[ THE WIRE ] Close to the California coastline

After we left you going into evening yesterday, a wonderfully clear night of fast and furious sailing ensued. With only a few clouds around and a full moon, we trucked along under yankee 1 and full main, making well over an 8kt average. Proper sailing again, with Disco doing what she does best in fairly … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] When we cross the road of the Transpac race

Shortly into the night two good things happened. First, there were dolphins, which is always a happy occurrence. Despite it being dark, the sound of these nimble creatures flitting in and out of the water around us is unmistakable, so you know they’re there even if you can’t see a thing. The second was Henry … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The winches melody

I left you with an exceptional breakfast, and our first set of plastic trawling trials. The subsequent evening and night involved purely fickle sailing conditions, and all focus on trying to keep the boat moving. We spent 90% of the time with the sails capturing an almost imperceptible level of wind, their soft shapes above … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Our first set of plastic trawling trials

If I had put money on someone to get the boat moving first, it would have been on Henry. However, I’d struggle to find anyone to take that bet, as they’d all agree. True to form, shortly after dawn I heard the rustling of sails, felt Disco gybe out of her hove-to state, and begin … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] A windless Pacific Ocean

Welcome to a windless Pacific Ocean. The telltale signs of the light airs we saw in the early part of yesterday evening were indeed an indication of what was to come, and by midnight the wind had died off completely, leaving us with a mercifully slight sea state, but still enough to gently roll the … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] A break in cloud

Finally, we had an evening that wasn’t just grey cloud in every direction, a very refreshing break! We’re still a long way off the amazing nights of unbroken starscape in every direction that have previously graced our time at sea, but right now I’ll take the occasional break in cloud cover to prove the stars … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Busy day, fresh showers and “Disco Fragrance”

Despite the fact the squall activity at night has eased off, there are still patches of excitement, where the wind will increase by about 50% for 5 or 10 minutes, before reverting back to its previous state. On one such occasion last night a really breezy patch came through, and unable to see the gust … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Food innovation and Fast and furious progress

It’s a good day here on Disco. Fresh socks, AND a fresh t-shirt. You can’t get better than that on another day mid-pacific. Then there was breakfast. We had egg and bacon in freshly baked wholemeal bread rolls – very nice indeed. I recently discovered that, as with the biscuits and nachos, strategies had been … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Like sailing through traffic lights

This is being written at the end of the day, from an increasingly challenging environment. I’m wedged into the nav station, one leg dangling into free space by the companionway, the other hooked up to windward in an attempt to stop the rest of my body following the first leg across the boat, left shoulder … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Under the rainbow

The day began with the excitable tones of Renaud at the helm. They were the noises he normally makes when there are dolphins or other appealing marine wildlife about, although also displayed when referring to the Southern Ocean penguins he so fondly reminisces of. This time, however, was the first exception to this rule since … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] How stars disappear

A while back I detailed life on a starboard tack, and suggested that life would be better on a port tack. Here’s the comparative insight you’ve all been waiting for. The sail locker is still a horrendous, so no improvement there, but none expected, so fair enough. My favourite heads is much improved experience without … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Bueno or no bueno?

The last 24 hours haven’t been the most awe inspiring sailing ever, but they’ve seen us make fairly good miles. Our eastwards tack held for a long while, seeing us through the day and well into the night. It was only when we started to be headed again and pushed south did I decide to … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The fake man overboard

The day started with a small excitement, when the MOB alarm suddenly went off. There are two reasons for this; either one of our crew has gone swimming, or we’ve picked up a signal from another boats unintended swimmer. I laid eyes on all my crew within about 10 seconds, and they all confirmed that … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] A not sailing day far from civilization

Back on starboard tack again. You’ll sense a recurring theme here. This is what I’m think of as our ‘zag’, port tack being the former part of the zigzag that will eventually take us to California (we hope). The key element of this frustratingly necessary tactic is to not look at our track or course … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The 5% that makes it worthwhile

There’s a big angles game going on here in the Pacific, and it will be the theme of this trip I imagine. Having spent so long gaining the north we wanted, it is slowly bleeding away again on our new tack. This is the unfortunate reality of beating, with our boat speed no longer an … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Pros and cons of starboard tack… is port better?

