Car

18 May

Ali’s parents arrive tomorrow and we had reserved a car for the week, but today decided we were bored enough with this place that we needed to get the car a day early and go to town.

When we got up to the marina building there weren’t any taxis around so I walked over to a group of guys sitting out front of the diver’s office and asked if they knew anybody headed towards town this morning. They didn’t, but then one of them got up and said he’d take us anyway. As we walked to his truck I asked ...

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In Memory

17 May

Photo by Drew Harper/Spinnaker Sailing

A statement from Artemis Racing

Artemis Racing today held a private ceremony commemorating the memory of our friend and teammate Andrew “Bart” Simpson. After eight bells, a wreath was cast upon the water by representatives of the four teams of the 34th America’s Cup. Then the morning’s rain parted and sunshine spread across San Francisco Bay. The Artemis Racing team thanks everyone for their support. Bart, may you rest in peace.

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Furuno TZT chart plotting, feeling the love

17 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 17, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Furuno_TZT_Lafayette_River_anchorage_cPanbo.jpg

One problem with cruising north early during a late spring was that Gizmo’s open fly bridge was usually too cold to work with electronics like the Furuno TZT14 that I’d installed there just before finishing the trip south (as seen in this photo). I look forward to much more testing here in Maine but this I already know: For me, there is no other MFD or PC navigation program that does underway chart plotting so wellTimeZero software from MaxSea and Nobeltec are ...

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Crab Prison

16 May

There is no good beach here in Puerto Escondido so today we dinghied out about a mile south to see what we could find. What we found was a shallow, rocky, seaweed covered expanse. So thick with seaweed that we had to shut down the motor and row to shore. The kids didn’t mind though. There was just enough sandy bottom for Lowe to get on his “surfboard” and rock around, and there were tons of hermit crabs for Ouest to play with. Or torture, depending on your view.

We dug the crabs a swimming pool because apparently the ocean ...

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Experiments with Self-Steering

16 May

I just looked through my notes and was astounded to find that we are only ten days into this trip! It seems like so much longer. In that ten days we’ve already covered about 450 (nautical) miles, developing a rhythm of passages and rests which seems to suit us well. Our first leg, the shakedown so to speak, took us about two hundred miles from New Orleans to Choctawhatchee Bay, near Destin FL and was about as close as you come to a perfect sail. We had two days of reaching so comfortably at six knots  that we were preparing ...

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MODERN SAILBOAT DESIGN: Quantifying Stability

16 May

Capsized sailboat

We have previously discussed both form stability and ballast stability as concepts, and these certainly are useful when thinking about sailboat design in the abstract. They are less useful, however, when you are trying to evaluate individual boats that you might be interested in actually buying. Certainly you can look at any given boat, ponder its shape, beam, draft, and ballast, and make an intuitive guess as to how stable it is, but what’s really wanted is a simple reductive factor–similar to the displacement/length ratio, sail-area/displacement ratio, or Brewer comfort ratio–that allows you to effectively compare one ...

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Mailman

15 May

Ouest and I have been playing Mailman lately. I’m the mailman and I make deliveries to her. Before I give her the mail I say, “Special delivery for Ouest. Oh, hello, who are you?”

Reaching out for her stack of cards she blurts out, “O-U-E-S-T. Ouest Lill Schulte. Forty-three pounds. I live on Bumfuzzle. I’m from Mexico.”

And really, that’s all you need to know about her. With that information she should be able to find her way home from anywhere else in the world. At the very least her mail will always find her.

We’ve had something like three ...

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Putting the Foul in Antifouling

15 May

By my reckoning, the Dad-Kid Humour Index peaks when the kids are about ages 3-6.  Dad specializes in Kindergarten funny.  Puns, bodily functions, and even the odd dubious word are used to hilarious effect.  When I opened this photo of Erik yesterday, Indy laughed until she almost cried.  Dad with a blue head?  Comedy genius.

I, on the other hand, closed my eyed and pursed my lips.  I know that shade of blue all too well.  Even without the subject line, I could see that Erik had been sanding the hull in preparation for fresh antifouling paint.  Which means he ...

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No More Water

14 May

Last night we heard the noise that cruisers without watermakers dread—the long-cycling water pump—signaling we’d reached the bottom of the tank. A day or two earlier than expected, but not a big deal. We returned to Puerto Escondido, filled the tanks, grabbed a mooring ball, went to shore for ice cream, and then jumped in the pool. Needless to say the kids were not disappointed in how this day went down.

May14 1 May14 2 May14 3 May14 4...

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NORTHBOUND LUNACY: Sailing From Puerto Rico to Bermuda

14 May

Sunrise at sea

This was a fast passage with very little motoring. My mate Mr. Lassen and I covered the 830 some miles between Fajardo and St. Georges in less than six days and burned only about five gallons of fuel in the process. Not my fastest passage ever between the Onion Patch and the W’Indies, but I think it’s the fastest northbound trip I’ve ever made at this time of year.

The normal pattern is to have moderate to strong easterly tradewinds for the first two or three days, followed by variable junk the rest of the way to Bermuda. If you’re ...

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