Andy & Mia

ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 12/Finale // Re-Entry

11 Mar

Solitary squall the morning of landfall.

Solitary squall the morning of landfall.

Steam Punk Time Machine. In 40 miles we’ll find out how the world has changed.

Most of the time our passages are in the neighborhood of 5-7 days or so. Time off the grid to decompress, but we always marvel at how while it’s seemed like we’ve been gone forever, nothing ever happens. A few emails come in, the same headlines dot the online news, friends lies go on back home same as the week before.

This is different. ISBJORN’s been at sea over 20 days now. The world we’re about to re-enter ...

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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 11 // Oops. There Goes the Spinnaker…

9 Mar

The old white spin before she came to an ugly death, mid-Atlantic.

The old white spin before she came to an ugly death, mid-Atlantic.

Welp, we did it. Mia & I got complacent and paid the price of letting our guard down. I figuratively kicked myself the first time I was at the top of the mast in the dark, freeing a horribly twisted spinnaker halyard, and then promised myself I’d not make the same mistake twice the second time I was up the rig cutting the wrapped sail down from the forestay and swinging around in the swell like an idiot.

We’d had the chute up for over 30 hours. I’d ...

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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 10 // Fixing Broken Things

5 Mar

How many ISBJORN crew does it take to fix the genoa track?

How many ISBJORN crew does it take to fix the genoa track?

Today’s title was inspired by David Byrne. Yesterday annoyed me. I was tired, having not slept well the night before (it was my own fault – I had a cup of coffee an hour before bed while helping Mia do the first half of her 2000-0000 watch. I slept, but not deeply. Mia mostly paid for it with my ‘being in a grump,’ as Nicky, crew on the previous passage, said about her husband Mark when he’s similarly annoyed). Then, as I was sitting on the foredeck ...

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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 9 // Time!? You’re Talking Time Man?!

5 Mar

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Time, dude. I sat down to write thinking it’s been a couple of days since I put anything down here. Guess what the date of the last sheet is? – February 1. The day before YESTERDAY! Here I was all prepared to write about how time just goes on and on and on and one offshore on these extra long passages, how several days go by without you really noticing, how, as our friend Tom puts it, ‘the minutes and hours go by slowly, but the days go by fast.’ All of that is true of course, I just had ...

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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 8 // A Pre-Dawn Cry to Celebrate Mom’s Birthday

3 Mar

Natural beauty at sea always makes me think of my mom. This rainbow came to us just before landfall in Antigua and was even more beautiful in person.

Natural beauty at sea always makes me think of my mom. This rainbow came to us just before landfall in Antigua and was even more beautiful in person.

My mom would have turned 69 today had she lived. Today marks the second birthday I’ve celebrated at sea on this trans-Atlantic passage – mine, with Mia’s birthday balls dessert on Jan 25; and mom’s this morning, where on my 0200-0400 early morning watch I shared a quiet cry and contemplated the sea and the stars for two hours by myself in the cockpit, gazing out at the vastness and just ...

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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 7 // 50 Knots on Gilligan’s Island

28 Feb

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Oh the irony. I titled my last blog ‘Turn the Wind On,’ and frankly should have known better. As I write on the morning of January 31 it’s blowing dogs off chains from the NNE and ISBJORN is careening off wave tops, surfing her way west at 11 knots in the big ones. Never complain when you’re going in the right direction, and fast.

In an age when I can request a sophisticated weather model for five days into the future over a satellite phone, literally in the middle of the ocean, it’s easy to take for granted that sometimes ...

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FULL WONKA! // Free Crew Space with the Golden Postcard!

27 Feb

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FULL WONKA! Surprise surprise…that little extra Sailing SV Delos something we teased in the 80 NORTH coffee table book is revealed today! Since we can’t ship 250 books around the world to sign them all, instead we printed 250, 6×9” postcards – using 4 different photos – that have been to James in the UK, Kiril in Vietnam and Antigua for Brian, Karin, Brady, Alex, Mia & Andy to sign!


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One card will be inserted into each book before shipping! AND best yet – ONE single postcard was signed in GOLD INK, to be inserted into book no. 80 of ...

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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 6 // Turn the Wind On!

27 Feb

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Note: The title – and gist – of this post will come back to haunt me in the next installment…

So much for the January Trades. Shortly after my birthday balls celebration the weather pattern took a turn for the weird. A not-unheard of cutoff low spun up at the tail end of a strong cold front much farther north and began meandering around to our north, just west of the Canary Islands, disrupting the classic easterly tradewind pattern we were so very much enjoying prior. By sunrise on the 25th, the wind had started veering into the SE, then ...

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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 5 // Birthday’s at Sea

22 Feb

Captain Andy turned 35 on the trans-At!

Captain Andy turned 35 on the trans-At!

In the days before accurate longitude at sea, trans-Atlantic skippers followed the by now cliched “sail south until the butter melts, then turn right.” Once the New World was discovered, and in turn mapped, sailors knew where the different islands in the West Indies lay, north-south anyway. They’d have known the Virgin Islands were about 18º30’ N, for example. Or that Nelson’s base on the south coast of Antigua was at exactly 17º N. They’d have known too, with a good trade wind blowing, roughly how many days after the butter melted it ...

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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 4 // Roll the ol’ Chariot Along

15 Feb

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We’ll roll the ol’ chariot along
We’ll roll the ol’ chariot along
We’ll roll the ol’ chariot along
And we’ll all hang on behind.

You understand where those words come from on a passage like this. Downwind for days, eatin’ up the miles. That’s of course from the classic sea shanty, A Drop of Nelson’s Blood. Appropriate given that we’re headed towards Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua, the home of the British Naval fleet under the man. ISBJORN’s still rollin’ along to the southwest at the start of our 5th day at sea, closing in on the Cape Verde islands still ...

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