I thought I could start with an insight into ‘Discoverer – Life on a Starboard Tack’. It has been the unchanging environment since leaving Hawaii, so we are all now well reacquainted with both the positives and downsides of below decks leaning 20° to port. Starting from the front, the sail locker is unchanged, as … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Each scratch has its own story

Well, the sevens of VMG were never going to last, but sixes are still an occasional feature of the helmsman/woman’s constant quest for the most efficient combination of angle and speed, so it’s not that bad. Sailing to wind isn’t something we’ve done a long stint of in quite a while. In fact, the last … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Main halyard failing and mast koala

I won’t gloss it over. The first night was a bit grim. Our early evening departure all went smoothly enough, with the newly returned and ever increasingly ocean-hardened Henry Mccann nicely taking Discoverer off the dock and out of the harbour, affording me a throwback to the world of coiling mooring lines and slinging fenders … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The Great Nacho Disappearance and The Longest Birthday

The day started with a scandal. The Great Nacho Disappearance of Discoverer. I would claim it to be a mystery, and that much time was spent establishing where the several packets of nacho crisps went, however there was no doubt. It was me. I knew it, and everyone else rightly assumed it instantly. There may … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Guy Ritchie saved the day

We seem to be sailing again. If you’d asked me last Tuesday, I would not have said that we would be sailing. If you’d asked me on Wednesday, we might have been going sailing, but I would have laughed at the idea of sailing to Hawaii. By Thursday, we were seriously discussing Hawaii, but it … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The best bit of the day

I truly love this bit of the day; the deck and helm safe in competent hands, the rest of the crew fast asleep, and a wonderful sense of peace below decks. The kite is still up, and neither living up to its name as ‘Jetsam’, or as ‘Hand Grenade’, for now… It is currently 4am … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The Man over/on Board and The Mysterious Light

We’ve been experiencing a gentle slowdown for the last few days, the good breeze and powerful sailing angles both easing, to give us the current set of conditions; a gentle breeze well aft of the beam. Disco isn’t the best boat about downwind, especially when under white sails, not quite generating enough power to hold … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Stars from the sky to the screen

I was going to open with what good progress we had made, and therefore the unexpectedly small number of miles left to run. However, it was discussed the other day that it seems like a negative attitude to be continually counting down the miles until we get somewhere, as it implies that we’re looking forward … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Ode to the Weatherfax

Our excellent progress continues unabridged so far, and we’re definitely feeling like the North Pacific is being kind to us. As the helming is rotated through the team, unbroken attention given to the wheel day and night, we are fairly flying across the slightly curved course, consistent winds speeding us towards the distant Hawaii shores. … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Conservative sailing

It’s been a mellow day here, despite a relatively fast pace. With good conditions and few people, life is pretty chilled aboard, with everything just slotting into it’s own rhythm, and all of us going along with it. The sailing seems to be pretty much looking after itself, with the only noteworthy events being the … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The jumping squid

No drama for our first days sailing to Hawaii, except an offending cephalopod… As hoped (I could almost go as far as to say ‘as planned’), the first night was a quick and fun affair of beam reaching down to Isla De Guadalupe, and then a gentle ‘turn right’, until we were laying Hawaii on a … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] On the road again

We seem to be sailing again. If you’d asked me last Tuesday, I would not have said that we would be sailing. If you’d asked me on Wednesday, we might have been going sailing, but I would have laughed at the idea of sailing to Hawaii. By Thursday, we were seriously discussing Hawaii, but it … Continued

Alhoa training!

After a month spent in San Diego to prepare and plan The Longest Swim, the Disco crew set sail to Hawaï for a training session, and to test our scientific equipment in real conditions. They will then sail back to California to finish the refit of our support boat. In the meantime, our swimmer Ben … Continued

Swim to the Limit!

