The Strait Route

Sailing from Thailand/Malaysia to South Africa  (published February 2013) Piracy in the northern Indian Ocean has made a dramatic impact on many cruisers’ circumnavigation plans. Scores of yachts staged in Thailand and Malaysia have abandoned plans to sail to the Red Sea and into the Mediterranean. Rather than deal with

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Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Whiling away the weeks in a friendly, history-filled cruisers' paradise  (published February 2013) As the sun rose across the island, we short tacked between Isla Mujeres and mainland Mexico. Among the ferries and pleasure boats, we saw several offshore sailboats that confirmed the chatter on the VHF radio: a few

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Idle Musings on Potential Disasters

Having a few tricks up your sleeve might help more than merely greeting the problem with a puzzled look  (published February 2013) Problems can happen as a result of a variety of precipitating events. What caused all of the electronics instruments to go out as we crossed the North Atlantic?

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Saba, NA

17° 38' 44" N, 63° 13' 14" W  (published January 2013) The weather window did not open as predicted, and 75 miles due east of St. Croix, Saba jutted out of the Caribbean like a beacon, offering a rest and adventure before we continued our passage south. We accepted the

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Feliz Navidad!

Celebrating a colorful Christmas in Z-town  (published December 2012) [caption id="attachment_4963" align="alignleft" width="432"] Top picture: view of he municipal anchorage from Playa Madera. Outdoor eateries line the shorefront walking paths in Zihuatanejo[/caption] Zihuatanejo is a seaside town on the far southern Pacific coast of Mexico, known affectionately among cruisers as

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Battery Banter

(published November 2012) Chuck Hawley, West Marine’s Vice President of Product Development, recently bought an Alerion Express 38 Yawl and is learning how to be a cruiser all over again. Since Chuck is not only a gear expert for our industry, but also in the middle of doing upgrades for

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All Charged Up

Consider an alternator upgrade for increased efficiency  (published November 2012) Your engine’s alternator can be considered the battery bank’s primary charging device since you use the boat’s engine regularly—if not daily—and because the alternator is already there and ready to go to work. But most standard, factory-supplied alternators on marine

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Quick, Easy and Good

Convenience foods for the offshore sailor  (published November 2012) Sure, we’d all like to be accomplished galley chefs, amazing and delighting the crew with our ability to whip up delicious meals regardless of the boat’s angle of heel. But let’s face it—sometimes, just being in the galley while underway is

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Barracuda!

A cruiser in Cuba experiences a close encounter of the predator kind  (published November 2012) We were anchored in a lovely spot in the lee of Cayo Sal on the south coast of Cuba. The islet, a mere rock about 50 nautical miles offshore, is no more than sharp limestone

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Long Island Bahamas

Fast boats and tranquil diversity  (published November 2012) A centuries-old sailing tradition dictates that whenever multiple boats are on the water they must engage in a race. These races, however, are neither acknowledged nor declared and, if one is close enough to be seen by the opposing crew, neither the

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