DeLorme inReach gets weather & goes to Cuba

21 Jun
Written by Ben Ellison on Jun 21, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub I've long felt that the DeLorme inReach is a valuable safety and communications tool for boats that sometimes go beyond reliable cellular (and/or VHF) con... Read More

ARC DelMarVa: Understanding Frontal Weather & Planning a Passage

21 Jun
From my perspective as organizer, making a decision that would be best for the fleet as a whole, I primarily was concerned about two things: * The potential for the development of strong to severe thunderstorms as the front passed (and at night, to boot). * The fact that once offshore, it would be very difficult to return against a 20-knot headwind if any of the fleet had problems. So let’s look at both of those factors in detail, and examine in general what this forecast means for the actual conditions offshore. Read More

Jeremy Davis, Weather Routing Inc.

20 Jun
“We’ve talked to clients that have been in those Category 3 Hurricanes coming across the Yucatan and, you know, we’re constantly calling them, making sure they’re okay. It does get tough emotionally. A lot of these clients have used us for years. Of course we want them safe, we know them, sometimes on a personal level. You’ve got to take the emotion out of it, try to not get too caught up.” -Jeremy Davis, WRI Weather Forecaster & episode #152's guest! Read More

ARC DelMarVa Leg 2 (Offshore) Delayed ‘Til Wednesday

20 Jun
WRI concluded that “based on the forecast, the best window for vessels to depart will be to leave in the early morning hours, near 0300-0400 EDT on the 22nd. This will allow for the best timing between fronts, and to arrive in Cape May on the 23rd before the next front. It will be important for vessels to motor (if needed) to maintain speed in order to arrive in Cape May by midday or so on the 23rd, as the next front with more showers/squalls moves through in the evening.” Read More

New Bermuda Race record

20 Jun
The mighty Comanche heading for Bermuda and a new race record

I had been tempted to take another jab at Comanche, the 100-foot sloop owned by Jim and Kristy Clark, as they led the Newport-Bermuda fleet toward Bermuda. I was waiting for the jubilant press release about how they had beaten all the other boats in the race without mentioning that second largest boat in the race is just under 30 feet shorter than them. But there was no press release and instead they set a new race record so instead of a jab here is my heartfelt congratulation to the Ken Read, the owners Jim and Kristy Clark, and the entire Comanche crew. Well done that was quite an achievement.

My beef with Comanche is that I have always felt that it’s an unimaginative design. It looks like they took a VOR 65 and enlarged it on a photo copier. I feel that with that kind of money and talent they could have pushed the boundaries a little, but that’s just my opinion. They built what they wanted and have done an excellent job so far winning the Sydney-Hobart Race earlier this year and now setting a new Bermuda Race record.

I am also walking back my criticism of Ms Clark. I had an issue with the press celebrating her as the first female owner to win the Hobart Race when my perception was that she was just a trophy wife of a rich man. But as I said I am walking back what I wrote because it’s not really fair. I spent the weekend relaxing with my family doing just about nothing. Jim and Kristy Clark were out there dealing with the rough conditions. By most accounts Kristy is a very active member of the crew and works as hard as the rest of the team to help them achieve their successes. So I don’t feel that I have a right to criticize. I was in a warm bed Friday night; they were on a wet boat pounding through the Gulf Stream so hats off to them. 


The previous race record was held by Rambler and Comanche managed to knock a full four and a half hours off their time to finish in 34 hours and  52 minutes. That’s quite an accomplishment. The second place boat, Maximizer, a Farr 72 was scheduled to finish a day behind Comanche so they really did leave the fleet in the dust, so to speak. So no jab. Instead an acknowledgment that Jim Clark and his (by all accounts) lovely wife have chosen to spend millions of dollars in the sport that we all love and it has only bettered the sport. So thank you and again congratulations.

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Brian Hancock – owner Great Circle Sails

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Sublime Start to 2016 ARC DelMarVa

20 Jun
The starting gun fired at exactly 10:00 Eastern Time Sunday morning, the eve of the Summer Solstice, and 19 rally yachts took the start of ARC DelMarVa 2016. With light westerly winds, it was a mellow and easy start for the fleet of boats, many of whom had never sailed overnight before. Slice of Life, a Beneteau 45, was officially first over the starting line, with Su Ching, the big Tayana 55 - the largest boat in the fleet - over a few seconds early. Read More

Waiting On The Weather

20 Jun
Every boat and crew has different thresholds for what they are willing to put up with. In my limited experience using GRIB files to plan voyages, I hope for the predicted winds and hedge against higher than predicted winds and seas. Even though I’m positive our boat can take just about anything, we voyage for the enjoyment of sailing. We…

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Back in Central America

18 Jun
Above all else, Panama has redefined the word “hot” for both Rachel and I. I’m not totally sure why I’m surprised though – it is Central America, its supposed to be sauna like! After a pretty decent flight (free booze on the plane), we touched down and caught a taxi to a hotel in downtown Panama City. The next morning…

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Passage notes: Bermuda to Connecticut

17 Jun
“This is turning into an expensive passage.” Those were Jamie’s words to me after the latest breakdown on our third day at sea. A large block, used for the genoa sheet, had permanently parted ways with the track on deck. The passage started benignly enough, once we got going. Although the weather watch to depart […] Read More

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