Overtaken

A sudden storm dampens a passage from Grays Harbor, WA to San Francisco  (published September 2012) When I tell the story of a recent storm encounter, most experienced sailors wonder how we got caught in the first place. Didn’t we listen to the forecasts before leaving and have NOAA weather

READ MORE...

Adding Reef Points

(published September 2012) Any experienced cruising sailor knows the importance of being able to reef your sails in heavy weather to reduce power and heeling. As a safety feature, at least one, and preferably two reefs are critical. So when my husband and I replaced our mainsail a few years

READ MORE...

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

READ MORE...

Finding Refuge

A tale of two approaches to an enchanted Australian cove  (published August 2012) It is 140 nautical miles from my home port in Williamstown, at the mouth of Melbourne, Australia’s Yarra River, to the beautiful little bay known as Refuge Cove on the east side of Wilson’s Promontory. Refuge Cove,

READ MORE...

Sheet Lead

One of the easiest sail trimming mistakes to avoid is over-sheeting. Simply remember the phrase, “When in doubt, let it out.” Let the sheet out until the sail just begins to luff and then bring it in until it stops. But what happens if part of the sail is set

READ MORE...

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

READ MORE...

From Meek to Mighty

The awesome adventures of the Linda  O (published July 2012) The lunchtime office escapee had been enjoying a beautiful fall day at the Wahoo Cut Public Boat Ramp in Charleston, SC when he came upon two unlikely characters launching a very different looking boat. “So, you’re going to the Turks

READ MORE...

Heaving-To

The ocean is your parking lot  (published July 2012) For centuries, heaving-to has been the most reliable trick in a sailor’s arsenal for “parking” a sailboat at sea. Throughout that time, sailing vessels have changed and sailors have changed with them, but one fact remains—heaving-to is an important and necessary

READ MORE...

Coastal Currents

(published July 2012) [caption id="attachment_4622" align="alignleft" width="323"] Schematic rotating current diagram. As opposed to pure reversing currents found inland, which alternate their direction, coastal currents tend to rotate their direction with little or no change in speed. At the time of high water, this coastal region has a north current

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...