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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 16, 2015

Interactio Launches Kickstarter Campaign for
New Fuel Saving Device
and Mobile App

View real time boat fuel flow, consumption and range information using your Smart Phone or Tablet. New Optio Fuel wireless sensor from Interactio

November 16, 2015 (Victoria, BC) – Every once in awhile a deceptively simple innovation comes along that just makes sense. Optio Fuel is one such innovation.

Until now, the options boat owners had for monitoring their boat’s fuel consumption were either very expensive or difficult to retrofit, leaving boaters relying on instinct and math!

The Victoria, BC-based creators of Optio Fuel, Interactio Inc., will launch their first product on the popular crowdfunding platform Kickstarter later this month.

This new device makes it easy for boat owners to directly monitor their vessel’s fuel use using a free app on their smart phone or tablet. The fuel sensor and the mobile app is all that is needed to monitor fuel flow and consumption. Further, current range and optimal speed are also displayed on the device’s map in real time.

Preliminary tests show fuel savings in the range of 10-30% or more*. David Burton, Interactio’s co-founder said “In many cases Optio Fuel pays for itself in a weekend of cruising”. (*Numbers will vary depending on your boat, how often it’s used and your cruising style).

“Our goal is to raise $25k to fund the production of the Optio Fuel,” commented Roger Lines, co-founder of Interactio.

With the funds and awareness raised through this Kickstarter campaign, Interactio will offer a series of new products leveraging “Internet-of-things” technology to bring products to the marine market. As a new technology startup company looking to do things in new ways, Interactio is using modern crowd sourcing from Kickstarter to bring Optio Fuel to market. In true Kickstarter style, being an early supporter gets you a big discount when it’s delivered. Lines reports that the retail price for the Optio Fuel will be just US$199, but on Kickstarter, the first 100 units will be $99, the next 200 — $149.

The project launches November 28th and will run until the end of December. You can find out more at: http://bit.ly/Optiofuel.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

JULY 15, 2011

Southern Boating Announces New Editorial Staff

July 15, 2011—Fort Lauderdale, FL—Skip Allen, Publisher of Southern Boating and Marine Business Journal, announced three recent appointments to the magazines’ editorial staff. The new additions include L.J. Wallace, who was named Executive Editor, and Nancy Birnbaum as Managing Editor.

“Southern Boating has enjoyed nearly 40 years as the South’s most popular boating publication,” Allen said. “In order to see us through the next 40, we’re renewing our commitment to providing excellent content. The combination of L.J.’s extensive experience writing about boats, fishing and the Eastern Seaboard, as well as Nancy’s proven ability to shape content that appeals to boating enthusiasts of all ages and interests, will surely keep Southern Boating at the top.”

Wallace, who hails from New Jersey, relocated to Charleston, South Carolina, where he started the popular Water’s Edge Radio Program featuring an eclectic potpourri of news, views and irreverent commentary on everything nautical from coastal living to boating and fishing. L.J. is a serious angler and seasoned skipper, editor, and writer with published work in Marlin, Seaworthy, and online at UsedBoats.com and BoatUS.com.

Birnbaum has been a Freelance Writer/Editor and Marketing Consultant for the past two years, and was Online Editor for the previous three years at Blue Water Sailing Magazine.

Nancy’s scope encompasses everything from boat and gear reviews to destination articles, which have been published in a variety of national and international marine media. A boating enthusiast since she was a child, sailing in the Chesapeake Bay, she has cruised extensively from Northern California to Florida and the Bahamas, and holds a USCG 50 ton Master/Mate (Captain’s) license.

The third new addition to the Southern Boating team is Laura Dunn, a journalism major from Wheaton College in Illinois. Laura was named Assistant Editor after working as an editorial intern for the magazine.

Look for L.J., Nancy and Laura at upcoming boat shows.

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Join BoaterRated at the Treasure Coast Marine Flea Market and Seafood Fest 

Exclusive Offer to BoaterRated Facebook Fans – Free Tickets to the Treasure Coast Nautical Flea Market, Vero Beach, July 23-24

BoaterRated.com is sponsoring the upcoming Treasure Coast Nautical Flea Market & Seafood Fest that takes place in Vero Beach, FL on July 23-24, 2011. For those of you in or near the Treasure and Space Coast areas, this is a nautical event that you don’t want to miss. The Flea Market is a wonderful destination for the whole family. You’ll be able to go shopping for tremendous deals on boating and fishing gear and apparel. There will also be a huge variety of great seafood to feast on. And don’t forget the terrific music from the golden era of Rock ‘n’ Roll! It’s the best way to spend a weekend off the water!

