Thursday, June 23, 2016

Planning a passage



We are currently planning a passage to a place even more remote than ours, the Faroe Islands. The Faroes are half way between Denmark and Iceland in a desolate stretch of water. Like Scotland to their south, they have little tide range but strong tidal currents. Navigation can be tricky, but we are figuring it out. Self-sufficiency is paramount. One of the joys of having a sailboat is being able to get to remote places that are not so easy to get to otherwise.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tropical Cyclone Season Is Underway

Hurricane Alex in January 2016
The season for tropical cyclones in the Atlantic begins June 1 and ends December 1. Here we are two weeks into June and we've already had three this year. El Nino has apparently been snuffed out and La Nina has not yet reared its head. A La Nina pattern may develop as early as late summer or early Fall. In this situation, sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific usually run below normal as opposed to the above-normal temperatures of an El Nino pattern that we've seen in the past couple of years. We are currently experiencing a neutral pattern that may continue over the next several months. This is often associated with a more active Atlantic hurricane season and a less active eastern Pacific cyclone season. After the devastation caused by cyclones in Vanuatu and Fiji, that will be welcome news in the Pacific.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hot summer days on Clare Island

T-shirts and shorts for the first time in years

Leaving the inner bay past Inishoo and Croagh Patrick
The Met Eireann office released its climate report for May which was confirmed to be the dryest, sunniest month in years. People were flocking to the Blue Flag beaches and coastal islands in droves. Compared with last year, the year that summer never arrived, we've had our fill of summer already with little brown bodies tanned for the first time in the absence of the need for wetsuits. Long may it last.

We sailed out in beautiful weather though not much wind. In fact it was glass calm. So we motored most of the way to Clare Island, our destination for the June Bank Holiday weekend.


Friday, June 10, 2016

On sailing double-handed


Double-Handed Sailing 

is after all like 

Single-Handing Half the Time 


- Daria Blackwell 



After crossing oceans a few times, I was often asked if I didn't get tired of my husband during three weeks together at sea. I always answered no, because I hardly ever saw him. "What?" they said, "But you're together on a boat 24/7?" Yes, but you're rarely together and awake at the same time. So basically, sailing double-handed is like sailing solo half the time.