Naps and Vents

11 Dec

Day 43
Noon Position: 43 51S 111 48W

Course/Speed: SE 6

Wind: W to 20

Sail: Reaching with two tucks in working jib and main

Bar: 1019

Sea: W 10+

Sky: Clear

Cabin Temp: 61

Water Temp: 50 (down five degrees from yesterday)
Miles last 24-hours: 155

Miles since departure: 5722


Crisp sunrise to start a crisp and sunny day at sea. Wind has been in the low 20s from the west for most of it but is slacking as I write, and the barometer has risen to 1019, up from 1014 yesterday noon. My tactic for outrunning the descending ...

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Encounters South

10 Dec

Day 42
Noon Position: 41 51S 133 44W

Course/Speed: ESE 6 – 7

Wind: NW 15 – 25

Sail: Twins, poled, half reefed

Bar: 1014

Sea: NW 10

Sky: Overcast, ragged

Cabin Temp: 67

Water Temp: 55
Miles last 24-hours: 172

Miles since departure: 5567

It drew my attention at first because it hung there over the wave as if suspended by wires. Not a petrel, I thought. Petrels have such a crazed need for speed that if the wind isn’t providing, they will flap furiously with long powerful strokes that give the impression of a winged primate swinging through ...

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New Normal, Suddenly

9 Dec

Day 41 Noon Position: 39 41S 115 58W Course/Speed: SE 7 Wind: NW 20+ Sail: Twins, half in Bar: 1023 Sea: NW 8 Sky: Gray deck Cabin Temp: 71 Water Temp: 58 Miles last 24-hours: 155 Miles since departure: 5395 This evening we have technically entered the roaring 40s, and though they are not, Read More...

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The new America’s Cup design

8 Dec
Extra terrestrial or innovative new America’s Cup design?

You may have noticed that I have not weighed in on the new monohull design for the next America’s Cup. You may have seen it. The hull is pretty ordinary but it’s the strange appendages that stick out each side to allow the boat to foil that has many people atwitter. Frankly I am not that impressed. I have always gone with the notion that pretty boats sail fast. Yes I know that’s a tad simplistic but I believe it and over the years I think I have been right. This design ...
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Scenes from the South Pacific below the Line.

8 Dec

In the latter part of November, 2017, Moli and I were making way south through the Pacific’s Southeast Trades toward Cape Horn. These shots document a few of those moments. By way of explanation, the repair to the tiller was necessary because the plastic I used as a gasket between the aluminum tiller the, Read More...

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Forty Days and Forty Nights

7 Dec

Day 40 Noon Position: 37 46S 118 02W Course/Speed: SSE 5 Wind: NNW 10 Sail: Twin genoas poled out full Bar: 1029 Sea: N 3; the big odl swell from the SW is gone. Sky: FOG! Cabin Temp: 77  Water Temp: 63 Miles last 24-hours: 138 Miles since departure: 5238 When I wake in, Read More...

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Computer-assisted groundings? Bad Navionics charts?

7 Dec

Written by Ben Ellison on Dec 7, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Potts_Harbor_grounding_aPanbo.jpg

Despite incredible advances in chart availability and chart plotting, keels keep banging on reasonably well charted ledges and reefs all over the planet. Why? I’ve made far too many navigation errors to play the righteous scold, but I am taken aback by the tendency of boaters to blame technology and especially the recent trend toward castigating chart manufacturers like Navionics as if perfect data is a possibility or even an entitlement…

The damaged keel photo above comes from a cruising blog entry titled Navionics Sonar Charts ...

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Bodgering and Big Wind

6 Dec

Day 39  Noon Position: 35 58S 119 42W Course/Speed: SE/SSE 6 – 7 Wind: N 11 – 15 Sail: Twins, poled out full Bar: 1027 (wow) Sea: N 6 SW 8 Sky: Overcast, drizzle all night Cabin Temp: 79 Water Temp: 66 (big drop) Miles last 24-hours: 151 Miles since departure: 5100 “Bodacious” (a, Read More...

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Looking west from Martinique

6 Dec

Drone view St Anne to Marin Martinique

When we look back on the Caribbean, Martinique will feature among the best memories—and not just because of the pâté, brie, and baguettes. A stop to provision and facilitate a trip to Puerto Rico for Jamie stretched out and filled with beaches and swimming, exploring the history and charm of this lush island, Thanksgiving celebrations – all packaged in the company of friends.

So good

ProvisioningThe pâté, brie, and baguette factor can’t be ignored! I don’t know when we’ll be in French territory again, so enjoy the treats instead of watching calories. The team favorite for pastry from the Sainte ...

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A Singular Cup

6 Dec

The news that the America’s Cup is going back to monohulls for its 36th edition comes as no surprise to Cup insiders. I do not count myself among these, but even back in 2013, when the big AC72 cats were gearing up to transform multihull sailing forever, the whisper on the San Francisco docks was that if the Kiwis won, they’d do away with the multis.

Well, we all know how that turned out. Pride, fall, etc. Anyway, it came as no surprise to yours truly when, shortly after they took Oracle Team USA to the woodshed in Bermuda, ...

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