Weather waffling: the passage departure decision

13 Mar

I watched from Totem’s cockpit yesterday as friends sailed out of the La Cruz anchorage. Their next stop: the Marquesas, French Polynesia’s nearest island group to the Americas, around 3,000 miles away. This week’s weather window spawned the first wave of South Pacific-bound departures from our corner of Mexico. When a big passage looms, evaluating options stalls many crews: this one is closing, and the next wave now plays the waiting game. Jamie wrote these observations while we were on weather watch for a significant passage of our own some years ago. 

The last leg of Totem’s Pacific crossing stared ...

Read More

A Circumference, Of Sorts

12 Mar

March 10, 2019/Day 157

Noon Position: 50 01S  105 25

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

Wind(t/tws): NExN 23 – 27

Miles since departure: 21,572

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

 

All morning we close reached to the SE and into a hard northeasterly. Two reefs, then three. By noon a sea was building, and I was on the verge of putting up the small staysail when everything shifted.

Wind went from NE to NW in a matter of five minutes. During the transition, wind speeds nearly touched forty, and then backed down the seventeen. Within fifteen minutes, the windward sky, which had been low, ...

Read More

ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 12/Finale // Re-Entry

11 Mar

Solitary squall the morning of landfall.

Solitary squall the morning of landfall.

Steam Punk Time Machine. In 40 miles we’ll find out how the world has changed.

Most of the time our passages are in the neighborhood of 5-7 days or so. Time off the grid to decompress, but we always marvel at how while it’s seemed like we’ve been gone forever, nothing ever happens. A few emails come in, the same headlines dot the online news, friends lies go on back home same as the week before.

This is different. ISBJORN’s been at sea over 20 days now. The world we’re about to re-enter ...

Read More

Information display and Ship Control, hands on with next generation boat management interfaces

10 Mar

 

Controlling the multitude of systems on modern boats can be complex and many modern boaters expect the same level of automation and convenience they find in their cars.   It’s clear the industry has realized this and is working hard to develop systems that make controlling your boat simpler and more intuitive.  I had the opportunity to try out two such systems at the Miami International Boat Show: Navico Information Display (ID) on the new Sea Ray 350 SLX-R and Prestige’s Ship Control aboard a Prestige 460 Fly.  While these systems vary in several meaningful ways they both give an ...

Read More

It’s a Good Job I Like Sailing

10 Mar

March 8, 2019/Day 155

Noon Position: 48 21S  112 05W

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

Wind(t/tws): WSW 25 – 30

Miles since departure: 21,292

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

 

It’s a good job I like sailing, because that’s all this is over the last few days. Haul a line, crank a winch, reef and unreef; grab a can of something from the cupboard and get back on deck.

Overnight winds veered from NW to NNE and built to 25. By 3am I was putting second reefs in anything I could find. The barometer had dropped again, from 1001 to 996. Heavy rain.

At ...

Read More

ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 11 // Oops. There Goes the Spinnaker…

9 Mar

The old white spin before she came to an ugly death, mid-Atlantic.

The old white spin before she came to an ugly death, mid-Atlantic.

Welp, we did it. Mia & I got complacent and paid the price of letting our guard down. I figuratively kicked myself the first time I was at the top of the mast in the dark, freeing a horribly twisted spinnaker halyard, and then promised myself I’d not make the same mistake twice the second time I was up the rig cutting the wrapped sail down from the forestay and swinging around in the swell like an idiot.

We’d had the chute up for over 30 hours. I’d ...

Read More

Southern Lows are Tough Business

8 Mar

Noon Position: 47 19S  118 48W

Course: ESE 7; Wind: NW 21 – 34

Barometer: 997, falling

Sail: Working jib, heavily reefed.

Evening now. We’re in the heart of it, so just a quick note.

The barometer has been falling dramatically all day, from 1008mb at 2am to 995.5mb as I type. I’m hoping that’s the bottom, but I’ve been hoping that since 998mb.

Wind is *still* NW, which means that for hours now we’ve been stuck in the initial, NW phase of this low. I’m tired and wet through. A random sea struck Mo’s flank while I was in ...

Read More

#258: David Hows // Ocean Sailing Podcast Host

8 Mar

OTW258.jpg

#258 David Hows is the host of the Ocean Sailing Podcast. He sails his own Beneteau 44.5 “Ocean Gem” and has raced it extensively between Australia and New Zealand. He has now crossed the Tasman Sea three times, two of those single handed. David interviewed Andy for his podcast – they spoke of the podcasting business, filming and photography, and the anxiety that comes with running a boat offshore

 


Show Notes


 

 

 ...

Read More

S U N S H I N E

7 Mar

March 5, 2019/Day 152

Noon Position: 47 09S  122 36W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExN 6 – 7

Wind(t/tws): WxS 14

Miles since departure: 20,855

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

 

Clear night. Not a cloud. Orion is setting in the west; Scorpio, full and bright in the east, is rising. I trace out all the star paths I know and then try to identify the outliers. Why can’t I find Miaplacidus, for example? Or Atria?

A solitary star deep in the south is, I think, Achernar, which we’ve not seen since coming down the Pacific three months ago; it will eventually lead to Diphda ...

Read More

Victron Connect, why Bluetooth configuration can make so much sense

6 Mar

 

 

There are many reasons to like Victron solar panel charge controllers, but today I’ll laud the Bluetooth feature that comes with the relatively new SmartSolar models and could make sense in many electronic boat modules and sensors, I think.

First, let’s note that the SmartSolar 100/30 above costs about $226 online while the BlueSolar 100/30 goes for about $196, and the only significant difference is the Bluetooth. So Victron is apparently able to add the wireless radio and the Victron Connect app integration for small money (and is rapidly adding “Smart” to many of its formerly plain Blue ...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group