Over the past few months, I have sent a lot of emails with a line that looked like this: “Our current and almost definite plan is to head to Tasmania for cyclone season. We’ll check in at Newcastle or Sydney, and wait for the weather to be right early in January to make the last hop to Hobart.”
Now, because you have been paying attention, you know that cruisers are totally unreliable when it comes to reporting their own plans. And so it was with us. Erik and I were 98% sure we were going to Tas. We were keen on Tas.…
Here I will try to distill some basic information common to all watermakers. I won’t hide the fact that I’m affiliated with Spectra Watermakers (I’m a consultant there), but I cruised for ten years and became intimate, oh-so-intimate, with a Katadyne, nee PUR, nee Recovery Engineering PowerSurvivor 35 then 40:
First of all, if you’re not planning to do some serious cruising, don’t get a watermaker! A watermaker will be the most maintenance intensive device you have aboard. They take constant vigilance and care, and the second you install one and first expose it to sea water, so begins the long (or short) decline of the membrane, the specialized “filter” that separates fresh water from salt.…
Russ & Laurie Owen sat down with me on their catamaran ‘Nexus’ in Tortola last week. They had just completed the Caribbean 1500, and are on their way to St. Lucia now to sail around the world with World ARC. I warmed to Russ & Laurie straightaway in Portsmouth at the start of the rally – they’re just genuine, nice people! Russ is very proud of the refit he’s done on the boat – he’s an aerospace engineer by trade, and one look at the ‘guts’ of his boat will tell you that he’s thought it all through and then some.…
My last post about All is Lost, perhaps the worst sailing movie ever made, has garnered so much attention, I thought I better point to what I consider to be a most excellent sailing movie. True, Hold Fast, a documentary released in 2007, is not fiction, but it could be. It tells the story of a skinny white guy with dreads named Mike (aka Moxie Marlinspike) who cruises from Florida to the Dominican Republic with an all-girl crew of post-punk anarchists in a decrepit Pearson 30.
The crew of Pestilence seems to view cruising under sail almost as a political act.…
Entertainment on our cruising boat is pretty low tech. Oh, we watch some of the movies and TV series, but a lot of our fun and games as a family are the kind that doesn’t have a screen or need a power supply.
It occurred me this last week, as I watched our kids playing with their new friends from sv Water Musick (that’s Bananagram happening in the Totem main cabin, above), that having some idea starters for those games to bring on board would have been one of those really nice-to-knows before we went cruising.
Cards are a great way to pack a lot of fun into a minimum of storage space.…
Written by Ben Ellison on Nov 21, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
Furuno’s new multi-touch MUxxxT monitors are intended to play nicely with NavNet TZtouch MFDs. Using its DVI output, the TZT9 or TZT14 can send a screen mirror to the wopping 24-inch widescreen MU240T above — at 800×480 and 1280×800 pixels, respectively — and USB takes the touch commands back to the TZT (using a standard Windows driver). Meanwhile, the TZT Black Box has enough DVI and USB ports to drive two of these glass-bridge-style monitors (and two keypads, like the one KEP recently introduced or the one Furuno is purportedly working on)…
The Furuno MUxxxT monitors support multiple video inputs and have both Picture in Picture (PIP) and Picture by Picture (PBP) so that you can, say, navigate “while also keeping track of the news or your favorite sports team, when connected to an on-board TV/DVD player.” They’re also optically bonded and have a “typical” viewing angle of about 89° in all directions (which seems amazing) and they can be powered by both AC and DC with uninterrupted fail over to the latter.…
Finally got a chance to see this over the weekend, so now I can throw in my two cents. Problem is if you’re a sailor, you spend the whole film scratching your head, wondering what the hell is going on. Just how much did this annoy me? O, let me count the ways:
Mystery 1: Who is this guy? Where is he coming from? Where is he going to? Why is he in the middle of the Indian Ocean? Why should we care about him?
Mystery 2: The sea is absolutely flat calm, not a breath of wind, our Mystery Man is sleeping below (up forward, if you can believe it), without his engine running, and is struck amidships by a floating container… hard enough that it knocks a huge hole in the boat right where his nav station is.…
|Photo Credit: The Royal Gazette / Glen Tucker
It’s not just cute cruising families and well-intentioned retirees out there, folks. Charlie has written a few fascinating posts on crime at sea. Here’s my contribution. I wrote a few days ago about our experience clearing customs in Bermuda and the story we were told about a cruiser who was discovered with an undeclared gun and $48 million dollars worth of cocaine on his boat. Sailfeed reader Steve Burrows then pointed me to some newspaper articles on the trial. They make for fascinating reading.
The circumstances were these. In July of 2011 Latvian single-hander Janis Zegelis limped into Bermuda on his 38′ sloop after encountering heavy weather and breaking his mast.…
Written by Ben Ellison on Nov 19, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
At METS this morning, Simrad announced an evo2 update to the NSS Series and quite an update it is. The new multi-touch wide screen models will come in 7-, 9-, 12- and 16-inch sizes, and since they are close family in every way to the recently discussed NSO evo2, a boater will be able to mix and match bright, glass-bridge-style displays from 7 to 24-inches. And while NSS evo2 can network with Simrad’s radars, sonars, SonicHub audio, WiFi 1 etc., all four sizes come with “embedded CHIRP enabled Broadband sounder and StructureScan” (which can probably network out to the whole family)…
All six new NSS evo2 models are now online and you’ll see that the two extras are 7- and 9-inch “m” versions without the built-in sonar.…
“Hello. This is Boat French. Would you like to go with us to Le parc provincial de la Rivière Bleue for a picnic on Sunday?
“Bon. See you at 0900 on Sunday.”
“Hello. This is Boat Swiss-German. Would you like to go with us to Le parc provincial de la Rivière Bleue for a picnic on Sunday?
“We’d love to, but Boat French just asked us. How about Tuesday?”
“Toll. See you at 0900 on Tuesday.”
Sunday: French picnic
0530 Get up. Roast a chicken.
0700 Pack a picnic bag with heaps of cheese, baguette, olives, chicken, cookies, drinks, apples, etc.…