Newfoundland, Found

8 Jul

July 6, 2019/Day 241

Noon Position: 46 39N 53 01W

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

Miles since departure: 31,717

Leg to St. John’s/Days: 4

Miles: 465

As we closed Cape Race, a heavy fog came down that ate up the wind. I reeled in a drippy spinnaker and started the engine at 0430. Already daylight was coming on. Over coffee, I set myself for a long shift in the pilot house.

We were entering an area where icebergs could be found. And though the latest ice report was a far cry from the one we saw before our Halifax arrival–now there were ...

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A Failure of Memory

6 Jul

July 5, 2019/Day 240

Noon Position: 45 57N 55 31W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 5.5

Miles since departure: 31,605

Leg Halifax to St John’s

Days: 3/Miles: 353

Wind continues light, shifting from NNW to W and back again. As I type, we’re riding the spinnaker on a breeze of six knots just south of west. A beautiful sail, the spinnaker; it hangs in the air with the magic of a soap bubble; each moment one expects its delicate perfection to burst at the seams, and it does not.

Light wind, warm sun, a flat sea. It’s a pleasant and relaxing run north. ...

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Can You See Me?

5 Jul

July 4, 2019/Day 239

Noon Position: 45 18N 58 33W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 5.5

Miles since departure: 31,472

Leg To Saint John’s

Day 2/Miles 220

Wind is light and variable but is mostly aft, and we’ve been running with the twin headsails for the better part of a day. Not a fast passage, this leg to St John’s, but it’s pleasant sailing.

Except for certain, key equipment failures…

I’ve been wrestling with Mo’s AIS system*–an essential tool for the singlehander–which made every sign of packing it in once we were at sea. In harbor, it passed pre-departure checks by picking ...

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Charlie Doane // Sailing Journalism & The New Lunacy

4 Jul

OTW269.jpg

#269. Charlie Doane is a long-time Editor-at-large with SAIL Magazine, and a lifeline sailor. I’ve known Charlie for years, and FINALLY got to sit down for a long chat with him aboard his new Boreal 47 LUNACY in St. George’s harbor in Bermuda. Charlie told stories of his early days sailing a styrofoam boat he’d gotten in the mail by saving cigarette packs, the chance meeting that got him into sailing journalism, getting ship-wrecked in Africa and lots more.


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Beginning the Haul North

4 Jul

July , 2019/Day 238

Noon Position: 44 40N 61 15W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 3.5

Miles since departure: 31,352

Avg. Miles/Day: 132

Dutch, an aluminum expedition boat sailed by my friends Sebastiaan and Rhiannon, meets Mo at the breakwater, and together we turn towards the sea. Dutch and family are out for a few weeks of summer cruising. Like Mo, they are headed north.

The day is sunny. I am in shirtsleeves. The brisk wind off the land allows Mo six and seven knots. I commission the new Monte and shut down the autopilot. Suddenly Mo becomes a thing alive, a sweet ...

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Halifax Departure

2 Jul

Eight months following wind and sea succeeded by one month tethered ashore. Neither seems real; in both cases, time has flown. This morning, Mo tugs gently at her anchor. She is happy enough here, as am I, but she knows we must move on. Much has been accomplished but not yet the goal. The whole of the north lies between us and a return.

As is the case wherever Mo touches, here we have been the recipients of much kindness. Tony and Connie, Wayne, Rob, Sebastiaan and Rhiannon, Ben, John, and Sandy are just a few of those who have ...

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Retro Whitbread coming our way

1 Jul
Alaska Eagle – my ride for the ’81/82 Whitbread Round the World Race

 

 
OK this one is personal to me as someone who participated in three Whitbread Round the World races back in the ’80’s. I had heard rumors of this happening and indeed had the idea myself a few years ago, so when I got a formal announcement this morning I was thrilled. ...
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ROSIE G: A Scow-Bow Junk Named After a Dead Dog

1 Jul

This is the most interesting new cruising sailboat design I’ve seen in a long time. Currently in build at Berkeley Marine Center, as conceived by a notable client, Barry Spanier, and drawn by a notable designer, Jim Antrim. It is significant, I think, that Spanier, a lifelong sailmaker who in his heyday designed and built some record-shattering windsurfer sails, has turned in his dotage to the junk rig. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept (you can see here some prior pondering on the subject) and find it inherently attractive. I say this, of course, having never sailed ...

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POWER OF THE ARCTIC: Moli’s First Northwest Passage

30 Jun

As I ready Mo for her jump from Halifax northwards, I am reminded of her first Northwest Passage attempt, summarized here by Clark Stede in a 1991 article in Yachting Monthly.


 Posted by The Figure 8 Voyage on January 17, 2017

ASMA in the ArcticAboard Moli is a small hardbound book titled Rund Amerika, the story of my boat’s initial adventures with then owners, Clark Stede and Michelle Poncini. It’s in German. I can admire the photos, like the one above, but I can’t read a word.

So, I was grateful to receive this week the below Yachting Monthly article from 1991 where ...

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ICEBEAR Offshore // “Iceberg, right ahead!”

29 Jun

An unexpected highlight of the passage to St. John’s.

An unexpected highlight of the passage to St. John’s.

As I write, we’re on the home stretch, steaming up the east coast of Newfoundland towards St. John’s. We’ve got a big iceberg about a mile ahead, and the crew has altered course to go and have a better look. It’s the fifth berg we’ve sighted since rounding Cape Race in the SE.

The other bonus of that low moving off to the north was that we knew the air getting pulled in from the west would be dry, and the ‘iceberg coast’ fog-free. Had we continued direct to St. John’s ...

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