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Ocean Navigator

A tale of two storms (and more)

My last newsletter spoke about the coming El Nino and its possible effects. An even earlier newsletter, “In Hawaii, Hurricanes Hardly Happen,” published one year ago at this time, talked about the relative infrequency of hurricanes in the vicinity of Hawaii. In early August, not one, but two hurricanes affected the Hawaiian Islands. This is very uncommon, as indicated in the earlier newsletters. Let’s take a look at what happened.

Bronenosec Crowned 2014 Gazprom Swan 60 World Champion

2014 Nordhavn Rendezvous taking place in Dana Point, CA.

Web Exclusive

A taste of Tonga

Liveaboard voyagers Livia and Carol provide their video impressions of Tonga in the South Pacific

Second record attempt scrubbed

Dr. Stanley Paris has a mainsail problem and throws in the towel on solo circumnavigation

Sans jack stands or cradle

Voyagers make use of a Fiji keel pit for waiting out the cyclone season in the South Pacific

Wrapping up hurricane season

Hurricane season officially ended for the Atlantic and the eastern and central Pacific at the end of November. The season was a study in contrasts across these three regions, which are under the purview of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla.

Video of high speed grounding

Volvo Ocean Race boat Vestas Wind's navigational mishap in the Indian Ocean as seen from on board camera

Bitcoins for boats

Big Florida yacht broker announces it will accept payment in Bitcoins

The foundations of good seamanship

In the 18th and 19th centuries, sailors who lived long, unscathed lives were thought to be blessed with luck.

No doubt a voyager

One look and there's no mistake this boat is fitted out for offshore passages

Sailor shows real Grey Power

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is sailing hard in the Route du Rhum race

Britain begins eloran service

Eloran will now be available on the east coast of England to help forestall any GPS jamming

Your iPad as a musical instrument

Believe it or not, a transoceanic sailboat and an interplanetary manned spacecraft on its way to Mars share two important factors in common: limited space, and extreme isolation.

Armor belt

Getting a cold molded cutter ready for the NW Passage ice

Hodgdon built Comanche departs for Australia

New Portable Telemedicine Videoconferencing Kits

Power voyaging guru

Trawler expert Jeff Merrill's regular contributions to ON's power voyaging column have a second home

Demystifying your life raft — or, getting to know it step by step

In a recent issue of Ocean Navigator we ran an article by Michelle Elvy and Behan Gifford on the challenges faced by voyagers in getting their life rafts properly inspected and repacked when they are outside of North America.

Fundraiser for former Ocean Star captain

Virginia Wagner, who captained the ON schooner Ocean Star and numerous other vessels, battles illness

2014 Chuck Husick Award winner

The winner of the Chuck Husick award was from marine communications mainstay Icom

Annapolis Sailboat Show sampler

A look at just some of the great gear on display at the Annapolis show.

Loyal to the last thread

Reader loves her ON cap, wears it everywhere and it shows!

Marion–Bermuda feeder race

Yacht club announces new race to feed Maine boats to the Marion Bermuda

NMEA show sampler

A small venue for the discerning marine electronics fan

Changing seasons

Columbus Day weekend has now passed in the U.S. at the time of this writing, and there are certainly signs on the weather maps of the North Atlantic and North Pacific of the more active weather patterns characteristic of the colder season beginning to show up.

Zinging across the waves

A different type of ocean going power boat

Approaching the dock

For six months of the year I run a boat, spending a great deal of time at the dock. While there, I have the opportunity to see how others — both power-boaters and sailors — dock their boats. Sad to say that of every ten boaters tying up, perhaps 2 percent have any clue as to what they’re doing.

Ida Lewis Race video contest winner

Effort by young sailors in Ida Lewis distance Race is captured in short video

Garmin BlueChart Mobile

Perry gets its mast(s)

Rhode Island's official sail training vessel has its mainmast and mizzenmast stepped in Portsmouth

Steel schooner sparkles

Eastern Shipbuilding's reproduction of the schooner Columbia on its inaugural sail

Disappearing battens

Primrose Fry Technologies Ltd has a batten product called Flattens that can be easily rolled up

Hands-on with Garmin electronics

I recently had the opportunity for a great voyaging adventure and thought I could mix a little business with pleasure by reporting on my experience with some new Garmin electronics.

