Please select your home edition
Grapefruit Graphics 2019 - Leaderboard

It’s not hard…


The latest cruising news from the Northern Hemisphere and the world.
 25 Apr 2017

It's not hard...

Hurricane Irene beached sailing boat   SW
Well of course it is, but that's the gig, right?! I mean if it were not so, then we would not have articles on Mission Ocean, the ARC, Lisa Blair or Jon Sanders, which might get the spotlight, but there are the great tales from SV Crystal Blues and the Blue Water Cruising Association also to immediately show that this affliction absorbs all manner of folk.

So what is it? What could wield such power from near or afar? What has no voice, yet speaks in utter Tolstoy-esque volumes? What has a kaleidoscope of colours and images, so as to appear like a chameleon, but just the one name? What stretches so far, has defined barriers, yet is so utterly universal as to be used as a datum point? What is both completely frozen and also totally balmy, all at the same time? What can influence other elements of the planet when it chooses to wield its awesome power as the biggest single item on the planet?

Well then it is little wonder that we talk about the power of the sea. Yet normally, when you see that sort of line you think of many things. Perhaps it is rogue waves, erosion of the beach, the pounding of craft on rocks, or surfing large boats down glorious swells.

2016 Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club Rendezvous  Joscelyn O'Keefe

The difference this time was that I got to thinking about the way the sea brings people together. Perhaps this in turn was because I had been speaking with the co-founder of the Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club, Ken Thackeray, and also Committee Member, Evan Johnston. Inside seven short years the club has gone on to be 5,500 members strong (and growing, how!), with many of them ensuring they will be at the rendezvous on the Great Barrier Reef this coming August.

Demonstrating the way the sea brings people together, the club now has members from 17 countries, with Serbia the latest to join the list. That's a long, long way from the Queensland coast, and I could think of no better example to illustrate the very power we speak of herein.

Finally, and perhaps as the very exclamation mark I search for, perhaps I was even more profoundly influenced than I first realised by Bill Maher's video that I attached to the bottom of the piece on Lisa Blair. One reader wrote in to say, “I loved the video at the end. It would be very funny if it wasn't so true!” You can watch it now for yourself now and see if it makes you stand up and pay attention, too!

Ultimately, we have the power, so let's do something good and positive with it...

Recognize these seven danger chart symbol groups to keep your small cruising boat safe and sound. Spoil areas can contain any type of danger, thus it lies center-stage.

OK. In this newsletter you will find that we have tales for you about the Grenadine Isles, Jon Sanders, dealing with medical emergencies, what it is really like at sea, more learnings from TC Debbie, reading charts, dealing with rogue waves, getting rescued (even when you don't want it), handy tips, achieving balance, Cuba, polar ice, the Shaggers get set to hook up, Mykonos, ARC, looking after your best friend, and so much more.

So you see, there are tales, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do enjoy... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other Hemisphere, go to the top and the drag down menu, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

Now then, are you out there plying the seas and got something to say? We'd love to hear from you via – In the meantime, do you love being on the ocean? Well remember to love them back too. They need our help. Now more than ever! Until next time...

John Curnow

Coral reefs fight rising seas, leaving people at risk
European Geosciences Union,
In the first ecosystem-wide study of changing sea depths at five large coral reef tracts in Florida, the Caribbean and Hawaii, researchers found the sea floor is eroding in all five places, and the reefs cannot keep pace with sea level rise. As a result, coastal communities protected by the reefs are facing increased risks from storms, waves and erosion.... [more]

May Rendezvous – Sail-ebrate Canada 150
Bluewater Cruising Association,
Mark your calendar for May 20 – 22: the May Rendezvous, Poet's Cove, Pender Island! Arrive Friday evening or anytime Saturday before the 1600h Happy Hour. The official Rendezvous agenda starts at 1600h on Saturday. Come for the fun, the food, the camaraderie, the splash of red-and-white (flags, sails, attire, bunting, decorations, etc) and the music!... [more]

World ARC in the atolls of the Tuamotu
World Cruising,
The departure to the Tuamotu archipelago had a good start, with the privilege of crossing paths with the visit of the Hawaiian traditional sailing vessel HOKULEA, in Nuku Hiva. The fleet had a touch of our counterparts from the past, whom populated the whole Pacific Ocean in sailing vessels, guided by their knowledge of the stars and the sky, the movements of the sea... [more]

Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience (Pt.II)
John Curnow,
We're back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance. We looked at what it was like to come into a disaster zone and now we see the evidence of those that did the right thing, and how the area is already on the road to recovery.... [more]

The best laid plans of mice and sailors...
Mission Ocean,
We knew that buying a boat wasn't going to be easy; our budget was tight, and our needs specific, even if both of us spend our working days surrounded by boats, and undertaking complicated negotiations. But neither of us were prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that awaited us, and the many disappointments that we would have to overcome in our search.... [more]

She's still here with us, and now we can be there for her
John Curnow,
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish... [more]

Record numbers of icebergs swarm into North Atlantic shipping lanes
John Konrad,
Hundreds of icebergs have entered North Atlantic shipping lanes over the past few weeks – unusually large numbers this early in the season. This has forced vessels to slow down or take long detours around swarms of floating ice.... [more]

Flares and distress signals
Boat US,
Visual Distress Signals (V.D.S.) are part of your boat's safety equipment. Check them before you leave harbor for condition and if they have an expiration date, be sure they are current. Their intended purpose is to summon help should the need arise and should be displayed only when immediate or potential danger exists. Visual distress signals can only be effective when someone can see them.... [more]

Shining Sea – 75 percent of ocean's animals glow
Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor,
The ocean is a dark, dark place. Below about 656 feet (200 meters), light doesn't penetrate. Considering that the average depth of the ocean is around 14,000 feet (4,267 m), that leaves a lot of room for inky blackness. Marine life has figured out a way to cope. New research finds that a full three-quarters of sea animals make their own light.... [more]

Race for Water will stay in Madeira for three days
Race For Water,
This first stopover will allow the crew to make a preliminary assessment of the energy mix and review the first tests with the kite on this ambassador vessel of the Race for Water Foundation.... [more]

Chilling out in Carriacou
SV Crystal Blues,
We feel like we earned this place - after sweating it out in Trinidad for several months, Carriacou is a delightful backwater in the Caribbean, peaceful and relatively undeveloped, with beautiful beaches. The local population is only 8,000 folks, a mix of African, East Indian and European decent. It's a simple place, where people greet you on the bus and welcome you to their island.... [more]

The big question
Hugh and Heather Bacon,
In October 1999, we left our sailboat in the South Pacific and returned to enjoy a Canadian winter. A few friends have expressed curiosity about our nautical lifestyle, especially the long passages: “What do you do all day?” they ask: Two people, alone in a small boat on a large sea for 3000 miles, 24 hours a day, no anchorages, restaurants or spas in between.... [more]

A 180 degree turn
Kandyce Hiebert,
After years of dreaming and planning, we are finally at the ‘Doers' stage. In September, our Alden 44, Lemanee, and her crew of three set sail southbound. We were heading to San Francisco via Roche Harbour and Neah Bay. After a wonderful Bon Voyage party, our family came down and tossed off our bowline. There was so much excitement and pride at all we had accomplished.... [more]

Fifteenth blog from on board Perie Banou II - BVIs
Jon Sanders,
I am on the yacht. Back on air with the iridium. Paul Stratfold, with his partner Shiralee, plus owner and his friend (another Paul from Hawaii). Are on the specially constructed 60ft catamaran named 'Gizmo'. Carbon fibre hull, carbon fibre mast, carbon fibre rigging, carbon fibre sails. There are no turnbuckles with the rigging (holding the mast up). Just Dyneema lashing.... [more]

ARC Europe and ARC USA - Just two weeks until the rally offices open
World Cruising,
With the start of ARC Europe and ARC USA on May 6th fast approaching boats will be starting the transition from cruising mode to preparation for the long passage ahead. With the two fleets combined it will feel busy on the docks with 37 boats in Nanny Cay, two boats starting from Portsmouth, VA and a further three joining in Bermuda.... [more]

Coast Guard and Hampton Fire Rescue help two people and a dog to shore
Coast Guard First District Northeast News,
The Coast Guard and Hampton Fire Rescue helped two people and a dog to shore Saturday after their boat started taking on water about three miles east of Hampton Harbor, New Hampshire. A man aboard the fishing boat Patricia Lynn II used a VHF radio to contact watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday.... [more]

