Posts Tagged ‘blue water saling’

10 Green Boating Tips for Cruisers, Alternative Cleansers, Protecting the Waterwaysgreen-boating-leafboat

1. Choose Green Products: Look for the EPA-certified “Design for the Environment” (DfE) label, which assures you that the product has minimal environmental impact and is safer for the person using it. Benefit: Safer products. Reduce water pollution.

2. Use The Right Prop: Use a prop with the right pitch so your engine reaches its designed wide-open-throttle RPM. An adjustable-pitch propeller allows you to dial in the optimum pitch angle in single degrees. Modular props, let you swap props while keeping the same hub. Benefit: Reduce fuel consumption, improve performance. [ flexofold.com ].

3. Add Alternative Energy: Solar panels and wind generators are getting more affordable and smarter. Most systems can be self-installed and will reduce your fuel costs significantly. Benefit: Reduce Carbon footprint & Reduce fuel consumption. Go to www.emarineinc.com for good comparison of the two options.

4. Keep The Bilge Clean: Avoid the accidental discharge of oily water by using a sorbent in each bilge area. Consider a bioremediation product designed to convert hydrocarbons into safe compounds. Benefit: Safer products. Reduce water pollution

WestMarine.com5. Retire That 2-Stroke Outboard: Although it may be possible to get a few more years out of your old-technology outboard, you’ll be much happier with the reduced noise, fumes, fuel consumption, and pollution of a modern injected four-stroke outboard. For an even quieter ride, try an electric outboard. Benefit: Save gas and reduce water pollution.

6. Recycle your Lead-Acid Batteries: 12V batteries are among the most recycled products in the world. Benefit: Save money and conserve resources. [ earth911.com ].

7. Prevent Fuel Spills: Use or install a device to prevent overboard discharges from your tank vent. Benefit: Save gas and reduce water pollution

8. Use an autopilot: Modern autopilots can steer better than most helmspersons—and they don’t have a limited attention span. Benefit: Reduce fuel consumption

9. Recycle Your Monofilament Fishing Line. If your harbor doesn’t have a recycling location, see the website [ fishinglinerecycling.org ].

10. Eat Responsibly Harvested Seafood: Choose sustainable seafood at a restaurants or grocery stores to ensure that the fish stocks are plentiful for your children and for generations to come. Go to eartheasy.com/eat_sustainable_seafoods.htm  for informational guide.


Support Yacht To Be Green!

More Tips:

Clean Boating at BoatUS Foundation

Florida Depart of Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Boating Practices

Vessel Cleaning:

Alternatives to Toxic Products

Product ➛ Alternative
Bleach ➛ Borax
Detergent & Soap ➛ Elbow grease
Scouring Powders ➛ Baking soda, or rub area with one-half lemon dipped in borax, then rinse
General Cleaner ➛ Baking soda and vinegar, or lemon juice combined with borax paste
Floor Cleaner ➛ One cup vinegar in 2 gallons of water
Window Cleaner ➛ One cup vinegar + 1 qt. warm water. Rinse and squeegee
Aluminum Cleaner ➛ 2 Tbsp. cream of tartar + 1 qt. of hot water
Brass Cleaner ➛ Worcestershire sauce, or paste made of equal amounts of salt, vinegar and water
Copper Cleaner ➛ Lemon juice and water, or paste of lemon juice, salt, and flour
Chrome Cleaner/Polish ➛ Apple cider vinegar to clean; baby oil to polish
Stainless Steel Cleaner ➛ Baking soda or mineral oil for polishing, vinegar to remove spots
Fiberglass Stain Remover ➛ Baking soda paste
Mildew Remover ➛ Paste with equal amounts of lemon juice and salt, or white vinegar and salt
Drain Opener ➛ Dissemble or use plumber’s snake, or flush with boiling water + one-quarter cup baking soda + one-quarter cup vinegar
Wood Polish ➛ Olive or almond oil (interior walls only)
Hand Cleaner ➛ Baby oil or margarine
Head & Shower ➛ Baking soda; brush thoroughly
Rug/Upholstery Cleaner ➛ Dry corn starch sprinkled on; vacuum


Support Sailors Without Borders

Protect the Oceans!

According to the Ocean Conservancy, there are five general ways boaters can protect our oceans and waterways, and conveniently enough, each of the five tips starts with a letter that ends up spelling the word “BOATS”.

Be a leader in your community. Talk about marine litter prevention with members of your boating community, from your neighbor in the next slip to boating clubs and marina managers.

Offer your time. Volunteer in boat and marina cleanup programs, especially at sites only accessible by boat. And participate in Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup, the largest volunteer effort of its kind for the ocean.

