapolis Passage, T-Minus 12 hours.

19 May

Our well-used passage chart for the route home. There's about six different passages on this one chart from over the years!

Our well-used passage chart for the route home. There’s about six different passages on this one chart from over the years!


The full crew is here and we’re preparing for our chart briefing dockside tonight in the canal by Pam Wall’s house, just off the 17th Street Causeway in Ft. Lauderdale. The weather looks marginal and constantly changing, so we’re keeping a close eye on that (and keeping options open for a potential detour to Savannah or Charleston).

Our crew for our fifth passage of 2016 is five – Daniel & Isabelle from Toronto; Bruce from Minneapolis; Chris from New Jersey; and Wayne from Ohio.…

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GRAND LARGE YACHTING: New Owner of Gunboat; Jimmy Cornell’s Garcia 45 For Sale

19 May

Gunboat 55

This seems like an interesting development. Grand Large Yachting, a French conglomerate formed in 2003 that specializes in turning around distressed boatbuilders, was the prevailing bidder at a bankruptcy auction held this month for Gunboat, the luxury performance catamaran builder founded by Peter Johnstone. Reportedly Grand Large will put up $910K in cash and is waiving unsecured claims worth about $4.6M. The French firm, which has never before invested in a builder outside of France, has committed to continue the Gunboat brand and maintain a U.S. presence, but may or may not continue operating Gunboat’s current facility in North Carolina.…

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Raymarine LightHouse R17 part 1: hands-on new weather viewer, WiFi & more

19 May

Written by Adam Hyde on May 19, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Raymarine Lighthouse r17 AnnouncementIf you have a Raymarine a, c, e, eS or gS Series MFD, you just got an astonishing array of free new features thanks to the just announced and available LightHouse Release 17 software update. In fact, I got the chance to try an early version of R17 on my boat Journey and have so much to report that I’ll divide it over two entries. In part 1, we’ll look at R17’s new full-featured weather display capabilities, as well as some advanced chart and waypoint enhancements, plus the unique WiFi capabilities that Ray has introduced over recent LightHouse releases.…

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Remembering Hans

19 May

Hans and his lovely family

It has been then years since Hans Horrevoets was swept overboard and died during one of the final legs of the Volvo Ocean Race. It was a tragedy that effected not only his crewmates and the rest of the teams competing in the race, but it effected all of us who sail. Most, if not all of us who have been out of sight of land have wondered what it would be like to be sitting on deck enjoying the sailing and in the blink of an eye be overboard watching the transom sail away from you.
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Hanging with Pam Wall & Etienne Giroire!

17 May

I’m writing from Pam Wall’s kitchen table in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Mia, Liz and I flew down on Sunday to get ready for our next trip north on Isbjorn, and Pam has very kindly been hosting us ever since. Another friend of ours, expat Frenchman Thierry Humeau, is here as well, helping out with some as-yet-unannounced film project we are working on. Stay tuned for that one, and sign up for our newsletter to hear about it first!

Yesterday we all went sailing with former Whitbread crewmember and OSTAR race winner Etienne Giroire (of his namesake ATN Inc. company that makes the ubiquitous spinnaker sleeves) aboard his classic Dick Newick trimaran Tricia.…

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TRANSAT BAKERLY: Peyron and Joschke Down and Out

16 May

Pen Duick II

This year’s singlehanded transatlantic race out of Plymouth, England, dubbed the Transat bakerly in honor of the title sponsor, a French snack company that evidently eschews the use of capital letters (just like e.e. cummings), is finishing up now in New York, and I’m crying in my beer because the two sailors I’m most interested in have had to drop out. These would be Isabelle Joschke, who was leading the Class 40 fleet aboard her steed Generali-Horizon Mixité, and Loïck Peyron, who was doing a blast-from-the-past trip aboard Eric Tabarly’s old ketch Pen Duick II (see image up top). Both my heroes (sob) officially retired yesterday due to damage sustained by their boats.…

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Mainsail Trim: luff tension

16 May

sailing north

This post comes from Jamie, one in a series where he shares his knowledge as a tenured sailmaker. For more about Jamie’s experience in the field, see Sailmaker SAYS!

Hey sailmaker. Tell me about luff tension. Hey dude, this isn’t Dear Abby. I won’t cover love tension or any other emotional instability you may have… Wait, what? I said lufffff tension, not luvvvvv tension you baf… Ohhh, why didn’t you say so? Okay, now that we’ve learned to annunciate, what’s you lufffff tension issue? With my mainsail, it’s easy to tell when the luff is under tensioned, but I’m not sure if I tension it enough or too much, you know?

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Triumph and some retirements in The Transat

16 May
Armel le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire rolling into the Big Apple
It’s been an action filled weekend as the yachts competing in The Transat bakerly make their way across the Atlantic to New York. First of all French sailor Armel le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire crossed the finish line under clear blue skies off Sandy Hook at 11:27 local time on Saturday morning. It was the first time le Cléac’h had won an IMOCA 60 class in over a decade. He had been second a number of times including in the Vendée Globe, The Transat, the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Route du Rhum so this victory was especially sweet for him.
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