Ever since the early days of sail, sailors have faced two opposite challenges: how to make the best of light airs; and how to maintain control when the wind and sea conditions become too great.
All sailors have benefited from evolving technologies that have improved go-fast performance, from types of rig to shapes of hulls to materials used throughout a vessel. But by comparison, a relatively miniscule amount of development (setting aside weather predicting capabilities) has been directed toward technologies to improve the safety of sailing ships in high winds at sea. Continue reading →
In our first memoir, Beer in the Bilges, Sailing Adventures in the South Pacific, we talked about our sailing experiences in the early 1980s and some of the amazing characters we met along the way. They included Sharkbite Charlie, Rosie, the three-hundred-pound dancer, and Gunter, the mysterious German chef from South America.
There are plenty more characters to talk about!
There were plenty more that we didn’t have room for, so we are including some of them in a second memoir that we’re currently writing. Here’s a sneak peek into one of those characters. Continue reading →
The lovely wooden yacht Armanelle survived a cyclone in the Vava’u Islands of Tonga in 1981. Bob played a big part in refloating her afterwards, but has since lost track of her. Do you know where Armanelle is now? Continue reading →
There is something about sailing alone that appeals to some people. It may be the challenge of a single-handed race, the opportunity for a cruising sailor to have time alone with their thoughts, or the plain antisocial nature of certain individuals. Regardless of the reason, sailing alone is a unique experience. Continue reading →
There is a lot to experience on this little island in the Caribbean shared between France and the Netherlands. Ten days wasn’t enough.
Known as “The Friendly Island”, Saint Martin/Sint Maarten was divided between France and the Netherlands in 1648 with the Treaty of Concordia. This arrangement provided for mutual protection from belligerent states. Remains of stone forts built to guard the harbors in the French north and Dutch south still remain, as does the history of pirates that threatened them. Continue reading →
One of the more curious recipes you will find in many parts of the South Pacific is Fruit Bat Soup. That’s right, soup made from the fruit bats or “flying foxes.”
There are a number of varieties of fruit bats, the world’s largest species of bat, with the Australian variety growing as large as two pounds with a wingspan of up to six feet! Here is a video of a small one. The only ones that we’ve seen used are a lot smaller.Continue reading →
Every sailor that dreams of going offshore has read stories of those that have gone before them. Some, like those about the voyages of Eric and Susan Hiscock, two of the earliest civilian ocean-going sailors, were truly ground-breaking. And others, by authors such as Vito Dumas and John Guzwell, are classics of seagoing literature.
We have collected our list of essential books for the offshore sailor. These are the stories that we think will endow the offshore sailor with the knowledge and the lessons necessary to face the sea with confidence.