Andy & Mia

ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 3 // Rut or Groove?

14 Feb

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NOTE from Andy, Feb 14, 2019: I’m hesitant to publish this, for risk of it being too personal, causing too much interference with the public persona I’ve created about myself and of the business. But you know what – f&%k it. If I don’t publish this, anything I do publish would just feel like propaganda. Yes, there are certain things I’ll never publish – to this day there doesn’t exist an online photo from our wedding, for example, and while I talk all the time about the decision to have kids or not, you can safely bet that if the ...

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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 2 // Morning Coffee Offshore

13 Feb

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0936 Tuesday morning. Fiery sunrise this morning, just for those few moments when the sun appeared above the horizon but below the layer of gray clouds. The ocean was colored a dark, steel blue with flecks of whitecaps on each wavetop. Beautiful colors.

I’m tired this morning, a little weary. I didn’t sleep well last night, despite being in my bunk for about 12 hours. Not uninterrupted. The night was strange. Just before dinner we gybed the chute (flawlessly I might add) and rocketed off to the south while Mia served a chicken quinoa dish. ISBJORN was loving the big ...

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Total Lunar Eclipse // Offshore Africa

21 Jan

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“Andy. Pssst. Andy! The eclipse is starting.”

0345 ship’s time. Etta gently woke me up as her and David were wrapping up their watch, while Walter & Fred were getting dressed to start theirs. ISBJORN was blasting southwest under spinnaker, making 9.5 knots in the little surfing runs. The skies had parted just after sunset, when I made the happy realization that the lunar eclipse would actually happen tonight, and that I had been wrong about it happening the night before (thanks to a timezone miscalculation).

I was instantly awake, having been in a deep, comfortable sleep, but excited to ...

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Across the Atlantic Again // T-Minus 5 hours to ISBJORN’s Departure

19 Jan

Pretty damn good forecast for an east-west trans-Atlantic!

Pretty damn good forecast for an east-west trans-Atlantic!

T-minus 5 hours until departure. This will be our longest passage to date on ISBJORN, and the longest, mileage wise, of my entire sailing career. It’ll be Mia’s 5th trans-Atlantic, my 4th, and the 1st for the four crew – David, Walter, Etta & Fred – that joined us in Las Palmas two days ago for the voyage to Antigua. As I write it’s 8:10am, Mia’s making breakfast, the crew is stretching their legs one last time ashore in search of a shower, and I’m about to make the long walk down ...

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Champagne Sailing

11 Jan

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Nicky asked me earlier today about our passage south from the Chesapeake to the Caribbean in November. That one is one of the more challenging ocean passages, especially that time of year – 9 days, starts off cold, cross the Gulf Stream, etc.

”You’ll know for sure if you like ocean sailing after doing that one,” I told her. ”This passage right now, everybody like this!”

We’re five days into a warm, dry, downwind sail the whole way from Lagos. The boat’s been flat, the wind’s never been above 15 knots, there hasn’t been a drop of seawater on deck, ...

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Magic Dolphins

10 Jan

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0947. We’re approaching 24 hours straight with the spinnaker flying. After a few calm spells during the first two days (in which we averaged only about 130 miles per day), the wind finally filled in from the ENE yesterday morning and we’ve been cruisin’ ever since. Around the noon watch change on the 5th, we set the chute on starboard, trimmed it for a broad reach, and haven’t touched the sheets since, instead subtly adjusting the boat’s course with the variations in wind speed and direction.

Great sleeping weather! I woke up on my own at 0630 this morning, finally ...

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Wind Off, Wind On

10 Jan

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0521

Sailing again. After dropping all sails after dinner last evening to save them beating themselves to death in the windless swell, Mia & I re-hoisted the mainsail and set the genoa at 0345 this morning on a light easterly breeze and a calming sea. The stars are out, and the occasional cloud is visible quite clearly, the sky is so well backlit despite no moon. A single ship sailed off to the west as Mia went down below to bed and I poured myself my first cup of coffee for the remainder of her morning watch.

Happy 2019

Crew ...

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Jardim do Mar // Madeira’s Big Wave Surf Spot

21 Oct

  Surf’s up! 48-foot longboard…

Surf’s up! 48-foot longboard…

There’s a book called ‘Barbarian Days,’ a memoir on a surfing life that won the Pulitzer Prize. it’s excellent. In it, a small village on the SW coast of Madeira called Jardim do Mar is feature prominently. In the 80s and 90s it was called the Jewel of the Atlantic, a magical, often overlooked big-wave surf spot way off the beaten path and hard to get to. When the conditions were right, it was apparently one of the best waves in the world.

I’m no surfer, but I can relate to the culture and ...

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ICE BEAR // Crew Letter Announcing the Swan 59

21 Oct

  THINDRA en route across the Atlantic.

THINDRA en route across the Atlantic.

Greetings All Former & Future Sailing Crew!

It’s official – 59 North Sailing is now a two-boat operation! Starting February 1, 2019, ICE BEAR, German Frers-designed Swan 59, will be making offshore passages with Mia & I on the helm!

Firstly, we want to send a huge THANK YOU to all the crew who have sailed with us already, or who are set to sail with us in the future. And to those of you who gave us such positive feedback when we first emailed you this idea several weeks ago. In large ...

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Isbjorn in Madeira: A Local Futbol Game

24 Sep

  Mia sporting her new hat in Funchal.

Mia sporting her new hat in Funchal.

I did 10k this morning, starting along the waterfront behind the marina and working east, quickly realizing that beyond the 2 or 3 kilometers of the main drag, there are no flat areas for running in Funchal. Past the Porto Maria hotel I jogged through old-town and across cobblestones that challenged my ankle joints and the road crept ever upward. At times I was down to a walking pace – gradients in excess of 12% sort of required it. The sun was high in the sky at 10am, and hot, but I wanted ...

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