Tag Archives | weather

1 sunset at sea

Passage notes: Bermuda to Connecticut

“This is turning into an expensive passage.” Those were Jamie’s words to me after the latest breakdown on our third day at sea. A large block, used for the genoa sheet, had permanently parted ways with the track on deck. The passage started benignly enough, once we got going. Although the weather watch to depart […]

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Passage notes: St Martin to Bermuda

Only one more passage separates Totem from landfall in the USA. The proximity is palpable, and conversation about what it’s going to be like has dominated dinner table conversations. The comfortable passage north from St Martin to Bermuda fostered cockpit discussion and navel-gazing under the stars, too. Here’s how it went. Passage metrics Distance: 872 nautical miles Duration: 5 days […]

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Passage notes: Ascension to Barbados wrap

Seventeen days (and five hours) after leaving Ascension, we made landfall in Barbados on a sunny afternoon. Impending arrival was heralded by small fishing boats: wooden runabouts with a small cabin and a miserable radar footprint. It made the first one a little extra exciting, as it barreled towards us at dawn about 50 miles […]

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Weather and communications on the passage

If you’re following along, you know we left Ascension Island a few day ago. Now, most of passages over time seem to top out around five days. We’ve had a few longer ones (especially in the Indian Ocean), but that’s pretty typical at the high end, and mostly they range closer to about three days. This passage, from […]

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Passage hindsight: sailing from Madagascar to South Africa

Sailing from Madagascar to South Africa is technically challenging. The Mozambique Channel separating them is famously dangerous, in particular for the effect of gales blowing up from the Southern Ocean against the south-setting Agulhas current. For a reference point that may translate better to sailors in North America, I’m told it’s comparable to experiencing a […]

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Keeping current: ocean current data for passages

Ocean currents have been a significant factor for our Indian Ocean passages this year, and our upcoming passage to South Africa is no exception. On this morning’s SSB net, one boat after another chimed in about the strong foul current they’re experiencing off the Madagascar coast as they head towards South Africa. Most entered the […]

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Weather watch in Maldives

For the duration of the season, it seems, we’ve been chasing the weather. It’s finally caught up to us. Boats headed from Asia to South Africa on a northerly route across the Indian Ocean, as we are, take off while the northeast monsoon gives a nice ride to the west. December is fine, although you […]

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Iridium GO! + PredictWind for Totem’s Indian Ocean debut

Note: this post was written after our first passage with the Iridium GO! in conjunction with PredictWind’s Offshore App. It has since been updated with the benefit of a full year of use, across the Indian Ocean. Click here to read the new post! Not long before leaving Malaysia, we purchased an Iridium GO!. This was […]

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Ugly weather off the coast of Malaysia

Well, that was unpleasant. There are the beautiful days of white sandy beaches and gin-clear water, and then there are the days when you have your ass handed to you by the weather. We spent just over a week knocking off a list of projects from rig tuning to galvanizing in Penang. It’s probably our last marina […]

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How to use social media to help in a crisis

Typhoon Haiyan ran a course of destruction through the Philippines this week, cutting through the middle of the country on a westbound track. It came with sustained winds of nearly 200 mph (320 km/h)- gusts were up to 235 mph. Can you even imagine what it feels like to be in that kind of wind? […]

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