Respect the King
When teaching students how to dock a sailboat, I try to make it clear that “current is king” and if you don’t know how it will affect your boat, there is a good chance you’ll end up in trouble. Well, the same can be said when planning a voyage. Whether you are crossing the Gulf Stream or sliding south to Mexico on the California Current, the water moving beneath you has a profound effect on your speed and safety.
We’re heading into the San Juan Islands today and with the area’s large tidal range and narrow passages that can create dangerous rips and eddies, the current really is king. Planning for current isn’t all about looking at slack, max, highs and lows though. You also have to take into consideration the wind and how it moves the water; is it opposite the tidal movement or with it? And what geographic features come into play; how are headlands, rocks or shoals going to change the shape and speed of the current? Also, what is the current going to do while you are at anchor? Happy planning and remember to go with the flow!
Enjoy this week’s edition.
Fifteen months ago, the World ARC 2012-13 fleet set out from Saint Lucia to sail around the world. Amongst the crews were many nationalities, backgrounds and reasons for taking part. Since then, they have sailed well over 26,000 nautical miles, crossed 3 oceans and visited over 17 countries. As they arrived back in Saint Lucia, it is difficult to make any such distinctions – they have become one unified group who have achieved their dream together. Continue reading
A rescuer and a sailing crew member have lost their lives when the 10m German yacht Meri Tuuli tried unsuccessfully to enter Portugal’s Figueira da Foz river bar late afternoon, and broached in 5m breaking waves. The boat was dismasted and both the yacht and the rescue RIB ended up on the nearby Cabedelo Beach. The rescuer who died was a member of Policia Maritima – Portugal’s Maritime Police. Four crew were rescued, while six, including two rescuers, were hospitalized. Continue reading
An above-average number of storms will emerge from the Atlantic this hurricane season, and the odds of the U.S. being hit by a major system are about 70 percent greater than predicted last year, Colorado State University researchers said.
Eighteen named storms will develop in 2013, the CSU forecasters said in their initial seasonal outlook. Nine of the systems are expected to become hurricanes, four of them major systems of Category 3 or higher with winds of at least 111 miles (179 kilometers) per hour. Continue reading
A Chinese vessel that ran into a protected coral reef in the southwestern Philippines held evidence of even more environmental destruction inside: more than 10,000 kilograms (22,000 pounds) of meat from a protected species, the pangolin or scaly anteater.
The steel-hulled vessel hit an atoll on April 8 at the Tubbataha National Marine Park, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Siteon Palawan island. Coast guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo said Monday that some 400 boxes, each containing 25 to 30 kilograms of frozen pangolins, were discovered during a second inspection of the boat Saturday. Continue reading
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four people from a liferaft Saturday after the Delta Captain tug sank off Point Sur, California, which is located along the pristine Big Sur coastline.
The Coast Guard said it received a distress call from the Delta Captain at 2:55 p.m. Saturday and dispatched a HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from San Francisco as well as patrol boats. Continue reading
Three men were brought to safety by a good Samaritan after the men’s shrimp boat caught fire just north of the South Galveston Jetty, Friday.
The captain of the shrimp boat Angel Lady called the watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston at 10:04 a.m., reporting that the shrimp boat Capt. Hunter was on fire with three people aboard. The Coast Guard Cutter Manta was diverted and a boatcrew from Station Galveston was launched to assist. The station boatcrew arrived in about 10 minutes, but before they arrived on scene, a good Samaritan aboard a pleasure craft rescued the three crewmembers in distress. Continue reading
This is some serious old-school sailing technology!
The milky white stone found in the remains of a ship dispatched to France in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, which foundered off the Island of Alderney in the English Channel, IS a sunstone, researchers say, a near-mythical navigation tool used by Viking sailors. Continue reading
Posted in Tech Talk
The Annapolis Spring Sailboat
Show comes to town April 26-28th. Ego Alley and surrounding docks will fill with sailboats, both new and brokered. Catamarans, mono hulls, inflatables, day sailors, and paddle
boards will complement over 100 maritime exhibitors on City Dock.
The expanded footprint will accommodate an even more impressive array of products and entertainment than in the show’s first year,
which welcomed visitors from over 30 states and around the globe. Continue reading
Cruisers’ used sails and fishing gear can have a second life.
The Second Life Sails project planned to assist Haitian fishermen who rely on sail-powered boats, received the approval this week of the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) as an SSCA endorsed “Clean Wake” project.
“Frequently people find themselves with used sails and surplus sailcloth as well as fishing gear that have useful life in them – but no way to get them to folks who would put that second life to good use,” said Frank Virgintino, author of A Cruising Guide to Haiti and frequent visitor to the enchanting Ile à Vache on Haiti. Continue reading
Anyone that has been around the recreational boating industry for any time at all knows that to grow boating new ideas are needed. The industry also knows that experience in a boat, on the water, is the best way to attract new participants and to get them interested in adding boating to their lifestyle. One such new idea comes from Cruzin.com, America’s only fully insured peer-to-peer boat rental marketplace. Continue reading
Still shaking off the last vestiges of winter? How about a hearty Beef Stew to warm your bones?
1 pound cubed beef stew meat
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups water Continue reading
Thanks to Zdenka Seiner Griswold for this brilliant shot of her Valiant 42, Kite, anchored off Kia Island near the Great Sea Reef, Vanua Levu, Fiji!
Do you have cool shots from your cruising adventures? Send them to me at email@example.com.
It was a big week aboard–not only did I complete my third decade of sailing by turning 30, but our son Porter Henry was born happy and healthy early Friday morning. The experience was nothing short of amazing and the little swab has already plotted our course north to the San Juan Islands and changed the engine oil. Not really, but I’m thinking about hanging a chart above his bed and Mom is keeping him well lubed.
The story of his birth does have a nice nautical twist though. Shortly before Jill’s water broke on Thursday afternoon I was at Starpath Navigation chatting with BWS columnist David Burch about barometers and weather; when we got to the hospital our nurse heard we lived-aboard and told us stories about sailing through the South Pacific aboard her family’s sailboat as a child, saying it was the most amazing experience of her life. Then, our next nurse asked if the barometer had dropped steeply during the day because that can cause an expectant mother’s water to break, which only happens 8% of the time anyway. Sure enough, the barometer had plummeted on Thursday into Friday and with it came the newest member of our crew!
Enjoy this week’s edition.