Getting Your Point Across

Coordinating efforts is not difficult if everyone on the crew understands the tasks at had and how to proceed as individuals within the group  (published June 2015) In the high latitudes of the deep South Pacific, several hundred miles west of the Chilean coast, the winds quickly began to build.

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The Devil in the Details

It has often been said that the devil is in the details. It's those same details that will decide victory on the racecourse or pleasure throughout a long distance passage.  (published May 2015) Whether you are entering a competition merely to be among those who race or are actually out

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Passing the Baton

Preparation will help you avoid emergencies and turn them instead into adventures. And the lessons learned through these experiences are worth sharing with others.  (published April 2015) Alone on deck at 2:15 a.m., the Caribbean night was quiet as Lia Ditton slept below on her side of the catamaran and

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The Tried and True of Traditional Tools

Venturing offshore still has its risks: We're caught unaware by the weather. Vessels run aground. Auxiliary power fails. But some things continue to work through it all.  (published March 2015) Nav stations have changed, and they continue to change. We now have more means to gather positioning, performance and weather

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Smoke Signals, Morse Code or …

The boats on which we sail are not the only things that have evolved demonic speeds. Modern offshore communications have developed right along with them.  (published February 2015) With spray flying up to the lower spreaders, we roared down the face of a 50-foot wave, surfing at speeds between 30

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The Major Refit

Time and miles have taken their toll. It's time to manage a refit to all your boat's essential systems.  (published Ocdtober 2014) The miles have slipped beneath the keel, the storms have been endured, and the sunsets have been enjoyed. Periodic routine maintenance has kept your boat up to its

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Learning the Ropes

Lines run here, there and everywhere on a sailboat. It's worth knowing what their properties are and how best to use them.  (September 2014) A few years ago, as I was wandering the docks and checking out the fleet of Open Class 60s, I noticed that there weren’t any shackles

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Speed Isn’t Everything

Whether you’re dealing with heavy weather or just taking a break, there are times when slowing the boat makes all the sense in the world  (published August 2014) As I came up on deck I could see the wide-eyed look in everyone’s faces. The catamaran was going too fast, and

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The Dark Art of Weather Anaylsis

How learning the basics of weather can keep you in the right spots while on passage  (published July 2014) I stood there, facing the seated crowd of sailors and asked,  “How many of you have a basic minimum or less understanding of how to read a weather map?” At least

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