Blog Update

Mike has changed the way I receive your comments so I now get them directly. We are going to try to make this site a bit more interactive. I just received word of a 2k dollar donation (from my dad) for sat phone minutes. So now that we have more time we are going to add a Q&A aspect for the web site. So if you have any question for me just send them as a comment and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can considering the conditions I’m under. The original question and my answer will be posted as a new blog entry. I mite not be able to answer every question but I’ll try to answer as many as possible.
Also I hate to miss another football season but its unavoidable. I need someone that follows the game to tell me from time to time how the Cleveland Browns are doing (I’m originally from Northeast Ohio) and what teams are leading their divisions. Eventually, who’s in the playoffs and who wins the super bowl. I would also like to know how the the new couch for Ohio State is doing (Luke Fickell). If your a fan of Michigan or the Steelers I don’t want your help. This would be great as I miss the game. Thanks

44 thoughts on “Blog Update”

  1. OK, I’ll go first. I realize you are an adventerous type first biking your way across Asia. How and when did you decide to teach yourself sailing? Are there any good books that I could start reading? (I know, probably just getting out on the water is the best teacher). Being near Annapolis, are there any groups that a novice can join?

  2. Hi Matt.
    Very impressed by your progress so far.
    I’m an Albin Vega owner and I wondered what modifications if any you made to the boat for this voyage (strengthening rigging, bracing beam under mast, …)?

    All the best


    1. hi John.

      I am writing this form Canada. I have been loking at pocket cruisers and been thinking about the Albin Vega. I am wondering how she is as far as room goes? I am a big guy and 6ft tall. Is there ample head room and are the berths long enough? i was on a 26 ft contessa and she was pretty small down below. Do you live on your boat or is it too small? If you could answer some of these questions it would be great. Thanks Curtis

      1. Hi Curtis,
        I’m 5ft10 and *just* have standing headroom in aft part of saloon.
        The saloon berths are fine in length, I’d guess 6ft6inches..

        No I live in a house! IMO a very small boat to live on though I’ve seen some people on the Yahoo Albin Vega forum that do…

    2. John,
      My name is Colin Cameron I am a rigger and was one of the people to work with Matt on getting the boat ready to take this trip. There were no drastic changes made to the rigging except updating parts and making new stays and halyards. Going up in size is not always a bad idea but can be costly. Take in acount for the conditions you are expecting to be in and make sure your chainplates will accept the new pins. Keep in mind that most older boats were overbuilt and if you regularly check/change the rigging you should be alright. USCG states that every 7 years you should rerigg, others go with 10yrs 10,000 miles. I hope this was helpful.

  3. Matt,
    I check your progress every day – I’m sure I’m not the only one.
    A suggestion to others – please note where you are from – it would be interesting to see.
    Thanks for supporting CRAB. Someone saw the article in the Annapolis paper and came to the Sail Free event on Sunday (September 25th).
    Inch by inch and it’s a cinch!
    All the best to you – Vicki – CRAB Board Member

  4. Looks like your about the 48th parallel great job. You should be getting sun and some warmer weather soon. Watch for the Japanese tsunami floatsome and don’t pick up any floating jogging shoes they may be full.

  5. Hi Matt — Incredible blog. I find myself wondering how you’re doing quite often. Two questions (if I am permitted!): Aren’t shorelines a big fear during storms? I was puzzled by you seeking shelter in bays and coves using your sea anchor. At least at sea you wouldn’t run aground on the open sea. What am I missing?

    Second: How does one make the transition from day sailor to cruiser — more specifically, how did you learn about navigation that day sailors don’t really have to worry much about?

    Ariel, Mountain View, CA

  6. Hey old friend,
    Like Vicki above and many others I follow you just about everyday. I proudly tell anyone who will listen that I know a real life superman. Keep the adventures coming, drop a line if/when you can. Our adventures in the Aegean this summer seem so timid in comparison.
    Stay strong,

  7. Hi Matt,

    I discovered your blog via “Elliot in the Morning” and just had to read for myself. I have followed you ever since and I find your trip inspiring, fascinating and a real joy to follow. I had a very close friend who was an avid sailor. He was captain of the yacht “Glory” out of Stuart, FL. He passed away not long ago and your blog reminds me so much of his adventurous spirit–a gift that should be treasured in my opinion. Anyway, just wanted you to know you have a “follower” out there who thinks you are amazing. I love the detail you put into your posts.
    Smooth sailing ~ Kelly from Southern Maryland

  8. Matt,
    I am going to start marketing Shelf Reliance to marine world. Could you give me an update on how its working out? Do you find it easy to use? Is it meeting your nutritional needs? Have you lost/gained weight? Do you think you have enough for your entire trip? Any suggestions for anyone that is going to stock up for a trip. I realize that you were very limited by weight requirements, so I don’t know how else you would have been able to have that much food in any other form than freeze dried.