As you are aware, we recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the necessary funds for food and airtime during their expedition. That campaign is finishing next weekend, in an attempt to raise the remaining funds, we are prepared to push ourselves to our limit! Beginning on Friday 28th April at 8am Ben will start his Swim to the Limit challenge, swimming non-stop in San Diego Bay … Continued

An Update from The Longest Swim

Firstly, we would like to thank all of our followers for supporting our journey so far, and to welcome our new friends and followers to the family. It has been a busy and productive year so far for The Longest Swim, with many achievements to celebrate; we are extremely pleased to finally have our vessel Discoverer … Continued

Atlas of Seabirds at Sea: An Interview with Dr. Taryn Morris

Dr. Taryn Morris (second picture, left) is the Coastal Seabird Conservation Manager for BirdLife South Africa. Her work “focuses on ensuring healthy marine habitats for the endangered African Penguin and other coastal seabirds. This is achieved through policy engagement related to marine protected areas and responsible fishing practices”. She moonlights as the coordinator of the … Continued

The Microbiome: An interview with Dr. Jack Gilbert

Dr. Gilbert is a Principal Investigator (Environmental Microbiologist) at Argonne National Laboratory and a Fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory, both affiliated with the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, where he also holds the position of Assistant Professor. His research interests include include the temporal and biogeographic structure of microbial communities, the taxonomic diversity of … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] San Diego, just a legend?

The crew doubt whether an end really exists, while we reflect on the journey thus far. Well, it’s close enough to believe it might actually happen now. The crew are throwing around various comments as to the mythical nature of this moment, so long in the offing and so far in distance it has been. … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Good progress, despite severe biscuit crisis

New sails, big yellow flotsam, a biscuit famine, and some albatross for luck. Roughly 150nm left to run, until the elusive fairway buoy at the entrance to the San Diego bay channel that has enticed our minds for so long appears on the horizon. It’s been nearly 7 months since I’ve seen the red and … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Sailing again!

A big tidy up and food is back on the menu. Fully sailing again here! Not only is sailing more fun, less stressful, quieter, rewarding, fulfilling, and better for the boat in so many different ways, it’s also normally much faster, therefore generally better in every way than motoring or motor-sailing. This is why we … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Atlantis abandoned

Crew finally give up sleeping in wet bunks, and the ride continues. It’s been a wet and wild ride here for the last little while. At least, that’s what it says in one of the recent entries in our temporary logbook. There have been many less publishable entries alongside this throughout our little spell of … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Torn sails and storm sails

“What are you doing?” “Just waiting for something to break”. It’s been quite the 24 hours here on Disco. I’m even inclined to go as far as describing it as ‘dramatic’. The weather conditions have been continually deteriorating, and we’re well and truly back in a world where I sleep curled up next to the … Continued

Extreme Exercise and the Heart: An interview with Dr. Benjamin Levine

Dr. Levine is the founder and director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (IEEM) at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas. IEEM is the largest center for the study of human physiology in the United States. During the swim he will function as Ben’s cardiologist, as well as a researcher on two of The Longest … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] A forgotten foredeck

Ben Lecricket runs the boat while the team take a break. Until a few hours ago there wasn’t much to report. We’ve been pushing on through a slowly building sea-state for all of last night, which has been creating a really quite bumpy ride. With the wind still on the nose, it was another big … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Offshore cricket continues to amaze the world

The latest instalment of Ben Lecricket, and a quiet life aboard Disco. We are, for the first time in what feels like a while, out of sight of land. The Mexican coastline has drifted off over the horizon on the starboard quarter, and once again we are left with the now familiar view of 67ft … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Old crew, new tricks

New system, old stories, normal climate on the horizon, and some modest wind for a change. The cold has finally returned. I refer not to the Belgian Flue that gripped Discoverer in the early stages of our delivery, courtesy of the now infamous Moris, one of two Belgians to have graced Discoverer with their presence. … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Pesto pasta saves the world

Good tunes and coffee drive us north, while we play with the elements. Disco is a boat that runs on a variety of fuels. Wind is our main one, although we’re running a bit light on that right now. Coffee is second. I would like to put it at a first, but for realities sake … Continued

The Gravity Effect: an interview with Dr. Benjamin Levine

Dr. Levine is the founder and director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (IEEM) at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas. IEEM is the largest center for the study of human physiology in the United States. During the swim he will function as Ben’s cardiologist, as well as a researcher on two of The Longest … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] The wheels are off

