Calypso Ultrasonic Portable, wireless wind and more

1 Oct

One reason I like ultrasonic wind sensors is the absence of vanes, cups or any other moving parts that might get damaged by roosting birds, loose lines or clumsy humans. So how about one that can also sense Heading, Air Temperature, Pitch and Roll; that is especially sleek and compact; and that comes in three models able to deliver the data over Bluetooth, NMEA 0183, and/or WiFi? I’ve been testing the completely wireless Calypso Ultrasonic Portable model seen above and I’m tentatively impressed.

The Calypso Ultrasonic Portable anemometer was able to maintain its battery during short Maine winter days and the wind readings did not seem affected by snow and rain

This Calypso Ultrasonic Portable anemometer was working despite harsh winter conditions

While the other two Calypso Ultrasonic ...

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USACE ICW Surveys: Browns, New River, Mason, Masonboro, and Carolina Beach, Inlet Crossings Post Florence

27 Sep

 

The USACE survey crews from the Wilmington NC district have been very active since hurricane Florence crossed the waters of North Carolina. The survey crews have surveyed many of the trouble spots. So far, the effects of Florence would appear to be far less than we feared. At this time they have surveyed and updated Browns Inlet Crossing (almost no change!), New River inlet crossing (almost no change from last survey), Masonboro Inlet crossing, Mason Inlet crossing, and Topsail Inlet crossing. As a general observation these inlets have not changed very much as a result of the storm.  We’re ...

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35 years ago today

26 Sep



For sailors it was a JFK assassination moment. We can remember exactly where we were to the second when the Australian yacht Australia II gybed over and crossed ahead of the American yacht Liberty. Sailors around the world held their collective breath for the time it took both boats to round the leeward mark and battle their way up the last windward leg of the ...
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Carnage in the Golden Globe Race

25 Sep
Abhilash Tomy – rescued after being dismasted and injured

 

 
There was some high drama in the Golden Globe Race over the last few days that resulted in two sailors being rescued. It all started last Friday when race founder and organizer Don McIntyre produced a short video for YouTube that showed a number of intense low pressure systems rolling toward some of the competitors ...
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Beaufort, NC to Georgetown, SC

25 Sep

For cruisers headed south, the reports indicate that while hurricane Florence wreaked havoc in parts in North Carolina, many of the marinas along the ICW between Norfolk, VA Beaufort, NC are open and accepting transients.  Between Beaufort, NC and Georgetown SC there is extensive damage (See black dashed oval in the attached picture.).  There are no reliable reports of the conditions in the known trouble spots at the CW inlet crossings. Beaufort Town docks reports that they only know of one boat headed south in the ICW.  The boats headed south are going offshore 160 nautical miles to Georgetown or ...

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Isbjorn in Madeira: A Local Futbol Game

24 Sep

  Mia sporting her new hat in Funchal.

Mia sporting her new hat in Funchal.

I did 10k this morning, starting along the waterfront behind the marina and working east, quickly realizing that beyond the 2 or 3 kilometers of the main drag, there are no flat areas for running in Funchal. Past the Porto Maria hotel I jogged through old-town and across cobblestones that challenged my ankle joints and the road crept ever upward. At times I was down to a walking pace – gradients in excess of 12% sort of required it. The sun was high in the sky at 10am, and hot, but I wanted ...

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Towards Madeira: Warm Weather Sailing at it’s Best!

23 Sep

  Unbelievable landfall in Madeira at sunset!

Unbelievable landfall in Madeira at sunset!

0527. Dark. You can see the Milky Way quite clearly. ISBJORN hurtles downwind under spinnaker. The sail is illuminated by the steaming light on the front of the mast to make it easier to trim at night. We’ve changed to a 4-on-4-off watch rotation, switching after dinner tonight, in order that Mia or myself is always up when the chute is up in the dark.

[Incidentally, after we arrived in Madeira, Andy posted this photo on Facebook, which started a very good discussion on COLREGS offshore, with comments from people like John Rousmaniere, Peter ...

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Accidental grounding, familiarity breeds complacency

20 Sep

My 2018 cruising started with a trip straight up Lake Michigan’s Wisconsin coast bound for Manistique, a small town on Michigan’s upper peninsula.  We had something very rare, three consecutive days of flat water on Lake Michigan.  So we made the most of the conditions and ran all three of those days for a total of 300 nm at 9 kts.  We made it the length of the lake to Manistique without incident.  Unfortunately, we didn’t make it into Manistique harbor without incident.

I’ve been into Manistique’s little harbor a handful of times before.  In fact, I had bread crumbs ...

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UNMANNED: First Robot Sailboat Completes Transatlantic Voyage

19 Sep

Sailbuoy Met

Who needs crew? Not the Sailbuoy Met, a 2-meter long sailing robot, which recently arrived in Ireland after sailing 80 days non-stop from Newfoundland. Created by a Norwegian company, Offshore Sensing AS, Sailbuoy is the first robot vessel to cross the Atlantic and the first to complete the Microtransat Challenge, a transatlantic race for autonomous vessels. Twenty previous attempts by different teams had ended in abject failure.

 Sailbuoy route

Route of the victor

Check out the Microtransat tracking map and you’ll see there are currently two other robots working to complete the course. SeaLeon, fielded by Dalhousie University ...

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Winegard Connect marine WiFi and cell internet connection, simple and functional

19 Sep

The Winegard Connect 4G1xm along side it’s power injector

I first mentioned my “installation” of a Winegard Connect because I was exercised about the cabling and mounting scheme Winegard employs. But the company deserves high marks for their response to my concerns, as they quickly had a proposed solution (explained below).  While the Connect all-in-one WiFi and cellular get-online system — with the cell service included — is Winegard’s first entry into the marine internet market, they’ve been at it in the RV world for quite some time and the rock-solid RF performance is pretty impressive even if the ...

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