The 2018 Passage Calendar has officially been released! Isbjorn is heading NORTH in 2018. After wintering in Sweden & preparing Isbjorn for the Arctic, we'll set sail for Scotland, Norway and the far north. After exploring the Lofoten Islands in Norway, we'll stage in Tromso for the 500-mile passage to Svalbard, that mythical land of polar bears, walrus and icebergs. From there, it's 1,200 miles to Reykjavik, Iceland, then back across the Atlantic to Ireland. Don't miss this opportunity of a lifetime to join us and visit one of the last great wildernesses on Earth - before it's gone.
Mia and I are in Southampton to record a bunch of in-person podcast episodes. While we're at it, we stopped by the docks to check out the new Frers-designed Swan 54, and the ultra-badass Bestaever 45. Lots of photos within!
Andy & Mia's Swan 48 Isbjorn will be featured in the show on Dock H (alongside the concrete pier at the head of Ego Alley). Isbjorn will be fully outfitted for ocean sailing, including the safety equipment required for all rallies.
Drop by to get ideas, chat about upcoming ocean passages, offshore sailing, the podcast or just to say hi! The boat is listed in the show guide as '59 North, Ltd.'
Andy Schell from ARC Caribbean 1500 and leading magazine SAIL will join with a panel of experts to discuss the preparation required for ocean sailing, from selecting equipment to sailing with children, offshore communications to sail plans. There will be a special emphasis on the requirements for the Caribbean 1500. Signup at worldcruising.com/training.
Join Andy & friends in Annapolis for another weekend of sailing history and celestial navigation following the very successful workshop in February! While there is hardly an argument anymore for celestial as a backup to electronic navigation, it's part of sailing history, and as ocean sailors, we owe it to ourselves to at least have a general understanding of it, I say! Plus, it makes those long night watches that much more enjoyable when you know your place - physically and philosophically - in the universe.
$5,000 // 15 Days // 4 Crew. Join Mia & Andy and visit some of their favorite Caribbean islands that they got to know so well during their Broadreach days. This trip will be a combination of offshore passagemaking & exploration ashore, including several strenuous hikes on our favorite island of all, the rugged and rustic Dominica. There, we'll hire a local guide and attempt the 6-hour round-trip Boiling Lake Hike. But don't fret, a stop in posh St. Barth's on the way south will give you a chance to rub elbows with the rich & famous and eat a cheeseburger at Le Select, where Jimmy Buffet wrote the song! Read on for details...
$5,600 // 4 Crew Spaces // 14 Days. Isbjorn will leave Horta and make for Oban, in Scotland. This is a 1500 nautical mile passage, and arguably the most challenging of the crossing, with higher latitudes weather and cooler temperatures as we head north beyond 50º latitude.
$4,000 // 4 Crew // 10 Days. Join Isbjorn for the final leg of 2017 and explore into the Baltic!
“As soon as your crew feel that you are frightened or that you are out of your comfort zone, that’s where things go downhill quickly. My major concern was a wave hitting us on the beam. The seas were certainly more than ten meters, and if a wave hit us on the beam, it could definitely do damage or roll the boat.” -John Neal.
Brian Porter was on the build team for the record-breaking supermaxi ‘Comanche,’ and continues to work on owner’s Jim & Kristy Clark’s shore crew. He came on the podcast to talk about his boat-building beginnings, getting a dream job building Comanche, working alongside pro sailors Ken Red, Stan Honey & Jimmy Spithill, Comanche’s recent trans-Atlantic record, the America’s Cup and much more.
Today I can finally announce one of them. The episode that follows is the audio version of this week’s ‘On the Wind,’ which in its original form is actually a film, directed by Thierry Humeau and shot in Pam Wall’s backyard in Ft. Lauderdale back in April. This is the first of what will become a sort of special addition to the podcast when Thierry and I have time to film & produce it.
Click the blue drop-down menu at the top of the map to choose the expedition you'd like to see positions for. Past expeditions are also saved here.
We've officially been headed enough now that the Chesapeake Bay is out of the question. In Lunenburg, we plotted two routes on the chart, for each scenario, and had always kept the Delaware option in our back pocket. I had a hunch that south was key in this leg, so we kept going that way and I'm glad we did.
0900 Wednesday August 10. We're sailing again, close-reaching on the port tack now, careful to stay south of our rhumb line in anticipation of a SW'ly shift as we approach the Chesapeake. It's beautifully warm outside now. The sun is strong enough to require the bimini again, but it's not the humid, stifling heat of the Bay. Yet. We're far offshore, 155 miles SSE of Nantucket and 275 miles E of Cape May, 10,000 feet of ocean under our keel.
Hey all, friend of the crew Rory Finneren writing. I was pleasantly surprised when Andy contacted me yesterday via his YellowBrick from offshore. He asked if I could post blogs during this passage since Liz, who would normally do so, is currently onboard. Recently having returned home to Taiwan after my own 5500 nm offshore voyage from Tahiti to Alaska, I'm happy to help. Here is the latest from Andy & the crew of Isbjorn, homeward bound to Annapolis from the cool fog of Nova Scotia.
