Sailfeed
April 2nd

Take the Long Way Home

Posted by // April 2, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Cruising, ,

It’s 0600 on Wednesday morning. April 2nd. Sojourner is in position 33 28 N, 77 53 W, motor sailing ENE and headed straight for Cape Hatteras, which lays about 100 miles over the horizon ahead. Venus, now the morning star, is about ten degrees above the horizon off the starboard now, to our east. A glimmer of sunlight, the new day dawning, is visible just below. But to me, in the dark cockpit, it’s still night, and I’ll savor it’s last death throes while all remains quiet on board. While my dad and Tom sleep, this is my time. The time at sea I treasure the most.…

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April 1st

Illustration © Kiteboat Project

By Kimball Livingston Posted April 1, but we’re not joking

Four hundred sixty square miles on the surface at high tide, two trillion gallons in volume, more or less, twice a day, on the exchange of tides, that is San Francisco Bay. And a why-not ethos. As in, why not use kites to power boats? At the Kiteboat Project, the answer is, why not, indeed?

Going far beyond theory from its skunkworks on Alameda Island, on the eastern reach of San Francisco Bay, the Kiteboat Project has dazzled everyone who caught a glimpse of the results. The thing looks fast just sitting still, but it doesn’t have a mast and .…

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April 1st
paddling home, racing the sun

Living off the grid, providing your own power, is a tremendous feeling. On Totem, it’s one of the compelling aspects of life afloat, hand in hand with a more simple life and a lighter carbon footprint. Relying on our solar panels and wind turbine to supply power needs instead of plugging in is liberating.

That good juice from the sun and the wind is stored in our house battery bank. Currently, that bank has 660 amps total from six 220aH 6v AGM batteries.  When we have steady trade winds, and sunny days, these meet our needs pretty well. For a long stretch, that’s been enough.…

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March 31st

RIP Hobie Alter and Bob Billingham

Posted by // March 31, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

People, ,

By Kimball Livingston Posted March 31, 2014

The news hit me when I was living life to the full and feeling every minute of it.

Somehow, that seems right.

The last time I saw Bob Billingham, he was setting up to do America’s Cup commentary in a setting that, as Project Manager, he had orchestrated. He showed no sign of the cancer or the treatments that had been in his foreground for years, and I never heard a word out of his own mouth about them. Nothing slowed Bob down until he hit the wall, and he hit the wall fast forward.…

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March 31st

Burning boat

I started following both these stories last week when they broke, and now I’m pretty curious to see how they play out. First: an apparently exploded 49-foot Jeanneau Sun Odyssey that was spotted on fire (see photo up top) a few miles west of St. Vincent last Wednesday. A local dive-tour operator, Kay Wilson, was first on the scene and found the boat’s British owner, John Edward Garner, 53, floating in the water in a life jacket with serious injuries to his face and legs. A burning liferaft and a waterproof ditch bag with a passport and other documents were also found floating near the burning yacht, which soon sank.…

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March 30th

Aluminum + Copper: A Horror Story

Posted by // March 30, 2014 // COMMENT (2 Comments)

Maintenance, ,

Q:  My friend has a metal boat.  I had him over for beers last night, and all he talked about was electrolytic corrosion.  I love boat talk as much as the next sailor, but I nearly threw him overboard.  What is it with you metal boat people and your corrosion issues?*

A:  Electrolytic corrosion is the worst.  The worst!  It is a creeping horror ready to eat away our hulls and leave us sad and boatless.  I’m sorry your imaginary friend bored you, but this is a real concern for us.  Why?  Because a penny and a little saltwater could send us to the bottom of the sea.…

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March 30th

Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 30, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

XB-8000-3-in-one-800.jpgI’ve had a Vesper XB-8000 installed in the lab for the last month, and I’m confident that it will do well in a long test on board Gizmo beginning in May. I will miss some features of the Vesper Vision I tested last season, but having the blue box installed behind the scenes will help me test the glass bridge concept (one MFD brand, many screens), and at $799 I think the XB-8000 is a multifunction value that could work on a wide variety of vessels.…

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March 29th

Mmmm, hurricane eggs! My friend Andy Staus taught me about these last year during the delivery of Susie Q on this very same route at this very same time of year. We picked up a couple of loads of fresh-made Bahamas bread in Marsh Harbor (unsliced of course). For the last two mornings I’ve been slicing off big chunks of the stuff, cutting a hole out of the center and grilling the bread with 2-3 eggs cracked in the hole in our cast iron skillet. There is just something about the combination of grilled bread, gooey eggs and butter that creates something truly greater than the sum of its parts.…

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March 28th

Sojourner heading north from Bahamas

Posted by // March 28, 2014 // COMMENT (2 Comments)

Cruising, ,

Sojourner, 28th March 2014, 10.00 EST

Sojourner, 28th March 2014, 10.00 EST

I got a phone call from Andy this morning from the Sat Phone. The number start with 8816.. so it is easy to spot. Everyone who has been following the weather (or just looked outside the window the last couple of days) know it is not ideal conditions out there. Noting dangerous, but not as ideal as the 15kt from behind and blue sky like they had on their last passage up to the Bahamas.

They left yesterday morning so this phone call was about 24 hr out. Andy felt a bit seasick and had a patch on for the first time.…

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March 28th

By Kimball Livingston Posted March 28, 2014

Put it in a frame and what is it? Art, accidental and un? Art, modern and traditional? A schooner in a plastic tent?

In her eighty-six years on the water, the schooner Kelpie has touched many lives. This weekend in Cornwall she relaunches as Kelpie of Falmouth in what promises to be a brilliant new chapter of her own life.

The name comes from a Scottish water horse—mythical, to certain skeptics—a water horse that will grab you and not let go. Whoever has been near Kelpie still feels the grip. And that’s no myth.…

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