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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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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Latest BOLO from Boatwatch.org

Latest BOLO from Boatwatch.org

For voyagers in need of some help, the website Boatwatch.org does a great job of keeping track of vessels with distress issues and those boats that for some reason are late in arriving from passages. Below is a recent "be on the lookout" (BOLO) announcement from Boatwatch. Check in with Boatwatch.org to see their latest posts. You might be in a position to lend assistance. A Non Emergency Bolo has been issued for SV Breeze who left Curacao on January 5, 2022 and was due in at Shelter Bay Marina on January 9th or 10th. SV Breeze is a 44 foot…
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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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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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Our boat Havaiki was a 35-ton steel ketch. She was 48 feet on deck and 59 feet overall with the bowsprit and a six-foot draft. The boat was designed by Myron Spaulding of Sausalito, a well-known and respected yacht designer, and was built by Samuel Kerr Robinson of Sebastopol, Calif. Robinson was originally from Scotland and owned a body/fender shop in the San Francisco Bay area. He wanted a boat with a shallow keel and masts on tabernacles so they could be lowered and the boat could get under bridges. He had originally planned to navigate the channels in Europe…
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Yes, you can still get Dacron

Yes, you can still get Dacron

Our new Ocean Voyager 2021 annual issue has an informative article by Jayme Okma Lee for which she interviewed sailors on three voyaging boats about the decisions they made in replacing their cruising sails. One of the sailors interviewed was the cruising instructor and author John Kretschmer, who has long worked with Peter Grimm at North Sails in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., for sails on his and his wife Tadji's Kaufman 47, Quetzal. During a recent phone conversation, Grimm mentioned to me that North Sails — well known for its high tech racing products, its sails were used by various boats in the recent…
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Our new Ocean Voyager 2021 annual issue has an informative article by Jayme Okma Lee for which she interviewed sailors on three voyaging boats about the decisions they made in replacing their cruising sails. One of the sailors interviewed was the cruising instructor and author John Kretschmer, who has long worked with Peter Grimm at North Sails in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., for sails on his and his wife Tadji's Kaufman 47, Quetzal. During a recent phone conversation, Grimm mentioned to me that North Sails — well known for its high tech racing products, its sails were used by various boats in the recent…
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Notable New Titles — Plunge

Former liveaboard voyager and self-professed “citizen of the world,” Liesbet Collaert’s memoir Plunge is, like many other voyagers’ memoirs, an account of passages made, life aboard, dealing with gear failure, experiencing tropical beauty and a freedom tempered only by wind and weather. Yet, it would be unfair to only place the book in the category of sailing memoir. Plunge is also an affecting account of Collaert’s emotional life, her evolving relationship with her voyaging husband, Mark, and the losses and trade-offs that everyone, no matter afloat or ashore, must navigate. The memoir is bracingly honest about Collaert’s marriage and the…
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