Caribbean cruising after hurricanes Irma and Maria

17 Nov

The Baths at Virgin Gorda BVIs

A stream of migrating boats attest that the Caribbean sailing season is starting NOW. The fleet heading north from Grenada and Trinidad, those taking the offshore route from the USA, and boats in the trans-Atlantic fleets. Yet questions about the Caribbean’s readiness in a post-hurricane season still swirl: after the havoc of Irma and Maria, what’s changed? Where can we go? Even for sailors here in the islands, contemplating their next move, the answer seems to hang just out of reach like a suspenseful plot twist.

Spoiler: THE CARIBBEAN IS WAITING FOR YOU. You can go now. Please.

Yelena Rogers St John Photography beautiful beach

St John,

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Macif smashes the solo 24-hour record

15 Nov
For many years I have been going to the start of the Vendée Globe. I look at the boats and think that there simply can’t be any room for improvement. The boats look amazing, but four years later when I return the new boats make the older generation look like trucks. The performance curve is extraordinary and the way that the sailors sail these behemoths is also extraordinary.

François Gabart aboard Macif
I had the same feeling last year when I watched the French sailor Thomas Coville destroy the singlehanded, nonstop circumnavigation record. He sailed his 100-foot trimaran Sodebo with ...
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Southbound Delivery: A Quick Jaunt Offshore

15 Nov

Sunset Offshore 2.jpg

I cooked the last of our sausages while Dad drove Meri through the inlet at Cape Fear. Tom napped. The current was with us, so we made 8.5 knots over the ground, motorsailing out beyond the lee of Cape Fear. I served dinner after dark, those sausages with leftover red potatoes and the last of the mustard. While Tom did dishes dad & I set the genoa and Meri aimed south on starboard tack under an overcast sky. The air warmed up quickly once in the ocean – the water remains in the mid-70s and seems to have acted to ...

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AIS issues: Garmin, Navico, McMurdo, AMEC and SRT

13 Nov

Written by Ben Ellison on Nov 13, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


I like to write about marine electronics that facilitate safer, more enjoyable boating, especially new developments that seem headed in that direction. It’s been gratifying, for instance, to see the infant Class B AIS that Panbo began covering in 2005 grow into a highly appreciated tool for cruisers, racers and fishermen. AIS is a huge success on many levels, but today the subject is two issues that may concern some Class B AIS users…

Marine_Traffic_worldwide_AIS_nav_aids_cPanbo.jpgThe opening Marine Traffic screenshot shows the 152,552 active AIS transceivers the ...

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Folk art and daydreams from Bequia

13 Nov

Sailing upwind in the Caribbean

Cruisers merrily claim they “go where the wind blows.” It’s sort of true, but implies a more laissez-faire approach than migration patterns belie. On the day we departed – just as hurricane season is waning – we saw more boats sailing north and away from Grenada with us than we saw during entire stretch from Tortola down to Grenada a few months ago, at hurricane season’s peak. Weather patterns are shifting, and the fleet is on the move!

Provisioning up for our own departure at the bustling Saturday farmer’s market in St George is a treat for the senses. Aromas ...

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Offshore Into the Cold

11 Nov

Chilly willy start to the morning! But beautifully clear skies.

Chilly willy start to the morning! But beautifully clear skies.

We anchored s/v Meri just off the ICW last night around mile marker 265. A nice-looking 35-footer called Valkyrie was anchoring in a similar spot, just to the east of the channel in the only little hole of deep water. He called us up on the VHF as we waited for him to find his spot before moving in ourselves. The sun had gone over the horizon, leaving a brilliant orange glow to the south, that faded into a clear, deep blue sky overhead, with the first stars starting to ...

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A Greyscale Day on the ICW

10 Nov

Capt. Dennis (aka 'Andy's Dad') at the helm in the morning mist a few days back.

Capt. Dennis (aka ‘Andy’s Dad’) at the helm in the morning mist a few days back.

s/v Meri is underway today after a 24-hour pause in Beaufort. Time goes slowly when you have nothing you have to do. 

I went for a run in the afternoon, rain be damned. I couldn’t stand being cooped up in the boat any longer, and exercise is always a cure for the restless mind. I ran east along the waterfront road in Beaufort, keeping a jogging pace on the way out and admiring the fishing boats and white egrets along the way. One big ...

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Southbound: Indecision in Beaufort

9 Nov

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It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.

— Oscar Wilde

Stuck in Beaufort. Rain pours from the sky, heavier now than it’s been all morning. Any last inkling of going offshore today has been officially washed out. 

Dad, Tom & I borrowed the car from the Three Nice Guys at the Beaufort Docks marina and drove to Atlantic Beach for a midday breakfast at the Four Corners Diner, then on to West Marine to get a few supplies. Because that’s what you do during ...

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Thing One and Thing Two go sailing

9 Nov

I know that I said that I would not give these two hapless women any more ink but I can’t help myself. I had moved on, put them and their ridiculous story out of my mind, but that was until I saw them on The Today Show.  For those that don’t know The Today Show is one of the highest rated morning TV shows in the US and Thing One and Thing Two were there being interviewed by Thing Three; aka Matt Lauer who I used to think was a half decent journalist. That was when I knew that
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215: Gary Adams // Clipper Race Crew, Oban Marina Scotland

7 Nov

215 Art Gary Adams.jpg

#215. Gary Adams is the new owner of Oban Marina, in Scotland, which we visited on Isbjorn in June. He’s also a former Clipper Race crewmember, who sailed with our friend – and podcast #184 guest – Ollie Cotterell. Gary & Andy sat down on the island of Kerrera to talk about Gary’s sailing & business background, his Clipper Race experience and what it’s like owning a marina. Check out

Show Notes:

Photos from Gary Adams and the Clipper Race:

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On The Wind is the evolution of 59º North, and is, ...

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