Oil Leak in Sisimiut

3 Aug

July 30, 2019

The leak came from between the engine and the transmission and was black as coal. At its height, there were but five seconds between drips of this indispensable fluid, and upon arrival in Sisimiut, I found that we’d drained ten percent of the engine’s lube oil into the bilge in twenty hours.

“That’s a lot,” said my friend Gerd from his office in Florida. “It sounds like a rear seal failure; shouldn’t be too bad a job. First you remove the universal joint so you can push the propeller shaft back; then the bell housing and gearbox ...

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Images of Sisimiut

2 Aug

July 30, 2019

It’s Mo’s third morning in Sisimiut, and I still haven’t made it much past the Seaman’s Home and the chandlery near the harbor.

Luckily, Greenland is such a place that everywhere one turns is an exotic scene.

Here are a few such to keep things going while I work to stop the engine’s oil leak…

Rafted five deep along the inner wall of Sisimiut Harbor. It’s nice to have the outer berth until it’s time to go into town. Crawling over so many boats to achieve the pier is quite a slog.
Awaiting the return.

View from
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Fastnet ’79 – a personal story

2 Aug

The Fastnet Race starts tomorrow. They have a record fleet including 20 IMOCA 60’s and the event continues to be one of the most prestigious ocean races in the world. It has been forty years since the disastrous race in 1979 where 19 people lost their lives and much has changed since then. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was racing aboard a brand new Swan 55, a Sparkman and Stephens ...
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Crossing The Arctic Circle

1 Aug

July 27, 2019

Mo and I departed Nuuk in the late afternoon for the short climb to Sisimiut, Greenland’s second largest city, population 5,500.

The leg was uneventful, a mix of fast sailing and fast motoring on a fast north-setting current, except in two ways.

One, at 1800 hours on July 26, 2019, day 251 of the Figure 8 Voyage, Mo and Randall crossed 66 30N latitude and thusly sailed inside the Arctic Circle.

This circle carries several definitions, “the line above which trees do not grow and the ground does not thaw” being less common than “the parallel of ...

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Serpents in Paradise

31 Jul

Cruising boats in a beautiful Guna Yala anchorage. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Every so often you hear a piece of news that jolts you out of a preconception or two. For me, one such was the attack on a cruising family on the northeastern coast of Panama last May.

A trawler yacht was boarded at night and when the skipper, New Zealander Alan Culverwell, went to investigate, he was shot and killed. His wife, Derryn, was attacked with a machete before she and her two children managed to lock themselves inside the boat.

It was all the more upsetting ...

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Protection Against the Northern Bear

30 Jul

Editorial note: Hi readers. Most of the time the team behind the scenes don’t comment on Randall’s posts. However home for us, and Randall when he returns, is very close to Gilroy, California. You may have read the news of the tragic shooting at their annual festival this past weekend. We knew this post was due to go live today and Randall and I had a long discussion on if we should post this update at all. But we decided that we’ve shared all the other preparations and you readers should know.

For everyone involved in this project, gun ownership ...

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Dedicated Depth display, NMEA 2000 the best way?

30 Jul


“Traditional depth sounders” by Bill Morris at Ocean Navigator

I enjoyed this Bill Morris article at OceanNavigator.com even though he pokes fun at skippers like me. For one thing, he does it gently and well, as in this smoothly written second paragraph:

However, sailors who depend on paper charts and minimal electronics — VHF radio, hand-held GPS and a stand-alone depth sounder — are still making successful ocean passages, blissfully innocent of the compulsion, or ability, to spend big bucks on more elaborate systems.

I also agree with Bill that a dedicated depth display is a key navigation tool, ...

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DETH CRUZ 2019: To Matinicus With Matinicus

30 Jul

First some deep background: the term “death cruise” was coined during the 1980s to describe a series of outings under sail enjoyed by the editorial staff of Offshore, a now defunct New England boating magazine. Said staff at the time consisted of three people: myself (managing editor), Michael Csenger (assistant editor), and Marc Thibodeau (proofreader). The first cruise was actually a delivery, undertaken for an advertiser, and involved a very unreliable engine (dirty fuel, mostly), hence the dark moniker. The last took place in May 1990. I remember I blew off my law school graduation to attend. (Obviously, by ...

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Nuuk’s Most Striking Feature

27 Jul

July 25, 2019

It feels like a place perched at the edge of the earth. Here snow-capped mountains rise right from the water’s edge and granitic rock lines the port. Small fishing boats come and go as long as there is light–and at this time of year, there is always light–while the load of ship-sized trawlers is craned into the humming fish plant. From Mo’s cockpit, I am overwhelmed by the smells of fish and the tar used to keep the antique fleet afloat, all of which are suggestive of a frontier town.

Once beyond the harbor, however, Nuuk’s most ...

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Monitored boats, connected boats and smart boats, what does it all mean?

27 Jul

Siren Marine, Boat Command, Nautic-On and BoatFix's apps

Siren Marine, Boat Command, Nautic-On and BoatFix’s apps

If you’ve been reading Panbo, boating magazines, or spent any time at a boat show you’ve likely seen boat monitors, connected boat products and smart boat products. But, you may well not know what these things are or how they’re different from each other. Hopefully, I can help shed some clarity on this latest collection of buzzwords.

Many people get into boating as a way of relaxing, but, as most boaters find out sooner-or-later, when things break on your boat it can be anything but relaxing. Nothing will ruin a weekend faster ...

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