At anchor in Comoros’ Moheli Marine Park

4 Sep


One of the draws for Comoros (outside my personal destination trifecta of minimal tourism, interesting culture, and natural beauty) is the marine park. The first protected area in Comoros, it encompasses nearly half the coastal waters off the island of Moheli – a day sail from our landfall destination of Anjouan.

The park is dominated by a series of parallel finger islands on the south side of Moheli. Viewing on Google Earth promises beautiful reefs, but precious few anchorages. GE is important here, since our charts call out most of it as ‘unsurveyed’ or ‘inadequately surveyed’, and soundings are infrequent....

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BERNARD MOITESSIER: Sailing Mysticism and The Long Way

3 Sep

Long Way cover

It is interesting that our three major monotheistic “revealed” religions–Judaism, Christianity, and Islam–are all the fruit of mystic transmissions received by prophets who isolated themselves in the desert. And in Buddhism, of course, though it is not really theistic, we have a belief system based on the enlightenment of a man who isolated himself beneath a tree. But curiously, though humans (as we have discussed before) have long wandered across the watery part of our world, an inherently isolating experience, from the very beginning of our existence, we have in our history no real prophet of the sea....

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Mother Nature has the last word

2 Sep

For the last five days, since we left the Greenland coast, we have been fighting strong southeasterly winds that made it impossible for us to sail our desired course to the Azores.

The main culprit is a stationary and very powerful high west of the British Isles, extending more than halfway across the North Atlantic, which has been acting as preventing surface lows from moving more west to east and generate more favorable wind direction. With the latest forecasts predicting the situation to continue for at least another four days, it would have taken us 14 days or more reach ...

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In Search of a New Record

2 Sep
The 97-foot Qingdao China getting ready for a trip through the Northeast Passage

These days it’s getting harder and harder to do something in sailing that’s never been done before. It used to be that a solo circumnavigation was enough. Then it had to be non-stop, then it had to be non-stop the wrong way around. In the late 70’s I met an Australian by the name of Jon Sanders who had done a solo, non-stop circumnavigation and was setting out to do a single-handed, double, non-stop circumnavigation. Once he completed his double he decided that he needed to better
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