Andy & Mia

Isbjorn is Northbound & Headed for the Arctic!

22 Sep

Isbjorn is heading NORTH in 2018. After wintering in Sweden & preparing Isbjorn for the Arctic, we’ll set sail for Scotland, Norway and the far north. After exploring the Lofoten Islands in Norway, we’ll stage in Tromso for the 500-mile passage to Svalbard, that mythical land of polar bears, walrus and icebergs. From there, it’s 1,200 miles to Reykjavik, Iceland, then back across the Atlantic to Ireland. Don’t miss this opportunity of a lifetime to join us and visit one of the last great wildernesses on Earth – before it’s gone.

Are you in?


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Iconic interviews & some cool new boats in Southampton.

22 Sep

Frers-designed Swan 54.

Frers-designed Swan 54.

Mia & I flew down to England for a few days and are back at the Southampton Boat Show. I’m writing this from the RYA Member’s Lounge area in the Holiday Inn lobby and am shocked at how fast the boat show free wifi is.

The mission of our journey was to record, in person, some legends in the sailing world for my ‘On the Wind’ podcast. Two out of three of them are in the bag – Rick Tomlinson & Bob Shepton – and the biggest one yet is happening in a few hours (that one’s ...

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Delaware Bay Bound

11 Aug

We’ve officially been headed enough now that the Chesapeake Bay is out of the question. In Lunenburg, we plotted two routes on the chart, for each scenario, and had always kept the Delaware option in our back pocket. I had a hunch that south was key in this leg, so we kept going that way and I’m glad we did.

Isbjorn is about level now with the entrance to the Delaware Bay, 130 miles offshore, and we are barely laying the course. The wind is up to 18-20 knots, but the sea is sell relatively calm. It’s hot & humid ...

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The Magic of Light-Air Sailing

10 Aug

0900 Wednesday August 10. We’re sailing again, close-reaching on the port tack now, careful to stay south of our rhumb line in anticipation of a SW’ly shift as we approach the Chesapeake. It’s beautifully warm outside now. The sun is strong enough to require the bimini again, but it’s not the humid, stifling heat of the Bay. Yet. We’re far offshore, 155 miles SSE of Nantucket and 275 miles E of Cape May, 10,000 feet of ocean under our keel.

The past 36 hours have been an exercise in patience as the wind gradually got lighter and lighter. But it’s ...

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Into Deep Ocean

9 Aug


Hey all, friend of the crew Rory Finneren writing. I was pleasantly surprised when Andy contacted me yesterday via his YellowBrick from offshore. He asked if I could post blogs during this passage since Liz, who would normally do so, is currently onboard. Recently having returned home to Taiwan after my own 5500 nm offshore voyage from Tahiti to Alaska, I’m happy to help. Here is the latest from Andy & the crew of Isbjorn, homeward bound to Annapolis from the cool fog of Nova Scotia.  — Rory

We’re off soundings now. A quick look at the chart shows Isbjorn just off the ...

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30-Hours Under Spinnaker

6 Aug

We last left off after a magical ‘recce’ past mythical Sable Island. While the scenery was dramatic and the mood aboard Isbjorn at perhaps an all-time high, the actual sailing left much to be desired. We’d been motoring for almost 24 hours through a very flat calm and very heavy fog. That all changed after our visit to Sable.

Click here to see a selection of photos on our Facebook page from Leg 8.

At 2100, David & I took over the watch from Mia. The sun was setting in the west, already over the horizon but the sky was ...

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An Afternoon ‘Recce’ to Mythical Sable Island

1 Aug

“It’s like hearing about this legendary place, and not totally trusting that it’s really there. Then when you see it for yourself, and it really does exist, what a cool feeling!”

Those were Mia’s excited words this evening as Isbjorn ghosted along the beach just off Sable Island, that mythical sand spit at the confluence of the Gulf Stream and Labrador currents, 150 miles from mainland Nova Scotia. Even the Sailing Directions, normally straight and to the point, reserve a bit of hyperbole for the place. After explaining how the wild horses that Sable is known for got here in ...

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A Foggy Entrance to St. Pierre

30 Jul

I’m writing from the yacht club wharf in St. Pierre, the last remaining outpost of France’s once sprawling New World empire. At one point in time, it stretched from Newfoundland to the Mississippi. No more.

We’re in St. Pierre & Miquelon, a spectacularly rocky, wind-swept archipelago about ten miles south-southwest of the Burin Peninsula on Newfoundland’s south coast. This is France proper. Not French-Canadian, but French. And very much so. Where the architecture of homes and businesses in Newfoundland was rugged and utilitarian, in St. Pierre it’s colorful and charming. Some folks speak English, but not much, and not ...

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Dilly & Tony Save the Day

27 Jul

Zero dark thirty. I’m on radar watch at the nav station. Thus far, the coast is clear. Our new crew David is on deck, fighting off the first signs of seasickness. The fog has come and gone all day. Just now its rolled in thick, visibility down to zero. The glow of the tricolor light reflecting on the heavy fog casts an eerie shadow to either side of the boat, just at that transition angle between the colored, red/green lights that shine forward, and the white light that shines astern. The wind just shut down again and we are motor-sailing ...

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WRI Weather Forecast for leaving St. Johns

26 Jul

On the 26th, a ridge of high pressure will extend from 40N/60W
NE’ward through Newfoundland and will shift east of Newfoundland through the
27th.  To the west, a low pressure centered over the E’rn St Lawrence River
Valley willmove ENE’ward over Labrador through the 28th. An accompanying cold
front will extend SW’ward over W’rn Nova Scotia on the morning of the 26th and
will move E’ward over the E’rn Gulf of St Lawrence through Cabot Strait by
midday on the 27th, after undergoing some weakening.  The front will weaken
into a trough as it moves over Newfoundland the night of ...

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