Satellite Phones at Sea

Voice and data communications has never been easier for cruisers  (published February 2014) The call came in on schedule from Lime’n at sea. “Can you hear me?” Tony called into the handset of the Spot Globalstar phone. “Loud and clear,” I answered from the relative safety of my desk at

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SSB Email and Weather Made Easy

An instant guide to receiving SSB email and weather at sea  (published February 2014) SSB radios are one of the most useful tools for sending and receiving information while offshore or in remote locales. Due to their long range (several thousand miles is quite common), independence from complex networks or

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Sweet Spots on the Rio Dulce

Part II: Getting to one of the western Caribbean's best hurricane holes  (published February 2014) Still hoping that it wasn’t a huge mistake to take the boat up the Rio Dulce, we hauled anchor and started the engine, eager to put Livingston behind us. It wasn’t only the town’s costly

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Herd Instinct

Deciding when to head offshore can be tricky, and subject to the opinions of those around you  (published February 2014) It had been a rough passage from England to Cape Town, South Africa. Drum had almost sunk— again! On that, then-most-recent trip in 1985, several of the flat panel composite

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Bonifacio, Corsica

Lat    41°23', 4N; Long 009°09', 8E  (published January 2014) Most of the planning we did for a week’s charter from the new Sunsail base in Cannigione, Sardinia, was around the logistics of getting there from the United States. We also read the excellent guidebook Italian Waters Pilot, published by Imray,

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True Reliability

Where to look when building redundancy into your boat's systems  (published January 2014) Cruising boats are simple but contradictory things: a heap of essential, often complex, systems that you rely on for transportation, comfort and safety. Failure of a critical system at the best of times can be expensive and

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Uncommon Passages

A cruise down the Atlantic coast of Europe reveals an abundance of unique harbors  (published January 2014)   [caption id="attachment_5794" align="alignleft" width="346"] Ile Houat[/caption] Over the centuries, north European sailors heading to the Mediterranean and points south have faced the hardest challenge of their voyage on the first leg: getting

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The Magnificent Marquesas

The many highlights of this magical cruising ground are hard to ignore  (published January 2014) [caption id="attachment_5780" align="alignleft" width="283"] Marquesas overview, top image: Fatu Hiva's Bay of Virgins is one of the most visually dramatic anchorages in the world[/caption] Isolated, wild and brooding with bold mountain landscapes jutting up above

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Bar Exam

Part 1: Getting to one of the western Caribbean's best hurricane holes can be an education in patience and seamanship  (published January 2014) Ninety minutes before high tide, Hanalei reached the sea buoy outside Livingston, Guatemala that marked the mouth of the Rio Dulce. This would be the last tide

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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

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