In April of this year, Joanna and I were to fly to Annapolis, Maryland, where we would attend the Ocean Cruising Club’s annual awards dinner and where Moli would receive the Barton Cup in recognition of her Figure 8 Voyages. If you are uncertain what, exactly, the Barton Cup is, you might appreciate the, Read More

Weeks ago I announced the discovery of a bottled message I posted to the uncertain mercies of an ocean delivery service late in the F8V. At the time I was short on details. Here are the details. At 1:57 pm on April 15th of this year, I received the following email with the below, Read More

Many of you will know of Matt Rutherford from the several mentions of him in this blog or, more likely, from his remarkable 2012 circumnavigation of the Americas in an already old and always small, twenty-seven-foot sloop, St Brendan. I’ll warrant there are more than a few blue-water sailors who wouldn’t cruise the Bahamas, Read More

Dear Virtual Voyagers, If you are looking for a way to visit the watery parts of the world without leaving the house, then know the Figure 8 Voyage book is arriving and available for order. The present volume is a coffee-table-style picture book and tells the story of the Figure 8 Voyage through the many images included, Read More

Discussing the challenges of the Figure 8 Voyage with other sailors is one thing, but it requires a deft tack to port to be interviewed by Grant Parr, a mental performance coach to professional athletes and owner of the consulting firm, GameFace Performance. His podcast is called 90 Percent Mental, so you can guess, Read More

When imagining early on the two poleward legs required to complete a Figure 8–the long Southern Ocean loop and the Northwest Passage–it was the latter that gave me fits. The maze of remote waterways, some without soundings, all with the likelihood of pack ice, was enough to freeze my courage. So, when it arose,, Read More

November 5, 2019 Days since return: 15 Noon Position: 37 46N 122 08W Miles Since Last Noon: 5 (a walk in the Oakland Hills) Course and Speed: uncertain I thought I had re-entry figured out. After a longish cruise for home, I anchor awhile in Drakes Bay before proceeding on to civilization. From here, Read More

It began as a simple enough idea–to solo circumnavigate the Americas and Antarctica in one season. A boat, a sailor, a big sea, some ice and a double loop of the globe in roughly the shape of an eight. But as time went on and as the idea developed, it required the help of, Read More

Drakes Bay October 19, 2019 5am. The alarm sounds to wake me though I’ve been up since three o’clock.  For some time I lay in the dark listening to the wind whine in the rigging. Mo tugs at her chain. I wait for sleep to descend again, but it has slipped away in the, Read More

Hello all! Quick update on the return plans. Yes, Randall will arrive in Northern California in plenty of time to make it to the GG Bridge for his return. He’s going to gently potter down the coast and get prepared for his return to civilization so the official return date of October 19th is, Read More

September 28, 2019 Days at Sea: 294Days Since Departure: 363 Noon Position: 52 06N  152 38WCourse(t)/Speed(kts): SxE 6Wind(t/tws): S 20+Sea(t/ft): S5Sky/10ths Cover: Overcast, drizzle 10Bar(mb): 1023+On-deck Temp(f): 59Cabin Temp(f): 63Water Temp(f): 54Relative Humidity(%): 73 (wet inside)Magnetic Variation: 13.7 Sail: Main and working jib, two reefs, close reaching Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 125Miles since, Read More

September 3, 2019 Days at Sea: 275Days Since Departure: 339 Noon Position: 70 16N  125 53WCourse(t)/Speed(kts): WxN 5.5Wind(t/tws): E 15Sea(t/ft): SE 3Sky/10ths Cover: Clear 0  Bar(mb): 1015, steadyOn-deck Temp(f): 45Cabin Temp(f): 65Water Temp(f): 32 (ice is near)Relative Humidity(%): 35Magnetic Variation: 20.7 Sail: Under engine; full sail as well.   Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 132Miles since, Read More

August 22, 2019 Mo with Alioth in tow rounded the corner into Cambridge Bay at 11pm last night. Alioth came to anchor over a forty foot shelf in the bay’s West Arm, and Mo took a berth a few hundred feet further on. Another consort to Alioth, Mandragore, also took shelter nearby.  Shelter. Because, Read More

August 16, 2019 Days at Sea: 262Days Since Departure: 320 Noon Position: 74 20N  90 54W Course(t)/Speed(kts): WxS 6.5Wind(t/tws): –Sea(t/ft): –Sky/10ths Cover: Clear 0 Bar(mb): 1015, steadyOn-deck Temp(f): 57Cabin Temp(f): 68Water Temp(f): 35 (note water temp is steadily dropping.)Relative Humidity(%): 36Magnetic Variation: -25./3 Sail: Under power with double reefed main as steadying sail  Noon-to-Noon Miles Made, Read More

Aug 11, 2019From Tay BayBylot Island73 29 6N  80 45 5W Departed Hatt Trick Harbor at 9am after a few more surveys of depths in the arms. I wanted to explore the mountains, the back country, to sit on the bluff and watch the snowy peaks on Bylot change colors as the sun circled., Read More

Yesterday, north wind with rain. Then north wind with fog. Then just north wind. As our goal is north, Mo and I sat out the day here at the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club twiddling our thumbs. Mo is ready, dressed for departure, impatient, as am I. Today, a clear sky at dawn, directly overhead, Read More

One last repost as Mo and I ready to depart Newfoundland tomorrow, this a summary of the clothing strategy I employed for the Arctic in 2014. Having completed that passage and a few other cold ones besides, I’d say that the clothing inventory was suitable for the environment of interest, with some amplifications. Layers,, Read More

Halifax was unable to solve all my problems. I found there neither a spare alternator nor a spare starter motor, and the engine fuel line hose I wanted could not be got locally nor, in a timely manner, from the manufacturer. The first two issues have since been sorted, but what to do about, Read More

Things continue busy for Mo and Randall at the Royal Cruising Club of Newfoundland near St. John’s, and the only way to keep up is to hand you, dear reader, another repost. This one, also from the 2014 Northwest Passage attempt, chronicles my first days in hard-won Nuuk, Greenland. Nuuk is Mo’s target once, Read More

As Mo and I make our slow approach to the Arctic, I am reminded of my first experience of the Northwest Passage. This was in the summer of 2014, and even then planning for the Figure 8 Voyage was well underway. Though such an endeavor as the Figure 8 presented difficulties at every turn,, Read More

The anchor comes up clean at 6am and we are on the move again. In the bay, wind has gone into the southwest overnight. It has warmed and become fragrant with the exhalations of evergreens. Terns are already on the wing in search of breakfast, but above them, the village surrounding Admiral’s Cove remains, Read More