For a link to the video which show and tells it all Read the rest »
Following on the success of their Antarctic cruise in company, FPB78s Iron Lady ll and Grey Wolf ll are going to do another jaunt to the ice summer of 2020, this time to nearby Greenland. Several other FPBs are planning to join, so this is a semi-official call for all FPBers to give this opportunity serious consideration. Greenland is a relative easy destination to reach for our FPBs. Having made this life-changing cruise in 2008 we offer a few comments on the route we took.
I spent my first six decades on earth despising powerboats and those who operated them. In my early days of sailing dinghies, powerboats would always speed up to cross ahead of us leaving a huge wave to wreak havoc with us and our compatriots. My earliest recollection of the single finger salute was from such encounters. As cruisers, if there was a “stinkpot” around they inevitably would anchor close by and then run their genset 24 hours a day. And the lack of seamanship was stunning. Read the rest »
We are standing at the forward end of the great room aboard FPB 78-1 Cochise. It is eerily quiet as we watch the steam gauge climb from 13 to 20 knots, linger for a moment, before peaking at 22. A fast-rising SE gale has kicked up a steep sea, now confused with a reflected crossing wave pattern as we rapidly close with the Southern entrance to New Zealand’s Bay of Islands. This 60 metric ton motor yacht is surfing under autopilot control. The seas are perfect for Cochise and she rides the better waves for several minutes at a time, at speed length ratios above 1.6. Cochise is the most recent iteration of the perfect yacht, at least for us. Aboard Cochise, and the rest of our yachts, the key design ingredient upon which all else rests is steering control. We are warm, dry, and very comfortable.
It wasn’t always so. Read the rest »
It is late spring in the Bahamas, water temperature is 83/85F and air that or more. Humidity often is in the 80% range. We are making water, staying comfortable with air conditioning in the evening, generally leading a carbon neutral existence. Welcome to the new world of solar panel cruising. What follows is a bit of data and several suggestions that might help on your own vessel.
For those of you who want to experience cruising at its best, if you live in Europe or the East Coast of the US, in your back yards is some of the very best cruising on this planet. We speak of the Exhumas group in the southern Bahama Islands.
Iron Lady and Grey Wolf have been cruising together in Antarctica, what the few truly experienced high latitude sailors will tell you is the toughest place on earth. These waters are more difficult and dangerous than Svalbard; the Northwest Passage is a cakewalk compared to this. And summer 2019 has been even more challenging than the recent past. In Pete Rossin’s post below you will catch a small sense of what it is like when there are simply no good choices. The photo above looks tame enough but think about it in 65 knots of breeze with eight to ten foot seas, and a glacier at your back.
Sue Grant at Berthon is running a series of posts written by the Berthon apprentices who are aboard FPB78-2 Grey Wolf II. They are both informative and entertaining, and cover their experiences right down to the bottom of South America, and eventually to the Antarctic where Grey Wolf II is at this moment. To read about these intrepid apprentices click here.
FPB 64-6 has just completed a winter crossing of the North Atlantic, which at one point featured hurricane strength compression storms in east and west regions. She did so in classic fashion, taking advantage of the weather when possible, but always with a bailout option if the forecasts turned negative. There are a number of lessons for us in this passage. Read the rest »