Are we in Florida yet?

21 Dec

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Apologies to those I’m about to offend, but the ICW is boring as ___. Flashes of pretty, the odd dolphin, aren’t enough of a tradeoff for the monotony of motoring day after day along narrow channel. If the weather was fine, it might cross into the realm of pleasurable for a short stretch, but in conditions we’ve had these miles are just something to get over with. To answer the question in the title: no, not in Florida yet! But Charleston for Christmas, along Totem’s slow path south down the ICW, is going to be great.

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So foggy we couldn’t

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Encounter with Enda

20 Dec

Yesterday’s rush with the big fractional gennaker was amazing. We hit 27.5 knots of boat speed on 29 knots of wind. For me, I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Those speeds may be natural for Armel Le Cléac’h or Alex Thomson at the front of the fleet, but a lot less so for me. So before dark, I rolled up that sail and rolled out the smaller staysail, at about 25% of the area. We kept the 2 reefs in the mainsail. The forecast was for the wind to go to 30 through the night.

We proved ...

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173: Bob Shepton

20 Dec



#173. The Reverend Bob Shepton, now 81, got his start shortly after WWII as a climbing instructor in the British Armed Forces, where he used the outdoors to teach leadership & scripture. He didn’t start sailing until much later in life, but got real serious about it real quickly. I sat down with him at the Southampton Boat Show to talk religion, spirituality, his early days as a climber, losing his boat during an Arctic winter, his 15 Atlantic crossings, meeting the Wild Bunch, and the story behind the film series ‘Vertical Sailing Greenland.’

The music in this ...

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Meanwhile out on the open ocean

19 Dec
A record for Sodebo?
While many of us shop, wrap and click on Amazon this holiday season, there are others to whom Christmas must be the furtherest thing from their minds. I am talking about those sailors shredding the planet either in the Vendée Globe or on some record attempt, those sailors that will be out on the open ocean this Christmas. There is one sailor, however, that might just be getting the biggest Christmas present ever and I am talking about Thomas Coville aboard Sodebo who is close to closing the loop on his solo, non-stop circumnavigation record attempt.
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Video Connections

19 Dec

Before the night, it was grey, grey, grey all day as we were in between then depressions. Then, as in the lyrics of Camelot – ‘for one brief shining moment’ – we had sunshine and the temperature shot up to 18 centigrade. I jumped at the chance to have a shower and shampoo in the cockpit, since it’s been 2 or 3 or 4 weeks since my last one somewhere off Brazil! I thought it would be interesting to see part of the process, so I made a little video of it.

Get seawater from our sink faucet (it’s too ...

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In Between Depressions

18 Dec

Last night we had a high speed power sail, still it seemed tacked onto the tail end of the previous storm. 25-30 knots of wind, 2 reefs in the mainsail, plus solent (J2), and with 25 knots of wind, we might surge to 22/23/24/25 knots of boat speed, simply thundering along, bouncing off waves, burying the bow on rare occasions, and logging miles.

There was nothing to do on deck, so I slept, with a batch of solid naps at the chart table. I had all sorts of clothes on – and then I would get into the 20 degree ...

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Watching the Barograph

17 Dec

Last night I watched the barograph, tenth of millibar by tenth of millibar rise, but incredibly slowly because essentially we were going at the same speed as the storm, and couldn’t slow down and let it go away. But finally, after many hours, I fell asleep for a nap, and when I woke up, there was a similar crashing of the chaotic sea state, but less howling of the wind, and a look at the data log of windspeed for that hour or so that I was asleep showed that the speed had come down to 25 knots.

Bohlken Baro

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Introducing “In-The-Way 1” & “In-The-Way 2”

16 Dec

Satori has two new warm blooded pets on board for the winter. After several stubbed toes and near falls, accompanied by several four letter words I wont mention here, they we’re unceremoniously dumbed “In-The-Way One” and “In-The-Way Two”. Then we drew cartoon eyes on them and took pictures in a fit of joy and enthusiasm. Now they adorn the nooks and crannies of the boat and are a bit easier to deal with due to their more life-like qualities. These two electric radiator heaters, combined with our Dickinson “Alaska” model diesel pot-heater, have done an admirable job in keeping the ...

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ASIAN MISFORTUNES: Cruisers Killed, Kidnapped & Gone Missing in Malaysia and the Philippines

16 Dec

Atlantis on beach

This is actually about two different incidents that recently occurred, and I shall defy expectations and tell the story with the happy ending first. This concerning a veteran Australian cruiser, David Lenton, age 74, who was reported missing by Malaysian authorities and was believed to have drowned after his yacht, Atlantis, was reportedly “found adrift and abandoned” in Malaysian waters, off the town of Miri on the island of Borneo, this past Sunday morning. Appearing with the news snippet announcing this was the photo above, in which the yacht in question is notably unadrift, and is instead aground on ...

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A Storm Primer

16 Dec

A primer about the storm we’re currently in, in the Indian Ocean. How did choosing to go to the south turn out?

 

 

 

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