Friday, December 29, 2017

Ocean Sailing, Fall 2018

Some pictures from a recent delivery of a 40 footer from Norwalk, CT to St Thomas, USVI

The sailing took place between the day after Thanksgiving and December 8th. We saw a weather window and took it. Not cold or windy.

The boat

Norm's berth on the right/inboard

About as rough as it got


Not enough wind to sail

Motor sailing

Still calm

no change

HM Customs Dock, St Georges, Bermuda

The harbor

Ketch arrived from England just prior to us


Day beacon with bird atop.


Christmas bicycle

Gibbs Hill Light

Good by Bermuda

Hello St Thomas

Anchored for customs

After customs

Crowne Bay Marina

Heading to St Thomas YC

Wrecks on Greater St James' Christmas Cove

Cowpet Bay condos near STYC

YC mooring area

YC patio

View along shoreline towards the YC

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Deliveries South-- Late Fall Sailing

Two things are on the calendar now.

Sound Sailing of Norwalk CT has asked me to be one of their delivery captains for a Bermuda to St Thomas run. Here is the post they made for their blog.

ime to sign on for our Ocean Passage south 2017!  Our Hans
Ocean Passage - Caribbean Update

Time to sign on for our Ocean Passage south 2017!  Our Hanse 400 will be Captained by Martinus van Breems from Norwalk to Bermuda.   

Say hello to our 2017 Hanse 400 skipper for the Bermuda to St Thomas leg. We recently interviewed Norm Martin and asked him, "Where are you from?" Norm's reply, "The Atlantic Ocean," made us smile. The answer isn't far off. Norm started cruising as a kid sailing from Cape Cod to the Bahamas and back, eventually settling and sailing in South Florida. Since those days Norm has a dozen long Atlantic passages to his credit plus a couple of Pacific passages. He worked as a skipper in the Caribbean charter and sailing school trade for many years. 

Norm on the Hanse 400 this week.
In addition to the ocean sailing, Norm spent almost twenty years as a Boston Sailing School instructor. He taught every course there, helped maintain the fleet, and was well liked by thousands of students. We think the time his background makes him well suited to meet Sound Sailing's requirements. 
Norm also owns an Aphrodite 101, Averisera, now located on Cape Cod. Norm and his wife, Elizabeth, have cruised and raced that boat extensively in New England waters. As a couple they have built and refurbished several yachts and small boats. 

Norm maintains a blog,
17 H

Norm maintains a blog,

Another opportunity is to deliver a Gemini 105mc catamaran to St Thomas. About five years ago, I got the owners started on a winter cruise in the Bahamas by crewing with them from Marion, MA to Norfolk, VA. This season, Felix will be visited in the USVI by her owner and their friends.

The boat has been offshore quite a bit and the type is often used for distance voyaging. Some pics.

Cooper, the boat dog will stay behind.

Friday, October 20, 2017

October at the South Shore of Cape Cod

Some pics of Stage Harbor in Chatham and Wychmere Harbor in Harwichport. The other day I moved the boat from the summer harbor in Chatham to the winter harbor in Harwichport. It was a nice day though I motored all the way, about 5 nm.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Minimalist Voyaging Under Sail: 5- The Essentials

Minimalist is about clutter reduction. The less stuff there is the less there is to go wrong.

Each piece of gear must be chosen for its utility, multiple uses, ease of repair, and fitted into the yacht so that the gear can be serviced regularly. For example, and the idea remains solidly minimalist. a Mini Trans At 6.5 sailor used his little 4 hp outboard to power both his Mini and the dinghy. John Guzzwell on Trekka may have been the first to do it and the idea remains solidly minimalist. First, the outboard and fuel are common to two applications. Secondly, outboards are used all around the world so finding a mechanic is not too difficult. Additionally, small outboards can often be repaired by a competent mechanic with minimal tools and spares. The same idea applied elsewhere on the yacht yields the same results.e

Areas for simplification:
pressure water
shore power

A short list of essentials aboard a KISS (keep it simple sailing?) boat might look like this;

Sink with drain to the sea on either tack
Toilet with discharge to holding tank and overboard
Stove with gimbels
Stove fuel safely stowed
Cooking gear that fits easily into lockers and securely on stove
Water tank with pump or lockers dedicated to water jugs
Berths and linens, one berth per side
Cabin illumination
Charts and cruising guides
Navigation and piloting tools
Handheld GPS
Handheld VHF
Tools for repairing the boat, rigging, and sails
Mooring and docking equipment
Propulsion motor.
collision mat

What's missing? Things that require two people to operate or are difficult to fix.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Minimalist voyaging Under Sail: 4-The Boats

Entries 1, 2, and 3 are about boats I have sailed that fit the minimalist category. The following are quicks notes about other voyagers who describe the concept. Books by and about these folks are easily found in maritime book stores and on line.

The old-timers didn't try to be minimalists. There wasn't any "luxury" small boat sailing in those days. A short list old timers.

Joshua Slocum in Spray. He started it all with Sailing Alone Around the World

Captain Voss on Tillicum

Captain and Mrs Crapo on New Bedford

Robin Knox-Johnson on Suhaili

John Guzzwell on 26 foot Trekka

The modern era started with Lin and Larry Pardy with their simple sloops and the idea of "go small and go simple." Others, such as:

James Baldwin on the 28 foot sloop, Atom

Webb Chiles on a variety of sailing vessels including an open 19 footer.

Anne Hill in her book Voyaging on a Small Income

These and many others work on the idea that cruising should be simple and the more simple the more pleasurable. The idea is not to be cramped and uncomfortable but to live outside the boat. To do that they propose a small simple vessel.

Minimalist Voyaging Under Sail: 3

I sail and cruise a very simple boat, Averisera, an Aphrodite 101. She was built in 1984 in Denmark and is hull 264 from a production run of 400 plus hulls. The story is at another blog:

Another old race boat with a very simple interior. Averisera is easily cleaned or repaired. Also, fun to sail! As we have gotten older, the lack of headroom has become an inconvenience. Maybe even unnecessarily minimal.

Credit: Mc Cann

Credit: Kinnard

One gets an idea about just how small Averisera's living quarters are in pictures. We have dolled up the interior a bit but there is still only four and half feet of headroom. The sink is to starboard and has an electric fawcett. The stove is an Origo 3000 to port. We find the alcohol stove to be plenty sufficient. The head and forward cabin are forward of the visible bulkhead. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Minimalist Voyaging Under Sail: 2

Another view of a minimalist voyager is an old 1984 Frers-designed IOR racer, the former Evergreen. Renamed, Rumor, she was sailed to the Caribbean from New England and double handed between the various Caribbean regattas.

The boat was a stripped out racing machine with four berths, an excuse for a galley and a tiny head. There were no head liners or trim. Everything was exposed. The boat was fast (PHRF in the 60s) and actually very easy to sail. For instrumentation, she had two each of hand held VHF and GPS, one installed depth meter and a masthead fly. One person could clean the boat thoroughly in a morning. It was the simplest boat to operate.

From the point of view of minimalist, this boat was it. The large cockpit made Rumor a popular boat for getting together with friends in foreign ports. The berths were comfy, the galley produced some good-enough eating, and she sailed like a dream. More time was spent sailing her than fixing her.

An old picture of Evergreen from 1985 or so.

Many old IOR war-horses are available for short money and make great cruisers without major refits.