If you’re at the event, please make sure to visit the BoaterRated crew, under the pavilion in booth spaces 111 – 112. Take a minute to play the guessing game and enter to win some phenomenal prizes. They’re not giving away just any old prizes. They’re giving away valuable gift cards that you and your family can use to increase your boating enjoyment this summer! So be sure to stop by.

Now for the best part: BoaterRated has 15 FREE tickets to the Flea Market ready to give away. All you need to do to win a free ticket is to go to the BoaterRated Facebook page and “Like” us. The first 15 people to become new fans will be eligible for a free ticket. Not on Facebook and don’t want to be? You’re also eligible for a free ticket if you sign up as a new member on BoaterRated.com and then send them an email at info@BoaterRated.com to let them know you’d like a ticket. So there are two ways to win. Just be quick! There’s only 15 tickets to give away!

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Become a fan on Facebook before July 23rd and you may win a free ticket to the Flea!

WHEN: July 23 – 24, 2011
9 AM to 6 PM

WHERE: Indian River Fairgrounds
7955 58th Ave
Vero Beach, FL 32967

ADMISSION:  $7.00
Chlidren 12 and Under Free

WHAT’S THERE:

  • Luscious Seafood
  • 50-60’s Live Music
  • Sizzling Summer Bargains
  • PUBLIC BOAT AUCTION! Over 100 boat repossessions, short sales, dealer trades, and private liquidations will be up for sale. The auction boat preview is all day Saturday July 23 and the sale starts at 11:00 AM Sunday July 24, 2011. To pre register to sell or buy a boat go to http://www.FieldsAuction.net/ or call (561) 844-0440.
  • OVER 300 MARINE AND NAUTICAL VENDORS
  • SELLING NEW, USED, CLOSED OUT AND LIQUIDATED VESSELS
  • BOATING AND FISHING SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT
The Marine Flea Market will also have antique collectibles and maps, marine artifacts, rods, reels, lures and lines, boating apparel, taxidermy, diving equipment, and much more. Come by for some super discounts on liquidation, closeouts, new, and used boating and fishing supplies.  

Marine manufacturers, distributors, dealers and marine related businesses of all types will be selling new and used marine equipment as well as ‘scratch and dent’ merchandise or products that are overstocked or older models.

Treasure Coast Marine Flea Market and Seafood Fest Major Sponsors:

  • Prestige VW
  • Southeast Honda of Melbourne
  • Wells Fargo Bank
  • MarineMax of Stuart
  • BoaterRated.com
  • U.S. Boating News
  • Oldies 103.7 FM

 Also, the festival will be raising money and supporting the Treasure Coast Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

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4thofjulyThere’s no better place to watch a spectacular fireworks display light up the summer sky then from your boat! Your Cruising Editor has scoured the net to bring you this comprehensive list of firework celebrations that can be viewed by boat (Keep in mind that all of these displays are weather dependent -just like boating!).

Also, please take a look at the end of the list for some important safety tips to having a safe Fourth on the water. Enjoy!

New York Fireworks

Fireworks at Coney Island | When: 9:30 every Friday night during the summer season. Where: The Cyclone Roller Coaster and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park sponsor fireworks. Fireworks generally start the last weekend in June and conclude the Friday before Labor Day.  Note: View by boat off the beach in the ocean. For specific questions about the fireworks, please contact The Cyclone (718-265-2100) or Deno’s (718-449-8836) directly.

July 1 & 3

North Sea Fire Department Fireworks Carnival & Celebration |When: Dusk | Where: 149 Noyac Road, Southampton, 631-283-3629 By Bay Fireworks | Note: Anchor in Little Peconic Bay.

July 3 – City of Glen Cove July 4th Spectacular | When: Dusk | Where: Morgan Park, end of McCaughlin Street, Glen Cove, 516-676-2006 | Note: Anchor in Hempstead Harbor.

Peconic Riverfront Park Fireworks | When: 9:00 pm | Where: Peconic Riverfront Park, behind Main Street. Sponsored by Riverhead B.I.D. Management Association, 631-727-0048 | Note: Boaters are permitted to tie up at the Riverhead waterfront all day without a permit.  To spend the evening, a permit must be purchased at the Recreation Department.

Go 4th On The Bay | When: Dusk | Where: Point O’ Woods, Fire Island. Fireworks by Grucci | Note: Good viewing from most of the Fire Island bay fronts and shorelines of the bay from Smith Point to Bay Shore.

July 4

Stars over Montauk |  When: 9:00 pm | Where: Umbrella Beach, Montauk, 631-668-2428  www.montaukchamber.com  Fireworks by Grucci | Note: Anchor in Fort Pond Bay.

