Charmed by Japan

Charmed by Japan

Like many cruisers hailing from ports on the west coast of North America, we’ve always had Japan on our minds as a natural leg of a Pacific voyage. We weren’t sure about an extended cruise, however. We had the impression that sailing in Japan was daunting — plagued by typhoons, currents, fog, fishing gear, forbidden ports, and impossible regulations. We had understood it was perhaps better visited by air and land than explored by sailboat. The beauty of the culture and country aside, Japan is an undeniably convenient stepping-stone for completing a North Pacific loop. Because of prevailing winds and…
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A little too early

A little too early

Our Icelandic Temporary Import Permit for the boat was set to expire, which meant either paying stiff import fees for the boat or departing Iceland. As my oldest son was graduating high school and the Alaska charter season was nearly upon us, I had only three weeks to prepare, splash and sail our 50-foot yawl, Empiricus, to Ireland. May was early, but that was our window. I hoped the winter storms were over. Ordinarily, my wife and sailing partner Samantha would have made the passage with me, but she was back home, running our business in Alaska. She would instead…
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Boat security

Lesson 1. Spend the time backing up to the cloud all digital information of value. (Or whichever safe location one chooses.) Especially passwords. In a foreign country with limited internet it is a tall order re-establishing passwords and authorization, especially when your devices have been lost. Lesson 2. Work on your security. Every time you leave the boat, raise the dinghy and outboard, lock everything away, hide valuables below and leave outside lights on even though energy is a precious commodity. It is an absolute pain but it has to be done. Have some good hiding places for surplus cash…
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Voyaging Skills – Canal dogs,  trimarans and the tropics

Voyaging Skills – Canal dogs, trimarans and the tropics

  For Luc and Jackie Callebaut, voyaging on their trimaran Sloepmouche with their Schipperke dogs is a way of life. After working as a school teacher and scuba dive instructor in Belgium in the 1970s and early 80s, Luc Callebaut left for a new life when he joined Club Med as a Gentil Organisateur (GO) in 1984 in Guadeloupe. It was there he met Jackie, formerly a US Forest Service ranger, who was also enjoying a new life as a scuba instructor for Club Med. After eight years working as sport managers around the world, they decided that sailing around…
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