Paul Exner is one of our best friends, and easily the best sailor I’ve ever sailed with. Paul is Isbjorn’s Racing skipper, and is the only person - besides mad dad - who I’ve trusted to sail Isbjorn offshore without me being aboard. He’s been a regular on the podcast, so if you don’t know his backstory - how he grew up as a Gringo living in Puerto Rico, went on to coach the racing team at the University of Wisconsin, had his own mapping business, built his Cape George 31 Solstice from a bare hull and eventually sailed it to the caribbean - listen to one of his past episodes on On the Wind. Paul & I talk today about surviving Hurricane Irma and how it’s changed the lives of his young family.
Finally, my full-length essay on sailing to Cuba. This one is for the dreamers, filled with descriptions of what it’s like at marina Hemingway, chasing signs of Che, Fidel and the Cuban revolution, drinking daquaries at La Floridita, sipping Havana Club rum, smoking cigars, driving around in old cars and everything else that defines the Cuban experience.
It’s only been a week since our last episode, but when we went bi-weekly, I promised an interview every two weeks. Episode 140 is a live seminar I recorded from Toronto on Sailing the Baltic. Not an interview, of course, so sort of a bonus episode this week. I highly recommend going to 59-north.com/baltic to follow along with the slides from this talk. You’ll also find a load of show notes and links that will be useful if you ever plan to sail in the Baltic yourself.
In this episode, Mia and I discuss sailing in the Baltic from our own perspective. We spent three summers in the Baltic on Arcturus, mainly sailing the Swedish coast, but also covering the Baltic islands of Aland and Gotland. This talk is full of practical notes and inspirational stories from our experiences there.
Before we get to it, a few notes from us. Many of you have requested lists of books I talk about, and I finally got around to building a books page on the website. Go to 59-north.com/books to see all my favorites, sorted by category - some technical, some inspirational, and some having nothing at all to do with sailing! There’s also a form there if you have any you want to recommend yourself!
Episode #109 is guest-hosted by Magnus Ormestad, of the hugely popular Swedish outdoor sports podcast ‘Husky.’ I met Magnus in Stockholm in May. He had a chance to go to Iceland and stay aboard the Aurora Arktika, a 60-foot former Clipper RTW race boat. His interview with skipper ‘Siggi’ Jonsson had me spellbound – they spent a week sailing in the fjords of Iceland and skiing the surrounding mountain peaks. Magnus agreed to let me air his chat with Siggi on my show, so here it is! Be sure to check out the Husky Podcast at huskypodcast.com.