Our friend and 2016 racing crew Keith J. put together a short video of the 2016 #isbjornracing team from the RORC Caribbean 600. He wrote:
"I wanted to get you all fired up for this years race! Go Isbjorn!"
So take a few minutes and get fired up!
Seeing the ice in clear skies was a hell of a reward for the heavy weather yesterday. Thus far we’ve stopped to admire two big bergs from close range, bringing in ICEBEAR under power (the wind, after all that fuss, shut down completely around 1200 noon as we rounded Cape Race) to within a hundred yards or so. I put the drone up to get a bird’s eye view, and the crew stopped to admire the beauty of nature’s most striking sculpture. Both bergs we stopped for had at some point in their decay rolled, for the tops of them were pure white and smooth as marble, highlighted in spots by deep turquoise cracks where they’d broken apart and re-frozen during their lifespan.
This has been all over my Facebook page the past couple of days, thanks to Kevin King, who crewed with us and took the footage. When the whale first approached, we were in awe, and just enjoyed his company. Kevin wanted to film right away, but I kind of discouraged him - if you're always behind the camera, you can't appreciate what's right in front of you. But the whale kept coming back! I was afraid jamming the camera down in the water might scare him off (he thinking it might be a harpoon!), but eventually we gave it a go. I think it was worth it!
This was written yesterday, posted today (Monday). Photos below.
We arrived into St. Croix yesterday afternoon after what I think was probably the easiest passage I’ve ever done. We sailed on starboard tack the whole way, broad reaching in anywhere from 8-25 knots, and only motoring for one hour, through a pretty calm spot when the sails were banging around and we had to roll up the jib.
I will have WAY more to say about this in due time, but wanted to post it immediately. Thanks to Dave for sharing - you know who you are. Might we have finally reached a tipping point when it comes to taking offshore sailing seriously, instead of a ride to warmer weather?
I just had an interesting email exchange with a friend whose in the (years-long) process of outfitting his boat for extended ocean cruising. The boat is similar to Arcturus, and we have similar ideas about things, and somehow got in touch a few years back. Anyway, we've had several of these types of exchanges. I won't say who it is out of respect for his privacy, but I want to publish my response to his latest email about rigging, sails and engines. I'll preface each section with what I'm about to discuss, but won't include anything specific that he's emailed me. What's your take?
Mia & I get a lot of cool stuff in our email as members of both the Classic Swan Owners Association (for S&S-designed Swans), and the general Swan Owner's Association for all. I got this neat video from the recent Palma Cup today. Very cool to be a part of such a historic brand! Some nice footage of some 48's in here too, like Isbjorn.
I’m going to write a recap of the RORC Caribbean 600 - which I’ll say now, without a doubt, was one of the absolute highlights of my sailing career, even despite having to retire before the finish - but first, I’ll get straight to the higher point I want to make with this blog post. As of this morning, it’s official that Isbjorn will be back at the starting line of the 600 in 2017 in Antigua, hell bent on not only finishing the course, but winning our class. We’re changing our passage schedule to do it, and I can’t wait.
Imagine tossing a chicken carcass into a cage of hungry wolves, I think that’s a good idea of what feeding time looks like on a lot of offshore racers and delivery boats. As cook, on a sea going racer, you need not worry about comparisons to the finer restaurants in town. The ingredients for success are simple; two large deep pots, garlic and onions, a little planning, and variety, and watch your fingers at feeding time.
Enjoy some photos from the day for now, and look for a couple of podcasts to follow in the next weeks. One other cool, unexpected person we met was sailing photographer Billy Black, whom we ate lunch with on the TP52 after the day's sailing. He was in the chase boat. Hope to have him on the podcast too, so stay tuned!
The ARC Racing Division doesn’t get much tighter than the battle between veterans Scarlet Oyster and Captain Blind. Both yachts finished early this morning off Pigeon Island in St. Lucia within an hour of each other. That wouldn’t be so remarkable, except for the fact that they’d be dueling for thousands of miles previously.
Mia and Andy will be heading to St. Lucia on Sunday for the finish of the ARC. But the first boat's have already gotten there! Sailing the 3,000+ mile route from the Canaries to St. Lucia in just over 8 days, Leopard of Finland smashed the course record by more than 2 days. Here's the official story from St. Lucia.
Chris Museler's excellent documentary on the double-handed New York-Barcelona Race came out today on the New York Times. "You're the first to get the link," says Chris. What follows is the complete documentary that Chris filmed and helped produced. It was the first time someone had documented a double-handed race as such. Hear Chris talk about the experience on the podcast by clicking here. Thanks to the NY Times for letting us run this.
350 NW of Bermuda...
'Sleijride' is nearly halfway back to Newport on the return delivery following the Bermuda Race last week. We're in cruising mode again, down to four crew (from six), and enjoying single-handed watches steered by autopilot, 9 hours of rest, reading (!), and motor sailing through the calms.