April 7th

Sojourner trip North – Day 5

Posted by // April 7, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

‘Just need a mermaid sighting now,’ said Jim from his bunk.

Sojourner just off the coast of North  Carolina and the Outer Banks. So close that they can see land!

Sojourner just off the coast of North  Carolina and the Outer Banks. So close that they can see land!

Position 7 April 2015, 8.30 am
35° 39’N / 075° 22’W
Light wind, under motor

0340 Tuesday morning. That conversation happened yesterday. I was on watch in the afternoon, alone, the rest of the crew napping down below. It was great napping conditions…warm, calm sea, broad reaching, just a gentle rocking to knock you right out. 

It startled me actually. I was just kind of daydreaming and staring off to starboard.…

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April 7th

Home is Where the Boat is

Posted by // April 7, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)



New England can be a cruel place to sail. You never can tell just what the months of March and April will bring, so you have no idea when your boat will actually touch the water. Woe betide you if you dare dream of an early launch date; like as not, you’ll find your spring commissioning plans thwarted by April snowstorms and lingering sub-Arctic temperatures, and you’ll be lucky if you’re in by Memorial Day, let alone the Fourth of July. Only twice in the last decade can I recall being fully prepped and launched by mid-May, and both times we were hammered by vicious two-day nor’easters that had me wishing the boat was still on the hard.…

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April 6th

Outfitting Your Boat for Offshore Sailing

Posted by // April 6, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Live from World Cruising Club’s Ocean Sailing Seminar weekend in Annapolis. Andy spends 90 minutes discussing boat types and how to prioritize outfitting your boat for deep ocean sailing. He emphasizes that basically ANY boat can complete an ocean passage when properly outfitted and with a properly trained crew. But sometimes it’s nice to have a few luxuries, and Andy talks about how to prioritize adding equipment. 
This episode was sponsored by Forbes Horton Yacht Sales in Annapolis. Need a bluewater boat? Have one to sell? Talk to Forbes – Andy’s new Swan 48 came through Forbes’ office. Visit This episode was also supported by World Cruising Club, the world’s most popular offshore sailing rallies. 

Want to go ocean sailing with Andy?…

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April 6th

Written by Ben Ellison on Apr 6, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


I’ve given numerous seminars about what modern mobile communications can do on boats these days and I’ll be presenting the latest version at TrawlerFest’s new Essex, Connecticut, location in early June. Aside from guidance about useful apps and the neat ways phones, tablets, and the Internet are integrating with marine electronics, boaters want to know how to improve their WiFi and/or cell connections with shore. But when I start talking about typical methods of installing wireless boosters, confusion sometimes follows! So, I’m working on a series of diagrams that Panbo readers might also find useful or might help improve…

The first diagram (above) is meant to show what happens when your boat doesn’t have any “coastal Internet amplification” systems (“booster” is not really the right term for much of what I’m going to describe).…

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April 6th

Sojourner trip north Day 4 – “Without the Bitter…”

Posted by // April 6, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Position: April 6, 2015 8.30 am
33°00’N / 075°51’W
Wind: ESE 15-20kt
Boat Speed: 8 kt (can you tell they are riding the Gulf Stream?)

Mmm, hurricane eggs! Just polished off the last of the fresh Bahamian bread we got from Tom’s baker Vernon in Hope Town. Man that’s good!

We knew the weather was coming long before we ever left Marsh Harbor. It’s why we delayed a day, anchored off Guana Cay to let the front get a head start on us, so it’d be weaker further south where we’d encounter it. It was a nice idea anyway.

By sunset Saturday night, the wind had gone right to the SW, a clear indication of what was on the way.…

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April 5th

Sojourner trip north – Day 3

Posted by // April 5, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Andy called me (Mia) this morning around 9.30 am. It is a bit too rough to sit at the computer and type. Andy is not going to write a blog himself, so I’ll try to summarize what he said over the sat phone instead..

Position: 5 April 9.30 am: 31° 03’N / 075° 44’W
Wind: NE 30kt, sunny
Boat speed: 5 kt

The expected cold front came through last night on Jim’s watch, the sails were reefed but quickly the boat was overpowered and eventually took all sails down. The moon was hiding behind the clouds but was still bright enough that they didn’t need headlamps when they were working up on the fore-deck. As you can tell on their position, they didn’t make any progress over night. At 8am this morning they got a reefed main up and were sailing along on 5kt.…

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April 4th

Sojourner trip north – Day 2 blog from at sea

Posted by // April 4, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

3:05 am, April 4. I’m sitting in the cockpit, facing aft. The full moon is lighting up the boat from the port stern quarter – you can easily do any deck work without a flashlight and could probably read a book by the moonlight. There are some puffy clouds scattered about. There were none earlier tonight when the moon first rose. It was hard to choose between watching the moonrise in the east or the sunset in the west. I mostly watched the spaghetti I was shoveling into my mouth at dinner time, which came a little late tonight, but was delightful thanks to Les, today’s chef de cuisine.…

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April 3rd

Jordan and boat

Lots of buzz right now on the InterWeb about this story: Louis Jordan, age 36 (or 7?), who was airlifted to shore by the Coast Guard yesterday off a German-flagged container ship, M/V Houston Express, that found him adrift some 200 miles east of Cape Hatteras. Many of the stories you find online state he was found atop his boat’s overturned hull, but this seems highly unlikely. No way could you cling to an upside-down full-keeled Pearson Alberg 35 for two months. No way could such a heavily ballasted boat with so little beam and so much deadrise in its hull stay inverted for very long.…

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April 3rd

Sojourner trip north – Day 1

Posted by // April 3, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Andy called me today around 10 am to give me their position. They had been downloading the gribs and also received the weather from NOAA I had sent them. 

Their position April 3, 10am
28° 48’N / 076° 40’W
Wind: Light from the N
Confused sea

They had a beautiful sail since they left Guana Cay in the Bahamas yesterday morning.  Beam reaching with 10-12 knots of wind. Around 7am this morning the wind got very light and the motor was turned on. Right when they left the Bahamas they spotted a whale! 

The plan is to sail straight to Annapolis if the weather is cooperating. 

Check back here on the blog for tomorrows’ update!…

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April 3rd

Navigating with Google Earth

Posted by // April 3, 2015 // COMMENT (8 Comments)

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Moving south from Uligan, we used Google Earth in conjunction with our primary chart plotter (OpenCPN) to help navigate to our second anchorage in the Maldives. Google Earth a great tool for cruisers, helping when chart accuracy is in question, or to benefit from the different kind of information provided by satellite images. The big picture route was set up shown above.

Some places don’t have dependable nautical charts. We don’t assume ours are correct and always look go compare data from multiple sources- not least of which is our eyeballs, especially around these atolls and reefs. It’s not a question of one or the other set of digi charts we’re using being “better” than the other, but which one happens to be more accurate for the place we find ourselves- it’s not consistent.…

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