Ocean Navigator - January-February 2015

Paris and Kiwi Spirit try again

The custom 63-foot sloop Kiwi Spirit, with Dr. Stanley Paris at the helm, departed St. Augustine, Fla., Sunday morning, Nov. 9, 2014 under clearing skies and 10 knots of northerly wind.

WWII wrecks found off North Carolina

Researchers from NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries recently discovered two significant vessels from World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic: German U-boat 576 and the freighter Bluefields.

ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year

Australian James Spithill was nominated for leading Oracle Team USA to one of the greatest comebacks in all sporting history, yachting’s greatest prize, the America’s Cup.

West Coast whale alert app

Whale populations have recovered dramatically since the age of international whaling, but those that migrate near shipping lanes are still often struck and killed.

USCG to abandon PFD type labels

In an effort to be more consumer-friendly and spur innovation, the U.S. Coast Guard is dropping its Type I-V labeling system for life jackets.

Position fixes via radar

Like may other sectors of society, voyagers have become highly if not wholly dependent on GPS for navigation. What if, however, there was a GPS outage?

Power voyaging near knockdown

We bought a strong, ocean-capable voyaging boat. We chose Dirona, a Nordhavn 52, not because we were convinced we would voyage ‘round the world, but because we wanted the flexibility to be able to go anywhere in the world if we wanted.

Is New Zealand outside South Pacific cyclone zone?

Every year hundreds of boats transit the South Pacific, leaving from ports in North or Central America and arriving in tropical paradise. By the end of the cruising season, after visiting a handful of Pacific Island nations, each boat has to decide where to weather out the South Pacific cyclone season.

A communications load balancing system

My partner and I are both employed by Microsoft and often find ourselves working remotely throughout the Puget Sound and British Columbia. We needed a reliable Internet solution that didn’t break the bank and could work in U.S. and Canadian waters.

There’s always something

The November temperatures were dropping, triggering our annual maintenance, replacements and repairs. Charting a course to Kilada, where Big Sky would dry on the hard while we enjoyed our family in Canada, we stopped in Piraeus, the harbour of Athens — and the place to find just about everything on your tattered list.

Armor belted

I’ve always wanted to sail in the Arctic. Some of my greatest pleasure in voyaging comes from the remarkable animals that share the earth with us. I love diving and never tire of the tropical creatures, but I’ve always wanted to spot a walrus, or narwhal, or polar bear.

Offshore competence builders

One thing rarely written about in magazine articles and books on long-distance cruising and voyaging is the time problem. Relentlessly marching on, with or without us, time does not pause while we accumulate the right boats, skills, experience and crew to do the great things we read and dream about.

Adult sail training

While sail training on board a tall ship is generally the province of the young, there are big ship sail training opportunities for adults.

Adventure chartering in the Antarctic

In February of 2014, eight men from 56 to 73 years old, mostly from Maine, chartered Skip Novak’s 74-foot sloop Pelagic Australis for a three-week sail from Porto Williams, Chile, to the Antarctic Peninsula.

A true number two anchor

Want to start an instant argument in a waterfront bar? Just bring up anchors and anchoring and you’ll regret changing the topic from politics.

Anchor test in the Chesapeake

In August 2014, Fortress Anchors conducted scientific anchor testing in the Chesapeake, utilizing the 81-foot research vessel Rachel Carson owned by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

Applying lettering to a dinghy

We just renewed our boat insurance and one evening, when I had too much time on my hands, I decided to actually read the new policy. I came across a clause that stated that the theft of the dinghy was only covered if the name of the vessel was clearly and permanently marked on it.