Accidents happen. Be prepared with absorbent pads to clean oil or fuel spills. Dish soap doesn’t work. It just causes those liquids to sink and contaminate the bottom.

Take it all back to shore. Don’t allow cigarette butts to go overboard; small but significant, they are the most prevalent marine litter item found during the International Coastal Cleanup. Dispose of them properly onshore.

Set the pace. Recycle everything you can, from beverage containers to propeller-snarling fishing line or plastic bags.

Read more at the Daily Boater

Of course the greenest thing sailors can do is to just…………Sail!


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St Thomas Rolex Regatta

Downwind run on day 2 of the St Thomas Rolex Regatta

The second day of racing here in St Thomas and I’m on a PowerCat (offered by Catamaran Adventures) press boat to better take in the action from an extremely close vantage point in the midst of all the racing action! It was a packed course with over 700 sailors on 77 teams filling the beautiful view of sailing paradise. For those on board the racing boats, serious attention was needed to avoid rocks, other boats and even the occasional ferry!


All Gal Crew on Northern Child

The first race was a twice-around windward-leeward course that lasted an hour, while the second showed off the scenic  south coast of St. John on a 22-mile windward-leeward course that used Leduck Island as it’s windward turning mark.With the steady tradewinds blowing between 12-15 kts, there was plenty of action and a few close calls as yachts started packed closely together at the line before spreading out, ultimately dotting the horizon with brightly colored spinnakers flying.

The St Thomas Rolex Regatta always attracts a wide variety of sailor and this year is no exception. The oldest competitor, Bill Alcott (St. Claire Shores, Mich.), age 74, has sailed his Andrews 68 Equation in the regatta for more years than he can remember. This year, he decided to charter the Swan 601 Aquarius and promptly had team shirts printed that read Equarius, in tribute to his old boat. His dry humor is only matched by his all-out approach to sailing, and life. “You’re as old as you don’t and as young as you do!,” he said after finishing 5-6 in today’s racing for a sixth overall in IRC 1 class.


Northern Child coach Suzette "Hau'oli" Smith. Photo courtesy of Safe Passage Sailing.

The youngest sailor is 5 1/2 year old Madeline Avery aboard the IC24 Brand New Second Hand. Her father, and skipper of the boat, Morgan Avery, is a St Thomas boat builder who helped design the IC24, which is now one of the hottest one-design classes in the Caribbean.

This years’ race also includes two all-female crewed boats: Northern Child, the Swan 51, skippered by Suzette Smith (Hawaii), and Diamonds Are Forever, an Elan37, skippered by Annie O’Sullivan (GBR) and entered by GirlsforSail. Captain Suzette “Hau’oli” Smith is an accomplished sailor with over 80,000 nautical miles of offshore, coastal and inland water experience, including an extensive international racing portfolio as a professional and amateur. Suzette races for Safe Passage Sailing, whose mission is to provide sailors at every level of experience opportunities to participate in world class events around the U.S. and in international waters, as the Team Coach and Skipper along with Northern Child’s owner – Christian Reynolds. Her crew consists of women from all over the U.S. with a range of experience on the water. Most race on their home waters be they lakes or bays and at least one cruises full-time on her own yacht. With careers in everything from Health Care administration to software designer, these women have come together to experience the thrill of racing in this grand event.


Northern Child-Sponsored by SPS & NauticEd

Current Standings

With a perfect score line, Antilope, Willem Wester’s (NED) Grand Soleil, is still leading in the nine-boat IRC 2 class. Phil Lotz’s (Newport, R.I.) Club Swan 42 Arethusa remains in second overall after finishing 3-2 today.

In CSA Spinnaker 3 class, Timothy Molony’s (New Orleans, La.) Wild at Heart broke yesterday’s stalemate with Kike Gonzalez’s (San Juan, PR) J/80 Otrakosa when it won both races today, with Otrakosa in second each time.

In CSA Spinnaker 1, Mark Plaxton’s (Tortola, BVI) Melges 32 Team INTAC/CROWLEY finished 2-2 today to maintain yesterday’s lead over Andrea Scarabelli’s (St. Maarten, AHO) Melges 24 Budget Marine, which remains in second just ahead of David West’s (Tortola, BVI) Melges 32 Jurakan.

The IC 24 One- Design class, with 16 boats, completed nine around-the-buoy races today, with William Bailey’s (St. Thomas) Team INTAC JV taking the lead in overall scoring. The second-place finisher, Tom Kozyn’s (St. Thomas) Badfish, is a full 14 points behind.

