5) Isbjorn


“Isbjiorn” is Swedish for Polar Bear

Isbjorn is a Swan 48 sailboat of Finnish make, vintage 1972.  She is a true ocean sailing vessel, the kind of boat you want to be on if you are going to do “blue water” sailing.  She’s had quite a storied (and partly shady) history. Originally named “Warbaby“, she was seized in the early 70s by the USCG for running drugs from Turkey. Well, the 70s were shady for many of us, and Warbaby recovered from her youthful indignities the same way that I did, by joining the military.  She took up residence at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, spending 20 respectable years as Insurgente, enjoying a successful ocean racing career.  After an apparent honorable discharge, she was sold into the private market, where she went through several name changes by several owners.


In 2015, she acquired her present owners- Andy Schell & Mia Karlsson, the captain and first-mate of our current voyage.  Andy & Mia are professional sailors, and highly respected in the blue-water sailing community, so I am in very good hands, on a very good boat. Andy is American, and Mia is Swedish.  When not on board Isbjorn they make their home in Sweden.  This crossing will take them home to Sweden for several weeks of land based relaxation (well deserved) before they head back to sea for the 2018 sailing season. 

Andy Schell
Mia Karlsson









Check out their website at:  www.50-north.com

You can track our Atlantic crossing by gps map at:  www.59-north.com/logbooks#logs

In addition to Andy & Mia, there are 4 paying crew members, including myself. I’m the least skilled (read “rookie”) sailor on this boat, which suits me fine, as we shall not be relying on my sailing skills to get across this ocean.  

Today is Tuesday, May 16.  We set sail at 11 a.m. tomorrow, bound for Horta, in the Azores, a passage of 1800 miles.  We should arrive in the Azores around June 3.  After spending about a week in Azores, which will be the next time you hear from me, we will sail for Oban, Scotland.

3 thoughts on “5) Isbjorn”

  1. One ship sails East, And another West, By the self-same winds that blow, Tis the set of the sails And not the gales, That tells the way we go. Like the winds of the sea Are the waves of time, As we journey along through life, Tis the set of the soul, That determines the goal, And not the calm or the strife.
    ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Good Sailing, Mac!

  2. Kevin
    Hoping for fair weather and good winds during your trip across the Atlantic. Hope the compass and id card is helpful in your travels. Your adventure is for sure one of a lifetime. You are one of the few who are enjoying being alive.

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