  9. Matt,
    I have a sail boat on north shore of Oahu. I imagine you will be well east of me, but if you happen to come this way and need provisions, let me know. I will meet you off shore.

  10. Hey Matt!
    It’s Sept 28th, and 16:30 BC time (0100 UT, I think?)
    You are nearly at the 49th, I am at 49.001 …
    so I just went outside and gave you a big wave and a double-thumbs up!!

    You may not have noticed as your still about 1400 miles west of me and my Vega!

    I have a question if it’s allowed.. I don’t see why not unless your being sponsored by
    a particular sail-maker… What brand is your favorite Main and Jib?? (any “North”? )

    Cheers brave fellow!

  11. oops that is more like .. 2300UT.. (I was thinking Libya time, been watching their news too much.)

  12. Matt,
    I have been following your adventure every week. Now that your are on your way south another hazard awaits.
    What about the drug pirates around Central America?
    As soon as I can find the funds, C.R.A.B. will benefit. My dad was disabled most of his life from polio. He loved sailing so much he bought a Washington County PeaPod from the Apprentice Shop in Maine. Although he only sailed it once, the look on his face made it worth while. I sold it to a sailor in southern Maryland.
    Stay safe, and thanks for your efforts.

  13. Hey Matt,

    Nobody else has told you about the Browns yet, so I can oblige. I guess I can’t post a link to articles, but I can summarize occasionally. I am a young New England native, so it has been easy to become a regular Pats fan in the last decade. I do a simple football pool at work, so I will try to give you a weekly update on the Browns.

    So far they are 2-1, defeating Indy and Miami in weeks 2 and 3, and falling to the Bengals in week 1. Indy is less of a surprise than you would think, because Peyton Manning hasn’t played a minute yet this year (Neck injury & surgery) and the Colts are 0-3 without him.

    Last week against the Dolphins was a come from behind win as quoted by ESPN: “Colt McCoy saved his best moments for last.McCoy threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Massaquoi with 43 seconds left, capping an 80-yard drive in the final minutes to rally the Cleveland Browns to a 17-16 win Sunday over winless Miami”

    LB D’Qwell Jackson was just named AFCs top defensive player for Sept, with 30 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

    This Sunday they will face the Titans. RB Peyton Hillis is expected to be back after missing last week with strep throat, and if he’s strong he could be a big difference in the game. He has a had a slow start so far this season, avg only 3.4 yards per carry.

    Glad to see you have some favorable winds. Looks like you have been goin over five knots for a day or so.

    Your personal sportscaster,

  14. Hey Matt,

    I am writing this from the west coast of Canada. I am totally impressed with your voyage and passion. My question is concerned with Navigation. I have been following your course and have been wondering why you are heading so far west towards the coast? I looked at your course and thought it would be best to be sailing 131 degrees south. but you are going so far west? I am asking because i want to learn the answer. Is is because you are just following the winds and that is where they are taking you for now. Is it just a better point of sail for you? Is it because of bad weather and sea’s? Perhaps the currents? It would be great if you could answer that? Thanks and sail safe.

  15. Another vega owner here, wishing you well. On the tracker you are now just a dot in the ocean- for the first time there is no land on the screen- I guess you are out of sight of land now as well which must be a relief in some ways?
    With the benefit of more open water, do you anticipate doing less motoring now and putting up with light winds at the cost of lost time?

    1. Mavanier,
      There should be a zoom in/zoom out feature on the map. If you zoom out, you can see where Matt is in relationship to North America.

      1. You can zoom in and out,
        put your mouse in the box and use the wheel ..
        if that doesn’t work try other combinations..
        or perhaps hold the shift key and press “- or +”
        (I use Firefox, so don’t know about IE or Chrome etc)
        cheers .. (;

  16. Hi Matt,
    I am not going to post any questions on sailing cause god knows that I am very irrelevant to that subject, it’s a good thing that you receive comments directly I want to say hi, everybody here is clearly proud of you and amazed by the effort your are making for a good cause and I am proud of you too. I want to say that I miss you, miss talking to you, I hope you are in a good shape.
    Just be safe, and take care of yourself.
    Ghizlane from Morocco

  17. NPR is carrying Matt’s story right now nationally on Weekend Edition…a shorter version of the Alaska story by the Alaska reporter (who reports that he is anchored, but we know better) with a followup plug for the website by Scott Simon, the host of the show. I don’t know the size of the audience on weekends, but the daily Morning Edition has about 20 million listeners.

    I’ll post the segment and transcript once its available. Nice going, Matt!