Go 4th On The Bay |  When: Dusk | Where: Patchogue, 631-286-0088 Fireworks by Grucci | Note: Good viewing from most of the Fire Island bay fronts and shorelines of the bay from Smith Point to Bay Shore.

Asharoken Village Fireworks | Where: Good viewing from LI Sound east and west of Asharoken and from Northport Bay, 631-261-7098

Macy’s 4th of July Spectacular | When: 9:00 pm | Where: Hudson River between 24th and 50th Streets, 212-494-4495 | Note: Anchorage varies; contact USCG Sector New York 718-354-403.

From BoatingTimes Long Island 

fireworks_over_biscayne-bayFlorida Fireworks

Hollywood – When: 9:00pm and 9:30pm | Where: The City of Hollywood 4th of July Celebration Fireworks will be held July 4, 2011, in the Atlantic Ocean offshore of Hollywood Beach. Fireworks are launched from a barge.

Key Biscayne – When: 4th of July, 2011, 8:30pm and 9:30pm | Where: The Village of Key Biscayne  in Miami, Fl on the ocean off Key Biscayne Beach front.

Key Largo – When: Monday, July 4, at 9 p.m. | Where: Blackwater Sound, fitting its name, provides the perfect nighttime mirror-like surface to make the annual fireworks display seem like a 3D viewing experience designed to dazzle, either by land or sea. | Note: The best seating is at Sundowners and Senior Frijoles Restaurants, Caribbean Club and Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort, all located around mile marker (MM) 104 bayside. Reservations are suggested because seating fills up early. www.keylargofireworks.com.

Palm Beach –  Where: The new West Palm Beach waterfront – the bike path along Palm Beach – and the southern causeway park on Palm Beach.

Stuart – When: starting at 4 pm. | Where: Flagler Park ‘Family Fun with Live Country Music Children’s activity area, vendors, plenty of good All American food. Stuart Community Band will be performing patriotic music beginning around 7 pm. Fireworks begin At 9 pm. Note: Boaters can view the fireworks while anchored in the river or dock at the City of Stuart courtesy dock and enjoy the activities in Flagler Park. More: July 4th Celebration & Fireworks.  Local Information: It is on the St. Lucie River downstream from the Roosevelt bridge just off the hospital. Many boats usually show up for the display.

West Palm Beach –  4th on Flagler boasts the region’s biggest and best 4th of July celebration and features three stages of non-stop entertainment, a kid’s area, food and refreshments, the unfurling of a giant American Flag, the Firefighters’ Splash and Dash and a spectacular fireworks extravaganza. Residents and visitors can enjoy the fireworks, food, concerts and much more along our City’s stunning waterfront. 4th on Flagler will be held on Monday, July 4th from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. along Flagler Drive in Downtown West Palm Beach, with the National City Fireworks Show taking place at 9:00 p.m. This FREE event is produced by the City of West Palm Beach Mayor’s Office, Division of Community Events.  For more information on the event, visit wpb.org/4th or call 561-822-2222.

Sarasota/Manatee – Where: Longboat Key’s “Boom-Boom on the Bay” fireworks show | When: July 2nd just after dark, around 9pm. Boom-Boom On The Bay is sponsored by: The Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub, Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant, the Longboat Observer, Cannons Marina, Longboat Key Club and the Longbeach Village Association. Note: Cannons Marina co-sponsors the fireworks event on July 2nd that will be displayed over North Sarasota Bay just after dark. For those in the boating community, this presents an excellent opportunity to have a BOAT-A-BRATION! Anchor your boat around the Intercoastal Waterway’s mile marker 39 and watch the sky light up! Seeing the colors dazzle over the water is a stunning experience you won’t want to miss.

Note: Check your current charts, and get there early to ensure a good spot to anchor. As you’ll obviously be enjoying these displays after the sun goes down, make sure you are comfortable operating your vessel at night. Keep a keen eye out for other boaters, stay at least ¼ mile away and up-wind from where the fireworks are being discharged, don’t anchor in a channel, and keep clear of any Coast Guard designated security/safety zones. Be safe and enjoy the show!

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Courtesy of VisitAnnapolis.com

Maryland Fireworks and Notice to Mariners

Baltimore, Md. — Mariners are advised that the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Baltimore has received notice of the following fireworks displays, scheduled to occur on or near navigable waters during the 2011 Independence Day holiday period:

1. Chester River, Town of Chestertown, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 300 yards from the fireworks discharge site located on shore near the mouth of Radcliffe Creek on July 4, 2011 (no rain date) for a display scheduled at dusk. Chart 12272.2. Fairlee Creek, Great Oak Landing Marina, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 200 yards from the fireworks discharge site located on shore at Shell Point on July 2, 2011 (rain date of September 3, 2011) for a display scheduled at 9:25 p.m. Chart 12274.3. Herring Bay, Herrington Harbour South Marina, Friendship, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 150 yards from the fireworks discharge site located on the south jetty on July 2, 2011 (rain date of July 3, 2011) for a display scheduled at 9:30 p.m. Chart 12266.

