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a day in the life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66HCPO8n0k8&feature=youtu.be Yeah, we don't speak French either (they really should have subtitles) , but we like the life onboard perspective....

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detained and fined

By Kevin Gregory S/V Blue Skies December 1, 2020 A life-long sailor, I have resided in the US Virgin Islands for the past 10 years. This entire time, my wife and I have enjoyed the rights of innocent passage (granted by UNCLOS) while sailing our boat, Blue Skies, on either side of the US and British Virgin Islands’ borders.  On November 16, 2020, my crew and I arrived in St Thomas, VI from our summer port of Portsmouth RI. Once in St Thomas, I researched “Notice to Mariners” on both the USVI and BVI websites. Nothing related to operation of private pleasure craft was published on either site. While I was aware the BVI had closed its territory to visitors, I felt confident that innocent passage remained as it had.  On November 18, we departed St. Thomas sailing for Francis Bay, St. John. We took a long tack north into BVI waters. With no intention of “arriving” anywhere in the BVI (i.e., no mooring, anchoring, docking or landing) I felt certain our innocent passage was just that. We were flying the American flag and our AIS was broadcasting our position. It was obvious we were not aware of any change to the right of innocent passage. At a point about 1 mile south of White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, a BVI police boat approached and ordered us to “stop the boat”. We furled the sails and drifted on the calm sea as the police began their interrogation. After confirming we had departed St Thomas USVI, were bound for St. John USVI, and knew we were in BVI waters but with no intention of “arriving” at any point in BVI, the police placed a telephone call. Per the police, that person on the other end of that call (Commissioner of Customs...

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keel well

Strategic and well hidden place from IMOCAs , the keel well is located between the mast, the keel and the foils. In the history of the Vendée Globe , many setbacks, incidents and even abandonments are caused by this area of ​​the boat that has hardly been explained. We asked David de Prémorel of the architectural firm Finot-Conq about this. These architects designed 18 IMOCAs , 4 of which won the Grail! In this 2020 edition, the team follows 3 of its babies: La Fabrique , Time for Oceans and Groupe Apicil . Connoisseurs of the tilting keel . Nothing better to answer my questions about this famous keel pit! Read on....

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sometimes too much is too much

Fresh North West winds over 20-knots, with gusts up to 40-knots prior to race time, cast doubt over the Australian 18 Footers League being able to stage Race 2 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today, and finally the race was abandoned when the wind conditions finally became too strong for even the most experienced teams. More....

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wind up

Karver have just released details of a major redesign of their entire KF continuous line furler range. Almost 20 years of end user feedback and manufacturing experience have been brought together in this extensive upgrade. We are busy working to get the new range online but in the meantime, here is a summary of the key features of the 2021 Karver V3 KF Furlers. The new range is split into four distinct categories with their own defining features: Standard (KF) - the default range, Racing (KFR) - specifically orientated to optimum performance, Classic (KFC) - for an increasing number of classic yacht enthusiasts looking to blend traditional style with modern technology, and Structural (KFX) - continuous line furlers which have some specialist requirements for structural furling forestays. Read on....

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how it went down

“I told myself I would stay on standby and wait for daylight. Then I thought that in the dark it might be easier to see his light. One moment when I was on deck I saw a flash, but in fact it was a reflection that glinted off a wave. But the more I got closer to the light I saw it more and more. It is amazing because you switch from despair to an unreal moment in an instant.” “I put myself to windward of him, I saw Kevin. Kevin asked me ‘will you be back?’ I said, ‘No we are doing this now!’ Then at one point the boat was falling backwards  too fast in reverse and he was just there, two metres off the stern, and thank goodness I had prepared the red life ring that is usually in the cockpit. I throw it to him, and he catches it.I threw him the life ring. And he caught it and then he managed to pull himself in to catch the transmission bar (rudder link arm). And that was it.” From the Vendee website - Jean le Cam - the “old man” of the fleet on rescuing Kevin Escoffier (PRB)...

