Navigation in Hurricane Season

The 34-kt Rule and the Mariners' 1-2-3 Rule  (published January 2013) The tragic sinking of the tall ship HMS Bounty and the loss of two lives on October 28, 2012 in the winds and seas of a very well-forecasted storm forced me to postpone my promised article on the pros

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The Second to Worst Case Scenario

EPIRBs continue to provide a unique measure of safety to our activities offshore. Here is the story behind what happens if and when you're ever required to push that button.  (published January 2013) The winds had been steadily building for several days as Great American approached within 350 miles of

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Calling Home by Satellite

It's not just E.T. who wants to phone home, and the options for doing so are about to expand  (published December 2012) I had just come off watch, deep in the Southern Ocean. Temperatures on deck were well below 40ºF, and I needed to get some messages out during my

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How to Choose a Genset

An energy audit will tell you how much power you really need  (November 2012) Nearly since its invention, the reciprocating piston engine has been used aboard almost all offshore-capable vessels as a double-duty workhorse, both powering the vessel via propeller and generating electricity to recharge the battery banks. It’s become

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GPX Files

Your best bet for nav data transfer  (published November 2012) There are many reasons these days to transfer navigation data among GPS and e-chart devices. Here are just a few. 1. The easiest way to lay out a route is to select and then fine tune the waypoints on an

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Magical Moments in Remote Places

(published October 2012) While departing Cape Town, South Africa during past summer trips, I often experienced the same conditions—the sun would beat down while moderate breezes pushed us northward toward our destination in the Caribbean. After quite a few trips along that route, delivering or racing boats of one kind

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Timekeeping in Navigation and Weather

(published September 2012) There are a dozen or so timekeeping systems used in navigation and weather, and we cannot avoid using several of them from the nav station. In the end, the main time we care about is GMT, more properly called UTC, or Universal Coordinated Time. All weather data

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A Dangerous Game

Weather routing is a bit of a chess game against the weather-at times, it can be more dangerous than you'd like  (published September 2012) It’s a chess game. You—or me—against the weather. It matters little whether I’m on a race or delivering a boat; trying to set a speed record

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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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