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General questions & comments
  1. David Andrews says:

    As a fan of the Americas Cup I think you will be interested in the AC 75 foiling monohull concept which has just been announced. It is shown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx2qG_YMrDs

    For some bizarre reason the Namib gecko, which lifts alternate feet off the hot sand to keep cool, came to mind when I saw the video. That said it looks as though the proposed design will present a great design and sailing challenge.

    • I was really disappointed to see the high speed foiling cats not being used going forward but some are already speculating that this new AC75 may be even faster. I’m still slightly skeptical on the speed point but it is definitely a wild looking boat. I read an article quoting Tom Slingsby as really liking the design. The real test of the design is how many competitive teams emerge. I really wish that America’s Cup was annually or perhaps every 2 years. 4 years between events is a long, long time.

  2. Paul Wood says:

    Hello again, glad to read that the gaiter worked out ok. My wife and I have quite an eclectic taste in music and have never really heard any of the BRMC’s music. It’s funny what a name of a band can conjure up in one’s mind, as we had it down as heavy metal headbangers music so never gave it a listen!
    That opinion has now changed, as Beat The Devil’s Tattoo, Spread Your Love, Little Thing Gone Wild (which is what our six-year-old grandson is currently bouncing around to as I type) sounds fantastic on our home HI-FI. A Spotify list has now been created!

    If you like Blues music check out the American musician Seasick Steve – he makes his own instruments, too!

    • Love it and it’s funny you should say that Paul but, for years, I thought the same about Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and more or less ignored them. I knew of the band but hadn’t listened to any of their music. It was Jennifer that eventually gave them a serious listen and they have become favorites of ours as well.

      Thanks for the pointer to Seasick Steve. Will give him a listen.

  3. Rod Sumner says:

    James:

    Thanks for the acknowlegdement re gaitor for power cord!
    Any progress on the lifeline??:)

    • I’ve got a blog entry ready to go with an update on all the changes that we put in places as a result of “Alarms at 1:15am”. We’ve made a lot of changes and I like the results but we’ve not done anything on coming up with some sort of Jackline system. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Jeff & Cynthia Case says:

    Thank you both for letting us tag along on your wonderful adventures on beautiful Dirona. We have enjoyed every article and picture. Although the adventures we have in our 1974 Tollycraft Makara are a bit more modest and limited to the greater Puget Sound area, I think all who choose to cast off lines and watch the world unfold with a gentle or sometimes not so gentle swell underfoot, share many of the same life changing moments one can only experience on the water. Wishing you safe passages and look forward to sharing future adventures with you and Dirona.

    • We agree. Boats are both a constant pleasure and a constant education. Thanks for the note.

      • Gary says:

        I lik to think you calmly repair things on board, under way with the calm of the film “Jaws” Captain Quint (Robert Shaw), “we need a bigger boat”, upon actually seeing the shark finally. Your handy work, getting that pump in is impressive but Yoda rules apply in boats, “there is no try, only do”. Safe travels to you all!

  5. David Andrews says:

    Re locks check out Caen Hill Locks. I think you will be impressed. They are inland and not navigable by Dirona!

  6. steve says:

    HI james and jennifer i see your in Belfast now and i was wondering if you had any plans to nip across the North channel to the Isle of man ?
    I’ve been following you since you were in New Zealand and am amazed what the pair of you have done and your Nordhaven must of been through .
    i live in Douglas which is to capital of the island we do have a 24 hour stay afloat Harbour if your coming
    and if you are and need any help or advise about douglas you can e mail back and will be happy to help.
    yours sincerely Steve

    • We are thinking through ways to visit the Isle of Man. We plan to visit Liverpool immediately after Belfast so won’t have time on the way by. But will have some time in Liverpool so might just take the ferry over for a day. Another approach will be to stop off the at the Isle of Man before heading to Dublin. We’ll be in Dublin for a while so we might take a ferry from there to visit the Isle of Man. Still working on options but I think there is a good chance we’ll do the trip. Thanks for the offer of advice.

