When Your Steering Fails

The best way to avoid steering problems is to maintain the equipment. But you also need to have a Plan B if it does fail.  (published March 2104) Winds were brisk at 40 knots and the waves were large as we beam reached across the Southern Ocean on the Whitbread

READ MORE...

North to South: Pointing the Way

How magnetic compasses work in the real world  (published January 2014) It was a bitter cold night. We left Newport, R.I. at 0300 that morning, and we were still about 60 miles north of the warm Gulf Stream. Fortunately, winds were WNW at about 25 and when we were to

READ MORE...

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

READ MORE...

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

READ MORE...

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

READ MORE...

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

READ MORE...

Communication Leadership

(Published March 2012) The forecasts suggested that the hurricane may be closing with our projected track in the next four or five days. But already we were facing the effects of an extra-tropical low-pressure system, and the sustained winds from that less daunting system were projected to get up to

READ MORE...

As Fickle as the Weather

One thing is certain-it's going to change  (published February 2012) It’s a common axiom in many parts of the world—if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes and it’ll change. For sailors, that can be good or bad news. Sorting the good from the bad before the fact

READ MORE...

Bermuda and Beyond

Getting from the East Coast ato Bermuda can present a road full of potholes 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 real trial

READ MORE...

An Act of God

The doubled-up wave on the quarter immediately spun the 50-footer's stern down and the bow up to weather. But, the worst was to follow... I met the owner of the Grand Soleil 50 early on an October Saturday morning, and we quickly went through the boat, tied to a mooring

READ MORE...