July 22nd

Written by Ben Ellison on Jul 22, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Yacht_Designs_NMEA_2000_thermometer_aPanbo.jpgOne of the most valuable improvements I’ve made on Gizmo is a Maretron TMP100 able to put six different temperature sensors on the boat’s NMEA 2000 network, particularly the one I’ve set to alarm me if the engine block gets even slightly hotter than normal. I wrote about the plan in 2013 and will detail how well it worked out soon. Closely monitoring certain temperatures can save a lot of hassle and money though one impediment is the need for either a Maretron DSM display or a USB Gateway to configure the setup.…

Read More
July 21st

Worthy or not? You decide.

Posted by // July 21, 2015 // COMMENT (5 Comments)

                                              Lending Club en route to Hawaii – photo credit Lending Club crew

It was fantastic to see Ryan Breymeyer and his team on Lending Club demolish the Transpacific record this past weekend. They sailed a superb passage and knocked more than a day off the record time set by the curmudgeon Olivier de Kersauson on Geronimo. To be fair Lending Club is 15-feet longer than Geronimo, but either way you look at it they had an amazing record breaking crossing.

Read More
July 21st

The best apps for cruising

Posted by // July 21, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Ch6_11- tablets for reading

What are the best apps for sailing? What apps do cruisers actually use on their ipad / android to make life easier, safer, or more fun?

There are a lot of “best apps for sailing” type lists out there (I just looked. Trust me). Honestly? The first thing that strikes me after scanning a few is what the h*&# are those and who is actually using them?! And then I wonder, am I out of touch? (my nagging worry as a former gadget geek, tenured in the digital world). Or are most of those lists promotional placements (my cynical/marketing side kicking in)?…

Read More
July 20th

Pawel Motawa

Posted by // July 20, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Episode #112 is a Two Inspired Guys rerun with Pawel Motawa, a Polish sailor Andy met at the ARC Rally a few years back. Pawel had a TV studio in Poland, and then bought his dream boat – a steel sloop – and has been spending the past several years sailing in Antarctica. The interview was recorded onboard his boat ‘Malaika’ in St. Lucia after he’d crossed the Atlantic from Europe.

Read More
July 20th

Gateway to the Arctic

Posted by // July 20, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Grey misty day in the Bering Strait

In the span of six hours we have passed two significant landmarks: the Bering Strait and the Arctic Circle.

For a long time I regarded the Bering Strait as the most remote place in the world, a place I never imagined I would sail to.

We timed our arrival carefully so as to benefit from a favourable tide and were swept through by a strong current that almost doubled Aventura’s speed.

We also had a favourable southerly wind that enveloped us in a damp cloak of swirling mist as the warm wind blew over the cold sea.…

Read More
July 19th

The Long Way to Cape May

Posted by // July 19, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)


We expected a southwesterly wind at some point, but yesterday was a bit silly. Matt & I were discussing putting a reef in just for practice – at the time it was blowing a gentle ten knots, so was hardly necessary. We went through the motions, Rachel & Matt going forward to tie in the tack line, Mia and myself handling the main sheet and halyard, Dad driving. By the time we re-sheeted the newly reefed main, the wind had dropped even further.

By then we were already close-hauled. The fact we had 48 hours of downwind or reaching conditions was a minor miracle for summertime in these parts.…

Read More
July 18th

Written by Ben Ellison on Jul 18, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


Nobeltec Furuno PC-Radar was announced at the Miami boat show, but I don’t think it’s gotten the recognition it should. Yes, it’s like the Furuno MaxSea PC Radar that came to Europe in 2013, but now the feature/cost proposition seems to fit a wider range of boats, plus it’s actually available over here. It’s also noteworthy that Nobeltec’s TimeZero v2 app is now out with support of Furuno WiFi radar and it’s interesting to see how these two radar solutions compare. It looks to me like Nobeltec and Furuno are blazing two distinct paths to primary limited visibility navigation without multifunction displays…

Nobeltec_PC_Radar_diagram_n_pricing_aPanbo.jpgFor a suggested retail of $3,990, a PC Radar bundle gets you Nobeltec TimeZero Trident software and a Furuno DRS4DCM 24-inch 4kW UHD radome complete with cable and power supply.…

Read More
July 18th

Three Days Offshore

Posted by // July 18, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

‘Who knows when well get another morning like this?’

Matt’s been at the helm now going on four hours. We started our watch at 0300, and it was supposed to end at 0600. That transition from night to day is the most magical time offshore, and I think he wants to prolong that as long as possible. Or maybe it’s just that he drank a cup of coffee and is all jazzed up (he’s normally. to a coffee guy). At any rate, he’s extended his watch voluntarily. My dad, who’s up next, remains asleep in the vee berth, snoring.

Our timing was perfect.…

Read More
July 17th

Isbjörn’s Return Passage to Annapolis

Posted by // July 17, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Sleep Deprived

For the first time since we departed Lunenburg, the entire crew is awake and outside. Rachel & Matt have been sleeping the sleep of the seasick, suffering for the first 24 hours, but toughing it out and doing their watches anyway. Both are wearing Scopalamine patches, and both have been totally knocked out in their bunks when not on watch. Matt even went for a nap on the foredeck this morning, sacked out in his full gear and clipped to the mast. He slept for 90 minutes up there, soaking up the sunshine!

The weather has been different in this neck of the woods than on our way north.…

Read More
July 17th

Dutch Harbor Stopover

Posted by // July 17, 2015 // COMMENT (4 Comments)

Alaska landfall

Favourable winds continued on our passage from Victoria in British Columbia to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands. On day 11 of the 1700 mile passage, as we made landfall at Sedanka Island, to the north of us, the snowy peaks of Unimak Island were bathed in the rosy tints of the setting sun. To reach our destination, we still had to negotiate the Unalga Strait known for its fierce tides, so I decided not to attempt it in the falling light but wait for the following morning.

Having spent a peaceful night at anchor, at first light we caught the favourable tide through the narrow strait and 15 miles farther on, we entered the land-locked port of Dutch Harbor.…

Read More