A New Glow for the Old Girl

She was a magnificent yacht in her day, and you’re the new proud owner. With a little tender loving care she can regain that youthful appearance, but, as with any new workout program, it doesn’t need to be accomplished in one undertaking  (published February 2017) Perhaps periodic routine maintenance by

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Decision Time

All of the weather forecasts from multiple sources indicated a likely and potentially dangerous passage. The real question was whether or not we would have the courage to stay tied to the dock or would ego and momentum keep us moving towards departure  (published October 2016) I still have a

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Dealing with a Hurricane

Tropical weather systems, and hurricanes in particular, have their own idiosyncrasies. Understanding them can help us deal with them more effectively. Misunderstanding them can be a disaster  (published September 2016) It was 7:30 p.m on a Sunday evening. The phone rang. Lia Ditton, a woman with whom I have sailed

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Fumbling for Solutions

If you’re attempting to address a medical emergency and you’re not prepared, you’re already too late  (published August 2016) Six months before we were scheduled to take Moondance across the North Atlantic, we began to assign tasks and areas of responsibility to the people scheduled to be onboard. Those responsible

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Offshore Anticipation

Preparations for the Bermuda Race are about to commence, but getting ready for an offshore passage isn't unfamiliar territory despite the myriad possibilities that lurk in the future  (published June 2016) I just made my flight reservations. Moondance, the Swan 56 we brought to Spain last June is now in

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Reaching Into Your Bag of Tricks

With enough time and miles at sea, encountering problems and equipment failures is inevitable. Having the original equipment manufacturers' authorized spares and repair kits onboard is not. Regardless of those mutually exclusive constraints, getting home safely is still your responsibility  (published May 2016) After years of rigorous training and practice,

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Doublehanding for the Distance

Shorthanded sailing presents both benefits and difficulties. Most of the difficulties can be overcome with a little forethought. Establishing a good watch system lays the foundation for problem avoidance as well as problem solving.  (published April 2016) Consensus thinking often leads one to believe that fewer crew implies fewer logistical

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Gaining an Understanding

Regardless of what you're trying to accomplish as a team or crew, clear communications is central to success  (published March 2016) Anchored off a lee shore the wind began to build around 2:00 a.m. The catamaran’s anchor had been well set in good holding ground, but as the seas stacked

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Another Uncertain Outcome

Getting a 48' Gunboat catamaran to Cape Hatteras in mid-December might seem like a good idea to some folks, but it could leave a great deal of risk to the imagination  (published February 2016) Anjella, a Gunboat 48 I helped to move north from Cape Town, South Africa ten years

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Digging Into the Bag of Tricks

As technology continues to drive deeper into our lives, it's important to remember that an elegant simplicity still exists with the traditional navigational tools and solutions  (published January 2016) I’m scrambling. With one and a half days before I fly to France for another transatlantic passage, I’m deeply immersed in

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