Two Yacht Losses, Many Lessons Learned

Earlier in the winter, I was saddened to learn of the loss of the junk rigged schooner Easy Go and today I was shocked to learn of the abandonment of the 42-foot catamaran Be Good Too; luckily there was no loss of life in either case. I think there is a lot we can all learn from both these cases [...]

The Last Fisherman in Ramea

It’s strange. I have never had any interest in recreational fishing. When other voyagers talk about the cool gear they have that always hooks a fish on an ocean passage and how good the catch was to eat, all I can think of is the mess on deck. It’s not that I don’t like to [...]

Trans-Atlantic Single-Handed Sanity Check

Question [Edited for brevity]: I’d like to move my boat, a 50’ Hinckley Yawl, from Mt Desert, Maine to Mallorca, Spain and "do" the Med for 12-18 months. I’ve been thinking about single-handing her across; from Maine direct to Gibraltar. The boat is in good condition but 33 years old, I am in good condition [...]

I am a fairly experienced Swedish sailor;  however, I have never “crossed the pond”. We have decided to buy a MacGregor 65. There are several for sale at good prices in the US, but very few in Europe. We will miss the most appropriate season [to cross the Atlantic]. Hence, I want to ask your [...]

Question: I'm thinking about sailing to Greenland from my home in Germany. My boat is a very sound 33-foot steel sloop, which I have singlehanded often. The natural way to go to Greenland from the German coast seems to be to use the stepping stones: Norway and/or Scotland/Shetlands, thence to Faroe and Iceland and on [...]

Question: We are toying with the idea of sailing the northern route [to North America from Scotland] with stops in Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland. Is that nuts? I know you have done it at least once if not more times. Our boats are sound, an Alden 48 and a Shannon 43, and we want to [...]

Managing Ocean Currents

Chapter 10 of 11 in the Online Book Weather Reception and Analysis (Second Edition)

I have written a lot about weather up to this point in the book, but in many cases routing for the combination of the prevailing weather and any current or tide can be the most important contributor to a comfortable and safe passage. In this chapter I look at a real Gulfstream passage and discuss what to look for.

Bermuda Fitted Dinghies

Bermuda is a very different place than it was 50 years ago when I was a child, but one of the few things that has endured from that time is the Bermuda Fitted Dinghy. Fourteen feet one inch long, alarmingly overcanvased, stubbornly old fashioned and raced with a six person crew, one of whom bails [...]

Rounding Cape Farewell, Greenland

Question: We are planning to cross the North Atlantic east to west via the Arctic route in June on the way to an attempt to transit the North West Passage. We plan to leave from Iceland on a passage to the west coast of Greenland and are wondering how close to round Cape Farewell [south [...]

Trans-Atlantic In An Old Boat

Question: I have my 36' Aage Nielsen yawl in Norway and I need to bring her home to Maine. I would appreciate your comments regarding my choice of routes. One idea is down to the Azores and then over to the eastern US; the reverse of how I sailed to Europe. The other option I’m [...]

Risk Management, Hurricanes

Question [received July 11, 2008]: We’re in St. John’s, Newfoundland, waiting to cross to Scotland. We’re just about ready to go and the weather forcast is good for leaving. However, Hurricane Bertha is just south of Bermuda. The current forecast is for her to weaken to 55 knots within four to five days, and stay [...]

A friend of ours, who is a cruise ship captain, sent along the following list of links to everything, and I do mean everything, you have always wanted to know about the Gulf Stream. Some interesting stuff. Our friend is on the New York to Caribbean round trip run. Apparently the pay off for him [...]

Question: I’m planning an Atlantic Crossing from Boston to Scotland. How can I recognize the best moment weather wise to leave for the safest crossing? Answer: Since weather forecasts are only accurate for about four days, at best, there is no way to manage the weather for an entire crossing of that length by picking [...]

Question: We're planning to sail from New York to Falmouth (UK) leaving around May 18th. Our plan is to sail WSW out from New York till we hit the Gulf Stream and then attempt to sail the great circle to Falmouth. We're debating whether to consider a more southerly route to stay clear of weather [...]

Question: I will be sailing to Gibraltar from the Chesapeake via the Azores. When would be the best time to leave and when would be the earliest I could/should leave? Answer: This is a pretty standard west to east Atlantic crossing. The best time to leave the east coast of North America is late May [...]