As those who follow Randall and Mo on Facebook and the Tracker will know, Randall is in. Mo sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday afternoon. But the posts are not quite home yet. There remain two to complete the story, and this is the first of those…
July 7, 2018
Noon Position: 39 01N 126 47W
Bar: 1025, falling
Cabin Temperature: 69
Water Temperature: 59
Sail: Working jib, one reef; main, two reefs; reaching
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 128
Miles this leg: 2580
Avg. Miles this leg: 136
Unmitigated ... Read More
0200. James just went on watch to relieve Brady. We’re ten miles out of Texas Bar, on the way back towards Longyearbyen after exploring as far north and east as we’ll get on this little adventure. The west wind is being kind to us so far – Isbjorn is sailing 7 knots on a close reach, getting lifted out of the fjord. Which means we’ll be headed offshore, but the forecast is saying 10-12 knots, so that’s okay. Much more than that though and it’ll be uncomfortable.
Texas Bar was a bit of a Shangri La for the Isbjorn & ... Read More
Yesterday was tough for Rhode Island independent gubernatorial candidate Joseph Trillo. To me it already seemed like a poor idea to use his 65-foot yacht to campaign along the state’s summer beaches, especially with the huge banners and his “very, very big sound equipment” playing patriotic music and asking for votes. But then came the navigation issues.
This U.S. Coast Guard Northeast Facebook entry seems to report the grounding incident clearly, and let’s note that they politely named the yacht, Lady M, but not the owner. Many of the commenters — some of whom were trying ... Read More
Anchors– Anchor designs have evolved greatly over the centuries. The Danforth anchor was a breakthrough design in the early years of world war II: a lightweight anchor with superb holding capabilities. After the war, it became the standard anchor for small craft. Its one weakness is that the flukes may get jammed with a stone, stick, or quahog and it will not reset if a wind or current reversal pops the anchor out. The various plow and claw style anchors were developed to address that possible weakness. However, their ultimate holding power did not measure up to the light weight ... Read More
Welcome, newcomers to Sailing Totem! For our family’s backstory to a decade of sailing around the world, see Who and Why. For hopeful cruisers, articles addressing the most common questions found in Start Here. Can we help you? Learn about our lifestyle coaching or get in touch.
This week our family has the incredible opportunity to share our story to a wide audience thanks an interview with Megyn Kelly on TODAY. Hopefully the morning interlude offered these newcomers inspiration and a few minutes to contemplate a different way of life.
We can’t know what will happen ... Read More
Beluga’s! There were several dozen all around the boat. James got this from the drone.
“Man we’ve seen EVERYTHING today! Walrus, polar bears, the Virgohamna site. All we need now is a whale.”
Not 30 seconds after Brady said that in the cockpit as he drove Isbjorn north along the coast and towards our current anchorage at Holmiabukta, we spotted a spout off to starboard. Then another. And another.
“I thought it was ice on the water at first,” Brady said. “Then I saw the spouts and saw it was swimming, and just shouted BELUGA!”
We’d sailed right into an ... Read More
July 6, 2018
Noon Position: 39 51N 129 16W
Wind: WxN4 -6
Bar: 1026, up sharply
Sky: Heavy overcast in morning, clear and sunny now
Cabin Temperature: 70
Water Temperature: 61
Sail: Spinnaker and Main, rund dead downwind
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 113
Miles this leg: 2,452
Avg. Miles this leg: 136
Dawn delivered a heavy, hurricane sky from the west.
I ran the twins polled out overnight and Mo made 4 and 5 knots in a decent breeze aft. Stars for a time. Scorpio. The Dipper. I almost grabbed the sextant. But the ... Read More
July 5, 2018
Noon Position: 40 31N 131 34W
Bar: 1017, rising
Cabin Temperature: 68
Water Temperature: 62
Sail: Twins poled out
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 150
Miles this leg: 2,339
Avg. Miles this leg: 138
Miles to San Francisco: 445
The low gave us a good push overnight. And with just the working jib to pull us along, it was a gentle ride. The gray sky and a boulder-ridden sea crashing a kind of ice blue reminded of the Southern Ocean in a tempest-in-a-teapot sort of way. It was ... Read More
July 4, 2018
Noon Position: 42 15N 133 57S
Wind: NxE18-20, by 1300, NxE25-32)
Bar: 1011, steady
Sky: Low, gray, rain
Cabin Temperature: 67
Water Temperature: 59
Sail: After 1300, main, three reefs; working headsail, two; broad reach on port
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 138
Miles this leg: 2189
Avg. Miles this leg: 137
I thought we’d skirted the core of it or that the forecast was just wrong, but a building wind this afternoon went from high teens to low thirties in an instant, and suddenly the low was upon us.
A second ... Read More
The 3 Isbjorns! – The boat in the background, with mama bear and baby bear dining on old whale blubber. We were in the dinghy, shooting with long lenses.
Mia had been very excited to get to Virgohamna. “Just getting to Svalbard felt like something that would never actually happen,” she confided in me. “And now, getting here, this far north (at 79º 38’ north), to this place I’ve read so much about, and with so much connection to Sweden, it’s just surreal.”
Her, James and I hiked up the steep slope overlooking the site for a birds-eye view of ... Read More