by Sail Staff, Posted May 2, 2006Chart Smart (July 2006)We arrived off Suva, the capital of Fiji, after a 10-day passage from New Zealand. While we knew the island of Viti Levu was about 5 miles off our bow, we couldn’t see it because of a heavy rainstorm. My husband, Bob, turned on the computer and looked at the electronic charts we had added to our navigation suite a few weeks earlier. We wanted to use them to
by Sail Staff, Posted January 25, 2006Before going cruising, I had a long career skippering fishing boats in Alaska. Twice I had the need to resort to a liferaft. The raft must always be the last resort. Never give up on the boat until it has given up on you.The first time, I was alone aboard a small boat fishing salmon. While the boat did a slow roll all the way over, I ran up the side like a Laser racer
by Dave Welch, Posted March 11, 2009At sea I remember my dreams; at home I rarely do. Awakened frequently by a new sound or unexpected movement of the boat, I pop to attention with a dream still running in my head. I have to; my world floats just above the surface.On a recent delivery from Charleston, South Carolina, to Tortola, BVI—eight days, but it felt more like sixteen—we pounded east and then south
by Ovi Sacasan, Posted August 3, 2009Hurricane season is upon us, and early indications are that we are in for a big one. In these pages we look at ways in which you can prepare for the strong winds and storm surge that come with a hurricane, and a couple who rode out Hurricane Ike in Galveston last year share their story. Hurricane Ike was supposed to be just another in a steady parade of
by Charles Mason, Posted August 18, 2009If you plan to be sailing in reduced light conditions make sure everyone uses the same procedure to secure a line around a cleat. If someone decides to use a fancy hitch during the day to secure a line it is easy enough to figure out how to free it up because it is right there in front of you. But when you are trying to clear an offbeat hitch in the dark, you might turn the
by Sail Staff, Posted September 21, 2010Line items Whether it’s an official range that is marked on a chart or just two sticks in the sand that you have set up yourself to help get your dinghy through a narrow cut in a reef, a range is an important tool for the sailor. A range works because the two vertical poles or objects are aligned to create an unmovable line of position. Ranges work best when the aftermost stick,
by Steve Dublin, Posted June 23, 2011This story originally appeared in the December 2009 issueWe were on the return leg of our round-trip cruise from Florida to the Dominican Republic. The crew included my wife Lucy and our sailing friends, Joe and Mary Merchberger, and we had all enjoyed the beautiful countryside and friendly people of the Dominican Republic. Our sleigh ride back north had all but erased the memory
by Sail Staff, Posted March 1, 2012Everyone knows the Answering Pennant (AP or “Cat in the Hat” flag) means racing has been postponed and that the “P” flag means a standard starting sequence. But what about the “M” flag, an “N” flag over an “A” flag, or an answering pennant flying above Pennant 2?