Sailfeed
February 7th

Isbjorn Offshore: Road Town to St. Barth’s on Port Tack.

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

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Landfall in Ile Fourche, sailing onto the mooring.

Landfall in Ile Fourche, sailing onto the mooring.

Scroll down for a full gallery of photos from the first half of Leg 2.

Superbowl Sunday! In the French West Indies, nobody cares! And neither do I! I’m writing from a small waterfront cafe in St. Barth’s, enjoying a delightful cappuccino and having just finished a buttery croissant. We’re midway through the second passage of 2016, bound this afternoon for Antigua. All but one of the six crew from Isbjorn is ashore now, walking off our mild hangovers from Le Select last night (otherwise known as Cheeseburger in Paradise, where legend has it Buffett wrote the song). 

Greg is on a mission to the airport to try and retrieve his bags that the airline lost on his way to St Thomas.…

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February 5th

On the way towards Antigua!

Posted by // February 5, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

A short blog arrived from Andy and crew this morning. The first planned stop is Île Fourchue, a small island just off St. Barts. Great anchorage and fun hiking, no one lives on the island and not many trees are around. I wouldn’t be surprised if Andy get everyone to join in for a sunrise hike one morning. 

Blog from Andy:
Strange weather pattern. Departed Road Town at 1930 last night, sailed off the anchor. First time since leaving the Bay we had big genoa on! North wind on departure as Low moved over us. Motor through calm at midnight, now sailing again on easy south wind on other side of Low.…

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February 4th

Isbjorn Offshore Sailing: Putting the boat back together.

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

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If you read the last post you’ll know that halfway south to Grenada, the boat broke. Amazingly, aside from three deliveries I canceled before the boat ever left the dock (thanks to crappy boats), I’ve never had to turn around on an offshore trip before. But, as I’m all too aware, if you do this stuff long enough, things are going to happen, even to the best of us.

To recap, sailing close-hauled about 200 miles south of the BVI, in a 25-30 knot ESE’ly trade wind, the old Harken Mark 2 furler jammed as we tried to roll the sail in before a tack.…

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January 29th

What the hell happened on the way to Grenada!?

Posted by // January 29, 2016 // COMMENT (2 Comments)

So, what the hell happened!? I’m writing from the nav station on Isbjorn, docked at Nanny Cay Marina in the BVI. We’re supposed to be 450 miles south of here in Grenada. 

After we departed Soper’s Hole on the morning of the 25th (my and DT’s birthdays!), the wind backed from SE to E and continued to build into the evening. At first we had brilliant sailing – full sail (full main and small genoa), making 7 knots upwind. The wind shifted E just in time for us to clear St. Croix to the south and lay our course for the Grenadines, where we’d planned to stop en route to St.…

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January 27th

Isbjorn update – on the way back to BVI

Posted by // January 27, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Another update from Andy. He is sending me short and sweet texts from our YB tracker we have onboard. It tracks our position and we can send short messages from it. Even the crew can download their app and send messages to the loved ones at home via their own smartphone! It works great as a short communication system and I can reply back straight from my email. Since you pay per caracter, the messages are pretty short..

Anyway, Isbjorn is heading back to BVI after yesterday’s jib jam. Andy has a feeling it may be more than just a jam and we have learned to follow our feeling and always put boat safety first. 

The update from Andy today, including a few comments from the crew:

Andy: “We’re back to being a sailboat again.

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January 26th

Isbjorn update

Posted by // January 26, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

A quick update from Andy and Isbjorn. He called me this evening around 1900 AST. When they rolled up the jib to tack over to head for the island of Guadalope (the planned stop on the trip south), the headsail jammed. Andy is not comfortable to continue upwind in the dark with a potential issue so they have turned “back” on a broadreach. It’s blowing pretty hard, around 30kt gusting to 35kt and they will evaluate tomorrow morning when the sun comes up.  

The crew is having a great time and the spirit is high onboard, despite the strong winds no one is seasick and Andy was complimenting the crew in handling the boat in those conditions!…

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January 26th

Update from Isbjorn – Happy Birthday Todd!

Posted by // January 26, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Isbjörn is under way, and they are sailing fast! Andy and crew sailed out from BVI yesterday morning and are already west of Guadalopue. Check out the latest position via our YB tracker that updates several times a day: 59-north.com/tracking

Fast windy sailing and I would be surprised if at least one of the crew is not seasick. Andy topped up the sat phone just before leaving but can not get it to work. Since Ocens that we use as our Sat Phone provider are located on the West Coast, I have to wait another hour until until they wake up and I can call them and try to get it to work..…

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January 24th

Båten först: The Boat Comes First

Posted by // January 24, 2016 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

0900, Sunday morning January 24. Day 1 of our first charter of the year on Isbjorn and we’re moored in Waterlemon Bay off the north coast of St. John’s in the USVI. 

Clint and I flew down to St. Thomas and joined the boat on the 21st, just three days ago now (though it seems like much more). My dad had been here for the three weeks prior, cruising with some friends while Mia and I went to Toronto to speak at the Boat Show there. 

Our first crew arrived the same day we did, with Todd from Chicago turning up just in time for some happy hour snacks.…

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December 15th

¡Viva Havana! Isbjorn is bound for Cuba!

Posted by // December 15, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

It’s been in the works for a while now, but we can finally announce that come April 2016, Isbjorn will be bound for Havana! A long while back we published the passage from the Virgin Islands to Key West, to have the boat (and Andy & Mia) there in time for Andy’s sister Kate’s wedding. It’s an obvious stop on the way to visit Havana, and we’ve finally gotten permission!

Thanks to Isbjorn crewmember & Senator Tom Harkin (ret.), we were able to arrange a meeting with Cuban Ambassador Cabanas yesterday in Washington, DC. Tom sat down with the Ambassador and his secretary to discuss Isbjorn’s visit, and we’re now in the process of finalizing all the details to make it happen!…

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December 13th

Culebra & the Wild West of the Spanish Virgins

Posted by // December 13, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Sunday morning. ‘God’s day’ as I like to joke with Mia. Means I can’t do any work today! That recent Mr. Money Mustache blog I referenced on Facebook the other day has inspired me to do more of this kind of writing – pursuing creativity, as he put it, rather than thinking of it as work. I’m on my second cup of coffee and beginning that pursuit.

We’ve been anchored in Ensenada Honda now, the humongous bay that frames the eponymous town on Culebra. We sailed in, as we’re wont to do. It’s a huge harbor, but there is one small bit at the entrance where you have to sneak between the edges of two reefs.…

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