#201: Brion Toss is a certified Master Rigger and author of the bible on the subject, The Rigger’s Apprentice. I’ve long admired Brion and first got to meet him in 2008 at the Annapolis Sailboat Show, right before I became a rigger’s apprentice myself. I’ve managed to keep in touch with him over the years (and of course have a copy of his book aboard Isbjorn), and finally we’re teaming up to host a hands-on rigging seminar weekend in Annapolis this coming October, 2017. This is a recycled version of a lengthy and informative chat I had with Brion back in 2014 on all things yacht rigging.
It’s been a long-time coming, but Mia Karlsson is FINALLY on the podcast! Mia is my wife, of course, and while we don’t share a last name, we share just about everything else! Mia tongue-in-cheek promised to be the 200th episode on the show, long before she ever thought I’d make it this far, so I called her bluff! We recorded a long & rambling chat just before setting out across the Atlantic while Isbjorn was anchored in St. Croix. As I record this intro, we’ve made it to Sweden and Mia has completed her 4th Atlantic crossing, one more than me, which she’s quick to point out. We talked about Mia’s history as a competitive swimmer, growing up in the Swedish countryside, traveling, and of course how she’s come to love the sailing lifestyle.
#199. If you don’t know Johan & Malin of RAN Sailing, go check them out on YouTube right away. They’re a wonderful young Swedish couple on a long-distance voyage in their aluminum sloop ‘RAN’. After months of trading emails, we finally got to meet up with them in Tortola and we hit it off immediately! Mia & I spent three days with Malin & Johan hanging out in Trellis Bay, sharing stories, cooking food and playing Jenga (which was even featured in episode 53 of their YouTube show!). Mia makes a rare appearance this week on the podcast for a four-way chat about their sailing adventures, including Johan’s previous trip to Antarctica & South Georgia Island, their departure from Sweden in the middle of winter & their show!
#198. Special thanks to Thierry Humeau & Telecam Films for directing & producing the TV version of today's podcast with Etienne Giroire. Thierry flew to Florida in April 2016 to film a TV-adaptation of the podcast at Etienne's eponymous shop, ATN Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale. This is the audio-only version of that - to see the full-length film version, go to youtube.com/59northsailing.
Today’s recycled episode is a family affair, with Ted & Claudia Reshetiloff and their kids Max & Anya. Ted & Claudia sailed their Wauquiez Amphitrite ketch from Annapolis to the BVI several years ago, and have never gone home! They’ve setup base camp on Tortola where they live aboard the boat, work locally and send the kids to local school in the islands. Since this podcast first aired, they’ve even sold their house back in Annapolis, so they’re fully committed to cruising now! We recorded this chat onboard their boat in Tortola back in 2014. You’ll also hear Mia & Paul Exner in the background!
#196. Dennis Schell is affectionately & jokingly known to all my sailing friends as simply ‘Andy’s Dad’. I have him to thank for my sailing career, and for inspiring me to start my own business. Dad raised me as a sailor & taught me everything I know. We recorded this chat aboard Isbjorn in Trellis Bay, BVI, shortly before we both sailed - he on Sojourner, us on Isbjorn - north to Bermuda. We covered the gamut of my dad’s sailing career, from his days sailing sunfish on Blue Marsh Lake, to his working at a Ft. Lauderdale boatyard, building and marketing his own sailboat, the ‘Salt 19,’ his first ocean passage in a 50-knot gale off Cape Hatteras and tons more!
#195. Jon Amtrup is a Norwegian sailor who spends a large portion of his time above the Arctic Circle. In fact, when I spoke to him back in January at the Oslo Central Train Station, he had just returned from Tromso after a winter sailing expedition with a group of Russians who wanted to see the northern lights! So Jon’s pretty hard-core to say the least. He’s also an avid single-handed sailor, and is helping another Norwegian sailor put together a campaign for next year’s Golden Globe Race. Jon & I spoke at length about his career and his & our future Arctic plans.
Contact Jon at explorenorth.no.
194. Dr. Andrew Merrie is not a sailor, per se, but is indeed a vocal advocate for the world’s ocean’s. An expat Kiwi living in Stockholm, he works for the Stockholm Resilience Center, a non-profit, independent research institute specializing in sustainable development and environmental issues. We’re releasing this week’s show early because Andrew is launching his latest research project ‘Radical Ocean Futures’ this weekend at the UN Ocean’s Conference in New York City, June 5-9. Andrew & I talk about his background, growing up in New Zealand, his move to Sweden and his ocean’s project, which is part art, part science and part science fiction. You can see his work at radicaloceanfutures.earth.
