Boat-testing season is upon me again, and what better way to start it than by spending a day with Art Paine (sailor-artist-journo twin brother to designer Chuck Paine) and Todd French (from the Belfast-based boatbuilder in midcoast Maine) loitering about the waters off Southwest Harbor in this fabulous boat. The original Alerion, a daysailer designed by Nat Herreshoff for his own use back in 1912, is perhaps one of the most iconic classic small boats ever created. One modern builder has seen fit to hijack the name for its own line of high-end retro-style boats, boats faithful to the original design are still built from time to time, and a few variations have been assayed over the years.… Read More
Revo’s Guide S sunglasses are built with “fast-flow” vents on the arms to keep your head cool and the shades where they need to be (i.e. on your head), and they come with high-contrast polarized lenses. $189. Revo, revo.com
In a past life when I was working as crew for America’s Cup Charters in Newport, Rhode Island, sailing tourists around Narragansett Bay for up to 10 hours a day, the captain on one boat told me my sunglasses, well, sucked, and that if I didn’t want to cause permanent damage to my eyes I had to upgrade. So I ponied up for a pair of polarized sunglasses (my first pair ever) and never looked back.… Read More
This past weekend there was a tragic death aboard one of the boats competing in the Clipper Round the World Race. A crew member, Andrew Ashman, was struck on the head by either the mainsheet or the boom, or both, and died of his injuries. It was the first fatality in an around-the-world race in a long time and it begs the question “is it safe to race around the world with paying amateur crew?” I am going to answer that right up front and say yes, but let’s take a look at the issue.
Crews competing in the Clipper Race pay a fairly substantial amount of money to participate. For the entire circumnavigation it’s a number north of $75K.… Read More
From the nice folks at DORADE.ORG
Defying critics who said it couldn’t be done, Dorade has completed a four-year campaign to repeat all of the major ocean races she won in the 1930s, finishing up on the podium at the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race, where she took second in IRC Class 4 and seventh overall out of 356 boats. A 52’ wooden yawl built in 1930 by Olin and Rod Stephens, Dorade was the oldest boat to compete in this year’s Fastnet and took home three of the event’s most prestigious trophies: the Sparkman & Stephens Trophy, the Iolaire Block, and the Coates Schofield Trophy.… Read More
Comoros might just be my favorite stop in the Indian Ocean. I’ll readily acknowledge that it’s on departure after a too-short stay that I’m likely to look at a place through the most favorable and wistful lens, but our two weeks here surfaced challenges, beauty, culture and wonders like we’ve not seen so intensely in quite a while. Given how exotic our Totem’s track is this year, that’s significant!
Cruising lets us experience some places that are truly picture-postcard perfect, the kind of paradise that would feel contrived if it weren’t real… turquoise water and white sand and all that. A superimposed fruity drink with an umbrella wouldn’t be out of place.… Read More
Going to the way-back machine for this week’s show, re-releasing episode #10 of my old Two Inspired Guys show. This is Joe Reed, multi-time Caribbean 1500 sailor and NASA scientist, recorded in Tortola after the rally in 2012.
For those of you who have listened to 59º North for a while now, you’ll notice a BIG difference in this episode! I’m slightly embarrassed to even release this again, but it is fun to go back and hear how far the podcast has come in terms of both my hosting and the production quality. Plus, Joe’s a super guy, and has a super story.… Read More
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think this has ever happened before. With all the many bluewater pay-to-play crewing opportunities out there these days (some of which I’ve been involved with), I think this is the first time anyone has actually died doing it. According to the official statement released by Clipper Ventures, organizers of the Clipper Round the World Race, Andrew Ashman, 49, a British paramedic who had been sailing since he was a teenager, died onboard the Clipper 70 IchorCoal two days ago after being knocked out by the mainsheet and perhaps the boom while helping to reef the mainsail in Force 6 conditions.… Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Sep 7, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
My expectations for the recently announced On The Water ChartGuides were high, but darn if checking out a whole 120 page review copy didn’t blow me away (and I’m already familiar with most of the Intracoastal Waterway that Volume 1 covers). The two new ChartGuides are also remarkably inexpensive in print or electronic formats, just like OTW’s other ICW guides. My only complaint? The Doyles are such skilled and prolific communicators that I feel like a piker!
Well, there is potential confusion with the “ChartGuide” name, though it’s just a minor exception to the rule that Mark and Diana Doyle express themselves clearly.… Read More
I always wondered why the southernmost point of Greenland has attracted this attractive name. After nine days of struggling to get out of its grip, I know. Whoever named it, never wanted to see it again.
It took us all that time to reach a point of about 500 miles to the southeast of it, a distance we normally cover in three days. The immediate area to the south of Cape Farewell is notorious for the large concentration of ice in late spring and early summer but even more so for the breeding ground of depressions throughout the year.
The first time Cape Farewell came to my attention was in late 1990 as I was preparing the start from Gibraltar of the first round the world rally.… Read More
“Oh, ho!” you say, sipping your morning coffee. “Amy has finally written something new. That slacker. Took long enough.”
And you’re right. My record has been more than a little spotty this past year. And I owe you, my loyal readers, a short explanation.
Let’s face it: this is, at heart, a family travel blog. And while the family part remains intact, the travel aspect has ground to a halt. Not forever, but for now.
The other issue I face is that we currently live in a teeny-tiny community. And while I could record many (many, many) funny stories about living here, I wouldn’t feel very good about it.… Read More