March 8th

Sayo adrift

Clipper Race officials have today released a much more complete statement describing the discovery of the mummified remains of German solo sailor Manfred Bajorat aboard his vessel Sayo by a crew member of the Clipper Race yacht LMAX Exchange. The statement reads in full:

At 0624 UTC on 31 January, the LMAX Exchange team ceased competition during Race 7, from Airlie Beach, Australia, to Da Nang – Viet Nam, to examine an abandoned yacht (pictured) found drifting in its path (11 38N / 137 46E – 650nM east of Philippines and 470nM west of Guam). One of the crew swam out and boarded the yacht, named Sayo, where the sole occupant was unfortunately found dead, in a state of advanced decomposition.

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March 8th

flying the asymmetric

Halfway to St. Helena at a steady pace, more than 180 miles fall behind Totem on our fifth day at sea. We originally expected to have more than eight days on this passage, but weather like this could make it fly a little faster. Every day is warmer: no question that this is the tropics now. It’s not just the sapphire water, but the change in the cloudscape as little cells work into squalls. Nothing fully forms, but rain spits on Totem a few times.

When the wind goes light, the asymmetric flies for the afternoon, polyester cloth catching the breeze with a swish-pop.…

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March 7th

Sailing the Baltic LIVE

Posted by // March 7, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)


It’s only been a week since our last episode, but when we went bi-weekly, I promised an interview every two weeks. Episode 140 is a live seminar I recorded from Toronto on Sailing the Baltic. Not an interview, of course, so sort of a bonus episode this week. I highly recommend going to to follow along with the slides from this talk. You’ll also find a load of show notes and links that will be useful if you ever plan to sail in the Baltic yourself. 

In this episode, Mia and I discuss sailing in the Baltic from our own perspective.…

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March 7th



Here’s what it cost two American 28 year olds to cruise in February:

This time we managed to spend all but $250 of our budget in by the 4th of February. I blame my metabolism and our small battery bank. (battery charging). It was fun to do our first major resupply since the trip had started. As I write this we just refilled with diesel again in Jamaica for $2.50 a gallon! Pretty awesome. The categories are divided as usual. Cuban tourist currency (CUC) is roughly equal to the dollar, we used Euros to avoid the fee to change American Dollars, which is 10%.…

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March 5th

oil rig oil tender sailboat

The steady thrum of Totem’s Yanmar beat the departure march from Walvis Bay. Heading out under foggy skies, there’s precious little wind to tackle 1200 nautical miles and change to St Helena. That’s fine: much as we’d rather sail, this gets the battery bank fully charged, and the watermaker will run for hours; things we need to do anyway.

When the breeze does fill in, it starts well forward of the beam. Totem charges upwind in 18-20 apparent, but reasonable seas keep conditions fine on board. Pointing well above the rhumb line for a more comfortable sail, by nightfall the breeze comes back and Totem settles into a comfortable beam reach in gentle swells.

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March 4th

Cuba, Part II

Posted by // March 4, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Cruising, ,


Having checked-in successfully, we spent the next few days exploring Santiago, getting some work on the boat done that I had been putting off till we were on the dock and enjoying the lower prices of food and drink. Coming from the Bahamas, even $1 beers are cheap! We saw the sights: Castillo Del Morro, Cayo Granma, shopped in the market, ate in a Paladar and took a taxi ride in a 1951 Chevy. It’s true what they say about Santiago, you can take it as a city of hustlers or a city full of culture and life. Once you figure out that you’re pretty much always getting hustled one way or another and you accept it, you can go on enjoying the city.

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March 4th

MUMMIFIED SAILOR: More Facts = Bigger Mystery

Posted by // March 4, 2016 // COMMENT (2 Comments)

Bajorat dad

OK, this is officially getting extremely weird. After conducting an autopsy on the mummified remains of Manfred Bajorat, the German singlehander found by fishermen this past weekend, Philippine authorities have announced that Bajorat died of an acute myocardial infarction (i.e., a heart attack) more or less seven days before his body was recovered. Meanwhile, the folks running the current round-the-world Clipper Race have also announced that the crew one of their boats, LMAX Exchange, found Bajorat adrift and dead aboard his boat back in late January about 600 miles east of the Philippines.

These baldly contradictory assertions raise some interesting questions.…

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March 4th

Hell on High Seas – really?

Posted by // March 4, 2016 // COMMENT (9 Comments)

OK so I am really not sure how I feel about this one. I love the idea that sailing is becoming more mainstream and getting some prime time on television, but at the same time I find Reality TV shows a tad galling. Well more than a tad. They are the worst kind of television playing to the basest instincts of us humans desperate for any escape from our mundane lives. But at the same time it is prime time and so I will probably watch the newest Reality TV show that features five British “celebrities” (yes I used the quotation marks there on purpose) sailing a Volvo 65 around Great Britain in the middle of winter.
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March 3rd

Chapter 2 – Aramids and Liquid Crystal Polymers

Posted by // March 3, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

In this chapter we will look at the very basis of sails, the individual yarns that go into making sailcloth. At the end of this blog is a link to subscribe so that you get all posts and can educate yourself on the subject of sails and sailmaking. There is also a great free gift when you subscribe. Thanks for reading.

You don’t see paneled Kevlar sails much anymore
A Look at all the Fibers used to Make Sails – Part 5 – Aramids and Liquid Crystal Polymers


Kevlar used to be the grand-daddy of racing fabrics.…
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