Poised for the Bahamas

6 Mar

0 Miami skyline

“I hear you’re putting Totem on the hard.” “Will you go out again?” In fact, we have no plans to park Totem for an extended stay on land (or in the water), and have never considered remaining in the US. But given the dearth of information in this space about what 2017 holds I can understand the speculation. We are on the cusp of departure and thrilled to be heading out for more adventures afloat.

Cascading events prolonged our departure, but the boat’s been humming, and legged out timing has shaped our direction. Routing clarity comes slowly after many shuffles ...

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OUT OF AFRICA: Harmattan Days in the Cape Verde Islands

3 Mar

Carie in cockpit

[Editor’s Note: After spending most of the winter of 1997 in Senegal and Gambia on Crazy Horse–see earlier posts on this here–I sailed out to explore the Cape Verdes before sailing to the West Indies. An earlier version of this account was published in Cruising World.]

AS WE LEFT the city of Banjul behind us, we could see that the swollen mouth of the Gambia River, a vast grey fairway, was studded with fishing pirogues. Most of the fishermen were tending charcoal fires in their bilges and thus were easily distinguished from a distance, lurking under dark ...

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Aventura on her way north

2 Mar

After spending the best part of the winter in a small marina close to Bergen on the west coast of Norway, Aventura is now heading for the Arctic.

Her sale was completed last week and the new owner, Oystein Storslett, and his crew are sailing her to their base at Tromso in the north of Norway.

Oystein’s company Arctic Explorers has been running a successful operation in recent years and the purchase of Aventura will allow them to expand their range by offering charter voyages to Spitsbergen (Svalbard) starting in late June.

The actual handover of Aventura was done in ...

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No sailing is not broken

2 Mar
Flying sailboats are not boring

I recently read an article by a man named Bill Canfield. It was titled “Sailing is Badly Broken.” Of course it got my attention. I don’t know Bill but it seems he has vast experience in the sport and he comes to his point of view from a very thoughtful perspective. I too come at this from a thoughtful perspective and here is my response; sailing has never been so alive, so vibrant, so exciting and so extraordinary, at least in my lifetime which, I cringe to say, is approaching six decades.

There is a ...
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181: Yves Gelinas

28 Feb


RECYCLED: Yves Gelinas is a French-Canadian single-handed sailor and inventor of the Cape Horn wind vane, the simplest, most robust, and most elegant solution for self-steering on an offshore cruising boat. Yves invented and perfected the gear while circumnavigating nonstop via the Great Capes in his beloved Alberg 30 Jean du Sud in the 80s. During that voyage, he filmed Around the World with Jean du Sud, which quickly came to be considered the greatest sailing movie ever made. Yves still builds the Cape Horn units himself from his workshop in Quebec & still sails Jean du ...

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Navico Hawks 2017: “Full boat integration into one display cluster”

27 Feb

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 27, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


The Miami Boat Show was loaded with marine electronics news, but first let’s visit the Navico writers event held at Hawks Cay, Florida, earlier this month. Deeper still – Mercury engine integration, B&G Zeus PredictWind weather routing, the Halo radar VelocityTrack Doppler upgrade, Navionics SonarChart Live everywhere, Simrad’s new 3kW 3-channel S5100 super sonar, and Lowrance Carbon (Gen3) MFDs are some of the goodies that were demonstrated and/or discussed. But I was especially taken with CEO Leif Ottosson’s opening “big picture” presentation and think it’s valuable ...

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Unreal acts of seamanship

27 Feb
Conrad Coleman sails his crippled IMOCA 60 across the finish line in France

It was a pleasure to watch Kiwi Conrad Coleman cross the finish line to complete his Vendée Globe. He lapped the planet without using any kind of fossil fuels; just wind and solar to power an array of instruments as well as the all important (and power hungry) auto-pilot. He became the first New Zealander to complete the Vendée and I hope that he will get a hero’s welcome when he returns to his home country. He did get a hero’s welcome when he finished in Les ...
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LUCKY 13: Rich Wilson Completes His Second Vendee Globe, Fastest American Ever

23 Feb

Wilson returns

After running much of the Vendee Globe in 14th place (out of an original fleet of 29), the race’s only wholly American competitor, Rich Wilson, got lucky as he started closing on the finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne two weeks ago. It wasn’t the sort of luck you openly pray for, as it came at the expense of another competitor, the half-American Conrad Colman (the other half is Kiwi), who was ahead of Rich in 10th place when his boat, Foresight Natural Energy, was dismasted less than 800 miles from the finish. Conrad did cobble together a ...

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Marine Carpentry for Dummies

23 Feb

To be a true marine carpenter is to live in the high country of the craft, because boats are curved every which way. There is seldom a right angle, seldom even a simple beveled angle, because all those intersecting curves mean that every place two pieces of material join together is a compound angle. To put a finer point on it, terrestrial carpenters can frame a four-bedroom house in a day or two. A team of talented marine carpenters can frame a 40-foot wooden boat in a couple of months? A couple of years?

I am not a marine carpenter, ...

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Huge News for American Sailors

21 Feb
Rich Wilson approaching the finish in France

There is big news for American sailing today. Big news. Except that it will likely go unnoticed in the US. Sadly. Not in the rest of the world where they will learn that American Richie Wilson just completed his second Vendée Globe becoming the only American to finish the race twice and only one of few who have ever completed two Vendée Globe’s. This is an enormous accomplishment, even more so knowing that Richie is not only in his sixties, 66 to be exact, but he also suffers from asthma.

When many/most ...
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