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Cruising Compass #40 - Be storm safe

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  • Bill Scanlon
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       Dear William,
      Blue Water Sailing presents Cruising Compass: The Weekly Newsletter for Sailors & Cruisers
      May 3, 2007 - Issue 40
      Welcome to Cruising Compass, your weekly fix of news, notes and tips for cruisers and sailors.

      It's hard to believe that this is our 40th issue! We already have more than 15,000 avid readers who are scattered all over the world from the shores of North America to the South Pacific Islands to the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Cruising Compass has truly gone global!

      Help us to continue to grow. Tell your friends about Cruising Compass, or better yet, click on “Forward Email” on the bottom of this page!

      And as always, we love receiving your cruising news and photos. Have something to share? Send it to comments@...

      Click here to view the Cruising Shot of the Week! Have a great shot of your own (you know you do!)? Email it to us and prove to the world that your boat does more than sit in a slip!2007 Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race

      The 30th anniversary Marion Bermuda Race is the East Coast’s biggest ORR Racing event of the year and there is still plenty of time for sailors to join this 645 mile Cruising Yacht Race to the sunny islands of Bermuda. The excitement starts from Buzzards Bay near Marion, Mass., on June 15th for monohulls and June 16th for cruising multihulls.

      If your yacht has an ORR certificate, come join the fun. Entries will be accepted on the race web site www.marionbermuda.com until June 8th. The last time for on-site registration at the Beverly Yacht Club is 1400 h, Thursday, June 14th. Inspection must be scheduled by June 7th. Yachts must have a 2007 ORR certificate. That usually requires about 2 weeks, but exceptions are made up until the last day. This year’s race is already shaping up to have a great turnout with 82 monohulls and 4 multihulls signed up so far.

      And the winner is...

      At the Strictly Sail boat show in Oakland, Calif., in April, Cruising Compass partnered with Steiner binoculars to offer an amazing sweepstakes raffle for a pair of Steiner Commander V binoculars – worth $850! Several hundred people signed up and there was a good crowd on hand on Sunday afternoon (April 22) for the drawing. John Miklovis from the Steiner booth did the honors by drawing the wining name.

      Congrats go to Chris Hagen of Jackson, Calif., who had stopped by the BWS/CC booth on Saturday. We called her at home Sunday afternoon to deliver the good news.

      “Absolutely amazing,” Chris said. “I never win anything!”

      Chris, who is a nurse, is just getting into sailing and has taken basic learn-to-sail courses at San Francisco's Club Nautique. This month she is taking the club’s bareboat course and plans to do some chartering in the year ahead. Long term? “As the mother of a high school student, I am home bound for now,” she said. “But one day I really plan to sail out underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and cruise the world.”

      Those Commander Vs will come in handy when that day comes.

      Hurricane Preparation Symposium

      With hurricane season approaching, over 150 marina, boatyard, and yacht club managers recently gathered in Orlando, Florida, for the first Marina Hurricane Preparation Symposium. Organized by BoatU.S. in conjunction with the Marine Industries Association of Florida and the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, the group shared tactics, tips and experiences with the goal of successfully managing another year of potentially increased storm activity.

      Towards those efforts, the following storm preparation tips may help boaters reduce the chances of damage to their own vessels as well as improve the odds that their boating facility will quickly recover:
      • The most important task is to make a hurricane plan now and put it in writing; speakers at the Symposium continually stressed the need for facilities and individuals to have well thought out, written plans. A plan should include where your boat will best survive a storm, what supplies you’ll need, and who will be doing that work if you are out of town when the storm approaches.
      • If possible, arrange with the marina now to get your boat out of the water and onto high ground – it is the single best thing you can do to take care of your boat when a storm is approaching. Check to see if your boat’s insurance policy offers “hurricane haul-out” coverage to help foot the bill.
      • Does your marina tie-down boats? Boats that have been brought ashore and secured to the ground tend to experience much less damage. Some facilities strap boats down to large metal eyes imbedded in concrete or secure lines to earth augers. It’s extra work, and it’s worth it.
      • Don’t count on the marina adding extra lines and stripping the boat unless you’ve made prior arrangements. Once hurricane warnings are posted, marina operators will be far too busy to accommodate last minute requests. Begin by reviewing your dock contract now to see if it requires you to take certain steps when a hurricane threatens and talk to your marina operator now to coordinate plans.
      • Regardless of where you leave your boat, anything that creates windage must be removed. Bimini tops, dodgers, outriggers, antennas, portable davits should be taken home or stowed below. Ventilators should be taken out and the openings sealed. Don’t tie dinghies on deck – take them ashore.
      • If possible, sailboats should have their masts unstepped. This will require that you maintain your rigging, with well-lubed turnbuckles and cotter pins, so that pulling the pins doesn’t take forever. If the mast is left up, all sails and covers must be removed.
      • If the boat will be secured at a dock, add extra dock lines and chafe protection. Look carefully at potential chafe areas – chocks, pilings, pulpits, and dock edges. Replace older dock lines that are weakened by salt, dirt and UV exposure. Using a fender board with at least three large fenders is also worth considering.
      • Begin tracking storms as soon as they are identified. While forecasting has dramatically improved, hurricanes can still change direction and intensity very quickly. For the latest hurricane activity and to view “spaghetti” models visit the BoatU.S. Hurricane Resource Center at www.BoatUS.com/hurricanes
      VERSUS, the network where competition is more than just sport, is proud to present the 32nd America’s Cup, airing live daily at 8:30AM ET starting with the Louis Vuitton Cup Semifinals on May 14th. The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in sports and for 132 straight years [1851-1983], it belonged in its rightful place – America. For nine other countries, America’s Cup is a race. For us, it’s revenge. Watch America’s BMW Oracle Team battle the world to win back sailing’s holy grail.

