Spindrift Racing set to rumble

14 Jan


It has been a case of standing by to stand by for the crew of Spindrift Racing as they wait for a perfect weather window to slingshot them to the equator and beyond that non-stop around the world on a quest to set a new world record for the fastest circumnavigation time. However, it looks like their wait may be over as the team has ...
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Raymarine adds easy STng-to-N2K adapter plugs and a SeaTalk NG alarm

14 Jan

 

With the introduction of the Axiom MFD line Raymarine moved away from their proprietary SeaTalk NG cable/connector system and joined most other manufacturers offering standard DeviceNet cabling for NMEA 2000 networking.  Now they’ve introduced a helpful line of adapters to make that transition easier, and the little adapters above can solve a lot of installation headaches.

In 2007 Raymarine began offering its own SeaTalk NG ports and cables in lieu of the Micro (or Mini size) DeviceNet gear that NMEA selected as N2K’s preferred physical layer, though the underlying wiring remained the same and the two cabling systems could ...

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Anger Management

13 Jan

January 11, 2019

Noon Position: 46 08S  67 49E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 5.5

Miles since departure: 13,682

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

 

Strange weather day. We are riding the bottom of a small high. Winds have been due to veer from SW to W to NW and lighten significantly as the high moves over us and then on to the E. Accordingly, this morning I poled out the working jib, but left the main up, thinking I’d jibe around as the day developed. That combination, poled out headsail and main, can handle a wider wind range than both headsails poled.

Wind direction ...

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Night Work and a Nearly Lazy Day

12 Jan

January 10, 2019

Noon Position: 45 49S  64 19E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 7+

Miles since departure: 13,534

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

Wind shifts brought me to the deck twice last night. The 1am visit found Mo heading due N on a fresh southwesterly and required a full switcharoo from one tack to the other. This means rolling up the headsail (so as to get it around the inner forestay) and moving running backs and vangs from one side to the other. In the rain and 25-knot winds. It took a while. At 3am, wind had built such that I had to ...

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Welcome to the Antipodes

11 Jan

January 9, 2019/Day 97

Noon Position: 45 59S  60 30E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExS 7+

Miles since departure: 13,374

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

Slow night and too much northing. I left reefs in expecting wind to veer into the NW and strengthen after midnight. It did neither, and Mo worked up above 46S, which we didn’t need. Winds have come on fresh from the NW this afternoon, and so we’re slowly drifting back S a bit.

I could have risen and made sail changes but chose to sleep. Each time I rose to examine our course, it seemed the detour was minimal and ...

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Champagne Sailing

11 Jan

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Nicky asked me earlier today about our passage south from the Chesapeake to the Caribbean in November. That one is one of the more challenging ocean passages, especially that time of year – 9 days, starts off cold, cross the Gulf Stream, etc.

”You’ll know for sure if you like ocean sailing after doing that one,” I told her. ”This passage right now, everybody like this!”

We’re five days into a warm, dry, downwind sail the whole way from Lagos. The boat’s been flat, the wind’s never been above 15 knots, there hasn’t been a drop of seawater on deck, ...

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IN IRMA’S WAKE: Xmas/New Year’s Cruise from St. Maarten to St. Thomas

10 Jan

Oyster Pond damage

We descended en famille into SXM two days after Christmas to find a) the airport was no longer running out of tents and the regular terminal had (sort of) reopened; and b) the Christmas winds, as Don Street likes to call them, were in full effect. Blowing out of the east, as always, these were tradewinds, but “fortified” with lots of ugly rain squalls and big long gusts of breeze up to 35 knots or more. They trapped us on the island for a couple of days, which gave us time to rent a car and explore in detail.

We ...

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Scheiber’s kinetic Light Air Switch kit, with Marinebeam assist

10 Jan

Scheiber is a substantial French electronics company that provides sophisticated systems to large boatbuilders like Beneteau and Lagoon, but it’s now offering its lighting control technology in a retail kit form that means a local installer or DIY could use it for refits or custom builds. Moreover, the $350 Light Air Switch is distributed and supported in the U.S. by the crack team at Marinebeam, and what technology it is! For starters, the wall switches themselves don’t even need batteries, let alone wires…

In this demo video, Marinebeam’s Jeff Field explains how the switch is powered by harvested or kinetic ...

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Knockdown. Not Today. And Tortore.

10 Jan

January 8, 2019/Day 96

Noon Position: 46 18S  56 54E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExN

Miles since departure: 13,223

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

 

Winds stayed W most of the night, oscillating between 25 and 35. Mo wore just a double reefed working jib and rode like a mechanical bull. Not so noticeable in my bunk, which is well below the waterline way down in the main cabin, but try to make a cup of coffee and you risked your life.

At 8am, we passed just north of where Mo was knocked down in a gale last February 18th. The knockdown broke a ...

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IN IRMA’S WAKE: Xmas/New Year’s Cruise from St. Maarten to St. Thomas

10 Jan

We descended en famille into SXM two days after Christmas to find a) the airport was no longer running out of tents and the regular terminal had (sort of) reopened; and b) the Christmas winds, as Don Street likes to call them, were in full effect. Blowing out of the east, as always, these were tradewinds, but “fortified” with lots of ugly rain squalls and big long gusts of breeze up to 35 knots or more. They trapped us on the island for a couple of days, which gave us time to rent a car and explore in detail.

We ...

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