Older GPS satellites still plugging away

If only all products lasted as long as navigational satellites

2014 Chuck Husick Award nominees

Products nominated by our expert panel for Ocean Navigator's 2014 Chuck Husick Marine Technology Award

XANTREX Introduces the Popular Freedom SW Series in 230VAC for Global Applications

Genoa self-steering

A British self-steering unit is cockpit based and uses wind pressure on the jib for steering force

Nav satellites go astray

Recent launch of European Galileo satellites sends two spacecraft into wrong orbit

Cementing a repair

A 48-foot Dutch-built sloop is saved from sinking with 60 pounds of cement

Race navigation goes virtual

Will racers soon charge around courses without a buoy in sight?

Mast stepping on steroids

Raising the mast for the 192-foot Perseus 3 is an industrial affair

Henri Lloyd continues as Technical Clothing Supplier for Clipper Race

The company behind winning Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race team, Henri Lloyd, has been announced as the Official Technical Clothing Supplier for the 2015-16 and the 2017-18 editions of the Clipper Race.

Night vision for iPhone 5/5S

A new iPhone case from FLIR also happens to come equipped with an infrared camera

Proper storage and disposal of batteries

As sailors we realize that one important issue in today's world of portable electronics is the proper storage and disposal of batteries.

Race around Cape Horn

French Volvo Race winner Lionel Pean announces big boat race to Southern Ocean

Clipper Race fleet in the Thames

After 40,000 miles on the ocean, The Clipper Race fleet has returned home in London

Morgan sails with whales

Charles W. Morgan seeks out whales on Stellwagen Bank, but without harpoons

Arctic voyager escapes

Sailboat attempting Northwest Passage is freed from ice north of Alaska by Coast Guard icebreaker

First step for Iridium GMDSS status

The International Maritime Organization is now evaluating Iridium satcom as an IMO-certified GMDSS partner

Higher ethanol levels questioned

The Boat U.S. membership organization questions increasing ethanol levels in gasoline

Pacific Cup - Cruising Division starts

Hope for older race boats?

Actaea, a modified 1971 Bermuda 40, takes the Newport Bermuda cruising division

The only celestial race trophy

The Marion Bermuda Race stills offers a celestial trophy and will help you learn celestial nav

Navigation iPad app

Even more GPS accuracy?

Improvements to civilian GPS signals will make GPS more reliable and precise

Paddling to raise awareness

Deb Walters will attempt a solo kayaking expedition from Maine to Guatemala

Multislip dock vs moorings

New docking system can replace multiple anchors with one mooring for several boats

El Nino on the way

There have been many stories in the news recently concerning the El Nino phenomenon. This is mainly because it appears quite likely that a significant El Nino event will take shape in the coming months and persist for up to a year. With this in mind, it is worth taking a look at what this might mean for those planning ocean voyages during this period of time.

More on polar bear defense

Recent Northwest Passage voyager offers some advice on protection against the big bears

Thermal imaging for corrosion detection

Using a thermal camera to check beneath the skin

Predicting planets

The Nautical Almanac is full of so much information that it requires a Baedeker for the novice — and that includes those who have used the book many times. Most celestial navigators primarily take observations of the sun and become familiar with the daily sun pages and all the ephemera having to do with sun sights.

Missing airliner sighted by voyager?

Sailor claims to have seen a burning airplane on night watch that may have been Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370

Ready for launch

This speed machine is ready for some "Major Tom to ground control" action

The Titanic of the Mississippi

Documentary film effort seeks to highlight biggest maritime disaster in U.S. history

Polar bear protection

Voyager Ellen Leonard receives some firearms training in advance of a Northwest Passage trip

Coast Guard to resume search

Missing British sailors from sloop Cheeki Rafiki will again be focus of mid-ocean search

Sailing saves spacecraft

NASA's Kepler mission uses a stabilizing sail to keep gathering data

The ultimate Wi-Fi hotspot

With the technological leaps in modern transportation and communications we tend to think of our world as a pretty small place, however with the recent disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, with 239 souls on board it turns out this is only the case when we maintain an electronic communications leash. Cut that leash and the largest man-carrying vehicles can disappear into a figurative black hole. The latest Iridium product, known as GO, short for Global Online, aims to help with this problem.

