Andy's Blog

ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 10 // Fixing Broken Things

ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 10 // Fixing Broken Things

About a week ago I had found a broken screw on deck, and had quizzed the crew at dinner to figure out where it had come from. I knew of course that it had come from the pole track on the front of the mast (it’s never good by the way to find broken screws that have fallen out of the rigging!). At the time we noticed just that one and two others - three, total - that had succumbed to the shearing forces of the sail on the pole. We just repositioned the car higher or lower on the track and figured that’d be fine.

ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 9 // Time!? You’re Talking Time Man?!

ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 9 // Time!? You’re Talking Time Man?!

A whale came to visit on my mom’s birthday, after I had written that tearful post about stargazing early in the morning, before dawn. Later that day the rains came while I was on watch, again alone, and RIGHT next to the boat a 20-30-foot minke whale made his presence known with a puff of air and a glimpse of his dorsal fin. He stayed with me for over an hour, diving and playing under the boat.

ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 8 // A Pre-Dawn Cry to Celebrate Mom's Birthday

ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 8 // A Pre-Dawn Cry to Celebrate Mom's Birthday

My mom would have turned 69 today had she lived. Today marks the second birthday I’ve celebrated at sea on this trans-Atlantic passage - mine, with Mia’s birthday balls dessert on Jan 25; and mom’s this morning, where on my 0200-0400 early morning watch I shared a quiet cry and contemplated the sea and the stars for two hours by myself in the cockpit, gazing out at the vastness and just being.

FULL WONKA! // Free Crew Space with the Golden Postcard!

FULL WONKA! // Free Crew Space with the Golden Postcard!

One card will be inserted into each book before shipping! AND best yet - ONE single postcard was signed in GOLD INK, to be inserted into book no. 80 of 250...we’ll randomly select one of the orders, and if you’re the lucky golden postcard holder, you’ll get a FREE 1-week passage on either ISBJÖRN or ICE BEAR with 59 NORTH, a $3,400 value! There’s still about 100 copies left to pre-order, so go get ‘em! Shipping in early March!

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.