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Showing posts from January, 2024

A Rough Plan for 2024 - 49° 38' 53" N 01° 37' 12" E

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  We have a lot of people asking: Where will you go first?   Where will you be in [insert month here]?  Can I come to Bora Bora?  So here is a very high-level, very preliminary plan for 2024. Please note this is subject to change due to weather, whim, Kate's visa (Sean has Irish- and thus EU citizenship), boat maintenance and any other multitude of reasons.  But here goes... March 2024 Chinook is scheduled for delivery on 11 March 2024. We have a week of training and we plan to spend the remainder of the month based in Cherbourg, doing small sails around the area.  If we feel adventurous and have the weather window, this may include The Channel Islands. April - June 2024 A circumnavigation of The UK and Ireland.  At this stage we are not even sure which direction it will be.  We want to spend a few months learning the systems and testing the boat while we are still relatively close to the factory.  It also gets Kate out of the Schengen Zone for visa purposes! Mid-July 2024 Back to

Boot Düsseldorf - 51° 12' 49" N 06° 47' 34" E

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  We have arrived in Düsseldorf and just spent three days at the boat show.  We are exhausted!  The boat show is HUGE.  It is the world's largest yacht and watersports show,  220,000 m2 of exhibition space  housed in 16 exhibition halls.  Over 50 acres of boats, boat bits and all things boating entirely indoors.   That's a lot of lovely boat thingies to spend our money on!   No wonder we are exhausted! We did go with an agenda and a shopping list but were completely unprepared for the sheer scale of the event.  One hall devoted to surf sports, two to diving, two packed to the gills with sailing boats, four jammed with power boats, Destination Seaside dedicated to diving holidays, another for marinas, chartering and canoeing, one for art and another great hall exclusively fishing.  But it was Halls 10 and 11 - Equipment and Accessories - in which we did the most damage! Maybe a themed paddle boat will work as a dinghy.  Gotta love a slide! We walked the great halls clocking up d

On Foot - 50° 57' 17" N 144° 03' 33"W

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Ever since I had met Kate (and well before), she had been dreaming about exploring the world by yacht.  I, on the other hand, had been living my dream of being a dad and having the mountains close by as a playground.  As Kate shared her hopes for an epic-scale adventure, I became more and more excited about helping her develop and be part of that plan. You have heard or read about how this has unfolded so far.  We looked at what "exploring the world" meant to us.  We developed a list of where in the world we wanted to see.  We determined what tools we would need (a.k.a. the boat and the skillsets necessary).  We set a plan (including a schedule) and now we are executing that plan.  There have been many fun parts of this but also some very emotionally and logistically difficult parts of "getting on a sailboat and throwing off the docklines." We have both had a number of sobering, point-of-no-return moments in this journey.  They may not be ones you might have gue

This is a chinook - 51° 05' 03" N 115° 22' 07" W

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Last Saturday, it was -40°C, today is -6°C and the forecast for tomorrow is in the positives. How does this happen? How does the temperature jump by 20°C in less than 24 hours? A chinook causes temperatures to soar! This, my friends, is the effect of a chinook.   Our boat is called Chinook and when we describe it as a warm, dry,  welcome wind, not everyone understands.  But if you live in southern Alberta under the influence of chinooks, these winds are very welcome.  When a chinook blows in, the temperatures can jump by 20-30°C in just a few hours. Chinook winds are often called snow eaters. A chinook is a föhn wind, or a warm, down-slope wind on the eastern (or lee) side of the Rocky Mountains. They form due to the tall mountain ranges and the moist costal air is dropped on the windward side and the high level dry air plunges down the lee side of the mountains. The air warms as it descends and is further warmed by the sun on the clear leeside.   A chinook arch will form under these

Life in the deep freeze - 51° 05' 03" N 115° 22' 07" W

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Canmore has plunged into the deep freeze this week, extreme and dangerous cold.  The temperature dropped below -40° ... the temperature at which Celsius and Fahrenheit converge.  So what happens in such extreme conditions?  Does life stop and everyone just huddles inside with a good book, sipping hot chocolate? Life does continue on, with a few measures to keep us safe. Canmore dropped to -44°C on 11 Jan 2024 From a working thermometer in Edmonton. ... and check out the inner scale. Yikes! Breathing can be painful.  It is better to breathe through your nose as it gives the air more time to warm up before it hits your lungs.  Nostrils can freeze closed so breathing through a scarf is helpful. Your mascara will freeze, and will run when it defrosts, so make sure it's waterproof! This is -40°C - the ice crystals in the air make a haze At these temperatures, our cars tend to freeze.  Fuel has a special additive to drop its freezing point, as does the windshield cle

Calgary - 50° 57' 17" N 144° 03' 33"W

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The list is long but we are steadily working through it.  From packing and purging to haircuts, accountants and selling the car, we are ticking things off one by one.  A couple of the big items were to register and insure the boat.  Easy, just fill out a few forms and pay some money, right??  Not so fast... As we are Canadian citizens and residents, registering the boat as a Canadian ship was obvious.  But, as we were to discover, there are some quirks in Canadian law, making it difficult to insure a Canadian boat for ocean cruising.  The issue for Canadian-flagged boats is they can be insured only by a licensed Canadian insurer and Canadian insurers cannot cover European navigation areas.  So this puts us in a Catch-22 situation. We considered flagging the boat Australian, which is allowed as one of the owners is an Australian citizen. If we did this, however, there would be complications regarding residency and we may be required to import the boat when we arrived in Australia.

Writing for ExplorersWeb - 51° 04' 59"N 115° 21' 29"W

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Well, that's a bit of new year excitement.  I have been published in ExplorersWeb!! To read, click on Read More and the link! Click here to go to the article...