January 26th

Isbjorn update

Posted by // January 26, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

A quick update from Andy and Isbjorn. He called me this evening around 1900 AST. When they rolled up the jib to tack over to head for the island of Guadalope (the planned stop on the trip south), the headsail jammed. Andy is not comfortable to continue upwind in the dark with a potential issue so they have turned “back” on a broadreach. It’s blowing pretty hard, around 30kt gusting to 35kt and they will evaluate tomorrow morning when the sun comes up.  

The crew is having a great time and the spirit is high onboard, despite the strong winds no one is seasick and Andy was complimenting the crew in handling the boat in those conditions!…

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January 26th

Chapter 2 – Polyethelenes

Posted by // January 26, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

In this chapter we will look at the very basis of sails, the individual yarns that go into making sailcloth. At the end of this blog is a link to subscribe so that you get all posts and can educate yourself on the subject of sails and sailmaking. There is also a great free gift when you subscribe. Thanks for reading.

Radial Pentex sails on this cruiser

A Look at all the Fibers used to Make Sails – Part 4 – Polyethelenes


The first real advance on basic polyester came with the development of a fiber called polyethylene napthalate, or Pentex for short.

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January 26th

Update from Isbjorn – Happy Birthday Todd!

Posted by // January 26, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Isbjörn is under way, and they are sailing fast! Andy and crew sailed out from BVI yesterday morning and are already west of Guadalopue. Check out the latest position via our YB tracker that updates several times a day:

Fast windy sailing and I would be surprised if at least one of the crew is not seasick. Andy topped up the sat phone just before leaving but can not get it to work. Since Ocens that we use as our Sat Phone provider are located on the West Coast, I have to wait another hour until until they wake up and I can call them and try to get it to work..…

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January 26th

Everyday phrases that came from sailing

Posted by // January 26, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Want to know the origins of the phrase Hard and Fast? Well read on…

I came across this on Facebook the other day and it was so good I wanted to share it with you. The credit goes to the website Sailing Extra (  I wish I could take credit for it but I can’t.

There are many everyday phrases that derive their meaning from sailing. Below are ten and I am sure that you will find them interesting.

1. Cut and run
We use it to express running away.

This expression comes from ships that needed to leave harbour quickly, no doubt because the crew had done something gruesome ashore.
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January 26th

Electric Boats: Steyr HDS+, LTS Marine, Torqeedo, windmills & more

Posted by // January 26, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 26, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

eCraftYachts_20_WOT_cPanbo.jpgThe first U.S. Electric and Hybrid Marine Expo was wonderfully educational, though I hardly knew any of the companies involved and could only understand a fraction of some seminars. On the other hand, I met a familiar fellow enthusiast before I even left the Lauderdale airport. Rufus Van Gruisen is the esteemed owner/operator of Cay Electronics, and it turns out he’s done more than just dream about quiet, efficient electric pleasure craft. That’s him in the orange cap above, showing Newport the first eCraft Yachts 20 that he helped his son to build.…

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January 25th

Capsized cat

It was a little over a year ago, on December 14, 2014, that skipper Anthony Murray (58) and two crew members, Reginald Robertson (60) and Jaryd Payne (20), set out from Cape Town to deliver a new Leopard 44 catamaran into charter service in Phuket, Thailand. The un-named vessel, described variously in reports online as belonging to Sunsail or the Moorings, was last heard from via sat phone on January 18, 2015, at which time it was in some proximity to Cyclone Bansi in the Indian Ocean well west of Australia. Family members of the missing crew reported the vessel missing 10 days after it failed to arrive on schedule in Thailand in early February of last year and since then have worked tirelessly trying to figure out what happened to it.…

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January 24th

Breaking (down) The Budget: Decemeber

Posted by // January 24, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)


In an effort to be as transparent as possible about how much it costs to cruise, here are the December numbers!






at budget 




106.65 under

Income less Expenses



106.65 under 

So where did all that money go? Heres the breakdown for our luxury items which Rachel has Lovingly named: The Good, Bad and Ugly.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Capn Jacks – Lunch (12.1.15)


Budda’s Snack Shack – Lunch (12.5.15)


Macheti (12.5.15)


Lee’s Book


Wild Orchid – 2 Beers & Conch Fritters (12.10.15)


Bahamas Guidebook


Staniel Cay Bar (12.16.15) 


Laundry (12.21.15)


UV Skin Suit (12.22.15)


Amazon Order (12.21.15)


Staniel Cay Yacht Club – Lunch (12.31.15)


Staniel Cay Yacht Club – Drinks (12.31.15)


All together thats $424 on stuff we really didn’t need to buy.…

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January 24th

Båten först: The Boat Comes First

Posted by // January 24, 2016 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

0900, Sunday morning January 24. Day 1 of our first charter of the year on Isbjorn and we’re moored in Waterlemon Bay off the north coast of St. John’s in the USVI. 

Clint and I flew down to St. Thomas and joined the boat on the 21st, just three days ago now (though it seems like much more). My dad had been here for the three weeks prior, cruising with some friends while Mia and I went to Toronto to speak at the Boat Show there. 

Our first crew arrived the same day we did, with Todd from Chicago turning up just in time for some happy hour snacks.…

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January 23rd

entering false bay

We arrived in Cape Town weeks later than originally planned. Conventional wisdom was that multi-day windows out of Durban should cycle through regularly, but we ultimately waited nearly a month! It necessitated a road trip to meet up with visiting relatives in Yzerfontein, north of Cape Town, a road trip adventure of more than 2,000 miles and a story of its own.

When the weather did finally break, it did so in glorious fashion, letting us sail from Durban to Cape Town in just four days. Totem clocked up two of her fastest days ever: 239 nautical miles for one, and the other 234.…

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January 22nd

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 22, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Icom_M93D_DSC_VHF_prototype_aPanbo.jpgI’m slightly reluctant to mention this Icom M93D announcement because it’s only “scheduled to be available in the second half of 2016” with price unknown, but, dang, it sure looks like an interesting DSC VHF handheld radio. I still think that many boaters don’t realize the added safety, tracking, and navigation capabilities possible when GPS is integrated with portable VHF, though the Standard Horizon HX870 (that Icom is clearly gunning for) has been earning great reviews for a while. Also, note the lovely color-screen Icom GM600 fixed VHF “coming soon” with an SSB sibling.…

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