The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

John’s Thoughts & Photos, March 2014


Yay, The Break Up

Looks like the water will be fit for sailing soon here at Base Camp. After 18 months on the beach, we can’t wait.

A Generous Gift


Steve and Linda Dashew over at Setsail are giving away two of their books in the form of free PDF downloads. We own and have read both titles and can highly recommend them.

To Russia By Boat


If any of you are as interested as we are in cruising Russia, you will want to check out this organized cruise led by Russian sailors. We posted about it on our Norwegian Cruising Guide site and you can learn more there. They kindly invited us to go along but we can’t, unfortunately, make it this time, but someday…

Since that post over at NCG, the political situation has, shall we say, changed. But perhaps in a very small way joint projects like this can help stop such things getting totally out of control.

OK, Maybe Not Yachting Time


 What a difference a few days made, since I took the photo at the top of the post. Last night, Phyllis checked on whether or not it’s time to go sailing…




Oh well, back to our nice warm wood stove-heated base camp cabin.

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Eric Klem

The two of you must be excited to get back on the water. If it makes you feel any better, I suspect that there is a lot less ice where your boat is right now. We were on the water up in Penobscot Bay last weekend and while we didn’t make it over to Stonington, we really didn’t find much ice wherever we were.



Did you guys get hammered with the 960 low this week? Sure was a beauty to watch…….from the chair next to the woodstove!

Wilson Fitt

We drove from Halifax back home to Chester in the early afternoon in about the worst conditions that I can remember in many years of winter driving. Full whiteout on the divided highway, me peering through the windshield at 40 km/h trying to judge were I was in relation to the ditch on one side and the median on the other. About halfway home I abandoned the main highway in favour of the old narrow and crooked route that follows the water. It was a lot easier due to better edge definition from mailboxes, bushes and signs. Very happy to get home and sit in front of the fire. I am refusing on principle to do anything more than minimal snow shoveling, waiting for nature to do my work for me.

One of our sons works on the pilot boat out of Halifax harbour. They took the pilot off an outbound vessel at 0900. Gusts at Chebucto Head were 70 kn so the harbour was closed to further shipping for the balance of the day.

I have been all prepped for the spring coat of varnish for two weeks (John, stop your snickering) but it’s simply too cold and/or wet to get it on even under a good cover.

Victor Raymond

I did not realize you got such a real winter there in NS. Rajah Laut spent the winter here in the PNW in the water at anchor. Although we had some wild winds here and there and even a few flakes not much more to prepare me for real ice. Needless to say I am preparing for far worse next year in Alaska by installing a hydronic heating system.
In addition I am adding a S160 Spade to my ground tackle arsenal. My hope it will do at least as well as the 40kg Rocna.
Here is to a well deserved Spring!!!

Victor Raymond

John, We get a pretty thorough dose of Winter in Jackson Hole for sure. However this one we spent on the boat and it was a more relaxing. You don’t feel the need to get up so early each morning to catch fresh powder before the others do.:)
I would imagine the combination of deep cold, salt water, big waves and need for self sufficiency makes the NS and NF particularly harsh.


People here go to great lengths to tell me about the terrible winters they have had in Scotland. I listen with sympathy, then tell them about the East Coast, not just this year – which has been a bit tough – but every year.
Mireille my partner, is a Newfoundlander and just laughs when she gets told of the Scottish winters.

Happy sailing soon!

richard dykiel

can’t go sailing yet, can’t go skiing/skating any more, guess all that’s left to do is cook, eat, drink, cook, eat, drink… (rinse and repeat)


Hi John,
spring has advanced a little more on the Baltic and I’m definitely in launching mode.
By the way: are you advocating a rally here ?

Best regards
s.v. Snowball