### Indian Ocean Passage

The voyage from Darwin in northern Australia to the Gulf of Aden by way of Sri Lanka and India’s Malabar Coast turned out to be a daunting feat for my 1966 Cal 30 Saltaire. Gales and calms, along with bizarre currents, posed a challenging obstacle course requiring patience and skill. Few of the cruisers I met in Darwin intended to cross by way of Sri Lanka and India. Rod Heikell, in his Indian Ocean Cruising Guide, warns, “There are few people who have much that is good to say about this route, and it can involve lots of sail changes,…

### Getting a charge out of thunderstorms

When I was seven, during a family vacation in Maine, we got caught out in a summer thunderstorm. We were parked beside a pond, and I remember my father telling my siblings and me not to worry as long as we stayed inside our car. That’s my first memory of a thunderstorm; in the time since, there have been many more. In a year, the continental U.S. sees an average of 25 million lightning strikes. “Don’t stand out in an open field in a thunderstorm.” “Don’t be the tallest object when lightning is around.” “Every year, people get struck on…

### Big Ocean Waves: When and Where They Occur

A few years ago, Ocean Voyager featured an article about how winds generate ocean waves. Recall that ocean waves in any given area and at any given time exist as a spectrum, meaning there are waves with many different characteristics present. To quantify the wave spectrum, a parameter called “significant wave height” (SWH) is used, and all sea state analyses and forecasts make use of this parameter. By definition, there will always be some waves higher than SWH. It is generally accepted that the highest waves seen within a wave spectrum will be about twice the SWH, and these larger…

### Nav Problem Answer: Captain Nat Palmer, discoverer, designer, sailor

1. LHA is 32°. 2. Ho is 12° 26.7’. 3. Intercept is 14.7 nm toward. 4. D.  EP is S 54° 45’ by W 62° 12’.

### Captain Nat Palmer, discoverer, designer, sailor

In the 1840s, when New York City was the hub of the maritime world, Nathaniel Palmer, “Captain Nat” to his contemporaries, was considered the greatest of all mariners in that port. This was a time when fellow captains included “Bully” Samuels, Robert Waterman and Josiah Cressy. Palmer was described at the time as “a man of great physical strength and endurance … his roughness all on the outside, his heart was filled with kindness and sympathies for the joys and sorrows of others.”  Born in 1799 in Stonington, Connecticut, to a family of shipbuilders, Palmer was still in his teens…