193. Greetings from Bermuda, where we recently made landfall on Isbjorn! This week’s recycled episode features Webb Chiles, certainly one of the most adventurous small boat sailors in recent memory, if not one of the greatest. He’s been around the world several times, cross the Pacific in an open boat, nearly drowned when he fell overboard off Florida and on and on. He’s written several books about his adventures over the years, and indeed continues to make new adventures. I spoke to him a few years back about his exploits, why he pursues them, how he handles fear, what motivates him towards his sailing goals and more.
Susie Goodall is a badass. Mia & I met her in Antigua in February after she’d just completed a solo trans-Atlantic crossing in her Rustler 36. At just 26, she is the first woman to enter next year’s Gold Globe Race, essentially a reenactment of the famous race that Sir Robin Knox-Johnston won in 1968, establishing nonstop solo ocean racing. Susie was prepping for the return voyage to England when we spoke, which will fulfill the races qualifying passage requirement. Despite her youth, she’s an accomplished sailor, having worked as a skipper with Rubicon 3 in the Arctic and has sailed thousands of offshore miles. Follow Susie’s adventures at susiegoodall.com.
Kristoffer Applequist is kind of a big deal in Sweden. One of the countries premier comedians, Kristoffer is also a sailor, and a longtime fan of the podcast. He reached out to me a while back, and we’ve since become friends. Mia & I visited his beautiful house in the Sunne, in central Sweden, to talk to Kristoffer about his comedy background & his sailing ambitions. Since this conversation, his sailing goals have seriously ratcheted up - he recently bought a Hallberg-Rassy Monsun 31, and has even bigger cruising plans. Follow him on Instagram @appelstoffe.
Crossing the Atlantic is at the top of my mind at the moment - by the time you hear this, we’ll be at-sea, en route to Bermuda, the first leg of what will be my 3rd, Mia’s 4th trans-Atlantic passage. I recorded this seminar about our two previous trans-Atlantic experiences the Toronto Boat Show in 2016. Mia & I discuss weather routing, seasonal route options and best practices, and call on our friends David & Isabelle, who completed an Atlantic Circle on their Hunter 42 ‘Morning Haze’. To follow along with the slides, go to the show notes page at 59-north.com/podcast.
Clint Wells is one of my best friends, and Isbjorn’s first mate when Mia can’t make a passage. He was there when I first met Mia in New Zealand, and he sailed across the Atlantic with us on Arcturus back in 2011. Clint is NOT a sailor - or at least wasn’t, until joining us. I spoke to him a few years back about our Atlantic crossing together and the challenges he faced - both physically, and even more so mentally - as a new-to-sailing crew member stuck on a 35-foot boat for 23 days in the North Atlantic. For those of you new to ocean sailing, Clint has some words of wisdom.
#188: Linda Hammarberg & her husband Ludvig recently returned to Sweden after a multi-year circumnavigation with their two young kids, Otto & Lovis, onboard ‘Mary af Roverhamn,’ their Joshua-type steel ketch. During parts of the voyage they were followed by a film crew from Swedish television for the show ‘Familjar pa Aventyr’ - which basically translates to ‘Families on Adventure.’ The Hammarberg’s are typically Swedish, in that they're very humble, and yet very accomplished sailors. Mia & I spoke to them in their shoreside home in Marstrand in January about their adventures sailing around the world and the struggles they had on returning home. Follow their continuing adventures on symary.com.
#187. Matt Rutherford is a longtime friend of the podcast and founder of the Ocean Research Project. Matt became famous, of course, for his legendary Solo the America’s voyage, during which he sailed a 27’ Albin Vega around both American continents. In our latest chat, recorded in Sweden back in January, Matt recalls the summer of 2016 in Greenland, where he & his partner Nicole piloted their research schooner Ault into the uncharted waters of the far north, nearly coming to grief in a wild Arctic storm and subsequently being rescued by the Danish Navy. Matt is one of the best storytellers we’ve had on the show, so I just let him go to town again in this one, and he doesn’t disappoint. Follow Matt’s ongoing adventures at oceanresearchproject.org.
Today’s episode is a recording I made of my seminar on Heavy Weather Sailing I gave at last weekends Ocean Sailing Seminar, hosted by World Cruising Club in Annapolis. While I’m lucky not to have too many gnarly heavy-weather sea stories of my own, I’ve studied the subject for years and enjoying talking about it theoretically. What follows is a discussion on what I feel are the ‘best practices’ for handling heavy weather, of course brought to life by a few of my own sea stories. Follow along with slides from the presentation at 59-north.com/heavyweather.