#259. Alex & Brady are the other half of SV Delos. After meeting them for the first time up in Svalbard, Mia & I reunited with the whole Delos crew in Antigua after our Atlantic crossing on ISBJORN. We spent 3 weeks chillin’ on the beach and hanging out in shorts! While Brian & Kazza were off on their honeymoon in New York City, Mia & I recorded a long meandering chat with Brady & Alex aboard Delos about their side of the Delos story.
This was a really fun one to record, especially getting to do it from onboard DELOS in Antigua! We were anchored right next door on ISBJORN, so it was a very quick dinghy ride over ;)
Bonjour! Welcome back to On the Wind and greetings from Ile des Saintes in Guadaloupe! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve done a real-time intro on the show – I guess that was back in Las Palmas before the Atlantic crossing – and man a LOT has happened since you heard from me here! I’ve got a few stories to tell and a few pieces of news to share, so early warning, this is going to be an extra long intro here, but I think you’ll enjoy it.
First of all, HUGE thanks to Rutgerson Marin whose been supporting the show for almost a full year now. We’re transitioning Rutgerson off of the podcast and will be working with them on some more practical stuff, like outfitting both boats with some of their hardware, hosting seminars at their factory in Sweden, doing boat shows together, etc. So if you haven’t been listening to the show in a while, go to rutgerson.se and check out their catalog. We’ve got all sorts of hardware on ISBJORN and now ICE BEAR – turning blocks, low-friction rings, rope clutches – and it’s so refreshing to work with a small company based in our backyard in Sweden that makes world-class stuff designed and built in-house. Mia & I only work with brands and gear that we’d use anyway, and we’re stoked to have built such a cool relationship with Rutgerson. So if you’re in Sweden, thank them personally for supporting the show, and if not, send them a note on Facebook or Instagram, or better yet, grab some of their hardware at rutgerson.se. This won’t be the last you hear about them from us.
Speaking of sponsors, we’ve got a gap right now on the show – I’ve been too busy to find any new ones lately! – and I’ve been toying with the idea of dropping all the sponsors altogether. Make the show ad-free, and record some more personal stories in the intros rather than sponsor spots. I’ll be completely honest – the sponsors bring in real money. But so do you guys, with your donations directly to us and on Patreon. So what kind of show do YOU want it to be going forward? One in which we rely on your donations to support it? Or one where we find brands and gear that we love and use and feature them in sponsorship slots at the top of the show? I want to know! Email email@example.com, or better yet, if you DON’T want ads, head over to onthewind.co or patreon.com/onthewind and show your support. This might be a big turning point for us, so let’s see where it goes…
Where to even start…? Well, we crossed the Atlantic again! ISBJORN made the passage in just over 20 days, sailing 3,130 miles in the process. It was anything but your typical tradewinds trip – we had everything from no wind, to headwinds to a 60-knot squall! But we had a great trip and a great crew and I’ll admit it feels good to be back in warm, familiar waters.
But we barely had time to rest & reflect on the trip. Less than 36 hours after dropping anchor in Falmouth Harbor, Antigua, Mia started her Yachtmaster course. That’s a whole other story on its own – and we’re going to record a special episode of How I Think About Sailing to tell it – but suffice it to say the school she chose was well below our standards, and while she passed both the theory and the practical courses, it was anything but an inspiring experience. But, along with her 5 Atlantic crossings, she’s now got her Yachtmaster, so congrats Mia!
