Cruising

A Terrible Sinking Feeling

by Allen F. Murphy, Posted June 28, 2013

My running diesel made a clunking sound, followed by silence. Next came the sound of rushing water, as if from a large hose. I quickly pulled the companionway steps off the engine compartment and saw tannin-darkened river water gushing in around the propeller shaft, a shocking confirmation of my worst fear. If the flooding water couldn’t be stopped, Kelly IV, my 1979 Endeavour 32, would be lost.


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It's no secret that the popularity of recreational sailing in America is ebbing and, sadly, has been for decades.  According to the US Coast Guard, since 1999 sailboat registrations have dropped by more than 25% , a trend that began back in the early '80s, and now barely 2% of all registered boats are powered by the wind.


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Around the world, there are only a few sailing events with a recipe potent enough to capture a sailor’s senses so effectively that they too become immediate repeat customers. For those events that have mastered the recipe, the result is a regatta with a long life.


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When a team of UK-based scientists learned that the population of the Earth’s marine phytoplankton had declined 40 percent since 1950, they set out to find the cause. Phytoplankton is the ocean’s primary producer, and a decrease in its population could mean trouble for oxygen production, food chain supply and climate regulation. 


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Picture this: you’ve got the opportunity of a lifetime to crew aboard a great cruising sailboat. All that’s left is to pack your duffel. In addition to the essential layers of clothing, here are a few items that will keep you comfortable and happy at sea.


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