Monday, December 31, 2018

Susanne Huber-Curphy - today's Moitessier!



I've been corresponding with Susanne Huber-Curphy who is sailing solo in the Longue Route. A few days ago. I noticed she was heading way east in the South Atlantic. So I asked her if she was heading to France with the rest of the fleet. I got an answer yesterday. She is following the track of the Longue Route as Moitessier did in the original Golden Globe Race when he continued sailing to Tahiti, even though he was winning the race, 'to save his soul'. She is heading into the Pacific. She is just short of crossing her track off South Africa today, which is her 200th day under sail. Keep in mind that she and s/v Nehaj started from Maine so she's already sailed more than a circumnavigation and she's been leading the pack the entire way. She's pulled a Moitessier!!! Or maybe a Nehaj!!! The name Nehaj comes from the Croatian term Ne hajati [nɛ xajati] which means as Susanne puts it, "I named her NEHAJ, that translates to: 'Feel safe here, Do not be afraid'".

In Susanne's words, "Really, it's the most obvious thing to do, isn't it?"


Saturday, December 29, 2018

New Year's Resolution for Safer Sailing in 2019


We have all made New Year's resolutions that we have more often than not given up on. But the best resolution for cruisers is to remind ourselves not to be complacent and to refresh our diligence about safety consciousness aboard. So here's my list of resolutions for cruising in 2019. 

1. Adopt the 'astronaut training' mentality when underway. Always ask yourself 'what if' in preparation for the worst things that could happen. For example:
  • What if someone falls overboard?
  • What if the mainsail halyard jams while hoisting?
  • What if the anchor drags on a dark and stormy night?
  • What if the engine quits in a busy thoroughfare or crowded marina?
  • What if a windward shroud snaps while beating?
  • What if the backstay parts while sailing downwind?
  • What if the spinnaker jams while dousing?
  • What if we hit an object in the water?

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas at Sea (on a Lee-Shore)




The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, me boys, where a sailor scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor'wester, blowing squally from the sea,
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Poem for everyone setting sail across the oceans


This is so interesting. It was used in an ad to promote National Book Tokens and giving books as gifts in Ireland. It took me a while, but I realized that it's written mostly with the titles of books. How clever!  The copywriter has to be a sailor to have crafted something so meaningful to adventure sailing.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Life Afloat vs Ashore: 10 Ways Lifestyles Differ

The life of a cruiser is 'slightly' different from a landlubbers'

Sarah Steenland, the Cruising Cartoonist, just released a comic for Christmas that accentuates the differences between living on a boat and living in a house. It made me think back to the time when we took a year to sail the Atlantic circuit. While sailing, we missed our home in Ireland. When back in Ireland, we missed being aboard our boat. Which of course made me reminisce about the differences between cruising and land dwelling. They are such different lifestyles. Both have their merits. I now find it very compatible and satisfying to live half and half. Here are some differences to think about if you're thinking about heading out there.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

STEM Education through Sailing



You may have heard about wonderful success with early experimental STEM Sailing programs. I have been following the STEM sailing concept since I first heard about it through the VOR. It enables learning Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) through a sailing curriculum. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Gifts for Sailors

It's December 1st and the day I usually sit down to create a list of gifts I might consider for my sailing buddies. No one really wants just practical gifts, so I've concentrated on going beyond pure utility and have selected a few items that have some bling or tech gizmo appeal. Fortunately, sailing is often associated with gadgets that do evolve over time into things that make things easier and more fun. So here goes.


1) Luci Light from US$19.95, €18