Living aboard here in the Pacific Northwest during the winter isn’t generally too bad. With our temperate marine climate we rarely see snow and temperatures are typically mild. But a few weeks each winter we get these clear, cold and windy days that cause us to trade our rain jackets for something slightly warmer and to turn the heater up a notch. I guess the one thing we can’t complain about is the sunshine, because boy is it great to get some of that vitamin D.
We’re going through one of these slight cold snaps right now, which makes the fact that we’ll be heading for the B.V.I. tomorrow that much sweeter. I can picture our chartered Moorings 43.3 now, waiting patiently for us in her slip at Wickhams Cay II or being thoroughly enjoyed by another family escaping the cold of a northern winter. That is what makes chartering so perfect for so many. Even though we liveaboard and sail as much as we can, there are a number of great destinations for work-a-day cruisers to sail on vacation during any season. And as a wise old sailor once told me, “Andy, nothing goes to weather better than a 747.”
Enjoy this week’s edition.
Mike Fitzgibbons recalls 1973 with a mixture of fondness and tearful nostalgia. That was the year he graduated from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, celebrated his 24th birthday and married his first wife.
It was also the year he set sail on a trip that would enter the record books as the world’s longest known raft expedition. Fitzgibbons was one of the “Las Balsas” explorers, a group of 12 hardy men led by the charismatic Spanish explorer, Vital Alsar, who set sail from Ecuador on three vessels fashioned from little more than tree logs.
Read more courtesy of CNN.com
Yachts toppled and a quay was destroyed during a series of earthquakes, which have caused devastation in Kefalonia, Greece. A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude between 5.7 and 6.1 hit the western Greek island before dawn Monday, sending scared residents into the streets.
It came just a week after a similar quake damaged hundreds of buildings, reviving memories of a disaster in the 1950s. A Cruising Association (CA) member who has been in touch with contacts on Kefalonia said: “Several earthquakes have occurred over a week just west of Argostoli, the capital of Kefalonia.” Continue reading
Jose Salvador Alvarenga, who claims he spent more than a year lost at sea, stepped warily off a boat in the Marshall Islands’ capital with the help of a nurse after being transported from the isolated atoll where he was washed up.
The castaway who claims he spent more than a year lost at sea, drifting some 6,000 miles from Mexico to a remote Pacific atoll, said Monday that he contemplated suicide after his traveling companion starved to death before his eyes.
The dream goes back to their first meeting on the set of a Disney sailing movie. Seven years later, Charlie Enright and Mark Towill’s vision of a round the world race campaign is coming true as the two friends enter the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 with Team Alvimedica.
Aged 29, Charlie Enright recently married and lives in Rhode Island, on the American northeast coast. Mark Towill is 26, a kid from Kaneohe, Hawaii. They attended university together. Both are friendly and easy-going – they could be your next-door neighbors. Except that these guys are going to race around the world in the next Volvo Ocean Race. That’s something your neighbor will not be doing – and these two have dreamt about it and worked to make it happen for a long time. Read More
The Cruising Club of America has selected Jeanne Socrates (Ealing, West London,England) to receive the Blue Water Medal for her completion of a solo nonstop circumnavigation of the world on her third attempt. The Blue Water Medal was first awarded in 1923 and is given “for a most meritorious example of seamanship, the recipient to be selected from among the amateurs of all nations.” The award will be presented at the annual CCA Awards Dinner on March 7, 2014 at New York Yacht Club in Manhattan. Continue reading
Here’s another great cruising tip from our friend Capt. John from skippertips.com…
Lower and set your anchor and that’s just one small step in the total process of safe ‘n sound anchoring. Check your position fast and easy to make sure your small sailboat stays put. Follow these five sailing navigation safety tips for worry-free cruising “on the hook”!
Sailboat cruising and anchoring go together like a fine wine with an Italian meal. So it pays to know how to keep your costly sailboat and sailing crew safe and sound while “on the hook”.
You can count on the fact that your anchor will drag from time to time. Perhaps just a few feet or meter or two before it resets itself. Why is this? Boats at anchor bob up and down or shear from side to side. Wind, sea waves, swell, passing boat wakes, tidal rise and fall, and current combine against your anchor. Continue reading
Here’s an interesting and very well done trailer from a previous Cruising Compass “Website of the Week“, Deep Green Wilderness.
The Unknown Sea: A Voyage on the Salish
Set sail with Orion’s crew as they voyage to the heart of the Pacific Northwest’s newly named inland waterway. Glide over and dive under this vibrant ecosystem on this month-long sailing journey.
