01 April 2016 | Maxwell Bay
27 March 2016 | Maxwell Bay
27 March 2016 | Maxwell Bay
Taking the Ground
16 January 2021
Check out the new video about putting Issuma onto a beach and drying out with the tides in Patagonia on the
Sailing Onto Anchor
03 January 2021
I have a new video about sailing onto anchor on the Schooner Issuma YouTube Channel
. It describes how to sail onto anchor, and then shows my crew and I doing it.
Most of the video was shot several years ago at the end of the Northwest Passage, when we sailed onto anchor in a large bay to wait out a gale that was coming.
Last Sail of the Year
31 December 2020 | Little Bay, Marystown, Newfoundland, Canada
My last sail of the year in Marystown, Newfoundland, Canada, on New Years Eve.
The forecast was for light winds in the morning, steadily building to a southerly gale in the late afternoon.
We got off the dock just after 0800, and started setting sails immediately in a very light tailwind. The picture was taken in Little Bay, where Issuma is now docked, by Francis Farrell.
Several ropes were frozen, so getting the sails set was slow. We weren't able to set the jib at all because the sheets were too swollen to get through a turning block.
With a reefed main (not shown) for balance and two staysails, we pleasantly sailed Mortier Bay (where Marystown and Little Bay are) for almost three hours. Then the cold wind picked up and encouraged dousing the sails and motoring back to the dock for a celebratory drink below in the warm cabin.
Issuma Gets a Set of Tires
22 December 2020 | Marystown
Old tires make the best fenders.
In the picture, Issuma is being pushed against the wooden dock by 45-55 knots of wind, and the camera is looking down, between the hull and the dock. The tires are both preserving the paint on Issuma's steel hull, and protecting the dock. Inflatable fenders (of which I have a few) would be punctured by the load on the tire on the left of the picture.
My friend Joe kindly gave me a set of four, wide tires, two of which are in the picture. The wider the tire, the more it keeps the hull off uneven surfaces.
It takes about ten minutes with a 1/2" (12mm) electric drill to drill a 3/4" (19mm) hole in the tires (less time if the tires don't have any steel belts in them) to pass a rope through.
The downside of tire fenders is that they are difficult to store when underway (they also make black marks on the hull, but that can be solved by painting the hull a dark color). I tie the tires on deck, but they do take up a noticeable amount of space.
So in case you thought voyaging boats don't use tires...now you know :)
03 December 2020
I spent over three weeks in Trepassey, waiting for weather and for parts. People were wondering if I was going to winter there!
I did not want to winter in Trepassey, as it's not a completely protected place, though it's fairly well protected if one moves around as necessary.
I had an unusually good weather forecast--a moderate tailwind. The winds are almost always from the west on this coast, so headwinds--this forecast was for a much-less-common SE.
I figured the trip would be about 18 hours, plus time to get in and out of ports. That was fine, but since I was singlehanding, I needed to think about the possibility of adverse currents or less wind making for a longer trip, since I needed to be awake and alert the entire time, especially approaching a downwind destination at night.
I prepared the boat for sea, cooked some food to be easily available, and got to bed early, setting the alarm for 0400. It still took almost two hours to get up, eat, download latest weather forecasts and get underway.
Motoring out of the quiet harbour was easy enough, and first light arrived as I did. Outside the harbor, there was good wind, so I quickly set sail and turned off the motor.
It was awesome to be sailing as the sun rose on a sunny December 1st! A pleasant close reach took us down to Cape Pine, then we turned to the west, broad reaching and running downwind. This is living!
About 1700, shortly after sunset, a full moon rose, causing the waves to sparkle. The temperature also rose, as the SE wind brought relative warmth (8 degrees C).
By midnight, I was approaching the coast, and lowered the sails and started motoring. Visibility was still good, with some mist, but the shore was quite visible in the moonlight.
Some twists and turns around islands and rocks, and we were soon out of the waves and wind.
I anchored in Ship Cove, Burin, at 0200, tired and happy.
24 November 2020 | Trepassey
The wind went to the north, and strongly blew the warm air away overnight. By sunrise, the boat was covered in a very light dusting of snow.
Old Fish Plant Wharf
23 November 2020 | Trepassey
The fish plant was shut down a long time ago. There are some businesses in the buildings on shore, but the wharf has seen very little maintenance for the last thirty years.
22 November 2020 | Trepassey
The view south, from where Issuma is anchored in the Norhwest Arm, on a calm (it's usually not calm) morning.
In the distance is the old Fish Plant wharf.
The Long Winding Road Down
21 November 2020 | Trepassey
The northern part of the inlet is divided into the Northwest Arm on the left, where Issuma is anchored, and the much longer Northeast Arm, on the right.
It's a nice walk down from the highway to the harbour.
Like the Sign Says
19 November 2020 | Trepassey
Issuma is anchored in the picturesque town of Trepassey, in southern Newfoundland.
I stopped here to rest, wait for weather, and see the area. I wasn't planning on being here for more than a few days, but just before I was about to leave, I noticed a mechanical problem (with the hydraulic oil cooler). While this problem does not prevent the engine from operating, it should be fixed.
So, now I'm stopped here for longer, as I wait for parts to arrive.
Which gives me more time to see the area...