Retired Senator Tom Harkin invited me and my dad to his house in Hope Town, Bahamas, a place he’s been going to since the 70s to escape the rat race in DC, and which he’ll spend a lot more time at now in retirement. We took the ferry over and had lunch with Tom and his wife Ruth on the dock overlooking the sea of Abaco and Tom’s new sailboat, a 26’ lifting keel Seaward. We recorded the podcast on the deck behind Tom’s house, overlooking the Atlantic ocean. My dad was there as well, listening in the background. Tom’s got an amazing life story, a lot of which includes his love of sailing.… Read More
Arcturus under full sail in the Baltic, 2012. Scroll down for more photos at the end of the post.
1966 Allied Seabreeze Sloop/Yawl, Hull #56
Mia and I never really thought this day would come. But just yesterday, we delivered Isbjorn to Annapolis from Connecticut, and our sailing careers officially evolved. Alas, like a good woman, my heart can’t be with two boats. I only hope I can find the perfect owner for Arcturus so she can continue the adventures we started on her.
So here’s the deal – whoever buys Arcturus is getting the deal of the century. You never recoup the money you put into a boat, I understand that, so she’s very under-valued if you look at the dollars that went into her (about $35,000 under our watch, and another $35k under the previous owner). Arcturus is a true classic, and is as turn-key as you’ll ever find in a used boat – you could sail her around the world tomorrow if you wanted to, in perfect safety and comfort.
Arcturus is also VAT-paid in Europe, yet remains American-flagged and USCG documented.… Read More
At about 0200 in the morning last Wednesday, after we’d tied the dock lines up in Little Creek VA, I got out the recorder and we debriefed the passage north on Sojourner from Marsh Harbor to Annapolis. The crew were myself, my dad, and Les and Jim, two podcast fans who’d signed up for the expedition online! The trip was ideal sailing – broad reaching under a full moon for most of the way, and warm, dry and comfortable (at least until we got back into colder water on the Bay). Aside from one night, that is. Early Easter Sunday morning we experienced a violent frontal passage, with 50-knot initial gusts and sustained winds overnight in the 30-40 knot range.… Read More
It’s another late night on watch while I type this. 0121 on Saturday morning. Weather in the 50s, a definite chill in the air, lots of lightning on the horizon in the south. Downwind, a few stars out overhead. But I’m not sailing…rather am in the wheelhouse – sitting in the leather helm seat to be specific – of the MY ‘Azure’, a 53-foot Selene Ocean Trawler. We’re steaming south on the Chesapeake, abeam of Point No Point now and bound towards Portsmouth.
If you’ve been following my recent posts you might wonder if I’ve entered some kind of time warp.… Read More
‘Just need a mermaid sighting now,’ said Jim from his bunk.
Sojourner just off the coast of North Carolina and the Outer Banks. So close that they can see land!
Position 7 April 2015, 8.30 am
35° 39’N / 075° 22’W
Light wind, under motor
0340 Tuesday morning. That conversation happened yesterday. I was on watch in the afternoon, alone, the rest of the crew napping down below. It was great napping conditions…warm, calm sea, broad reaching, just a gentle rocking to knock you right out.
It startled me actually. I was just kind of daydreaming and staring off to starboard.… Read More
Live from World Cruising Club’s Ocean Sailing Seminar weekend in Annapolis. Andy spends 90 minutes discussing boat types and how to prioritize outfitting your boat for deep ocean sailing. He emphasizes that basically ANY boat can complete an ocean passage when properly outfitted and with a properly trained crew. But sometimes it’s nice to have a few luxuries, and Andy talks about how to prioritize adding equipment.
This episode was sponsored by Forbes Horton Yacht Sales in Annapolis. Need a bluewater boat? Have one to sell? Talk to Forbes – Andy’s new Swan 48 came through Forbes’ office. Visit forbesyachts.com. This episode was also supported by World Cruising Club, the world’s most popular offshore sailing rallies.
Want to go ocean sailing with Andy?… Read More
Position: April 6, 2015 8.30 am
33°00’N / 075°51’W
Wind: ESE 15-20kt
Boat Speed: 8 kt (can you tell they are riding the Gulf Stream?)
Mmm, hurricane eggs! Just polished off the last of the fresh Bahamian bread we got from Tom’s baker Vernon in Hope Town. Man that’s good!
We knew the weather was coming long before we ever left Marsh Harbor. It’s why we delayed a day, anchored off Guana Cay to let the front get a head start on us, so it’d be weaker further south where we’d encounter it. It was a nice idea anyway.
By sunset Saturday night, the wind had gone right to the SW, a clear indication of what was on the way.… Read More
Andy called me (Mia) this morning around 9.30 am. It is a bit too rough to sit at the computer and type. Andy is not going to write a blog himself, so I’ll try to summarize what he said over the sat phone instead..
Position: 5 April 9.30 am: 31° 03’N / 075° 44’W
Wind: NE 30kt, sunny
Boat speed: 5 kt
The expected cold front came through last night on Jim’s watch, the sails were reefed but quickly the boat was overpowered and eventually took all sails down. The moon was hiding behind the clouds but was still bright enough that they didn’t need headlamps when they were working up on the fore-deck. As you can tell on their position, they didn’t make any progress over night. At 8am this morning they got a reefed main up and were sailing along on 5kt.… Read More
3:05 am, April 4. I’m sitting in the cockpit, facing aft. The full moon is lighting up the boat from the port stern quarter – you can easily do any deck work without a flashlight and could probably read a book by the moonlight. There are some puffy clouds scattered about. There were none earlier tonight when the moon first rose. It was hard to choose between watching the moonrise in the east or the sunset in the west. I mostly watched the spaghetti I was shoveling into my mouth at dinner time, which came a little late tonight, but was delightful thanks to Les, today’s chef de cuisine.… Read More
Andy called me today around 10 am to give me their position. They had been downloading the gribs and also received the weather from NOAA I had sent them.
Their position April 3, 10am
28° 48’N / 076° 40’W
Wind: Light from the N
They had a beautiful sail since they left Guana Cay in the Bahamas yesterday morning. Beam reaching with 10-12 knots of wind. Around 7am this morning the wind got very light and the motor was turned on. Right when they left the Bahamas they spotted a whale!
The plan is to sail straight to Annapolis if the weather is cooperating.
Check back here on the blog for tomorrows’ update!… Read More