The Disco boys, and good breeze at last! What a night! As you probably gathered from the last report, our first evening out was a little bit eventful. Certainly not the start we were hoping for. Once confidence had been gained in our second engine fuel line fix we turned our attention to the generator … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] A few days best described as indescribable

A far from ideal stop in Mexico, and a far from ideal start to the final push. So much excitement I can barely put it into words. Acapulco didn’t go to plan. There were aspirations of arriving on Sunday night, walking into customs and immigration first thing on Monday morning, receiving all the necessary stamps, … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] “The most dolphins eveeeeeer”

Birdles. Now you’ll have to read on to find out what that means… As was the case yesterday, sailing is at the bottom of the realistic agenda, so we continue to entertain ourselves with whatever else is afforded to us. Luckily for us, this continues to be an abundance of wildlife. Yesterday evening saw “the … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Current curtails California calling

Not much sailing on the cards as Mother Nature attempts to throw us back down to Panama. I’m sure there is a metaphor for life to make here. Pushing against the current. Motoring hard, not enough wind to fill our sails, but still making slow progress, the current just increasing the harder we try. However, … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Mischief afoot

Student living aboard sees mixed progress, the food revolution, a new type of foredeck work, and the story of the world’s first offshore cricket continues. While we have all agreed that the last few days have seen a slight reduction in the night temperatures, to the extent that we’ve even seen the re-emergence of long … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] PowerPoint presentations and bird attacks

Good sailing, with a dab of oceanic science, serious debating, and a second stowaway takes over the foredeck. It’s been a good 24 hours of progress out here in the Guatemala Basin. There have been a couple of ‘crank up the engine’ moments, but generally speaking the trusty cable ties and associated sails have been … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Crossing the Gulf of Tehuantepec

Weather & tactics, plus the cable ties hang on in there. The long slog north continues. We are beginning our crossing of the Gulf of Tehauntepec, and aiming for Acapulco on the other side. Our stop at Acapulco is purely a logistical one, as with such a long leg and a relatively full boat, we … Continued

High-Definition Water Data: an interview with Dr. Michael DeGrandpre (Part 2)

You can read the first part of Dr. DeGrandpre’s interview right here! Dr. DeGrandpre is a Professor at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. His research focuses on the development of autonomous chemical sensors with applications in both marine and freshwater chemistry. He is leading the High Definition Water Data segment of research for … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] “Drive it like you stole it”

Wind at last, the world’s first offshore cricket, and pizza craze sweeps Disco. Life has stepped up a gear here on Disco. The wind is in, the sheets are eased, and spirits flying high. It is unbelievably good to be making progress, and the boat temporarily ceasing hostilities in the sense of seeing if it … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Testing times and sharks

Diesel troubles continue while the wind continues to holiday in Hawaii. Well, this little leg up to San Diego is certainly proving one of the most testing so far. I think we are all in agreement onboard that we’d rather be enduring a gale and making actual progress than dealing with the conditions that are … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Diesel drama and drifting

Scotty “It’s not ideal at the moment…” Ty “Yeh, I figured that when I heard someone talk about fire extinguishers” A slightly high octane 24 hours here on Disco. I left you with the worst loaf of bread ever created on a boat, and a cricket called Ben. There is still no improvement on the … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] All or nothing

More sail changes in 24 hours than in an entire Atlantic crossing… Very busy here in the last 24 hours. Any beer and calories consumed on shore in the last month are being well and truly burnt off. All or nothing sailing conditions.Our sedate pace of the initial time spent in the Gulf of Panama … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Underway in the Pacific

Productive pursuits in Panama; pacified Pacific produces pedestrian pace. Hello from the Pacific Ocean! Panama was an eventful and action packed stop, with much getting achieved to get us well on our way to San Diego and set us up for an efficient turnaround there, which is crucial to keeping within our tight timeframe. The … Continued

High-Definition Water Data: an interview with Dr. Michael DeGrandpre (Part 1)

