Randall Reeves

Meeting with a Marine Insultant

12 Jul

Halifax was unable to solve all my problems. I found there neither a spare alternator nor a spare starter motor, and the engine fuel line hose I wanted could not be got locally nor, in a timely manner, from the manufacturer.

The first two issues have since been sorted, but what to do about Mo’s old, rubber fuel lines and their specialty fittings plagued me until yesterday, when I met Jerry.

At the time I was canvassing the yard for a local shop that could fill my order. Jerry was my third interviewee. He stood by the travel lift ...

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The Cruising Life

11 Jul

Things continue busy for Mo and Randall at the Royal Cruising Club of Newfoundland near St. John’s, and the only way to keep up is to hand you, dear reader, another repost. This one, also from the 2014 Northwest Passage attempt, chronicles my first days in hard-won Nuuk, Greenland.

Nuuk is Mo’s target once we’ve departed St. John’s, and so this article may be an interesting prelude to our arrival in one of the most photogenic places I’ve ever visited. Also, it illustrates nicely that Mo is not the only vessel for whom voyage preparations are never quite complete.

(The ...

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It’s a Long Time to Stay in Iqaluit

10 Jul

As Mo and I make our slow approach to the Arctic, I am reminded of my first experience of the Northwest Passage. This was in the summer of 2014, and even then planning for the Figure 8 Voyage was well underway.

Though such an endeavor as the Figure 8 presented difficulties at every turn, the Northwest Passage was, for me, beyond my ability to imagine. Bluewater passages I could grok, but shallow, labyrinthian channels clogged with ice–for these, I had no context.

So, I arranged to join a boat in Nuuk, Greenland that was making an east to west attempt. ...

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St. John’s, Sort Of…

9 Jul

The anchor comes up clean at 6am and we are on the move again. In the bay, wind has gone into the southwest overnight. It has warmed and become fragrant with the exhalations of evergreens. Terns are already on the wing in search of breakfast, but above them, the village surrounding Admiral’s Cove remains quietly asleep. It is Sunday, after all.

Cape Broyle Harbor is clear, but in the offing, fog covers the sea surface in farm-sized patches and only lifts for good around mid-morning. Now on the horizon, I can see the Canadian Icebreaker, Louis S. St-Laurent, returning slowly ...

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Newfoundland, Found

8 Jul

July 6, 2019/Day 241

Noon Position: 46 39N 53 01W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NE 6

Miles since departure: 31,717

Leg to St. John’s/Days: 4

Miles: 465

As we closed Cape Race, a heavy fog came down that ate up the wind. I reeled in a drippy spinnaker and started the engine at 0430. Already daylight was coming on. Over coffee, I set myself for a long shift in the pilot house.

We were entering an area where icebergs could be found. And though the latest ice report was a far cry from the one we saw before our Halifax arrival–now there were ...

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A Failure of Memory

6 Jul

July 5, 2019/Day 240

Noon Position: 45 57N 55 31W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 5.5

Miles since departure: 31,605

Leg Halifax to St John’s

Days: 3/Miles: 353

Wind continues light, shifting from NNW to W and back again. As I type, we’re riding the spinnaker on a breeze of six knots just south of west. A beautiful sail, the spinnaker; it hangs in the air with the magic of a soap bubble; each moment one expects its delicate perfection to burst at the seams, and it does not.

Light wind, warm sun, a flat sea. It’s a pleasant and relaxing run north. ...

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Can You See Me?

5 Jul

July 4, 2019/Day 239

Noon Position: 45 18N 58 33W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 5.5

Miles since departure: 31,472

Leg To Saint John’s

Day 2/Miles 220

Wind is light and variable but is mostly aft, and we’ve been running with the twin headsails for the better part of a day. Not a fast passage, this leg to St John’s, but it’s pleasant sailing.

Except for certain, key equipment failures…

I’ve been wrestling with Mo’s AIS system*–an essential tool for the singlehander–which made every sign of packing it in once we were at sea. In harbor, it passed pre-departure checks by picking ...

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Beginning the Haul North

4 Jul

July , 2019/Day 238

Noon Position: 44 40N 61 15W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 3.5

Miles since departure: 31,352

Avg. Miles/Day: 132

Dutch, an aluminum expedition boat sailed by my friends Sebastiaan and Rhiannon, meets Mo at the breakwater, and together we turn towards the sea. Dutch and family are out for a few weeks of summer cruising. Like Mo, they are headed north.

The day is sunny. I am in shirtsleeves. The brisk wind off the land allows Mo six and seven knots. I commission the new Monte and shut down the autopilot. Suddenly Mo becomes a thing alive, a sweet ...

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Halifax Departure

2 Jul

Eight months following wind and sea succeeded by one month tethered ashore. Neither seems real; in both cases, time has flown. This morning, Mo tugs gently at her anchor. She is happy enough here, as am I, but she knows we must move on. Much has been accomplished but not yet the goal. The whole of the north lies between us and a return.

As is the case wherever Mo touches, here we have been the recipients of much kindness. Tony and Connie, Wayne, Rob, Sebastiaan and Rhiannon, Ben, John, and Sandy are just a few of those who have ...

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POWER OF THE ARCTIC: Moli’s First Northwest Passage

30 Jun

As I ready Mo for her jump from Halifax northwards, I am reminded of her first Northwest Passage attempt, summarized here by Clark Stede in a 1991 article in Yachting Monthly.

 Posted by The Figure 8 Voyage on January 17, 2017

ASMA in the ArcticAboard Moli is a small hardbound book titled Rund Amerika, the story of my boat’s initial adventures with then owners, Clark Stede and Michelle Poncini. It’s in German. I can admire the photos, like the one above, but I can’t read a word.

So, I was grateful to receive this week the below Yachting Monthly article from 1991 where ...

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