Standard Horizon GX6000 VHF & wireless RAM 4W mics, finally!

18 Jun

Many readers got excited when  Panbo covered the “coming soon” Standard Horizon GX6500 and GX6000 radios in October, 2016. It looked like SH was about to blaze trail once again, especially given the full Class B AIS transponder in the 6500. But then the story got confusing, even sad, as Standard Horizon’s many hoped-for ship dates failed to materialize, frustrating potential customers and embarrassing the company.

The GX6500 remains a mystery; while it’s listed in the SH 2018 marine brochure (PDF) as “NEW for 2018”,  the company’s U.S. representatives can only shrug their shoulders when asked about actual availability.

But ...

Read More

Standing fast

18 Jun
 
I think it’s true to say that we all experience some stress in our daily lives. It comes with being an adult. Yet I wonder if the stress that Team Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking has been under recently is a little more than necessary. This is his ninth lap of the planet, presumably his last, and the will to win this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race must have been the driving force behind his amazing come-from-behind win of Leg 10 into Gothenburg, Sweden. 
For the complete post, click here.
I hope that you enjoyed this blog.  I invite
...
Read More

“Polar Bear! POLAR Bear! POLAR BEAR!”

18 Jun

  Polar bear tracks, a few days old. The bear we spotted on the hill to the left most certainly laid these tracks when seal hunting.

Polar bear tracks, a few days old. The bear we spotted on the hill to the left most certainly laid these tracks when seal hunting.

Once around Treskelodden, the seas flattened out completely and the scenery changed from steep dramatic peaks to a flatter, more open area separated from the main fjord by the long low peninsula of Treskelodden. It was perfectly protected. The aim was Selbukta – we hardened the sheets again and were able to shoot up the channel and towards the foot of another glacier where we’d anchor for the night. One tack onto starboard after rolling ...

Read More

Isbjorn Sailing & Dancing with the Ice in Spitsbergen

18 Jun

Isbjorn dances with the icebergs in Hornsund, Spitsbergen.

The weather held as we ambled back to the dinghy and made our way back to the boat. Knowing how quickly it can change here, we hauled up the anchor and continued deeper into Hornsund, to see what we could see, while we could still see. The sun shined on every corner of the land, shadows casted by friendly cumulus lent some depth to the otherwise white, blue and black icy landscape. There was enough breeze from the north, 10-12 knots or so, that we quickly hoisted sailed and aimed the bow ...

Read More

Isbjorn & Crew Amongst the Glaciers in Horsund, 77º North

18 Jun

Isbjorn & crew amongst the glaciers in Hornsund.

Our first night at anchor in Spitsbergen was spent right on the edge – had we had a westerly or northerly wind, it would have been untenable. But with the light easterly that blew cold air off the glacier, the anchorage was safe.

The crew spent the night on anchor watch. We stuck to the same rotation schedule we’d kept offshore. Except this time we only needed one person up in the cockpit at a time, so the 4-hour watches were split into 2-hour shifts. In reality, these anchor watches were spent ...

Read More

Landfall in SPITSBERGEN!

17 Jun

  Anchor down at 77º North! We made it to SPITSBERGEN!

Anchor down at 77º North! We made it to SPITSBERGEN!

The passage I’d feared the most, turned into one of the best. With a good omen in Finnkroken in the group of eagle feathers Mia found on the beach, we departed in the midnight sun in the middle of the night, racing the developing low off Greenland to the north. In the end, we beat it, and had incredible wind angles, if not perfect weather (relatively speaking – it snowed a lot of the time, was overcast for much of it, but we had no real ‘storms’ and great angles, ...

Read More

Honolulu Encounters

16 Jun

Doctors Nikolai Maximenko and Jan Haffner enter the Waikiki Yacht Club promptly at the appointed hour. Maximenko is tall, clean-cut, in dress khakis and a pressed Hawaiian shirt. His stride is long and purposeful, but he is tipped forward under the weight of a shoulder-strung briefcase bursting with papers. Haffner, equal in height, is in jeans and a t-shirt. He carries only a camera and an air of nonchalance.

I’ve been corresponding with these men since 2012 when Murre and I made our solo leap to Alaska. On that 26-day passage, I collected marine debris and noted debris locations for ...

Read More

Omens & Offshore Sailing

16 Jun

  Midnight sun as we sailed close by Bjornoya en route to Svalbard.

Midnight sun as we sailed close by Bjornoya en route to Svalbard.

“Maybe it’s the eagle feathers?”

James mentioned that to me while I was congratulating myself on the incredible weather window we got on leaving Tromso. That aforementioned low, which was forecast to form off east Greenland, did precisely what the GRIBs said it would do and gave us near-perfect wind angles for the duration of the passage to Spitsbergen. 

I’ve been terrified of this trip. Genuinely scared. It’s the unknown up here, it’s cold wet and foggy, and the Arctic’s reputation as being a gnarly place is obviously ...

Read More

To the North! Crossing 73º North Latitude

16 Jun

  0100 Departure from Mainland Norway towards SPITSBERGEN!

0100 Departure from Mainland Norway towards SPITSBERGEN!

Isbjörn JUST crossed the 200-mile mark since leaving our snug anchorage at Finnkroken, and in another three miles – by the time I finish typing – we’ll be across 73º north latitude. The weather is gorgeous outside. A low, dispersed ceiling of silver-blue clouds allows the sun to shine through now and then, blanketing the boat with warm (relatively) and dry air. Jordan and Patty have nearly fully recovered from their bout of mal-de-mer that beset them to their bunks fairly quickly once we got offshore proper and outside the protection of the ...

Read More

Chasing Spring

14 Jun

Chasing Spring, 40 miles per day

We left Stuart Florida in March to begin our run north to Annapolis. Stuart is at statute mile 990 on the ICW.  Annapolis is 141 miles beyond ICW “mile 0” in Portsmouth, VA.  We had 1131 miles to go. As we raised our anchor in Stuart, it was a delightful spring day.  It was sunny, temperature was in the mid-70s.  Nights had been cool but not cold.  We slept with the hatches open.  Ashore, azaleas were in full bloom, the cypress trees were light green with early leaves on every branch. Yellow pine pollen ...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group