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.
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.
I went along on what will likely be the last sail of the year. Boats that have not gone south are being winterized and properly stored. This past Saturday we brought a Hallberg-Rassy to its winter yard at Herrington Harbour North in Deale, MD.
And today I help bring a Selene 40 trawler over to Jabin Yacht Yard in Annapolis for hauling and shrink wrap. It’s that time of year.