Dr. DeGrandpre is a Professor at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. His research focuses on the development of autonomous chemical sensors with applications in both marine and freshwater chemistry. He is leading the High Definition Water Data segment of research for The Longest Swim. The temperature and electrical conductivity (a measurement which is … Continued

Giant Phytoplankton: an interview with Dr. Tracy Villareal

Dr. Villareal is a Professor in the Department of Marine Science at the University of Texas at Austin and a Research Scientist at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas. His research interests include understanding the processes and interactions that structure phytoplankton communities, with a focus on the autecology of the largest known … Continued

[ SCIENCE ] Radiation from Fukushima: an interview with Dr. Ken Buesseler (Part 2)

  You can read the first part of Dr. Buesseler’s interview right here! Dr. Buesseler is a Senior Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. His research interests include studies on the fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, assessments of Chernobyl impacts on the Black Sea, and the examination of radionuclide contaminants … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] One team, one spork

Debates, stars and sporks – life on Disco. I’ve started a section in my notebook entitled ‘overheard in the nav station’. It’s pretty much what it says – a list of excerpts of conversation I hear from my usual perch at the nav deck, perfectly positioned forward of the galley, aft of the accommodation, and … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] H.O.T.

An immovable continent, midnight gybes, and the occasional drifting tanker. Where did all the wind go? A question many sailors, many a time, everywhere around the world asks themselves on a regular basis. Today is our day. Last night, we where happily smashing along the Columbian coastline, almost at the top of our comfort zone … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Colombian cruising

Simultaneous dramas, solutions, and more good sailing. Another 24 hours in the life of ‘Disco’. Busy busy here on Discoverer for the last 24 hours. As I write this, the wind has lightened slightly, and we’re back to subtly sliding our way down the Colombian coastline. Our course has shaped up to take us relatively … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Singing propellers and flying spinnakers

Wind wind wind!!! Disco is singing, in a literal sense for the first time ever, Gatorade gate is revealed, and The Engineer loses at chess. The wind is up, spirits are high, and the progress is good. As promised by our weather routing partners at WRI, the breeze has started to fill in nicely, and … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Downwind sailing, upbeat living.

The curious life of being at sea – logbooks, bread, spinnakers and origami. NAV STATION Date: 14th February 2017 Time: 1808z Position: 12°40.8N 68°01.4W COG: 285¬°T SOG: 6.5kts Wind:  ENE 3-4 Swell: NE 2-3ft Sky: 2/8 cirrostratus. Weather: Fair. The enthusiasm for life aboard Disco continues unabated. I must be doing something wrong if everyone … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] New crew enjoying sailing the boat

Antigua challenges behind us. We continue with new people, new friends, new waters, new energy, just the same old heat. NAV STATION Date: 12th February 2017 Time: 1801z Position: 15°45.7N 063° 35.7W COG: 220°T SOG: 6kts Wind: ENE 3-4 Swell: E 2-3ft Sky: 0/8 Weather: Fair weather sailing We’re at it and underway again. Disco … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Anchored in Five Islands Harbour, Antigua

Another exciting 24 hours have certainly proved that it’s not over until it’s over! Funny how 17 days of smooth sailing can culminate in 2 days of drama. NAV STATION Date: 30th January 2017 Time: 0043z Position: Anchored in Five Islands Harbour, Antigua. COG: N/A SOG: N/A Wind: E2-3 Swell: N/A Sky: 0/8 Weather: Good … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

27th January 2017 Time: 1743z Position: 16°50.3N 55°40.3W COG: 275°T SOG: 9kts Wind: ENE 5 Swell: NE 3-4ft Sky: 4/8 cumulus Weather: Good Boat, ocean, wind, land. A straight line and an ever-diminishing distance between the former and latter. Rock on. The wind is back! We are currently making over 9kts bang on target, and … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

26th January 2017 Time: 1805z Position: 16°54.7N 52°28.1W COG: 280°T SOG: 4-5kts Wind: E 3 Swell: NE 2-3ft Sky: Cirrus in the north, cumulus and altostratus in the south. Weather: Good No more pencil sharpening activities today, so things are looking up! Another time change happened yesterday evening, so things are confused again. However, where … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] SKIPPER’S REPORT

