Cabin Fever

26 Feb

February 24, 2019/Day 143

Noon Position: 46 05S  150 50W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExS 7

Miles since departure: 19,687

Avg. Miles/Day: 138


We’re riding the edge. Typically by the time winds hit 30 knots, I’ve dropped even a triple reefed main. But I don’t think 30 will last long, and I want to push us. The faster we go, the longer we stay in this wind and the further ahead of the NEXT low we get.

But it’s bloody uncomfortable. The sea is running bouldery, steep and smack on the beam. Mo is healed way over, and she heaves in a ...

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#257: Alvah Simon // Happier at Sea

26 Feb

Alvah Simon 257 Art.jpg

#257. Alvah Simon is best known for his extraordinary voyage to the Arctic that he documented in ‘North to the Night,’ a highly philosophical, almost spiritual book about his over-wintering in the Canadian Arctic, alone, on his steel sloop, the ROGER HENRY, frozen in the ice. Alvah and I, of course, discussed this adventure, but today’s show really covers his whole career and touches heavily on his personal philosophy, not just with sailing, but life in general. Alvah is one of those rare humans who really seems to have it figured out. He’s a sailor’s sailor, happier at sea than ...

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An Approaching Low

25 Feb

February 23, 2019/Day 142

Noon Position: 46 11S  154 47W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExN 7

Wind(t/tws): NW 19 – 24

Miles since departure: 19,522

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


I’ll admit I’m not fond of days like this. Mo is fast again, but on her ear and shoveling water as if it were free. One is fully kitted on deck or he begs to get dunked. The sky is a pasty, impenetrable gray; the water, slate, and filling the gap between these is but a dim, cold light.

We are running, not for the fun of it, not for the joy alone of ...

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Weego Crankenstein, serious jumpstart pack with 24v capabilities

25 Feb

Weego’s Crankenstein is the first lithium chemistry jumpstarter under $1,000 that can start large 24v diesel engines, and its intuitive display with multiple powering options are noteworthy features that will hopefully come to more modestly priced designs.  My testing started in an unusual way and while my first test turned out not to be a big diesel it did offer a nice glimpse of the 9-pound, 12x6x8 inch Crankenstein’s always ready design.

As I left the St. Pete Beach post office where I picked up the C-154 Crankenstein ($699 list price) I saw the car behind me had their hood ...

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A Day in the Tropics

24 Feb

February 22, 2019/Day 141

Noon Position: 46 25S  158 30W

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

Miles since departure: 19,368

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


Winds went light overnight, and we were back to the slatting sails game by dawn. I poled out the working jib before coffee; we went wing and wing for a time. That helped.

Sunup came bright on cobalt blue water and the ocean opened like a flower. The warm breeze carried a scent of spice into the cabin. The cloudless sky seemed a vast, pale, edgeless desert hung above the softly undulating desert below it. From Mo’s still decks, ...

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Making Use of a Day Becalmed

23 Feb

February 21, 2019/Day 140

Noon Position: 47 13S  161 15W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 3

Wind(t/tws): NWxN 6 – 7

Miles since departure: 19,245

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

Wind slowly withdrew in the night. It was enough to sail on when the moon came up full, yellow at first and then milk white, but by early morning, I could hear the main’s rhythmic slatting on the minimal sea, a sure sign. On deck, not a breath. I dropped the complainer and rolled in the forbearing but equally useless genoa at 4am and slept in utter stillness until sunrise.

Becalmed. There is something delicious ...

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GPS date rollover affects older GPS units

22 Feb

On April 6th, 2019 older GPS units may experience a range of problems because of a limitation in how they handle dates.  Thos problems could include not being able to receive location data.  It turns out the way dates are stored in older GPS units has a rollover event every roughly 20 years and we are about to experience the second one since the GPS constellations came online.  The rollover last happened in 1999 but in the last 20 years, the use and dependence on GPS has increased dramatically.

The Department of Homeland Security has published a bulletin on the ...

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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 5 // Birthday’s at Sea

22 Feb

Captain Andy turned 35 on the trans-At!

Captain Andy turned 35 on the trans-At!

In the days before accurate longitude at sea, trans-Atlantic skippers followed the by now cliched “sail south until the butter melts, then turn right.” Once the New World was discovered, and in turn mapped, sailors knew where the different islands in the West Indies lay, north-south anyway. They’d have known the Virgin Islands were about 18º30’ N, for example. Or that Nelson’s base on the south coast of Antigua was at exactly 17º N. They’d have known too, with a good trade wind blowing, roughly how many days after the butter melted it ...

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August Sandberg // Norwegian Sailor and Filmmaker

21 Feb


#256: August Sandberg is a young Norwegian sailor and filmmaker. After being inspired at a young age by the Norwegian sailing greats, he bought a boat with his friend and sailed it across the Atlantic and down to Panama. He now works as a teacher, professional filmmaker and sailor. Andy caught up with him at his home on the west coast of Norway...

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Fast Winds, Big Sea

20 Feb

February 187, 2019/Day 136

Noon Position: 47 16S  173 45W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 7+

Miles since departure: 18,734

Avg. Miles/Day: 138


Brisk winds with squalls continue. Nights have been kind; wind and seas have been steady, allowing good sleep. But the days are a wild card of open sky followed by squalls, then open sky again. The open sky episodes blow hard. The squalls blow hard, but wind is quite variable. Thus, I’ve had to reef the twin headsails way in for the sake of energy conservation. It’s either that or sit on deck with a winch handle in my ...

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