Into a Kingdom of Cloud

18 Mar

March 16, 2019/Day 163

Noon Position: 54 50S  83 53W

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

Miles since departure: 22,411

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

I’m on edge. The day is eerie. Things are about to happen…

We have a good wind from NNW between 17 and 27 knots, which Mo takes just aft of the beam and on which we make a steady seven knots. It has held all day, this wind. But it is not meant to be, and everything points to change.

The barometer is falling steadily: 1000mb at 6AM; 996mb by noon; 993 by 6PM. The sky has been ...

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DEAD GUYS: Phillip “Phoopa” Anderson, Paul Gelder

18 Mar

Just prior to my leaving for St. Thomas, and again soon after I arrived there, I received sad news of the passing of two old friends. The first blow was a bit more disturbing, as Phillip Anderson (see image up top), known popularly in St. Georges, Bermuda, by his “street” name Phoopa, was in fact younger than me and died unexpectedly of a heart attack. There’s nothing better, I’m afraid, to remind you of your own mortality.

I first met Phillip in 1995, when I sailed into St. Georges aboard my Pearson Alberg 35 yawl Crazy Horse. I ended ...

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Winter Warmth

18 Mar

Photo courtesy of Mark Royce

Hiatus: noun, a pause or gap in a sequence, series or process.

That word pretty much sums up the offseason for sailors. If you’re in Florida, read no further. If you’re south of the Chesapeake or on the West Coast you may be lucky enough to keep your boat in the water or know friends who do. For Northerners, once the boat’s on the hard, in the backyard or the barn or wherever it spends the winter months, then you must find a way to fill the long months till launch day. For a ...

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Islas Diego Ramirez

16 Mar

March 14, 2019/Day 161

Noon Position: 53 08S  91 47W

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

Wind(t/tws): NW 17 – 21

Miles since departure: 22,114

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

 

Strong wind overnight as a cold northerly passed over us. It came on slowly, a steady thirty, then thirty-five topping out around midnight gusting forty. Mo let the building sea take her on the port quarter, a challenging angle for Monte, and so I ran a small headsail until morning. The blow came down to thirty-five some time after 1AM, when I started sleeping.

Winds are now aft and light, but setting the ...

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A Marine Installer’s Rant golden oldie: “High Maintenance”

15 Mar

 

Editor — Are you too missing Bill Bishop’s wry take on the world of marine electronics? Or perhaps you never even stumbled on his Marine Installer’s Rant?  Well, it’s intriguing that Bill is deep into writing a novel; there are still many relevant entries at the Rant; and Panbo is very pleased to republish a golden oldie:

High Maintenance

From: Bill Bishop
Date: Monday 21 August 2014
To: John Rhoades
Subject: Invoice

Dear John, I gather you’re upset about the invoice to replace the oil pressure sender on your boat’s generator, although it was hard to understand ...

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Sir Robin turns 80

15 Mar
 
One of my favorite books growing up was A World of my Own by Robin Knox-Johnston. It recounted his solo circumnavigation and ultimate win in the first Golden Globe Race that took place 50 years ago. What I recall most about the book was the fervor with which Robin took on the grueling task of sailing alone around the world stating on many occasions that
...
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How to Lose Weight Fast without Exercise or Even Leaving Your House

14 Mar

March 12, 2019/Day 159

Noon Position: 51 17S  99 25W

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

Miles since departure: 21, 812

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

 

A slow night but a fast day. Wind has filled in from the NW, and I’m meeting it with both headsails. Even with reefs, they are big and billowy and we scoot along at seven knots.

Clear skies give way to fog which clears and then reforms. But sun or no sun, it’s cooling down quickly, more quickly than the above daily temperatures indicate. I’m back to insulated rubber boots and an extra layer of fleece. The cabin ...

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Shakespeare inflatable emergency VHF antenna, smart design with 3dB

14 Mar

 

That’s Shakespeare Marine Electronics manager Bill Eastwood hamming it up with their just-announced inflatable VHF antennas at METS last November, and the grin is well deserved as the product had just won the DAME Award for the Safety category. In fact, I was the DAME judge who got to pull the cord to inflate the sample — worked like a charm — and I think we were all impressed with how rigid it became. The antenna also received a SAIL magazine 2019 Pittman Innovation Award, for which I also serve on the editorial panel.

I have not ...

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IN MARIA’S WAKE: Cruising From St. Thomas to Puerto Rico

13 Mar

On flying into St. Thomas on the third Sunday of last month Clare and I were pleased to find Lunacy resting peacefully in her slip at the Crown Bay Marina in Charlotte Amalie. We were not so pleased however to discover that she was covered in a thick layer of grimy soot. This had come from the very large diesel-powered forklift that is forever trundling up and down the container ship dock just upwind of the marina. We were even less pleased on Monday when we went into the office to pay the bill. This was, bar none, the most ...

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A Mistake

13 Mar

March 11, 2019/Day 158

Noon Position: 50 41S  102 16W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 4

Wind(t/tws): N 8 – 10

Miles since departure: 21,699

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

Becalmed.

The night was clear, the north wind, cold, and stars twinkled with an icy intensity. But by daybreak we were enveloped in a thick, drippy fog that slowly smothered everything except the north swell on which Mo rolled luxuriously. By afternoon I dropped the sails, else they’d rip themselves to shreds.

Wind was due to come from the NW by evening, so I rigged both poles in anticipation. While lowering the port pole, the ...

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