Ships and squalls between Bali and Borneo

6 Jun

Leaving Bali was easy.

Lovina Beach Sunset
Shades of light in Lovina

We pulled the anchor at dawn, and headed out past the canoes that had blasted by us every morning as they hauled their catch of tourists out to see the dolphins. We had a forecast for <10 knots winds from the east and were hoping for a little help to motor sail our way north. The conditions had been unchanged for weeks, which gave us a false sense of security.

Getting to Kalimantan, the Indonesian side of Borneo, was a little less easy.

Possibly we should have consulted a few additional ...

Read More

Trick Feet, Sick Feet

5 Jun

This morning we walked up the hill planning to have breakfast at the hotel we stayed in a few years back while passing through town. The homes up here are clearly where the officers of the mining company lived a hundred years ago—well spaced, large, and located where they might actually catch a breeze. We worked up a good sweat climbing the stairs up the hill only to discover that the hotel wasn’t serving breakfast. Go figure. We tramped back down and ate in the only air-conditioned place we could find.

June05 1 June05 2 June05 3

We used to get Ouest a helium-filled balloon at ...

Read More

Kiss goodbye to Bali

5 Jun

When our expectations of a quick (<1 week) visa extension turned into a three weeks, it was hard not to be frustrated. Yet silver linings are everywhere: a chance to go out to Pulau Menjangan was just the first.
The very best part of our delay by far was the chance to catch up with an old friend. Rick and I met in 1988 on a camping trip that preceded our matriculation to a little liberal arts college in Connecticut. We were both Chinese minors and members of the sailing team – kind of a unique combination it turned out, ...

Read More


4 Jun

At sea

Just arrived yesterday in Portland, Maine, with crew members Billy “Swizzle” Springer and Adam “Twinkletoes” Cort after another reasonably fast passage on Lunacy. This time we covered a distance of 820 miles in 5 days 6 hours, again without using too much fuel for motoring–just 13 gallons. Which means in all, moving the boat 1,670 miles from Puerto Rico to Maine via Bermuda, I used just 18 gallons of fuel. Not so much because I got lucky with wind, but because I had light-air sails (see photo up top of Lunacy ghosting along under her screecher) and was ...

Read More

Maretron SMS100, advanced NMEA 2000 monitoring via cell texts

3 Jun

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


Two recent experiences make me particularly excited about the Maretron SMS100 announced today (and already shipping). During the trip north I learned to appreciate the sophisticated “Alert” features built into Maretron’s various NMEA 2000 displays and I also enjoyed some benefits of the Siren Marine cellular monitoring system. In fact, Gizmo’s refrigerator currently contains two temperature sensors, a Maretron probe for on board monitoring and a Siren probe so I can keep an eye on the system from afar (even from Korea, by gosh). While ...

Read More

Making Do With Nothing

3 Jun

Cuban ingenuity really cannot be beat. Pinched between a government worse than any overbearing, snooping mother and a certain neighbor which acts more like a schoolyard bully than a nation Cubans have had to learn to make do with almost nothing. This is especially true for those citizens planning a clandestine escape. I saw this boat on display in a Cuban cafe here in Marathon and had to share.


This small boat, the Lorenzo, made the 100nm passage across the Gulf stream from Cardenas, Cuba


The text, (not nessecarily my political sentiments) reads: “On Febuary 19, 2013 six ...

Read More

Santa Rosalia Cooling

3 Jun

“We’re not talking just to hear ourselves talk.”

I kid you not, I said that today. I could almost see my dad’s bushy black mustache moving up and down in the reflection of Ouest’s eyes.

Seriously though, how do kids just listen to what you say and then turn their head and do exactly what you just told them not to? It’s no wonder I got the red Betty Crocker spoon across the ass all the time. Lowe does it every morning now. At about 6:45 he’s climbing the stairs and headed outside. Never mind that he can’t be out ...

Read More

How to Splice an Oversized Rode into an Undersized Chain

3 Jun

Our anchor chain has been looking iffy for a while now.  Not “terrible”, not “dangerous”, but not exactly the way you would want a piece of equipment that is holding your vessel in place to look.  So, much gnashing of teeth and a great deal of money later, Papillon has a new 12 mm short-link G4 chain.

We decided to add 75 m of eight-strand rode to our 65 m chain.  We wanted 24 mm, but they only had 28 mm.  Well, okay.  Bigger is better, right?  Now.  How to attach the chain?  No problem – the good people at ...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group