  18. Just heard the story on npr about your mission. Wow! What an incredible journey. What I wonder is how you’ll make it around Cape Horn in the winter? I read the book about Magellan “Over the Edge of the World” by Laurence Bergreen and his battle with the wind and waves through there. Will you go through the Strait of Magellan?

  19. Just tuning in today after hearing you on NPR, Matt. What a fantastic adventure and an excellent cause for us to help. I’ll be trying to catch up with the latest news here when I can.
    FYI: The Browns are doing fairly well so far. At 2-1 the season is stretched a bit farther based on the hopes of a real fan, if you know what I mean. Not happy about losing to Cincinnati but wins against Indianapolis and a solid Miami team were very nice to get. The defense seems to be able to be strong and go the distance each time but if the offense (McCoy, et al) cannot get a more regular rhythm and have possession for longer, the D will definitely start wearing out. Still, I like McCoy and think there is real potential for solid output by the end of the regular season. It’s very, very nice to have at least one certified star player (J. Cribbs) to help everyone else recognize that they can reach down a little deeper when it really counts.
    Glad to hear you are a fan. I grew up in Fairview Park but now live near Port Clinton (Put-In-Bay). It’s astounding to me, and more than a little disheartening, that many of the locals here are rabid steelers fans. I don’t know how it happens but they seem to feel it makes sense somehow. Makes me a little sick, if you want to know the truth.
    Anyway, best wishes for smooth sailing till you reach the end of your journey.

  20. Matt,
    Heard the broadcast on NPR today, which was interesting and so inspiring. NPR WE-Saturday has an estimated 5.3 million radio listeners, so I am sure your story has touch many people. Scott Simon included your website address at the end of the report and I have enjoyed exploring your journey. I will forward information of your endeavor to my sailing friends and family. Looking forward to continuing to follow your journey!
    Boone, NC

  21. Hey Matt, Kamron Dirks from Modesto California here. I just heard your story on NPR. Thanks for working for something you believe in.

    NFL division standings are:

    East – Bills 3-0, Pats 2-1, Jets 2-1, Dolphins 0-3
    North – Ravens 2-1, Browns 2-1, Steelers 2-1, Bengals 1-2
    South – Texans 2-1, Titans 2-1, Jags 1-2, Colts 0-3
    West – Raiders 2-1, Chargers 2-1, Broncos 1-2, Chiefs 0-3

    East – Cowboys 2-1, Redskins 2-1, Giants 2-1, Eagles 1-2
    North – Packers 3-0, Lions 3-0, Bears 1-2, Vikings 0-3
    South – Bucs 2-1, Saints 2-1, Falcons 1-2, Panthers 1-2
    West – 49ers 2-1, Seahawks 1-2, Cards 1-2, Rams 0-3

    I think these are the correct standings after week 3. I’ll try to get the updated stats on Tuesdays. If you shoot me an email, it’ll help me remember.

    Happy Sailing! Kam

    1. Sorry, Tom, I hadn’t seen this before I posted the link myself!!! It looks like it was about the same time you were posting yours, so maybe it wasn’t actually showing up yet when I scanned the comments that had been posted!


    2. Guess that time wasn’t a factor. I was posting mine around 4:00 PM 10/1/11, and your’s said 4:10 PM, but it’s only 4:09 now, and obviously there were others that came in even after that, so not sure what time zone is being reflected (probably Greenwich Mean Time).

  22. My question, When are you going to answer your questions?

    Arnold, MD.

    And remember you are still the two prim spinsters; which is partly why.

  23. Wishing you good sailing Matt. Been following you on and off since the arctic passage. What an amazing journey. I can’t imagine the range and depth of emotions you are experiencing. Good for you. Your dad first told us about your adventure and today (Saturday Oct. 1) we heard you on NPR

  24. I don’t know if anyone has already posted this, but if not, it’s the link to the npr Weekend Edition interview with Matt that aired today, October 1, 2011.

    It was nice to hear your voice, Matt!!!

    Below is the link:
    Thought you would be interested in this story: Sailor Charts Solo Trip Into The Record Books

    This message was included:

    Here’s the NPR radio interview with Matt. Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011
    *Listen/Watch on*
    Many stories at have audio or visual content. When you visit the link
    above, look for a “Listen” or “Watch” button.
    For technical support, please visit NPR’s Audio/Visual Help page:

  25. Hey Matt, I’m just beginning the sailing discipline. Been on the water about 20 years with horsepower under me. Getting bored with that and want some real adventure. The icebergs and rouge waves sound like real heartbeats. Teaching myself and hope to retire in the Caribbean. Your an inspiriation and C.R.A.B sounds like a real worthwhile program.
    Ahoy mate I’ll pass on the message

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