Sailfeed
June 28th

Living differently in Salomon Atoll

Posted by // June 28, 2015 // COMMENT (9 Comments)

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No question about it, cruisers live differently, especially when we’re off the grid for an extended time…possibly under a rainbow. But my tongue in cheek post about just HOW differently lacked photos, coming as it did from our sat phone. Here’s a peek into those differences, as we lived them on Chagos during the last month.

Groceries

It’s exciting when the fisher folk bring home some serious bacon! Because fuel is precious when there’s no option to buy more, we usually doubled (or tripled) up with other cruisers on an expedition. Except that it’s fish, and sometimes reminds you how much you miss bacon.…

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June 26th

Shaft seal

I have previously mentioned the problem I was having over the fall and winter with my engine being badly out of alignment. How I’d just run the engine anyway and eventually the prop shaft would whip it right back in line, and how this seemed to culminate in a shaft-seal leak that plagued me on the last leg of Lunacy‘s journey home from the W’Indies leaving Provincetown bound for Portland.

Given the impressive amount of water spraying all over the place as we left P-town, all of it spewing forth right from the mechanical face of the seal itself, I reckoned there was a good chance the whole unit would need replacing once I delivered the boat to the tender mercies of Maine Yacht Center.…

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June 25th

SOTDMA Class B AIS, the “new” middle way?

Posted by // June 25, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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Written by Ben Ellison on Jun 25, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

SRT_5W_SOTDMA_AIS_Class_B_on_way_aPanbo.jpgIt may be a while before we see the first 5 Watt SOTDMA Class B AIS transceiver actually available for sale, but it certainly is interesting to see a prototype trumpeted in SRT’s Summer 2015 Pulse Newsletter (available here). Given SRT’s main role as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) we may first see this “new” AIS technology — perhaps with even more features — branded as Simrad, Raymarine, True Heading, Digital Yacht, Comar etc. (and/or marketed under SRT’s own Em-Trak label). Or maybe Furuno, AMEC, Vesper or another of the independent AIS manufacturers will be first out with SOTDMA Class B?…

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June 25th

Highlights from 2,500 days of cruising

Posted by // June 25, 2015 // COMMENT (7 Comments)

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Today marks the 2,500th day since we sailed Totem out of Puget Sound; soon we’ll start our eighth year as cruisers. It still feels amazing, and I still pinch myself to make sure it’s not a dream. There are plenty of days that aren’t all sunshine or rainbows (like much of this last passage, which was a wet, boisterous, uncomfortable ride) but never one where I don’t feel grateful that our family can follow this path.

Jamie rounded up a bunch of statistics in honor of cracking this big round number in our cruising journey. Most of them are from a database program he’s been building as a kind of logbook on aquatic steroids, but a lot of this came from laughing and sifting through memories.…

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June 24th


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Anchored at the east end of Salomon atoll, Totem floats in clear water that is swimming-pool turquoise, her hull shadow sharply outlined on the sand below. On shore, coconuts sprout where they wash up with the tide, building a picket fence of young palm trees along the high water line.  It’s been nearly five decades since humans were here in enough force to bend the environment to their will, and in the interim a glorious tangle of overgrown mangrove trees and casuarinas have grown, coconut palms leaning out over white sand beaches.

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Birdlife International designated Chagos as an “Important Bird Area” – certainly important to the many seabirds with colonies in the islands.…

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June 24th

A Cup Half Empty

Posted by // June 24, 2015 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

Racing

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The 34th America’s Cup went down in history as possibly the most exciting match race series ever at this level; it was the best possible advertisement for multihull sailing, showcasing its speed, grace and technical sophistication as never before.
Perhaps, like me, you thought a whole new chapter of Cup racing would follow on, a reprise of that stirring epic with big foiling cats as the stars and the iconic expanse of San Francisco Bay as the stage upon which another great sailing drama would be played out. But of course, this is the Cup, so nothing plays out according to logic or even expectation.…

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June 24th

A Sporting New Timepiece

Posted by // June 24, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Gear & Gadgets

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Bremont’s new special-edition Oracle II, Oracle I, AC I and AC II watches

British-based watch manufacturer Bremont, the oldest British timing partner of the America’s Cup, whose relationship dates back to their involvement with the 1851 race, has announced they will be releasing a new line of watches in conjunction with the 35th America’s Cup. “Bremont is incredibly proud to be involved in such a historical event,” said Bremont Co-Found Giles English. “The America’s Cup is possibly the only team extreme sport out there; these boats are built using pioneering technology, which makes the race more exhilarating to watch with each Cup.…

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June 24th

To the Arctic!

Posted by // June 24, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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They say the hardest part of winning a race is getting to the start line.  The only thing we are racing is the melting pack ice but damn it was difficult to get this expedition off the ground.  For starters we have an older steel boat, abused by previous owners, rotten, rusty, and in need of some serious attention. The vessel’s condition was unavoidable as I was broke when I bought her.

I had just returned from my circumnavigation of the Americas and starting an ocean research organization was my first priority.  The paperwork involved with becoming a 501 c 3 (a non-profit) was an expedition in bureaucracy, my least favorite type of expedition.…

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June 23rd

No Stick in the Mud

Posted by // June 23, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Gear & Gadgets

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For those sailors with a shallow enough draft to get close to the shore, finding a good spot to tie up is a great addition to peace of mind when you want to tie up the boat and enjoy a day at the beach or a hike through the woods. But what if you can’t find a good spot on land to tie the boat to, and your anchor isn’t sufficient enough for holding ground onshore? Enter the Slide Anchor Shore Spoke. This little beauty provides you with a secure place to tie up the boat no matter where you are.…

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June 22nd

Douglas MacDonald

Posted by // June 22, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Episode 108 is a followup to the very popular blog post I wrote last week about our too-close encounter with a Navy ship en route from Bermuda to NYC. Douglas MacDonald, owner of the HR43 we were sailing, comes on the show to discuss what happened from his perspective. He’s very humble about the experience, and wants to provide his insight on how you can avoid this kind of thing yourself. If you haven’t read the article, click here.

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