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  1. peter says:

    Hello, james:
    I’ve been following your blog for a long time and I love it.
    Thank you very much for your continued sharing about the data center.
    For the frequent power and cooling failures of Google and Azure in the past two years, AWS has not happened for a long time. What is the secret or improvement?

    • The sad reality of really focusing on operational excellence is that outages are always noticed but avoiding them seldom is. Thanks for the feedback.

      Our approach is to go with simple approaches to design redundancy and then years of honing operational practices where every event where systems or the team performed short of perfect gets analyzed deeply. It’s amazing what can be learned from even very minor operational or system glitches.

      • peter says:

        Dear James,
        Thank you so much for continuing to share such important content.
        As you say, “Outages are always noticed but avoiding them seldom is.”
        Power and cooling failures in data centers have been the source of Scale failures.
        Reducing or even eliminating these Scale failures through design redundancy of infrastructure or design redundancy of services is certainly good news for the data center.
        I sincerely hope that an innovative architecture can be found to support this goal.

  2. John says:

    In you picture of Langley Harbor – what classic old cruiser is it passing south to north in the upper right?

    • Good to hear from you John. Unfortunately don’t have a good enough resolution photo to determine the name of that vessel. We had a great weekend in Langley–it’s been ages since we visited and staying on shore rather than anchored off as we used to gave us a different perspective.

      — Jennifer

  3. Gary Cummings says:

    Thanks for continuing to take us on your journeys. Thought of you today when N92 Warbird pulled into our anchorage at Cambridge Cay, Exuma, Bahamas. Do you still have plans to do the loop someday?

  4. Raffaele says:

    Dear James,

    I’ve noticed that no matter where you go, you always have your trusty Sonos Roam with you. I remember you wrote a thorough review about it a while back. You mention that it can also function as an Echo/Alexa speaker, even without the physical Echo device. I assume it works as a Bluetooth speaker for your Alexa phone app but I’m a bit confused because you mentioned not using the Bluetooth feature. Does that mean it connects directly to the Alexa service on the internet itself?

    By the way, do you have a Spotify playlist? What kind of music do you usually listen to while traveling, just background tunes, or do you have specific songs or artists you prefer?

    Ciao !

    • Raffaele,

      The Sonos Roam supports the Alexa service and can operate just like an Echo device. For music, we listen to the same thing at home or away, mostly modern rock. Some of the bands we like now are The Fumes, The Brew and Henry’s Funeral Shoe. We’re listening to The Fumes right now over the Sonos Roam while in Belgrade, Serbia on a Danube River cruise.

      Jennifer

  5. Jake D says:

    Hi James and Jennifer,

    Long time follower, and love your blog. Thank you so much for continuing to share such interesting and consistent content!

    I think the boat you posted in your recent Puget Sound crossing is actually a Wellcraft 355, not an Axopar. They look very similar although the Wellcraft is a bit beamier and slightly higher freeboard.

    See here: https://www.wellcraft.com/us/boat/wellcraft-355

    Cheers, and thanks again for providing such an interesting blog of your adventures!

  6. Raffaele Santopaolo says:

    In reference to the Aldebrook resort.

    Say hello to Bill !

    You might be next to where Bill Gates famously spent his notable “think weeks” and I believe I spotted this spot featured of the Netflix documentary “Inside Bill’s Brain” at S1:E2 min 02:45. You should take a look ! (By the way, fantastic documentary!)

    • Alderbrook has had many big visits and special visitors over the years and it’s perfectly believable that Bill Gates would have done a Think Week or two there. They definitely have a relaxing environment ideal for detailed thought.

  7. Karin Hoole says:

    Hi, I was hoping you could cast some light on traveling with a pet:)
    My family and our dog will sail to French Polynesia on a very similar route to yours on a pleasure boat leaving our homeport San Francisco mid July.
    1. We will depart from California – Hawaii with all the necessary International health certificates.
    2. Sail via Kiribati: I battle to get information regarding what is required to disembark and where we could do so; I read that you did it but have failed to make contact with anyone.
    3. I believe I must complete the 211 A form to enter the French Polynesia 4. Our first port of arrival will be The Marquesas Islands; if we were to first go to Tahiti, which seems to be required for the vet check, we would miss the Marquesas and be out at sea much, much longer:(
    5. Do you know of any way around this? Any DBS on the Marquesas Islands or veterinarians that can stamp our dog’s health certificate? I appreciate your taking the time to assist me in these matters and make our family visit successful. Yours Sincerely, Karin Hoole

    • Karin,

      You’ve got a fabulous adventure ahead of you!

      Cats are a little easier than dogs as they don’t need to go ashore, so can be confined on board and thus not formally imported. We didn’t import our cat into Kiribati or French Polynesia.

      For information on Kiribati, I started with the Kiribati Tourism Office: https://www.kiribatitourism.gov.ki/.

