On the Brink

13 Jun

It’s been a while since I did an in-depth essay podcast about the business. Episode 132 was tangentially related – the Money one – but before that, it was back in episode 113 that I talked about the first voyage of Isbjorn. That happened nearly a year ago now! Obviously lots has happened since.

I feel like the business is ‘on the brink’ – either we finally get to enjoy all we’ve worked for over the past ten years, living out what I’d only dreamed about. Or, it doesn’t work out, we don’t sell enough bunks to make a living, and we do something else.…

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Reflections on my life as a professional sailor. by Paul Exner.

13 Jun

“Only in the self control of our thoughts are we free.”

Paul Exner’s idea of the Modern Geographic Expedition…

To separate our attention from non-original ideas has become more and more difficult in this hyper-connected age of internet as changed by social media and it’s influence. More than ever before in my lifetime, at age 50 do I see, feel, and experience how we as individuals have been enabled to market ourselves using our vanity through imagery and words of accompanying summary; but in what way have we improved the true connectivity between us?

At this very moment, I am selling you my ideas.…

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Matt Rutherford is back in the Arctic

11 Jun

Sisimiut, Greenland, above the Arctic Circle.

Sisimiut, Greenland, above the Arctic Circle.

Matt Rutherford continues to defy the odds and follow his dreams to the ends of the earth. He made a name for himself during his audacious ‘Around the Americas‘ voyage in ‘St. Brendan,’ a 27-foot Albin Vega. That drew a LOT of attention, and rightly so – it had never been done before.

Lately, Matt’s scientific research – far less ‘sexy’ than his solo stunts – have earned much less attention, but are undoubtedly more important to him – and to sailors as a whole – than anything he did by himself. This is my attempt to get him the recognition – and funding – he deserves.

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Isbjorn back in the boatyard in Annapolis

11 Jun

I realize I never wrote a final blog post on our Florida-Annapolis passage. The last one was titled ‘Hove-to!’ So here goes.

After three very tiring days of upwind, close-reaching in 20+ knots of breeze, we finally got a respite. We ended up only spending 6 hours hove-to – by 0300 the next morning, the wind had eased off into the teens and backed enough to the WSW so that we could set sail and ease the sheets. The Hatteras rounding, ironically, was the best sailing and most pleasant part of the trip. Made even better because of the challenging conditions we’d endured up til then!…

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Making friends with Bermuda blues

10 Jun

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pinterest bermuda blues

Bermuda made a late appearance into our cruising plans. Before we’d giving our routing back to New England much critical thought, the seed was planted with an email from a Bermudian. We have a few things in common; if we’d be visiting Bermuda, he’d love to meet up.

It took a little while for this to germinate and grow into a full-fledged plan, but by the time we were halfway through our month in the Easter Caribbean it was locked in—even before the kicker of an available dock and laundry facilities came up! We would sail to back to Connecticut via Bermuda.…

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A Search and Rescue boat’s critical electronics

9 Jun

Written by Adam Hyde on Jun 9, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

RCMSAR Station1 West Vancouver Howie at HelmAs a welcome change from his usual duties, Howie relaxes at the helm of Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) Unit 1’s Falkens class boat — Craig Rae Spirit. More often he’s face down in the water on a training exercise anxiously awaiting rescue from the ocean near Vancouver. Howie is integral to Unit 1’s training program which includes: emergency procedures, first-aid, seamanship, vessel handling, teamwork, electronic navigation and the use of marine electronics. Let’s take a closer look at the training needed to use some of the gear on SAR 1, along with how and why it is used on a search and rescue mission…

RCMSAR April 2016 statisticsRCMSAR crews spend a lot of time training.…

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Maître Coq wins the New York-Vendée race

9 Jun
Jérémie Beyou on Maître Coq wins the New York-Vendée race
Despite the fickle conditions in the final stages of the race it was French sailor Jérémie Beyou who racked up a win on his IMOCA 60 Maître Coq in the inaugural New York-Vendée race. Beyou is a two-time winner of the Solitaire du Figaro, one of Europe’s most challenging sailing events. He also won the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre with Jean-Pierre Dick so he is no slouch when it comes to winning major races, but for this one Beyou was handed a bit of a bone. He was trailing Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss when a problem with Thomson’s auto-pilot led to a crash gybe in the night.
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BOAT DOG ORIENTATION: Can Baxter Hack It Afloat?

7 Jun

Baxter

This is Baxter, a more-or-less 2-year-old male mongrel (we suspect a Jack Russell terrier mixed with some sort of pit-bull) who came north on the Underdog Railroad from Georgia last fall. We adopted him through Alpha Dog Rescue in Lebanon, Maine, after persistent lobbying from daughter Lucy, who is passionately interested in animals. Lucy has insisted that Baxter is perfect in every way ever since we got him last October, but I have remained skeptical. Yes, he had checked most of the boxes on my own personal list of family-dog criteria (doesn’t pass waste in the house, tractable disposition, willing to share bed with dog-besotted daughter, etc.), but whenever I tried to lure him on to MiMi2, our Melonseed Skiff, as she lay tied to her dock in Portsmouth’s Back Channel, he resisted mightily and looked at me like a condemned prisoner being led to the gallows.…

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Offshore Sailmaking w/ Chuck O’Malley & Isbjorn Update

7 Jun

Before we get to this week’s show, a quick little update on Isbjorn. We’ve changed our schedule for the remainder of the summer, and will return to Annapolis from Newfoundland in August, instead of crossing the Atlantic as planned. Mia and I are realizing that delivering the passages to the high-level that we strive towards is a lot more stressful than we’d anticipated. Having to cross the Atlantic twice to get to the Caribbean in time for our 2017 program was just biting off more than we can chew. We’re learning the hard way that with ocean sailing, stuff doesn’t always go to plan, so we’re changing the plan.…

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Nail biting end to the York-Vendée race

7 Jun
Current leader – Maître Coq skipped by Jérémie Beyou

The New York-Vendée race is coming down to a nail biting end with the leading boats less than 200 miles from the finish in Les Sable d’ Olonne on the west coast of France. After what had been a week of frenetic sailing with gale force winds and crashing seas, the ocean is suddenly flat as glass as the skippers go in search of breeze. As of writing the leading boat, Maître Coq skipped by Jérémie Beyou was managing just 4 knots of boat speed in seven knots of wind with the forecast calling for much of the same for the next 24 hours.

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