Passage notes: Ascension to Barbados, part II

14 Apr


Continuing notes from the passage… from just beyond the halfway mark. Our crew, Ty, is working on a guest post: what do you want to know about life on Totem from his point of view? Ask in the comments here, or through the Contact form (they’ll both reach us on passage).

Day 6

This passage has one big routing decision point: where should boats cross the ITCZ? This ribbon of doldrums- sprinkled with squalls- runs generally along the equator. The basic options from Ascension are to pick a likely spot to jet north, get through the ITCZ as fast as possible to the NE trades…or sail nearly due west to Brazil, then pick up the coastal current and head north along the edge of South America.…

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French Fried

14 Apr
Nicolas Jarossay sets off to SUP his way to Martinique

You gotta love the French. If there is someone pushing the edges of sport you know it’s going to be a frenchman, or frenchlady for that matter. A couple of months ago it was Volvo Ocean Race winner Frank Cammas foiling his Nacra 20 catamaran around Cape Horn. Before that there have been any number of extraordinary nautical feats carried out by someone French. But the latest exploit by a Frenchman just about takes the cake. This past Sunday Nicolas Jarossay set off on a 3,000-mile (5,000 kilometer) odyssey to become the first person to cross the Atlantic solo – on a stand-up paddleboard.
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March 2016 Monthly Cruising Budget: Jamaica and Panama

12 Apr

satori swimming pool

For the month of March we came in under our $1400 budget! $17.82 under actually. I attribute our frugality this month to being anchored out in Guna Yala, Panama where there is nothing to spend money on. Also, a case of beer from the vegetable boat is $19, delivered! Compare that to $44 or $67 per case we paid in the Bahamas! Anyway, here are the totals:

Total spent: $1382

Health Insurance: $280

The Good, Bad and Ugly (non-essential spending): $237.41

Groceries: $108.08

Alchohol: $53.86

Boat Supplies/Cruising permits: $618.48

Cell Phone and Internet: $84.25

We didn’t buy any diesel or gasoline this month, so we will need to fill up once we return to Panama.

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A week in Walvis Bay, Namibia

12 Apr

1-flamingos in flight

1-Pinterest dunes namibiaA month in Namibia felt like a month less than we should have spent in this wild and beautiful and interesting country. But we went, and a lot of boats crossing the Atlantic from Cape Town seem to skip right by on their way to the Americas. In all fairness, we’ve had to make plenty of “can’t see everything” calls ourselves, but Namibia is so easy to roll in. Going north coastwise to Namibia offers a better wind angle when heading out in to the Atlantic. It’s also a good shakedown before big passages for boats that have been sitting around Cape Town marinas for a couple of months.…

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Tory Salvia

11 Apr

Episode 145 is Tory Salvia, founder and executive producer of The Sailing Channel. Tory and I sat down in person in Annapolis a few weeks ago and had a fascinating conversation. We talked about Tory’s sailing career in general and how he got started, his love of good old boats, how he’s been influenced over the years, and more recently, his starting thesailingchannel.tv. 

Tory made his career in media production, making videos for the Navy for a long while as both producer and director on many of his projects. He has a love for film, which has shaped his career all along, but eventually he wanted to combine that with his love of sailing, and so The Sailing Channel was born.…

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BOREAL 44/47: A Bulletproof Aluminum Centerboard Cruiser for High and Low Latitudes

11 Apr

Boreal sailing

It says something of the nature of these boats that my initial correspondence with Jean-François Eeman (see photo up top), managing director of Boréal Yachts, regarding a visit to their yard, was interrupted for a month while he and his family took off on a cruise to Antarctica. On a Boréal, of course. Indeed, Eeman’s boat was the first Boréal 44 ever built, the ultimate product of a chance encounter on a dock in Ushuaia, Argentina, between Eeman and another Jean-François, surname Delvoye, a designer and builder with many bluewater miles under his belt who had long been nursing an idea for an ideal cruising vessel.…

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Kite fishing for sailfish with Ben and Garmin

11 Apr

Written by Adam Hyde on Apr 11, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Garmin Media Event 2016 Miami Ben Ellison Adam HydeMy first official Panbo trip wasn’t what I expected; it was much better. Garmin smartly decided to expand on their Miami Boat Show Fantom radar demo and many recent product introductions by inviting electronics writers to spend two full days with four well equipped saltwater fishing boats in Miami. While Ben suggested some topics to cover, the story I must tell largely involves kites and sailfish, though the electronics could not be ignored…

Garmin came to the party loaded with some pretty awesome accessory gear. Was this really a Quatix watch convention?

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Passage notes: Ascension to Barbados, part I

9 Apr


Totem has been heading west for five days now. So far it’s been a beautiful passage: more gentle breezes than squalls, more pretty sunsets than gray skies.

Departure Day

I make a last run to shore, to mail a few postcards, try to visit a few people we met, and grab a last hour of wifi from the hotel before our weeks at sea. The RMS St Helena was in port during the weekend and fresh produce (well, fresh when it left Cape Town, at least a week and a half ago) should be on the shelves. Score! We have $3 avocadoes, some tomatoes, and apples.…

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Cuba Ho! Becalmed in the Straights of Florida…

8 Apr

April 8, 7:52am

23, 19 N / 080, 23 W

The sun is rising just off Isbjorn’s starboard quarter. Greg and I are on watch, one hour yet to go. This is the best watch, the transition from night to day, another 24 hours in the bank. The ocean here, now into the Straights of Florida, is mirror calm. You could easily slalom ski.

It’s been motor-on-motor-off for the past 24 hours, and it looks like the pattern might continue for the next. So far, including charging the batteries, we’ve run the engine 28 hours, about 10-12 of that actually under way and propelling us forward.

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Guest Post: Liz K. (the intern: POV)

7 Apr

I’m sitting on the plane for my flight back to NYC, scheduled to land at 11:59pm. Other than the mild anxiety due to the turbulence I don’t know how to feel right now. It feels like so recently I found this passion for ocean sailing and forever that I have had a passion for the sea – yet my dreams are coming true. I feel eager to finish college with as best grades as I can manage with all of the day dreaming I will be doing. This Antigua – Puerto Rico trip does not feel real. All that I know is that I have to get back out there and I am grateful.…

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