  7. April Hannon says:

    Hi James, thank you for your videos and site. Can you tell me how effective your kvh7 satellite is for Internet? I am going to be working from our boat and curious to other’s experiences. Best, April

    • Our KVH V7-ip (http://www.kvh.com/Commercial-and-OEM/Maritime-Systems/Communications/mini-VSAT-Broadband/TracPhone-V7IP-with-ICM.aspx) has been instrumental in making this trip possible. Without reasonably priced, high-bandwidth communications, there is no way I could work and the trip would have to be deferred until after retirement. We love the equipment and the world-wide service plans. We originally used the fixed price plans available many years ago. We reluctantly moved to one of the Open Plans (http://www.kvh.com/Satellite-and-Content-Services/Satellite-Communications-Service/mini-VSAT-Broadband-Airtime-Plans/Open-Plans-Standard.aspx) and eventually concluded the Open Plans were better. The fixed plans had difficult to throttling that was functional but a bit difficult to work with whereas the open plans are always high performing. We currently use the OP5k which includes 5G per month bu these plans are available in 2G, 5G, 10G all the way up to 150G per month. We might be better off with our consumption rates when we are in remote locations with the OP10k plan but the overage costs for both are reasonable so we don’t bother changing back and forth.

      The only negative is the polar regions are not covered and there are some large uncovered areas where commercial shipping traffic is sparse: South Atlantic (Central and North Atlantic is fine), South Indian Ocean, and the Southern Pacific region. It’s been a couple of years since we were in one of these “blind spots” — these aren’t common. The next one we expect to find is next summer in Norway where some of the Fjords will likely not have connectivity due to the lower elevation angles to geosynchronous satellites and the heights of the nearby mountain ranges.

      Overall, it’s a great system. It’s not inexpensive but, for those still working and needing constant connection and good bandwidth, it’s an excellent option. In fact, we have become so dependent on the system that, if I was to retire today, we would stay with the same plan. We really like 24×7 connectivity and it makes the trip more enjoyable for us both.

      • There is more information on our satellite connectivity at: http://mvdirona.com/2015/08/communications-at-sea/. It dates back to 2015 and so we should probably update the article but it still does a pretty good job of covering the options that we investigated. Aboard Dirona, we use WiFi when it is available, the terrestrial cellular radio, and use a KVH V7-ip as our primary satellite system. As backup satellite systems we use Inmarsat BGAN and Iridium but these latter two are only used when outside of the KVH Mini-VSAT satellite footprint or during a system outage. It’s been 2 years since we have used either but we test them annually.

  8. Paul Wood says:

    I’ve never sailed on a river or canal so I’ve never experienced the Bank Effect. I have heard about your experience of the water appearing to be lower and flowing faster past the boat. In the instance I heard about the boat ran aground, almost as if the boat was sucked down and had to be towed off. Probably down to hydrodynamics, like boat shape or a combination of different variables of speed and displacement?

    • Yes, hydrodynamics. The water is being displaced by the hull passing through it and it has to pass by the boat. With the bank near, the water being displaced by the bow and trying to go between the hull and the shore will push the bow away from that near shore. At the stern, the water rushing past the hull needs to fill the space left behind by the boat passing through the water. Because the hull is near to the shore there is resistance to the water freely flowing back into the void left by the hull underway. This causes a low pressure area develops at the stern that pulls the stern towards the near shore.

  9. Dear James & Jen
    I hope you are both well. I have in attached my wind speed reference at the bottom of this message. The telematory from Dirona showed winds of 122.8kts. The record for the UK at sea level is 123kts. Watching you boat is more nerve racking that the latest Hollywood film.
    I have been up several times in the night to check on your position.
    I would love to cruise around Scotland but will need a bigger boat. My wife and I generally don’t go out if the wind is above force 3.

