People

What does it take to be an adventurous family?

27 Feb

We met the most fascinating cruiser recently. Erik and his family cruised through less traveled corners of the eastern Mediterranean and north Africa.  They left the US numbering seven, and returned numbering eight. The Hemingways had amazing experiences and visited unusual places that I’m so interested to share with our family- Senegal! Morocco! Israel! In the way of the cruising world, although our tracks have never intersected we know a number of boats in common, and before long it was like talking to an old friend.

To be honest, it was such a pleasure talking to Erik, I really almost ...

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59º North Podcast with Weems & Plath Owner Peter Trogdon

26 Feb

Andy sat down with Peter in January in Annapolis to talk all about Weems & Plath, Peter’s history as a sailor, the history of navigation, and the new exhibit on navigation at the Smithsonian Institute in DC. Peter also discussed some of his other non-sailing hobbies. This episode was sponsored by SpinSheet magazine, and is the first in a series of podcast/article projects. Read the article that came from this podcast in the March 2014 issue of SpinSheet, available all around the Chesapeake or on SpinSheet.com. Thanks Peter & SpinSheet!...

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CHASING SHACKLETON: What Paul Larsen Did After Breaking the Sailing Speed Record

20 Feb

A. Shackleton under sail

PBS has aired and released its great three-part video series, Chasing Shackleton, which follows the exploits of five modern-day adventurers as they seek to recreate Ernest Shackleton’s amazing small-boat voyage from Antarctica to South Georgia Island in 1916. Follow this link here, and you can watch all three 1-hour episodes for free. Don’t dawdle! I’d be surprised if they leave these up for long.

For sailors, the story inside this story is that one of the five crew aboard Alexandra Shackleton, a very accurate duplicate of Shackleton’s lifeboat James Caird, was Australian Paul Larsen. Just weeks ...

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STANLEY PARIS: What Really Happened On Kiwi Spirit?

10 Feb

Kiwi Spirit under sail

Thank goodness I was off having my own misadventure when Stanley Paris announced in his blog that he was abandoning his solo circumnavigation attempt and pulling into Cape Town. Otherwise there’s a good chance I might have stepped in it like my SAILfeed compatriot Andy Schell did when he read the news. It seems that what set Andy off was a single phrase in Paris’s announcement: “that the design of the rigging attachments to the yacht were inadequate for ocean sailing.” My reaction when I read that was pretty much WTF too.

Andy made some critical assumptions and statements based ...

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Nominations Open for Sailing Hall of Fame

2 Feb

maureen1Photo © Xinhua

Nominations are open now and through May 31 for the National Sailing Hall of Fame, class of 2014. My pick is no secret.

What Nick Scandone did was unique.

Even by the standards of world competition.

Even by “normal” standards of overcoming adversity.

Statistically, Nick should have been dead of ALS years before he won his Paralympic gold medal in Qingdao. For six years beyond a diagnosis of severe, progressive, irreversible, fatal neurodegeneration, he kept himself going, just barely, and just barely long enough to fulfill a dream that had begun when it was the Olympics, not ...

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59º North Live Podcast with Paul Exner

29 Jan

Paul Exner of Modern Geographic sat down with Andy at the Strictly Sail Chicago boat show and recorded the first-ever LIVE 59º North podcast! Andy and Paul talked all things ocean sailing, from boat design and gear selection to how to handle heavy weather offshore. Thanks to everyone who came to the show, and we look forward to doing more of these in the future!...

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Skip Novak’s Storm Sailing Videos

28 Jan


If a picture is worth a thousand words, videos are worth millions. Skip Novak’s series of storm sailing videos are great for learning technique and outfitting. Skip Novak crewed and skippered multiple Whitbreads, and was among the first generation of yachtsmen to cruise and explore Antarctica. I’ve never met Skip, but I got friendly with his crews while down in Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica, and enjoyed a few meals aboard Pelagic Australis, his 74-foot expedition beast (Thanks, Skip). I also got a tour of Pelagic, his original, 54-foot steel cutter. Both vessels embody the ethos of simplicity ...

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Podcast: Matt Rutherford Sails for Japan

17 Jan

Matt and Andy sat down again on Burnside Street in Annapolis to discuss the Ocean Research Project’s upcoming expedition to Japan. Matt and NIcole Trenholm, his scientific partner, will set out from California in a newly built Harbor 29 to do a plastics research voyage in the Pacific. It’ll be the longest-ever research trip of that nature (6,500 nautical miles nonstop), in the smallest-ever boat used for such a purpose. Nicole call it their ‘vessel of opportunity’ – far from ideal, but good enough to do the work that needs to be done. Matt and Andy also discussed the Kiwi ...

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Stanley Paris Email from Kiwi Spirit to Explain Failures

17 Jan

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 10.42.08 AM.png

This might be the last of this I post for a while, but it’s pretty interesting. I wish it was more detailed, but then Dr. Paris certainly had more important things to tend to. I’m thankful (and frankly surprised), he was able to send me anything at all.

I emailed his shore team a few days ago after speaking with Patrick from Farr, and they forwarded along a few questions I had for Dr. Paris to try and clear up some of the misinformation that’s been going around the web. These are those questions and his reply, unedited, plus some ...

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Stanley Paris Abandons Record Attempt – Ridiculous!

12 Jan

paris kiwi.jpg

I just read news that Stanley Paris, the American sailor trying to take his custom-designed, custom-built Kiwi Spirit around the world alone in record time, has abandoned the adventure only after just getting going. The following is a brief report culled from various internet sites about the reasons behind the abandonment, and then a little bit of opinion on why I think the whole thing was silly in the first place…

Here’s what he wrote in his blog:

“And so I have decided to abandon and head for Cape Town, some 1,700 miles away. To continue in the face ...

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