June 8th

Blue Heron 2015.06.07 Update

Posted by // June 8, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Quick email from Andy this morning:

“We’re at 35° 08’N, 070° 00’ W as of 0400 Sunday morning. Flying along on a nice smooth reach at 7 knots, with another lightning show behind us. Really fantastic sailing since we turned towards Bermuda. -Andy”

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June 7th

NEEL 65: A Whole Lotta Trimaran Going On

Posted by // June 7, 2015 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

Neel 65 forward

We all knew this day was coming. With the recent launch and test-sailing of the new Neel 65 the concept of “cruising trimaran” has officially metastasized into the upper stratosphere. I was impressed with its smaller sibling, the Neel 45, when I got a chance to sail one in France a few years ago, and I’m wondering if this new beast has achieved what must be considered the Holy Grail in multihull design: over-the-top accommodation space combined with decent sailing performance.

Looks like they got the over-the-top accommodation space box checked off in Sharpie ink.

Lower plan

The “ground floor” plan shows no fewer than four separate staterooms in the main hull and amas, all with en suite heads.…

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June 5th

Boat Wiring: Battery Switches and Distribution

Posted by // June 5, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Above is what the main cabin ends up looking like when you’re in the middle of a project like this.

In my last installment I covered battery cabling and big circuit protection. Now we’re to the next stops down the line: the battery switches and core distribution.

First, the battery switches. I blogged once before that I like basic battery switches. These big, basic switches from Cole-Hersee have been around for at least sixty years, maybe longer:
My boat already had two that were original equipment and still fine, but the threads were stripped on part of one of the posts and they’d seen a lot of dousings and abuse, so I replaced them, and added a third for the starting battery.…

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June 5th

The Weather Gods

Posted by // June 5, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Day 3. Indecision aboard Blue Heron, both from the weather and the crew. We were supposed to be sailing towards Bermuda – and I made it a point to emphasize ‘towards’ when explaining the route to the gang (an old sailors superstition – you never truly know where you’ll end up!). Now were 130 miles northeast of Hatteras and sailing southwest! So much for plans. It wasn’t the bananas – we got rid of then at the dock!

After sailing down from West Chester and through the East River and Hell Gate and Manhattan and all that, we got offshore around 3pm on Wednesday, immediately close hauled in an easterly breeze.…

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June 4th

Masthead shot

Phase Two of this experiment began with a grand round of socializing in the harbor at St. George’s, in which I was ably assisted by my bride. Clare also assisted refueling the boat and in spotting me as I ascended the mast to see if I could get the tricolor light interested in being a light again. (You can’t see her in that photo there, peering up at me from on deck, because actually she was down below flipping the anchor and tricolor lights on and off countless times at my command.) I spent a good deal of time up there, and that foot you see in the maststep went numb from carrying all my weight for so long, but ultimately I wasn’t able to figure out why the light was unhappy.…

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June 4th

Blue Heron Sailing – New York to Bermuda

Posted by // June 4, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Hi everyone, Mia here! After some nice days i Sweden, Andy is now back in is element again, back on the water on the way to Bermuda! This time, the Hallberg Rassy43 Blue Heron.

An email came in this morning from Andy:

“It’s 5:30 am on Thursday. We’re in position 39 12 N, 073 05 W. Grey dawn today, very heavy, low clouds but no rain. The deck is constantly awash. Sailing in 20-25 knots of wind from the ENE, and barely able to make the rhumb line course. The boat is doing great though! We’re reefer down and it’s actually pretty comfortable, especially under the nice hard dodger in the cockpit.”

This blog will be updated on a daily basis!

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June 4th

kyoto portrait bamboo fb

What’s it really like homeschooling kids while traveling? What are the tools and resources that help us with boatschooling? How is technology part of our everyday life, especially as it relates to learning?

These are the questions Jason wants to demystify. But backing up: Jason and his wife Keiko met as teachers, and have a really interesting story. More recently (most of the last two decades) they’ve lived in Asia and spent years in high-pressure jobs in Tokyo. Rewarding in many ways, but frustrating in others. So they quit, and they’ve been traveling since with their two kids.

We met up last year in Penang, Malaysia, thanks to the family on Love Song (who had connected with the traveling Jenkins crew through Families On The Move, a  great resource for nomadic families to find and support each other). …

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June 3rd

Of all the watering holes frequented by sailors, few approach the legendary status of Peter’s Café Sport in Horta, on the island of Faial in the Azores archipelago. Café Sport has given succour to legions of thirsty sailors for many decades. Few transatlantic voyagers break their journey in Horta without knocking back at least a couple of frosty pints in the company of their peers in this cozy cavern of a bar, its wood-panelled walls and ceiling bedecked with flags, burgees and mementoes left behind by generations of bluewater sailors.

I felt something of an imposter when I first walked through the doors—I had arrived in Faial not via sailboat but by plane, having made the journey from Boston not in weeks but in hours, en route to a week of bareboat chartering in the Azores.…

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June 2nd

The paper chart, still the best?

Posted by // June 2, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Written by Ben Ellison on Jun 2, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


It’s true that I don’t navigate on paper charts anymore, but I appreciate them and use their electronic equivalent more than ever. One reason is what I learned last January while preparing for a TrawlerFest seminar called “Soup to Nuts Navigation” (which I’m reformulating right now for the new Cruising Boat Expo here in Essex, CT). The other is having just run up from North Carolina — including the entire New Jersey ICW, which can’t fit much more boat than Gizmo — with just about every chart type and brand in view.…

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June 1st

Ups & Downs

Posted by // June 1, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Episode 105 is an essay in which Andy describes the ups and downs of starting a sailing business. Financially and emotionally it’s been a roller coaster ride since buying Isbjorn. Andy talks about that process and how far he and Mia have come since buying the Swan 48 in February.

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