4. Miles River, St. Michaels, Maryland, within a 200-yard radius of the fireworks barge in approximate position 38°47′41″ N, 076°12′53″ W, located on a point of land at the mouth of Long Haul Creek on July 3, 2011 (rain date of July 4, 2011) for a fireworks display scheduled for 9 p.m. Chart 12263.

5. Patuxent River, Golden Beach/Patuxent Knolls Civic Association, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 200 yards from the fireworks discharge site located on shore near Long Point on June 25, 2011 (rain date of June 26, 2011) for a display scheduled at 9 p.m. Chart 12284.

6. Potomac River, Town of Colonial Beach, Virginia, mariners are urged to remain at least 150 yards from the fireworks discharge site located at the end of the Town Pier on July 4, 2011 (rain date of July 9, 2011) for a display scheduled at 9:30 p.m. Chart 12286.

7. Rock Hall Harbor, Rock Hall, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 150 yards from the fireworks discharge site located on shore on July 3, 2011 (rain date of July 4, 2011) for a display scheduled at 9 p.m. Chart 12278.

8. Sassafras River, Georgetown, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 150 yards from the fireworks discharge site located on shore west of the mouth of Dyer Creek on July 4, 2011 (no rain date) for a display scheduled at 9:15 p.m. Chart 12274

9. Severn River, Sherwood Forest, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 150 yards from the fireworks discharge site located at the end of the Sherwood Forest Club’s Main Pier on July 3, 2011 (rain date of July 9, 2011) for a display scheduled at 9 p.m. Chart 12282.

10. Severn River, Epping Forest, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 100 yards from the fireworks discharge barge located at the mouth of Clements Creek on July 2, 2011 (no rain date) for a display scheduled at 9 p.m. Chart 12282.

11. Somers Cove, Crisfield, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 100 yards from the fireworks discharge site located on shore at Jersey Island on July 3, 2011 (no rain date) for a display scheduled at 9:15 p.m. Chart 12231

12. Susquehanna River, Havre de Grace, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 300 yards from the fireworks discharge site located on shore at Park Island on July 3, 2011 (no rain date) for a display scheduled at 9:30 p.m. Chart 12277

Mariners are urged to transit these areas with caution, to keep a sharp lookout for other watercraft in these areas, and are reminded to heed the directions of patrolling law enforcement and public safety officials. Absent specific guidance, mariners should remain 300 yards from any fireworks discharge site. For any comments or questions, contact Coast Guard Sector Baltimore Waterways Management Division at telephone number (410) 576-2674, (410) 576-2693 or email Ronald.L.Houck@uscg.mil.

From: Chesapeake Maritime News

Other Firework Festivities for Boaters Around the Country:

  • Boston – Charles River Boston Pops Esplanade
  • Bainbridge Island, WA –  Fireworks start at dusk on Eagle Harbor. Boaters are advised to be mindful of rocks and sandbar at the harbor entrance. Low tide is at 11 p.m. July 4. During the day, the island hosts its Bainbridge Grand Old Fourth of July from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a street fair, live music, an antique car show and a parade. All events are in Winslow, a short walk from Eagle Harbor Marina and The Harbour Marina.
  • Anacortes, WA – Fireworks start at dusk over Fidalgo Bay. The display will be staged just south of Anacortes Marina and will be visible from there, as well as from Cap Sante Marina. The day also includes the annual Fourth of July Parade and Patriotic Program, which starts with an 11 a.m. parade, followed by kids’ games and food at Causland Memorial Park, 710 N. Ave.
  • Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands, WA – Fireworks start at 10:15 p.m. over Friday Harbor Marina. Other July 4th events include a parade at 10:30 a.m., a Pig War picnic, firehall lunch, an antique fire equipment and car show and a “rock the dock” street dance.
  • Lake Tahoe, California – July 4, 9:30 p.m., Edgewood and Lakeside Beach
  • Dana Point 4th of July Fireworks – Monday, July 4 8:00p | Dana Point, California. Come aboard one of our beautiful boats for a special 4th of July Fireworks Display Cruise. Enjoy a unique evening of fun on the water, complete with a live Fireworks demonstration.
  • San Diego – Shelter Island, Harbor Island and the North Embarcadero area – launch fireworks simultaneously for 20 minutes.
  • July 4th Celebration & Themed Boat Parade /Fireworks – Green Lake, Wisconsin
  • Chicago – Independence Day Fireworks 2010…a Triple Play.
    This year, the City of Chicago is spreading out its fireworks spectacular. Instead of one big show at Grant Park, fireworks will be lighting up 26 miles of Chicago’s lake front with a triple play of pyrotechnics. The City has also changed the date of the celebration from July 3 to July 4.
    The simultaneous shows will fire off in the following locations:
    Mid-point: Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.
    North side: Fireworks will be set off near Montrose Beach with best viewing from Foster to Montrose near the lakefront.
    South side:  Fireworks will be set off near the 63rd St. Beach with best viewing between 63rd. St. and Promontory Point.
    Sunday, July 4th.
    All displays will begin at 9:00p.m. and last approximately 15 minutes.
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It can get quite crowded out there. Please be safe!

