Isbjorn in Madeira: A Local Futbol Game

24 Sep

  Mia sporting her new hat in Funchal.

Mia sporting her new hat in Funchal.

I did 10k this morning, starting along the waterfront behind the marina and working east, quickly realizing that beyond the 2 or 3 kilometers of the main drag, there are no flat areas for running in Funchal. Past the Porto Maria hotel I jogged through old-town and across cobblestones that challenged my ankle joints and the road crept ever upward. At times I was down to a walking pace – gradients in excess of 12% sort of required it. The sun was high in the sky at 10am, and hot, but I wanted ...

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Towards Madeira: Warm Weather Sailing at it’s Best!

23 Sep

  Unbelievable landfall in Madeira at sunset!

Unbelievable landfall in Madeira at sunset!

0527. Dark. You can see the Milky Way quite clearly. ISBJORN hurtles downwind under spinnaker. The sail is illuminated by the steaming light on the front of the mast to make it easier to trim at night. We’ve changed to a 4-on-4-off watch rotation, switching after dinner tonight, in order that Mia or myself is always up when the chute is up in the dark.

[Incidentally, after we arrived in Madeira, Andy posted this photo on Facebook, which started a very good discussion on COLREGS offshore, with comments from people like John Rousmaniere, Peter ...

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Accidental grounding, familiarity breeds complacency

20 Sep

My 2018 cruising started with a trip straight up Lake Michigan’s Wisconsin coast bound for Manistique, a small town on Michigan’s upper peninsula.  We had something very rare, three consecutive days of flat water on Lake Michigan.  So we made the most of the conditions and ran all three of those days for a total of 300 nm at 9 kts.  We made it the length of the lake to Manistique without incident.  Unfortunately, we didn’t make it into Manistique harbor without incident.

I’ve been into Manistique’s little harbor a handful of times before.  In fact, I had bread crumbs ...

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UNMANNED: First Robot Sailboat Completes Transatlantic Voyage

19 Sep

Sailbuoy Met

Who needs crew? Not the Sailbuoy Met, a 2-meter long sailing robot, which recently arrived in Ireland after sailing 80 days non-stop from Newfoundland. Created by a Norwegian company, Offshore Sensing AS, Sailbuoy is the first robot vessel to cross the Atlantic and the first to complete the Microtransat Challenge, a transatlantic race for autonomous vessels. Twenty previous attempts by different teams had ended in abject failure.

 Sailbuoy route

Route of the victor

Check out the Microtransat tracking map and you’ll see there are currently two other robots working to complete the course. SeaLeon, fielded by Dalhousie University ...

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Winegard Connect marine WiFi and cell internet connection, simple and functional

19 Sep

The Winegard Connect 4G1xm along side it’s power injector

I first mentioned my “installation” of a Winegard Connect because I was exercised about the cabling and mounting scheme Winegard employs. But the company deserves high marks for their response to my concerns, as they quickly had a proposed solution (explained below).  While the Connect all-in-one WiFi and cellular get-online system — with the cell service included — is Winegard’s first entry into the marine internet market, they’ve been at it in the RV world for quite some time and the rock-solid RF performance is pretty impressive even if the ...

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ICW update. September 19, 2018  The Fifth Coast Guard District Local Notice to Mariners (38-2018)

19 Sep

Here is what is  in the D#5 Notice to Mariners.

The USCG is out on the waters.  The NTM (Notice to Mariners) report many damaged and destroyed ATONS in the area affected by Florence.  The changes are already too numerous to list here and will certainly grow.  In the past two years we have been very impressed by the speed with which the USCG attended to the hurricane damaged  ICW ATONs.  There are ATON crews from the Great Lakes and from New England who have been transferred to this area to work through all the damaged ATONs. Be sure that ...

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243: James Aiken // Filmmaker & Single-handed Sailor

18 Sep

OTW243.jpg

#243. James Aiken is a filmmaker and single-handed sailor that Mia & I met in Ireland after our passage south from Iceland. At the dock in Bangor, James saw our 59 North flag and as a fan of the show, came over to say hi! Coincidentally, five minutes earlier I’d been admiring this beautiful dark-blue boat at the other end of the dock, which turned our to be James’ OAKEN YARN, a classic Tradewinds 33. Thus began a week-long interaction with James that included chasing him down under spinnaker in the Irish Sea and sailing less than a boat-length apart ...

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Cascading events: preventing crisis at sea

18 Sep

Fears of disaster at sea can loom large; even for adrenaline junkies, misadventure is not the desired companion to adventure. Jamie shares one facet of thinking around avoiding crises at sea here; for more, join Cruisers U and attend seminar at the Annapolis Boat Show next month.

Some boaters will experience a crisis situation. All come close, repeatedly… You know, like that time during the headsail change when the halyard slipped away, and then… Oh wait, that one became a crisis. How could a loose halyard go so wrong, right? Let’s let the halyard dangle, for now, while we talk ...

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ICW update report September 17, 2018

17 Sep

Update 12:00 EDT September 17, 2018

As previously suggested and as hoped, the Northern part of the ICW between Norfolk and Beaufort NC is partially operational. Some facilities are fully up and running. Some facilities are damaged but running.  Some facilities are closed. However the ICW seems passable with dockage, fuel and water available in places between Norfolk and Beaufort, NC.  Those facilities which are open for business are anxious to have cruisers come through.  But be aware that many homes and businesses are flooded and already damaged.  Be even more careful about your wake, as in flooding conditions your ...

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Concerned about the Carolinas, searching for data

14 Sep

This great aerial image from Marinas.com shows the peaceful, safe harbor I so enjoyed while keeping Gizmo at the New Bern Grand Marina last winter, and across the Trent River at Bridge Pointe Marina three winters before that. Well up the Neuse River from the Outer Banks and below the normal ice and snow belt, these well-managed operations seem like cruising boat havens and that’s reflected in the large, active liveaboard communities.

But New Bern got pummeled by hurricane Florence last night, and it’s hard to tell the amount of damage or how worse it may get. I find myself ...

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