Ocean Navigator - January-February 2020

A cultural and visual spectacle

For those in search of fair winds, an umbrella-laden beverage and an increased sense of adventure, Cuba provides. U.S.-Cuba relations easing in December of 2014 provided an opportunity for voyagers to sail the island. One year later, we arrived to our charter in the southern Cuba port of Cienfuegos to begin a 600-nm voyage to Havana.

Circumnavigator sets sail to fight plastics

Eighty-year-old Australian serial circumnavigator Jon Sanders has departed for his 11th circumnavigation. This time, however, Sanders isn’t sailing around the world just for the thrill of it.

Volvo Penta advances vessel automation

Last summer, on a sunny late spring day, Capt. Thomas Hansson sat calmly at the controls as his Azimut 68 sport cruiser inched toward the dock at Volvo Penta’s Krossholmen test facility. Never once did his hands touch the throttle or the steering wheel.

Extra fuel for voyaging

The days of red jerry jugs strapped to the rail are, or can be, a thing of the past. That is, if your vessel is large enough to carry a fuel bladder somewhere on deck.

High water threatens former Lake Michigan lighthouse

The lighthouse structure at Waugoshance Shoal in Lake Michigan, built in 1851 and retired in 1912, is under duress from the lake’s high water levels and autumn storms, which are loosening stones from the light tower’s massive crib structure base and causing them to fall into the water.

NOAA to end paper charts

According to a notice published in the Federal Register on Nov. 15, 2019, NOAA has announced plans to phase out the production of paper nautical charts within five years.

Oil analysis is an invaluable tool, but often misinterpreted

I once read an article in a major boating magazine entitled “Oil Analysis Made Simple.” It caught my attention because, as a trained oil analyst, I know from experience as well as formal training that oil or fluid analysis is complex and fraught with both opportunity for sampling errors and misinterpretation of reports.

Dodging lightning

This is the third part of 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.

Surveying boat security

Alarm systems come in three basic varieties: stand-alone systems that utilize sound alarms to alert those nearby, cellular network-based systems that can also alert you, and satellite-based systems that can provide worldwide coverage.

Taking boat security seriously

Sailing around the world for more than 12 years, through more than 50 countries, it seems we have been lucky to have not lost anything to thieves.

Celestial navigation series, part 10

In this installment, we’ll cover how to reduce a planet sight; we’ll include a step-by-step breakdown of how to reduce star and planet sights, and we will also include a star sight problem to solve as a way to review what you learned in the last installment.

Ship or sail?

After nine years of drifting peacefully between friendly South Pacific isles, enjoying warm receptions along safe shorelines, and — besides the occasional outburst from Mother Nature — quiet, uneventful passages, we’ve crossed the equator and returned to the Northern Hemisphere to face one of our toughest cruising decisions in 40,000 nautical miles of world voyaging.

January/February Issue 259: Santa Maria

In its day — more than 500 years ago — the nao (ship) Santa Maria embodied a sailing design that was as modern then as the fastest-designed sailboats are today.

The last straw

The discourse on worldwide plastic pollution is hard to avoid these days; everywhere you look, there’s another alarming story about Texas-sized garbage patches in the Pacific and pounds of plastic in the bellies of marine mammals and birds.