Finding Refuge

A tale of two approaches to an enchanted Australian cove  (published August 2012) It is 140 nautical miles from my home port in Williamstown, at the mouth of Melbourne, Australia’s Yarra River, to the beautiful little bay known as Refuge Cove on the east side of Wilson’s Promontory. Refuge Cove,

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Sheet Lead

One of the easiest sail trimming mistakes to avoid is over-sheeting. Simply remember the phrase, “When in doubt, let it out.” Let the sheet out until the sail just begins to luff and then bring it in until it stops. But what happens if part of the sail is set

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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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From Meek to Mighty

The awesome adventures of the Linda  O (published July 2012) The lunchtime office escapee had been enjoying a beautiful fall day at the Wahoo Cut Public Boat Ramp in Charleston, SC when he came upon two unlikely characters launching a very different looking boat. “So, you’re going to the Turks

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Heaving-To

The ocean is your parking lot  (published July 2012) For centuries, heaving-to has been the most reliable trick in a sailor’s arsenal for “parking” a sailboat at sea. Throughout that time, sailing vessels have changed and sailors have changed with them, but one fact remains—heaving-to is an important and necessary

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Coastal Currents

(published July 2012) [caption id="attachment_4622" align="alignleft" width="323"] Schematic rotating current diagram. As opposed to pure reversing currents found inland, which alternate their direction, coastal currents tend to rotate their direction with little or no change in speed. At the time of high water, this coastal region has a north current

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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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Finding Faults

Understanding the ins and outs of electrical circuits  (published June 2012) If anything on your boat is run by electricity, sooner or later it will fail. The corrosive combo of salt and moisture provides such a hostile mixture that it is remarkable any electronics work at all. Keeping the boat

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Correcting for Current

(published May 2012) In many inland waters, tidal current flow is a dominating factor in navigation. In special cases like the Gulf Stream, it can also be crucial in the ocean. With a working GPS, it is less of a challenge once underway because we can see directly from our

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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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