One Last Kick in the Pants?

6 Jul

July 3, 2018

Day 185/15

Noon Position: 43 48N 136 58W

Course/Speed: ESE7+

Wind: WSW17-20

Bar: 1025, falling rapidly

Sea: SW5

Sky: Rain most of day, sometimes heavy

Cabin Temperature: 63

Water Temperature: 57

Sail: #2 poled to starboard, main to port, broad reach on starboard

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 137

Miles this leg: 2,051

Avg. Miles this leg: 137

Miles to San Francisco: 680

I can’t fathom today’s weather. You are thinking hot dogs, cold beer, and fireworks on a warm summer’s evening. A mere 700 miles NW of San Francisco, I’m plowing through low cloud and freezing rain. ...

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To the North Pole in a Balloon!? Virgohamna // Delos in the Arctic, Part 5

6 Jul

  Ruins of petrol tanks from the Wellman expeditions.

Ruins of petrol tanks from the Wellman expeditions.

The harbor is named after the ship ‘Virgo,’ which anchored off the desolate stony beach in the late 1800’s with supplies for the Swedish explorer Andree’s planned ballon expedition to the North Pole. We dropped anchor surely closer to shore than ‘Virgo’ did back then, anchoring in about 30-feet of water a few hundred feet off the beach. The scenery here is different than the west coast – small, but tall, islands, littered with black volcanic scree on they’re steep slopes. It’s rugged terrain, mostly black, yet surprisingly green in places where ...

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Just Chugging Along

5 Jul

July 2, 2018

Day 184/14

Noon Position: 44 45N 139 11W

Course/Speed: ESE5-6

Wind: WSW8-10

Bar: 1037, steady

Sea: SW <1

Sky: Overcast. As in NO FOG.

Cabin Temperature: 74

Water Temperature: 56

Sail: Spinnaker poled out; main other side, running.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 109

Miles this leg: 1,914

Avg. Miles this leg: 137

Note the above reference to the highly unusual absence of FOG, which has finally cleared after nearly a week. Cleared to a heavy, dark deck of cloud, but this is a positive step. We are not trapped under a dome after all; we did not ...

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Summer in Seattle, after detour to NY for the TODAY show!

5 Jul

Fireworks flashed in the distance last night as the Bainbridge Island ferry pushed through Puget Sound’s dark water. This was supposed to be our last leg for summer travel back to the Seattle area, the culmination of a plan crafted in minutes while in Grenada last fall after learning Totem’s hull needed drying out. Instead, we’re headed to New York soon to tape an appearance on NBC’s Megyn Kelly TODAY. Holy exciting plan shakeups, batman!  Our interview is due to air next Monday, July 9, and we hope you’ll tune in.

How did this come together? Kicked off by ...

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Sysselmannen in Magdalenafjord // Delos in the Arctic, Part 4

5 Jul

On Berg5_2500px 2.jpg

1230. Most of the Delos gang (plus James) are still sleeping, despite playing the whale fish song (twice). Mia’s pouring coffee, Karin just climbed out of bed and Alex is looking groggy at the saloon table. Brady & Brian are passed out on the settees and James & Kiril are ostensibly still in the forepeak bunks. I’ve got a bad back and have been up since 0945 because I can’t stand to lay down.

Isbjörn is anchored at Virgohamna in low clouds and patchy fog. The cockpit is dry for the moment, but the forecast looks damp. There is graffiti ...

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4 Jul

July 1, 2018

Day 184/13

Noon Position: 44 54N 141 43W

Course/Speed: ExN3-4

Wind: SW7-9

Bar: 1034

Sea: SW2

Sky: FOG, heavy

Cabin Temperature: 74

Water Temperature: 55

Sail: Spinnaker, poled to port. No main. Not enough air.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 117

Miles this leg: 1805

Avg. Miles this leg: 139

We motored all night, a good choice as the foretold wind never rose above 5 knots dead aft. I’ve edged up to 45N to get a leg over the fence that is this high pressure system, and each mile we travel north, the high happily obliges by rising ...

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GOLDEN GLOBE REVISITED: They’re Off and Running

3 Jul

GGR start

It has begun! Seventeen competitors in Don McIntyre’s Golden Globe Race 2018, a highly structured tribute event honoring the 50th anniversary of the original Golden Globe, the first non-stop solo round-the-world race, took off from Les Sables d’Olonne Sunday at noon local time. An 18th sailor, Francesco Cappelletti, of Italy, is still in port working to pass a safety inspection and complete sailing trials. First across the line when the starting cannon sounded (fired by Robin Knox-Johnston aboard Suhaili, the boat in which he won the original event) was a Frenchman, Phillipe Péché, sailing a Rustler 36 ...

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High Quandary

3 Jul

June 30, 2018

Day 183/12

Noon Position: 44 22N 144 48W

Course/Speed: ExN5

Wind: SSW4

Bar: 1030, still rising slowly

Sea: SW1

Sky: Heavy fog in the moring give way to overcast

Cabin Temperature: 68

Water Temperature: 56

Sail: Motoring

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 114

Miles this leg: 1688

Avg. Miles this leg: 141

NOTE: I’ve shut down the high tech Fleet Broadband 250 satellite unit and am switching to the Iridium GO! for the, hopefully short, duration of this cruise. The bandwidth of the GO only allows for low resolution photos and only one or two.

By 5am...

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With Delos in the Arctic // Part 3: North Spitsbergen

3 Jul

  Ice men &amp; Isbjorn. Photo from  James Austrums , who was IN the icy water!

Ice men & Isbjorn. Photo from James Austrums, who was IN the icy water!

Anchor Watch in Magdalenafjord

It was all but 50 miles from Ny Ålesund up the coast to the NW corner of Spitsbergen, and the gang was pretty slow-moving after the midsummer/birthday party in the village the night before. Nonetheless, we wanted to keep moving. After topping up on water and scrubbing the muddy footprints off the deck, we set out around 1700 and pointed the bow north again, taking turns on the watch in the calm, grey weather, on a motorboat ride up the coast....

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237: Brandon Wright // Building the BRNKL Business

2 Jul


#237. Brandon Wright is the founder of BRNKL, a Vancouver-based tech startup focused on remote monitoring systems for boats. Brandon & I originally connected on Instagram and immediately hit it off. His sailing, tech & entrepreneurial background ticks all the boxes of my own personal interests, so it was a blast talking to and learning from Brandon about how he got his fledgling business off the ground. He has a background in surveillance, having worked for the US Military in the middle east, creating home systems for Arab sheikhs and more. Brandon’s lightbulb moment to start BRNKL came when his ...

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