Techniques

DIY on board: making instead of buying

14 Feb

double reefed under blue skies

There are a host of reasons why it makes sense for cruisers to make things that are normally purchased in a store. The most obvious is that you might be out in the middle of a big piece of water, double reefed under blue skies- but no option for a store.

Or maybe you’ve made landfall. Beautiful island, but no store!

Fun with Panoramas!

Or maybe there IS a store, but supplies are limited, and may not have anything like what you’re seeking…
the "everything" store

…or it might not have labels or ingredients that you can understand (or want to!).

You could have other reasons, ...

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59º North Celestial Nav Workshop Wrap-Up

10 Feb

This past weekend’s nav workshop was a big success. We kicked off the weekend with a couple of Guinness and some sea stories at Galway Bay pub on Friday night, and then hit the books hard over Saturday and Sunday (with a nice dinner with Matt Rutherford at Ram’s Head Tavern on Saturday night). See some photos of the weekend below.

Thanks to all who attended – it was a great time getting to know you guys and enlightening you a little bit on the history and practice of celestial navigation. The US Sailing Hall of Fame donated the space ...

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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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Kids and Cyclones

20 Jan

“Are we really going to get a cyclone?  A real one?”  The girls looked at me with shining eyes, as though I had brought Christmas back eleven months early.
“Yep.”  I shoved the awning onto the spare bunk.  “It’s a real cyclone.  Tropical Cyclone June.”
“Tropical Cyclone Juin,” said Indy.
“Do we have to go to the cyclone shelter?” asked Stylish.
“Is the wind going to blow the boat over?” Indy made wind hands, puffing out her cheeks and destroying an imaginary fleet.
“Do we get to use the cyclone lines?”
“When is it going to get here?”
“Guys,” ...

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BE GOOD TOO: Answering Critics

19 Jan

Internet dogs

Silly me. I thought publishing my account of abandoning Be Good Too would decrease rather than increase speculative and critical commentary among the baying dogs of the Internet. I suppose I should have known better. Unlike some folks out there, I don’t have the free time to write multiple screeds on all the sailing forums, so I thought I’d address some issues that have been raised here.

1. The most substantive point that has been raised is that it was not wise of us to attempt a non-stop passage from New York to St. John in January in an untried ...

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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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HELICOPTER EVACUATION: Abandoning Be Good Too

17 Jan

Helo hoist

“I can say for certain that was the best helicopter ride of my life. It was also the best shower.” –statement by Gunther Rodatz to U.S. Coast Guard airbase personnel; Elizabeth City, North Carolina; Jan. 14, 2014

THERE HAS ALREADY BEEN a lot of buzz about what happened Tuesday morning approximately 300 miles off the Virginia coast, when owners Gunther and Doris Rodatz, together with delivery skipper Hank Schmitt and myself, abandoned the 42-foot catamaran Be Good Too courtesy of a U.S. Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter crew. As is usually the case, much of it has been speculative, and some ...

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