Sail Training in the Gulf of Maine

Sail Training in the Gulf of Maine

The sails themselves tell the story: A double-reefed main and single-reefed foresail announce that the ship expects wind, lots of it. The 131-foot schooner Harvey Gamage, operated by Sailing Ships Maine, sails with 24 Naval Sea Cadets and a crew of eight aboard. The schooner is on a sail training voyage in the Gulf of Maine, from Portland to a point 64 miles offshore, then back to Portland via the Isles of Shoals. To add to the challenges faced by the trainees, Tropical Depression Frederick is stalking the waters south of us, likely to march north. The Sea Cadets, however,…
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Ocean Navigator is 2022 Vallarta Race sponsor

Ocean Navigator is 2022 Vallarta Race sponsor

Ocean Navigator is now an official sponsor of the 2022 Vallarta Race, San Diego Yacht Club's long-standing traditional event sailing to the Mexican mainland on a 1,000 nm course from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. For for SDYC, racing to the Mexican mainland goes back to the first race iu 1953. The race is set to start in three classes on March 10, 11 and 12, 2022. Currently, there are 28 entrants for the race. This ocean race is a natural event for ON to participate in as a sponsor as it promotes offshore sailing skills and voyaging techniques that…
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ON and Seven Seas announce partnership

ON and Seven Seas announce partnership

Ocean Navigator and the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA)  are partnering up. ON's great voyaging articles and SSCA's experienced membership make a natural team. The magazine and the cruising association are expanding their collaborative efforts to bering more value to ON readers and SSCA's members. The big announcement right now is that all SSCA members will receive ON digital editions as part of their membership. A great way for SSCA members, who sail the world over, to keep getting ON's useful articles. And further partnership benefits will be announced soon. Here's the official press release: Seven Seas Cruising Association announced…
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Bite Worse than the Bark

Bite Worse than the Bark

It was wee o’clock in the morning when we heard the first thump. It’s a seemingly universal passage rule that bad things always choose to happen in the middle of the night. Other such rules include “you’ll have spares for everything but the part that breaks” and “it doesn’t matter which way you head, the squall will also move that direction.” We were six days out from Vanimo, PNG, sailing slowly at four knots on our Privilege 482 cat Perry. Our route took us over the top of the island of New Guinea in mostly light winds. With a total…
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Furuno leads the pack in 2021 NMEA Awards

Furuno leads the pack in 2021 NMEA Awards

  Most voyagers are probably most familiar with the initial NMEA as part of a networking designation, either NMEA 0183 or NMEA 2000. Maybe not as many could tell you that NMEA stands for the National Marine Electronics Association. Or that NMEA includes all the top marine electronics manufacturers or that the NMEA has a yearly conference at which the organization gives out awards in a variety of categories. This year marine electronics manufacturer Furuno was the overall winner, taking home seven awards, including the Technology Award for its NavNet TZT16F TZtouch 3 v2. The 2021 NMEA conference was held…
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Stolen sailboat sails into hurricane

Stolen sailboat sails into hurricane

In an unusual and apparently tragic case reported on Boatwatch.org , a boat was stolen from its mooring and was sailed into a hurricane where a distress signal was sent but the boat was never found. On Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 Graham Collins, the owner of a C&C 35 named Secret Plans, received a call at his work place in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The U.S. Coast Guard had called to tell him that a personal locator beacon registered to Collins had been set off in the Atlantic 390 miles southeast of Halifax. The position of the PLB signal put it…
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North to Nome

North to Nome

With the changes in the Arctic, the Northwest Passage (NWP) is becoming an increasingly attractive trip to adventurous voyagers. In April 2020, I got a chance at making this famous journey when Matt Thomas, the owner of the 60-foot steel staysail schooner Terra Nova, invited me to join for an attempt at the NWP, sailing west to east.  I agreed immediately and joined Terra Nova in Poulsbo, Wash., across Puget Sound from Seattle. The plan went something like this: We would depart Poulsbo in mid-May, sail to the Beaufort Sea via Sitka, Homer, Unimak Pass, Nome and the Bering Strait,…
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Crossing the Doldrums

Crossing the Doldrums

For centuries sailors dreaded the aptly named Doldrums. This band of windless, hot, and humid weather near the equator could stall sailing ships for weeks, driving the crew to distraction with the monotony and sometimes even leading to the onset of scurvy as fresh supplies ran out. While sailors today needn’t fear scurvy, most of us still dislike this part of the ocean.  Most voyagers try to minimize time spent in the Doldrums. This strategy starts with obtaining accurate weather forecasts, whether over single-sideband radio or satellite phone connection. Even in the last 15 years that I’ve been voyaging, the…
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The Fastnet Race, from Cowes, England, then out the English Channel to Fastnet Rock off Ireland and finally back east to end off Cherbourg, France, is one of the premier ocean races. The race course alone makes the Fastnet a notable event, but large in the history of the race is the infamous 1979 running. That race was hit by a Force 10 gale and ultimately 19 racers were lost. Happily, this was a one-time event and the race has not had a recurrence of the '79 tragedy. This latest running was won by the British yacht Sunrise. Here is…
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When considering the purchase of a new boat, especially a new design that hasn't yet been built, you can't get enough input. You want to see the boat, exterior and belowdecks, from every angle. And when this aspect is considered, modern-day buyers are experiencing a golden age because of computer modeling and presentation. You can see a new design in great detail as if it is an actual physical boat. There's something about seeing that way, and with the ability to spin it around with some presentations, that makes it so much more real. A good example of this is…
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