The new TackingMaster is a wrist-worn tool that’s designed to help provide tacticians with an easy-to-read wind overview that also provides a visual reminder of recent shifts. The TackingMaster ($75, tackingmaster.com) is worn like a wristwatch, but instead of a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection, its movements are manually entered based on information that’s generated by the boat’s anemometer and compass. The TackingMaster uses an external locking ring (red), a moving outer bezel (the “compass ring”), a rotating watch face (the “wind dial”) and a mark ring (the two yellow arrows). To use, set the wind dial to the 0-degree wind shift, loosen the lock ring, set the wind direction on the compass ring, set the bearing to the windward mark using the mark ring and then retighten the lock.…Read More
One of the draws for Comoros (outside my personal destination trifecta of minimal tourism, interesting culture, and natural beauty) is the marine park. The first protected area in Comoros, it encompasses nearly half the coastal waters off the island of Moheli – a day sail from our landfall destination of Anjouan.
The park is dominated by a series of parallel finger islands on the south side of Moheli. Viewing on Google Earth promises beautiful reefs, but precious few anchorages. GE is important here, since our charts call out most of it as ‘unsurveyed’ or ‘inadequately surveyed’, and soundings are infrequent.
The islands are mostly very steep-to, with rapid drop-offs at the shoreline.…Read More
It is interesting that our three major monotheistic “revealed” religions–Judaism, Christianity, and Islam–are all the fruit of mystic transmissions received by prophets who isolated themselves in the desert. And in Buddhism, of course, though it is not really theistic, we have a belief system based on the enlightenment of a man who isolated himself beneath a tree. But curiously, though humans (as we have discussed before) have long wandered across the watery part of our world, an inherently isolating experience, from the very beginning of our existence, we have in our history no real prophet of the sea.
I think most would agree now that the man who most closely fits the description is Bernard Moitessier, the iconoclastic French singlehander who became notorious in 1969 after he abandoned the Golden Globe, the first non-stop solo round-the-world race, so as to “save his soul.” Most sailors probably would also agree that the book Moitessier wrote about his experience, The Long Way (La longue route in the original French, 1971), though it obviously has never spawned any sort of religion, is the closest thing we have to a spiritual text.…Read More
For the last five days, since we left the Greenland coast, we have been fighting strong southeasterly winds that made it impossible for us to sail our desired course to the Azores.
The main culprit is a stationary and very powerful high west of the British Isles, extending more than halfway across the North Atlantic, which has been acting as preventing surface lows from moving more west to east and generate more favorable wind direction. With the latest forecasts predicting the situation to continue for at least another four days, it would have taken us 14 days or more reach the Azores.…Read More
There’s nothing like sailing your new boat for the first time. Especially if that means sailing it home on a long delivery. Some of our new Leopard 48 owners have shared their stories and through them, their excitement. For one owner, it was sailing under the Code 0 for the first time; for another, taking on a 750-mile leg without ever having done an overnight. Our owners sounded off on their experiences, their boats, and how they chose the Leopard 48. Read the owner reviews.
These days it’s getting harder and harder to do something in sailing that’s never been done before. It used to be that a solo circumnavigation was enough. Then it had to be non-stop, then it had to be non-stop the wrong way around. In the late 70’s I met an Australian by the name of Jon Sanders who had done a solo, non-stop circumnavigation and was setting out to do a single-handed, double, non-stop circumnavigation. Once he completed his double he decided that he needed to better his own record and set off again to do three solo, non-stop, circumnavigations.…
Episode number 118 is Matt Grant of Sailrite, makers of the Ultrafeed sewing machine and inspiration to thousands of DIY sailors around the world. Matt’s father Jim started the company back in the 1960s, and he’s followed in the family footsteps, taking the reigns after college and moving the business into the future.
I’ve been studying the specs on this new Offshore Cruising Tender (see image above), which was developed by Russell and Karin Carlyon, a Kiwi cruising couple who evidently often found themselves pining for a better dinghy during their 7-year circumnavigation. We can only presume this represents their idea of “the perfect dinghy,” which is, of course, a highly subjective concept. After studying their website I’d guess their goal here was to create a dink with most of the attributes of an RIB tender, only more rugged and durable.
It certainly has a distinctive look, and for a hard tender it is remarkably light, just 92 pounds.…Read More
Having arrived safely in Nuuk, Dunbar and I were counting on a relatively uneventful 1800 miles passage to the Azores. To finish our sojourn in Greenland on a high, we decided to make a detour to visit the spectacular Prince Christian Sound.
Instead of a high, we ended up with a low, a real low.
Halfway to our hoped-for destination, the wind changed direction and was blowing strongly from southeast, which was exactly where we intended to sail… so we had no choice but abandon our plan and tack offshore.
These are not the photos I promised when I concluded my previous report, but they are the best I can do to illustrate this update on Aventura’s southbound passage.…Read More
(Hamble, England)- Over the course of the September 18th to 20th weekend, the Royal Southern YC hosted the AVEVA September Regatta for a host of classes, both IRC handicap as well as J/70 one-designs. The fleets were split into the Black Group handicap racing teams and the White Group one-design class fleets. Winning their first regatta in the J/70 class was Niklas Zennstrom’s J/70 RAN, sailing with his wife and friends. Then, in the IRC 3 Class, the J/92 J’RONIMO sailed by David & Libby Greenhalgh sailed home with the silverware.
After the first day of racing for the Black Group start, Greenhalgh’s J/92 had straight bullets and their friends Annie Kelly & Andy Howe on the J/97 BLACKJACK II had straight seconds!…Read More
Comoros, an island nation tucked between Mozambique and Madagascar, is the landfall I have most anticipated among our planned Indian Ocean destinations.
Comoros does not have published official fees or processes for private boats to visit; there is no tourism industry here. That’s what happens when more than twenty coups are attempted since independence from France in 1975. It’s been led by a series of military officers, a French mercenary, an Ayatollah, and the odd career politician. The first peaceful, democratic change of leadership took place less than ten years ago, and even after that, there was an invasion by African Union forces because the military leader on Anjouan (who had previously seized power, later rigged elections, and is believed responsible for the torture and disappearance of many) refused to step down.…Read More