Andy & Mia

Bound Away Around Cape Horn // ICEBEAR in the Ocean Globe Race

15 Jan

ICEBEAR Swan 59_2.jpg

January 2020 // Stockholm, Sweden

Lives there a sailor who would not have made a Cape Horn passage in his own small vessel rather than any other voyage in the world?

— Vito Dumas // Legendary Solo Circumnavigator

ICEBEAR is headed around the world, and the hard way. Come fall 2023, 59 North’s Swan 59 will be at the starting line of the inaugural Ocean Globe Race, a fully crewed retro race in the spirit of the 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race to mark the 50th Anniversary of the original event, bound for the Southern Ocean and ...

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Reflections from Shore: Ben’s Story P.2

8 Jan

The view of the 2019 Annapolis Sailboat show as seen from ISBJORN’s mooring ball

Life on the Ball

By early October, I had been living on the boat for two months. Life on Mooring #22 was great. I loved showing my new home to friends and family, as well as getting to know the community of Downtown Annapolis. I went running through town often, exploring the Navel academy campus and the surrounding area. I tried as many different restaurants and bars as I could within budget, my favorite being $10 pizza Mondays at Foxes Den! The weather and leaves were starting to change; a sleeping bag was a must-have come bedtime. On the first cold ...

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ICEBEAR OFFSHORE // Towards Tobago Cays, Grenadines

6 Jan

ICEBEAR at rest in the Saintes.

ICEBEAR at rest in the Saintes.

We’re back at sea again after about 30 hours in Terre de Haut. New Year’s Day was lazy. The crew set off on a long, steep hike to the top of the island and the old abandoned fort that Mia, Lisa & I had explored back in February last time we were in the Saintes. The road to the top is steep and winding – at every switchback corner it feels like you must be at the top, but it just keeps on going.

Mia & I were less ambitious. We meandered across the ...

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ICEBEAR OFFSHORE // New Year’s Eve at Sea

6 Jan

Double rainbow as the crew joined ICEBEAR in Antigua! Good omen!

Double rainbow as the crew joined ICEBEAR in Antigua! Good omen!

ICEBEAR departed Falmouth, Antigua, right on time, at 1630, December 31, 2019. The last day of the decade, and the first time we’d ever spend New Year’s Eve at sea.

That was on purpose. I’ve never liked big parties regardless of the time of year, and I didn’t want to have any temptations for the crew to spend a (late) night ashore. So we sailed.

Andy nighttime navigatin’.

Andy nighttime navigatin’.

The sun set as we crossed the open-water pass between Antigua and Guadaloupe, a gentle easterly breeze propelling us south. In ...

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Reflections from Shore: Ben’s Story P. 1

16 Dec

A sunny shakedown sail after relocating ISBJORN to Annapolis Harbor! Photo by James Austrums (2019)

A sunny shakedown sail after relocating ISBJORN to Annapolis Harbor! Photo by James Austrums (2019)

November 30th, 2019

Today I said goodbye to an abbreviated 59 North family – Andy, Mia, August, Emma, Ben & Jenni. All of them will be greeting new crew today at 5pm, except for Ben who will fly back to Bainbridge Island with his young family. I too will be going my own way – which feels exciting but strange after spending four months eating, sleeping, wearing, sweating and bleeding 59 North! 

My name is Ben Soofer, or Andy is fond of calling me, ‘Liz ...

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Sailing Stories Season Four // Rachel Slade’s ‘Into the Raging Sea’

10 Dec



Season 4 of Sailing Stories features Into the Raging Sea, the gripping and tragic story of “Thirty-three mariners, one megastorm, and the sinking of EL FARO,written by Rachel Slade.

This is a special season for us, supported by Nanny Cay Marina in the BVI, 59 North’s ‘homeport’ in the Caribbean, and made possible by the enthusiasm of the book’s author, Rachel Slade, and the ‘outside the box’ thinking of her publishers at Harper Collins who agreed to let us run the audio on Sailing Stories.

The season will release Thursday, December 5, with the first ...

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Update from ISBJORN: Friday Nov. 15

16 Nov

Photo by: James Austrums

Photo by: James Austrums

Skipper August
November 15, UTC 02:15 // 25˚47’ N, 65˚51’ W

An eerie, absolute stillness disturbs me at the nav station, and I look up from the charts. Not a sound is to be heard onboard. No melancholy tunes from Ben’s guitar, the galley is deserted, and even the trusty snoring from the off-watch is nowhere to be heard. And every bunk seems to be empty. Only the slightest whisper of water along Isbjørn’s hull, as she glides fast through the night with the warm breeze well abaft her beam.

Even the usual banter from the ...

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Update from the sea: Thursday Nov. 14

14 Nov

Screen Shot 2019-11-14 at 4.36.04 PM.png

ISBJORN & ICEBEAR are now south of Bermuda and are pointing south towards the BVI! I have gotten a few updates from both of the boats and would like to share it with you all

Yesterday the boats were expecting the front to pass over them and ahead of the front was SE winds so both boats made great progress to the east!

Before the front, August on ISBJORN wrote this message on the tracker page: “Whomever came up with the saying “gentlemen don’t sail to weather” never sailed on Isbjörn! Choo choo! Last upwind sprint before the wind is ...

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Update from ISBJORN, Tuesday Nov. 12

12 Nov


SV Isbjörn
UTC 2020
33˚28’N, 67˚18’W

A drop of sweat forms on my frowning brow as the temperature onboard Isbjörn surpasses 30 degrees. I have no more layers to shed without my dignity decency going with it, and there are still many degrees of latitude until we reach our tropical destination.

There are numerous reasons for these horrendous temperatures. One is the gulf stream, bringing up hot water from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to my distant homeland of Norway. There are also these winds out of the south that we’re currently trying to beat around. They bring ...

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Update from the sea: Sunday 8 am

10 Nov


Update from the sea, Sunday 09.00!

Hi everyone, Mia here! I am getting emails via the sat phone from Andy & August and will post some fun updates here on the blog for you all! They departed already on Friday, the window was too good not to catch it and they had a fast ride down the bay and past over the Bay Bridge tunnel and entered the ocean yesterday morning.

“We just got done eating dinner – Lee made my favorite, the pesto chicken broccoli. We’re motor-sailing now with just the jib. The wind started dying at around 1200 ...

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