Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 29, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
She: “HEY! Do you realize you’re steering right at a ledge?!?” He: “Yes, dear.” While it was a tough cruise for my lovely first mate, I did learn a lot about what an EchoPilot FLS Platinum Video Engine can actually do. If you click the photo above to full size, for instance, note how the FLS in the Garmin video window is showing especially shallow water about 55 feet ahead, though in a rather vague, pixilated manner. Note, too, that the more conventional and less expensive Raymarine CHIRP DownView/sonar is at least suggesting a shallowing trend.…Read More
This is the Voice of Experience piece I wrote for SAIL magazine back in 2013 about my experience losing an anchor on my first-ever charter as a 20-year-old in New Zealand. Without further ado, enjoy this weeks (embarassing) Essay Friday. What’s some of your stupid mistakes onboard?…Read More
By Kimball Livingston Posted August 28, 2014
Hurricane Marie, in the Pacific off Mexico, has been downgraded from its 140-knot top wind speeds to the status of a tropical storm. But not without supplying some thrill rides to the boldest of Southern California surfers, not without flooding parts of Seal Beach, and not without beating up Catalina Island’s southerly-exposed harbor at Avalon and interrupting ferry service from the mainland.
The images here were circulated by the Catalina Island Yacht Club and have appeared in multiple news accounts. All or most of them can be credited to Erica Minuto. CIYC dates its Avalon shoreline location and pilings (but not the current clubhouse) to 1903.…Read More
It’s not too often that you see 6 Moorings 5800s in one photo, or any six 50-60 ft cats for that matter. Captain Ryan from the crewed 5800 Prodigious took his dinghy out to snap this great shot recently off of Marina Cay in the BVI. We’re not sure of the reason for the rendezvous on this particular day, but why not?
Perhaps this will become a more common site. The Moorings 5800s have been proliferating in the BVI since the flagship model was introduced in late 2012. Each of these yachts is privately owned in the Moorings Yacht Ownership program.…Read More
With children fortuitously exiled in sleep-away summer activities, my bride Clare and I had a chance last week to venture out on Lunacy for several days on our own. We originally thought we might visit the Damariscotta River, but heading out from Portland last Monday we were plagued by light air and had no reasonable hope of its increasing considerably in the days ahead. This is a problem that often confronts the cruising sailor: when the wind lapses do you simply switch on the motor and go where you wanted to go anyway, or do you sail more slowly and go someplace you hadn’t thought of?…Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 26, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
Apparently, the folks at Cruising Solutions have not forgotten that I once characterized their useful and still popular Mariner 500 intercom headsets as “making a boater look unfashionably similar to a Soviet tank driver,” and hence asked me to test their latest solution to the problem of verbal communications when captain and crew are in different areas of a boat. They are called “My Team Talks” Bluetooth headsets and they’re much more than modern looking intercoms. “Bring state-of-the-art multiplex communication technology to your boat” is not an overstatement…
The technology that Cruising Solutions has selected for boat use (and to presumably support for a long time) was developed by headset specialists Sena, whose main market is motorcyclists.…Read More
Note: the photos in the post below look MUCH better in their original form on 59-north.com. Click here to see the article, with accompanying photos, in it’s intended glory.
At 10:30pm, on the fifth night in the harbor of the medieval city of Visby, I dove into the cold, dark water in nothing but a Speedo and my triathlon wetsuit.
It was darker – and colder – than it looks in the photo (if that’s possible). And also rougher. But it was adventure!
Over the previous four nights, the weather had deteriorated to the point that the harbor itself offered little respite.…Read More
Kristen Berry is one of the head trainers at J/World Annapolis sailing school. Andy chatted with him in early August about his racing and cruising career, his transition into professional sailing from managing political campaigns (you’d be surprised at the similarities), his thoughts on what racers can learn from cruisers (and vice versa) and how he creates successful trainig programs at J/World and manages successful ocean racing campaigns. J/World Annapolis is now the Official Training Partner of World Cruising Club USA, and are hosting their first Ocean ‘OPS’ course on September 22-23. The Ocean Preparedness Seminar will be a hands-on weekend learning safety and emergency management specific to ocean sailing.…Read More
When is a windshift shift worth tacking on? When is it better to play the shifts versus going for stronger wind? To answer questions like these it’s helpful to know how much you’ll gain in a shift. If you can quantify your decisions, they are often easier to make.
Here are some rules of thumb regarding distance gained/lost in a wind shift: If your boat’s tacking (or gybing) angle is 90 degrees then you’ll gain 12% of the distance between boats in a 5 degree shift, 25% in a 10 degree shift, 37% in a 15 degree shift and 48% in a 20 degree shift.…Read More
Flag etiquette rules aren’t required as a cruiser, but you should know the basics to avoid embarrassing yourself or offending others. Beyond that is up to you, but there’s a whole language to flags that is interesting to learn. As a fan of flag etiquette. I like to think I know a few things about flags, but I learned so much from this great infographic that reader John Tissot of the East Freemantle Yacht Club emailed!
Eleven years ago this month, we sailed with a group of fellow Seattle Yacht Club members on an organized cruise. It was our first time clearing into another country, and we were so excited to use our snappy new Canadian courtesy flag when we cleared in at Ganges.…Read More
This week we hit our six year cruisaversary. On August 21, 2008, friends sailed us out of the entrance to Eagle Harbor, Washington, and on our way to adventures afloat. We did not anticipate that we’d be out this long, not knowing at what ages the children might pine for “normal” land lives, how the life would meet our expectations, or we’d string together our finances. With lumps in the road, it still has stuck together, and I am grateful every day to live this life afloat with my family.
To celebrate six years, Jamie pulled a digital track of our travels since departure (and a small party of fellow sailors!).…Read More