Safety Tips Courtesy of YachtPals.com

  • Before heading out, make sure your running, steaming and anchor lights are working properly, and that you have all the necessary safety equipment aboard. Authorities will almost always be on the water with you at these events, so make sure you’re safe and legal. Also, pack some earplugs for the fireworks show if you are sensitive to noise.
  • Leave the pets at home or with friends/family.  Fireworks absolutely terrify most animals, and “S/he hates to be left out of the fun” is no excuse for torturing your beloved pet’s ears and nerves.
  • Get to your desired anchorage early, upwind of the show if possible, and set your anchor well before reducing scope. You don’t want to be jockeying for a good position at the last minute, or have your anchor lose grip in the middle of the show. Make sure you are in a safe position, and are clearly outside the restricted area of the fireworks barge.  Nothing worse than waiting all day and then being forced to move 15 minutes before the first mortar.
  • Keep libations, at least for the skipper and vital crew, to a minimum.  There will be plenty of drunks on the water, unfortunately, and you will have to keep an eye on your anchor and topsides while latecomers barrel in.  Relax, have a nice dinner, and watch the comedic “bumper boats show” while you wait for the sun to go down.
  • If you use your dinghy with an outboard in the anchorage, keep your wake down, as boats will be anchored or rafted closely.  In most jurisdictions, you are responsible for damage you cause from your wake, even on the tender.  Plus, it’s just plain rude to subject others to your need for speed.  Rule of thumb:  unless there’s an emergency, never motor in an anchorage faster than you can row.
  • Turn off mast lights (when safe and legal), deck lights, and all bright lights inside the boat before the fireworks start, as this provides a better view for everyone. Resist the urge to add your old flares to the show, don’t let the kids/grandkids/landlubbers play with flashlights, and don’t use your spotlight to “see if that’s Bob’s boat over there.”  Also turn off any music – unless of course the fireworks are set to music via the radio, and you have good speakers, in which case crank it up!
  • Sit back and enjoy the show, and don’t forget to ooh and aah!  Don’t watch the fireworks through a camera lens – you’ll miss it, and unless you have a lot of night-shooting experience, the photos are almost always disappointingly blurry when shot from a boat.
  • Take your time leaving.  Many of the boating accidents at these events happen as everyone hurries to get back to dock, often with a few beers in their bellies. Wait an hour, and you’ll usually have the water to yourself.  If you’re in a protected spot, consider spending the night.  Hey, you’re already out after dark, your hook is set, and the work’s all done.  Why not stay out and enjoy a night under the stars?

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Happy Summer Solstice to all my fellow cruisers! Sail on!

In honor of the Solstice I thought I’d reminisce a little about our cruise. I’ve picked a log entry from this time – waaaay back in 2000 as well as some photos. We were still sailing the Sea of Cortez and were enjoying our last sail before putting SAGA (our 1964 Alberg 35) on the hard for a trip to Jeff City, MO to help my sister Deb recover from a knee replacement.

“Isla San Marcos -NW anchorage
June 22, 2000 – San Carlos, Sonora, Mex.

Jann & I are in the final process of preparing the boat for three months dry storage in Marina Seca, San Carlos.  We made the crossing from Santa Rosalia on the Baja side just over a week ago and from the stories we’ve been hearing, we had a good crossing. Most of the boats that left after us got into some nasty wind and waves. As it was, we chose a detour half way across when we heard  that our friends from San Diego on ‘Tauranga‘ were anchored in a cove 17 nm north of San Carlos. We altered course and headed into Bahia San Pedro to play for a day or so before the decommissioning! We left three days later due to the same winds that were breaking stuff on other boats making the crossing. Finally, as the seas began to lay down, at 0630, we stuck our nose out of the anchorage and said, “On second thought, let’s wait some more!”  ‘Tauranga‘ pulled out around midday, but they have 52 feet & much more freeboard than our SAGA. So we waited until we saw a shift in the winds and then made a break for it around 1500.  It calmed even more as we approached San Carlos, but by that time, it was already getting dark and even under a post-solstice full moon, we were having trouble seeing our way into the harbor. Add to that, there were no navigation lights lit up on the rocks. So we hailed ‘Tauranga‘ and Marc (sweetie that he is), came out in his dinghy and lead us into the harbor with a flashlight! Thanks to Marc and Teri on the lovely ‘Tauranga‘ for feeding us in San Pedro cove, and LOBSTER too! Mighty nice to see them again.