How to read your charts – Seven signs of danger,
Could you glance at any nautical chart in the world and tell the difference between a submerged wreck that's safe to sail across and one hidden just below the surface? Read on to learn the most vital chart symbols you need to know for chart navigation safety.... [more]

Boaters cure-all for zippers and spring commissioning tips from BoatUS
D. Scott Croft,
Getting corroded boat canvas zippers to work smoothly by using two common kitchen items has never been so popular, according to Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). The national boating advocacy, services and safety group announced today the number one most widely viewed online “BoatTECH” how-to-fix-it tip this spring is author Don's Casey's simple saran wrap and vinegar repair.... [more]

It's all such a delicate balance
Following Seas,
Thinking back a few decades to Seattle, where I learned many of life's lessons, I was introduced to a theme that has stayed with me all these years. And it came in a song, at a summer festival in Seattle in the 1970s, sung by a couple who embodied the laid back style of that era: Reilly and Maloney.... [more]

Couple spend cyclone on Hamilton Island
Dane Lillingstone/,
Sharon McNally, General Manager of Cumberland Charter Yachts said of the following story, 'Sam and Grace, are not only considered loyal customers, but they have become dear friends too. In very exceptional circumstances, they remained so calm and positive, it was truly a pleasure to meet them both!... [more]

Go and get shagged (at the SICYC Vice Commodore's Rendezvous for 2017)
Evan Johnston,
Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club I hear you ask? Well for those who don't know, it's the fastest growing club in Australia, and possibly the world. SICYC has been in existence for seven years, and has over 5500 members spread across 17 countries. It doesn't own property, and is not in competition with mainstream yacht clubs, as many members belong to various other yacht clubs.... [more]

Rogue waves – Tales from those who survived
Helen Fretter,
Rogue waves have long divided sailors and scientists. Some question their existence, other schools of thought suggest that ‘freak' waves are actually more common than first thought.... [more]

Dog days of summer – Man's best friend on board
It's still early spring but it's not too soon to think about the dog days of summer, particularly the days that involve real, panting, four-legged dogs.... [more]

Polar glaciers may be home to previously undiscovered carbon cycle
National Science Foundation,
Microbes in streams flowing on the surface of glaciers in the Arctic and Antarctic may represent a previously underestimated source of organic material and be part of an as yet undiscovered 'dynamic local carbon cycle,' according to a new paper published by researchers supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).... [more]

Coast Guard urges boating safety common sense
Coast Guard First District Northeast News,
The Coast Guard is reminding mariners Friday that as the air temperature is warming the water temperatures are still dangerously cold. With the rise in air temperature, the number of boaters, paddle craft users, and water enthusiasts taking to water activities also rises.... [more]

New maritime exam centre opens on Tyneside,
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has officially opened the new North East Exam Centre, which is based at South Tyneside College. The centre will provide a location for Deck, Engineering and other Oral Examinations for the maritime community.... [more]

All about sails with Carol Hasse
Bluewater Cruising Association,
Sails are beautiful! As works of art, craft, and science, they are rich in history yet evolving with modern materials and our understanding of fluid dynamics. Sails deliver a practical and magical connection with wind and sea; they inspire and inform us in our adventures, discoveries, and dreams.... [more]

Cruising Cuba
Ann Lange,
In the winter of 2016, we decided we wanted to visit Cuba. We had been based in Sydney, NS, so after our circumnavigation of Newfoundland, we headed south to warmer climes. We followed the fall foliage down the east coast of the U.S. and used Key West as our jumping off point to Cuba. We waited for a good weather window for crossing the Gulf Stream.... [more]

View all our cruising news at

You can
unsubscribe from any or all of our newsletters here

If you are having difficulty with the above link, please copy and paste the link below into your browser is operated by YY Online Services Ltd. registered in England no. 7895890
The George Business Centre, Christchurch Road, New Milton, BH25 6QJ, UK

Sailing Holidays 2019 - BOTTOMGJW Direct - Yacht 2019 - FooterVaikobi 2019 - Footer 3