Electronic buoys on station

The Coast Guard deploys 25 electronic aids to navigation in San Francisco Bay

A look inside the Panama Canal

Voyager John Lewis' photos and text provide an intriguing view of Panama Canal systems

Oliver Hazard Perry gets haulout

Full-rigged ship receives final prep work below the waterline

Yacht transporter diverts for race yacht

Under jury rig and out of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale race, doublehanded racers get a mid-ocean assist

No swimming in the Australian Bight

A possibly apocryphal tale from a fisherman at Victory Harbor

Clipper Race update - SF to Panama

Nav tools found at wreck site

Instruments discovered in the Gulf of Mexico establish connection to 19th century sailors

Compass compensation

PS 61 nears completion

Bob Perry-designed Pacific Seacraft 61 takes shape in North Carolina

Major El Nino event brewing?

Researchers are looking at the data to determine if a big El Nino event will occur this year

Lunar eclipse viewing

Watch for a total lunar eclipse in the evening/early morning of April 14/15 with good viewing in North America

The danger of “bomb” storms

For many folks in the eastern and southern U.S. as well as eastern Canada it has been one of the more rugged winters in recent memory. There were many storms that produced significant amounts of winter precipitation (snow, sleet, freezing rain) along with strong winds, and the temperatures were well below normal in many locations. And a storm in late March provided a case study on the dangers of rapidly developing storms, sometimes known as “bombs.”

GLONASS satnav outage

A data upload error caused the Russian satellite navigation system to become highly inaccurate

Heads up info for every sailor?

A virtual display of performance and nav information

The equation of time

Mention the phrase “equation of time,” and most people will probably think you are speaking of some obscure economic formula that has to do with life expectancy versus retirement income. But we celestial navigators we know better. Or do we?

Expanded chart printer lineup

NOAA has added more outlets for its print-on demand chart products

Grey Power in the Route de Rhum

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston will solo race transatlantic in November

2014 Nordhavn Rendezvous taking place in Dana Point, CA.

Through the Panama Canal

Video shows process of yacht Active Transport going through the famous path between the seas

Making new sailors

Video shows how Sail Newport gets people on the water and sailing

Reducing shrink-wrap's impact

National provider Dr. Shrink has program to collect and recycle boat shrink wrap

Skimming over Tuamotus lagoons

Voyagers' video shows some great South Pacific kiteboarding

One of the largest carbon infusions

100-foot hull mould needs plenty of resin

Dockside safety

Most of the time when we get back to the dock we feel pretty safe. We are safely tied up and shore is within just a few feet so how could there be any danger?

Shockwave Wins RORC Caribbean 600

George Sakellaris' RP72, Shockwave, wins best yacht overall

Sextants in the Clipper Race

Switzerland crew members take advantage of a chance to learn celestial at sea

Lost containers and danger

Shipping containers lost overboard might be a hazard depending on their cargo

2014 Miami Boat Show roundup

A look at the 2014 NMMA Innovation Awards and a few other items seen at the show

The garden hose and the bilge pump

A simple story underlines the need for capable pumps on a voyaging boat

Tri record attempt upended

80-foot Maxi trimaran capsizes off Brazil

Production begins on the First C&C Redline 41

Oyster announces new Oyster 825

Smartphone AIS

I recently purchased a Samsung Galaxy Centura (an Android-powered smartphone) for my wife Thelma. They are truly amazing high technology devices, but what’s more amazing is the multitudinous apps that can be downloaded either free or for a nominal fee.

Press release

Furuno’s newly refreshed Navpilot 711C autopilot features vivid color and updated controls

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville joins the party to showcase sailing and summer sailstice

Mantus Anchors announces new website

Hodgdon officially launches service division

Stuart Macneil joins New England Ropes team

Jeff Merrill Yacht Sales opens

14th annual worldwide Summer Sailstice celebration lands on the solstice

New Hydro-Balance™ technology to its multiple award-winning Evolution™ autopilot line

New Dragonfly7 steps up the screen-size with a best-in-class 7” widescreen display

Mustang Survival Offers Free Inflatable PFD Inspection Service at the Vancouver International Boat Show

Mustang Survival named Official Life Jacket of the Lake at Toronto International Boat Show

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