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 ... Read More
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 ... Read More
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 ... Read More
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 ... Read More
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, ... Read More
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 ... Read More
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 ... Read More
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 ... Read More
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 ... Read More
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 ... Read More