Ocean Voyaging

Transatlantic thoughts

Below is a recent email from Max Fletcher and Lynnie Bruce, CCA voyagers who sail aboard Juanona, a Nordic 40. Together they have sailed from Maine to the Azores, the UK and northern Europe. For the past two years they…

Overfishing and voyagers

While not every ocean voyager also is avidly into fishing from his or her boat, many voyagers do harvest fish from the sea and so the issue of fishing and overfishing is one that naturally concerns them. And even for…

Two dismastings dodged

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from J.R. Williams’ upcoming book on his sailing adventures, Tales of A Blue Water Cruiser. In the first few days of January 1999, I was busy getting my 59-foot steel ketch Havaiki…

A steel ketch built for sea

Our boat Havaiki was a 35-ton steel ketch. She was 48 feet on deck and 59 feet overall with the bowsprit and a six-foot…

Special Section: Marine Electronics

If you are planning an offshore cruise under sail, you need access to as much vessel data as possible in one single place. A multifunction chartplotter display is the nerve center of the modern offshore cruising vessel, bringing together chart…

Protecting your boat from overcharging

Earlier this year, I finally upgraded from lead acid batteries to lithium iron phosphate (LiFePo4) batteries on my Valiant 40, Brick House. I’d researched for at least a year and South Africa, with its great tech base and good exchange…

Video reenacts Ever Given Suez Canal grounding

David Burch of Starpath Navigation examines the March 23, 2021 grounding of the 1,300-foot container ship Ever Given at 0700 local time at kilometer-marker 151 in the Suez Canal. Burch performs this reenactment with AIS data and an ENC chart of the…

Yes, you can still get Dacron

Our new Ocean Voyager 2021 annual issue has an informative article by Jayme Okma Lee for which she interviewed sailors on three voyaging boats about the decisions they made in replacing their cruising sails. One of the sailors interviewed was the cruising…

USS Constitution rebuild yields VP desk

Wooden boat owners know that wood is a beautiful material, but unlike fiberglass or carbon fiber, wood can fall prey to rot. And so wooden vessels can require rebuilding at times. A famous example of this is the USN's wooden…

A snazzier name for MFDs?

Is there a piece of marine electronics that does so much yet has such a non-descript name? The multifunction display, usually dryly shortened to simply "MFD," is a powerhouse that can combine electronic charts, AIS, radar, GPS, voyage planning, tide…

Research says Bermuda hurricanes getting stronger

For East Coast voyagers, Bermuda is an attractive option for an offshore passage. Either as a destination or a stopping point before proceeding south to the Bahamas and the Caribbean or east to the Azores and the Med. There's also…

The Magic of Landfall

So many of our words and expressions come from the world of ships and sailing: taken aback, by and large, hand over fist, a wide berth, a loose cannon, chock-a-block, and landfall. Landfall, to a seafarer, is the moment…

Optimizing Alternative Energy

A successful ocean voyage depends largely on the way we manage energy on our vessels, be it from the wind, the sun, the ocean, the auxiliary engine or a separate generator. As offshore sailors, our goal is to gain…

Digital tide tables online

In 2020 NOAA ceased publication of the printed Tide Tables in 2020. Another watershed in the move toward a totally digital world of navigational information. Working the Tide Tables was once an important part of any coastal navigation course (even…

CCA names Randall Reeves 2020 medal winner

Never count out creative thinking for devising new ways to explore the planet and establish a record. Sailor Randall Reeves conceived of a new way to sail around the world.…

A rescue from a ship captain’s perspective

On November 9, the 328-foot Finnish-flagged cargo ship Midas rescued three French sailors from the capsized 50-foot catamaran Hallucine in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal. Included among the rescued sailors was French racer Regis Guillemot. A…

Float plan: an excellent safety tool

Filing a float plan is a valuable safety tool and its usefulness is regularly borne out by real incidents. Take the case of SV Bonobo. The owner filed a float plan with a friend regarding a voyage from Cozumel to…

Snagged anchors and empty gas bottles

Every corner of the world’s oceans has their own peculiarities. The roving squalls of the equatorial Pacific, the steep winter seas of the stormy northern Atlantic, the dreaded gales of the Gulf of Tehuantepec and the magically flat waters…