Question: You call painting an aluminum hull a mug’s game yet you painted your hull? Answer: The problem is that Morgan’s Cloud was built before computerized plate cutting and bending and like all boats of the time has a lot of fairing compound on her to cover small dips and hollows induced in the plate [...]

Question: What advice and cautions would you have regarding buying older aluminum boats? I have been told to pay particular attention to the area under the heads and engine and around the through-hulls. Is there anything else you might be wary about in an older aluminum boat? Answer: All the areas you mention are important. [...]

A number of our friends have written that they have missed our news letters, which have been few and far between lately. Their reminders, plus the quickly approaching holiday season, have galvanized us into doing something about our long silence (due to a very busy schedule, not apathy!). Our last news letter was written in [...]

Question: Would you cruise the high latitudes in a fibreglass hull? Answer: There are two parts to the answer: Depends on the fibreglass boat, and depends on the area of the high latitudes. (On this last I will restrict my thoughts to the Arctic and North Atlantic since I have no Antarctic experience.) Given that [...]

Question: We’re preparing our boat for cruising in the North. Do you advise a dedicated stern-anchor system? Lots of Scandinavians sail around with one. Danforth, CQR or SPADE? Right now our main bower is a 60lb CQR on 100 meters of 12mm chain. Our spares are a 60lb CQR and a 30lb Danforth on board. [...]

Our Tank Tender from Hart Systems is 20 years old and one of the few pieces of original equipment left on Morgan’s Cloud. For those of you not familiar with this unit, it relies on hand pumping air down a tube in the tank and then measuring the resultant pressure to determine fuel or water [...]

Question: I’m considering taking our new (to us!) 60′ schooner to Newfoundland, maybe instead to Labrador, this summer. I haven’t stumbled across any cruising guides for anything north of Nova Scotia. Any suggestions? Answer: See Pilot Press for information on the Cruising Guides to Labrador and Newfoundland published by the CCA.

Question: We plan to go through the Strait of Belle Isle about July 1st. Is this practical given ice conditions? I have been told that a northeast wind can choke the Strait with ice at that time of year. I also have been told that ice is less likely on the Newfoundland side of the [...]

Question: The cruising guide for Iceland contains a list of Icelandic charts. Comparing that with the US chart catalog, the Icelandic coverage is much more extensive. Is it practical to expect to purchase charts in Reykjavik for the remainder of our Icelandic sailing? Are they in stock? Reasonable cost? Or would you recommend that I [...]

Question: How seriously do I need to take the threat of polar bears in the Arctic? Answer: I have never hunted and don’t like guns much, but the threat is real. On our Greenland, Baffin Island and Labrador trips I have always been a bit skeptical and lackadaisical—carrying a gun, but unloaded; walking into broken [...]

Question: Do you know if it’s possible to circumnavigate Scandinavia via Holland, the Baltic Sea, St. Petersburg, the Belomorsk Canal, the White Sea, the Norwegian Coast, returning to Holland? Answer: It has been done. I think the UK Cruising Association did a cruise in company that way some years ago. The tricky bit is the [...]

Question: What is your experience with changing crew in Greenland?  Should we plan to go to the large airport at Kangerlussuaq (Sondre Stromfjord) to pick up new crew? Answer: We have changed crews in Greenland at Nuuk and Sisimiut. I have never been into Kangerlussuaq (Sondre Stromfjord), but it does not sound like a problem, [...]

Question: What charts do you recommend for cruising Greenland? We have C-Map charts but they have insufficient coverage. Answer: By far the best charts for Greenland are the Danish ones. Don’t get US or British Admiralty charts; they are not anywhere near as good as the Danish charts. I believe that Blue Water Charts in [...]

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