      Live daily 8:30AM ET from May 14th through July 7th. Check TV listings or www.versus.com for complete schedule.

      Solomons Maritime Festival

      On Saturday May 5th, head over to Solomons, Md., and enjoy a day filled with Southern Maryland maritime traditions. There will be traditional music, seafood, antique boats, toy boat building, a marine auction, arts and crafts, a model boat race and much more. Check it out at www.calvertmarinemuseum.com

      Anchors aweigh!

      Brush up on your anchoring technique at Orange Coast College’s School of Sailing and Seamanship’s All About Anchoring seminar on Friday May 11th, from 7 to 11 p.m. Some topics covered in this session are anchor types, double anchors, trip lines, anchor floats, fouled anchors, deep water, coral and rock, moorings and more. OCC School of Sailing is located in Newport Beach, Calif. Learn more or register online at www.occsailing.com

      Set sail this summer!

      Escape to a sun drenched sailing vacation this summer with special savings from Footloose Sailing Charters. Sail from their bases in Tortola or St. Vincent anytime between now and October 31, 2007 and you'll save up to 20 percent off the price of your charter. Book a 5 to 13 day charter and receive 10 percent savings or sail for 14 days and save 20 percent off the price of your charter. Not valid on catamarans over 40’ or monohulls over 48’. Just make a new booking by July 15, 2007 or visit www.footloosecharters.com for details of this and other specials.

      Jeppesen Marine is dedicated to providing navigators key weather data at the right time and displaying it over navigation charts and routes for real-time analysis and trip planning. Our new weather options transform simple weather data for informed navigation decision-making and allow for extended time on the water without compromising safety.

      For customers with XM Satellite Weather hardware, XM Plus Pack allows XM Satellite Weather data to render directly inside Nobeltec Visual Navigation Suite or Admiral. You now have complete control over XM Satellite Weather data feeds and can display each data layer over the navigation window. Check it out at http://nobeltec.com/products/prod_weather.asp

      Heavy weather anchor moorings

      The National Weather Service has been dropping hints all winter that 2007 may end up to be a busy hurricane season. They’ve been wrong in the past, but the way El Nino is fading away in the Pacific and the development of a La Nina in the Atlantic might be the weather scenario to make those predictions come true.

      So, what to do about being prepared for tropical storm force winds while out cruising this summer? Avoiding a storm altogether is the best defense. But there may be times when you simply can’t get out of harm’s way and have to run for the best shelter you can find. Good hurricane holes are few and far between and when you find one, you can bet that it will be chocker block full of other boats. So, you not only need to have storm anchors, you also need to be able to reduce your swinging circle as much as possible.

      The key to the problem is to have the anchors and tackle you need to really secure the boat for storm force winds that shift through 90 and then 180 degrees. There are a lot of ways to skin this cat. Here's a storm anchoring system that we know works:

      You need three good anchors to start and three really stout anchor rodes. Set your main anchor on the heaviest rode –chain if possible—in the direction you expect to have the strongest winds. On the US East Coast, for example, that would probably be east or southeast.

      We suggest you carry an anchor weight or kellet with you and deploy it on the main anchor. The 30-pound Kiwi Anchor Rider will double the holding power of your main anchor during the strongest winds. (www.anchorbuddy.co.nz and distributed by AB Marine in the US.)

      Next, set the second anchor at a 60 degree angle to the first in the direction you anticipate the wind to shift as the storm passes. Again on the East Coast this would probably be toward the northeast.

      Lastly, set the third anchor 60 degrees further around the anticipated swinging circle and set it well.

      You now will have anchors deployed in a pattern that will permit you to lie to two anchors throughout the storm, even as the wind shifts through 180 degrees. Put strong anchor bridles on the chain rodes and arrange chafing gear for the nylon rodes. Remember that the nylon will stretch incredibly in gusts, so the chafing gear needs to be fixed to the boat and not lashed to the line.

