ARC Rally Announces 2nd Start Date, plus Cape Verde Stopover

7 May

 

Okay, busy day for Andy & Mia today on SAILfeed! We just got the official word from the main office in Cowes that the World Cruising Club is expanding the ARC Rally, something Mia and I have enjoyed working on for the past four years. Here's the official press release…

 

'Demand from sailors world-wide for spaces in the 2013 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC 2013) has been unprecedented. The thirty extra boat slips recently installed by the Las Palmas Port Authority has enabled the ARC to grow to a maximum of 245 yachts for 2013; despite this, the ...

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ROLL-UP INFLATABLE DINGHIES: Better Than RIBs

7 May

Dinghy stowed on deck

ATTENTION EARTH PEOPLE! As I write this I am approaching Bermuda, blasting along but 70 miles out on what seems a perpetual close reach, due for a landing sometime in the wee hours tomorrow, of which more later. What I really want to spout off about right now are inflatable tenders. I was thinking about this as we were preparing to leave Puerto Rico, while regarding our neighbors on a 45-foot Bristol next door, who were about to depart for Annapolis. They had just stowed their RIB tender for the passage, and it took up all of their foredeck. ...

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Therapeutic Writing in the Caribbean

7 May

Note: I wrote this about a week ago in Tortola, during the ARC Europe / Atlantic Cup start week. It was a nice evening.

I’m back in my element now. After four long days being
social and cheerful, I find myself a bit exhausted. Mia doesn’t understand
this. Introverts (and I classify myself as one), find it physically tiring to be in social situations. Some more than
others, of course (so I’ve read). I’m there now. Don’t get me wrong, I love these events, wouldn’t be doing
anything different. But being introverted, it takes a real effort to be social,...

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Pink Butterfly

6 May

I wrote a big long post about why I don’t like Puerto Escondido and then deleted it. Why waste a thousand words when one word sums the place up—lame.

Cold showers, horrible internet, absolutely nothing to do, no beach, and a forty dollar round-trip taxi trip to town. Actually Puerto Escondido wouldn’t be half bad if it were two miles or less from town, but as it is twenty or so miles—lame.

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Coughed up the dough and made it into town for the Sunday market. Forty bucks worth of taxi for a hundred bucks worth of groceries. The ice cold ...

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What Do You Do All Day?

5 May

This is one of the most common questions I get from land folks.  It is usually accompanied by a wide-eyed look and a shake of the head, as though we wake up every morning in our floating prison cell, wondering how to fill the dark and heavy hours until lights-out.

Never.  Erik and I wake up every day, roll over, say good morning, and wonder, “What is going to break today?”  There are few things you can count on in this world, my friends, but I can promise you this: on a boat, there is always something advancing along the ...

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Sending off another rally fleet!

4 May

You'll have to excuse our absence on SAILfeed in the past week. It's been full-on getting the Atlantic Cup and ARC Europe rallies underway here in Tortola. But it's been a blast too, and now the fleet is finally at sea! I wrote this press release just now to announce the departure. To follow the fleet, head on over to worldcruising.com. On Wednesday, Mia and I head to Bermuda, where the fun continues! After sailing in ARC Europe last year on Kinship, it's fun to be on the organizing side this year. Enjoy!

Thirty yachts hailing from twelve different ...

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BEP CZone Signal Interface, a NMEA 2000 winner

3 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 3, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

CZone_SI_tank_monitoring_on_Simrad_NSS8_cPanbo.jpg

That screen above makes me so happy!  I had been reluctant to give up on Gizmo’s standalone tank monitoring system but circumstances forced a change. Had I realized how easy and relatively inexpensive it was to switch the tank senders over to BEP CZone NMEA 2000 monitoring — and how accurate and flexible the output would be, even to the point of custom (and juvenile) tank labels — I would have made the leap a long time ago…

Aside from the Volvo Penta engine panels the ...

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Puerto Escondido

2 May

Our first couple of nights after leaving La Paz we had strong coromuel winds, but after getting just another twenty miles or so north the nights have been silent. No swell—the beauty of the east coast of Baja—and not a ripple on the water. You can’t sleep better than that.

Today we motored an hour north to Puerto Escondido—it is time to fill up the water tanks, do some laundry, and stock up some fresh fruit.

We pulled up to the fuel/water dock and while I filled the tanks and gave the boat a quick rinse Ali and the kids ...

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You’re Welcome Here, Now Leave

1 May

We moved on up to Bahia Candeleros today where we had promised the kids the most awesome kid pool ever. Silly stupid parents—never promise anything to kids.

After anchoring the dinghy in the shallows we waded ashore in front of the all-inclusive resort that had welcomed all cruisers with open arms last year. Up the stairs we went on a beeline for the pool. At the top of the stairs a security guard walked towards us and I got that sinking feeling.

“Hola. Have you been here before?” he asked.

Taken aback—happily—I replied, “Yes, last year.”

“Bienvenidos.” Welcome.

All right. ...

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Thank You, MSC Shipping

1 May

With seven more boats, this picture would have been complete

Hallelujah, the Vega Carina made Barbados from Trinidad late Wednesday, presumably with The Container aboard and its contents of seven 5O5s, masts and sails for another dozen or more boats, and international juror Vicki Gilmour’s rule book.

Unfortunately, Wednesday was a holiday, so even an early arrival would not have meant an offloading, and even an offloading, whenever it happens, won’t mean jack. Because there is no hope of getting The Container unsealed and its contents through Customs in time for Friday’s final race of the SAP 5O5 World Championship...

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