Andy grew up sailing his mom & dad's boat's, all called 'Sojourner', on the Chesapeake Bay (literally from the time he was in diapers). During his 4th-grade, they sailed south as a family - Andy, younger sister Kaitie, Gail & Dennis and two cats, Ketchie and Salty - and spent the winter cruising the Bahamas.
He met Mia on a backpacking trip in New Zealand in 2006, and the two have been seeking adventures together ever since. They've logged almost 50,000 bluewater miles and have crossed the Atlantic a combined five times (3 for Mia, 2 for Andy). Andy & Mia are based in Sweden when they're off the boat & love endurance sports!
Mia grew up 'ute på landet' - that's 'out in the countryside' - in rural Sweden, about 90 minutes drive inland from Stockholm & far from the sea. She was a strong swimmer in high school and competed on a national level in Sweden.
Mia took off for New Zealand with her best friend Johanna (who thought Andy's name was 'Eddie' for three days when the first met). She didn't start sailing - was never even on a sailboat - until a 4-day charter in the Marlboro Sounds in NZ on a 28-foot boat with Andy, Johanna, Clint & Glenn. Mia hasn't looked back since, and has more Atlantic crossings that Andy now (which she's quick to point out!). In Sweden Mia loves to run, bike & bake bread.
Liz is from Litchfield County, CT & goes to school as a Marine Science major at UConn – Avery Point. Andy & Mia 'headhunted' her after she charmed them at the Annapolis Boat Show in 2015, asking her to join the team as a podcast producer, crewmember on 'Isbjorn' and spokesperson for 59º North. Liz has since sailed nearly 2,000 miles on Isbjorn!
She sailed dinghies from age 7-14 at sailing camp, but it wasn't until I started listening to Andy's podcast that she realized her true passion for sailing. Liz is also an aspiring racing sailor, and is looking for opportunities in the sailing world after she graduates. "It really feels as if I fit this life," she says.
Join us for the ocean sailing adventure of a lifetime on our classic S&S Swan 48 Isbjörn. Cross an ocean & discover the lure of the open sea, all aboard a beautiful, classic & safe ocean-sailing machine. Why? Because life is short, and time slows down out there.
Quite simply, we aim to share the infinite wisdom of the high seas with those wise enough to seek them out. We've sailed tens of thousands of bluewater miles in our boats and others', and yet the magic of a night watch at sea remains as strong as ever. We want to share that magic with you. Join us, and find out for yourself.
In conjunction with Paul Exner & Modern Geographic, we also offer yacht delivery services to boat owners & a variety of workshops. Plus, I host the killer sailing podcast 'On The Wind.' You can read about all of our adventures in our blogs. So browse the site, check out the passage calendar, and join us offshore!
"Meeting and hanging out with the people that we've been crewing with...Andy and Mia have built a natural filtering mechanism to find cool people, essentially. Anyone who sign's up for this is going to be really great to hang out with. It was just so much fun on so many levels. I don't think 24 hours had gone by until we were signed up for RORC 2017. There's unfinished business here."
"59º North - Andy Schell, Mia Karlsson & Paul Exner...The real deal!"
"Ocean sailing is something you have to experience to understand. The Swan 48 is an offshore machine and Andy & Mia are fantastic hosts & teachers. Beyond the sailing, Cuba was an incredible destination. Thanks for the check-mark on the bucket list!"
"I can't remember the last time I had a 10 out of 10 experience! I am already looking forward to sailing with you again."
"Sailing on Isbjorn was a transcendent experience for me, something I'll never forget."
"Andy & Mia were an absolute pleasure to sail with! They put together an informative and fun trip on an absolutely beautiful boat."
"The journey on Isbjorn impacted me deeply & widely, I'm so grateful. I am listening to all your podcasts and try to keep up with where you guys are!"
"What a treat to sail with the 59 North A-team! It was everything I hoped it would be…good sailing, good company and lots of practical sailing experience. Also, it was a real treat to spend time at the helm of the Swan 48! It has set the bar high in terms of what I’ll be expecting from my next boat! Wishing you guys what I’m sure will be continued success!"
"If you are thinking about reefing - reef! - If you are thinking about sailing with Andy & Mia, stop thinking and GO!!!! Andy & Mia are great sailors, leaders, teachers, cooks, as well as warm, intelligent, and accepting people. No matter how many blue water miles you have under your keel, you will be a better sailor after your trip on Isbjorn."
"How do you say thanks for providing a platform, experience, security, instruction etc. to do something that I’ve wanted to do for decades? The calm sailing seas of the first night, the stars, the bioluminescence, the more lively 2nd run, the sunrise, the boats, English Harbour, the new friends…Be safe out there and keep doing what you are doing. I’m betting that it will provide fruit well beyond your expectations."
"Andy & Mia were great at passing on their significant experience in an easy going way & were calm and professional in an emergency [Andy's appendicitis]. They served delicious food throughout the trip. Isbjorn is a fast, solid & well equipped boat ideally suited to this role. Overall it was a fantastic experience and the trip has given me the confidence to go sailing offshore with my family."