Bumbling from Miami to Bimini and an encounter with the Powers That Be

18 Jan
Not as chummy as they look, as it turns out

In the middle of Miami’s South Beach neighborhood there is a very unique anchorage, a diminutive bastion of the ninety-nine percent adrift in miles and miles of condos and exclusive marinas. Its unique character comes not from the anchorage itself but from the free dingy dock which it abuts. A free dingy dock, I am told when I arrive, is unheard of in South Florida. It is an anachronism from a simpler time, one before it was assumed that every schmuck foolish enough to buy a sailboat would also possess ...

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18 Jan

Jan17 1

In case I left any room for doubt on the matter (http://www.sailfeed.com/cat-vs-mono-great-debate) let me spell it out, C-A-T-S W-I-N. Here is why: go back through our old catamaran logs and count the number of times we complained about an anchorage because of swell (not because of other idiot cruisers). Now go through our monohull logs. Have I ever not complained about the swell in an anchorage? It feels like I do it on a daily schedule.

We’re in Chacala tonight and oh-my-holy-hell does this anchorage suck. We’ve been here three times. Once in the Porsche—had a lovely time. ...

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Mia p

17 Jan

Andy here. Just checked my email this morning and had a long one from Mia, who's posting on our blog at www.59-north.com from at-sea. Kinship departed Las Palmas on Saturday, January 12, bound for the Caribbean. This is their latest…

Jan 17 11.00 UTC 

21° 00 ' N / 25° 57 ' W 

Wind: E 14-18 kt 

Another lovely day on Kinship

I had the morning sunrise watch, 07-10, today but unfortunately with the haze we had today and yesterday I did not see the sun come up. It is definitely getting warmer as we are getting south and ...

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Ben & Teresa Carey on Two Inspired Guys

7 Jan

I’m continuing to post my sailing-related podcast episodes on SAILfeed until my posting editor gets fixed. At the moment, these short descriptions are all I’m able to do, so for the meantime, enjoy the interviews! Ben & Teresa are amazing people and amazing sailors. After single-handing their own boats for a few years – sailing in company, and keeping a rotating watch while one person slept – they joined forces on Ben’s Bristol Channel Cutter and aimed north. The goal was Labrador to search for icebergs, and they filmed a movie about the adventure, titled ‘One Simple Question,’ which is ...

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Boats, man.

30 Dec

Dec30 1

Well the feedback I’ve gotten on the rudder post has been encouraging. Overall it doesn’t sound like something to get too freaked out about. I’ll give repacking the stuffing box a try, and if that doesn’t work we’ll just have to make sure the bilge pumps keep working. The plan is to haul out at the end of this cruising season, so we’ll deal with things then.

Today I finally got to work on the raw water pump. I bought an awesome new pump about six months ago because ours was perpetually leaking both water and oil, and at some ...

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ARC 2012: Rodney Bay Dock Walk

21 Dec

Pogo 50

I’m on the ARC beat in St. Lucia again this week, chilling with my SAILfeed compadres Andy Schell and Mia Karlsson and stalking the pontoons checking out all the peeps and boats that coagulate here in Rodney Bay as the world’s biggest bluewater cruising rally comes to an end. It was a rougher ride than usual through the trades from the Canaries to the W’Indies this year, but spirits are high and the energy, as always, is very positive.

I got here a bit late in the game, so missed some of the fastest boats. These included a sweet high-end ...

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ARC 2012- Volvo Ocean Race Sailors in the ARC

20 Dec

Last year I wrote about how the ARC attracts professional sailors. I highlighted two in particular, Volvo Ocean Race skipper of Team Russia and two-time Olympic sailor in the Star class Andreas Hanakamp, and ocean racing legend Magnus Olsson. Both are back this year, and doing more than ever to make the ARC a unique event in the sailing world. I’ve been having technical difficulties with the SAILfeed site, so follow this link (www.worldcruising.com/arc/features.aspx) to read the full article on the ARC Website....

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The Next American Vendee Competitor?

13 Dec

With the current Vendee Globe fleet circling the bottom of the planet at record speeds, you will note that there are no Stars & Stripes flying from any of the boats.

Ronnie Simpson–Singlehanded Transpac veteran and Iraq War veteran–hopes to fix that problem in the 2016 Vendee, announcing his plan to make it to the start line and become the youngest American to finish the world's toughest sailboat race. [Regular readers will remember we've dropped in on Ronnie before]

He's got a few mountains to climb (like he has no sponsor and no boat), but he ...

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DEBBIE CALITZ: Ex-Pirate Hostage Busted for Pot and Mushrooms

11 Dec

Calitz book cover

OH NO! (Not ANOTHER cruiser-got-busted story!) Just six months ago, Debbie Calitz, a South African sailor taken hostage by Somali pirates with her boyfriend off the coast of Tanzania, was finally released after 20 months in captivity. In little more than a week her book about her ordeal, 20 Months in Hostage Hell (see image up top), is scheduled to be released by Penguin Books. Right now, however, she's up to her eyeballs in legal trouble, as she, her two children, and six others were arrested in her Pretoria apartment last Friday for possession of marijuana and hallucinogenic ...

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Sir Francis Chichester’s Cleats

11 Dec

When I first inspected my 1967 Salar 40 ketch, I noted her cleats. In my mind I said something like, "Those are some funky cleats." They were bronze and teak. I'd seen similar ones before, with bronze struts holding up a thick teak dowel, but on these cleats it wasn't a round dowel, but an oblong oval shape.

The teak was very warn and needed replacement, but I was immediately daunted by the prospect of shaping a piece of teak in that precise oval shape. After using the cleats for a few years I found that they were indeed very ...

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