It’s a Long Time to Stay in Iqaluit

10 Jul

As Mo and I make our slow approach to the Arctic, I am reminded of my first experience of the Northwest Passage. This was in the summer of 2014, and even then planning for the Figure 8 Voyage was well underway.

Though such an endeavor as the Figure 8 presented difficulties at every turn, the Northwest Passage was, for me, beyond my ability to imagine. Bluewater passages I could grok, but shallow, labyrinthian channels clogged with ice–for these, I had no context.

So, I arranged to join a boat in Nuuk, Greenland that was making an east to west attempt. ...

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Flir thermal cameras get Raymarine ClearCruise Augmented Reality

9 Jul

A screenshot of the display of Have Another Days Axiom 12 displaying ClearCruise AR targets overlayed over the images from a FLIR M232 camera

Raymarine’s ClearCruise AR (augmented reality) is very cool technology and it’s getting even cooler with support for pan and tilt thermal cameras. Clear Cruise AR overlays information about chart objects, AIS targets, and waypoints over a camera image displayed on Raymarine MFDs.  Though the first version — unveiled at IBEX in the fall of 2018 — only supported fixed visible light cameras, I’ve thought its greatest value would come when overlayed on thermal images.

While I ...

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St. John’s, Sort Of…

9 Jul

The anchor comes up clean at 6am and we are on the move again. In the bay, wind has gone into the southwest overnight. It has warmed and become fragrant with the exhalations of evergreens. Terns are already on the wing in search of breakfast, but above them, the village surrounding Admiral’s Cove remains quietly asleep. It is Sunday, after all.

Cape Broyle Harbor is clear, but in the offing, fog covers the sea surface in farm-sized patches and only lifts for good around mid-morning. Now on the horizon, I can see the Canadian Icebreaker, Louis S. St-Laurent, returning slowly ...

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My Garmin GPS 45 was amazing in 1994, and it still works (mostly)

8 Jul

 

Discovering that my old Garmin GPS 45 still works was especially nostalgic because Gizmo and I were returning from WoodenBoat School, one of the first places I used it 25 years ago. Many memories that far back are foggy, but it’s easy to recall how much this wonderful gadget helped me to stay safe and relaxed even when trying to teach beginners how to sail and navigate in big tides, cold water, and real fog.

This handheld also played an important role on many yacht deliveries and pleasure cruises, and while getting reacquainted with the old 45’s talents, I ...

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Newfoundland, Found

8 Jul

July 6, 2019/Day 241

Noon Position: 46 39N 53 01W

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

Miles since departure: 31,717

Leg to St. John’s/Days: 4

Miles: 465

As we closed Cape Race, a heavy fog came down that ate up the wind. I reeled in a drippy spinnaker and started the engine at 0430. Already daylight was coming on. Over coffee, I set myself for a long shift in the pilot house.

We were entering an area where icebergs could be found. And though the latest ice report was a far cry from the one we saw before our Halifax arrival–now there were ...

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A Failure of Memory

6 Jul

July 5, 2019/Day 240

Noon Position: 45 57N 55 31W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 5.5

Miles since departure: 31,605

Leg Halifax to St John’s

Days: 3/Miles: 353

Wind continues light, shifting from NNW to W and back again. As I type, we’re riding the spinnaker on a breeze of six knots just south of west. A beautiful sail, the spinnaker; it hangs in the air with the magic of a soap bubble; each moment one expects its delicate perfection to burst at the seams, and it does not.

Light wind, warm sun, a flat sea. It’s a pleasant and relaxing run north. ...

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Can You See Me?

5 Jul

July 4, 2019/Day 239

Noon Position: 45 18N 58 33W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 5.5

Miles since departure: 31,472

Leg To Saint John’s

Day 2/Miles 220

Wind is light and variable but is mostly aft, and we’ve been running with the twin headsails for the better part of a day. Not a fast passage, this leg to St John’s, but it’s pleasant sailing.

Except for certain, key equipment failures…

I’ve been wrestling with Mo’s AIS system*–an essential tool for the singlehander–which made every sign of packing it in once we were at sea. In harbor, it passed pre-departure checks by picking ...

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Charlie Doane // Sailing Journalism & The New Lunacy

4 Jul

OTW269.jpg

#269. Charlie Doane is a long-time Editor-at-large with SAIL Magazine, and a lifeline sailor. I’ve known Charlie for years, and FINALLY got to sit down for a long chat with him aboard his new Boreal 47 LUNACY in St. George’s harbor in Bermuda. Charlie told stories of his early days sailing a styrofoam boat he’d gotten in the mail by saving cigarette packs, the chance meeting that got him into sailing journalism, getting ship-wrecked in Africa and lots more.


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Beginning the Haul North

4 Jul

July , 2019/Day 238

Noon Position: 44 40N 61 15W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 3.5

Miles since departure: 31,352

Avg. Miles/Day: 132

Dutch, an aluminum expedition boat sailed by my friends Sebastiaan and Rhiannon, meets Mo at the breakwater, and together we turn towards the sea. Dutch and family are out for a few weeks of summer cruising. Like Mo, they are headed north.

The day is sunny. I am in shirtsleeves. The brisk wind off the land allows Mo six and seven knots. I commission the new Monte and shut down the autopilot. Suddenly Mo becomes a thing alive, a sweet ...

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Raymarine LightHouse 3 calibrates Oceanic Systems tank senders, on my float mate’s boat

2 Jul

Way down the long list of new features that came with April’s LightHouse v3.9.46 for Raymarine Axiom MFDs is “Tank naming and Sender Calibration” and it turns out that means NMEA 2000 tank senders made by Oceanic Systems. Which is a semi-big deal because a significant disappointment of N2K is that while many standard data PGNs are truly plug-and-play across brands, sensor calibration is usually not. What’s more, I learned about this from my friend and Camden Harbor float mate Jud Sawyer, and I got to attend the semi-exciting proceeding.



I sometimes thank Jud on behalf of the marine ...

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