In Beach Cats, with nine boats competing, Jorge Ramos’s (San Juan, PR) Hobie 16 Universal won today’s single distance race to maintain his lead over John Holmberg’s Hobie 16 Time Out.
Photos (except Suzette Smith’s) by Nancy Birnbaum. All Rights Reserved.

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Photo: Onne Vanderwal

Dockwise Yacht Transport (DYT) will be orchestrating the transport of 20 private cruising yachts from Salalah, Oman to Marmaris, Turkey in April.  The company, best known for its fleet of semi-submersible “float-on/float-off” yacht carriers, also coordinates lift-on/lift-off arrangements with third-party carriers, and logistically can fulfill almost any request, even if it is driven by unfortunate circumstances.

“Due to increased piracy, cruising sailors are altering their plans for getting from southeastern Asia to the Mediterranean,” said DYT President Clemens van der Werf.  “By virtue of their independent and adventurous nature, some of these sailors had not previously thought about shipping as an alternative, but they are thinking differently now.  Dockwise is committed to assisting them in all phases of learning about the process and then implementing a plan so they can ship to designated ports rather than travel through dangerous waters on their own.”

DYT President Clemens van der Werf. Photo: N.Birnbaum

Van der Werf explained that in mid-February four Americans, on board a sailboat hijacked by pirates off the coast of Oman, were killed by their captors, and more recently, Somali pirates took hostage seven Danes, including three children, after hijacking their yacht off the Somali coast.

“These attacks on private cruising yachts are deeply disturbing and are an assault on our collective yachting family,” said van der Werf, emphasizing that for more than two decades, Dockwise Yacht Transport has been working one-on-one with owners, captains and crews to ensure safe and efficient passages by way of shipping.  “We will do all we can to help sailors meet their needs, utilizing extensive shipping routes and schedules used by our own Dockwise vessels as well as our alliances with heavy-lift operators around the world.”

From BYM Industry News

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Nancy Birnbaum, Freelance Writer/Editor

P.O.Box 667826
Pompano Beach, FL 33066

(954) 770-0900

skype_iconSkype: nbirnbaum2008






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Your Cruising Editor offers up this special list of the “Top 10 Islands to Sail To” so that you can bring in the New Year dreaming about your next cruise! Is your favorite island on the list? If not, please share it with us.

Fairwinds & Happy Holidays!

1. Vanuatu


Vanuatu Anchorage

vanuatu_mapVanuatu is a volcanic island chain in the south west Pacific Ocean, between Fiji and New Caledonia. There are about 80 islands with a total land area of 12,189 square kilometers reaching 900 km in a north-south direction. UNESCO World Heritage sites honor Chief Roi Mata on Éfaté, Lelepa and Artok islands.  Check out www.noonsite.com for info.

saga and ulu -san blas islands

S/V Saga with Kuna ulu

2. San Blas Islands, Panama

Only 36 of these 365 San Blas islands are inhabited, and here travelers can witness life as it has been since the 16th century. Since tourism doesn’t fit into this simple way of life, cruisers will find a perfect paradise: friendly Kuna Indians who still rule themselves, an abundance of ocean life, coconuts and sparkling clear calm water! What more could you ask for. Don’t miss the Monday night “trash night” bonfire and potluck at the Swimming Pool! Helpful hints for cruising the San Blas, courtesy of Blow Me Away Sailing.

3. Tierra del Fuego

tierra del Fuego with sailboat

Tierra del Fuego Sailboat

Tierra del Fuego or Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, is the largest island in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. Half of the island belongs to the Magallanes Region of Chile while the eastern part belongs to the Tierra del Fuego Province of Argentina. Great info by S/Y Nine Of Cups available at http://www.nineofcups.com/south_america_intro.html.

4. Dominica


Coast of Dominica

Dominica is home to the Carib Territory and was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans. Some 3,000 Carib Indians still living on Dominica are the only pre-Columbian population remaining in the eastern Caribbean. Dominica is located in Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about one-half of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago. CruisingWiki Guide.

5. Tasmania, Australia


Sailboats off Tasmania

The Tasmania Wilderness World Heritage Area covers 3.46 million acres (20 percent of the island) and is home to myriad threatened species, including the eponymous Tasmanian devil. Check out Marinas Guide – Australia for a good guide to anchorages by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. www.marinasguide.com.au/planner/guidetasanchorageryct.htm.

6. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador


Locals sunbathe in the Galapagos

The UNESCO World Heritage List calls this mostly uninhabited chain of 19 islands a “living museum and a showcase of evolution,” citing land iguanas, giant tortoises and assorted finches among the countless varieties. Though there have been some changes to the fees the park is charging cruisers, most yachts that call at the Galapagos under the Transit Rules and with less than 10 crew on board, will still find there is no change to the Transit Regulations which allow a stay of up to 20 days in one of the Ports of Entry. For up-to-date info, check Noonsite.com.

7. The Seychelles


A schooner at anchor in the Seychelles

Located off the east coast of Africa, these islands are pure paradise. Totaling 115 in all, the Seychelles have no indigenous population and the largest ethnic groups are those of French, African, Indian, and Chinese descent. Also, it’s a matriarchal society. CruisingWiki Guide.

8. The MaldivesMaldives
Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, this chain of 1,000 islands (200 are inhabited, and only 5 have any substantial population) is just a series of coral atolls that are barely above sea level. Natural erosion due to tsunamis and storms are slowly washing away these pearls. Get there while you still can. The Maldives have been a crossroads for sea traders for many centuries and the origin of the people of this country is mixed. It is an independent republic, which has been inhabited for over 3,500 years. CruisingWiki Guide.

9. Ko Lipe, Thailand

Ko Lipe, Thailand

Ko Lipe, Thailand

Located in southern Thailand, Ko Lipe is one of the Butang Group of Islands in The Tarutao National Park. Thailand’s first Marine National Park, established in 1972, consists of 51 islands close to the Malaysian border. Of the 51 islands all but Koh Lipe are uninhabited. Its one of the very best sailing areas in Thailand with many nearby islands to explore. CruisingWiki Guide.

10. Channel Islands, Californiachannelislands_map
Here the biggest star is a Pacific gray whale and the foxiest character is, well, an island fox. Close to the California mainland, yet worlds apart, Channel Islands National Park encompasses five remarkable islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara) and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants, and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth and helped preserve a place where visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was. Here’s a good cruising guide site: www.sailchannelislands.com/cicruisingguide/index.php and the official National Park site: http://www.nps.gov/chis/index.htm

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Laura on a sailboat. Courtesy of Toni Ralston

Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 – “The Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA) continues the search for Laura Zekoll”
– – From Caribbean 1500 News.

“Cruising Rally Association reported on Monday crew member search and rescue mission is continuing for sailing vessel Rule 62, crew member, Laura Zekoll. (Updated by Richard Ross at 3:30pm EST).

November 15, 2010…Cruising Rally Association (CRA), Hampton, VA…Steve Black, owner of Cruising Rally Association, announced today that crew member onboard sailing vessel Rule 62, Laura Zekoll from Atlanta, GA is the subject of a search and rescue mission by the US Coast Guard and The Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA).

The news of the search was received by CRA mid-day on Sunday, November 14, 2010 from boat owner, Richard Ross. The emergency contact information for Laura Zekoll, was communicated to the Coast Guard who notified her contact that a search was in process. The notice of the search was shared with the fleet on Monday morning, during the radio check-in at 07:00 hours AST (Atlantic Standard Time).

The owners of sailing vessel Rule 62, Richard and Debra Ross, also from Atlanta, GA, communicated earlier that they had made a decision to leave the fleet and divert to the Bahamas.  During the radio check-in on Saturday at 19:00 hours AST, Richard reported a position near the Bahamas.   According to the satellite transponder provided by the CRA to each vessel in the fleet, Rule 62 had stopped moving when the transponder reported at 20:56 hours AST Saturday, November 13.

Black said, “with great sadness, we report that Rule 62, a Jeanneau 46DS, was swamped while attempting entry into the Bahamas. Richard and crew Laura Zekoll were washed overboard and recovered. The life raft was launched. Richard, Debra, Laura, and a fourth crew member, David Sheppard from Ellsworth, Maine entered the life raft with life jackets on and attempted to row it to safety. The life raft subsequently overturned in swells. Richard, Debra, and David were separated from Laura and washed up on the beach”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the U.S. Coast Guard ended its search for the Laura Zekoll, 46, of Atlanta, Georgia.The Coast Guard employed a Jayhawk helicopter, Dolphin helicopter and C-130 airplane in its search and rescue mission. Chief Petty Officer Russell Tippets of the 7th Coast Guard District located in Miami, Florida stated, “After 25 hours of searching and covering more than 1,600 square miles, our search and rescue coordinators felt they had done everything possible to find this missing person.”

The boat is currently on a reef in the Bahamas. Richard and Debra Ross and Sheppard were airlifted to safety after their emergency signal was received by the Coast Guard.

The sailing vessel Rule 62, is part of a fleet of 65 sailing vessels, the majority of the fleet is still at sea.  The fleet departed Hampton, VA on November 8, 2010 in route to the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Eleven other boats left Hampton VA in the Bahamas Class headed for Marsh Harbor. This is the 21st year of the annual passage.”