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free bird

“If there’s one sure way of driving a man to sea again, it is to shut him up in a London office after a lifetime afloat. Their Lordships, in their wisdom, had ordained that the last few years of my twenty-seven-year service in the Royal Navy should be spent at a desk, so when towards the end of 1952 I was faced with the prospect of retirement in the following summer my spirits revolted. Like a caged bird that remembers better days I began to yearn for fresh air and freedom. I was tired of the routine of an automaton, in which I hoisted myself out of bed, dressed, went down to breakfast, got up from breakfast, and left the house to catch the bus every morning – and what for? Harassed by the constant ringing of the telephone and the never-ending din of the traffic outside, and finally frustrated by some committee or other. At the end of the year I dropped casually into a yacht broker’s in West London. ‘I want a yacht to sail around the world in.’” Commander Victor Clark – On the Wind of a Dream (1960) (The boat Clark bought and sailed on his attempted circumnavigation was Solace, a 34’ ketch built in the UK in 1929. It was wrecked on the Solomon Islands in 1954 but limped home after a repair by the locals. Clark, an old-school British officer who fought in the doomed defense of Singapore, died aged 97.)  ...

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saved

Vendee Globe Breaking: At 0118hrs UTC the PRB Team was informed that their Vendée Globe race skipper Kevin Escoffier (PRB) has been rescued by fellow Vendée Globe competitor Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!). Escoffier had to abandon his IMOCA 60 PRB following damage yesterday afternoon around 1346hrs UTC and took to his liferaft some 840 nautical miles SW of Cape Town. The rescue mission was coordinated from Les Sables d’Olonne by Vendée Globe Race Direction in collaboration with CROSS Griz Nez and MRCC South Africa. The President of PRB, Jean-Jacques Laurent was at the Race HQ with race director Jacques Caraës and the race direction team assisting through the entire process. "He's on board with Jean!" These short words came as a huge relief for the whole team, for Escoffier’s family and all those involved in and following the Vendée Globe Kevin has so far only been seen aboard YesWeCam via live video as Jean Le Cam had his video system connected during all the search operations. No one has yet been able to talk with the PRB skipper who just appeared smiling, bundled up in his survival suit alongside Jean Le Cam. Vendée Globe race director Jacques Caraës outlined, “We sent Jean back to a position received by the CROSS Gris Nez, the position sent by the onboard EPIRB distress beacon. Météo France's drift simulation also delivered a trace. Jean set off at 00h15 UT (1h15 French time) on our request to reach this point at reduced speed. He found no one at the given location. He then resumed its journey southeast for three quarters for between 45 minutes and an hour - an hour. As he was making headway at 1.5 knots in a 20-25 knot wind under very reduced sail (3 reefs in the mainsail and...

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getting serious

Rescue of Kevin Escoffier, situation update 2200hrs UTC NEWS UPDATE Race Direction of the Vendée Globe have requested the assistance of three competing skippers, Germany’s Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco), Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV) and Sébastien Simon (ARKEA PAPREC) to help Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) in the mission to retrieve solo skipper Kevin Escoffier from his life raft after the 40 year old from Saint Malo had to abandon his IMOCA 60 PRB this afternoon after activating his distress beacon. Escoffier was racing in third place in the solo non stop around the world race, at some 840 nautical miles SW of Cape Town, when his PRB got into difficulties and he was forced to take to his liferaft. He alerted his technical team at 1346hrs UTC this afternoon, telling them he had significant amounts of water coming into the boat and triggered his distress beacon. PRB was positioned at 40deg55S 9deg16E at the time the distress beacon was activated. Race Direction of the Vendée Globe alerted MRCC Cape Town and CROSS Griz Nez who have been collaborating in a rescue operation. The skipper closest to Escoffier’s position, Jean Le Cam, who is competing on his fifth Vendée Globe, immediately responded to the request to divert to Escoffier’s position. Guided by Race Direction Le Cam arrived on zone around 1615hrs UTC and quickly established visual and voice contact with Escoffier who was in his liferaft but he was unable to retrieve him in the big, 5m, seas and 20-25 knot winds. The positioning of Kevin Escoffier's personal beacon (AIS MOB Man Over Board) emits HF radiowaves and will only be detected in the local zone. As he was manoeuvring to prepare to get closer to the liferaft Le Cam lost sight of the liferaft and could...

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