Episode #129 is Mark Baummer, a Chesapeake Bay Pilot, one of the guys who will go out and take command of commercial ships when they enter the Bay from an ocean voyage. In this episode Mark and I talk about our trip together (Mia and I did a ride-along with Mark on a 750-foot coal ship), about how he got into the merchant marine in the first place, what it is a pilot actually does, how he became a pilot and much, much more. This is a fascinating look at a professional maritime career, and a real treat to have Mark on the show.…Read More
Many cruisers believe an all-chain anchor rode is always superior to rope rode. Chain is stronger and much more chafe resistant than rope, but you can still do some serious anchoring on rope alone. With rope you do need to be more security conscious and must always check for chafe. If there is coral on the bottom, this means diving on the rode on a regular basis. You should also be much quicker to set a second anchor, not only as insurance when conditions get strong, but also to keep your boat from swinging around too much.
One big advantage of chain is that its great weight keeps a boat from shifting around much in a light to moderate breeze or current.…Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Nov 10, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
There’s lot to report from the Fort Lauderdale Show, but the calendar dictates that I first write about this Seapilot satellite compass. That’s because a startling 50% show discount is still available this week, so you can buy the Vector Compact-N NMEA 2000 model seen above for $500 simply by applying the code “FLIBS2015” in the shopping cart. The Compact seemed like a relatively good value at twice the price when I first discussed its features last November, and since then I’ve seen it perform pretty well on Gizmo…
I don’t know why Seapilot is selling the Compact at half price — and all its Class B AIS transponders too — but maybe it’s because many boaters don’t yet realize how much a GPS (GNSS) compass like this can do.…Read More
My two recent posts on the use of pfd’s seemed to have struck a cord with sailors around the world. I received plenty of harsh admonition when I advocated that wearing a pfd should be a personal choice. I even received a death threat but don’t think the person would actually have killed me if push came to shove. I then wrote a mea culpa saying that I may have been wrong about the use of lifejackets, that I had read a book about how easily it is for accidents to happen when you least expect them. Well as you can imagine I got a blasting from plenty of people who were mad at me for capitulating.
By Bruce Niederer
I hear it said increasingly often in the last couple years as I meet people during my travels “Who will be the next generation of tradesmen? Who is going to work on our cars, boats and homes?” This is a serious lament posed by today’s tradesmen, potential employers who have a very hard time finding apprentices and workers to learn their trade. The U.S. is in dire need of men and women willing to work with their hands and develop the skills necessary to build and repair all our…stuff.
One of the tricky logistics on a long-distance cruise is coordinating shipments of mail and packages. With vagaries of delivery time and weather planning, it’s easy to miss a package. That’s what happened to one of our coveted Rally raffle prize shipments, missed by one day at a North Carolina stop. The Spyderco knives?! Oh no!
But there is always bar-coded label forwarding and we got the package hop-scotched ahead to South Carolina, just in time for our potluck dinner and raffle at Osprey Marina. This was a prize everyone wanted to win. What sailor can’t use a rust-proof serrated knife?…Read More
By Diana Doyle
Last year’s fall season was one of the coldest we’ve seen on the ICW, with morning ice on the decks as far south as South Carolina. This fall is balmy and warm — but is it ever wet! You may have heard about all the rain and flooding in Charleston where we’re heading in the next couple of days. So, today is a rainy-day portrait, introducing another intrepid Rally crew, with some bright colors and smiles…
Stephen and Maureen Judd on s/v Minuet
The Judds are on a beautiful Crealock-designed Pacific Seacraft 37, which they admit purchasing without ever having heard of William Crealock, one of the world’s leading yacht designers from the 1960s through the 1990s.…Read More
I practiced what I preached, and finally installed a diaphragm bilge pump to improve the situation in my deep and creepy bilge. I wrote about this in my bilge pump opus, All About Bilge Pumps.
The principle at play here is that the bilge pump that keeps your bilge dry may not be the same bilge pump that keeps you from sinking: Centrifugal bilge pumps, the workhorses of the bilge pump world, can’t pump all the water out and always leave an inch or more behind. To really get the water level down you need a diaphragm pump attached to a strum box (intake strainer), and with this arrangement you can get it down to a quarter inch deep.…Read More
By Diana Doyle
This year, the Rally registration fee included a multi-day bonus: participation in the Hampton Snowbird Rendezvous. Now in its third year, this four-day, intimate, southbound-cruiser event is always a sold-out event. This year, in addition to the usual seminars, social gatherings, and safety checks, the Rally got an extra bonus: two boats joined the fleet. Since today, in South Carolina, it’s raining cats-and-dogs, which means all my photos are terrible and my camera is getting wet, I’ll introduce our two Hampton additions.
Gil & Charlene Gelineau on s/v Ithaka
The Gelineaus are on a Bristol 45.5 center cockpit.…Read More
There’s nothing like sailing your new boat for the first time. Especially if that means sailing it home on a long delivery. Some of our new Leopard 48 owners have shared their stories and through them, their excitement. For one owner, it was sailing under the Code 0 for the first time; for another, taking on a 750-mile leg without ever having done an overnight. Our owners sounded off on their experiences, their boats, and how they chose the Leopard 48. Read the owner reviews.
Tonight was the fleet dinner at Mr. P’s Bistro in Southport — Topsail Sound oysters, crab-stuffed wontons, shrimp-n-grits, fried green tomatoes, shrimp gumbo, blueberry & honey cheesecake – need I say more? Their food is phenomenal.
And tonight was also the raffle for the Mantus anchor. These new-generation anchors are much-coveted by boaters. Mantus Anchors generously donated a 35 pound model, suitable for a boat up to 35 feet and 15,000 pounds. Here is Gil Gelineau of s/v Ithaka, who kindly volunteered to assemble the big prize back when we were at Dowry Creek:
Mantus Anchors was founded by a cruising couple, one with a structural engineering background, the other an emergency room doctor who had cruised in Latin America and had been pondering more reliable anchoring solutions.…Read More
The fleet arrived at Southport, North Carolina, to a welcome reception by the town and Zimmerman Marine. The Mayor Pro-Tem Mary Ellen Poole (right of proclamation) and Alderman Todd Coring (behind right of proclamation) kicked off the wine-and-cheese deck party with a formal proclamation signed by the mayor himself:
A big thank-you to Hank Whitley and his staff at Southport Marina, for doing the impossible and fitting 20 boats into their marina during peak season. They did a great job of flight control, bringing the Rally boats in one-by-one as the fleet turned off of an oily-calm Cape Fear River into the ICW by Southport.…Read More