It’s in the Bag

22 Oct

Photo courtesy of Rozalia Project

Not so long ago, if ever I wanted to feel depressed all I had to do was leaf through my collection of boatyard bills. Now all I have to do is look over the side and count the bits of plastic floating by. Like a constantly unfolding traffic wreck, I can’t take my eyes off it: a plastic bag here, a drink bottle, a candy wrapper there. There is no end to it. Walk along the shore and even in a pristine New England town the highwater line is speckled with pieces of plastic.

Not ...

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The Last of the Doldrums? And a Ship

21 Oct

October 19, 2018

Day 15

Noon Position: 07 49N  129 41W

Course/Speed: SWxW 5

Wind: SSE 10

Sea: S 4

Sky: Squalls and Altocumulus, Rain

10ths Cloud Cover: 10

Bar: 1013, falling

Cabin Degrees Fahrenheit: 84

Water Degrees Fahrenheit: 83

Percent Relative Humidity: 77

Sail: #2 genoa; main, close hauled

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 95 (Our lowest mileage day this leg.)

Miles since departure: 2043

Avg. Miles/Day: 136

Light and variable overnight with heavy squalls of rain. I motored due south. It was either that or heave to. By morning, a usable wind. I made sail before coffee.

I’d say ...

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Jardim do Mar // Madeira’s Big Wave Surf Spot

21 Oct

  Surf’s up! 48-foot longboard…

Surf’s up! 48-foot longboard…

There’s a book called ‘Barbarian Days,’ a memoir on a surfing life that won the Pulitzer Prize. it’s excellent. In it, a small village on the SW coast of Madeira called Jardim do Mar is feature prominently. In the 80s and 90s it was called the Jewel of the Atlantic, a magical, often overlooked big-wave surf spot way off the beaten path and hard to get to. When the conditions were right, it was apparently one of the best waves in the world.

I’m no surfer, but I can relate to the culture and ...

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ICE BEAR // Crew Letter Announcing the Swan 59

21 Oct

  THINDRA en route across the Atlantic.

THINDRA en route across the Atlantic.

Greetings All Former & Future Sailing Crew!

It’s official – 59 North Sailing is now a two-boat operation! Starting February 1, 2019, ICE BEAR, German Frers-designed Swan 59, will be making offshore passages with Mia & I on the helm!

Firstly, we want to send a huge THANK YOU to all the crew who have sailed with us already, or who are set to sail with us in the future. And to those of you who gave us such positive feedback when we first emailed you this idea several weeks ago. In large ...

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The Realm of Cloud

20 Oct

October 18, 2018

Day 14

Noon Position: 09 24N 129 34W

Course/Speed: S 5

Wind: NNW 6

Sea: S 5

Sky: Complex cloudy sky. Squally.

10ths Cloud Cover: 9

Bar: 1013

Cabin Degrees Fahrenheit: 88

Water Degrees Fahrenheit: 84

Percent Relative Humidity: 70

Sail: Motoring.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 102

Miles since departure: 1948

Avg. Miles/Day: 139

This is the realm of the cloud.

The whole-horizon photos included here are from just after sun-up. Each is taken toward a different cardinal point so that the entire sky can be seen in one moment. What struck me was the complexity of ...

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North Carolina ICW Inlets Crossings Updates 10/19/2018

20 Oct

For the past 5 years I have been monitoring the ICW.  My drive is largely enlightened self-interest.  We transit the ICW route every year. Over time, we have developed a small  group of like minded travelers with whom we have shared notes and observations.  The sources I have come to rely on are the USCG Districts 5 and 7 weekly Notice to Mariners, and the USACE Wilmington NC and Charleston SC, district web pages.  I also have learned  a lot from, and shared  content with Hank Pomeranz of Southport SC, Bob Sherer (AKA bob423 and a small fleet of experienced ...

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Limited offer: personalized copy of Voyaging with Kids!

19 Oct
Engaging pictures are a great way to get kids excited.
Thanks hamsterescape for this awesome photo!

Do you have a partner to convince to go cruising? Do relatives or friends think your plans are kind of nuts? Need a positive way to introduce cruising plans to people who may not embrace them? Or just want to get ahead on holiday gifts? EASY. I’ll send you a personalized inscription written in a copy of colorful, information-packed guide to family cruising,  Voyaging with Kids.

Jamie and I are starting to pack up for our return to Totem (ELEVEN DAYS Y’ALL, YES ...

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245: Matt Rutherford // Death, Golden Globe Race, Shackleton & More

19 Oct


#245. Matt Rutherford’s been a longtime friend of the podcast and has been on the show more than any other guest. For this episode, Matt & I talked about Arctic sailing – I got to tease him for sailing farther north than he ever has! – we talked about the Golden Globe race, death, fear, anxiety, kids, his latest trip to the Northwest Passage, climate change, Shackleton, and more. It was a wide-ranging and meandering conversation, and Matt, like usual, always has something compelling to say, so listen up. Follow Matt and his Ocean Research Project on, and don’t ...

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FLIR M232 thermal camera ClearCruise, eyes-on with Raymarine Axiom and eS

19 Oct

In this scene, Gizmo is negotiating the complex traffic almost always encountered around Hampton Roads, and the Raymarine eS128 screen above is helping with C-Map chart plotting, Quantum solid-state radar, and a FLIR M232 thermal cam. I’ve got a lot to say about the extensive Raymarine system I’ve been testing for the last year — almost all favorable — but today I’ll focus on one unique feature:  the automatic ClearCruise highlighting of “non-water” objects shown with yellow brackets on the thermal video.

A timely first point I’d like to make is that this ClearCruise feature — which was rather ...

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The Hours Long Squall

18 Oct

October 17, 2018

Day 13

Noon Position: 10 16N 131 04W

Course/Speed: ESE 5

Wind: S 12

Sea: S 4

Sky: Cumulus and a layer of stratus above

10ths Cloud Cover: 9

Bar: 1013+

Cabin Degrees Fahrenheit: 84

Water Degrees Fahrenheit: 83

Percent Relative Humidity: 76

Sail: #2 genoa, full; main full, close hauled to starboard

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 129

Miles since departure: 1846

Avg. Miles/Day: 142

I was working below. Then the rain started and the wind accelerated to 20 knots. Mo was flying her working sail full; we’d been close hauled for hours, trying to make southing ...

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