Viking Life-Saving Equipment has designed an almost frightening number of innovations into its LifeCraft system, so it’s good to see that it apparently tested fine in North Sea waves ranging from 12 to 15 feet with 33-foot peaks (gCaptain has more testing details here). The system may soon make big cruise ships safer, and perhaps some of the technology will work its way down to recreational vessels.
The big LifeCraft idea is to combine the compactness and seaworthiness of a liferaft with the self-propelled maneuverability of a lifeboat, and a key enabling technology is Torqeedo electric ... Read More
April 6, 2019/Day 184
Noon Position: 33 39S 27 54W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 6+
Wind(t/tws): NWxN 14+
Miles since departure: 25,125
Avg. Miles/Day: 137
Tough night. Wind began to increase just as I started my sleep cycle (typical!). First one, then two, and then three reefs. I sat up with “the blow” and dozing in the pilot house till about 3AM, when things settled in at 20 knots from the NWxN.
More bang and slosh.
I put “the blow” in quotation marks because there was no change to the barometer and hardly any change to the sky. Just incrementally ... Read More
#261. Gerard Dykstra is one of the world’s iconic yacht designers. He’s most notable to me as the designer of the Bestevaer 53, by far my favorite of all the aluminum expedition yachts which are now so popular. And he designed the first one for himself as a very simple, robust personal cruising yacht. He’s also designed some of the most iconic superyachts like the Panamax ketch HETAIROS and the infamous MALTESE FALCON. Not to mention a few tall ships to boot. I first met Gerard in Isafjordur, Iceland and later talked to him on Skype about his career as ... Read More
Blast off from Grenada. ICEBEAR covered 100 miles in the first 11 hours at sea!
0430 on Monday morning, April 1. 313 miles into our first real passage on ICE BEAR, the new-to-us Swan 59. We’re making 6-7 knots on a bit of a lumpy sea, with light, unsteady winds. Two hours ago a squall blew through and we had to reef the main and the genoa. Now, each time we try to sail deeper onto our course, the mainsail slats and bangs. I truly cannot complain though. Up to now we’ve had two extremely pleasant days of sailing, and ... Read More
A significant shoal has been growing at R12 and R10A. The picture below is from Aqua Map with the USACE survey of March 6, 2019. We drifted off center because we were being passed buy a 55’ motor yacht right at the worst section. He did not have these USACE charts and was not aware of the shoal. He was quite surprised to slow down and suddenly realize he was in very shallow water. The water was so shallow the motor yacht could not accelerate onto plane until the water got deeper in about 100 yards east. We had ... Read More
The ICW path through the new River Inlet has changed over the past few years. Starting in 2016 it now includes a “dip” at R72A. The path between R70 and R76 is now called the “Dip Route”. The marks can be confusing, and the stress is compounded by strong cross setting currents.
Southbound, R12 and R12A add to the confusion. They mark the New River Inlet Channel and are not part of the ICW. They have however caused great confusion. R12A is in direct line with ICW R70 and R72 which leads some southbound boats to pass R72A to port ... Read More
There has been a shoal building off R86 about 8 miles north of Isle of Palms. The NOAA charts do not provide enough detail to help you know which side of the shoal to pass. Most guidance says to stay east of the shoal. We have made several trips on the west side of the shoal. In looking at the Aqua Map Master USACE surveys as we planned our route last week, the surveys have no information on water depths east of this shoal. Based on that decided to go west of the shoal March 31:
... Read More
- We have tracks of
The 6 NM stretch of the ICW behind Isle of Palms has about 9 channels between the marshes and the ocean which cross the ICW. Each of these crossing has the potential to create shoals. If you look at the attached screen shots, you can see that each of these inlet crossings has developed the classic pattern of shoals on the ocean side which results in the M shaped route you must follow as you pass many inlet crossings along the ICW.
Although it was dredged in early 2015, we have noticed that this shoal stretch is getting worse with ... Read More
This has been a tough ICW trouble spot for the past couple of years. Dredging has just been completed (there are pipes and barges still onsite) and the channel marks have been reset. As of today, it is a simple straight shot. Just stay between the markers for 12-14 feet at low tide. I can attest to the low tide depth, we came through at dead low this afternoon.
We are using 4 different charting and navigation systems. We have NOAA charts running on a PC, Navionics charts in the Raymarine chart plotter, Navionics sonar charts in an iPAd. And ... Read More
April 1, 2019/Day 179
Noon Position: 39 49S 38 20W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): NE 6
Wind(t/tws): WNW 17 – 20
Miles since departure: 24,492
Avg. Miles/Day: 137
Wind went light overnight, but that wasn’t so much the issue as the SE setting current we had to plow through. Speeds over the ground were four knots and less, though we were much faster through the water.
Rain by sunrise with a twenty knot northwesterly and a deck of very serious cloud, low and ragged and a reminder that this is not the tropics and our blessedly steady wind is not blowing trade ... Read More