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 ... Read More
Sun’s out, guns out! Leaving St. Pierre under a blue sky! Dan and David ready to hoist the main!
After a fun and relaxing week up in St. John’s, Newfoundland, David and Dough arrived a few days early to explore the town before departing south towards Lunenburg. Dan, our 3rd crew, sailed with us up from Lunenburg and stayed onboard during the stop over in St. John’s. As we departed, the fog rolled in pretty quickly and we had a nice cruise down to St. Pierre, arriving early in the morning in thick fog. St. Pierre really surprised us and ... Read More
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 ... Read More
“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 ... Read More
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 ... Read More
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 ... Read More
On the 26th, a ridge of high pressure will extend from 40N/60W Read More
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 ...
A brief moment of clear skies before Cape Race.
We cleared Cape Race on Tuesday morning. The sky was thick with fog and devoid of wind. Lightning struck in the distance and the thunder, a half-minute later, rolled on and on and on over the calm seas, a truly majestic sound, one we could appreciate as it was far enough away for comfort.
High-vis gloves help in the fog!
As we headed up the coast for the last 60-mile jaunt to St. John’s, things started to change. A thin crack in the fog offered a brief glimpse of the dramatic ... Read More
Capt. Andy joined Isbjorn after his appendicitis surgery a week earlier in Newport. A great sail out of Lunenburg, the wind kept building as we sailed along the coast of Nova Scotia. To avoid a big low between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland we jumped in to Lewisbourg for a day. 20 hrs later we were out again, some frustrating light wind sailing through fog until we rounded Cape Race. The fog lifted, the wind picked up and can not say other that a spectacular sail up the coast. Dozens of humpback whales, dolphins and puffins all around the boat and we didn’t ... Read More
The rain poured down this morning. Lightning struck in the distance and the thunder rolled on and on through the fog, a deep groaning like a distant freight train, at once a little frightening, but more so overwhelmingly beautiful
The rain poured down this morning. Lightning struck in the distance and the thunder rolled on and on through the fog, a deep groaning like a distant freight train, at once a little frightening, but more so overwhelmingly beautiful. We’re rounding Cape Race as I write, only a few miles offshore, though we don’t yet have land in sight. Birds surround ... Read More