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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Overnight to Santa Rosalia

2 Jun

We left last night right after putting the kids to bed. And after a star-filled inky black night we arrived in Santa Rosalia just after breakfast, bypassing in the dark what has to be one of the best bays in the Sea—Concepcion. But hey, we’ve got nothing cold to drink, and we are not those people that are cool with no refrigeration on the boat. We’re just not that hippy.

Santa Rosalia is a cool little place. It’s an old copper mining town that the French basically came in and created back in the late 1800s. The architecture is totally ...

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The Cost of Cruising – Beek Version

2 Jun

Pat Schulte gave his take on the cost of cruising here and Charlie Doane gave his here, but an article in April’s Cruising World by Jimmy Cornell (Are we allowed to refer to Cruising World on a SAIL website?) got me pondering the subject. Spendthrifts!

One guy said: “Before setting out, I’d spent about $85,000 on new equipment and getting the boat in top condition with many spares on board, so that the running expenses wouldn’t be high.”

For $85,000 I could have bought my entire boat, ready to set sail, twice over.

Jimmy Cornell’s article probably tends toward ...

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Calm Mornings

1 Jun

We’ve made no headway on the refrigeration. So that’s out of the way.

Gorgeous calm night, gorgeous calm morning, and gorgeous calm day on the beaches. This bay has a few anchorages on the north end and this one on the south. We had this one all to ourselves. Cruising confounds me at times—one day I’m thinking about where to take the boat to sell it and the next I’m staring at a world map plotting a new route around the world. Boat problems make me think of the selling, calm boat mornings make me think of the world.

Anyway, ...

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San Juanico

31 May

We moved north up to Caleta San Juanico today mainly because we have been soaking up so much battery power trying to run the AC fridge and squeeze out a degree or two of coolness out of it that our batteries are dead. So instead of running them all day at anchor we just run a couple of hours north to the next beautiful anchorage.

This huge bay is empty and we had the run of the beach today. Lowe promptly gave himself a dead puffer fish needle shot to the bottom of the foot. He’s been having a rough ...

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