PASSAGE LOG: Blasting to Windward & St. Barth’s

14 Feb

Crew arrived next day. Mia & I had some last minute projects left to do on the boat, and didn’t want to go ashore to meet the gang until it was done. Our planned noon rendezvous turned into 1pm, and left our crew member Kevin on a wild goose chase! In the end, Kevin found Tom, and we found the both of them at the Loose Mongoose on the beach in Trellis as soon as we landed in the dinghy. Vlado and Irena turned up shortly thereafter and we started the shuttle service out Isbjorn.

The first afternoon & evening ...

Read More

PASSAGE LOGS: Sweden to Tortola in 24 Hours

14 Feb

Mia & I decided early on that we’d extend our time in Sweden – off the boat – right to the bitter end. We knew it’d make it slightly more stressful when we finally did return to Isbjorn, having allowed ourselves only two days to get the boat all setup before crew arrived. And that was if our long flights went to plan (they did). In the end it was worth it, but (almost) everything went smoothly.

We left the farmhouse at 3:15 in the morning on February 1, which would have been my mom’s 67th birthday had she lived ...

Read More

179: Martin Hasselov

14 Feb

 


Martin Hasselov is a sailor and PHD scientist based on the beautiful West Coast – which the locals call the ‘best coast’ – of Sweden. Martin has a lifelong love for the sea which started as a small boy fishing in his families rowboats. After college he built a steel ketch from a bare hull to explore further afield. Now armed with a PHD in marine science, Martin recently bought an ex-BT Challenge yacht – a steel 67-footer designed for a southern ocean circumnavigation the ‘wrong way round’ – and uses it as an educational platform for promoting marine ...

Read More

Off the Coast of Morocco

13 Feb

Mrs. Sudlow’s class in Agadir, Morocco

We are well off the coast of Morocco. Today, we made a nice little video for one of our sitesALIVE! classes that is in Agadir, Morocco. They are only half a kilometer from the beach and said they were going to go look out to sea when we were at about the same latitude. So we reciprocated with a short video greeting to them, Mrs. Sudlow’s class in Agadir. That was really nice.

Had a very long night last night. Our weather conditions were variable, which is a charitable way to say it. We ...

Read More

The Harmattan

12 Feb

Harmattan in the Genoa Swivel

We encountered an interesting condition today, the harmattan, which is when the fine powder sand of the Sahara Desert is blown out to sea. We are about 1250 miles west of the desert. When I went to lower the genoa cable (a mast supporting cable in place of the genoa sail if that is in its bag) I noticed that the white cover was tinted a light brown. And further up within the swivel for that cable, I could see this same fine dust.

We first encountered harmattan in 1993 on our San Francisco Boston ...

Read More

Out of the Trades

11 Feb

We are finally out of the worst of the pounding of the trade winds, we still have 15-25 knots of wind, but the direction has shifted from Northeast to East approximately, and the seas have followed, so as we head North, we are not going so much into the waves.

There is still a tremendous amount of spray coming over the boat, and sitting at the chart table at night it seems that every few minutes there is the ‘donk’ of a flying fish ricocheting off the coach roof. Sometimes they are deflected over the boat and back into the ...

Read More

Cruising boat renovations

11 Feb

DSC04202

“I may have broken the aft cabin.” This is the text I get from Jamie a few hours after I’ve departed Totem for an overnight road trip to Miami. The smoky-green smell of sawdust wafts to me from half a state away and the disarray of a deconstruction project easy to picture. The critical path project for our departure from the US for the Bahamas is to replace the soft sides for our hardtop dodger, so of course, the aft cabin is going to be torn apart.

It comes down to this: cruising boat projects are more likely to be ...

Read More

20 Degrees North

10 Feb

We’ve reached the 20 degree north line, which is approximately the outer limits for the trade winds. They’ve moved north a little bit, over the last couple of days, so we’re still in them, but they should be diminishing in the next 24 hours or so.

20 degrees north is a good milestone. We’re generally aiming in the direction of the Azores. The routing based on these forecasts is all over the place. The weather reports are 6 hours apart and may go in completely different directions. One might go off towards Cape Finisterre. We had one routing that went ...

Read More

Pounding Along

9 Feb

We are at the latitude of the windward leeward islands down in the Caribbean and just about half way across Africa. We are getting occasional notifications through the Inmarsat-C, reports about piracy, warnings to stay away from some of the coastal towns off Western Africa. So we’re in that range, but quite a ways off.

We are crashing as we go across the trade winds, pounding along. It is hard to imagine that everything holds together. Sometimes it doesn’t, but hopefully it will. I think every skipper that I’ve heard from ahead that has gone through this thinks that this ...

Read More

Nautic Alert, excellence in monitoring and control

9 Feb

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 9, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Nautic_Alert_system_diagram_aPanbo.jpg

While my boat, thankfully, doesn’t need six bilge pumps like the system above, four months of serious testing has left me deeply impressed with the Nautic Alert bilge, battery and GPS precision sensor platform. Yes, it also manages one pump or many — probably better than any us ever will — and it clearly informs a skipper of problems whether you’re on board or off. Finally, Nautic Alert regularly assures me that all is well, and it’s ripe for expansion. I think I’m in love…

Nautic_Alert_NMEA_booth_w_Nick_Velado_cPanbo.jpg

First, ...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group