178: Rick Tomlinson

7 Feb

178 Rick Tomlinson Art Filter.jpg

Rick Tomlinson is one of yachting’s most accomplished photographers. What I didn’t know before we met, was how accomplished he is as a sailor. Rick was a crew member on four consecutive Whitbread Races, and literally invented the modern concept of onboard reporter. Back in his day, Rick was an integral member of the sailing crew – he took photos onboard as a hobby, on his off-watches, and even developed film in the galley sink offshore! Mia and I traveled to Rick’s beautiful studio in Cowes on the Isle of Wight last September to chat about his career.

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Sailing for the ITCZ

6 Feb

Getting across the equator yesterday was both a challenge and a relief. As we approached, it seemed as though the wind gods decided they weren’t quite ready for us yet, so the wind turned to the north, and essentially, although all of the weather files showed us being in the southeast trade winds, and should be broad reaching, we were beating upwind to get there, and with only a few knots of wind to boot. So it was slow and mentally trying.



Once across the challenge continued. The ...

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Back in Our Home Waters

5 Feb

Our position is in the Northern Hemisphere. Finally. We crossed the Equator late this afternoon, very slow going all day today. In the last few hours, the wind shifted to the north, just as we were finally closing in on the Equator. We thought we might not actually make it. But we did finally get across and we’re in the Northern Hemisphere now, sailing in the North Atlantic Ocean rather than the South Atlantic Ocean.

I remember musing when we headed south, across the Equator, earlier in the race, about the adventures and challenges we would encounter, before we could ...

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USED BOREAL 44 FOR SALE: RC Louise Is Up For Grabs!

5 Feb

RC afloat

The primary reason I ordered a new Boreal rather than just buying a used one is that used ones very rarely come on the market. In fact, I’ve never seen one listed, until now. I met Steve and Tracy, owners of RC Louise, a Boreal 44, through a series of coincidences last summer and managed to lure them to my home in Portsmouth by shooting them an e-mail as they were sailing down the coast from Maine. We had a fine visit and I learned many useful things from them. Later I coincidentally ran into them again after sailing ...

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Weather Analysis for the Equator

4 Feb

We made good progress into last night. It is 92°F (33.3°C) in the cabin so I had a salt water shower and then freshwater rinse in the cockpit after sunset. It was hugely refreshing.

I have been looking at some of the data that is available now to mariners in anticipation of crossing the Equator and getting through the Doldrums, or the ‘Pot au Noir’ as the French call it. There are satellite photographs spanning the globe taken at different wavelengths to show different things. There is Advanced Scatterometry, which is a real-time satellite based radar to give wind direction ...

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3 Feb

Last night, after the sun set, I went down Joff Brown’s checklist for the boat. He is our Boat Captain and Team Manager, and knows the boat inside and out. I had to do the list after sunset because it’s simply too hot to spend time scrutinizing a piece during the day time.

The list involved all the pins for the stays for the genoa, solent, and staysail, chafe on furling lines, etc. One of the items was to look at all of the batten cars, with binoculars for the top ones, to make sure that the stem coming from ...

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Our new Podcast “Sailing Stories”

2 Feb

It’s been quiet on the blogging front as of late. Winter, and hustling to start 3 new businesses will do that to you. However, that’s not to say I haven’t been making content. God knows I consume enough content: writing, youtube, and podcasts – especially podcasts. I love podcasts.The unique thing about them is that you can be entertained or even learn something new while doing some mindless activity. Driving, mowing the lawn, sanding teak, finishing out your 2 – 6 am watch. I can double my productivity on even the most boring, yet necessary tasks! 

I’ve listened for years to a curated ...

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SAILING STORIES LAUNCH: Brave or Stupid, Ep. 1

2 Feb

Introducing Sailing Stories

Tales from the high seas, told week by week. The first three episodes are now LIVE at the Sailing Stories podcast feed – subscribe on iTunes here, or through your favorite podcast app! Season 1 will run to 15 total episodes over the next 12 weeks, releasing weekly on Thursday. Donate to help fund the next season of Sailing Stories!

SEASON 1: Brave or Stupid 
Join Janne Larsson & Kalle Andersson as they set off to sail around the world on a handshake and lots of ambition. Click here to read more.

Hosted by ...

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Miles in the Correct Direction

2 Feb

Yesterday and today we have been finally out of our seemingly private bubble high with no wind, and into the usual South Atlantic high pressure system that generates the Southeast Trade winds near the equator. Finally we are making miles in the correct direction.

Yesterday we sailed most of the day with the genoa, our biggest upwind sail, and full mainsail. After much tweaking of sails, the boat was really going well. Yet we got to the end of the wind range for that genoa and switched to the solent. And then when there were several clouds with wind that ...

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Tasks During the Calm

1 Feb

Yesterday was a very difficult day. From morning to nighttime, essentially zero wind, the boat going in circles, or at 2 knots if we had 2 knots of wind. I’d change from genoa to solent, and even to the staysail thinking that it might stand whereas the genoa and solent were too big for no wind.

Several times we’d get caught aback, and then, in no wind, have to somehow get the boat going in the right direction again. Many times we ended up going south. It was very discouraging. And it was blazingly hot, 98°F (36.6°C) in the cockpit,with ...

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