Totem has always been HF radio centric, and I don’t expect this to change.…Read More
Paul Exner of Modern Geographic sat down with Andy at the Strictly Sail Chicago boat show and recorded the first-ever LIVE 59º North podcast! Andy and Paul talked all things ocean sailing, from boat design and gear selection to how to handle heavy weather offshore. Thanks to everyone who came to the show, and we look forward to doing more of these in the future!…Read More
There are endless delights of being on a small island, the kind of place where the closest thing to a post office is a small box colored in the Thai Post Red and with a hand lettered sign.
In the mornings, the children paddle to shore. Hours every day pass playing on the beach.
A large tree fell from an embankment, straight out across the sand. In the hollows created by boughs, they’ve dug into the sand to create a rabbit warren of hobbit holes that foster imaginary play. Everyone has their own “place”, there’s a vegetable garden, a store… habitats for hermit crabs and ghost crabs caught on the beach.…Read More
If a picture is worth a thousand words, videos are worth millions. Skip Novak’s series of storm sailing videos are great for learning technique and outfitting. Skip Novak crewed and skippered multiple Whitbreads, and was among the first generation of yachtsmen to cruise and explore Antarctica. I’ve never met Skip, but I got friendly with his crews while down in Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica, and enjoyed a few meals aboard Pelagic Australis, his 74-foot expedition beast (Thanks, Skip). I also got a tour of Pelagic, his original, 54-foot steel cutter. Both vessels embody the ethos of simplicity and robustness.…
Meade Gougeon, 75, completed the Everglades Challenge–a grueling race from St. Petersburg to Key Largo, Florida–on March 5, 2014. Meade sailed solo aboard his outrigger sailing canoe VOYAGER, crossing 325 miles in 4 days and 8 hours.
He slept aboard his vessel, and came in first in the Sailing Canoe class (class 3).
Meade Gougeon is one of the founders of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. in Bay City, Michigan, the manufacturer of WEST SYSTEM Epoxy.…Read More
Given recent events, I thought maybe I should tell you about what happened last time I did a cat delivery with Hank Schmitt. This was seven years ago, in January 2007, and the short version of the story is that I ended up getting arrested. The boat–a brand new Scape 39 Sport Cruiser built in Cape Town, South Africa–belonged to a man named Wayne. He had hired Hank to skipper the delivery all the way across the South Atlantic to Grenada and was willing to pay airfare for one extra crew member to fly into Cape Town, which is where I came in.…Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 27, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
I think that Garmin hit a home run with the VIRB action cameras they began shipping last fall. I’ve been testing the regular model since late September and the Elite model since mid December, and I can picture all sorts of enjoyable ways to use either camera around a boat. I’m documenting a minor cruising adventure in the scene above, but could be remote controlling the camera to film my crew and me while playing a big fish or rounding a racing mark. However, I’ve also come to think of the entire “action camera” concept as a bit of a misnomer…
When you check out the video above — and I hope you’ll try the full screen HD (1080p) version, if you have the bandwidth and display — notice how rock steady the image is.…Read More
Totem is not aground, but happily anchored in a wide bay fringed by a soft beach, backed by palms and cashew trees. Welcome to sleepy Koh Phayam, antithesis to Phuket’s noisy traffic and crowded beaches, where dogs sleep in the street and cars have yet to arrive.
About three miles long from north to south, and maybe two miles wide, life on the quiet island seems to center around rustic tourism sprinkled with cashew and rubber tree plantations. Guest houses peek from behind the trees, where one advertises “special: electricity, 6pm-6am”.
A single lane road accommodates the odd motorcycle, and is paved for about half the length of the island- between the wide bay on the northwest corner and the commercial center on the middle of the eastern shore.…Read More
Everyone has their own way of dealing with life’s unfortunate events. Some people eat. Some people cry. Some people exercise until they fall down from exhaustion. As for me, I grew up in a strong WASP-y tradition. That means when the weather is hot, I’m accustomed to spying men in kneesocks and long shorts. When it’s Sunday dinner at Grandma’s, we eat roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. And when reality serves me something I don’t want to deal with, I hide.
Mentally, of course. You can’t physically hide from reality – that would look ridiculous. Did Lord Grantham lock himself in a cupboard when Downton was circling the drain? …Read More
Some of the upgrades they’ve employed are helpful for those first getting engaged in the whole program. Here are Don’s commentary on the upgrades to share with all J/70 friends:
“The first is the J/70 mast stepper that was made by RCR’s Brian Buczak (initially designed & engineered by the J/Boats Team in Newport).
Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 23, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
First of all, Gemeco’s iNstall app is free if you already have an iPhone or iPad. Second, though aimed at professional marine electronics installers, some of its tools are valuable to do-it-yourself types and even just regular boaters…
iNstall includes an ABYC-based wire sizer. Dial in wire length, maximum expected current flow and pow, there’s the minimum gauge you need for the job. There are several of these out there as standalone apps or online widgets, but this one seems to be full featured — except perhaps for a help file explaining nuances like “allowable voltage drop” — and it’s just one of many applets in the bundle.…Read More
Here in sleepy Koh Phayam, a little island just south of Thailand’s border with Myanmar, the offer of electricity warrants a banner. What’s not making any headlines is the country’s lurch toward a coup, with political unrest and protesters bloodied and killed in Bangkok as the conflict rapidly escalates. The unrest was not even on our radar before we cleared in last November: we were more focused on the simmering rebellion near our entry point in the south, which continues to claim lives.
Once we arrived in Phuket in December, we started to hear stories. The first came innocently enough as a reaction to a question to a taxi driver about recent celebrations for the King’s birthday.…Read More