I know I’m not the only one interested in the legal adventures of skipper Rick Smith, recently acquitted in federal district court in St. Thomas on a manslaughter charge in the death of David Pontious (see image above), one of his crew members. This truly was a horrible situation. Smith, who sails a 43-foot vintage yawl Cimarron back and forth between Maine and the Virgin Islands each year, took on Pontious as pick-up crew, and within three days of heading offshore Pontious was hallucinating madly and was effectively psychotic. After brutally assaulting Smith–both punching him in the face and strangling ... Read More
January 5, 2019/Day 93
Noon Position: 46 25S 45 16E
Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 7-8
Miles since departure: 12,737
Avg. Miles/Day: 137
A large low starts to arrive tonight; first thrust will be NW winds to 30-35 between midnight and dawn. Late tomorrow, it will clock into the W phase and just as we make the Crozets, still some 212 miles E.
Winds have been 20 – 24 from NWxN for several hours now, in which Mo is reaching under reefed canvas and happily pushing 8 knots. Much of the time, skies are clear, the water has taken on that ... Read More
Linda Hammarberg & her husband Ludvig recently returned to Sweden after a multi-year circumnavigation with their two young kids, Otto & Lovis, onboard ‘Mary af Roverhamn,’ their Joshua-type steel ketch. During parts of the voyage they were followed by a film crew from Swedish television for the first season of the show ‘Familjer pa Äventyr’ – which basically translates to ‘Families on Adventure.’ The Hammarberg’s are typically Swedish, in that they’re very humble, and yet very accomplished sailors. Mia & I spoke to them in their shoreside home in Marstrand in January about their adventures sailing around the world and ... Read More
A long time ago in an office far, far away, I received a typewritten manuscript that told a harrowing tale of a transatlantic voyage gone horribly wrong. The author and his girlfriend had answered a magazine advertisement for crew (yes, it was that long ago) for a bluewater passage on a 40ft sloop owned by a genial Slav. All was well at first, but then, as the tradewinds failed to materialize and the daily runs dropped into double and sometimes single digits, the skipper grew increasingly morose and spent most of each day in his cabin, emerging only to eat ... Read More
Kantner and Merz in happier times
We have some very grim news here. That Jurgen Kantner, taken hostage by the Filipino terrorist group, Abu Sayyaf, late last year, was beheaded last week after a ransom demand of $600K was not met. Just yesterday there came follow-up reports that Kantner’s remains have been recovered by the Philippine military. Reportedly, Philippine armed forces suffered fatal casualties during operations conducted in an effort to rescue Kantner and other hostages held by Abu Sayyaf. Evidently, no details on these casualties are available.
A video recording of the beheading was released by the terrorist ... Read More
Our friend Ty has accompanied Totem on significant passages . We’re very excited that he’s booked a flight to Namibia next month, and will join Totem again to cross the Atlantic to the Caribbean. A little backstory on Ty and our history together seems appropriate: this is a piece Jamie wrote about our indomitable seafaring companion. It first appeared in last December’s issue of 48° North.
You can take the man out of the boat, but you’re nuts if you think his boating days are over.
Last year, Captain Ty Anderson retired after 30 years of service with the ... Read More
And The Winner Is …
The sixth annual Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image awards were given out last December. Here is a look at the top five photos from the competition as chosen by the public.
Photographer: Jesus Renedo
Photographer: Martina Orsini
Photographer: Stefan Coppers
Photographer: Brian Carlin
Winner: Rick Tomlinson
Photographer Rick Tomlinson took home the Public Award for this shot of Team Brunel sailing past Cape Horn during the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race.
... Read More
We can all be grateful that Einstein was a better physicist than he was a sailor.
While the academic community celebrates the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s presentation of his theory of relativity in August 1914, the sailing community should not forget that the great scientist was one of us. Read More
Although the wild-haired mathematician could not swim, he had a great love for the water. He learned to sail on a Swiss lake as a student in the 1890s, and in 1929, on his 50th birthday, a group of wealthy admirers presented him with a custom-built sailboat. Tümmler, German for ...
Sri Lanka has captured our hearts and minds: one month has flown by. There has been fascinating history, culture, food, and more for us to learn about and experience. But it was so much more than that: more than any country, it’s been about the people that we meet.
You can’t walk down the street without meeting someone. Every jaunt to the market, a temple, or even just to stretch out legs includes a conversation with someone new. I’ve never been asked “where are you from?” more often – from people who generally want to know the answer to the ... Read More
Get ready to smile! You know how when you smile at someone, it’s hard for them not to smile back? When someone passes along a good feeling, it’s hard not to share it and pass it along yourself? That’s pretty much how the kids & kittens fundraiser happened. It all started with a picture of the cute little boy we call Monk (for his impassive demeanor and bald head). His name is actually Hualan, but whatever the name, who can resist a trouser-less toddler gripping onto his favorite thing in the world, a new-to-him scooter?
When Mike messaged me after ... Read More