Date: 25th January 2017 Time: 1746z Position: 16°40.3N 50°11.2W COG: 295°T SOG: 5-6kts Wind: E 3-4 Swell: ENE 3-4ft Sky: 4/8 stratus/cumulus Weather: Big squall last night with winds of ≥30kts.   It can be hard to put things at sea into a context that relates to ‘normal life’ on land. I’ve been thinking hard … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

24th January 2017 Time: 1806z Position: 17°18.3N 47°29.1W COG: 250°T SOG: 6kts Wind: ENE 3-4 Swell: N 3-4ft Sky: 6/8 cumulus Weather: Some squalls around. Heavy showers seen close by, but not experienced (disappointingly). Ty is asking Lea for hair-bands. I had to open with that one. Until yesterday I was unaware of the booming … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

23rd January 2017 Time: 1932z Position: 18°21.5N 045°18.4W COG: 250°T SOG: 5kts Wind: ENE 3 Swell: E 3-4ft Sky: 3/8 cumulus Weather: Very nice, but light on wind and shade. Another scorcher down here at 18° north. It’s the sort of hot that’s gone past fun. We’ve had a real slowdown in terms of pace, … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

22nd January 2017 Time: 1808z Position: 19°04.2N 42°54.7W COG: 255°T SOG: 2-3kts Wind: SE 2 Swell: NE 2-3ft Sky: 4/8 cumulus Weather: Good Well, this morning I wrote to the shore-team that I hoped the good wind would hold out, as I was feeling that anything below a Force 4 would put the brakes on … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

20th January 2017 Time: 1807z Position: 18°13.9N 036°50.4W COG: 285°T SOG: 9kts Wind: ESE 5 Swell: NNW 4-5ft Sky: 7/8 cumulus and altocumulus Weather: Good with occasional squalls. This is proper tropical sailing now. I don’t mean the weather; I refer to the lifestyle that sailing in these regions entails. Lea and I had a … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

19th January 2017 Time: 1848z Position: 17°12.1N 033°26.8W COG: 285°T SOG: 8kts Wind: E 5 Swell: NNE 3-4ft Sky: 4/8 cumulus and some very pretty cirrocumulus Weather: Good. “Jetsam: unwanted material or goods that have been thrown overboard from a ship and washed ashore, especially material that has been discarded to lighten the vessel” Alex’s … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

18th January 2017 Time: 1820z Position: 16°35.4N 030°25.3W COG: 260°T SOG: 7.5kts Wind: ENE5 Swell: ENE 3-4ft Sky: 6/8 cumulus Weather: Good, occasional gusty patches as darker clouds go over. What a 24 hours. The relatively slow start to our crossing in terms of daily excitement has been fast caught up. Joe was actually starting … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

17th January 2017 Time: 1840z Position: 17°01.0N 026°40.6W COG: 255°T SOG: 10kts Wind: ENE 5 Swell: NE 4-6ft Sky: 4/8 cumulus Weather: Good. Cape Verde Islands – Tick. After a very successful night of spinnaker flying (although by no means easy for the helms and there’s a certain amount of ‘night spinnaker fatigue’ around today), … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

16th January 2017 Time: 1810z Position: 18°59.1N 024°27.7W COG: 200°T SOG: 6-8kts Wind: NE 4 Swell: NE 4-6ft Sky: 6/8 cumulus Weather: Good After days of toying with the idea, considering, reconsidering, and a mindset fast bordering indecision, we finally threw the spinnaker up at the lunchtime watch change. When I say threw it up, … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

15th January 2017 Time: 1802z Position: 21°37.2N 023°06.8W COG: 215°T SOG: 8.5kts Wind: ENE 4/5 Swell: ENE 3-5ft Sky: 4/8 cumulus Weather: Good. The Curious Case of The Red Dust is gripping Discoverer. It is not yet known when Disco was overrun by The Red Dust, but it seems to have reached deep into the … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