It is REALLY HOT HERE! Definitely up in the three-digits, and it stays hot after sundown. After all, it is the Sonoran Desert! Fortunately, many businesses and restaurants have air-conditioning, unlike SAGA. The boat is almost ready to haul. It’s an amazing feat, watching them haul a full-keel sailboat out of the water without a lift. They make it look so easy with their trailer with the padded hydraulic lifts. They bring the boat as far up to the boat launch that the high tide will allow and back the trailer under it. Then they carefully raise the boat, haul it out and pull it down the highway a mile or so to the dry storage yard, (called appropriately enough – Marina Seca!). We even got to ride onboard SAGA for the trip there.  They can move a boat up to 60′.

Once we get everything put away and readied for a hot summer/Hurricane season in the Sonoran Desert, then our plan is to take the Mexican bus on Friday for Tucson where we switch to US bus and head for Jefferson City, MO to help my sis recover from a total knee replacement.  I understand we get to switch buses five times! But hey, we’ll get to see the country and leave the driving to them! We get in Sunday morning and my sister goes in for surgery Monday.  We’re both looking forward to a break from the boat. I’m especially looking forward to a large bed, endless ice, AC and a bathtub! (Not necessarily in that order.).  We’ve got some incredible pictures of whales right next to the boat, lot’s of dolphins, beautiful sunsets and bloomin’ cactus! (oh yeah, I also look forward to unlimited time online!)  What a pleasant surprise to find an I-Mac at the Internet Cafe across from the Marina! Great food too! Lot’s of Gringos here, being so close to Arizona and all.”

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S/V SAGA

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A huge pod of Spinner dolphin in the middle Sea of Cortez

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Saga at Marina Seca, San Carlos, MX

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SAGA anchored at Isla Danzante - an anchorage to ourselves!

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Sunset over Sea of Cortez

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Fish on! Jann with tuna on SAGA in Sea of Cortez

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A Fin whale swims close to SAGA in the Sea of Cortez

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SAGA ready for sale

 

Don’t forget to celebrate the Summer Solstice and Sailstice by going sailing!

Fairwinds and Following Seas,

Your Cruising Editor – Nancy

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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BoaterRated launches a “Virtual Dockside” Review Web Site for the Boating Community

Stuart, FL., May 10, 2011 – It’s a common quandary…you need work done on your boat but don’t know who to trust with your pride & joy. Where do you turn? – BoaterRated.com – Where Boaters Speak is a “Virtual Dockside” where boating enthusiasts gather to share and rate their experiences using local boating businesses. Fellow boaters can then use this information to make informed decisions when selecting businesses to help them buy, sell, maintain or repair their boats.

“There are lots of companies and individuals offering quality services to boaters, and we’ve personally found it challenging to find quality providers,” said Carl Schellbach, Partner of BoaterRated LLC. “You can walk down any dock, ask boaters you see ‘Who does a good job?’ and you’re likely to get several completely different answers. So how do you choose? The investment made in people’s boats, both in time and money, deserves better research tools. Until now, there hasn’t been an easy-to-use, objective, no-cost source where boaters could turn to find consensus. BoaterRated.com’s ‘Virtual Dockside,’ with its one- to five-star ratings and reviews, is just that place.”

BoaterRated.com also offers marine businesses the opportunity to expand the reach of their customer referrals. Successful businesses recognize the importance of recommendations to generating new business. Many companies are posting testimonials on their own websites. BoaterRated.com offers an easily searchable, objective option for boating businesses to get their services in front of customers ready to commit.

boaterrated-badge“What has more credibility?” Mr. Schellbach asks. “A testimonial posted on a company’s website, or a helpful boater’s review posted on BoaterRated.com, a completely independent and objective site? We don’t make judgments about businesses – businesses can’t buy a favorable rating from us, they’ll earn it from their customers. We simply offer boaters a vehicle to share with and learn from the experiences of other boaters. Marine businesses can leverage our platform to get that ‘dockside buzz’ by asking their customers to post their reviews to BoaterRated.com using tools we provide at no cost.  As the site grows to include more areas covered, more users, more businesses listed and claimed, the value for everybody on the Dockside will grow too.”

