Cruising

ICW: New Route for Dawho Creek

2 Apr

Dawho Creek STM 495 has been a growing area of concern. It has shoaled to less than 6 feet at MLLW and you do not have to be far of course to see less than 5 feet. There are USACE surveys through Dawho Creek from the fall of 2017. They show a deep-water route to the north of the marked USCG channel. Bob Sherer, more well known by his Active Captain handle of bob423, has plotted waypoints along this new route. Bob asked me to beta test the route March 27. Here is our track, waypoints and depth findings along ...

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Pass the Bananas

21 Feb

Photo by Mike & Robin Stout

We sailors can be a superstitious lot, and who can blame us? We head off into terra incognita every time we hoist our sails, in the sense that we can never be entirely sure what’s going to happen next. We have a much better idea, of course, than our forebears: meteorologists of the world, take a bow.
But for most of human history, going to sea was a leap into the unknown. Those who did so knew there was a solid chance they would not return, so who could blame them for a little ...

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Rebuilding the Compression Post Part One

10 Jan

Below is how I removed and rebuilt the compression post on Satori, the most comical part of this project was cutting expensive and important parts of the boat apart with a sawsall…

IMG_1127

I looked at the compression post, wondering how I was going to grind out and remove something that was almost exactly the height of the cabin top. I figured if I cut the post in the middle I could easily remove the top half and have some leverage on the bottom half when I’m grinding out the epoxy encapsulated plate holding the post to the keel.

compression post top plateNext, I ...

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A Sailor’s New Year’s Resolutions

2 Jan

What was that about reefing sooner, and just look at that dinghy…

Things undone, things still to do; what are your resolutions for the New Year? Here are some of mine.

1. Deep-clean the engine

OK, so this one was held over from 2017. And 2016.

2. Make it a rule to reef earlier

The screams and crashing of crockery from belowdecks get tiring after a while.

3. Don’t tow the dinghy in open water

Those oars were expensive.

4. Install a holding tank gauge

Do I really need to explain why?

5. Go up the mast to replace the ...

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Passage notes: westbound across the Caribbean

13 Dec

Sailing wing and wing

_DSC2312Totem is sailing toward sunsets again. Turning towards the Dutch Antilles from Martinique was more westbound than south. This passage brought back more than a familiar angle for sunrises and moonsets: it’s also…

  • downwind sailing for the first time in 18 months
  • first passage with more than one night at sea in 18 months
  • a nearly full moon! so nice on a passage, and something we had a knack for mis-timing
  • new destinations, instead of retracing a track

The 470nm distance was slightly awkward. It’s just long enough to necessitate a third night at sea. The benefit is a chance ...

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Sailing Stories Season 2!

1 Dec

We’re off to the races with season two of Sailing Stories Podcast! This season we’ve captured the audio version of Yves Gelinas book, Jean-du-Sud & the Magick Byrd. It was just translated into English and released at this year’s boat show, Yves was on hand at the show signing copies and hanging out. We moved Satori down to Back Creek for the third year running and Yves stayed aboard for the duration of the show. It was the least I could do for the hospitality he showed us during our time in Quebec! 

We’re up to Episode seven, season two of Sailing Stories. ...

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Caribbean cruising after hurricanes Irma and Maria

17 Nov

A stream of migrating boats attest that the Caribbean sailing season is starting NOW. The fleet heading north from Grenada and Trinidad, those taking the offshore route from the USA, and boats in the trans-Atlantic fleets. Yet questions about the Caribbean’s readiness in a post-hurricane season still swirl: after the havoc of Irma and Maria, what’s changed? Where can we go? Even for sailors here in the islands, contemplating their next move, the answer seems to hang just out of reach like a suspenseful plot twist.

Spoiler: THE CARIBBEAN IS WAITING FOR YOU. You can go now. Please.

Yelena Rogers St John Photography beautiful beach

St John,

...
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Folk art and daydreams from Bequia

13 Nov

Sailing upwind in the Caribbean

Cruisers merrily claim they “go where the wind blows.” It’s sort of true, but implies a more laissez-faire approach than migration patterns belie. On the day we departed – just as hurricane season is waning – we saw more boats sailing north and away from Grenada with us than we saw during entire stretch from Tortola down to Grenada a few months ago, at hurricane season’s peak. Weather patterns are shifting, and the fleet is on the move!

Provisioning up for our own departure at the bustling Saturday farmer’s market in St George is a treat for the senses. Aromas ...

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A Cruel Blow

4 Nov

The trio of hurricanes—Harvey, Irma and Maria—that killed more than 200 people and made tens of thousands of people homeless in the Caribbean, Texas and Florida also did heavy damage to many wonderful sailing areas. Marine communities and infrastructure from Guadeloupe to Georgia were devastated, and it will take time and money to rebuild them.

The Florida Keys had just been reopened to tourists as we went to press, and the resilient Conchs were doing what they’ve always done, cleaning up and carrying on.

In the Caribbean, though, the picture was gloomier. Most of the charter businesses that have ...

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Awesome Ted: the best of cruiser culture

2 Nov

Ted and Claudia in the tender Hades

Friendly, supportive, egalitarian. The cruising community has a subculture all its own: we tend to know each other faster and deeper. Cruising really is all about the people you meet, and this culture is a big part of the reason why. There are standouts, like our friends Ted and Claudia pictured above, and their cool kids Max and Anya. They live aboard Demeter in Tortola. Right, Tortola, one of the islands that took a whack this hurricane season! We’re thinking of them especially today because it’s Claudia’s birthday. Read on for their story and the aftermath,  for a peek into ...

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