Laura is a sailor and CEO & Founder at Advantage Computer Age, a website design company based in Atlanta. Friends and family took part in a vigil Tuesday evening at Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Midtown, lighting candles as it concluded.

In their SailBlog, the crew of S/V Sunrise who also participated in the Caribbean 1500 wrote, “Our hearts really go out to them as we had a taste of what they must have gone through. We diverted after only 24 hours, they were out for 5 days in very rough conditions, which is exhausting. We were able to let the Monitor Wind Vane steer, the four on Rule 62 had to hand steer for two days after their Autopilot failed (we heard them trying to trouble shoot it with another boat on the SSB). Hand steering in a big swell and gale conditions is physically exhausting. We had daylight to make our inlet, they were in the dark. We had current, wind and waves with us: Rule 62 had the current against the waves and wind… something that creates what the Bahamians call a “Rage”, very intense conditions.”

Watch Video from Fox Atlanta


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Last night I saw a report on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams called “Living Better With Les.” In the report they featured a few viewers who have “gotten back to basics” by ridding themselves of a lifetime of accumulated “stuff.” Could it be that Americans are starting to catch on? Is Consumerism on the wane? Lord, let it be so…


Saga is visited by a ulu in the San Blas Islands. N.Birnbaum©2004

Perhaps it’s my hippie roots, but I’ve always considered rampant consumerism a sickness. Like overdoing it with drugs or alcohol, Americans just can’t say no when it comes to buying useless stuff. I guess that’s why I took so easily to the Cruising Lifestyle. When Jann & I met in 1998 (doing the Baja Ha Ha Rally) and decided to go cruising, i set out to rid myself of 27 years of accumulation. Five garage sales and one flea market later, I had indeed separated myself from almost all my worldly possessions. Friends would ask me, “How did you do it?” or “You must have cried!” But actually, it was liberating, a feeling most of those interviewed for the NBC piece, also reported. Jann on the other hand had unwillingly lost all of his possessions in the 91′ Oakland Hills Fire, when he lost his house and all that was in it.

It’s hard to say which is harder, getting rid of your stuff willingly or unwillingly. Both have their inherent pros and cons. I was happy to have some control over how much my stuff sold for, though i wouldn’t recommend garage sales in the hills of Marin Country where I sold my stuff! Of course, I donated lots of it to charities, which felt good to do. We’ve done the “land-thing” and started over twice since we set off on our cruise in 1999, each time acquiring new stuff, just to sell it or give it away before setting off again. Sometimes it can’t be helped. For us it was ill parents that required a temporary move back to the States with new jobs, new apartment, and new stuff that one must get. We’ll do it again. Soon, I hope!

Cruisers are either good at doing more with less or perhaps they just learn from experience. Of course some keep their stuff in storage when they head off on a long voyage. Some have rental properties in which they’ve wisely converted a small room into a locked storage space. And others, like us, try to squeeze all their stuff onto a small boat! In fact, folks often told us that we had a 55′ boat crammed into our little Alberg 35! Cruisers know how to conserve. They know that they can only use as much power as they can put back into their onboard batteries; they often have alternative power such as solar or wind generators; they install watermakers, and don’t waste much. When they are cruising pristine islands with no trash disposal at hand, they have pot lucks around a trash burn bonfire! They NEVER throw anything overboard that can’t spend the remainder of its life as a home for a sea creature at the bottom of the ocean. They usually don’t take souvenirs off the beach


Visiting Cruisers anchored in the Banana River for the SSCA Gam. N.Birnbaum©2008

(well, maybe just a couple of pretty shells!), and never leave trash behind. And, there’s one more thing that cruisers know how to do…something that really speaks to the whole concept of Living Better with Less…cruisers know how to fix s&%t. A lost art in America, though common in third world countries. We don’t just toss it when it breaks, we fix it! Or as the old cruising adage goes, “If it breaks and you ca

n’t fix it, discover why you didn’t need it in the first place!”

I write this as I am going through our storage unit looking for all the old cruising gear that we’re not using so that I can take it up to the Annual SSCA Gam this weekend in Melbourne, FL and get into the hands of this years cruising fleet at the flea market. I’m dedicated to recycling. Sometimes I think I’m the only one around here that is.


Saga's Settee Storage Re-do

So here’s to living better with less. We’re looking forward to getting our next boat — a catamaran (which we won’t be able to overload with stuff!), and getting back out there. I’m pleased to hear that Americans are finally catching on!

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