Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 20, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
Full disclosure: a major motivation for this entry is to help sell my old friend Joe McCarty’s boat by describing how well he rebuilt it, particularly in terms of reliable systems. The Furly B is being brokered by Robinhood Marine, where Joe was general manager for 20 years, and I had a good look at her just before the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show opened last Friday. The visit confirmed what I pretty much already knew; Joe bought an excellent old boat and he made her better than new.…Read More
After the excitement of having reached the Eastern Arctic, we were rewarded by a quiet night at anchor. But the euphoria was soon dampened by the prospect of the 1200 miles long passage to Nuuk, the capital of Greenland. As I knew from last year, we could expect both strong winds and flat calms in the area ahead of us.
In due course we had both.
Before we left Fort Ross, we went ashore to explore this remote location, once a trading station of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Two of the original cabins have survived and are still in good order.…Read More
During our “adult cruise” (i.e., sans offspring) last summer, Clare and I harbored wild ambitions of ascending the Damariscotta River, but suffered a lack of breeze (and an intolerance of motoring) so settled instead for a perambulation about Knubble Bay and the lower reaches of the Sheepscot River. This summer, having once more disposed of children, I was determined to try again, and we were fortunately favored with some brisk wind early on.
This was last Tuesday. The cruise actually began the day before, when we departed Portland late Monday afternoon, at which point our sole goal was to a) get as far east as possible in the few hours we had; and b) spend the night somewhere not too far north, so as to get back in open water as quickly as possible the following day.…Read More
(Hamble, England)- Jumping into the fray and jumble of boats participating in the AVEVA September Regatta were a half-dozen J/111s competing for their 2015 UK National Championship. After the two-day affair in rather sparkling weather conditions, it was Tony & Sally Mack’s McFLY that took home the title of J/111 National Champion for the 2015 season. Behind them it was an absolute dust-up for the balance of the podium, indeed the top five positions overall.
There was quite the tussle among the ever-competitive J/111 fleet, with three different winners from three races on the Saturday. In the first race, McFLY won, followed by Stu Sawyer’s BLACK DOG in 2nd and Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s’ JOURNEYMAKER II in 3rd. The second race was Martin Dent’s JELVIS win followed by Sawyer’s second 2nd of the day and McFLY in 3rd. For the third race, Jones & Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II won the final race of the day, followed by Chris Body & Andrew Christie’s ICARUS in 2nd and McFLY collecting another third. As a result, five of the teams had a podium finish in three races! McFLY led with a 1-3-3 on 7 pts, followed by BLACK DOG in 2nd with a 2-2-5 for 9 pts and sitting tied on 3rd place at 10 pts each were JOURNEYMAKER II and ICARUS.…Read More
I love sharing our experiences sailing across the Indian Ocean. Along the way from Malaysia to South Africa, we’re hanging out with some other really terrific bloggers. I want to give a shoutout to a number of them for additional views into the places we’ve been visiting: they are a mix of thoughtful perspectives, good writing, lush photographs, cool videos, or just plain fun.
Towards the end of our month in Chagos, we met the crew of Shakespeare. The four French women on this speedy 47’ sloop boat are doing a seven month loop of the Indian Ocean from their home on Reunion.…Read More
Episode 116 is one of the best yet! Yan Miles, captain of the tall ship ‘Pride of Baltimore II’ is full of stories, and boy can he tell them! Yan and Andy spoke from the captain’s quarters onboard the ‘Pride’ itself, docked in Annapolis at City Dock. He has been involved with the ‘Pride’ since it’s inception in the 1980s. Yan tells the story of how he got involved in sailing, worked his way up in the private and classic yachting scene, the story of the ‘Pride’s’ inception, the first ‘Pride’s’ tragic sinking, the building of the second ‘Pride’ and what it’s like barreling down the Bay during the Schooner Race and overtaking the schooner Woodwind, which Andy was aboard!…Read More
In the last two days I have received many messages of congratulations for Aventura and her crew’s successful voyage. I want to thank all of you who have written, as well as those who have accompanied me on this exciting adventure.
As the sun set last night at 2143 local time we still had some scattered ice about. But it was all gone by the time it rose again at 0145 this morning. The nights are still short here at 74 degrees north but they start getting longer and darker as we make our way south.…Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 17, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
I hesitate to write about a marine technology that isn’t an actual product yet, especially when I don’t understand it! However, there may be a story here worth telling. At the end of his career, a very experienced engineer came up with what he believes to be a superior autopilot technology, but it will never become available to boaters unless someone new carries the project forward…
I first heard about Pilot Line a few years ago when Will Pease and his family hired a guy quite experienced in the current marine electronics industry to market Pease’s 2012 patent.…Read More
Unlike last year when one week out I really had no idea what my two week summer vacation was going to look like, this year I got on the ball early and made a firm commitment to once again sail Chase n’ Grace, a Jeanneau 53 from Annapolis to New England for her owner, Glenn Winters of Riverside Yacht Sales in New Jersey. Initially, this would be an all boys trip consisting of my 13 year old son Will, 9 year old son Graham, my friend Matt Reed and his 10 year old son Mitch. Normally a crew like this might be headed for an adventure more conservative like an overnight camping trip but we were looking for something bolder and thankfully the mothers on both sides had confidence in Matt’s and my abilities to let us go so here we were underway.…Read More
Finally (FINALLY) we can leave: all the packages we’ve been waiting for are on board, after 18 bus rides and enough face time to be on a first-name basis with clerks in the post office, officials in the Seychelles Revenue Commission, EVEN a bus driver (total count: 18 bus rides). Clearance could have been done in ~24 hours, but took three days… because, like receiving packages, working with officialdom on formalities was an extended reminder of the importance of patience as painfully layered bureaucracy and island time combined to make every step take significantly longer than necessary.
I’m not complaining. OK, not THAT much.…Read More
Exactly one year ago, on 15 August 2014, I was forced to take the painful decision to abandon my attempt to complete a transit of the Northwest Passage, and turn around. The central section of the Northwest Passage is accessible by one of two gateways: Peel Sound and Bellot Strait.
This time last year both were still blocked by ice and although one or the other may have opened later in the season, the prospect of being forced to spend the winter in the Arctic convinced me to give up… and hope that I would be luckier next time.…Read More