Marine fuel prices, why so hard?

9 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 9, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub



I’m so close to home!  But good old Maine welcomed me with a full menu of fog, rain, and wind — topped off with a foul tide — so it seemed wise to take a break behind the Rockland breakwater, make some tea and discuss marine fuel prices. One of many things I learned on this trip to South Carolina and back is how much diesel prices can vary, even within the same harbor. So I was quite keen to give the new IOS app

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Proof of Concept: Surfing/crabbing adventure

8 May

paddling out
A few months ago I started asking myself how to justify dumping all my free time and money into a boat I can’t afford. April alone included six days in the boatyard, at about $2000, including an insurance survey, plus berthing fees, a robbery, and about ten days of my life. The answer was more boat adventures.

The plan would be to sail to Bolinas, just 15 miles from my marina, where we’d paddle in and surf. On the way we’d drop off a crab trap in hopes of catching some Dungeness crabs, the “Maine lobster of the West.”

In ...

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ARC Rally Announces 2nd Start Date, plus Cape Verde Stopover

7 May


Okay, busy day for Andy & Mia today on SAILfeed! We just got the official word from the main office in Cowes that the World Cruising Club is expanding the ARC Rally, something Mia and I have enjoyed working on for the past four years. Here's the official press release…


'Demand from sailors world-wide for spaces in the 2013 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC 2013) has been unprecedented. The thirty extra boat slips recently installed by the Las Palmas Port Authority has enabled the ARC to grow to a maximum of 245 yachts for 2013; despite this, the ...

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7 May

Dinghy stowed on deck

ATTENTION EARTH PEOPLE! As I write this I am approaching Bermuda, blasting along but 70 miles out on what seems a perpetual close reach, due for a landing sometime in the wee hours tomorrow, of which more later. What I really want to spout off about right now are inflatable tenders. I was thinking about this as we were preparing to leave Puerto Rico, while regarding our neighbors on a 45-foot Bristol next door, who were about to depart for Annapolis. They had just stowed their RIB tender for the passage, and it took up all of their foredeck. ...

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Therapeutic Writing in the Caribbean

7 May

Note: I wrote this about a week ago in Tortola, during the ARC Europe / Atlantic Cup start week. It was a nice evening.

I’m back in my element now. After four long days being
social and cheerful, I find myself a bit exhausted. Mia doesn’t understand
this. Introverts (and I classify myself as one), find it physically tiring to be in social situations. Some more than
others, of course (so I’ve read). I’m there now. Don’t get me wrong, I love these events, wouldn’t be doing
anything different. But being introverted, it takes a real effort to be social,...

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Pink Butterfly

6 May

I wrote a big long post about why I don’t like Puerto Escondido and then deleted it. Why waste a thousand words when one word sums the place up—lame.

Cold showers, horrible internet, absolutely nothing to do, no beach, and a forty dollar round-trip taxi trip to town. Actually Puerto Escondido wouldn’t be half bad if it were two miles or less from town, but as it is twenty or so miles—lame.

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Coughed up the dough and made it into town for the Sunday market. Forty bucks worth of taxi for a hundred bucks worth of groceries. The ice cold ...

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What Do You Do All Day?

5 May

This is one of the most common questions I get from land folks.  It is usually accompanied by a wide-eyed look and a shake of the head, as though we wake up every morning in our floating prison cell, wondering how to fill the dark and heavy hours until lights-out.

Never.  Erik and I wake up every day, roll over, say good morning, and wonder, “What is going to break today?”  There are few things you can count on in this world, my friends, but I can promise you this: on a boat, there is always something advancing along the ...

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Sending off another rally fleet!

4 May

You'll have to excuse our absence on SAILfeed in the past week. It's been full-on getting the Atlantic Cup and ARC Europe rallies underway here in Tortola. But it's been a blast too, and now the fleet is finally at sea! I wrote this press release just now to announce the departure. To follow the fleet, head on over to On Wednesday, Mia and I head to Bermuda, where the fun continues! After sailing in ARC Europe last year on Kinship, it's fun to be on the organizing side this year. Enjoy!

Thirty yachts hailing from twelve different ...

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BEP CZone Signal Interface, a NMEA 2000 winner

3 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 3, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


That screen above makes me so happy!  I had been reluctant to give up on Gizmo’s standalone tank monitoring system but circumstances forced a change. Had I realized how easy and relatively inexpensive it was to switch the tank senders over to BEP CZone NMEA 2000 monitoring — and how accurate and flexible the output would be, even to the point of custom (and juvenile) tank labels — I would have made the leap a long time ago…

Aside from the Volvo Penta engine panels the ...

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