offshore sailing

North to Nome

With the changes in the Arctic, the Northwest Passage (NWP) is becoming an increasingly attractive trip to adventurous voyagers. In April 2020, I got a chance at making this famous journey when Matt Thomas, the owner of the 60-foot…

Crossing the Doldrums

For centuries sailors dreaded the aptly named Doldrums. This band of windless, hot, and humid weather near the equator could stall sailing ships for weeks, driving the crew to distraction with the monotony and sometimes even leading to the…

Rudiger Celestial Nav Award Winner and ON Special Offer

Posted August 21, 2021 Ocean Navigator Subscription August 20, 2021 - Honolulu, Hawaii - After careful review of the materials submitted to support his application, a review panel from the Transpacific Yacht Club have determined that Jesse Osborn wins the Mark S. Rudiger Celestial Navigation Trophy for the recently…

Ocean Navigator sponsors 2021 Transpac

This July is the 51st running of the Transpac Race, the signature west coast offshore race, 2,225 miles from Los Angeles to Honolulu. And for this running of the race, Ocean Navigator is an official race sponsor. The seamanship, navigation,…

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…

Sailor to attempt NY to San Francisco record in proa 

Starting in January 2021, New Orleans sailor Ryan Finn will attempt to break the New York to San Francisco sailing record sailing a 36-foot proa-style sailboat. The passage is expected to take roughly 60 days and cover 14,000 nautical…

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…

Notable New Titles — Plunge

Former liveaboard voyager and self-professed “citizen of the world,” Liesbet Collaert’s memoir Plunge is, like many other voyagers’ memoirs, an account of passages made, life aboard, dealing with gear failure, experiencing tropical beauty and a freedom tempered only by wind…

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…

A digital sextant

Sextants are wonderfully analog optical devices. A sextant user from the 1850s would have little problem using a modern sextant. Now a company in South Korea has begun offering something it calls the Korea Digital Sextant (KDS) that digitalizes…

Reports of aggressive killer whales

Orcas have battered sailboats off Spain and Portugal and the behavior of these large marine mammals has baffled experts. Sailors along Spain and Portugal’s Atlantic coastlines…

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…

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…

It’s not easy being green

How can it be that something you love to do makes you sick? The ocean is a fickle host, at times benevolent and mild, then obstreperous and cruel — often within moments of each other. One minute you’re in…

Into the Denmark Strait

The crew of the Arctic expedition sloop Aurora from left, Corinne Prevot, Ilka Hadlock, Keree Smith, Mary McIntyre (author), Camilla Edwards, Florence Gross, Marie Charpentier, Not pictured: Julia Olsen. Photobomb: Voychek, one of Aurora’s deckhands.

Battery survey

What type of battery setup might make sense for your voyaging needs? We reached out to a selection of active liveaboard voyagers to get a sense of what they are using to power their vessels. Here are their answers to…

Seamanship & Navigation, September 2020

Preparing a sailing rig for going offshore For the voyaging sailboat, your rig is your primary propulsion when offshore and should be given top priority when preparing to go offshore. The rig you have been using on weekends may have…