No matter how much you prepare, there is always something. A young Swedish couple I follow recently sailed from the Big Island in Hawaii to Honolulu. The sail wasn’t pleasant, and in the brisk conditions, they heard a loud bang against their aluminum hull. Turns out they lost their Rocna anchor overboard. The chain had been removed for the trip to keep seawater out of the chain locker, done a million times, but this time, their trusted stainless steel anchor restraint failed.
Like that credit card commercial, “What’s in Your Dinghy?”
What you carry in your dinghy may make a difference if the unexpected happens. Whether it is a handheld radio, sunscreen, or a working flashlight, it can make an unexpected situation just another cruising adventure instead of something less pleasant.
I now savor my first taste of the famed Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain, which last year attracted over 300,000 people from around the world. I purposely did not set any expectations for this walking trip, rather deciding to let it happen and see where it went. I was rewarded with new friends, and an experience that I could never have imagined.
While the last bit of jet lag conspires against me along with a strong allergic reaction to the pollen now covering Annapolis, I am sure this trip will linger on in my daily life as I plan my third act in life.
Technology has made remarkable progress in the past decade, making navigation easier, safer, and more reliable. But we're not at the point of autonomous boating, so it is still the operator's responsibility to maintain situational awareness.
It is time to develop a skilled workforce in the marine industry, as many older techs retire. Developing apprenticeship programs is now the focus of industry, federal, and state government who partner to create a talented and quality labor resource for the future.
If you are doing the Loop, ICW, northern canals, or other waterway cruises that involves narrow rivers or canals, reacquaint yourself with the proper signals for passing other boats and marine traffic.
When you dream of the perfect boat for all the cruising dreams you want to do now, stop thinking you need a battleship. Take a chill pill and read about a couple who went way beyond the cruising plans of most anyone wanting to liveaboard and see the world.
Pam Wall makes a case for the outstanding life choice to cruise with a young family, as she and her husband did in their 39-foot sloop. Whether the vessel is a sailboat or trawler, it can be a life-defining adventure that so totally exchanges today's social media "experience" with the real world in all its diversity and beauty.
Consider how we tie up our boats to docks when cruising. Transient docks, even temporarily for fuel and provisioning, should not be the place to lose control over our boats, which we do when we throw our dock lines to someone on the dock, who may or may not be experienced to know what to do to keep our boat safe.
The struggles of many of today's young parents are quite a contrast to the families who choose to take the family and go cruising. The dynamics of living and working together on a boat are more intimate and focused than the hurried routines of family life ashore.
Perhaps more people could benefit from the synergy of living together aboard a boat.
We've heard the unbelievable reports of Navy warships colliding with merchant ships, with loss of life among the Navy crew. How can this happen in our modern world, with all of the technology and control systems at our disposal!?!
Here is a comprehensive review of the four recent incidents in 2017, which reveal amazing issues and problems to be addressed at all levels. Reading these summary review findings gives insight into the complexity of today's warships.
And please take away from this that the initial fears of Russian cyberattacks did not occur, yet such a threat adds a chilling, what-if component to the reported scenarios.
This is serious business in a world that is increasingly dangerous, with threats we have yet to experience.
There are many reasons to go sailing across the horizon. But to do it without proper preparation, skill, and experience is not just stupid. It can put others at risk when they must brave the elements to save these people.
Also a few pictures of the Dashew's FPB 78-1, Cochise.
A special hurricane relief event is scheduled for the first day of the sailboat show in Annapolis. For those who donate $75 or more to several relief organizations, the Donor Appreciation Party will be held at the close of the show, with free food and drinks. The donations will go directly to relief efforts in the BVIs.
Scott and Mary Flanders begin a new journey, a new path, with a new design concept for a cruising ocean motorboat. This begins a series of posts that will follow the philosophy behind the design spiral, the construction, and all that will follow....
Please subscribe to FollowingSeas.Media to come along...the adventure has begun!!!
The Recovering Warrior Sailing Regatta took place this weekend in Annapolis. It takes disabled military out for a day of sailboat racing with midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy, put on by the USNA, National Sailing Hall of Fame, and Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB).
I got a chance to spend time with Admiral Phil Cullom, who shared his approach to commanding a Navy destroyer.
Every so often something upsets the apple cart and created a new market for a product or service. It is called Disruptive Innovation. The cruising community is ripe for something new and different, something that challenges the status quo of big, expensive cruising boats that don't fit a more enlightened approach to sustainable cruising.
The joys of cruising diminish when the trip becomes a monotonous routine, every day like the one before, always moving, pushing ahead to the final destination. It is a good thing to remember why you are out there, and find a way to slow down the daily grind, and enjoy the wonders that surround you each day.
Are trawlers the safest choice for cruising? They can certainly be the most comfortable, but what about overall safety? It is an interesting question, and I hope we can begin a conversation about safety in today's cruising community. Cruising is all about fun and adventure, but it also should be as safe as we can make it.
I catch up with Dave Pike and get a boat tour of his small cruising boat, on his second half of the Great Loop. His modified Walker Bay is a dandy little craft, well thought out and designed for capable cruising.
It is much more fun to live with a boat that fits your actual cruising plans, not some fantasy dream machine that is way more than you need or can afford. Finding a good fit makes for a memorable adventure rather than a trip down bummer lane. The number of big trawlers for sale for "health reasons" is proof that one should focus on the smallest boat that is big enough.
It’s been a long time coming but we now see tangible progress emerging to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel. If the U.S. Navy can prove that it works, isn’t it about time the concept of the modern cruising boat includes hybrid forms of propulsion?
The end of the year is time to renew subscriptions and replace older apps with new ones. New technology and improved functionality promise a safer, faster, and easier user experience. In this case it is from Navionics, a Garmin Company. And General Motors.
The fear and mystery about sea monsters and rogue waves goes back to the early seafarers. With much improved technology, computers, and satellites, we know much more about this phenomemun today…and they are much more common than previously believed.
Susie Goodall had a really close call, but she is safe after losing her Rustler 36 in the Southern Ocean. The 29-year-old was knocked unconscious when her boat pitchpoled end over end in rough seas and high winds.
She was eventually picked up by a cargo ship on its way to Argentina.
If you are an “experienced” cruiser (aka old person) you probably remember the days of Selective Availability (SA) and intentionally reduced GPS accuracy. The military only let us know our location within 100 meters. This continued for years, despite ongoing pleas from the FAA and USCG to provide everyone with the accuracy available from the GPS satellite system.
It took a jetliner being shot down to turn off this reduced-accuracy SA.
Today we could not live without accurate GPS information. At home, on the road, and on the water.