A Gam at Sea, Thwarted

17 Feb

February 15, 2019/Day 134

Noon Position: 47 20S  175 26E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExN 5

Miles since departure: 18,293

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

 

So slow. We haven’t had a 150-mile day in nearly two weeks. Fastest day in the last eleven, 137 miles, and that one is way ahead of the average. On four days, we’ve made less tha 100 miles. That’s more sub 100-mile days in two weeks than we’ve had since departure. The forecast predicts wind should pick up–a low is approaching, but each new forecast pushes its arrival out another day.

I’m trying to relax into it. Tough. Cape ...

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Valentine’s Day

16 Feb

February 14, 2019/Day 133

Noon Position: 48 05S  172 54E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 5

Miles since departure: 18,181

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

 

No one who knows my wife, Joanna, would call her sentimental. Nor, being British, does she approve the California habit of hugging when clearly a handshake will do. She’s effusive and bubbly and extremely personable; she knows no such thing as having too many friends. But sentimentality is not her gig.

That said, on the occasion of both Figure 8 departures, Joanna has gifted me with deeply touching letters and a small collection of photos. Frankly, it has almost ...

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Cruiser karma: alive and well in La Cruz

16 Feb

Nine years ago this month, Totem rocked at anchor in this exact curve of coastline on the north side of Banderas Bay where we find ourselves today. We basked in the same sunrise over the sierras to the east, were enchanted by the same distant fireworks from Puerto Vallarta resorts in the evening, and maybe even gasped at the same glistening humpback whales breech and splash into colossal spires of whitewater. (There’s Siobhan in the midst of provisioning chaos in our main cabin – age 5.)

Our little crew had been cruising a year and a half: those months grew ...

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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 4 // Roll the ol’ Chariot Along

15 Feb

19.01.29_Windy Drone Spin_10.jpg

We’ll roll the ol’ chariot along
We’ll roll the ol’ chariot along
We’ll roll the ol’ chariot along
And we’ll all hang on behind.

You understand where those words come from on a passage like this. Downwind for days, eatin’ up the miles. That’s of course from the classic sea shanty, A Drop of Nelson’s Blood. Appropriate given that we’re headed towards Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua, the home of the British Naval fleet under the man. ISBJORN’s still rollin’ along to the southwest at the start of our 5th day at sea, closing in on the Cape Verde islands still ...

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Mo (Re)Enters to the Pacific

15 Feb

February 13, 2019/Day 132

Noon Position: 47 36S  169 48E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 6

Miles since departure: 18,054

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

Sunny and clear when I came on deck at 6am. Wind had slowly veered into the north overnight, but it stayed light until midmorning.

During my pre-breakfast ship inspection, I discovered there had been a drama on deck while I slept. Up near the port chainplates, I found a small clump of feathers and a white, chalky deposit. As I looked toward the stern, there were further deposits in various colors, including black and Krill red, until, at the ...

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Onward to the East

14 Feb

February 12, 2019/Day 131

Noon Position: 47 34S  167 18E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): –

Miles since departure: 17,952

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

 

I put on the anchor light after dinner and went to bed. On an ever relaxing sea, Mo rolled with the slow grace of a cruise ship. The bunk was still; all around was quiet. Quiet. Such unaccustomed  luxury, quiet.

In the night, our drift went to the west, a safe direction, and never more than a knot. Each time I checked, the answer was the same. Sleep well.

On deck at dawn, I found we’d been overtaken by fog. ...

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SailGP coming to a city near you

14 Feb
 
 
SailGP. Ever heard of it?  I didn’t think so but get ready to hear a lot more about it in the next few months. In my opinion it’s the most exciting sailing event to come around in decades. If you enjoyed the last America’s Cup in Bermuda then you are going to love SailGP.  It’s the America’s Cup on steroids and the first race ...
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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 3 // Rut or Groove?

14 Feb

19.02.04_Andy Midnight Writing.jpg

NOTE from Andy, Feb 14, 2019: I’m hesitant to publish this, for risk of it being too personal, causing too much interference with the public persona I’ve created about myself and of the business. But you know what – f&%k it. If I don’t publish this, anything I do publish would just feel like propaganda. Yes, there are certain things I’ll never publish – to this day there doesn’t exist an online photo from our wedding, for example, and while I talk all the time about the decision to have kids or not, you can safely bet that if the ...

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Adrift between The Snares and The Traps

13 Feb

February 12, 2019Day 130

Noon Position: 47 52S  167 08E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): —

Miles since departure: 17,941

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

The Snares lie 20 miles to the SW; The Traps, 35 miles to the NE. In between is Mo, adrift.

I doused sail when the wind died in the early morning and went right back to bed. It had been a long night, crossing that northerly stream of wind and rain. But sleep was not to be had. At 5am, the AIS alarm sounded for the first time since Cape Horn. It told that a small expedition cruise ship out ...

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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 2 // Morning Coffee Offshore

13 Feb

19.01.22_Dawn Breaking.jpg

0936 Tuesday morning. Fiery sunrise this morning, just for those few moments when the sun appeared above the horizon but below the layer of gray clouds. The ocean was colored a dark, steel blue with flecks of whitecaps on each wavetop. Beautiful colors.

I’m tired this morning, a little weary. I didn’t sleep well last night, despite being in my bunk for about 12 hours. Not uninterrupted. The night was strange. Just before dinner we gybed the chute (flawlessly I might add) and rocketed off to the south while Mia served a chicken quinoa dish. ISBJORN was loving the big ...

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