    Rgs
    Robert

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_weather_records

  10. Gary says:

    Last few days, post Ophelia, a relief it passed has been great reading….thought the “EE” acronym was “time to be an electronic engineer”, and the nice lunch break at the Castle Tavern for me would be followed by “Nap Time”, after seeing those lovely pints! Entrance to Inverness like is beautiful! Safe travels….!

  11. Greg says:

    10.202017
    Hi James
    Truly magnificent photography an historical treasure !

  12. Lukas says:

    Are you planning to see more of Europe? Like the Netherlands

    • Yes, absolutely. WE plan to go to Norway next year and on the way north will stop in Amsterdam for a while. Likely in the April time frame. Looking forward to it.

      • Rob Heath says:

        Hi James & Jennifer,
        If you are in the Amsterdam area around April, check out the Keurkenhof gardens – they are absolutely magnificent when the tulips are out. Also the bulb fields all around are a fantastic sight, and the smell of the Hyacinths is almost overwelmingly strong.
        Regards
        Rob

    • Great set of data and, of course, this is why recreational SCUBA diving is such a big industry in the Orkney Island area. There are a lot of ships (and other debris) on the bottom.

  13. Drew Hunter says:

    You should be glad all your anchor snagged was a chain and not a torpedo!
    http://gcaptain.com/tanker-pulls-up-unexploded-torpedo-with-anchor-off-england/

  14. Paul Wood says:

    If you enjoy maps like I do, then you may enjoy this interactive wind map of the world. Wind speeds are in real time, too!
    It’s 88km/h where I am at the moment.
    https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=10.13,58.23,196/loc=9.748,31.764

  15. Gonzalo says:

    Hi from Chile, nice videos…thanks

    Whats the crane brand you use to download the dinghy?

    Gracias

    Gonzalo
    Puerto Natales
    Chile

  16. Leif johansson says:

    Hi, you have heard About hurricane Ophelia? looks as it Will pass northen Scotland!

  17. Karen says:

    Plockton/Loch Duibh…before your time, but this was the setting for the great Hamish MacBeth series with Robbie Carlyle. We spent our time there scouting the shooting locations. Great to see it again!

  18. Vassilas Mihalis says:

    You are very nice couple..with a way to use your life who is perfecr!!!! Actually this is my dream but i’m still working here in Greece and i wait the day i stop. If you ever visit our waters let me know…I’ll be proud to meet you and yours best boat ever!
    Best wishes guys!

  19. Flocerfida Benincasa says:

    How do you guys create your map/track?

    • We display the maps using modified WordPress blogging software with custom software driving Google maps. We collect the data on Dirona as a side effect of a far broader central control system that captures all NMEA2000 data on Dirona and acquires data from some other non-NMEA2000 connected devices as well. This data is stored in a relational data base and is used to the drive alerts, alarms, email notification of problems, generator autostart, power load shedding, and a variety of other tasks. A tiny subset of that data is uploaded to our website on Amazon Web Services for display.

      The personal tracks that we create when off-boat walking, biking, Taxis, train or other forms of transit are created using a discontinued application called My Tracks. Google removed support for this app and no longer maintains it but they open sourced an earlier version of it. We took the earlier version and continue to use that app side loaded on whatever phone we happen to be carrying.

      • Eric Patterson says:

        Are all your posts and website driven by WordPress? Do you recommend a hosting service? Btw my wife and I are in process of building a N60. Taking delivery in early spring 2019. Thanks for the site and maybe we will cross paths

        • Yes, the web site and posts are all done through WordPress running on Amazon Web Services (aws.amazon.com). There is some custom code used for the maps section where Google maps is embedded in word press and the boat position and track is shown but the rest is just standard WordPress. Generally, we’re quite happy with WordPress. It’s a nice solution.

          We hope our paths do cross. If they do, drop by and say hi.

    • Paul Wood says:

      Hi Flocerfida,
      If you want to create trip tracks like James & Jennifer with GPS data logging. I use an app on my phone called Geotag Photos which is available on Android. It’s a user friendly solution which works very well for cameras that don’t have GPS technology built in. It records your trip as a GPX file which you can export and load into Google maps.

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