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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Innovative electronics like Navico ID hardly mentioned, a new paradigm?

19 Feb

What is arguably the most innovative electronics system in recent times debuted at the Miami boat show and very few people noticed! I’m talking specifically about the Navico Information Display that was purportedly integrated into the dashboards of some 14 new boats around the show, but there may well have been similar new integrations going on that even an obsessive marine electronics journalist is not aware of.

While the phrase “new paradigm” seems overused and often misunderstood, I think we’re looking at the real deal as the familiar model of how boat electronics are developed and marketed submerges behind ...

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Do Over

19 Feb

February 16 (again), 2019/Day 135 (again)

Noon Position: 47 07S  177 42 *WEST*

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

Miles since departure: 18,572

Avg. Miles/Day: 138


Last night before midnight, Mo crossed the 180th meridian and passed from east longitude back into west longitude. More interestingly, from a balance sheet perspective, we crossed the International Date Line, which makes today February 16, again.

What is the International Date Line? It’s the day I get to take my miles back!

I keep Mo on zone time at sea, the same kind of time we live by on land. There are 24 one-hour zones ...

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Failures and Fixes

18 Feb

February 16, 2019/Day 135

Noon Position: 47 15S  178 34E

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

Miles since departure: 18,420

Avg. Miles/Day: 136


A slow night has given way to a fast day. Rain in the morning. Then squalls till mid afternoon. Then puffy cumulus as the wind hardened into the middle 30s from the WSW. This surprised me, that the low would come with cumulus and not the solid deck and rain one expects. But as I type, the sky astern has grown dark and heavy. Now comes the low.

We are entering that part of the voyage where gear ...

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RORC 2019 Caribbean 600 Race Part One

17 Feb

Here I sit typing words into the internet while 37,000ft over the Caribbean sea, winging my way towards Antigua. What an amazing age we live in! Internet connectivity while going this fast over such a lonely stretch of the planet still blows my mind. 

I’m on my way to Antigua to help out on Isbjorn, a Swan 48 that is being campaigned by my good friend Andy Schell. I’m to be a cook on the race, keeping one half of our 12 person crew fed and happy. The race we will be sailing in is the RORC 600. It’s a 600 mile ...

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