Ocean Voyaging

Electronics blunt navigation skills

I think one of the biggest problems people have with navigation these days is inherent in what we all use today, namely electronics. We are taught and learn to not trust intuition and instead follow the instructions. In other words,…

The tropics are hot!

I was sitting in a circus tent last night, which felt like a steam bath. Hundreds of sweaty bodies were jammed in, along with the tigers, monkeys, elephants, clowns, and cotton-candy vendors. It was a Mexican circus here in Cartagena,…

Cruising without insurance

I've never had boat insurance, and never needed it, in more than 30 years of cruising between Canada and the Caribbean. I'm now in Cartagena, Colombia, which is off limits to many cruisers with insurance. Frankly, I don't know why…

Can't blame the sun

According to a new study by scientists in the U.S., Switzerland and Germany, variations in the brightness of the sun are not sufficient to explain global warming. In an article to be published in the September 14th issue of Nature,…

Trading in the San Blas Islands

Trading with the natives isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, at least not here in the San Blas. The lure of the mighty dollar has replaced almost all interest in trade goods, though sometimes hunger makes our offerings of…

Voyaging and breakdowns

I never thought I’d be anchoring in 40 feet of water routinely, but that is what happens in the San Blas Islands. With all chain rode and a 45-lb. Bulwagga anchor that’s a vertical lift of around 90 pounds. No…

No foul currents

On a recent 14-hour delivery trip along the Maine coast, Ocean Navigator advertising manager Charlie Humphries and I had a wonderful and somewhat baffling experience. We were taking a boat from Hancock Point in Frenchman’s Bay to Christmas Cove via…

Balloons boost hurricane knowledge

  The Mongolfier brothers of France are credited with the first lighter than air craft, a hot air bag of sack cloth and paper that drifted above the town of Annonay in December 1782, so it makes sense French balloon…