Search Results for: kettlewell

New ICW book from John Kettlewell

The brand new, and heavily updated, edition of Jan and Bill Moeller's cockpit cruising handbook for the ICW is now available. (The Intracoastal Waterway: Norfolk to Miami. The Complete Cockpit Cruising Guide. $29.95. The McGraw-Hill Companies/International Marine.) I was fortunate enough to be able to take over the work on this book from Bill, with his blessing, and we've added a ton of new information. The descriptions of places, navigation, marinas, anchorages, and just about everything else, is expanded, improved, and updated. However, we retained the basic mile-by-mile format of the orginal book, which puts all the vital navigational information right at your fingertips. My wife and I first used this book when we headed south in 1985, and it has been on the market since 1979, proving its popularity.…
Read More

John Kettlewell – Voyaging Interview

John Kettlewell has been voyaging and living aboard a variety of sailboats for about 27 years. In fact, he's owned eight very different voyaging sailboats and says, "I love trying out new boats." These boats have ranged from an Angus Primrose-designed, flush-decked cutter to a classic Aage Nielsen wooden double-ender, a 32-foot French catamaran to his current craft of choice, Minke, a 38-foot Finnsailer motorsailer. Kettlewell has lived aboard a series of boats for more than 12 years in a row, including several cold New England winters. Now in his second year of ownership of Minke, Kettlewell and his family have sailed the boat from Rhode Island down the East Coast to Florida and then across the Caribbean to Panama and now Colombia.Kettlewell and his wife Leslie first began voyaging…
Read More

Weather Onboard: All hands On Deck!

Using every resource available to get a comprehensive weather picture   When it comes to weather information, ocean voyagers can never have too much help, and with today’s connected world there are many ways to gather as much data as you want or need. However, some of the tried-and-true sources that have been in use for decades or longer still form the basis of every voyager’s toolkit. Long ago a friend who voyaged regularly across the Atlantic and back on tiny, simple homemade boats gave me a piece of weather advice I have never forgotten and that still remains true today. When I asked him what he used to get weather while at sea he said he used nothing! Instead, he noted that even the best forecasts tended to be…
Read More

Stay Connected

[gtx_gallery] Now that many of us have learned the joys and perils of working from home (WFH) and the always-connected 24/7 life, you may have decided it is time to get away from it all and sail over the horizon. Sick and tired of receiving urgent text messages at midnight? Mad because there is no longer an excuse not to check in? Longing for the days when the phrase, “Sorry, I didn’t have a connection,” was a legitimate excuse? Thanks to the availability of satellite phones, being anchored in that fabled tropical lagoon in the middle of the Pacific is no longer an excuse for kicking back and relaxing. Look on the bright side. Today’s satellite phones, devices, software, and accessories mean you can now reach mom on her birthday,…
Read More
Now that many of us have learned the joys and perils of working from home (WFH) and the always-connected 24/7 life, you may have decided it is time to get away from it all and sail over the horizon. Sick and tired of receiving urgent text messages at midnight? Mad because there is no longer an excuse not to check in? Longing for the days when the phrase, “Sorry, I didn’t have a connection,” was a legitimate excuse? Thanks to the availability of satellite phones, being anchored in that fabled tropical lagoon in the middle of the Pacific is no longer an excuse for kicking back and relaxing. Look on the bright side. Today’s satellite phones, devices, software, and accessories mean you can now reach mom on her birthday, like…
Read More

Light in a pinch

Routes from Florida to the Bahamas are as short as 50 miles, but they all involve crossing the Gulf Stream and hopefully arriving during daylight hours and early enough to clear Customs. For most sailors, this means an evening or night departure with an overnight sail, which is what we were doing when voyaging from Palm Beach to West End, Grand Bahama. Unfortunately, one of our steering cable ends broke off in the middle of the Stream, with a stiff wind blowing and a lumpy sea — in the pitch dark. I had a sick feeling while hanging upside down below the steering box, peering at the loose cable end by the dim light of a flashlight. Then I noticed that the steering chain the cable was attached to had…
Read More

Coping with COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced sailing organizations around the country to adapt to social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home policies. Here’s how two are dealing with the problem.   We recently received feedback from one of our regular contributors, John Kettlewell, who is also executive director of Sail Martha’s Vineyard, “a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and perpetuating our island’s maritime heritage, culture, skills and the sea that surrounds us.” Like most community sailing initiatives, Sail MV’s big programs involve sail training for children and adults. With the ongoing pandemic, Sail MV has had to make major adjustments. Back in late April, Kettlewell wrote in an email, “We decided to cancel our regular summer programs, and we’re now trying to figure out how to fundraise enough to be back in 2021.”…
Read More

Oil’s well that ends well

Oil is oil, right? Wrong! Have you experienced the dread of searching for the correct engine oil in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language? Your little pocket dictionary won’t have the translation for, “I need API CJ-4 15W-40 diesel oil.” Pointing at the bottle on the shelf might work, but be sure you are pointing at the correct container! To complicate matters, outside of North America you will find different prominent codes on the container related to other standards organizations like the ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles), and you may see manufacturer-specific codes as well. Luckily, major oil suppliers tend to include a wide variety of codes on their labels, but you may find it to be information overkill. A typical oil label on the back…
Read More

Satcom coming on strong

We’re not quite there yet, but the era of Star Trek-like communicators is mostly here — though many of us are impatiently waiting for the day we can beam ourselves between home and the boat. In many ways, the smartphones we use every day are more sophisticated than the basic flip-phone communicator that Star Trek imagined, but most of us are still limited by the distance to the closest cellphone tower. However, that tie to terrestrial towers may soon end. Hundreds of satellites for Elon Musk’s Starlink are in orbit and capable of providing limited Internet coverage. It is claimed that by the end of 2020 there will be some sort of coverage over North America. The company says, “Starlink will deliver high-speed broadband Internet to locations where access has…
Read More

A harbor to ride it out

Editor's note: Some thoughts on belonging during trying times from voyager, author, executive director of Sail Martha's Vineyard and frequent ON contributor, John Kettlewell.    With the COVID-19 virus emergency getting worse each day, we are beginning to read of communities, islands, regions and states attempting to shut their borders to outsiders, and those of us who travel by boat know that we are almost always "from away." So, what does a long-term cruiser or live-aboard do during an emergency? Obviously, if you live aboard and are in your home port, you should expect to be treated like a local and receive the same rights along with the same responsibilities. Sadly, this is not often the case in my experience. Live-aboards are considered close to homeless people by some — and if your…
Read More