A Flag of Our Own

17 May

Day 146/24

Noon Position: 32 04S 154 12W

Course/Speed: N5

Wind: SSE4

Bar: 1027, falling (slowly)

Sea: S5, N3 (both old)

Sky: Puffy Cumulus

Cabin Temperature: 75

Water Temperature: 69

Sail: Motoring

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 96

Miles this leg: 2,949

Avg. Miles this leg: 123

Miles since departure: 20,193

I woke to a sea of glass.

We reached steadily north all night. Wind gave out occasionally–I could hear the slatting of the main from my bunk–but filled in again after a time. Then Mo would move silently through the silent heave of sea, making her slow way in time ...

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Light Wind Sailing

16 May

Day 145/23

Noon Position: 33 38S 154 22W

Course/Speed: N3

Wind: SSW5

Bar: 1029, steady

Sea: S6, N4

Sky: Clear, cumulus on horizon

Cabin Temperature: 71

Water Temperature: 67

Sail: Spinnaker and Main, Broad Reach

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 105 (again)

Miles this leg: 2,853

Avg. Miles this leg: 124

Miles since departure: 20,097

I think it is light wind sailing that separates the men from the boys as much as the heavy stuff. It is certainly as much work.

We’ve been running toward the blessed north, at least, but not with anything like speed. The forecast got the wind ...

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16 May

The Open 60 “Imagine”

Imagine… such lovely word but what a nightmare of a project it turned out to be. Imagine was/is (dunno if the boat still exists) an Open 60 built for an American skipper planning on participating in the BOC single-handed around-the-world race. He got his sponsorship from a Colorado aluminium company, the same one that makes the beer cans for Coors brewery.
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Towards the Arctic & Video from the North Sea

16 May

  Isbjorn in Kirkwall, Orkney at sunset.

Isbjorn in Kirkwall, Orkney at sunset.

Isbjorn’s new crew will arrive in about 40 minutes. Mia & I have finished cleaning up the boat. Yesterday Mia did a HUGE provisioning run. I decanted a few bottles of propane into our American tanks. We went running in our downtime, ate Indian food last night for dinner and enjoyed the variable weather that is Orkney. I filled the outboard with the last of gas so I can top it off at the gas station, then proceeded to drop the outboard’s gas cap into the water behind the boat. Good thing that only ...

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SEAiq apps replace ActiveCaptain with Waterway Guide

15 May

Actually, as you can see above, SEAiq lets you overlay both ActiveCaptain and Waterway Guide info onto its chart display (and easily turn either or both overlays on and off). But as noted on the SEAiq website, the AC data will not be updated after May 23, though “We are considering updating SEAiq support for ActiveCaptain but do not have definite plans yet.”

As Panbo has been reporting, third-party app support for AC is uncertain for a couple of reasons, but I’m hoping that it will turn out to be reasonably easy for developers to adopt Garmin’s new ...

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Horse Latitudes

15 May

Day 144/22

Noon Position: 34 39S 155 37W

Course/Speed: NE7

Wind: W15

Bar: 1029, steady

Sea: S6 – 8 (old rollers not from around here)

Sky: Squally

Cabin Temperature: 71

Water Temperature: 67

Sail: Working Jib (poled) and Genoa (free) and Main, all full; broad reach

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 105

Miles this leg: 2,748

Avg. Miles this leg: 125

Miles since departure: 19,992

“Monte, you are the horse in this relationship,” I said just after breakfast. I’d been reading and Monte was at the tiller with both hands as Mo was off at a gallop. He looked pleased.

“Ah ...

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Mom is to Blame and What I Found in the Sea Today

15 May

Day 143/21

Noon Position: 35 09S 158 07W

Course/Speed: 0/0

Wind: WNW2

Bar: 1029, steady

Sea: SW4

Sky: Clear

Cabin Temperature: 74

Water Temperature: 66

Sail: Sails down; drifting last hour

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 106

Miles this leg: 2,643

Avg. Miles this leg: 126

Miles since departure: 19,887

Mom would not admit it, but she is partly responsible for my aquatic wanderlust. “How could this be,” she would ask, “when I told you never to sail that little ketch you had outside the San Francisco Bay?

But will she recall that going out the Golden Gate the first time ...

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233: Nat Philbrick // ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ Writer

14 May


#233. Nat Philbrick is the author of ‘In the Heart of the Sea,’ the famous story of the whaling ship Essex, which sunk in the Pacific after being attacked by an angry sperm whale. This true-life story became the inspiration for Herman Melville’s classic ‘Moby Dick’, and at the time, was one of the most well-know sea stories. Of course Nat’s book, which recounted the true story from the perspective of the ship’s cabin boy, went on to become a Hollywood movie of the same name. Nat’s also a sailor, and actually lives on Nantucket, the whaling capital of the ...

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Rags From Riches: common pitfalls with cruising sails

14 May

Sailing upwind in the Caribbean

Jamie periodically shares his expertise in a technical article: here he reviews typical problems cruisers experience with their sails, and how to address them. For more from the wells of this cruising sailmaker, see tagged posts on the topic.

Way, way back when I was designing sails for crazy people that sailed around the world in the Whitbread, BOC, and Vendee Globe races, the sail inventory budgets were dazzling! A maxi-boat (about 82’ long) mainsail in the 1989-90 Whitbread Race could be $35,000. Racing around the globe competitively required at least 4 mainsails. Add 25-ish headsails and even more ...

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13 May

Day 142/20

Noon Position: 36 10S 159 53W

Course/Speed: NE7

Wind: WNW17-20

Bar: 1026, steady

Sea: W3

Sky: Clear here, squalls to horizon

Cabin Temperature: 74

Water Temperature: 64

Sail: Working Jib, full; full main; close reach

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 137

Miles this leg: 2,537

Avg. Miles this leg: 127

Miles since departure: 19,781

The antidote to yesterday’s foul mood is wind, which began to fill in from the west at dusk. By midnight I had reefs in and Mo charged on like a horse feeling her oats. At day’s end (noon), we’d made a respectable 137 miles, good ...

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