Andy & Mia

ICEBEAR Offshore // NewfoundLAND HO!

27 Jun

The entrance to the majestic Hare Bay fjord on Newfoundland’s wild south coast. Our anchorage was a full five miles inland from the fjord mouth.

The entrance to the majestic Hare Bay fjord on Newfoundland’s wild south coast. Our anchorage was a full five miles inland from the fjord mouth.

ICEBEAR encountered her first whales yesterday. After the wild breaching we saw a couple of humpbacks exhibiting in the distance earlier in the day, we’d kept a sharp lookout for the rest of the morning, hoping to spot more, and closer. Around lunchtime, I casually came up to check the water temperature on the speedo gauge at the helm. I heard the whale before I saw him, heard his spout off to port over my ...

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ICEBEAR Offshore // Whales, Dolphins & Hurricane Eggs

27 Jun

Liz & Jeremy watching the morning’s dolphin show on ICEBEAR’s foredeck.

Liz & Jeremy watching the morning’s dolphin show on ICEBEAR’s foredeck.

Dolphins and whales to start the morning! The dawn came clear and sunny for the third day in a row, so despite the lack of wind, we certainly are enjoying the fine, dry weather. When I came up at 0800 for the watch change, several dozen white & black dolphins surrounded the boat, taking turns playing in the bow wave (albeit created by the motor), clearly visible in the dark green ocean and early morning sunshine.

I experimented with putting preventing the mainsail out to port, then sheeting her ...

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ICEBEAR OFFSHORE // 8 Years at Sea

26 Jun

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Today (June 18th) is Mia & my 8th wedding anniversary! I never know what to celebrate more – the day we met, on December 28, 2006. Or the day we got married, June 18, 2011. After that first day, the second day seemed inevitable.

One week after our wedding we flew back to the USA and prepared ARCTURUS for our first trans-Atlantic passage, leaving Annapolis harbor on July 4 (and forgetting the paper charts!), proceeding north and east to Newport first, then on up this way. We called at Lunenburg for the first time then (the last time I ...

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ICEBEAR Offshore // Back to the North!

12 Jun

That calm sea! Like mercury, truly unreal.

That calm sea! Like mercury, truly unreal.

0526, June 7 2019 // Sunrise over a silvery sea. The dawn came early today as we move north and east, light showing on the horizon by 0300, the sun peeking over the horizon two hours later. Overnight we’ve gone from summer to winter. The air is cold with this northerly wind, the fog from last night has lifted and a tickle of breeze has returned from the northeast. We hoisted the mainsail about half an hour ago, and when I’m done writing this, we’ll set the genoa and attempt to mosey along ...

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ICEBEAR Offshore // The Boat Comes First

11 Jun

Land ho! Sailing into Town Cut in beautiful Bermuda.

Land ho! Sailing into Town Cut in beautiful Bermuda.

To bring us up to the present, the end of the last trip to Bermuda saw backing winds and beautiful sun as we made landfall on the west side of the island at sundown. Gibb’s Island light hove into view just after dark. I’d never approached the island from the west like that, but it was considerably easier than coming from the north, with no danger of the off-lying reefs. The wind cooperated and we beam-reached the last 30 miles of the passage, rounding up towards Town Cut and almost able ...

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ICEBEAR & ISBJORN Offshore // It wasn’t THAT windy!

16 May

Mia Schralpin’

Mia Schralpin’

The thing is, it’s not even windy! Outside it’s maybe blowing 18-22 knots true, ICEBEAR is schralpin’ her way to windward at 7-8 knots. But jeeze it’s a rough ride, especially after 4 days of this. We used to joke that ISBJORN was such a good upwind boat that you actually paid for that windward progress in exhaustion. The Swan 59 even more so – she heels maybe slightly less, and you can actually ‘rest’ in the galley by propping your hips against either side.

On deck she’s a bucking bronco. I was getting frustrated yesterday afternoon for ...

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ICEBEAR & ISBJORN Offshore // Beating to Bermuda

15 May

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Four AM. The beat goes on. That’s so corny but I can’t get it out of my head. And it’s not untrue. ICEBEAR is cracking to windward in a steady northeasterly that doesn’t move much for the next four days. We’re still 465 miles from Bermuda, and according to our most recent weather, every inch of it will be upwind. Good we’ve got a weatherly boat.

I haven’t written anything since Puerto Rico. So much has happened but god it’s been so damn hot! The week in Key West was a sufferfest. Simon & I spent the better part of ...

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An EPIC Two-Boat Passage from San Juan-Key West // ICEBEAR & ISBJORN OFFSHORE

29 Apr

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Needless to say it’s been a hectic but hugely successful first passage with both boats. We had spectacular weather all the way from San Juan and a wonderful five-day layover to explore Samana Bay in the Dominican Republic, a new stop for both Mia & I. We’ll be back for sure.

I’ve never been more excited about the future of 59 North Sailing than I am today. The two-boat thing is proving to be TONS of fun, having such cool sailors and great friends around inspiring each other and sharing the workload.

And we’re getting to know ICEBEAR quite well ...

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The Race is On // ICEBEAR & ISBJORN Offshore Together

12 Apr

ISBJORN, our S&S Swan 48.

ISBJORN, our S&S Swan 48.

San Juan, Puerto Rico. ISBJORN departed the marina this morning at 0500, with Simon Borjeson at the helm and our great friends Tom & Darlene as his mates. The four-man crew woke up at 0400 to get away on time. Mia set her alarm at 0415 to go and help them cast off. I’m anxious, so stayed in bed. I have full confidence in Simon and the crew, but this is the first time we’ve run both boat’s together on passage, and a little nerves are normal I’d say!

It’s 0747 as I write this, ...

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ICEBEAR Offshore // 1st Passage on the Big Boat

8 Apr

Blast off from Grenada. ICEBEAR covered 100 miles in the first 11 hours at sea!

Blast off from Grenada. ICEBEAR covered 100 miles in the first 11 hours at sea!

0430 on Monday morning, April 1. 313 miles into our first real passage on ICE BEAR, the new-to-us Swan 59. We’re making 6-7 knots on a bit of a lumpy sea, with light, unsteady winds. Two hours ago a squall blew through and we had to reef the main and the genoa. Now, each time we try to sail deeper onto our course, the mainsail slats and bangs. I truly cannot complain though. Up to now we’ve had two extremely pleasant days of sailing, and ...

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