Andy & Mia

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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PHOTOS: ’17 Leg 1: BVI to Antigua via St. Barth’s

15 Feb

First trip of the year! Upwind from the BVI to Antigua! crew Kevin at the helm.

First trip of the year! Upwind from the BVI to Antigua! crew Kevin at the helm.

The first trip of 2017! Crew members Kevin, Tom, Irena & Vlado joined Isbjorn in Trellis Bay, Tortola in the BVI! We knew going into it that it would be an upwind trip, and it was! After a quick sail over to Spanish Town where we cleared out, we set sail for Ile Fourche, a small island just north of St. Barth’s. Ile Fourche is one of our favorite anchorages, nothing ashore except great hiking and turtles swimming around the boat! From there, we ...

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PASSAGE LOGS POSTSCRIPT: Antigua One Year Later…

14 Feb

This time last year was quite a different story. Mia was back in Sweden still, and I was reeling from the failure of our first two legs of 2016. We were meant to go from BVI-Grenada on Leg 1, only to make it halfway there (in similar, rough & windy conditions) when the roller-furler jammed and failed, forcing us to turn back. Then the mainsail split down the middle from luff to leech on the way back. We limped back to Tortola were we’d come from two days earlier, my pride wounded and the boat in need of repair.

As ...

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Back in Antigua – First sail of the year!

14 Feb

View over English Harbor, Antigua.

View over English Harbor, Antigua.

Happy Valentines Day to you all! Must say it is very refreshing to ‘celebrate’ down here, don’t think I have seen a single heart posted anywhere, except that the restaurant we went to yesterday had a ‘Valentines special’ for todays dinner.

We have now been in the Caribbean for two weeks, Sweden feels vey far away and it is hard to imagine that only two weeks ago we were over there, in temperatures around 0°C surrounded by my family and friends. I always have had a bit of a hard time to change places, but ...

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PASSAGE LOG: Full Moon to Antigua

14 Feb

After another pit stop in Gustavia to explore ashore and eat our cheeseburgers in paradise and we were off again, this time bound for Antigua in much better weather. Mia & Tom took the dinghy ashore on the morning of departure to get the last few needed provisions while Vlado, Kevin, Irena & I dove on the anchor and relaxed on the boat.

We got underway around 1500, starting with just one reef in the mainsail and the small genoa. The forecast held true – easier trades closer to 15 knots, backing to the ENE as we neared Antigua and ...

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