Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Take the Seafood Pledge for Worlds Ocean Day!

Today is World Oceans Day and on behalf of the world’s oceans and the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, I want to acknowledge the hard work these fine folks are doing and ask your support to help protect sea turtles and our precious oceans for all of us. Please join me and my fellow cruisers and help any way you can!

June is worth celebrating!

President Obama recently signed proclamations designating June as Great Outdoors Month and National Oceans Month.

“Both proclamations are an exceptional recognition for the value of our nation’s waterways and reinforce the vital role fishing and boating play in strengthening the U.S. economy and providing a means for Americans to ‘explore, play and grow together,” the National Marine Manufacturers Association said in a statement.

In his proclamation of Great Outdoors Month, Obama says, “This month, let each of us resolve to protect our great outdoors; discover their wonders; and share them with our friends, our neighbors, and our children.”  You can Read the proclamation Here.

West Marine Grants $30K to non-profits who protect marine habitats

In honor of World Oceans Day, West Marine, the largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories, today announced the recipients of their annual Marine Conservation Grants program.  Grants for a total amount of $30,000 are being awarded to non-profit organizations throughout the U.S. who are working to “improve and protect marine habitat,” which is part of West Marine’s mission.  This year’s grant recipients are located in Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Maryland and California. For more info and a list of the recipients, go to Conservation Grants.


Here’s a few things you can do…

to participate in World Oceans Day and to help celebrate World Turtle Day on June 16th.

  1. Celebrate World Turtle Day June 16 with sea turtle scientists at the Cal Academy Night Life in Golden Gate Park. Pacific leatherback expert Scott Benson will reveal the latest findings about these rare and mysterious sea turtles. Join the Sea Turtle Restoration Project community at a party for the sea turtles at the incredible California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco! If you can help STRP and volunteer, send an email to info@seaturtles.orgturle_caught_in_plastic
  2. “I pledge to protect myself against mercury”

    Sadly, capture and drowning in shrimp trawl, swordfish and tuna fishing gear is the leading cause of deaths of sea turtles from human activity. By not eating this fish we can reduce demand for it and the need for more fishing. Much of this fish is also high in mercury. Join the over 1,100 ocean lovers and –  Take the Pledge Here!

  3. Visit Your Local Aquarium
    Many aquariums do fantastic research an advocacy for oceans, and the funds they receive from patrons can help them keep afloat, so to speak. Not only that, but you learn so much about local and exotic sealife. It’s hard to visit an aquarium and not walk away with a soft spot for marine ecosystems and fish.
  4. Donate to a Favorite Ocean Advocacy Group
    There are a range of nonprofits working to help the ocean, and they need your help. Why not send a little something (or a lot something) to one or a few groups making a difference. I recommend SeaTurles.org, Conservation International, or Save Our Seas, just to name a few.
  5. Sign the Care2 “Save Sharks” Petition
    As many as 73 million or more sharks are killed every year for shark fin soup. Around the world populations of these important predators are collapsing and species are going extinct. Many species such as the oceanic white tip and great hammerhead have dropped by 99% in just the last 50 years. They may strike fear in many, but we really do need them in the big picture! Sign Care2’s petition to help save sharks today, and protect this vital species from extinction.



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Available Now! Get the App that revs up the fun factor in your boating lifestyle!


BoatUS – THE Boat Owners Association of the United States – knows boaters like to share with friends and family breathtaking cruising destinations, the hottest fishing holes, ‘uh oh’ grounding spots to avoid and best of all – their boats current location.

Use the BoatUS Towing App to easily send friends your phone’s GPS Latitude and Longitude with a Google map link. You can easily share your near shore boat location with a few screen touches. Even use it to notify friends on shore when and where you begin and end your float plan!boatUS-android-screen4

BoatUS also knows boats break down, go aground and trailer tires blow out when least expected. Who wants to fork out over $600 for a tow? That’s why this App also has similar features to a vehicles automatic locator. Press the “Call for a Tow” option on the home screen and a 24/7 crew mate of BoatUS will answer, knowing who you are, what boat you’re on and where you are. A key feature, since tens of thousands of the boaters who call for a tow unfortunately don’t know exactly where they are located.

Even though this app doesn’t replace good seamanship and navigation skills, it is a nice addition to add to your tackle box. And it’s free.

The BoatUS Towing App not only displays the phones latest nautical Latitude and Longitude right in front of you, it’s GPS function should still work even when out of cell phone range. What a perk if you need to relay it over VHF radio in times of need!

BoatUS Members who choose to buy Unlimited Towing are also prepared when the unexpected engine breakdown, non emergency tow, soft ungrounding, battery jump, fuel delivery and/or trailer roadside assistance is needed. BoatUS can pay the bill on the spot so you don’t have to!

BoatUS is the biggest, the best and the most trusted boat towing program available. Not to mention THE Association providing representation for recreational boaters on Capital Hill, the best boat insurance policies, 24 hour claims service, marina repair and fuel discounts at 900 locations coast to coast, rewards at West Marine stores, award-winning boating, fishing and trailering magazines and over 25 services for boaters needs.

