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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Halifax Departure

2 Jul

Eight months following wind and sea succeeded by one month tethered ashore. Neither seems real; in both cases, time has flown. This morning, Mo tugs gently at her anchor. She is happy enough here, as am I, but she knows we must move on. Much has been accomplished but not yet the goal. The whole of the north lies between us and a return.

As is the case wherever Mo touches, here we have been the recipients of much kindness. Tony and Connie, Wayne, Rob, Sebastiaan and Rhiannon, Ben, John, and Sandy are just a few of those who have ...

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Retro Whitbread coming our way

1 Jul
Alaska Eagle – my ride for the ’81/82 Whitbread Round the World Race

 

 
OK this one is personal to me as someone who participated in three Whitbread Round the World races back in the ’80’s. I had heard rumors of this happening and indeed had the idea myself a few years ago, so when I got a formal announcement this morning I was thrilled. ...
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ROSIE G: A Scow-Bow Junk Named After a Dead Dog

1 Jul

This is the most interesting new cruising sailboat design I’ve seen in a long time. Currently in build at Berkeley Marine Center, as conceived by a notable client, Barry Spanier, and drawn by a notable designer, Jim Antrim. It is significant, I think, that Spanier, a lifelong sailmaker who in his heyday designed and built some record-shattering windsurfer sails, has turned in his dotage to the junk rig. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept (you can see here some prior pondering on the subject) and find it inherently attractive. I say this, of course, having never sailed ...

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POWER OF THE ARCTIC: Moli’s First Northwest Passage

30 Jun

As I ready Mo for her jump from Halifax northwards, I am reminded of her first Northwest Passage attempt, summarized here by Clark Stede in a 1991 article in Yachting Monthly.


 Posted by The Figure 8 Voyage on January 17, 2017

ASMA in the ArcticAboard Moli is a small hardbound book titled Rund Amerika, the story of my boat’s initial adventures with then owners, Clark Stede and Michelle Poncini. It’s in German. I can admire the photos, like the one above, but I can’t read a word.

So, I was grateful to receive this week the below Yachting Monthly article from 1991 where ...

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ICEBEAR Offshore // “Iceberg, right ahead!”

29 Jun

An unexpected highlight of the passage to St. John’s.

An unexpected highlight of the passage to St. John’s.

As I write, we’re on the home stretch, steaming up the east coast of Newfoundland towards St. John’s. We’ve got a big iceberg about a mile ahead, and the crew has altered course to go and have a better look. It’s the fifth berg we’ve sighted since rounding Cape Race in the SE.

The other bonus of that low moving off to the north was that we knew the air getting pulled in from the west would be dry, and the ‘iceberg coast’ fog-free. Had we continued direct to St. John’s ...

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The Halifax Work List, Monte Restored

28 Jun

Having done with the greasier mechanical systems, I moved on to restoring Monte.

Soon after our Halifax arrival, I reattached the vane pendulum* and went for a test sail to see how the frame, bent upwards on starboard when wrapped by the drogue bridle in a gale, affected the vane’s functionality.

Could Monte sail Mo when so out of alignment? On test day, the winds were light, but the answer was that, yes, he could. (Alignment is a funny concept on a vessel that is moving in three dimensions within two mediums, water and air.) Ops were tricky, however. ...

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ICEBEAR Offshore // Francois, a Gale & Palm-Sized Lobster Claws

28 Jun

Foggy Francois, ICEBEAR on the beautiful new floating dock with 35’ under her keel in the deep fjord.

Foggy Francois, ICEBEAR on the beautiful new floating dock with 35’ under her keel in the deep fjord.

Francois is Atlantic Canada’s most remote out-port village, the farthest settlement from any roads, and accessible only by boat or helicopter. In its heyday, over 300 people called the village home. The location is insane – the village is divided in two by a rushing waterfall fed by a picturesque pond a few hundred feet above the houses, and situated on a rise above the water’s edge, where fishing boats and a ferry make fast to a wharf on the south side ...

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Is Visible’s $40 cell plan better than Verizon’s defunct $65 unlimited hotspot deal?

27 Jun

 

Visible, a relatively new Verizon subsidiary, has been offering a $40 per month (taxes included) unlimited plan for about a year.  While the plan’s pricing is great, its usefulness has been potentially limited by a 5mbps speed cap. Today Visible announced that they’re removing this speed cap while keeping the rest of the plan the same.  Is this as good as it sounds?

A snippet from Visible’s FAQ section about slowing data speeds

Visible’s $40 per month plan is different from the $65 prepaid unlimited plan Verizon offered until mid-May.  First, it’s a phone plan, not a mobile hotspot ...

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