The Second to Worst Case Scenario

EPIRBs continue to provide a unique measure of safety to our activities offshore. Here is the story behind what happens if and when you're ever required to push that button.  (published January 2013) The winds had been steadily building for several days as Great American approached within 350 miles of

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Calling Home by Satellite

It's not just E.T. who wants to phone home, and the options for doing so are about to expand  (published December 2012) I had just come off watch, deep in the Southern Ocean. Temperatures on deck were well below 40ºF, and I needed to get some messages out during my

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Magical Moments in Remote Places

(published October 2012) While departing Cape Town, South Africa during past summer trips, I often experienced the same conditions—the sun would beat down while moderate breezes pushed us northward toward our destination in the Caribbean. After quite a few trips along that route, delivering or racing boats of one kind

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A Dangerous Game

Weather routing is a bit of a chess game against the weather-at times, it can be more dangerous than you'd like  (published September 2012) It’s a chess game. You—or me—against the weather. It matters little whether I’m on a race or delivering a boat; trying to set a speed record

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Four Hours Away From a Nap

Keep your crew's awareness sharp by taking a disciplined approach to watchkeeping   (published August 2012) We’ve all seen it: the excitement of departure has everyone awake the first night until midnight. But, as the biorhythms start to slow down for everyone in the wee hours of the night, people start

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Medicine on Board

By the time you're looking for your medical kit, it's already too late to start getting prepared  (published July 2012) Racing around the world in the 1998-99 Around Alone Race, singlehanded Russian sailor Viktor Yazykov faced a potentially life-threatening situation—the abscess on his elbow required draining. Even to a former

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Where On Earth Are You?

Tracking devices abound, and they are only improving  (published June 2012) The skipper on Thursday’s Child took a few moments out from dealing with the heavy weather on deck. It was cold. And the Southern Ocean waves were huge—40 feet or higher. More than 2,000 miles from land and singlehanding

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Weather Wizardry

Sailing season is the time to be aware, and the place to start is www.weather4sailors.com  (published May 2009) We’ve all seen the headlines and read the stories. Each year, someone is caught unaware by an approaching squall, knocked down in a gale or storm, and hurt—or worse. Last year it

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Bermuda and Beyond

Getting from the East Coast to Bermuda can present a road full of potholes  (April 2012) It’s another Bermuda Race year. That, however, is just one of the many reasons that sailors fetch up on those wreck-strewn, reef-surrounded, sandy, and yet still hospitable shores. At times, it can be a

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