Recently changed in this version

-Text or Email your boat’s near shore location to other boaters
-Share your raft up anchorage or favorite fishing hole instantly
-Show your boat’s near shore location on Google Maps
-Displays your Latitude & Longitude (even out of cell range)
-Call for a tow with the comfort of BoatUS knowing where you are
-Complete your boating tool bag with 25 other BoatUS Services
-Get the hottest boating news events from BoatUS Press Room
-Use the BoatUS App to easily send your phone’s GPS Latitude and Longitude with a Google map link.

  • Share breathtaking cruising destinations
  • Keep a log of where they’ve been on the water
  • Warn others of where to avoid ‘Uh Oh’ grounding spots
  • Have the comfort knowing they can call 24/7 for a tow

Download the free BoatUS Towing app today to try it out. At sea. On the Lake. In the River. On the Road. Also, call 800-888-4869 now to join BoatUS and buy Unlimited On-Water and Trailer Assist for less than you probably spend for your auto club. They don’t cover boats and usually don’t pay for tows of boat trailers!

Coming Soon for Blackberry! Read the News HERE!

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SevenSeas_map_SSCA.org“What Are The Seven Seas?”

You would think that with such powerful search tools like Google, that question would be relatively easy to answer. Try it. If your search was anything like mine, you found a confusing collection of partial answers, none of them correct!

Take the Library of Congress’ Science facts page entitled “Everyday Mysteries.”

“Not all geographers agree on this list of seven, believing that the seven seas reference will be different depending upon the part of the world and the time period in question.

Some geographers point to the Age of Discovery and suggest that the seven seas represent the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico.” [1]

Now if we’re worth our salt, we know the difference between an Ocean and a Sea, right?

The Seven Seas are referred to in the literature of the ancient Hindus, Chinese, Persians, Romans and other nations. In each case, the term simply referred to different bodies of water. Sometimes it even referred to mythical seas. To the Persians, the Seven Seas were the streams forming the Oxus River; the Hindus used the term for the bodies of water in the Punjab. There is a group of salt-water lagoons that separated Venice, Italy from the open sea, that the Romans called septem maria, the Latin phrase for Seven Seas.

Still the debate continues. Even the renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution got it wrong, as I found on their website,[2]

“To the ancients, ‘seven’ often meant ‘many,’ and before the fifteenth century, the many seas of the world were:

  1. the Red Sea
  2. the Mediterranean Sea
  3. the Persian Gulf
  4. the Black Sea
  5. the Adriatic Sea
  6. the Caspian Sea
  7. the Indian Ocean

Historical Fact:

The Portuguese were actually the first European power to come into contact with India when Vasco de Gama sailed into Calcutta in 1498. After that date, Portuguese ships would frequently return to Europe laden with spices and commodities that would fetch fabulous prices. Other European powers looked enviously at this stream of exotica coming from the Orient. Portugal managed to hold on to its preeminent position largely in part to the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494. This treaty had been created to divide the New Worlds between the Catholic countries of Portugal and Spain. In effect they had carved up these New Worlds with Spain receiving a monopoly of power in most of South America and Portugal in the Indies. Working together, the two Catholic countries were able to maintain an effective blockade of these new markets for the majority of the sixteenth century.

Ships would always prove to be a more economically viable way of trading with India. And, as the English could not directly trade with India, its sailors resorted to buccaneering and piracy of the Portuguese ships as they headed to Europe with their valuable cargoes. It was with the era of Drake and Cavendish looting and shooting their way around the world that the first cracks appeared in the Catholic monopoly. In fact, it was Drake’s victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588 that really opened the floodgates. The Navies of the Catholic countries were no longer strong enough to ensure an effective blockade of their New Worlds. English and Dutch ships began to pass the Cape of Good Hope in increasing numbers. Both nations quickly established Chartered companies to exploit the commercial possibilities presented to them. The English East India Company was established in 1600. The EIC would lead the vanguard for British political power in India. The EIC sent many a clipper ship across the “Tea Route” to China and back.

According to Peter Freuchen, in Book of the Seven Seas, “The Seven Seas” is a very old phrase and a very new one, too. In between nobody tried to count. The Ancients of the Mediterranean world knew seven large bodies of water, so they thought these were all the seas of the world. For a long time people were content with this, but when the age of exploration began, they learned that the Ancients had made a little mistake. There was not only a lot more water than they believed, but men were going out and finding great new seas all the time, and giving them names. So the expression “Seven Seas” dropped out of use for many centuries.

It came back in 1896. That year Rudyard Kipling was looking for a title for a new volumn of his poems. He selected The Seven Seas, and because he was a great man, and a popular man, the world had to make his words good.  So the geographers figured out a way to divide the ocean into seven parts. It isn’t a very good way, but we get along with it even if few of us can remember what the seven are. The whole thing is a triumph of poetry over reality.[3]

The Seven Seas

In Antiquity Today

Mediterranean                               Arctic

Red                                                 Antarctic

China                                             North Atlantic

West African                                    South Atlantic

East African                                     North Pacific

Indian Ocean                                   South Pacific

Persian Gulf                                     Indian

So the phrase was popularized by Rudyard Kipling who used it as the title of a volume of poems first published in 1896. Kipling himself said the term might be regarded as referring to the seven oceans (named above) even though it was a very old figurative name for all the waters of the world.