14th January 2017 Time: 1825z Position: 24°17.6N 021°07.3W COG: 220°T SOG: 8.5kts Wind: ENE5 Swell: E 4-6ft Sky: 0/8 Weather: Just lovely. Hello from the Cape Verde Abyssal Plain. Sounds suitably dramatic doesn’t it? While the cartographical name of the particular bit of ocean we are currently sailing might sound it, our day has been … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

13th January 2017 Time: 1812z Position: 26°51.0N 018°29.4W COG: 260°T SOG: 8kts Wind: ESE 5 Swell: SE 3-4ft, with some mixed NE to make it uncomfortable. Sky: 3/8 stratus. Weather: Very hazy, with mod-poor vis all day. And once again, we are underway. That unfamiliar sight of a landmass silhouetted against the horizon has slipped … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

9th January 2017 Time: 1831z Position: 27°44N 15°47W COG: Bar SOG: 2 beers and increasing. Wind: E 5/6 Swell: E 2-3ft Sky: 0/8 Weather: Sunshine! I left you with a Force 6 blowing through our rather packed anchorage, a man stuck ashore (sorry Henry), and me feeling like the day hadn’t gone very well. If … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] SKIPPER’S REPORT

Date: 7th January 2017 Time: 0225z Position: 28°07.8N 015°25.5W COG: N/A SOG: N/A Wind: SSE 5 Swell: SSE 2-3ft Sky: 8/8 Weather: Good.   Where to begin.   It started with Gran Canaria coming into view, in that magical way land does after an offshore passage out of sight of terra firma. There were grand … Continued

Radiation from Fukushima: an interview with Dr. Ken Buesseler (Part 1)

Dr. Buesseler is a Senior Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. His research interests include studies on the fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, assessments of Chernobyl impacts on the Black Sea, and the examination of radionuclide contaminants in the Pacific resulting from the Fukushima nuclear power plants. He is leading … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

6th January 2017 Time: 1500z Position: 28°42.4N 015°04.4W COG: 214°T SOG: 8kts Wind: SSE5 Swell: SE 3-5ft Sky: 1/8 cirrus/cumulus Weather: Good I set the challenge that the first person to sight land was entitled to a frothy (this is Ty-speak for beer. Frothies feature hugely in Ty’s life it seems. “Frothy this”, “frothy that”, … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

5th January 2017 Time: 1755z Position: 31°16.7N 013°22.5W COG: 210°T SOG: 8kts Wind: SSE3 Swell: SSW 1-2ft Sky: 3/4 cirrus Weather: Good A slow and frustrating 24 hours here, somewhere off the Moroccan coastline in what is our watery playground. The Canaries look tantalisingly close on the chart; at least they do when you zoom … Continued

The Plastisphere: an interview with Dr. Erik Zettler

Dr. Zettler is a Research Professor of Oceanography at the Sea Education Association (SEA) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. His research interests include the ecology of plastic marine debris, microbial ecology, and plankton community structure. He is one of several scientists involved in the Plastisphere segment of research for The Longest Swim. Scientists estimate that 5 … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

4th January 2017 Time: 1817z Position: 33°27.2N 011°28.5W COG: 213°T SOG: 8.4kts Wind: ESE 2 Swell: W 2-4ft Sky: 1/8 cirrus Weather: Good Bacon. “It was a good day.” How the day started, and the words of one Sebastian Kosmala. I had actually been going to leave the report at the first sentence, but feel … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

3rd January 2017 Time: 1800 Position: 35°04.8N 011°17.0W COG: 140°T SOG: 6-7kts Wind: SSW 5-6 Swell: S 8ft Sky: 1/8 Weather: Good. Squalls now behind us, much more steady wind and angles. The sun is out, the spray is down, and the boat keeps on trucking. We’re still running with a fairly reduced sail plan. … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

3rd January 2017 Time: 0021 Position: 36°11.9N 012°07.5W COG: 160°T SOG: 6kts Wind: SW 6 Swell: W/SW 10-12ft Sky: 0/8 Weather: Clear, and squalls now seemingly behind us. A truly wet and wild rollercoaster the last 24 hours have been. We’ve done it all. Used every sail. Done every evolution. I’ve slept in every position … Continued

