First Shower

15 Nov

In recording our data, I noticed that the hydrogenerators are starting to pull their weight, and also that there were not so many pedestal revolutions as previous days, and it might look as though the last 24 hours were easy – not so! There was a lot of work on the foredeck, both with the winch which doesn’t have a counter, but also simply in the dragging around of big sails and wrestling with them continually.

It is unclear whether in our conditions of light reaching we should use the masthead gennaker, a gigantic sail, but one that also pulls ...

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169: Ben Doerr

15 Nov



Ben Doerr is living the dream in the Pacific Northwest. A thirty-something husband, father & sailor, Ben didn’t wait until retirement to chase his dreams. He recently refit a classic John Alden-designed Pearson Countess ketch, and sails her out of Bainbridge Island, off the coast near Seattle, running day-trips and longer adventure charters along that beautiful coastline via his business Sail Bainbridge. Ben & I hit it off immediately, and chatted at length about his sailing career, life as a dad, his ‘real’ career as a musician, building and running a sailing business, & lots more.


Show Notes

 

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West of the Cape Verde Islands

14 Nov

The good news today is that last night was quite stable, and I was able to add to my sleep. I had re-hoisted the mainsail from reef 2 to reef 1 (320 revolutions on the pedestal winch) at midnight, and the boat steered well and the wind stayed from the same direction and relatively same intensity through the night.

Also big good news is that our Watt & Sea hydrogenerator, which has elicited so much attention in this first week in trying to repair tiny hydraulic lines, continued by itself in Automatic mode throughout yesterday and last night. This is ...

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High speeds in the Vendée Globe

14 Nov


It has been a full week since the Vendée Globe fleet took off from Les Sables d’ Olonne on the west coast of France and it’s been a week full of high speeds and action. It has also been one of the easier starts to the Vendée Globe which in previous years has seen mass catastrophes and boat failures in the first 48 hours. Instead the skippers and their space-age crafts have rocketed south with brisk northerlies giving way to a Trade Wind flow around the Azores High.

Britain’s Alex Thomson aboard Hugo Boss took an early lead as the
...
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Getting Caught Up on Sleep

13 Nov

We continue to settle in to life at sea. The first couple of days were survival in the squalls, and repairs of batten car and hydrogenerator pump. It finally seems as if the latter is now functioning properly, albeit with a repaired hydraulic line. Having spent some time inside that box, I now know what to keep an eye on, and will check daily, if not more often. We had put a small view glass in one of the floorboards so that we can more easily see the converter status, and whether we might be overheating it, and that was ...

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Stability, Speed & Shaving

12 Nov

Last night the conditions,though strong, were stable, and the boat was flying. Because of confidence in the autopilot, I was able to get several 40 minute naps in, and this morning I felt much better rested than has been the case.

Preparing for one of our media requirements, a live video interview at noon, I took the drastic step of shaving. At sea, shaving is very painful, and it took almost 45 minutes. Alas, it turned into a radio interview. But that is ok as my face feels better now!

Just before that we had an incident where, with a ...

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2016 VENDEE GLOBE: And Away They Go!

12 Nov

Race start

I’m back in the States now, having endured the indignity of the presidential election results while in France, and finally have a moment to drop a word or two about the actual start of the Vendée Globe. This was almost a week ago now, and I’m still sort of buzzing from the experience. There really is nothing that compares to this in the sport of sailing.

As I mentioned, the day before the start access to the main dock is much more restricted, and it was possible for me to loiter a bit and inspect the boats in a ...

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2016 VENDEE GLOBE: And Away They Go!

12 Nov

Race start

I’m back in the States now, having endured the indignity of the presidential election results while in France, and finally have a moment to drop a word or two about the actual start of the Vendée Globe. This was almost a week ago now, and I’m still sort of buzzing from the experience. There really is nothing that compares to this in the sport of sailing.

As I mentioned, the day before the start access to the main dock is much more restricted, and it was possible for me to loiter a bit and inspect the boats in a ...

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Changing Winds Aboard Isbjorn!

12 Nov

Good morning everyone!

It’s been a loud night onboard Isbjorn, literally! Yesterday afternoon the wind got lighter and lighter but enough wind to keep sailing. As it got even lighter the only course we could hold and also keep the sails full was around 220T – we tried for about an hour. Sailing in the wrong direction is at least better than motoring. But around 5 pm the wind was just about non existent and we gave up and turned on the engine. Unfortunately our “sunset dinner on the balcony” had to be in company of the engine…

Life is ...

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Extra: Hydrogenerator

12 Nov
 Hydrogenerator Pumpbox

Hydrogenerator Pumpbox

I’ve been working quite a bit the first week on our hydrogenerator, so thought I’d include a picture and more of an explanation of the issue and my fix.

The pump box of the hydrogenerator senses pressure on the propeller blades by the water rushing past and spinning it, and can automatically change the pitch of the blades for maximum ampere output, but also to protect the converter (AC to DC) from over amping and over heating.

The pitch is controlled by hydraulic system, and the tiny blue tubes carry hydraulic oil. In the upper left is the ...

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