Derelict Sailboat Sinks Off Key West

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers are investigating the sinking of another vessel off Key West.

FWC officers are treating the sinking of a roughly 50-foot sailboat three miles southwest of Key West as the criminal abandonment of a derelict vessel, spokesman Bobby Dube said.

The Coast Guard had been issuing warnings about the sunken vessel to boaters, as the sailboat’s mast is sticking out of the water. The vessel sank in roughly 25 feet of water, Dube said. Continue reading

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Researcher Examines ‘Current Leaks’ that May Change the Way You Sail

Isabela Le Bras, a graduate student in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography, is investigating how ocean currents — those marvellous currents that, taken advantage of, can speed sailors’ voyages around the world — interact in the total story of the Earth’s changing climate. How they might change in future could also affect the temperatures you will sail in at the equator and the poles. Here is her progress report, fascinating and alarming in some aspects: Read More

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Sail On Steve Black

Steve Black, founder of the Caribbean 1500 rally, died March 17, 2014 following a long personal battle against cancer. He was 71 years of age.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Black moved to Michigan where he ran an educational publishing company. He started sailing recreationally in his mid-30s in regattas hosted by the Grand Haven Sailing Club. Black learned the sport from single-handers and has always preferred this aspect of sailing. Continue reading

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A Tribute to Steve Black from the SDR

The Salty Dawg Rally notes with great sadness the passing of Steve Black on March 17, 2014.  Many of the Salty Dawgs began their offshore sailing careers with Steve Black, at his Passage Maker seminars, the Caribbean 1500 and the Bermuda Rally.

The Salty Dawg Rally is infused with the principles that Steve espoused in sailing: good preparation, good company, good spirits and a clean wake.  Steve emphasized safety and preparation, and much of his sailing time was single-handed.  Everyone who ever sailed with Steve has a “Steve Story,” most of them true.  Most of them Steve told on himself.

Anywhere cruising sailors gather, at least one of the crowd will have sailed with Steve.  To him we owe this debt, he inspired us to cast off the docklines, explore, dream, discover.

Sail on, good friend, sail on.

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The new Charts & Tides is here and it looks right at home on iOS 7. It sports a modern user interface, a new chart engine, tide and current information, ActiveCaptain integration, GPS and AIS support, waypoints and routes, and many new features. If you are an existing user of Charts & Tides you ought to try this latest version. If you have not tried Charts & Tides before, download the free app and see why it is the premier marine software for iOS. Rated 4 stars in the App Store.

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How to Anchor with Radar in Low Visibility

Here’s another great cruising tip from our friend Capt. John of

Imagine that you are fog-bound on the blackest of nights. How can you combine electronic and traditional sailing navigation to approach an anchorage and drop the hook safe and sound? Use the power and magic of radar to anchor in an isolated cove, approach an anchorage in fog or low visibility, or when GPS has become unreliable.

Combine the power of modern technology with tradition to give you sailing safety you can rely on. See the steps below in this exclusive expanded excerpt from “101 Sailing Navigation Secrets, the latest eBook by Captain John. Continue reading

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Boat Review: Bruckmann 50 MKII

It was a lovely summer afternoon when we set off from Falmouth, Massachusetts in the company of three Bruckmann 50s to see if we could get some photos of the big motorsailers engaged in “synchronized sailing” on Nantucket Sound.

The breeze was light and there was a little chop, but the boats were able to fill their sails and gathered speed to about 4 knots in the 8 knots of wind. The boats were sailed by their owners—Dan Betty from Andover, MA, Keith and Diana Anderson from Montgomery, TX, and John Cryer and Edna Ramos from Houston, TX—so they were somewhat shorthanded for close maneuvers. Still, one by one, the 50s formed up on Dan Betty’s 50 and we were able to more or less get them sailing in formation through all angles of sail. You wouldn’t normally think of displacement motorsailers as nimble, but the 50s were fully capable of sailing close and turning smartly when called upon to do so. Continue reading

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Attend a Search and Rescue Webinar by McMurdo

The McMurdo group has announced a three-part webinar series designed to educate participants about the Search and Rescue (SAR) process and highlight innovative developments to improve SAR.

The first webinar, titled The 5 Critical Stages of the Search & Rescue Ecosystem, will take place on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. EST. Read More

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Springtime in Annapolis Brings Sailboats Back to City Dock

The 2014 Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show opens April 25th and runs through April 27th. The third annual in-water springtime show features more than 80 new and previously-owned sailboats and celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of the sailing year. Sailboats of all types and sizes will be on display including catamarans, monohulls, racing boats, inflatables, and day sailors.

The show will feature several debuts: Continue reading

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Good Mate Program Helps Boaters Become Environmentally Friendly

Best boating practices help boaters look beyond the bow and make a difference for clean, healthy water. Boating goes hand-in-hand with wildlife watching, swimming, fishing, snorkeling and diving—and each of these experiences is enhanced by the clean water needed for a healthy ocean.

