So much sailing going on these days

30 Sep

The innovative Classe Mini

It’s incredible how far the sport of sailing has come in the last few decades. Just think about it. Right now 89 sailors await a weather window in France before setting off to race single-handed across the Atlantic in some pretty futuristic 21-foot boats. The Mini Transat is an incredible event with a class that has grown from strength to strength and is not only on the cutting edge ...
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Rough Night

29 Sep

September 27, 2019

Days at Sea: 283/Days Since Departure: 362

Noon Position: 52 31N  155 58W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): SxW 6 – 7
Wind(t/tws): ESE 25+/Sea(t/ft): SE 8-10
Sail: Three reefs in main and working jib, close reaching on port

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 84
Miles since departure: 37,252

I tacked at 2am when the wind went into the SE so as to grab some southing while I could. Rough night close hauled in winds 25 – 30. Rain, drizzle, fog; spray everywhere. On deck every hour to reef again, adjust Monte, recoil a line pulled down by the constant water ...

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Light Wind but Contrary

27 Sep

September 26, 2019

Days at Sea: 292/Days Since Departure: 361

Noon Position: 53 19N  157 48W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExS 6
Wind(t/tws): S 10
Sea(t/ft): S 1
Sail: Main and big genoa, close hauled.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 120
Miles since departure: 37,168

 

Light wind day. Both big sails up and close hauled. Slow. Wind can’t make up its mind. Our heading is E but snakes to the N and then S as the breeze meanders about. Mostly we are losing ground to the N. This makes me uncomfortable given the big blow N of us due the first of ...

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Navionics Sonar Charts –  Adding color to facilitate reading the chart depth

26 Sep

 

Navionics Sonar Charts (NSC) have proven to be an invaluable tool for cruisers.  NOAA charts are the basis for all American charts. They are invaluable: NOAA has very limited budget for surveying the ICW.  The NSC adds crowd sourced charts are built on the NOAA charts with the addition of bathymetry  supplied by cruisers.  NSC are crowd sourced surveys. The NSC charts are finely detailed.  The details can make it difficult to actually tell which depth contour you are crossing; is this the 8-foot contour, or the 12’ contour? Here is the New River ICW Inlet crossing NSC with ...

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New FLIR M300 cameras – visible light, thermal and color thermal

26 Sep

M364C on the FLIR / Raymarine demo boat

At the NMEA Conference last week, FLIR previewed the M300 line of marine cameras with five models including the company’s first visible light only camera. They also debuted Color Thermal Vision (CTV) and MSX aging edge enhancing imaging technologies. Ben Ellison and I took a night ride on the FLIR/Raymarine demo boat in busy Norfolk Harbor and saw how all this technology can enhance situational awareness.

The M300 line adds horizontal stabilization to the previous generation’s vertical stabilization capabilities. To offer horizontal stabilization FLIR has added an attitude heading reference system (AHRS) ...

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Shooting the Unalga Pass

25 Sep

September 24, 2019
Days Since Departure: 359

Noon Position: 53 38N. 164 54W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExS 5
Wind(t/tws): W 10
Sea(t/ft): S 3

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 60 (since Dutch departure at midnight)
Miles since departure: 36,915

Note: One photo because my main satellite system is down for the moment.

Three gates in the vicinity of Dutch Harbor connect the Bering and the larger Pacific; they are Unimak Pass, Akutan Pass and Unalga Pass, with Unimak being the largest and most distant and Unalga, the closest and smallest. Only Unimak is lit.

During an ebb, the pent up forces of ...

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Images of Dutch

24 Sep

September 23, 2019

Again, just passing through and quickly.

One day to sit out the blow, which pushed hard through the Iluilui Harbor cut, turning the water white. Mo was snugged up behind a big crab boat and almost entirely out of the wind. Thus, my two bow lines, two stern lines and four springs were overkill; I spent the day watching the gale from the equivalent of a hotel window. Spume flew two boat lengths out, but Mo never moved.

And one day to get ready. Refresh Monte’s tiller lines; refresh worn sheets, check running and standing rigging, repack ...

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2019 SUMMER CRUISING: More Fooling Around on Lunacy

24 Sep

Sept.  24/2019: I haven’t kept you all up to date re my doings aboard Lunacy since the end of the Deth Cruz so I thought I’d share some glimpses of what’s been going on. A lot of it has been Maintenance and Modifications, which we’ll discuss later. Right now we’ll focus on more fun stuff.

Not long after the Deth Cruz in July I headed down the Maine coast again, on my own to start, with two weeks in hand to play with. Plan A was to get as far Down East as fast as possible, so I blitzed out ...

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Team Australia takes victory in the SailGP series

23 Sep
Tom Slingsby leads Team Australia to victory in the SailGP series

 

 
They have said for years that watching sailboats race is about as interesting as watching grass grow; but not anymore and most definitely not if you watched the final race of the SailGP series that took place yesterday in Marseille, France. It was an absolute nail biter and an extremely close finish between the Australian team led by Tom Slingsby and ...
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ICW Observations and Updates September 2019

23 Sep

SEPTEMBER 26, 2019  UPDATES based on early southbounders are in Italics. 

The following is a list of the known ICW trouble spots.  Several places which are now clear but have historically been a problem are listed here because there are many references to these trouble spots in  ICW guides. Several of these have been dredged recently.  This list will give you updated information and keep those historical trouble spots flagged.  It is likely they will shoal in again. Fortunately hurricane Dorian made no significant changes to the ICW inlet crossings.

Charts are often slow to display updated bathymetry whether it ...

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