Andy's Blog

Magic Dolphins

Magic Dolphins

The night’s have been dark. No moon and clear, cloudless skies makes for some epic stargazing. When I came up at 2230, I turned off the steaming light, which we’d been using to keep an eye on spinnaker trim in the dark. I also had Mia kill the tricolor and the instrument lights. With those extinguished, all that was left was the natural light of the stars, which filled the sky in a way impossible to see ashore. They covered every inch of black sky, from horizon to horizon, the lower ones even casting a shimmering light over the flat, dark sea.

Wind Off, Wind On

Wind Off, Wind On

I find it interesting how stretches of ocean seem to have a kind of character about them. The sea-state, despite the lack of wind over these first two days, has been decidedly annoying. Waves from both quarters slewing the boat around. If it’d have been calm, there would have been just enough breeze to sail. But as it were, yesterday afternoon, the waves overpowered the light wind and the sails, rather than pulling, just slatted and banged around.

Refitting Isbjorn // 2018's First Shakedown Sail

Refitting Isbjorn // 2018's First Shakedown Sail

Andy talks about Isbjorn's big refit and the 70-mile shakedown cruise he and Mia did up the west coast of Sweden. Special thanks to Helly Hansen for inviting us to their event; and to Isbjorn crewmember Karl for composing and performing the music motifs on this week's show.

Isbjorn Offshore: Weather from WRI, going direct to Annapolis!

Isbjorn Offshore: Weather from WRI, going direct to Annapolis!

Since I emailed in this morning, we've received the WX update I was looking for from WRI, and it basically confirmed my analysis of the GRIB forecast I got earlier. They sent a fantastically detailed outlook, which I won't include here, but their conclusion was basically what I'd hoped for earlier.

Volvo Ocean Race Sailors in the ARC (Again!)

Volvo Ocean Race Sailors in the ARC (Again!)

Last year I wrote about how the ARC attracts professional sailors. I highlighted two in particular, Volvo Ocean Race skipper of Team Russia and two-time Olympic sailor in the Star class Andreas Hanakamp, and ocean racing legend Magnus Olsson.

Unsurprisingly, the boats that they sailed on fared particularly well in 2011 - Andreas was navigator aboard the Class 40Vaquita, which took it's class in the racing division.

Local culture in Anse La Raye

Local culture in Anse La Raye

The locals call it 'bay of the rays.' It's a fishing village south of Castries (St. Lucia's capital), a sleepy place on the beach, quite the opposite of the hustle and bustle of Rodney Bay marina, where the ARC has taken over for a couple of weeks. It's crazier than ever in the ARC Village at Rodney Bay marina - just this morning, five boats crossed the finish line within minutes of each other, making for some excitement on the docks as the Yellow Shirts made space for them. With over 150 boats now in port, that space is getting hard to come by. But it's all in fun.

"Man is not a camel - he must drink."

"Man is not a camel - he must drink."

On the Franz Josef glacier in NZ in 2004

That's a sign I saw in a bar in New Zealand in 2004. It's also one of the very first entries in my journal from that trip, the first real length journey I've ever been on. I started reading it today on the plane ride to St. Lucia because I'm doing a 'Voice of Experience' article for SAIL and wanted to refresh my memory of that anchor debacle in Endeavor Inlet.

Ranting about safety at sea

Ranting about safety at sea

I feel like I'm decidedly in the minority when it comes to the modern ocean sailing game. My boat is from 1966, my GPS a handheld unit from 1993, we've got paper charts onboard and no electrics whatsoever besides the LED lighting. Hank-on headsails (we carry five of them), tiller steering and a 35-gallon water tank. The engine only works to charge the batteries and get us in and out of the dock. But I feel safe aboard Arcturus.

59NORTH Media & Sailing: The new website, the new business

59NORTH Media & Sailing: The new website, the new business

The last couple weeks have been a bit tumultuous on our website. Since June really. Back then (in Horta, in the Azores), Mia and I decided to combine our blogs into one site - Mia had her miatravel.blogspot.com site (which still exists), and I had my fathersonsailing.com site (which evolved from my own andyschell.blogspot.com site for the journal I kept since 2006). When we changed the name to andyandmia.net, we did so simply because we couldn't come up with a better name. Everyone knows us together as 'Andy & Mia' or 'Mia & Andy', so why not stick with something people recognize?