      For French Polynesia, we used Kevin Ellis of Yacht Services Nuku Hiva and recommend him for clearing through. He should be able to provide more information on the current formalities for pets: https://www.yachtservicesnukuhiva.com

      Noonsite.com also might have some helpful information on both these topics.

      Have a safe and wonderful trip!
      Jennifer

  8. Cliff Augot says:

    Hello James & Jennifer;
    I was doing a bit of family history research, which included a quick google search for one of the location of a resettled community on the south coast of Newfoundland, namely “Sam Hitches” when I stumbled across part of your log showing your voyage to this area of the world.
    It is certainly a rugged coast and your pictures and comments captured it very nicely. I was intrigued and so I followed your trail along the coast which included your stop in Hr. Breton where you landed not more than a 50 meters from my home in the inner harbour. I also followed your trek across the ocean and dropped in to visit a few of the other locations that you have visited.
    This contact is only intended to comment on my sense of envy/joy/awe about your journeys and I want to wish both of you safe travels for the future. I have added your site on my bookmark list & look forward to taking another trip with you.
    Cliff

  9. Stuart Martin says:

    Hello James and Jennifer

    This is Stuart from N6052, currently located at Fairlie Quay in Scotland hauled out .

    First of all, when I looked at your site for the first time in moths, I was so sorry to hear about the loss of your lovely Spitfire. Liz and I also lost our 14 year old Golden Retriever Sadie just after we flew the dogs back to Canada in October. We can all take some solace in the fact that Spitfire and Sadie BOTH lived very long happy lives BUT losing them is still so heartbreaking. We have added a new puppy to the clan as we and our older male Golden were all feeling like there was a large hole in our lives and our daughter agreed to take on the puppy should she outlive us.

    Otherwise, we hope that you are enjoying life ashore and wonder if you have any plans for another boat in the future.

    I wanted to ask for some advice on managing our double stacked Fernstrum keel cooler as I am planning to paint mine as you did yours.

    Sitting in the water, primarily at Kip Marina, for the past two years, the cooler had acquired a lot of hard white worm casts and mussels on the tubes as well as worms and barnacles on the box ends. Pressure washing and a hard plastic Lee Valley scraper have removed the bulk of the growth but the cooler is not yet suitable for painting. Dropping it for cleaning or salt blasting in situ seem to be the current options. Our coolant system is due for a flushing and coolant change in either case .

    We are having our hull blasted with a material that is harder than soda and more like a salt according to Marineblast. We are doing this as the antifouling placed in Spain or the Bahamas by the former owner was likely incompatible with a red Pettit undercoat according to Steve D, who surveyed the boat for us. Delamination of the antifouling was evident but minor at survey in 2019 and although it has progressed somewhat since then, growth on the antifouling was remarkably minor.

    I was thinking that I need to drop the cooler to allow full cleaning and painting of the cooler and to allow blasting and painting of the hull behind the cooler. Spraying paint is not allowed in Scottish marinas as you likely know from your time in Stornoway.

    Did you routinely drop the keel cooler for cleaning and painting? I noticed that in one photo from Stornoway that the painters were cleaning the cooler in situ. How did they do that? Another photo from your stay at Saxon Wharf shows an extremely clean keel cooler and it would help to know how that was accomplished.

    Although I was thinking of gently salt blasting the cooler, wedo have the option of taking it to Serck, which is a commercial facility in Glasgow, for chemical cleaning. Our mechanic also works at the defunct Hunterston nuclear power facility and has a lot of experience of sending larger cooler grids to Serck for cleaning

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    All the best

    Stuart

    • Thanks kind words on Spitfire and, yes, there are days when we would love to be back boating. But, in my current work role, it’s really not efficient to be away for weeks at a time so boating doesn’t really fit very well right now. The good news is I’m having fun with work and we’re still managing to squeeze in enough travel to be enjoying ourselves. But, we fully expect to return to boating — it’s hard to match the personal freedom that comes with exploring by boat.

      For keel cooler maintenance, it’s a lot of work to get the cooler down. Doing so forces you to remove the engine coolant, take off both cooler hoses (heavy difficult to remove hoses), and the remove the four fasteners holding the cooler in place. It’s fairly heavy and, each time it goes back on, care needs to be taken to avoid coolant or seawater leaks. Done properly it’s rarely a problem but we generally never drop the cooler unless it needs to be replaced or serviced.

      We clean the cooler with a metal scraper followed by rotary drill powered wire brush and/or sandpaper. If you paint the cooler, cleaning it is far easier. The only downside is nearly everyone that sees it will warn you that “keel coolers should not be painted” and “paint will prevent proper cooling.” Both are technically true but the negative impact of paint isn’t huge and, at least in our limited tests, a painted cooler is more effective than an cooler covered in growth. We would do it again.

      We have never sand blasted a keel cooler but abrasives are fine as long as they aren’t too aggressive.

  10. Brandon says:

    Are you friendly with Nathan Myhrvold? I would love to be a fly on the wall if you two were having lunch.