Meanwhile, with Mia at school, Paul Exner, my dad Dennis, podcast producer & friend Lee Cumberland and ISBJORN’s new full-time first-mate Liz Karamavros had flown in to Antigua to prepare ISBJORN for the Caribbean 600 race, while I was sorting out and setting up ICE BEAR, the new-to-us Swan 59 that we only saw for the first time in Antigua! It was our third attempt at the 600 on ISBJORN, and for the second time, we didn’t finish. The conditions were brutal and some old rigging started failing on the boat, so I got spooked and we bailed out at St. Barts. A few bolts in the genoa tracks had started pulling out and looked very corroded, so I got worried about the stemmed fitting bolts – that’s the big hunk of stainless that holds the forestay in place and houses the anchor roller, etc, probably the single most important piece of rigging on the boat. Long story short, we had a blast in the race with a great crew and some great friends, and ISBJORN ended up getting a new stemmed fitting fabricated while she spent two weeks on the hard. Huge thanks to my dad and his girlfriend Marcia for overseeing the work – they were supposed to be on a sailing vacation and instead spent most of the time in the boatyard!
As I record this, we’re anchored in Ile des Saintes, those lovely and charming islands just south of Guadaloupe and very French. After Mia & I double-handed the big boat down from Antigua – a rollicking and awesome sail – we’ve had the past ten days on ICE BEAR sailing with family – my sister Kaitie and her husband Kevin joined us with Mia’s two sister’s Lisa & Frida. Tomorrow we’ll sail them up to Pointe a Pitre, where they’ll head back to Sweden, while we pick up Jenni and Richard for the delivery sail down to Grenada ahead of our first big trip with crew on the new boat!
Speaking of which, I have a LOT of mixed emotions about ICE BEAR! Mia & I are going to try and record those thoughts for this week’s How I Think About Sailing, so look for that on Thursday. In short, we love the 59. She’s an amazing sailboat, ISBJORN evolved, fast and stable and despite her size, easy to handle, even with just the two of us. But as I was telling Liz on the phone yesterday, I feel an emotional conundrum now. Not sailing ISBJORN feels like we’ve abandoned an old friend, an old race horse whose done everything we’ve asked of her and them some and who we’ve shared so many adventures with. It’s like we then came across this other beautiful race horse in the 59, that needed some love and care and to stretch her legs again, and that if not us, who would do it?! So we’ve got these two beautiful boats, neither of which I want to abandon but only one of which I can sail at a time! It’s strangely emotional for me, these boats have personalities all their own, and if you don’t love them like the thoroughbreds they are, then what’s the point? We’ll have a lot more to say about this on Thursday, so stay tuned.
Right, on to some practical stuff. We’ve got two new passages announced on ISBJORN this summer. June 3-9 she’s sailing from Annapolis up to Newport, Rhode Island. ISBJORN will depart the Chesapeake at the same time as ICE BEAR, but we’ll continue on the big boat up to Nova Scotia. Then, June 15-21, ISBJORN will sail back from Newport to Annapolis. These are shorter, cheaper passages designed to get people a taste of ocean sailing and to visit two of America’s most famous sailing cities in one shot! We’ve got two spaces left on each passage, so head over to 59-north.com/2019 for details and to sign on. ISBJORN is also heading south in November from the bay to the Caribbean alongside ICE BEAR. That one is a hard-core, challenging 9-day passage with almost a guarantee of heavy weather. Paul Exner will be on the helm with Liz Karamavros as mate. Three crew spots left on that one, so go get em!
In September, Mia & I are doing our first celestial workshop in Europe! It’s now open for booking at 59-north.com/celestial, and will be hosted at the Rutgerson Factory in Marstrand, Sweden. The weekend will include a tour of the factory during one of the breaks as well. The workshop is limited to 12 people, and is gonna be a blast!
And last but not least, there are only 50 copies of the ‘80º North’ Arctic coffee table book left! They’re now available for immediate shipping, and the finished product is absolutely gorgeous! Each book is hand-numbered out of 250 copies, and includes a postcard signed by the entire Delos crew, Mia & I and James our photographer. Yes, they’re expensive – $125 – but they’re works of art and we’re really proud of it. Go to 59-north.com/80north to grab your copy. We’re not printing a second run – once these 250 go, that’s it!
- Check out the Svalbard Sailing Logs from last summer – Featuring Brady and Alex!
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This article was syndicated from 59º North Sailing // On the Wind Sailing Podcast