Meet Discoverer: the support boat of The Longest Swim

More than just a swim, The Longest Swim is a maritime expedition with an especially large scope that asks our skipper, Scotty, and his crew to constantly adapt to the demanding conditions of the Pacific Ocean. As Scotty once said: “No one has ever tried to go so far, so slowly.” That made locating an … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

1st January 2017 Time: 1855 Position: 38°13.2N 012°33.6W COG: 245°T SOG: 7-8ktw Wind: S5 Swell: SW 4-6 Sky: 8/8 Weather: Various small squalls around, and conditions getting increasingly gusty. Sea state steadily building from ahead, and wind steady at a 15-20kts true for now. Planning on holding this more westerly course close to wind until … Continued

Swim For Science

“The Longest Swim is a unique opportunity to better share our scientific results and our message to the public, but also to collect very valuable samples for our research.” Dr. ERIK ZETTLER, Sea Education Association BEYOND THE WATER The Longest Swim is an opportunity to rally people and challenge them to contemplate the impact we … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

31st December 2016 Time: 1919 Position: 39°55.5N 009°59.2W COG: 180°T SOG: 6kts Wind: SSE 1 Swell: SE 1-2ft Sky: 2/8 Weather: Good I’ve just been handed a fresh espresso. How did it take me until day 6 to discover we had the ability to create fresh espresso shots? I just don’t understand. You were last … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

30th December 2016 Time: 1857z Position: 42°10.7N 009° 37.7W COG: 185¬°T SOG: 6.5kt Wind: S 2 Swell: W 2-3ft Sky: 0/8 Weather: Good The good pace continued all night under white sails, to a point where we nearly considered a headsail change as it was getting so lively. Disco was flying along, fully powered up … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

29th December 2016 Time: 2200 Position: 44°05.4N 008°47.4W COG: 210°T SOG: 8kts Wind: ENE 4/5 Swell: NE 3-6ft (increasing rapidly as the depth is shelving off Finisterre). Sky: 8/8 Weather: Good, nothing of note. This time yesterday evening I thought I was going to have to come up with some ‘filler’ content, to make up … Continued

The TransAtlantic

If you are closely following The Longest Swim, you already know that there is a large geographic difference between the crew who are in Lymington, and Ben who is training every day in Austin, Texas. The first challenge for what we’ve dubbed the Discocrew or the Discoteam – the residents of Disco – us – … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] SKIPPER’S REPORT

Date: 28th December 2016 Time: 1948z Position: 46°32.7N 007º38.2W COG: 200ºT SOG: 5-6kts Wind: NE 1-2 Swell: NE 3ft Sky: 8/8 Weather: Good.   Last nights good wind kept it up until this morning, and it was the best sailing of the trip so far. 15-20kts on the beam, and nice rolling swell on the … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

27th December 2016 Time: 2015z Position: 48º31.7N 005º11.9W COG: 215ºT SOG: 9kts Wind: E F4 Swell: NE 3-4ft Sky: 1/8 – stratus. Weather: Beautiful but cold clear starry night. A rich and varied day of sailing and life here aboard Discoverer. Last night’s good fun sailing couldn’t last forever, and we ended up with a … Continued

[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

26/12/16 1905z Position 50º12.87N 002º24.28W COG 225ºT SOG 7.5kts Weather NW 3-4, moderate sea state, 1048mb The sound of water running past the hull, lines creaking on their winches, the murmuring of voices from the deck, smell of good food in the galley, and the weather coming through the VHF. This is backdrop to my … Continued

The report of Skipper Scotty First sea trials on Discoverer

SOLENT, UNITED KINGDOM, December 14th 2016, The Longest Swim ? Grand plans and a grand day out So back in September I stepped aboard Discoverer (now affectionately referred to as our ?Disco?). Many grand plans were made that day. Get the boat in the water. Sail to San Diego. Sail to Tokyo. Do The Longest … Continued

Why swim across the Pacific Ocean?

A defense of Ben’s sanity Whenever we present The Longest Swim to someone new, the same question often comes up once their surprise and astonishment wears off. Swim across the entire Pacific Ocean?? they might say. Wow! It sounds incredible, but Ben must be crazy! Why would anyone want to do that?? At first their … Continued

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