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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A PILGRIM AMONG THE SWATCHWAYS: Chasing the Ghost of Maurice Griffiths

13 May

Riverside

The name Maurice Griffiths is not particularly well known in the United States, but in England he is most certainly an iconic figure. A dapper fellow with a goatee beard, he was born into modest circumstances at the turn of the 20th century, the second son of a traveling glove and underwear salesman who had an eye for ladies and racehorses and consequently died bankrupt. At age 19, in the year 1921, not long before his father passed away, Maurice and a friend sold a much-loved model railroad set, invested the proceeds in a 50-year-old semi-derelict cutter named Undine, and the rest–as they say–is history.…

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Back To The Mainland

11 May

IMG_4163

IMG_4161We’ve been back in the good old USA for about a month now. Originally a 2 week trip back home for a family wedding turned into a 3 week trip to see friends and record some music. Now we’re here for 2 months and 3400 miles into a 8,000 mile road trip. Currently I’m writing from a table overlooking the southern California coast. Talk about scope creep.

The reasons we decided to extend our trip back to the states are threefold. First, we needed a little time away from the boat. The whole year of getting the boat ready (this time last year the engine was not installed and the rig was only just stepped), quitting all land life activities, selling the house, quitting our jobs and having to learn how to live onboard took its toll on us.…

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Scrub-a-Dub-Dub

11 May

Ocean-Racing-Scrubbis-Illustration-HR-PRG Ocean Racing brings a creative solution to cleaning your hull

Keeping the hull clean can be a pain at best and an ordeal at worst. Diving into the murky waters at your marina and scrubbing the hull is a hassle, and if you leave the task until you haul the boat once a season your hull’s bottom will have a bigger beard than Gandalf. Enter the new Scrubbis cleaner, made in Sweden and distributed here in the States by Ocean Racing. It’s a simple tool that makes cleaning your hull a breeze—a scrubbing head that is attached to the end of a special handle that is designed to get the soft growth off the hull while the boat is still in the water.…

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Macif falls short of the record in Transat

10 May

François Gabart has just crossed the finish line off Manhattan after sailing from Plymouth on England’s south coast to New York in 8 days, 8 hours, 54 minutes and 39 seconds. Despite an amazing performance by this incredibly talented sailor his time was not good enough to beat the course record which is held by two time Vendée Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux, in fact it was just under an hour more than Desjoyeaux’s time. I was not there to see Gabart finish, but I was there when Desjoyeaux finished and it was a thing of beauty. He stormed into Boston harbor at 25 knots, sailed up past Logan airport flying a hull, crossed the line and with one deft move dropped the main.…
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On not playing tourist in Barbados

10 May

1 Pebble beach Barbados

Across many of the countries we’ve visited most recently—South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, the British Overseas Territory islands—we stepped into the role of tourist with happy abandon. Taking massive road trips in South Africa, hitting up TripAdvisor hotspots in Namibia. Hiring a guide for day tripping in St. Helena. Renting a car and touring around Ascension Island. It’s not a typical but a fun pairs of shoes to try on. When would we get to these far corners of the world again? This added some pressure to travel differently.

pinterest barbadosBarbados, first stop in our quick pass through the eastern Caribbean, is an island we might not get back to.…

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Paul & Sheryl Shard Return!

9 May

Paul & Sheryl Shard talk to us live from Toronto about their start in sailing, how they got into movie-making, combining their passion for movies, travel and sailing, Paul’s career as a boat-builder, Sheryl’s theatre background and lots more! Audience Q&A included throughout.

I wanted to post my episode about Cuba this week, but being at the rally has left me with little time to finish it up. It’s a very cool story, but I think I can make it even cooler, so I’m putting it off a week.

Instead, episode 148 is another interview with Paul & Sheryl Shard of the Distant Shores sailing tv show.…

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