  11. Al King says:

    Waiting for your cold hard facts on Antarctica…. Between your cruise there and your land trip do you feel like you’ve seen all you’d like to have seen there or were there places there you’d didn’t see but would like to on a return trip.

    • No, we are nowhere close to “all done” with Antarctica Al. We have done two very different trips but we’ll be back at least one more time. For example, we want to do the loop from Argentina to the Falkland’s and South Georgia Islands, down to Antarctica, and then back to Argentina. The life on the Islands is incredible in all descriptions we have seen. We’re also super interested in a cruise that several operators run from Argentina, to antarctica, and then to New Zealand or Australia.

      My quick summary: we love Antarctica but have lots more yet to see.

  12. WEI LIU says:

    Dear sir, we learned from OCP Summit 2023 that the AWS GH200 cabinet is configured with six PSUs instead of BBUs. Is this because the power of the server is too high and the BBU is too large and cannot be installed in the cabinet? Are the ups power supply and batteries of the cabinet placed in the power distribution room? This is a change from the original lithium battery design concept in the cabinet?
    If batteries are placed outside the cabinet, how to cope with the current overload fluctuation of the AI chip depends on the configuration of more PSUs?

  13. Raffaele says:

    Dear Jennifer and James
    Buon Anno !

  14. Reed koch says:

    Hi James. I noticed it looks like you use Maretron n2kview to monitor your John Deere engine. Does that work well? Is there a different product you would recommend? Do you use it in addition to the standard John Deere gauges? Anything i should know? Im in the midst of repowering to John Deere and want to go with a glass bridge rather than the standard John Deere gauges.

    • We do use Maretron for everything and it is the primary display for the engines. We also have the Deere display as a backup but we never used it in over 12,000 hours relying exclusively on N2kview. The Deere is connected to NMEA2000 using the Maretron j2k100 interface. It requires no configuration or tuning and is strictly plug and play. Less than 30 min to install.

  15. James4 says:

    Merry Christmas James and Jennifer

  16. Renato says:

    Hello James,

    It’s always great to message you. He’s an incredible person. In your answers you write in detail, with time and attention. I don’t even know how I would have these minutes from someone as busy as you. Thank you and congratulations.

    I’m in Brazil, in São Paulo. At that moment without a boat, I sold it to buy ASIC machines, a temporary phase without a boat, waiting to start assembly from scratch. With my needs. Maybe use the Bruce Roberts TY785 project. I want to do the poles, Europe and also spend weekends nearby on islands, day use. So it needs to be a boat that does well in almost everything.

    I’m very excited about the arrival of Kuiper, technology is what motivates me. I made a really big change in my life and now I’m working with cryptocurrencies mining, a data center, I believe I’ll get the time I need to travel, exploring. If you can, recommend me to Kuiper for tests in South America if needed.

    Best Regards.

    • We too are temporarily without a boat and using that time to visit places we couldn’t get to with our boat. So far we’re enjoying it but will almost certainly return to boating.

      • Al King says:

        Once you return to boating what are the top 3 places you would like to go back to and what are the top 3 places you’d like to see and explore.

        • Great question Al. In thinking through the top three places where we would like to return and further experience, Norway, New Zealand, and Alaska topped our list. Looking at the top three places where haven’t yet been by boat: Greenland, Patagonia, and South East Asia would be right up there.

  17. Al King says:

    You mention getting bug resistant clothes. How is the bug situation there on the ground?

    • There were bugs in the area and we do advise bug protection but, overall, it wasn’t bad. Dawn and dusk is when you’ll see the most bugs but, even during heavy times, it wasn’t bad at all. The biggest reason to protect against bugs are Mosquito born diseases like Yellow Fever. We were vaccinated but avoiding bug bites is the best protection.

      We were in the Peruvian Amazon at the end of the dry season. During the wet season, the bug problem is far heavier but we would protect against it during all times of the year in the Amazon area.

  18. Raffaele says:

    Very fascinating trip !

    Out of curiosity I landed on Street View in Nauta (yes, there is !) and the scenery brings to mind the landscapes of a West African country. Interestingly, your journey seems like a lighter version of the renowned Congo River expedition undertaken by Telegraph journalist Tim Butcher, as detailed in his compelling book “Blood River” (which I highly recommend to you!). I genuinely hope your adventure is smoother and more tourist-friendly.

    Safe travels!
    Ciao

    • Thanks for the “Blood River” book recommendation Raffaele. So far, our adventure has been a good one. We’ve seen freshwater Dolphins, Parakeets, an Anaconda, Sloths, Tarantula, and lots more. It’s been a fun adventure.

  19. Ryan Raber says:

    I’ve been working on a 52 auto pilot system with Little success. Do you think I might be able to ask you a few questions about your boat?

  20. Al King says:

    Now I’m curious. Who/what is Willmott’s ghost.

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