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500 miles to Barbados

By January 31st, we’d covered another 1,500 miles on our 3,650-mile journey from St. Helena to Barbados and had been at sea for three weeks. A lot happened in this portion of the trip. We crossed the equator and returned to the northern hemisphere after nearly three years away, and passed the halfway mark on…

Changing the Hydraulic Actuator

Stabilizers are used on ocean-going vessels to remove the discomfort of ocean swell. Generically they come in two broad forms, passive and active. Passive stabilizers are the metal fins that you might have seen hanging from outriggers on fishing trawlers. And, if you saw the movie The Perfect Storm, that was a passive stabilizer that…

Oil Change at Sea

Earlier this week, we brought the boat up on the wing engine and shut down the main engine to change the oil. Normally we’d never do this, even though the chance of a problem is small, because in the unlikely event that a problem does occur, it would be a very big problem. (See To…

3,650 to Barbados

We departed from St. Helena on our longest non-stop run so far: a one-month, 3,650 nautical mile passage to Barbados. We were always planning to stop at St. Helena, as we’d need to refuel enroute to most destinations after South Africa. From St. Helena, we’d gone through several iterations of trip planning before deciding on…

St. Helena Island Tour

On our last day in St. Helena we cleared out in the morning for a weekend departure and spent the rest of the day on a custom island tour with Derek Richards of No Limits Travel and Tours. We generally don’t like the constraints of a guided tour and initially were planning to hire a…

St. Helena Museum and Munden’s Point

On our fourth day at St. Helena, we learned more about the island’s history, geology and ecology at the excellent St. Helena museum, and visited St. James Church, the oldest Anglican church in the Southern Hemisphere. We also walked a track around Munden’s Point to Rupert’s Bay to see the new wharf and port facilities…

To Change or Not to Change? That is the Question.

Oil changes at sea get pretty close to a universal response from boaters I know. Everyone says loudly “DON’T DO IT.”  The risk of something going wrong when hundreds, if not a thousand miles, from shore is simply too high. And, with oil change intervals ranging between 250 and 375 hours, there typically is no…

In and around Jamestown

On our first three days in St. Helena, we handled the country arrival overhead, spent some time exploring in and around the main center of Jamestown, and made a trip to the St. Helena Distillery for a tour and tasting. The island most famous as Napolean’s place of exile has a rich and varied history…

Managing Fuel Economy

We currently are underway on a 3,650nm non-stop run from St. Helena to Barbados. Prior to this passage, our longest non-stop run without fueling was 3,023nm from Dampier, Australia to Rodrigues, Mauritius. The current 3,650nm passage is at the very limit of Dirona’s range and we are, naturally, monitoring fuel economy closely to ensure we…

Crossing the Columbia River Bar

We left Seattle on Thursday evening and crossed the Columbia River Bar Saturday morning.
Conditions were rough, as they always seem to be, in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but
otherwise we&#0…