November 1st

Tips for Crewing Offshore

Posted by // November 1, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)


As someone who is new to the offshore sailing world, I had many questions before going on my first offshore passage. What do I pack? How much time should I budget?  I thought I would share some things I have learned about being a crew that will help you be more prepared, less annoying to the skipper and other crew, and hopefully get invited back.

Limit your luggage to one bag. A large duffel bag should be all you need for a 3-5 day passage, more than that is not only unnecessary but more to move to and from the boat and more stuff the other crew members have to deal with on the passage.…

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October 31st

“Every incident offshore could have been prevented before they ever left the dock. It’s all about preparation. Even in bad weather, it’s the preparation that will determine the outcome.”

-Mario Vittone

The five rules of boating:

1. Keep the water on the outside of the boat
2. Keep the bad stuff inside the boat (oil, etc).
3. Keep the boat from catching fire or blowing up.
4. Keep everyone on the boat, on the boat.
5. If any of that stuff goes wrong, call us!

“Sailors get into trouble primarily for this – the failure to recognize when they’re in trouble.”

On Calling a ‘MayDay’

“You don’t have to call Mayday first – I’ve never heard a mariner of any variety say ‘Pan Pan’ over the radio.…

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October 31st

Written by Ben Ellison on Oct 31, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


Garmin introduced lots of new products in Fort Lauderdale yesterday along with the promise that all of them will be shipping by mid-February. There’s even a special Marine 2015 website, while this Garmin blog entry offers a succinct overview of the whole lineup. At the press conference the line that seemed to neatly frame Garmin Marine 2015 was “not necessarily ground breaking, but easier to select, easier to install, and easier to use.” I noticed evidence of all that along with a few features that do indeed seem unique and valuable…


Perhaps the most important new line is the GPSMap 76xx/74xx series, a portfolio of 7-, 8-, 10- and 12-inch displays with the look, feel, and underlying software base that was introduced in the 8000 Glass Helm.…

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October 30th

LIVE Podcast: Caribbean 1500 Mental Preparations

Posted by // October 30, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)


Andy gives a seminar on Tuesday at the Caribbean 1500 on mentally preparing to go offshore. This is similar to the one that was up previously, but is specific to the Caribbean 1500 and more generally the route from the Chesapeake to the Caribbean, regardless of whether or not you’re with a rally. This was recorded at Roger Brown’s on High St. in Portsmouth during the pre-departure program in front of a live audience. Follow the 1500 on

Direct download.

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October 30th

8+ at 93+

Posted by // October 30, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)


Does anybody really think that America’s Cup 35 belongs anywhere but San Francisco Bay?

San Diego, a great sailor town, has released its final promotional video, as if Russell Coutts or anyone else in AC management could care.

Better San Diego than Bermuda, I’d say, but the phrase that jumps out at me is the enthusiastic promise of winds “over eight knots, 93 percent of the time.”

Yes, the next-generation cats will foil in that, but they won’t thunder, baby, they won’t thunder.

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October 29th

The weather at Ocean Marine has been downright summery. Temperatures touched 80º both yesterday and today. Despite some mid-afternoon clouds and the threat of rain, it’s cleared again this evening and the setting sun is casting a golden glow over the rally fleet.

Click here to see the gallery of photos from last night’s happy hour at Skipjack Nautical Wares.

“What a cool sight!” exclaimed onlookers walking by the docks and admiring the code flags on the boat’s that are ‘fully dressed’ in the marina. The atmosphere is certainly festive for the new arrivals. At least three boats checked in today, bringing the grand total to 31 of the 41 boats set to depart on Sunday.…

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October 28th

Android app with boat data: Memory Map Pro & Naviotab

Posted by // October 28, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Written by Ben Ellison on Oct 28, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


The partial screenshot above shows Gizmo in the BridgePointe Marina slip where she’ll likely spend the rest of 2014. I’m a bit sad about tying up long term, but also looking forward to the Fort Lauderdale Show and especially being back in Maine with my family for the holidays. And while I haven’t made winter plans yet, it will be nice to have the boat staged for further cruising, or at least repairs and projects afloat. But more relevant to this entry is the new version of Memory-Map that I tested during the trip down from Baltimore.…

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October 27th

Miracle on Marinship Way

Posted by // October 27, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

, , , ,

It began as you see it, above.

By Kimball Livingston Posted October 27, 2014

I don’t mind telling you, the first time I heard about a plan to build a 132-foot wooden brigantine to serve as a new school ship, I thought,

“Uh oh.”

But dreamers can be doers.It’s been a quarter of a century since Alan Olson first began using sailboats on San Francisco Bay as an outreach to at-risk youth. Today, on a much-expanded teaching mission, the nonprofit Call of the Sea reaches 5,000 students a year with the schooner, Seaward, but can’t keep up with demand. The brigantine-to-be, Matthew Turner, is intended to expand that compass to 17,000 kids a years experiencing first-hand the ecology, wildlife, and interconnections of things around them often seen but “unseen.”

On the evening of October 25, during Game 4 of the 2014 World Series, true believers and former doubters gathered under a tent—a huge tent—to celebrate a “Blessing of the Bones.” That is, completion of the framing.…

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October 27th

Day two at the rally wrapped up last night back at the Bier Garden in Portsmouth, VA. Several boats had arrived throughout the afternoon and evening, so we had a larger crowd than the night before, which kept the Kolsch flowing.

Tom Tom and Serenity made their arrival later in the evening. Tom Tom made their way into the marina around 7pm last night, with Chris and his British crew arriving in time for the staff at Ocean Marine to catch their docklines and welcome them ashore. Serenity, on the other hand, had to resort to more drastic measures.

Merrill Brown and his wife Mary had left New England late last week just as the fury of that nor’easter was winding down off the coast of Newport.…

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October 26th

Day 1 at the Carib1500: German Bier, Trick-or-Treat & Safety Checks

Posted by // October 26, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Maybe it’s because it’s a special year in 2014. Maybe it’s because folks are excited about the large fleet. Maybe it’s the beautiful weather on the Chesapeake. For whatever reason, a larger-than-usual number of boats have already made their way to Portsmouth and are tied up in Ocean Marine Yacht Center, ready for the week’s festivities.

Click here for a PDF of this week’s Carib1500 Portsmouth Program of Events.

25 years ago this week, the inaugural Caribbean 1500 fleet assembled on the southern Bay and prepared to head offshore on one of ‘the last great adventures’ available to ordinary people who decided to become extraordinary if only for a short period of time as they crossed a large stretch of ocean.…

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