      Riding out a storm at anchor can be a harrowing experience, especially if the boats around you are swinging madly and dragging their anchors and moorings. But if you prepare well and layout your storm anchors in a sensible pattern –and if you predict the wind shifts accurately—you can come through with colors flying.

      If you have a storm mooring system that works, lets us know by sending it to comments@...

      Find out why cruising sailors prefer Blue Water Sailing magazine...Every issue is filled with beautiful anchorages around the country and the world... real stories from real cruisers... valuable cruising advice from experts... the technical information you need to equip your boat for safe and fun sailing... and the best and most in-depth boat reviews... that's what you'll find in every issue of Blue Water Sailing... the only sailing magazine published by circumnavigators.

      Get two issues FREE with no obligation by clicking on www.bwsailing.comVirtual Boat Show

      The 2007 Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show was held over five days, from April 18 – 22 at the Jack London Square in Oakland, CA. The show attracted over 15,000 visitors, a 15-percent increase over the number of visitors from last year’s show. Many of the industry’s leaders were in attendance, and overall the show proved a big success. Here are some shots of exhibitors we saw as BWS walked the aisles...

      Click here to read more.If you are cruising through the Caribbean, you have no doubt noticed that pigeon peas are on just about every menu, usually called “peas and rice.” Here is a delicious and refreshing take on peas and rice.

      Rice and Pea Salad

      From Feasts Afloat by Jennifer Trainer Thompson and Elizabeth Wheeler
      • 1 bay leaf
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1/2 lb shelled pigeon peas
      • 1 C uncooked long-grain rice
      • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
      • 2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced (or substitute thinly sliced red or yellow onion)
      • 3 to 4 Tbsp vinegar or lime juice
      • 1 to 2 fresh chilies, seeded and finely chopped
      • 5 to 6 Tbsp olive oil
      • salt
      Bring 2 quarts water to a boil and add the bay leaf and salt. Add the peas and cook 10 minutes. Sprinkle the rice over the peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain the peas and rice in a large sieve and place in a large bowl. Spread the mixture along the bottom and sides of the bowl to cool it quickly. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Season with salt if desired.

      No one was born knowing how to handle a cruising boat in all weather conditions, how to navigate, provision for passages and use advanced high-seas communications. But you can learn. The best way is to get hands on experience on an ocean passage with teachers who have more than 200,000 ocean miles under their keels. That's John Neal and Amanda Swan-Neal. They run Mahina Expeditions aboard their Hallberg-Rassy 46 and have taught cruising skills to hundreds of sailors - many of whom are out cruising the world on their own boats. You can do it, too. Visit Mahina Expeditions at www.mahina.com.Rope Works!

      Great seamanship involves knowing how to tie the right knot at the right time. If your scouting days are a distant memory and you need to brush up on your skills, check out www.ropeworks.biz. Once you are on the page, click on “Archives,” which will take you to a list of cool knot tying animations and downloads.

      Metal mindbender

      During your spring haul out you discover that the zincs you put on the prop shaft last year are eaten completely away and the bronze propeller is pitted and shows oxidation at the tips of the blades when you clean it up with emery paper. What’s the problem and how do you fix it?

      Send your answers to comments@.... A winner –who will receive a Blue Water Sailing hat – will be selected at random from all of the correct answers.
      • Congrats to this week’s winner, Carol Cuddyer, who knows just how to pull off a Med moor with a cross wind:

        “I would set my anchor to windward of the open slot, back down with my stern pointed to the bow of the boat windward of the slot and let the wind help me into the space - with many fenders.”
      • And congrats Daniel, our winner from Mindbender 38 – two technologies that help you see ships at sea.

        “MARPA - This electronic system enables the navigator to select a blip (or “target”) on a radar or combination radar/chartplotter, and after a short time, receive an estimated speed, heading, and CPA (closest point of approach). This is a great improvement over manual methods of translating the relative motion displayed on the radar into the information a navigator needs to determine if a collision danger exists, and what action to take under the regulations to avoid a collision.

        AIS - This electronic system, without any need to select a radar blip (in fact radar is not necessary) provides output to either a dedicated text display or as input into a chartplotter to display the speed, heading, and optionally CPA (closest point of approach) of vessels that are large enough to be required under SOLAS regulations to transmit their GPS coordinates, heading, speed, name, and other information. Your chartplotter will actually display a ship icon for each vessel transmitting AIS information (that is received by your AIS receiver) with a little ship pointing in the appropriate direction on your radar or chartplotter display, with options to get more information by hovering the cursor over the ship, and with some products, the ability to setup an alarm to warn you when the ship is projected to come close to yours. This technology completely replaces the CARD (Collision Avoidance Radar Detector) technology from years earlier that would only give you the vector of a large ship based on performing a direction finding function on inbound radar, and then only if the shipping traffic had their radar active.”
      If you are in the market for an AIS receiver, check out SeaCAS - they just announced yesterday that they are lowering their prices on AIS!
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