Offshore Medical Emergency: Dealing with Appendicitis 90 Miles Out

7 Jul

Andy getting wheeled from the ambulance into the ER at Newport Hospital at 0500 Tuesday July 5.

Andy getting wheeled from the ambulance into the ER at Newport Hospital at 0500 Tuesday July 5.

About 48 hours has passed since my appendectomy. I’m sitting at my cousin Dan’s kitchen table in North Andover, about 20 miles from Boston, writing this while I spend a few days here recovering. Isbjorn is back at sea, having departed Newport yesterday morning around 0800, about the same time I jumped in the car to drive the two hours north to here.

I’m stiff. I’m sore. I haven’t had a good poop since Sunday morning. I’m bored. I’ve watched more TV than ...

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TANKER MASHES UP SAILBOAT: Fun and Games in the Piscataqua River

5 Jul


Here’s an interesting mishap that took place mere footsteps from my home here in Portsmouth while I was off roaming the Maine coast last week. A 477-foot tanker, Chem Venus, was exiting the Piscataqua River late Wednesday afternoon with two tugs in attendance and missed the turn at Seavey Island, where the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is located. It ran down three sailboats across the river in the Kittery Point Yacht Club mooring field in New Castle and dismasted one of them (see image up top, shot by eyewitness Glenn Kisch). The tanker ran aground on a ledge and ...

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New solo 24-hour record set

5 Jul
The massive trimaran Macif

While most of us in the United States were enjoying a long July 4th weekend, out on the water there was a new record being set. French sailor François Gabart aboard his huge trimaran Macif set a new single-handed 24-hour record covering a whopping 785 miles between July 2 and July 3. Let me save you from having to do the math and tell you that’s an average speed of 32.7 knots.  C’est incroyable as one would say to a frenchman.

Gabart left New York on July 1 and was on a mission to break ...
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John Franta on Rigging Tech.

4 Jul

Click here for direct download.

Hey! Andy here – I’m hosting a celestial workshop this fall and you all should come! It’s been a while, but it’s time again to dust off the old sextant and break out the sight reduction tables. Celestial navigation is a passion of mine that I love sharing with others, and quite frankly, I think I’m pretty damn good at explaining it! So come to Annapolis over the weekend of October 21-23 and join me and my friends for some old-school navigation. Just go to to see all the details and to register – ...

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Evinrude E-Link, one leg of a generous open architecture attitude

4 Jul

Written by Ben Ellison on Jul 4, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Evinrude_E-Link_WiFi_gateway_n_app_aPanbo.jpgI suspect that a lot of now and future Evinrude E-Tec G2 outboard owners are going to appreciate the new E-Link hardware and app system almost as much as the Fourth of July. The easy-to-install NMEA 2000 WiFi gateway will cost about $360 and will neatly put all G2 gauges, calibrations, and fault codes into otherwise free E-Link Android and iOS (Apple) apps. One E-Link gateway will handle multiple outboards and the system doesn’t require or preclude any other monitoring and control options. In fact, you ...

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BECOMING A BOAT DOG: The Further Adventures of Baxter Afloat

2 Jul

Bax in vest

There were some suggestions after I introduced Baxter here that I needed to get him a life-jacket. I knew this, of course, and wanted one as much for the handle on the back, so I could heave the beast more easily in and out of a tender, as for the flotation. You see him here, modeling his new Ruffwear vest during our recent week-long cruise from Portland to Rockland, and as the expression on his face suggests he doesn’t really mind it a bit. Indeed, by the end of our time together he had deduced that being asked to wear ...

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Weather Forecast for Lunenburg Departure

1 Jul

The Leg 6 crew has arrived and we’re about 18 hours from departure! It’s thunderstorming in Annapolis right now, so it’s nice to be at the dock, but the weather offshore looks like we’ll get a mix of everything. Here’s the latest from our partners at WRI, below.

Like what you see? Contact WRI to get customized forecasts for your own trips!

To: Captain, Isbjorn
Prepared: July 01 21:31z

Synopsis: Low pressure over sw’rn Quebec with a cold front from the w’rn Gulf
of Maine sw’ward to ne’rn North Carolina tomorrow morning will move ...

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Money Money Money. And Cruising.

30 Jun

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 9.49.39 AM

At this point we’re getting a decent idea of what it costs to cruise. We’re also realizing jumping right into in it has its downsides. The boat is 95% perfect. Which is kinda amazing considering we’ve never cruised before. Ideally we could have used the boat for a season and then taken care of the changes that have crept up. The issue is, I can think of numerous people I’ve met while refitting that are constantly tweaking the boat to be just right, yet never set off anywhere. I did not want to turn into one of these people. At ...

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New route for the Volvo Ocean Race

29 Jun
There are going to be more days like this in the next Volvo Ocean Race
I was lucky enough to race around the world in the Whitbread Round the World Race  back in the days when the world was flat (except around the edges) and we had wine with dinner every night. Yes, and we slept in cabins, not on cots. This was in the 80’s back when boats were unwieldy and surfing down a Southern Ocean wave at 20 knots felt like riding the six-o-clock train into Shanghai; noisy, scary and  never quite sure that we would come out ...
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Gizmo 2016, Pettit Hydrocoat Eco round 2 and Gadget redo

28 Jun

Written by Ben Ellison on Jun 28, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Gizmo_2016_Pettit_HydroCoat_Eco_2_cPanbo.jpg“You’re pretty late, aren’t you? I heard that a lot recently! There are many reasons for Gizmo’s late launch last week — travel, getting old, boatyard miscommunications, etc. — but perhaps the most interesting one is what it took to properly retest Pettit Hydrocoat Eco bottom paint. Modern anti-fouling paint can be more of a technology than I realized and I’ll also have to admit to some classic boat owner denial. Plus, I’d like to show off some improvements to the good tender Gadget

HydroCoat_Eco_n_Prop_Zinc_18_months_wet_n_hauled_4.jpgYou ...

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