On Friendship with Birds

23 Jun
June 22, 2018

Day 176/4

Noon Position: 29 59N 158 29W
Course/Speed: N5
Wind: ENE6
Bar: 1024, steady
Sea: NE and W to 1; NW to3
Sky: Overcast with high squalls
Cabin Temperature: 82
Water Temperature: 75
Sail: #1 and Main, close reaching

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 117
Miles this leg: 516
Avg. Miles this leg: 129

The blackfooted albatross of yesterday has remained close today. Every hour or two, I’ll see him swing by and then land in the water just ahead. He’ll watch Mo as she passes from a comfortable perch on a flat sea and

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Optimizing Iridium GO use on board

22 Jun

Desert mountains and sailboats

Desert and sea are the incongruous pairing when sailing along Baja, where cactus-studded mountain ranges plummet to a Gulf full of marine life. Miles of isolated coastline make for stunning cruising grounds. We love the remote, wild-west feel of the Sea of Cortez… but we need to stay connected. There are approximately 2,534,934 more cardón cactus than cell towers here so we rely upon our Iridium GO.

What do we use it for? Keeping up with email. Checking news. I get twitchy without dipping into social media. Most important is weather: in case we needed a reminder, an early-season hurricane ...

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All to play for

22 Jun

Leg 11 start in Gothenburg
There have been some very dramatic finishes in the Volvo Ocean Race. One that comes to mind was the battle on Waitematā Harbour between Kiwi’s Grant Dalton on New Zealand Endeavour and Chris Dickson on Tokio as both teams vied to be the first into their homeport. It was in the dead of night with most of Auckland’s population out ...
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Fishes and Birds

22 Jun

June 21, 2018

Day 175/3

Noon Position: 28 01N 158 30W
Course/Speed: N5
Wind: E5
Bar: 1021, rising
Sea: Less than 2 feet
Sky: Partly cloudy
Cabin Temperature: 84
Water Temperature: 78
Sail: Motoring (needed to charge batteries anyway)

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 115
Miles this leg: 399
Avg. Miles this leg: 133
Miles since departure: 25,803
Wind went very light overnight. Mo coasted on a flat sea while I slept. After morning coffee, I raised the spinnaker, which prompted the wind to die altogether. So we motored slowly for a few hours while I watched for debris....

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NORTHBOUND LUNACY: Atlantic City, NJ, to Portland, ME

21 Jun

Flies onboard

As I departed the casino-studded shores of Jersey early last Thursday morning, sailing alone this time, there seemed no shortage of wind. There was a nice northwesterly, 20 knots or so, so I tied in one reef as I hoisted the main just outside Absecon Inlet, as I thought it might soon grow stronger. In spite of the firm breeze, the boat was soon infested with flies. Dozens and dozens of them. On the sidedecks, in the cockpit, down below. As if suddenly they had all decided that New Jersey was no longer worthy of their presence and they would ...

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Of Boobies and Baskets

21 Jun

June 20, 2018

Day 174/2

Noon Position: 26 08N 158 55W

Course/Speed: N7-8 (we must have a beneficial current)

Wind: E12-14

Bar: 1017, steady

Sea: NE4

Sky: Clear now; high overcast this morning

Cabin Temperature: 83

Water Temperature: 72

Sail: All plain sail.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 163

Miles this leg: 284

Avg. Miles this leg: 142

Miles since departure: 25,688

Wind has been E and steady since late yesterday afternoon, this despite the forecast. I rose every few hours overnight in anticipation of a change, but it never came. It came today in the form of a diminishing breeze ...

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Light and Variable is How it Starts

21 Jun

June 19, 2018

Day 171/1

Noon Position: 23 26N 158 42W

Course/Speed: N5

Wind: S8

Bar: 1016, steady

Sea: N2 (chop)

Sky: Overcast/Squalls and drizzle

Cabin Temperature: 84

Water Temperature: 80

Sail: Asymmetrical Spinnaker and main, running dead downwind

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 121

Miles this leg: 121

Avg. Miles this leg: 121

Miles since departure: 25,525

The haul home has started with motoring overnight in winds NE to W at 2 – 4 knots. Not a very romantic beginning nor very hopeful.

At 5am I came on deck to find Mo had trapped a visitor in the cockpit well, ...

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Hawaii Departure: Back in the Big Blue

20 Jun

June 18, 2018

Day 170/0

Noon Position: 21 27N 158 14W

Course/Speed: NNW6

Wind: NE9

Bar: 1017

Sea: NE1


Cabin Temperature: 84

Water Temperature: 82

Sail: All plain sail

For procrastinators, “departing is such sweet sorrow” would be better rendered as “departing will be better tomorrow.” In any case, that’s my relationship to making a timely exit from most any port.

I did exit the Waikiki Yacht Club more or less on schedule. On the Saturday, Mo and I motored 20 miles to the NW to Ko’OIina Marina, for that was the only spot on the whole island that ...

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KVH Enters the Cellular Internet market

20 Jun


KVH announced they’ve entered the cellular internet market with the TracPhone LTE-1.  Their marketing materials say it can deliver “Double the coverage and 10x faster speed at sea.”  KVH is providing the hardware and the cellular service and promises to deliver an all-in-one, end-to-end, no hassle, simple service.  If this announcement weren’t from KVH and it didn’t have some of the pretty bold claims KVH makes it might look like just a ho-hum, me too announcement.  But, KVH says they can do more faster and easier than the existing products so, I for one, am looking forward to ...

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RECYCLED: John Kretschmer // Cape Horn to Starboard

19 Jun


Crew Patch 59 North Lowercase.png


Today’s episode of On the Wind is presented by 59 North – that’s us!

Mia & I have made it a goal in 2018 to  refine our mission statement of ‘sharing the wisdom of the high seas with those wise enough to seek it out’, and we’re accomplishing that in a couple of ways.

First, join us on Isbjorn for an incredible offshore sailing experience on our Swan 48, an all-time ocean sailing machine. We’re sailing 10,000 miles per year and have some exciting plans coming up in the Arctic, Atlantic & beyond. We’re about to launch ...

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