Unfortunately, mishandling a boat can harm ecosystems, wildlife and water quality. Improper handling, irresponsible or neglectful vessel maintenance, and poor refueling, repair and storage habits all present environmental risks. Continue reading

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For the Hungry Crew

We’ve had some beautiful spring evenings to fire up the ole BBQ lately and made this delicious recipe a few nights ago…

Grilled Flank Steak with Rosemary

- ½  cup soy sauce
- ½  cup olive oil
- 4 ½  tablespoons honey
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried
- 1 ½  tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 ½  teaspoons salt
- 2  2  pound flank steaks*
*divide marinade in half for one flank steak Continue reading

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A device used in storm conditions and deployed from the stern to slow a boat down and keep it stern to the waves is called what?

Send your answer to A winner, who will receive a Blue Water Sailing hat, will be selected at random from the correct answers.

Thanks to Ron Sherwin for his correct response to the question: “What are the proper signals that a sailboat should display while at anchor?” a black ball during daylight and a 360 degree white light at night.

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Cruising Shot of the Week

Thanks to Nancy and Burger Zapf for this dream-inspiring shot of their Alden 50 CC Halekai at anchor in Cold Water Bay, near Fethiye on the southern coast of Turkey! Also, congratulations to Nancy and Burger for recently crossing your outbound track in the Bahamas to complete a nine year circumnavigation!

Do you have cool shots from your sailing adventures? Send them to us at

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Broad Reaching with Andrew Cross

Near or Far

As the sun was setting, the wind was slowly veering from the east to the south and building to 20 plus knots. Given my perpetual willingness to sail at night in a good breeze, I was thinking we could get off the dock and tick off some miles overnight with a favorable current; maybe run the 30 miles up to Port Townsend or the 60 plus up to the San Juan Islands. But with heavy rain forecast to accompany the wind, I didn’t think being wet in poor visibility was the most comfortable, or prudent, option. Still, I went back and forth, wrestling with the decision even as I was falling asleep.

Two nights later, and only 16  miles from my “to go or not to go” moment, all it took was a, “Hey, it’s Friday night happy hour tonight, you should join us!” to get me off the boat and up to the clubhouse for a drink and lively conversation with some new friends. We were using reciprocal yacht club moorage for the night and as a social cruiser, this is one of the things I enjoy most about the lifestyle. You might not have traveled far to get to that next harbor, but when you sit down with a few old salts to talk sea stories, it doesn’t really matter.

Enjoy this week’s edition.

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Quadriplegic Sailor Hilary Lister Takes On Indian Ocean

Hilary Lister is well known for her extraordinary trips. A quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down, Lister hit the headlines in 2005 when she sailed single- handed across the channel in a specially designed 27ft yacht that she controlled using a sophisticated sip and puff system. In 2009 she sailed solo around Britain.

On March 10th she set out on an 800nm trip from Mubai to Oman in a 28ft Dragonfly trimaran. While this too has been adapted to allow sip and puff controls, Lister will be joined by her carer Lisa Blacklocks, (who is a non-sailor) and Oman’s Nashwa Al Kindi a dinghy sailing instructor at Oman Sail who last November won the ISAF President Development Award for outstanding achievement in the development of sailing. The crew will also consist of a fourth person, a media crew member, Niall Myant who is qualified Yachtmaster with extensive offshore sailing experience but who will play no part in handling the boat unless an emergency crops up. Read More

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West Marine Recalls Folding Bikes

West Marine recently issued a recall on two models of folding bicycles sold in their stores; the Jetty Express 2 and the Port Runner 2, that are designed for use in and around docks and marinas.

The bicycle’s frame can break during use, posing a fall hazard to the rider. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled bicycles and return them to West Marine for a free replacement folding bicycle.

Contact West Marine at (800) 262-8464 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or online at and click on Product Recalls at the bottom of the page for additional information.

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Larry Ellison Eyeing Honolulu for ’17 America’s Cup

Larry Ellison sat in the quiet living room of his Woodside home and talked about what comes next, after winning the America’s Cup for the second time in September 2013, an epic victory being called “the comeback of comebacks.”

His vision for the next America’s Cup, detailed in a series of exclusive interviews over several months, involves the staging of regattas all over the world – leading up to the Louis Vuitton Cup, and the main event, the America’s Cup, likely taking place in Honolulu. Read More

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Swedish Sailors Rescued 100 Miles from Bermuda

Two Swedish sailors rescued at sea Saturday arrived in Wilmington, Del., Monday after being rescued from their sailboat approximately 100 miles southwest of Bermuda.

A 35-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman were aboard the 33-foot Swedish-flagged sailboat Bull when it started taking on water. Watchstanders at the 5th Coast Guard District in Portsmouth, Va., began rescue coordination efforts after receiving a distress notification from the Bull’s emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB). Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia also assisted with the case. Continue reading

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Scottish Sailor Rescued After Storm Hits Coast of Chile

A Scottish solo round-the-world yachtsman has been rescued after his boat was badly damaged in a storm off the tip of South America.

Andrew Halcrow, 54, was west of Cape Horn on his second attempt to circumnavigate the globe single-handed when the mast of the Elsi Arrub snapped on Saturday, according to his website. Continue reading

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Coast Guard, Good Samaritain Rescue Three Sailors 35 Miles South of Fort Macon, NC

The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan merchant vessel rescued three boaters Tuesday approximately 35 miles south of Fort Macon, N.C.

At noon Coast Guard Sector North Carolina command center watchstanders received a mayday call on VHF-FM channel 16 from the operator of the sailboat Reel Safe, reporting they were taking on water. Continue reading

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