This expedition to learn about the historical, political and ecological factors that went into the recognition of our newest inland sea creates a sense of place highlighting some of the most iconic species and seascapes of the Salish Sea ecosystem. The Unknown Sea a Voyage on the Salish explores the natural and cultural history of the area through interviews of people deeply involved with the Salish Sea.
Strictly Sail Miami is the sailing event of the season! The fun begins Thursday (Trade Day) February 13th and will not end until the final bell sounds Monday, February 17th. This five-day spectacular sailing event features the best of the best that the sailing industry has to offer. You’ll find the latest and the greatest from boat builders across the globe. Come out to see, shop and test sail some of the newest sailboat designs, plus nearly 200 booths and land displays featuring sailing gear, accessories, and hardware from the industries top suppliers, along with the latest charter information and the boats you’ll be chartering in our new Vacation Basin.
At the show, you can attend Fee Seminars every day sponsored by Blue Water Sailing magazine on topics from seamanship to sail trim to exploring the great cruising grounds near South Florida. Plus, you can attend one of the great longer seminars, for a fee, on Safety at Sea, Couple Cruising and Weather. Check out the seminar schedule here.
Also, Cruising Compass readers can get a $2 discount on tickets to Strictly Sail Miami by logging on to the show’s website and entering the code BWS when you sign up in advance. Continue reading
Registration is now open for the Cruising Club of America’s biennial US Sailing-sanctioned Safety at Sea Seminar, which will be held in Newport, R.I. on the weekend of March 15-16, 2014. The seminar welcomes cruisers, delivery crews, racing crews, and skippers. All will gain valuable practical information.
Here’s the program: Moderator: Ralph Naranjo. Sanctioned Safety At Sea seminar with ISAF Refresher and ISAF Certificate. Saturday: safety seminar. Saturday-Sunday special features: hands-on satphone training, seasickness session, medical seminar on “ship’s doc” duties, preparing for the Bermuda Race and any offshore voyage. Speakers include: John Rousmaniere (recent accidents), Rives Potts (heavy weather), Frank Bohlen (weather-Gulf Stream), Dr. Jeff Wisch (seasickness), Dr. Barbara Masser (medical seminar), Chris McNally (communications), Henry Marx (personal safety equipment), Ron Trossbach (abandon ship). McMurdo Grab Bags will be presented to registrants for the Saturday seminar.
For more info and registration visit bermudarace.com
What cook—and dishwasher—doesn’t love a good one pot meal? This one is as simple as it seems and delicious too!
One Pot Tomato Chicken Pasta
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed (substitute canned chicken)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 Tbsp fresh Thyme
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock (or 1 cup of stock if you don’t have or feel like using wine)
- 1 x 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 225 grams of dried pasta
salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup mozzarella Continue reading
In the December 19th issue of Cruising Compass we brought you the very cool Earth Wind Map, well, now there’s the same thing but with ocean currents. Enjoy!
Thanks to Diny Vandeloo for this great shot of his Balboa 26 Adventure Quest as he buddy sailed through the Florida Keys!
Do you have cool shots from your cruising adventures? Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Highs and Lows
Some friends were on our boat for dinner the other night who had just returned to the Pacific Northwest after spending two years cruising Mexico and crossing the South Pacific to Australia. Their stories were plentiful, fascinating and at times hilarious. But one of the conversations that stuck most vividly in my mind was that of the emotional highs and lows that cruisers invariably experience.
They had some great highs and lows to share and it got me rolling through a list of triumphs and tragedies that cruisers often face. The lows are interesting because they are usually born out of pure frustration. For me it has been when a succession of small things happens, such as minor gear failures that then snowball into something great until you finally throw up your hands and shout, “I can’t take it anymore!” But the highs, oh those sweet highs. Those are the ones you remember and come back for. They are the green flashes at the end of a tropical sunset or the unexpected pod of dolphins that comes to play at your bow when you are feeling lonely offshore. At the end of the night, we all agreed that we endure the lows because the highs are so spectacular.
Enjoy this week’s edition.
It’s over 70 years old, a thin magenta-colored line appearing on over 50 different navigational charts covering the Atlantic Coast and Gulf, snaking along the route of the Intracoastal Waterway. Now, thanks to NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey and a public-private partnership with Active Captain, an interactive cruising guidebook, NOAA will be updating the “magenta line” on all of its newly-issued navigational charts to help keep boaters in safe waters.
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) submitted comments on the proposal to NOAA, who had initially proposed removing the line entirely. However, responding to BoatUS’ and other boaters’ comments, NOAA will tap into users of Active Captain to update the route in an on-going effort that will benefit the boating community. Continue reading