Do you have a boating or marine-based business? Get your business listed on BoaterRated.com today! For a limited time new business listings on the site can run a sales special free of charge. Find out how by contacting Carl @ boaterrated.com.

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BoaterRated, LLC owns and operates BoaterRated.com, an easy-to-use, independent review website where boaters can offer ratings and reviews of local boating businesses, and where those businesses can easily enhance their “get the word out” efforts. For more information visit www.BoaterRated.com and explore!

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Global Piracy Report Released

Both the commercial maritime world and the yachting cruiser are on high alert for piracy in the Indian Ocean after the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) global piracy report  was released last week.

gulf-of-aden-normaneinstein

Map showing the location of the Gulf of Aden, located between Yemen and Somalia. Nearby bodies of water include the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and the Bab-el-Mandeb strait. By Norman Einstein

No Surprise

The report revealed that there has been a sharp rise in piracy world-wide, driven by a surge in piracy off the coast of Somalia, where 97 attacks were recorded in the first quarter of 2011, up from 35 in the same period last year. Violence has also increased worldwide in the first quarter of 2011; 18 vessels were hijacked, 344 crew members were taken hostage, and six were kidnapped, IMB reported. A further 45 vessels were boarded, and 45 more reported being fired upon.

‘Figures for piracy and armed robbery at sea in the past three months are higher than we’ve ever recorded in the first quarter of any past year,’ said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB, whose Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) has monitored piracy worldwide since 1991.

Still, only five of that total have involved yachts or other cruising vessels, up from two during the same time frame in 2008. However, Cyrus Mody, the organization’s manager, says the figures for yachts are incomplete, and are simply too small to make reliable comparisons. The group maintains a piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre is the only manned centre to receive reports of pirate attacks 24 hours a day from across the globe. IMB strongly urges all shipmasters and owners to report all actual, attempted and suspected piracy and armed robbery incidents to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre.

Immediate Action Needed to Stop Piracy Off Somalia

May 26, 2011. In a call for immediate action on piracy, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) urged governments to take action against the increasing number of pirate attacks occurring off the Somali coast. The Call for Action was launched at the annual International Transport Forum taking place in Leipzig, Germany from 25-27 May.

Despite measures taken by the United Nations Security Council and the presence of naval units in the area of the Gulf of Aden, pirates continue to strike. More and more commercial shipowners have had to resort to using private security firms to protect their seafarers and ships.

In 2010, the One Earth Foundation estimated the economic cost of piracy on the supply chain to be between US$7-12 billion.

“This is of great concern to any industry having to navigate through the Gulf of Aden to deliver goods by water,” ICC said.

Prepared by the ICC Commission on Transport and Logistics, the call for action said: “As the World Business Organization, ICC urges governments to recognize that piracy, in addition to its effect on the safety of seafarers, has an important financial impact on global trade and shipping, and furthermore poses increased threat on the stability and security of energy supply lines not only for major industrial nations.”

ICC called on governments to improve the rules of engagement given to the navies present in the area, and refocus the efforts of the UN and other international bodies to ensure that pirates are brought to justice and that required institutions in central Somalia are established to maintain economic and social standards.

Together with shipowners and trade associations around the world, over 20 CEOs from key shipping and trading companies have endorsed the ICC Call for Action on Piracy.

Help is coming – but slowly

International organizations are urging governments to enforce maritime laws more aggressively. The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard have been training some third world maritime forces in how to deal with attacks against yachts. And companies are adapting new technology – such as drone aircraft – that might someday help.

Cruisers Have SSCA In Their Corner

In the wake of the murder of four Americans aboard the sailing vessel Quest, the Seven Seas Cruising Association has released a statement pushing for a “Call to Action” by the U.S. and other world leaders to stop piracy on the seas.

The statement outlines a number of steps that should be taken to stop the growth of piracy in both Somalia and other dangerous areas of the world. Perhaps the most controversial is the recommendation that nations of the world execute an agreement “to immediately stop all current and future payment of ransoms to pirates for the release of individuals or vessels, and publish this fact far and wide.”

The rationale:

This is a particularly painful, yet absolutely vital step. It is highly likely that ruthless and desperate pirates will test our will and resolve in this matter, and they have stated that they will kill hostages if rescue attempts are made or ransoms are not paid. While we deeply regret any loss of life, more ransom money paid means that even more lives will be lost, and the pirates will grow ever stronger. It is absolutely necessary to break the current business model where piracy provides a fast path to great wealth. Ransom money equals increased piracy, escalating costs, more hostages and greater loss of life.

