Two-time  circumnavigator passes

Two-time circumnavigator passes

One of Ocean Navigator’s longtime contributing editors, the extraordinarily experienced and thoroughly charming ocean sailor Eric Forsyth, died on August 22, at his home on Long Island, NY. He was 91 years old. A regular contributor to ON for many years, Forsyth wrote stories of his exploits sailing his Westsail 42, Fiona. Following his retirement from Brookhaven National Labs in 1995, Forsyth became a nearly full-time ocean voyager.  Born in Bolton, England, in 1932, Forsyth became an RAF pilot and flew early jet fighters. He later emigrated to Canada with his fiancé Edith, an M.D. He earned a BS in…
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Bill Pinkey: first to solo circumnavigate

Bill Pinkey: first to solo circumnavigate

Bill Pinkney solo circumnavigated the world via the three great capes in 1992. He wasn’t the fastest, and he didn’t do it non-stop, but Pinkney, who died in August, will be remembered as the first Black man to complete what is one of the most celebrated sailing feats.  “I’d been dreaming about an adventure,” he said in an interview with The History Makers (thehistorymakers.org) and he chose sailing because that was his greatest love. His original plan was to upgrade slightly from the 28-foot Pearson Triton he kept on Lake Michigan, but after Sir Robin Knox-Johnston recommended that “I should…
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ON photo  contest  sponsored by ICOM

ON photo contest sponsored by ICOM

Don’t forget the Ocean Navigator photo con- test sponsored by ICOM. The ON Photo Contest will be awarding an ICOM handheld radio  to each of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. We will announce the winners in the Jan/Feb ’24 issue. Send your photo (high res and one entry only please) and a brief description to tim@maritimepublishing.com. To be considered for the photo contest your email must have the subject line “ON photo contest.” Send us your best photo today!
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Wavewalker: Breaking Free

Wavewalker: Breaking Free

Wavewalker: Breaking Free By Suzanne Heywood William Collins-399 pages-List $28.99 Suzanne Heywood tells an engrossing tale, yet only in part about the sea and seafaring. Wavewalker is a narrative of family dysfunction. As a seven-year-old, the author, her younger brother, her adventurous father and chronically seasick mother, along with two crew, put to sea on a passage ostensibly intended to replicate Captain Cook’s epic third voyage, of 1776-79.  Though no relation, Heywood’s father — a British amateur sailor called Gordon Cook — was an ardent student of his namesake’s maritime legacy. Thus he decided to purchase a 70-foot wooden schooner,…
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Transpac Race wrap up

Transpac Race wrap up

The 2023 edition of the Transpac Race is in the record books. Fifty-seven boats in eight monohull and one multihull classes entered the race with 52 finishing and five retiring for a variety of reasons.  With some big sleds in the Whitter Trust division three — like the well-known Andrews 68 Pyewacket, owned by Roy Disney, along with five Santa Cruz 70s — you might expect a boat from that division to take first place. Due to the effort of a well-run race and the benefit of a good race rating, however, it was the Santa Cruz 52 Westerly, owned by…
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El Nino and hurricanes

It’s officially an El Niño season. That means that certain climate conditions have aligned. Sea surface temperatures are above normal in the east and central tropical Pacific Ocean and are expected to stay that way for at least several months, and air circulation in the atmosphere has shifted away from the “normal” state of rising in the usually warmer far western Pacific and flowing east to sink over the usually colder water in the east. The circulation reverses, with air rising in the east and sinking in the west to flow back east over the ocean, with lighter tradewinds.  Air…
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Yacht fire traced to oily rags

Yacht fire traced to oily rags

On a sunny July afternoon, the owner of the 79.9-foot yacht Pegasus and an employee refinished wood surfaces with teak oil at Peninsula Yacht Basin in Gig Harbor, Wash. The task involved applying the oil with a brush then wiping away and excess with a cloth. They wrapped up for the day at about 16:30 and left the oily rags in a bag under a wooden table on the vessel’s aft deck. Some nine hours later, smoke and flames were visible on Pegasus’ aft end. The fire continued to burn until the stern sank into the water. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators traced…
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ON photo contest sponsored by ICOM

ON photo contest sponsored by ICOM

Don’t forget the Ocean Navigator photo contest sponsored by ICOM. The ON Photo Contest will be awarding an ICOM handheld radio  to each of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. We will announce the winners in the Jan/Feb ’24 issue. Send your photo (high res and one entry only please) and a brief description to tim@maritimepublishing.com. To be considered for the photo contest your email must have the subject line “ON photo contest.” Send us your best photo today!
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Self-steering issues in the Golden Globe Race

Self-steering issues in the Golden Globe Race

Golden Globe Race winner, see “Kirsten Neuschafer wins the Golden Globe” in the Short Tacks section of this issue.  Solo sailboat racing and mass-produced self-steering systems rose together in the 1960s. These so-called windvanes made such races possible. For retro events like the Golden Globe Race, in which racers sail similar yachts and equipment to what was available to Sir Robin Knox Johnston, the winner of the first race in 1969, they are required gear. But problems have plagued these systems from the start, and are still doing so. Self-steering failures in both the 2018 and 2022-23 Golden Globe Race…
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A schoonerman passes

A schoonerman passes

Eben Whitcomb, Jr., the moving force behind the building, maintenance and operation of the schooner Harvey Gamage from 1973 to 1994, died on May 13 at the age of 98. He and Shirley, his bride of 64 years, were living in an assisted living facility in Connecticut. Eben Whitcomb Jr. was born in 1925 into an old Maine family and was raised in Washington DC. Eben Jr. attended Yale taking a degree in engineering and upon graduation served in the Navy for three years. After his discharge he went to work at Brown Company a large paper company in Maine.…
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