Sailfeed
July 15th

Day of Departure from Lunenburg

Posted by // July 15, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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My dad decided to join us at the last minute. As I write, I’m back, yet again, at the Sweet Indulgence Cafe in Lunenburg, waiting for him to arrive by taxi from the airport. Isbjörn is on anchor in the harbor, with Mia and Rachel aboard just chilling out. Matt is somewhere in town doing a last-minute wander.

Because we’ve been here since Friday night, it feels like were behind schedule in leaving, but in reality, the goal was always to leave by noon on July 15 (today), so it’s only a few hours. The boat is ready to go – we filled up on water and re-provisioned yesterday – so once we collect my dad, we’ll weigh anchor and be on our way.…

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July 14th

Tropical Storm Claudette off Nova Scotia

Posted by // July 14, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

We’re just hours from departing Lunenburg now for the return passage to Annapolis, and Tropical Storm Claudette is making me re-think our departure plans. Matt, one of our crew, went to the Fisheries Museum this morning, and it’s all the tour guide was talking about. I had seen a small depression on the GRIBS yesterday, but apparently sometime this morning it officially got a name.

Andy & John Harries in Lunenburg.

Andy & John Harries in Lunenburg.

I met Derek Hatfield on the dock this morning, the only Canadian to complete the Vendee Globe aboard his ‘Spirit of Canada’ Open 60. Mia and I first met him in Toronto, so it was nice to chat with him again here in ‘real life’ so to speak.…

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July 13th

Miles Poor

Posted by // July 13, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Episode #111 is Miles Poor. Miles and his wife Anne run MRP Refits, both here in Annapolis and at their winter base in Nanny Cay, BVI. MRP specializes in project management on pretty fancy sailboats. Miles’ main career was as a facial surgeon. We sat down on Miles’ Tayana 55 in Annapolis, a boat he uses for MRP as his ‘showroom’ and discussed his very interesting history – he was born in Stockholm and went  to boarding school in Switzerland, learning to sail on Lake Geneva – and then delve into some ocean sailing stuff. …

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July 13th

Man Abandons Burning Boat to Save His Dog

Posted by // July 13, 2015 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

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This is the saddest, but most heartwarming, sailing story of the year. Something tells me the sailing community is going to rally around this salty hero (but in the mean time we should respect his wishes and save the questions and Monday morning quarterbacking for later, if ever). It’s all over the news, but here it is in Mr. Kanafoski’s own words, from his public Facebook page:

As im sure you all know by now my boat and everything i owned was on there. i All my tools, clothes, identifications, green cards everything was lost. I left Apalachicola on Wednesday afternoon heading to tampa to pick up my son from the airport on sunday for 6 weeks of sailing fishing and diving.…

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July 13th

Too soon to leave Lunenburg!

Posted by // July 13, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

I’m still sitting in the Sweet Indulgence Cafe in Lunenburg, and just met Rachel, one of our new crew for the next leg. Feels weird to have such a quick turnaround, but that’s the nature of it I guess!

We got diesel this morning, just downloaded the weather, did laundry and still need to go grocery shopping, then we’re off again on Wednesday! Thanks to Rachel bringing along the optimizer for the sat phone, we will have at-sea email and blogs, so we’ll be posting in real-time, rather than that 5,800 word brain dump I just got finished now about the leg up here.…

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July 13th

Of course one of the greatest things about ocean voyaging is exploring your landfall! My dad and I used to wonder, especially after particularly challenging passages, if we did it for the sailing, or did it for the payoff at the other end. I’m still not sure there is a clear answer to that. It’s obvious a bit of both, and the challenge of getting to that far-off land under your own effort over such a comparatively long time is what makes it so cool, and so unique in our modern time. The average air traveler will never have any concept of how large the world actually is.…

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July 13th

The First Voyage of Isbjörn: Arrival in Canada!

Posted by // July 13, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

I love sailing into a harbor, especially at night. Moitessier once wrote that he prefers sailing into a harbor at night because nobody is watching, and you don’t have to worry about folks thinking you’re showing off. Sometimes you are, of course, but to me, it’s more about the joy and challenge of coming in under sail than anything else.

Alas, it was a motorboat ride for the last 30 miles or so, the water so flat the stars reflected in it. One cool side effect of this was the incredible phosphorescence in the water – the wavelets coming off the bow were glowing brighter than I’d ever remembered seeing, the water just alight with the little sparks of plankton.…

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July 13th

The First Voyage of Isbjörn: Land Ho!

Posted by // July 13, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Time Travel

Sailing from the hot & humid Chesapeake northeast past New England & on towards Canada has been exceptionally exciting in terms of the changing weather and the cooling water temps. We’re at sea now for almost five days. You could fly the route in a few hours, but experiencing the gradual change in climate as we cruise along at a jogging pace is what truly makes ocean voyaging a special thing. It really IS a long way from home when you realize how much the weather’s changed and watch it do so gradually. We’re not in Kansas anymore.

And the fog!…

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July 13th

The First Voyage of Isbjörn: Offshore (Eventually)

Posted by // July 13, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

After the rescue, we continued motor boating for nearly the next 24 hours. Unlike the previous week on the DelMarVa rally, where we scooted out the Canal and down the Bay at a cool 8 knots, riding a fair tide the whole way, we bucked the tide this time, making only 4-4.5 knots under power nearly all the way to Cape May. When we did finally get within site of the ocean itself, the wind was on the nose and light.

We started tacking anyway, taking advantage of the calm seas to teach the gang how to sail by the telltales efficiently, and keep the boat moving to windward.…

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July 13th

The First Voyage of Isbjörn: A Rescue on the Chesapeake

Posted by // July 13, 2015 // COMMENT (2 Comments)

It was a mixed blessing that the wind was non-existent on that Sunday motoring up the Chesapeake. We still had myriad things to attend to onboard – lashing the dinghy down on the foredeck, putting the finishing touches on some preventer lines and spinnaker sheets, and other things, so the calm weather allowed for all that to get done.

A few miles north of the Bay Bridge, just south of Fairlee Creek, we heard a Mayday call on the VHF. I didn’t get all of it on the first listen, but when they announced their position, it was apparent with a quick glance on the GPS that we were only a mile north.…

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