Other recommendations include:

  1. Implement a policy to quickly and aggressively rescue hostages from pirate control.
  2. Immediately take whatever actions are necessary to protect the lives and vessels, both commercial and private, which are currently vulnerable to pirate attacks as they attempt to reach the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.
  3. Work through the United Nations to establish a multi-national naval quarantine of the Somali coast that forbids armaments aboard Somali vessels, authorizes the boarding and search of any vessel operating in the quarantined area and authorizes the seizure of any armaments found on Somali vessels.
  4. Focus anti-piracy efforts on the sources of piracy.

We strongly recommend you read and share this statement: http://ssca.org/downloads/SSCA_Call_to_Action_2_Mar_11.pdf. Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

What You Can Do

The IMB’s Mody and other experts point to several precautions that boaters can take to minimize the risks that they’ll encounter pirates on a circumnavigation or extended passage. Even little precautions can make a big difference.

1. Route your cruise carefully to avoid the most pirate-infested waters whenever possible. The IMB and several other groups list specific areas where piracy occurs most often. Besides Somalia, the waters off Venezuela top the list, along with Colombia, much of Central America, parts of the Caribbean, the Cape Verde islands, the Philippines, Eastern Malaysia and the reef-laden Malacca Strait, which links the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. The State Department’s website also contains a list of warnings. about piracy.

2. Do your research! Learn as much as you can about pirates and how they operate. Check out the list below for a list of websites on Piracy expressly for cruisers.

3. Before you start out, make sure that you and your crew have a plan on how to deal with piracy attacks so that no one makes a rash move that could endanger lives. This includes knowing where emergency equipment is, how to get help and how to respond if you’re boarded. (Most experts advise crews to go along with attackers rather than fight.)

4. File a Float Plan with friends and relatives. Some “experts” recommend filing that with local governments, but in my experience local governments can be corrupt, especially in poorer countries. I’ve personally known cruisers who were set up by local officials in Columbia, Mexico and Central America.

5. Compile a list of telephone numbers and radio channels you’ll need to contact local authorities and, in some cases, let them know in advance when you’ll be transiting and what route you plan to take.

6. And Most Importantly, try to arrange to go in convoys with other boats when you sail through pirate-infested waters, and develop a plan for communicating with one another, getting help and what to do when your convoy is attacked. To make a convoy work, you’ll have to team up with boats that can make the same speed that your boat can, so you can all stick together. Use AIS to call one another rather than hailing over the VHF where everyone can hear you.

7. Sail at night. Many authorities suggest that you sail through pirate-infested waters at night – preferably when it’s cloudy and there’s no moon to make you easily visible. Turn off all lights – both interior lights and running lights – so it’s harder for pirate crews to see you (and keep a careful watch for traffic). Keep your engine noise to a minimum. And shut down unnecessary electronic devices.

Set a lookout at all times – even when you’re at anchor – and assign someone to monitor VHF-FM and single-sideband radios for warnings of pirate activity. Pirates usually use speedboats and frequently attack in early morning or late afternoon when they can use the sun to their advantage. If you have a sailboat or a vessel with low freeboard, you’re an especially inviting target.

Pirates don’t wear distinguishing clothing, but there are some signs and characteristics that should make you wary. Attacking vessels are usually small skiffs or speedboats, carrying two or three crew members.

Rule of Thumb: If you don’t see nets in or around the boat and sea birds aren’t flying around, they aren’t fishermen.

live-piracy-map_icc-ccs-org

Image courtesy of icc-ccs.org

Piracy Resources:

Seven Seas Cruising Association
www.ssca.org

Noonsite – Piracy
www.noonsite.com

Caribbean Safety & Security Net (CSSN)

http://www.safetyandsecuritynet.com/

Yacht Piracy (Klaus Hympendahl)
http://www.yachtpiracy.org/en/dangerous_regions.htm

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) – Piracy Reports
http://www.sailing.org/1382.php

Live Piracy Map from ICC
Live Piracy Map Link

Note: The main aim of the PRC is to raise awareness within the shipping industry, which includes the shipmaster, ship-owner, insurance companies, traders, etc, of the areas of high risk associated with piratical attacks or specific ports and anchorages associated with armed robberies on board ships. This site is not directed towards piracy against private yachts.

IMB Piracy Reporting Centre

If you wish to report an piratical incident or armed robbery please contact the 24-hour Piracy Reporting Centre:

Tel: + 60 3 2078 5763
Fax: + 60 3 2078 5769
Telex:  MA34199 IMBPCI
E-mail: imbk l@ icc-ccs.org /attrpiracy @ icc-ccs.org
24 Hours Anti Piracy HELPLINE Tel: + 60 3 2031 0014

Please Stay Safe Out There and Fairwinds!

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