Thursday, July 28, 2016

"Comanche" has chopped over a day off the transatlantic record for a monohull

Humpbacks on the Move — Greenland - Rosehearty

I found myself turning up my nose a bit when I heard from the extraordinary Maine maritime photographer Peter Ralston that he was heading for Greenland and the Northwest Passage - aboard a 56  meter luxury yacht named Rosehearty, not Endurance or Intrepid or something that evokes noble suffering at sea.

But there is more than warmth  to be said for going first class, rather than spartan like Richard Hudson's Issuma, Matt Rutherford's single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the Americas, or Rockwell Kent's `N by E' an account of a 33 foot cutter's voyage to Greenland.

Among the benefits is photography drones.  Below is a shot of two humpbackwhales.  Many more great shots are now on the Rosehearty blog.  I look forward to the contributions of Peter Ralston who came aboard on July 25 at Nuuk, Greenland.

Humpbacks on the Move — Rosehearty

Entrance to Nuuk, Greenland's largest city:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

First voyage to Georges Harbor

All our guests are taken on the same tour - Marshall Point light (famous from the movie Forrest Gump) and Georges Harbor - where Englishmen first landed on the coast of Maine. There stands a cross erected in 1905 by the State of Maine on the tricentennial of Weymouth's landing.  
Xander is the latest to make the voyage. But perhaps on future nautical adventures he should  leave the Rebel IPA at the dock.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

When an Iceberg Wakes You UP -Baffin Bay |

Matt Rutherford -the first person to sail singlehanded, non-stop around the Americas (that means north of Canada and south of Cape Horn) now is doing some research for  NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland project.  But unlike NASA's high tech satellite and aerial views, Rutherford takes measurements from his sailboat -in northern Greenland.
Recently their night was rudely interrupted by an iceberg, as he recounts at the link below. - gwc

p.s. -Matt's story is told in the excellent documentary Red Dot on the Ocean.

Baffin Bay |
by Matt Rutherford

Our micro plastics survey in Baffin Bay would involve a 500 mile offshore passage. I wanted to make sure that everyone was well rested before we left so we prepared the vessel and went to bed early. Just as I was starting to fall asleep I heard a thumping noise coming from somewhere deep on our boat. Upernavik harbor has a good deal of ice in it and it isn’t uncommon for a chunk of ice the size of a vending machine to float by bouncing off the hull as it passes, but this was different. 

 I came out into the pilothouse and to my surprise there was a large berg a few feet from our haul. It was high tide which allowed a large berg that would typically run aground at the mouth of the harbor to come drifting in. It was an oddly shaped iceberg that had an underwater ice shelf protruding a good 20 feet. This underwater shelf was under our boat and bouncing off the bottom of our keel. The fear was that if this roughly 50 ton berg decided to roll it would lift the boat in the process. Although we were tied off, it still would have been bad. I yelled for the crew and everyone came scrambling out in socks and bare feet grabbing poles and attempting to push away this large chunk of ice. For the first five minutes it seemed like an impossible task but finally the berg slowly started to move away from the boat.

The berg drifted 100 feet and ran aground. I couldn’t go back to bed because we had another large berg approaching from behind that may or may not come crashing into our stern. After 3 hours the tide went out enough that all the large icebergs in the harbor were safely aground so I tried to get back to sleep. Just as I was nodding off I heard a loud crashing sound. The berg that was bouncing off our keel had broken apart with enough force to send a chunk of ice the size of an SUV careening through the water at a good 5kts passing right behind our vessel. The berg had broken into 1,000 pieces, several hundred of which had surrounded Ault and as we bounced up and down with the swell the small pieces of ice hit our steel hull making it sound like we were in a kettle drum. It’s hard to sleep through that!

After a sleepless night we pushed out into Baffin Bay. I knew it would be a relatively easy offshore run as our weather forecast showed very light winds for the entire passage.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Issuma: The End of the Voyage

Richard Hudson has completed  his circumnavigation of the Americas (via Greenland, Antarctica, and Capetown) at Norfolk, Virginia.  The last leg? Two months and 5,000 miles single-handed.
After almost two months at sea and more than 5,000 miles, Issuma reached Norfolk, Virginia. This was both my longest passage and my longest singlehanded passage. 

The trip started with great winds, and was very easy up to the ITCZ (Doldrums). The ITCZ was not difficult, just a little less than very easy. The last third of the trip, when the wind went light while near the Bermuda high, was much more exercise. Light winds made self-steering more difficult, and slowed the boat down in the hot, sunny weather. I put aluminum foil inside the pilothouse windows to lower the inside temperature (lots of clear windows are nice for bringing in warmth in Antarctica, but not so nice in the tropics). "
Read more HERE .

- George

Friday, July 15, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mackerel killers

Size doesn't matter.  It's quantity when you take kids out fishing.  Mackerel fishing in the Muscongus Bay can give you the latter.  At the passage between Harbor Island and Black Island, in a spot sheltered a bit from the flood tide, we hit a school of mackerel.  Jigs and mackerel trees were doing the job.  We started off catch and release, but there were casualties, so we switched to catch and eat.- gwc

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Launch of the Susan Skiff

My Monhegan Skiff has been a restoration project the last two years.  Frustrated by too much scraping, refastening, gluing and caulking I decided to find a new skiff.  Voila the Susan Skiff, built at The Apprenticeshop, Rockland. ME.  - GWC

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Whale watching on the Staten Island ferry?

The Great New York Whale Census

Friday, July 8, 2016

Extent loss slows, then merges back into fast lane | Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis

Extent loss slows, then merges back into fast lane | Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis
June set another satellite-era record low for average sea ice extent, despite slower than average rates of ice loss. The slow rate of ice loss reflects the prevailing atmospheric pattern, with low pressure centered over the central Arctic Ocean and lower than average temperatures over the Beaufort Sea.