Voyaging is fixing things

Voyaging is fixing things

Liveaboard voyagers usually like to point out that one of the constant aspects of voyaging is fixing things that break, and that things break all the time. Here is a video from Rebecca Childress aboard her boat Brick House that demonstrates the point. Rebecca and her sailing partner Michael Hayward work on rebuilding their wind generator, which stopped turning and required some major repair. https://youtu.be/UAkoKvG8wbI
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SSCA shares unique cruising videos

SSCA shares unique cruising videos

To commemorate the Seven Seas Cruising Association 70th Anniversary, each month, SSCA is making complementary (public) one of our popular interviews in the SSCA's Circumnavigators and Easier & Safer Cruising Summits! Watch & share. In this interview, we speak with two celebrity members Bruce and Joan Kessler, who were one of the first, if not the first, to circumnavigate in a personal cruising motor vessel, Zopilote, on a 3 year voyage ending in 1993. Bruce is a former Formula 1 race car driver, TV and Movie Director, and Deep Sea Fishing boat Captain, and Joan, better known as Joan Freeman…
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Starlink opens to recreational vessels

Starlink opens to recreational vessels

In late June the FCC authorized SpaceX to offers its Starlink satellite internet network for moving vehicles. Starlink, which aims to sell internet connections to almost anyone on the planet however remote their location, has been providing inexpensive service for rural land-based communities since 2019, but this gives the go-ahead to serve RVs, ships, airplanes, and boats. Earlier in the spring I wrote an article for this magazine on communications for high seas boaters, including options for accessing the internet. Satellites were and still are the ticket; what has changed in a few short months is that this veritable giant…
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A racer’s thoughts on the 2022 PacCup

A racer’s thoughts on the 2022 PacCup

In our July August issue we ran a Boat Focus piece on the Hanse 342, Twelve-Winded Sky, owned by Mark Jordan, describing Jordan's and his and his doubled-handed racing partner Randy Leasure's efforts to get the boat ready for the 2022 Pacific Cup Race from San Francisco to Hawaii.  Jordan and Leasure competed hard in the race and they finished with an elapsed time of 16 days 21 hours, 59 minutes and 13 seconds. Though Jordan and Leasure came in last of nine boats in the Kolea DH1 division, they enjoyed their first PacCup and sounds like Jordan will be…
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Stroke survivor completes transatlantic crossing

Stroke survivor completes transatlantic crossing

Any transatlantic crossing is an achievement, no matter the vessel or the crew. For Nordhavn 40 owner Philippe Guglielmetti, however, his June/July 2022 crossing contained an impressive level of personal accomplishment. In 2015 Guglielmetti suffered a a pontine hemorrhagic stroke that left him in a wheelchair. Guglielmetti departed Miami aboard his Nordhavn 40, Embracing Life on May, 28 and arrived in Tarragona, Spain on July 12. The passage was completed in three legs: Miami to Bermuda, Bermuda to the Azores and Azores to Tarragona. Guglielmetti had other crew with him on the passage, the mix changing with each leg, but including Adelaide…
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Solstice weather charts

Solstice weather charts

For this newsletter, I thought it might be a good idea to look at a few surface forecast charts and go through the features of the charts. This has been done before, but it is always good to have a refresher for this material, and there have been a few changes in the charts in recent years. Then I realized that we have just passed the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, so it made sense to look at some charts produced on the summer solstice, and also to look back at the same charts produced on the winter solstice…
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Autonomous Mayflower crosses Atlantic

Autonomous Mayflower crosses Atlantic

The original Mayflower brought a boatload of immigrants to America. Now a solar-powered trimaran named the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) — although it's a bit small for the designation "ship" — has crossed the Atlantic, helping to bring shipping into a new age of artificial intelligence (AI). With no crew aboard and navigating via AI alone, MAS finished a 2,700-mile (4,400km) passage from Plymouth, UK to Halifax in Nova Scotia on June 5. The 50-foot long MAS can make 10 knots and was controlled by AI developed by IBM. It uses six cameras and 50 sensors to obtain input from…
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Newest GOES weather spacecraft

Newest GOES weather spacecraft

NOAA released a photo today from its latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), GOES-18. The image shows the Western Hemisphere from 22,236 miles out into space. GOES-18 was launched on March 1, 2022 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. This latest version of the GOES line has an Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument that can see Earth using 16 different channels, each measuring energy at different wavelengths along the electromagnetic spectrum. This allows the satellite to gather data about Earth’s atmosphere, land, and ocean. This is good news for voyagers, as better imagery translates into better marine forecasts. From the press release: "GOES-18…
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An Unauthorized Boarding

An Unauthorized Boarding

An Unauthorized Boarding While cruising in the Caribbean following a crossing of the South Atlantic, on Rebecca Childress’ Valiant 40, Brick House, we arrived in Buccament Bay on St. Vincent. We were accompanied by a buddy boat: solo sailor friend Paul Teabo aboard his Island Packet 36, Getting There. What followed was an unfortunate and thankfully rare brush with crime while cruising.  We both anchored in the northwest corner of the bay, near a friendly fishing village. Rebecca and I have strict security protocols, and at night, we hoist the dinghy, secure it with a cable and lock, and leave…
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Rudder problems snag voyagers

Rudder problems snag voyagers

One of the most difficult gear failures for a voyaging boat is rudder/steering problems. Losing the ability to steer makes getting to the next available port a priority. Jury-rigged steering approaches can work, but call for having the proper materials on board and result in greatly reduced performance and crew fatigue working an often unwieldy emergency steering system. These drawbacks of emergency steering make the case for rigorous maintenance and troubleshooting of your rudder/steering setup prior to departure on a passage. A recent incident off Hawaii brings home the importance of this issue. On April 14, 2022, the 154-foot Sentinel-class…
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