An Unexpected Blow

6 Feb

February 4, 2019/Day 123

Noon Position: 46 42S  148 16E

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

Miles since departure: 17,157

Avg. Miles/Day: 139

It’s the kind of day you cancel appointments for. You don’t take calls. You pay attention.

We rode the low’s northwesterly phase overnight; brisk winds to 25. I had the twins poled out with a couple tucks in each and Monte set to keep wind dead aft.

The westerly phase filled in before noon and brought with it waves of squalls to blot out the otherwise blue sky. Winds increased to 25 and 30 with 35 in the squalls common. ...

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Quick Update

5 Feb

February 3, 2019/Noon Position: 46 27S  144 36E


A dynamic weather day. Rain and wind changes. Drizzle and wind changes. A huge trough passes over, with wind changes. Now it’s clear with cloud on the horizon. Hard to keep up. Have done complete sail changes three times and have been adjusting sail all day. At least that’s the way it seems.

Fast time east. So that’s good.


I’ve abandoned the idea of going below the coming high pressure area two days hence. Realistically, it would have required a dip all the way to 50S, a latitude I’m not ...

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Raymarine and Mercury’s preview of semi-autonomous docking assist

5 Feb


For many of us docking maneuvers are the most stressful part of boating. So engine manufacturers, electronics companies and boat builders have introduced systems like integrated joystick control and dynamic positioning to make the task easier. Last Friday I got hand’s on with a new technology from Raymarine and Mercury Marine that takes docking assistance to a new level. They call it Virtual Bumper and I can attest that it lets you dock like a pro, even if you’re not.

With Virtual Bumper you still drive the boat, but 3D cameras are monitoring the situation in all directions and ...

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A Befuddlement over Water

4 Feb

February  2, 2019/Day 121

Noon Position: 45 43S  141 17E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ESE 6

Miles since departure: 16,860

Avg. Miles/Day: 139


Another steady night of wind aft but without stars. I woke often to make sure it continued to blow from the WNW, as the forecast called for a northerly shift which would have required deck work, but none came. I got a solid eight hours sleep. Second night of that.

I’m edging S a bit in an attempt to get below a high (a blob of calm) that will settle in here in two days, and from that point ...

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Spindrift 2 out due to rudder damage

4 Feb

The crew of Spindrift Racing, the 130-foot maxi trimaran, have been forced to abandon their attempt to set a new fully-crewed, non-stop circumnavigation record. After setting a blazing pace which saw them set a new record for the fastest time from Ushant, on the northwest coast of France, to the equator, and a fast, but tricky passage around the South Atlantic ...
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Mark Slats takes second in the Golden Globe

4 Feb

Mark Slats approaching the finish line in France

The excitement had barely started to die down after the incredible victory by Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Golden Globe Race when second place finisher, Dutchman Mark Slats, rolled into town. It was an extremely impressive showing by the 42-year old sailor who had dogged Van Den Heede most of the way around the world. For a while there it looked as if Slats might overtake the French sailor given that ...
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What Glows of a Clear Night

3 Feb

February 1, 2019/Day 120

Noon Position: 44 51S  138 02E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExS 6

Miles since departure: 16,713

Avg. Miles/Day: 139

A clear, steady night.

One squall, epic in size and darkness of hue and pouring a Niagara of rain, a squall that had been on the approach all afternoon, a squall that looked to climb up the taffrail and for which I put on foul weather gear and cleared sheets of their coils … was too late!

Ha ha ha ha, laugh I as the sun sets. And as stars begin to wink on, the squall fizzles and spits and ...

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Dear Lord, Deliver me from Hobart

2 Feb

January 31, 2019/Day 119

Noon Position: 44 21S  134 58E

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

Miles since departure: 16,578

Avg. Miles/Day: 139


Good miles today, but I’ve been having a tough time getting the full giddy-up out of Mo due to squalls.

Ran all night with a triple reefed main and double reefed jib, very conservative in 25 knots from the WSW, and was still up and on deck three times to ease sheets and help Monte get back on course when a troll passed through.

Easy day. We’re sliding into a high pressure system, and so winds are lightening.


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Rolling Again

1 Feb


January 30, 2019/Day 118

Noon Position: 43 45S  131 34E

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

Miles since departure: 16,428

Avg. Miles/Day: 139

It’s been a slow week for miles, but today we finally had an average day of 146 miles noon-to-noon. That ties our best day this last seven.

But we’re rolling now, and Mo feels fast again, except for the few hours before dawn when I should have flown more sail but opted for sleep. Deserved sleep, as we spent the night being t-boned by one squall after the other, and I was frequently on deck taming the twin headsails ...

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Oda Pedersen Taule // Single-Handed Sailor

31 Jan


#256: Oda Pedersen Taule is a 20-something Norwegian sailor who set out single-handed on her little sloop SNUPPA, bound for Australia. Self-taught at ocean sailing, Oda learned the hard way, getting badly beaten up on her first Bay of Biscay crossing, even needing to call the coast guard for help, and tearfully sharing some emotional moments with the crew who came to her rescue. The experience didn’t discourage her though – on the contrary. Oda & I met in Bergen in December to record the podcast in person, and despite her youth, I discovered that Oda is wise beyond her ...

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