Approaching Madeira

11 Nov

Yesterday I spent considerable time working on photos and videos to send in, including a 360 degree video which is very interesting as you can scroll around and decide where you would like to focus, rather than having the photographer decide that for you. Yet the technology is complicated, and the processes to get these ashore through the satellites leaves me with amazement that it actually works.

Of course in that time, we also had to sail the boat. And as we approached Madeira (Portuguese island), we had to decide a route, as we were also getting toward the Northeast ...

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Contemplating Cavitation

10 Nov

After yesterday’s 3 hour battle with the tiny hydraulic tubing within the hydrogenerator pump box, and getting stabilized within the high pressure system with full mainsail and genoa, I decided to allow multiple naps through the night, with the Presto Digital Timer set at an expanded 30 minutes, rather than the 20 minutes I’d set up until now. You can see the extra minutes within the table, nearly 6 hours of 30 minute naps!

After the hydrogenerator fix, I ran it in manual mode through the night and it worked fine until this morning when I got the rough sound ...

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An emotional day offshore for Andy.

10 Nov

0500. Wind SW at 8-12 knots, and Isbjorn is going smooth on a close reach at 7.5 knots. This is the first time the wind has been forward of the beam since leaving Hampton Roads!

We’re expecting a frontal passage sometime today and have rehearsed the plan. Reef down early before the wind builds too much, then try not to get caught off guard during the windshift and follow the breeze around to the NW. Then setup the downwind rig again (we’ve gotten remarkably good at setting & stowing the pole by now), and we’ll be off on our way ...

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Heading Toward the Azores

9 Nov

Through the night we went down to the first reef and solent jib, from the full mainsail and genoa, and then to the staysail when we had steady winds of 25 knots. Getting off the coast of Portugal, away from the Traffic Separation Zone at Cape Finisterre,and the myriad ships, and getting away from usual fishing areas, allowed some space on the open ocean, and the chance to get several 30 minute naps in.

We will have this steady and strong wind for a while, and then it will gradually lighten as we head toward the Azores high pressure system....

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Our morning aboard Isbjorn began with this message from Rally Control.

9 Nov

“Hello. Time is 0345AST.  I am sure that aside from the weather the hot topic onboard in the past couple of days has been about the presidential election.  We might not be the first to inform you, as your friends and family may have notified you already, but the next President of the United States is:

Donald Trump

Something to discuss on your night watch!
(Clinton called Trump to concede the election when she had 210 and he had 248 in the race to 270)

Regards & safe sailing,
Rally Control”

I’d had a similar message from my sister, with ...

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Passage planning: the float plan

9 Nov

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Writing a float plan is a simple thing to do, may be critical in the event of an emergency, and is all too easily set aside and left undone in the stack of tasks that precede going offshore. Provisioning. Checking the weather. Vessel integrity checks. Checking the weather again.

What and whydsc_5742

The bare minimum of a float plan is providing someone you know with basic information about your vessel, passengers, destination, timeline for departure and return, and contact information. That’s it. The USCG doesn’t take float plans; this is for someone you know and trust. If you don’t arrive ...

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If you want to sail away, free FastSeas weather routing can help

9 Nov

Written by Ben Ellison on Nov 9, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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If you’re looking for a real getaway this morning, or even just an online distraction, FastSeas.com can help. It’s also a testament to how much goodness a smart boater/coder can create for his or her fellow mariners these days. And while FastSeas is primarily an online weather routing service for sailors embarking on ocean passages, it’s easy and flexible enough that even a coastal power cruiser can benefit…

FastSeas_routing_includes_ocean_currents_cPanbo.jpgYou could say that FastSeas.com is just a website, but in fact when you click that Calculate Route ...

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168: Recycled: Matt Rutherford circa 2011

8 Nov



We’re trying something new today. Or rather, something old. This week’s show is a rerun. A few episodes ago I hinted at publishing new episodes three times per month. I decided recently to fill that extra week with an old show, the idea being that some of our new listeners may not yet have ‘binged’ through the back catalog and caught up! So I’m going to recycle some of my old favorites and some of the ‘classics’, record a new intro, put them in the ‘On the Wind’ format and publish them in the ‘off’ weeks. So in effect, we’re ...

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Cape Finisterre

8 Nov

After yesterday’s replacement of a batten car on the main mast track, we got back going through the late afternoon and evening, but sailed with conservative sail selection simply because of not wanting to make a mistake while so tired. Mostly due to the time taken in the replacement, when the mainsail was up but was not pulling at all, our friend Nando Fa has sailed off and Roman Attanasio as well. Last night I did force some naps, all very short with the kitchen timer set at 20 minutes, and mostly I’d get up to look around before that ...

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On the other side: Thoughts on not sailing south.

8 Nov

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This fall could not be anymore juxtaposed to the previous one. Outwardly nothing seems to differ – it’s getting cold, the days are growing short, there are Christmas decorations for sale in mid October.However this year we’re winding down our nautical endeavors rather than spinning them up. We landed a job with World Cruising Club running the 2016 ARC Bahamas Rally. It’s a budding fleet of 7 boats that are heading towards Marsh Harbour, Bahamas. We’ve enjoyed getting to know the crews and helping them prepare for what they will find once they arrive down island. It’s been a ...

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