Happy 10 Years of Sailing!

3 Jan

Sailing Arcturus across the Atlantic, first time Andy and I sailed double-handed. for more than just a few days.

Sailing Arcturus across the Atlantic, first time Andy and I sailed double-handed. for more than just a few days.


Sailing in New Zealand 10 years ago!

Sailing in New Zealand 10 years ago!

Today is kind of a big day in my life as a ‘sailor’, although I am very far away from the sailing scene at the moment.

Ten years ago, I spent some time in New Zealand with my best friend Johanna, driving our new-to-us backpacker car – a Nissan Bluebird – exploring the beauty of New Zealand, camping, hiking, meeting lots of fun people and truly having the time of our life.

A few days ...

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Gray, Gray, Gray

3 Jan

Today we are trying to get to the east enough to be spared the next depression, or at least the worst of the next depression. But we have light winds and are in the southern part of a small pressure system.

Although the boat specifications call for the downwind gennaker, or fractional gennaker, we decided to go for the genoa, which is a primarily an upwind sail, but can be used downwind also, and thus has more versatility. The forecasts suggest we will have downwind (now) and upwind later, and I am frankly too tired to do two of those ...

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Electrical Fire! (and some lessons learned about starters)

3 Jan

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Voice Mail: “Hi Clark, it’s (name withheld). I was out sailing today with my daughter and we had an electrical fire on the new starter you installed. Because of the fire we lost the engine and hit the south tower on the Golden Gate Bridge, called the Coast Guard, and had to be towed back to our berth. When I opened the engine compartment there were six inch flames rising from the starter, but I was able to blow them out. I don’t know where that leaves us, but I’d sure like to speak with you.”

Not what a marine ...

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174: Nigel Calder

3 Jan



Nigel Calder is universally recognized as the guru of yacht systems. His hardcover tomes grace the bookshelves of yachts the world over. On Isbjorn, his are some of my most referenced books. But while many of you will know Nigel for his writing, I’d bet that few know his background. I didn’t. He came aboard Isbjorn during the Annapolis Sailboat Show last October and told me his backstory, which included living in a commune in the UK, years working on oil rigs in the Gulf, building pipe bombs in his parents back yard and much, much more. 


Show Notes:

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Catching Our Breath

2 Jan

It’s January 2nd, 2200 GMT, and our position is 45 degrees south, and 162 degrees west. We’ve had a difficult last 24 hours with the storm and the front approaching, getting through the front, very challenging, made some maneuvers that didn’t go quite as planned, but we have come out the other side and are heading north, to get a little more north before the next depression comes along. So we’re not going along with the depression to the east, yet, but in about 3 or 4 hours we’ll turn, this way we’ll have the opportunity to get ...

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From Cape Town to Connecticut: Totem’s 2016

2 Jan

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Looking back on the milestones, adventures, and misadventures of 2016: what a year it was! Jamie’s a database guy: thanks to him we have some serious metrics and some silly ones. We closed out with 3,057 days as cruisers, one of our biggest mileage years yet, and a host of unforgettable experiences.

Logbook stats

14 – countries/territories visited in 2016: South Africa; Namibia; British Overseas Territories of St Helena, Ascension, Montserrat, and Bermuda; Barbados; Dominica; overseas departments of France: Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Saint Martin; territories of the Netherlands, Saint Eustatius and Sint Maartin; USA

11,027 – miles in 2016 (9,582 ...

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In the Gale

1 Jan

We are in the gale. We have 35-40 knots of wind now and it looks as though this will last for another 18 hours. Then we get to the center of the storm, and then the same, about 24 hours of storm from the south. Depressions rotate clockwise here in the Southern Hemisphere, thus the two directions on opposite sides of the storm.

We have 3 reefs in the mainsail and the storm jib up. We are trying to be very conservative to save the staysail that was laboring in the beginning of the storm with a higher wind angle. ...

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Crossing the International Date Line

31 Dec

A big event happened today – crossing the International Date Line, from East Longitude, to West Longitude. We are opposite on the Planet from Greenwich, UK, where the Prime Meridian is. Think of it, we are upside down from them – or – they are upside down from us. Especially since we are at almost the exact Latitude also. And for that, we passed in the night the Antipodes Islands, named for that fact of being opposite to Greenwich, UK.

 

Now, we start counting down longitude, toward Cape Horn, toward France, although at the moment, both seem very far ...

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Cartography lessons learned searching for the best charts of Cuba

30 Dec

Written by Ben Ellison on Dec 30, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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Pardon my photography, but the point is that many detailed, up-to-date, and well-crafted official paper charts of Cuba do exist. Unfortunately, they’re not easy to own and the good work of the Cuban hydrographic service is also not yet fully available in any electronic form. In fact, many “current” electronic Cuba charts are based on shockingly old data with substantial chunks of critical cruising detail missing. But visiting boaters do have at least one good current chart choice, GeoCuba is moving into the modern world, and ...

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And So We Go North

30 Dec

As the smaller low changed the wind direction on us, we gybed northeast. Not only did we have to do that for that low, but there are two depressions coming from New Zealand in the next week, and after much study, we decided to try to get north far enough to minimize the very strong winds forecast.

We’ve sailed northeast now and the wind is shifting again, so we’ve gybed back, to try to get to stronger winds to help us. We sailed past the Antipodes Islands, opposite Greenwich on the planet, and were heading for the Bounty Islands, but ...

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