Innovative electronics like Navico ID hardly mentioned, a new paradigm?

19 Feb

What is arguably the most innovative electronics system in recent times debuted at the Miami boat show and very few people noticed! I’m talking specifically about the Navico Information Display that was purportedly integrated into the dashboards of some 14 new boats around the show, but there may well have been similar new integrations going on that even an obsessive marine electronics journalist is not aware of.

While the phrase “new paradigm” seems overused and often misunderstood, I think we’re looking at the real deal as the familiar model of how boat electronics are developed and marketed submerges behind ...

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Do Over

19 Feb

February 16 (again), 2019/Day 135 (again)

Noon Position: 47 07S  177 42 *WEST*

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 7

Miles since departure: 18,572

Avg. Miles/Day: 138


Last night before midnight, Mo crossed the 180th meridian and passed from east longitude back into west longitude. More interestingly, from a balance sheet perspective, we crossed the International Date Line, which makes today February 16, again.

What is the International Date Line? It’s the day I get to take my miles back!

I keep Mo on zone time at sea, the same kind of time we live by on land. There are 24 one-hour zones ...

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Failures and Fixes

18 Feb

February 16, 2019/Day 135

Noon Position: 47 15S  178 34E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 6+

Miles since departure: 18,420

Avg. Miles/Day: 136


A slow night has given way to a fast day. Rain in the morning. Then squalls till mid afternoon. Then puffy cumulus as the wind hardened into the middle 30s from the WSW. This surprised me, that the low would come with cumulus and not the solid deck and rain one expects. But as I type, the sky astern has grown dark and heavy. Now comes the low.

We are entering that part of the voyage where gear ...

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RORC 2019 Caribbean 600 Race Part One

17 Feb

Here I sit typing words into the internet while 37,000ft over the Caribbean sea, winging my way towards Antigua. What an amazing age we live in! Internet connectivity while going this fast over such a lonely stretch of the planet still blows my mind. 

I’m on my way to Antigua to help out on Isbjorn, a Swan 48 that is being campaigned by my good friend Andy Schell. I’m to be a cook on the race, keeping one half of our 12 person crew fed and happy. The race we will be sailing in is the RORC 600. It’s a 600 mile ...

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A Gam at Sea, Thwarted

17 Feb

February 15, 2019/Day 134

Noon Position: 47 20S  175 26E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExN 5

Miles since departure: 18,293

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


So slow. We haven’t had a 150-mile day in nearly two weeks. Fastest day in the last eleven, 137 miles, and that one is way ahead of the average. On four days, we’ve made less tha 100 miles. That’s more sub 100-mile days in two weeks than we’ve had since departure. The forecast predicts wind should pick up–a low is approaching, but each new forecast pushes its arrival out another day.

I’m trying to relax into it. Tough. Cape ...

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Valentine’s Day

16 Feb

February 14, 2019/Day 133

Noon Position: 48 05S  172 54E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 5

Miles since departure: 18,181

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


No one who knows my wife, Joanna, would call her sentimental. Nor, being British, does she approve the California habit of hugging when clearly a handshake will do. She’s effusive and bubbly and extremely personable; she knows no such thing as having too many friends. But sentimentality is not her gig.

That said, on the occasion of both Figure 8 departures, Joanna has gifted me with deeply touching letters and a small collection of photos. Frankly, it has almost ...

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Cruiser karma: alive and well in La Cruz

16 Feb

Nine years ago this month, Totem rocked at anchor in this exact curve of coastline on the north side of Banderas Bay where we find ourselves today. We basked in the same sunrise over the sierras to the east, were enchanted by the same distant fireworks from Puerto Vallarta resorts in the evening, and maybe even gasped at the same glistening humpback whales breech and splash into colossal spires of whitewater. (There’s Siobhan in the midst of provisioning chaos in our main cabin – age 5.)

Our little crew had been cruising a year and a half: those months grew ...

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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 4 // Roll the ol’ Chariot Along

15 Feb

19.01.29_Windy Drone Spin_10.jpg

We’ll roll the ol’ chariot along
We’ll roll the ol’ chariot along
We’ll roll the ol’ chariot along
And we’ll all hang on behind.

You understand where those words come from on a passage like this. Downwind for days, eatin’ up the miles. That’s of course from the classic sea shanty, A Drop of Nelson’s Blood. Appropriate given that we’re headed towards Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua, the home of the British Naval fleet under the man. ISBJORN’s still rollin’ along to the southwest at the start of our 5th day at sea, closing in on the Cape Verde islands still ...

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Mo (Re)Enters to the Pacific

15 Feb

February 13, 2019/Day 132

Noon Position: 47 36S  169 48E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 6

Miles since departure: 18,054

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

Sunny and clear when I came on deck at 6am. Wind had slowly veered into the north overnight, but it stayed light until midmorning.

During my pre-breakfast ship inspection, I discovered there had been a drama on deck while I slept. Up near the port chainplates, I found a small clump of feathers and a white, chalky deposit. As I looked toward the stern, there were further deposits in various colors, including black and Krill red, until, at the ...

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Onward to the East

14 Feb

February 12, 2019/Day 131

Noon Position: 47 34S  167 18E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): –

Miles since departure: 17,952

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


I put on the anchor light after dinner and went to bed. On an ever relaxing sea, Mo rolled with the slow grace of a cruise ship. The bunk was still; all around was quiet. Quiet. Such unaccustomed  luxury, quiet.

In the night, our drift went to the west, a safe direction, and never more than a knot. Each time I checked, the answer was the same. Sleep well.

On deck at dawn, I found we’d been overtaken by fog. ...

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