Andy & Mia

ISBJORN OFFSHORE! Bound for Bermuda

6 May

It feels like we’ve been in the Caribbean forever. The heat in Nanny Cay Marina is oppressive. We’ve been dockside since Monday morning, and with no air conditioning aboard Isbjorn, it’s impossible to be inside the boat during the daytime, and only slightly more possible to get comfortably to sleep at night.

We’re berthed nose-to-nose with Sojourner, my dad’s boat, whose also headed north to Bermuda. Once in St. Georges, however, Sojourner will head northwest, bound for her home waters in Annapolis, while Isbjorn will point the bows east for points unknown to her in the Azores, Scotland & ultimately ...

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“Come on Arlene!”: Facts on 2017’s 1st Tropical Storm

21 Apr

With yesterday’s classification of Tropical Storm ‘Arlene,’ an extremely rare tropical event in April, lots of discussion has been floating around Facebook and social media among offshore sailors, a lot of it drama-fueled malarkey. I wanted some facts on ‘Arlene’ – the weather in the Atlantic is top of my mind right now as we plan for our upcoming Trans-At in May – and I had some questions I wanted answered. Jeremy Davis, a lead forecaster at WRI, and Isbjorn’s primary weather-router (who is also an extreme tropical weather nerd, dating back to his childhood) – provided me ...

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PHOTOS: ’17 Leg 4 BVI – Grenadines – BVI

16 Apr

A well deserved swim in Bequia after the sail down from the BVI!

A well deserved swim in Bequia after the sail down from the BVI!


The last Caribbean trip for a while and it is a bit bittersweet! Crew joined us up in Trellis Bay, BVI and the plan to stay there for the night changed quickly. The wind swung us around a bit too close to a nearby boat and since we had to re-anchor anyway, we decided to head over to Spanish Town straight away where we had to clear out of customs before departing the BVI. 

The trip south to Bequia was very uneventful with smooth sailing and no ...

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Navigating the Tobago Cays

15 Apr

Photo by crewmember Nick W., taken from the masthead!

Photo by crewmember Nick W., taken from the masthead!

Nick’s at the helm. Harold, Rob & I hoist the mainsail, still attached to the mooring. We’re secured far into Admiralty Bay in Bequia, so it’s tight, but we’re on the outside row of boats. The big tanker that supplies the island’s diesel is anchored just opposite on the far side of the ferry channel.

The plan is to drop the port mooring line first – this ought to blow the boat to port. Once aimed into the channel, we’ll sheet home the mainsail, drop the starboard line and sail upwind, ...

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Offshore to Bequia

6 Apr

“You know, most people don’t love ocean sailing anyway. It’s something you endure to get to where you’re going.”

Sometimes. But sometimes it’s the entire reason you go from A to B – to experience the highs and lows, the joy and anguish of sailing over the horizon and into that ocean wilderness. I actually do love it.

We left Virgin Gorda ahead of schedule, at 1000 on Monday, April 3. The day before, our new crew joined us in Trellis Bay – Nick & Sara, a young-ish couple from Maryland; Rob, a watch-face refinishing guru from Ohio; and ...

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One Last Farewell in the Caribbean

2 Apr

Isbjorn on anchor in our usual spot in Trellis Bay.

Isbjorn on anchor in our usual spot in Trellis Bay.


Today is ‘Day 0’ of our final Caribbean passage for almost two years, until our return in 2019. Isbjorn is bound for the Grenadines for the second time in 2017, a change in our original schedule, which had us going back to St. Barth’s and on to Dominica. Why the change? Because the sailing passages will be longer, and having been once in the Grenadines already this year, we felt compelled to return. They are a neat place.

I’m writing from the sofa at Jeremy’s Kitchen, a new cafe on ...

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PHOTOS: ’17 Leg 3 Grenada to BVI via St. Croix

24 Mar

Celestial sights offshore from Grenada to St. Croix!

Celestial sights offshore from Grenada to St. Croix!


The fastest trip so far on Isbjorn! Our intern Liz joined us a few days early in Grenada and helped us prep the boat for departure. Crew Todd, Reed, Harry & Leon met up with us in Prickly Bay, Grenada and we spent the first day and night on anchor planning the trip and geting to know Isbjorn. The diesel tank needed to be topped up but the the fuel truck was late so we headed up to St. Georges and filled up before setting sails to St. Croix.

Weather was excellent, ...

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One Week in Grenada

15 Mar

I haven’t taken the time to sit down and write about our sailing adventures since Leg 1 of this year, the long beat from BVI to St Bart’s and on to Antigua. While 2017 has been a mellow year in comparison to 2016 (when we kept breaking the boat, and on top of the sailing trips, we’re managing the World Cruising Club stuff), with the podcast going full steam ahead and the article series I’m working on for SAIL, I haven’t had any time to write for myself.

I’ve been re-reading Sterling Hayden’s Wanderer, one of my all-time favorite ...

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Back sailing the Grenadines

14 Mar

Bequia!

Bequia!

It’s been a long time! Andy and I were first in Bequia and to the Grenadines in 2009 during our trip on Broadreach. We sailed a 50’ Beneteau with 11 teenagers, a month long sailtraining camp starting in St. Martin and finishing in Trinidad. We truly fell in love with the smaller islands in the southern Caribbean, but since then I have not been south of St. Lucia. It was about time!

The Butler family joined us in Antigua for a 10-day trip down the islands to Grenada. As usual, sailing makes you flexible and this trip was ...

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PHOTOS: ’17 Leg 2: RORC Caribbean 600, Antigua

13 Mar


#FinishedBusiness

Welp, we did it! Isbjorn, finally, and one year later, completed the brutal and exciting RORC Caribbean 600 race in Antigua! If we took it for granted and failed in 2016, we had nothing of the sort in 2017, and showed up more prepared, more rested and better equipped than the year before by a long shot.

Big thanks to 2016 and 2017 crewmember Dan Shea for encouraging us to compete again in 2017. At first, the race wasn’t on our radar for 2017. But after failing to complete the course in 2016, Dan said he’d signup “immediately” if ...

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