Dogwood and Cactus

Dogwood and Cactus

The title might suggest that this newsletter will be about flowering trees and desert succulents. Rather, the title refers to two new supercomputers that NOAA placed into service in late June of 2022. These computers are twins, meaning that they have nearly identical capabilities so that when one needs to be taken down for maintenance or upgrades, there is no loss of operational capability. They are located in separate parts of the country, again, allowing for redundancy in the case of some sort of an issue at one of the sites. They are some of the fastest computers in the…
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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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Ocean Navigator sponsors the Transpac

Ocean Navigator sponsors the Transpac

This July is the 51st running of the Transpac Race, the signature west coast offshore race, 2,225 miles from Los Angeles to Honolulu. And for this running of the race, Ocean Navigator is an official race sponsor. The seamanship, navigation, route planning and watchstanding efforts exhibited by the race crews are the same skills that voyaging sailors undertake every day in their passages. This makes ON’s sponsorship of the Transpac an excellent match.   The race, run every two years, began in 1906 and was hosted by the Los Angeles Yacht Club. The current host of the race is the…
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Transatlantic partnership tackles online learning with BoatHowTo

Transatlantic partnership tackles online learning with BoatHowTo

Every voyager has a story of how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their boating activities. For well-known boating author, systems expert and ON contributing editor Nigel Calder, the pandemic meant working with two colleagues on a new online learning platform called BoatHowTo (BoatHowTo.com). The website will offer courses for boaters to learn more about the technical aspects of boating. The first course offered is on DC electrical systems. Calder was approached by Dr. Jan C. Athenstädt, who runs KlabauterKiste, a German-language online magazine for boatowners, Klabauter-Shop, an online shop for boat electrics, and BootsBastler.org, a German online community, and by Michael Herrmann,…
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https://youtu.be/hXXtYYvYGAY One week into the race, Technical Editor Dobbs Davis of Seahorse Magazine gives his view of the weather conditions on the race course, positioning strategies and tactics of the teams, and some projections of what's to come for the fleet using the YB tracker software. From the Transpac website:https://transpacyc.com/news/article/transpac-race-analysis-report-for-20-july
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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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Schooner mentor passes

Schooner mentor passes

Benjamin B. Whitcomb III, known fondly as Benji, died after a long illness on April 23, 2021. He was 72 years old. Benji came up through the ranks in the early days of the schooner Harvey Gamage, becoming skipper of that vessel. He was a consummate sail handler, often sailing Gamage off the hook in crowded Charlotte Amalie Harbor in St. Thomas. Backing the big main sail, he’d spin off the hook handling Gamage as if it were a dinghy. Whitcomb was a calm, resolute, even-tempered, soft-spoken mentor to a generation of schooner sailors who learned by watching him at…
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Benjamin B. Whitcomb III, known fondly as Benji, died after a long illness on April 23, 2021. He was 72 years old. Benji came up through the ranks in the early days of the schooner Harvey Gamage, becoming skipper of that vessel. He was a consummate sail handler, often sailing Gamage off the hook in crowded Charlotte Amalie Harbor in St. Thomas. Backing the big main sail, he’d spin off the hook handling Gamage as if it were a dinghy. Whitcomb was a calm, resolute, even-tempered, soft-spoken mentor to a generation of schooner sailors who learned by watching him at…
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Finding the perfect boat is a personal journey, one which can take you months or even years and many miles before the right one shows up. For me the search took me around the world, when I realized that what I wanted couldn’t be found in North America. A love of the solid seaworthiness and beefy good looks that comes with the North Sea Trawler design led me to the Netherlands where I found my boat. After engaging a naval architect to design the perfect expedition yacht, I decided to find one ready to go. My search took me to…
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Respecting Paradise

Respecting Paradise

Author’s note: I first started to write this story at the request of one of my Marquesan friends who hoped to make the cruising community more aware of the issues I outline here. But I want to make it clear that I do not think the problem is very widespread. In general I think voyagers are responsible and respectful of the places we visit, but it only takes one or two instances of disrespect on the part of sailors for local attitudes to change. You’ll find the stuff of dreams at Hanamoenoa. The golden sand of its beach is so…
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