July/August 2020

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Ocean Navigator

Voyagers and closed borders

The worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 has had a major effect on the situations and the future plans of live-aboard voyagers in every cruising anchorage.

Golden Globe boat still afloat

There are few better demonstrations of a well-built boat’s seaworthiness than to abandon it.

In memoriam: Harry Anderson

2014 National Sailing Hall of Fame Inductee and lifelong sailor Henry Hill Anderson Jr. died on May 11, 2020, in Mystic, Conn.

Vendee Globe slated to start in November

In mid-May, the Vendee Globe race council announced that the 25,000-nm competition was still slated to go ahead in 2020, with a planned Nov. 8 start.

Atlantic hurricane season

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and the predictions by various research groups vary, but the general consensus is that this 2020 season will be above average in the number of named storms and in hurricane-level storms.

Offshore adventure company goes virtual

The sailing adventure travel company 59° North normally sails more than 10,000 miles a season, offering offshore passage experiences from the Arctic to the Caribbean aboard 48- and 59-foot Swans.

More fish aggregating devices

In the last issue, we had a short piece about fish aggregating devices, or FADs, seen in waters around the world.

Problems in the emergency beacon network

When voyagers purchase and register an EPIRB, they have a reasonable expectation that should they activate the beacon, the Sarsat system will swing into gear and rescue them.

How we found the right boat

My wife, Clarice, and I talked about living aboard a boat for years before we made the plunge.

Sea of Cortez in the time of coronavirus

We’d left the dinghy on the beach and hiked up to a isolated coastal rancho (family farm) to resupply our fresh vegetables.

Stuck in the U.S. Virgin Islands

“You couldn’t have picked a better time to be living on your sailboat” seems to be the sentiment of many of our friends as they see pictures of us snorkeling the clear waters off St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amazing trades

This is the fourth and final installment in a multipart series, “The toughest passages of 50,000 miles,” a look at the most difficult aspects of circumnavigators Ellen and Seth Leonard’s various ocean voyages. In this last piece, Ellen changes the focus.

The humble yet capable marine VHF

Although marine VHF radio has been around for a while, it has not only remained useful but is also still a vital part of any vessel’s safety equipment.

Satcom for the sailor

When long-range cruising, it’s nice to get away from it all — but some of us still must remain connected.

In serious hot water

Tierra del Fuego, Land of Fire, might have a warm name, but the images of glaciers and penguins give me the chills.

Hot water options

All the options for hot water on board Brick House.

Celestial navigation series, part 13

In this installment, we’ll explore the value of shooting multiple celestial bodies and getting a fix position that nails down our exact position.


The first and most difficult job in precalculating what celestial bodies will be available and where they will be is to determine the time of twilight.

Multiple body problem

On Aug. 1, 2002, you are hove-to at a DR position of 32° 08’ N, 73° 07.5’ W.

July/August Issue 263: Mid-ocean plague ship disaster

As we experience the disjointing of our lives during this pandemic, it is useful to put it in historical perspective.

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