EYE OF IRMA: Isbjorn’s racing skipper Paul Exner & family survive in Tortola

9 Sep

That's Paul's Solstice dead-center, just to the right of the big grey boat on it's side. He built her from a bare hull over 10 years in Wisconsin and then sailed her to the Caribbean where he runs expeditions on her through moderngeographi.com. You can easily distinguish her by the bowsprit, foredeck hatch, liferaft & dorades and the distinct curve to the cockpit coamings. Paul doesn't yet know her status, as he's stuck on the other side of the island...

That’s Paul’s Solstice dead-center, just to the right of the big grey boat on it’s side. He built her from a bare hull over 10 years in Wisconsin and then sailed her to the Caribbean where he runs expeditions on her through moderngeographi.com. You can easily distinguish her by the bowsprit, foredeck hatch, liferaft & dorades and the distinct curve to the cockpit coamings. Paul doesn’t yet know her status, as he’s stuck on the other side of the island…

I’ve been glued to Facebook looking for news of my Caribbean friends since Irma struck the other night. Paul Exner, ...

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Hurricane Lili

8 Sep
With so much hurricane activity swirling around, and so much destruction, I thought that I would recount my own encounter with a hurricane, at sea, on Christmas Day, 1984. Hurricane Lili was the third hurricane ever recorded in the North Atlantic in December and it came our way as a unique and somewhat bizarre Christmas gift.

I had been hired to train a Finnish crew who were planning to compete in the 1985/86 Whitbread Round the World Race. The boat was Fazer Finland, Fazer being a high end chocolate maker and one of Finlands most treasured brands. Part
...
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TANIA AEBI’S VARUNA: Abandoned and Up for Grabs in the Eastern North Atlantic

5 Sep

Varuna at dock

I have this straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, as Tania just dropped me an e-mail to help scare up some publicity. Though it no longer belongs to her, she’d really like the boat to be recovered. The boat (seen in a recent photo up top) being her old Contessa 26, Varuna, in which she sailed around the world alone as a teenager back in the 1980s.

Varuna was last seen on August 25, some distance west of Gibraltar, per Tania’s succinct missive:

Contessa 26, sloop, burgundy hull. Tony is the fourth owner since me–all men ...

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206: Veber Family // Family Cruising Atlantic Circle

4 Sep

Veber Art 206.jpg

#206. Mia & I met the Veber’s in Horta in the Azores back in may, where the family of four had just completed their return Atlantic crossing in their 30’ “Anna Lisa.” The Veber’s had set out from Sweden the year before towards the Caribbean, and after a winter cruising & exploring the Caribbean, were headed home. We invited the whole gang aboard Isbjorn, including the kids Trulls & Mathilda, where we talked about sailing as a family, leaving home, friends and school, the challenges of living on a small boat peacefully, what it was like to be filmed on ...

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Simarine Pico: Good ideas in battery monitoring & more

4 Sep

Written by Ben Ellison on Sep 4, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Simarine_Pico+_battery_monitoring_sleep_screen_aPanbo.jpgWhile this boat’s main battery bank is at 73% state of charge (SOC) — a near minimum for some lead acid owners intent on long term battery health — the lightning icon and blue up-arrow indicate that the charging sources exceed the loads and, in fact, a 100% SOC is expected in 9.5 hours at current rates. The 3.5-inch touchscreen is also displaying time and barometric pressure with trend, and this is just the sleep screen of what seems to be a very modern family of ...

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Simarine Pico: Good ideas in battery monitoring & more

4 Sep

Written by Ben Ellison on Sep 4, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Simarine_Pico+_battery_monitoring_sleep_screen_aPanbo.jpgWhile this boat’s main battery bank is at 73% state of charge (SOC) — a near minimum for the long term health of many battery types — the lightning icon and blue up-arrow indicate that the charging sources exceed the loads and, in fact, a 100% SOC is expected in 9.5 hours at current rates. The 3.5-inch touchscreen is also displaying time and barometric pressure with trend, and this is just the sleep screen of what seems to be a very modern family of reasonable-cost monitoring ...

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Weather resources for hurricane season

2 Sep

Martinique hurricane shipwreck

pinterest hurricane weather“It’s like you have a bullseye on Totem!” More than one friend has commented along those lines to us recently. It does seem like severe weather systems have pointed directly at Totem a little too frequently. So far, the systems moved or we moved and all’s well. There are probably more weather forecast posts to our Facebook page in the last two months than in the sum total of prior years! That tells you something. The possibility of riding out a storm is one of the big fears and first questions people ask about cruising.

We actually have yet to ...

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Royal sightings

31 Aug
TBT – me aboard Drum 85/86 Whitbread
It has been 20 years today (31st August, 2017) since Princess Diana died. Hard to believe. Where does the time go? Well as you have probably guessed I have a story about the late (and lovely) princess. Since it’s a short story I will add one about another princess; Fergie.

I raced the 1985/86 Whitbread Round the World Race aboard the British yacht Drum. For that race HRH Prince Phillip was the patron and somehow he managed to talk Diana into handing out the prizes at the final prize giving in London. You
...
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Royal sightings

31 Aug
TBT – me aboard Drum 85/86 Whitbread
It has been 20 years today (31st August, 2017) since Princess Diana died. Hard to believe. Where does the time go? Well as you have probably guessed I have a story about the late (and lovely) princess. Since it’s a short story I will add one about another princess; Fergie.

I raced the 1985/86 Whitbread Round the World Race aboard the British yacht Drum. For that race HRH Prince Phillip was the patron and somehow he managed to talk Diana into handing out the prizes at the final prize giving in London. You
...
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Cruising from the Greater to Lesser Antilles

30 Aug

 

Drone view of Culebra

Figuring out the names of Caribbean islands was as daunting as learning island groups of the South Pacific. First, there’s a whole lot of them! Pinterest Caribbean geograhy 101And then, where does one country end and the next begin? And could I please have a Venn diagram that shows regions and island groups and countries? At least most Caribbean place names have intuitive pronunciation for English speakers (first guesses at cruiser destinations like Kiribati, Papeete, Whangarei, Nadi, Pago Pago, etc. are usually not correct). Cruiser cred points for anyone who can correctly spell these phonetically in the comments!

Quick geography tangent: Antilles ...

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