It follows then, that the notion of an “Old Salt” is one who “has survived the Seven Seas” was coined to describe just such a sailor: One who sailed with the East India Company for more than a few voyages.

So, to settle this debate, I put forth that The Seven Seas are, and always have been…
1. The South China Sea
2. The Celebes Sea
3. The Timor Sea
4. The Banda Sea
5. The Flores Sea
6. The Java Sea
7. The Sulu Sea

Any old salt who had “sailed the Seven Seas” proved he had been on the old “Clipper Ship” tea route from, China to England, which was the longest trade route under sail and which took the Clippers through any or all of those Seven Seas.

Now, aren’t you glad that we straightened that out?

Of course, it is of no real consequence these days. Take The Seven Seas Cruising Association… one can join even if you’re not sailing an old clipper ship. For over 50 years, SSCA has recognized the major sailing accomplishments of regular folk like you and me and reward such. Members who cross major bodies of water (oceans) may receive the “Trans-Ocean Award.” Those who complete one, may receive the “Circumnavigation Award.” The SSCA is the oldest Association of its kind in the world, and still the largest. Its’ members are from all over the globe. All are welcome!

Just like in the days of yore, SSCA recognizes that becoming an accomplished sailor has its merit. So, whether you’ve sailed the Seven Seas, have just cruised the Caribbean for a few seasons or are planning to someday, you will be among the proud, if not salty, group of time-honored sailors when you join the Seven Seas Cruising Association. For more information about membership and to join, visit www.ssca.org or call: 954/771-5660.


[3] Book of the Seven Seas by Peter Freuchen, with David Loth

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Sunrise on Melbourne Beach

I just returned from the Seven Seas Cruising Association‘s 35th Annual Melbourne Gam where it was breezy and cool and the North anchorage off the Eau Gallie Causeway was full with almost 30 boats. It was great to see lots of old friends as well as many “newbies” who have either just set out or will begin their cruising soon.


Kathy Parson, Pam Wall & Gwen Hamlin lead the Women & Cruising Seminar at the Gam

The Gam is still the best place to learn from the pros. So many of the participants have done some serious world cruising and that’s not even touching on the incredible experience of the speakers. This year’s seminars included regulars like Women & Cruising with Pam Wall, Kathy Parsons and Gwen Hamlin; Weather Forecasting with Lee Chesneau; Coping with Emergencies by Author/Sailor Ed Mapes; Rigging with Colin Mack of Mack Sails; Marine First Aid with Ralph Beyhl, R.N.; Yoga with Kim Hess and much more!

I made sure to catch the learning roundtables since they’re always entertaining as well as educational. There was a table where you could practice giving injections on a grapefruit, or removing a hook from a pigs’ foot. These are real-life situations that occur all the time on cruising boats, so it’s best to have some practice before you are called on to perform such tasks. I also sat in on a very informative round table on Mobile Apps for Mariners hosted by our friend Mark Doyle (Managing the Waterway Guides). It’s also a topic close to my heart now that I have started a new App Development company – iTapTouch. It was interesting to see how many sailors have iPhones. I saw many with Droids as well, and there are still quite a few holdouts who are less tech savvy and still want whatever free phone the provider is offering! Here’s something I thought I’d never see: Gordon Groves with an iPad! Wow! Now I’ve seen it all! Way to Go Gordon!


Mark Doyle mesmerize the audience

The Gam has come a long way since I helped put them on. I must give credit where credit is due… the current BOD. What a terrific bunch of dedicated folks. This years AGM was one for the record books – not just in the crowd that attended but because it was so well done. Who knew you could make the Annual Meeting about the Members? Well, they did. VP Chad Carvey introduced a bunch of members who had website links in their bios online. Board Members welcomed the Newbies who were at the Gam, and Treasurer David told the crowd how SSCA has come back from the brink of insolvency to “in the Black” thanks to lots of new members and the Seven Seas “U” where you can join a webinar and learn almost anything about the lifestyle. BIG thanks to outgoing Board President – Craig Briggs who did more for the organization than most of his predecessors! (Check out his cruising blog!)


Practicing injections

Trinidad Cruising Station Hosts and friend to all cruisers, Jessie James (Members’ Only) and his adorable wife Sharon Rose were back along with Leroy Quildon, industry specialists for the yachting community in Trinidad was also attending in order to share all the great things that the Trinis offer us cruisers.

Your Cruising Editor shares SodaStream

The vendor area was full again with the great big family of cruising specialists, authors and services. I even gave out tastes of all natural sodas that you can make yourself with regular drinking water and the SodaStream. What a great invention! Now available at The Yachting Gourmet Store!

suturing roundtable

Preparing for the worse!

If you on the lucky few who are planning your escape, do yourself a favor and don’t miss the next Gam. Same place, same time, next year.

See ya there!


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Passing on some important info from the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA)

ssca_logoWe Need Your Help!

“This is our 7th year and SSCA Humanitarian Effort “Operation Bahamas Project” needs your help to provide each child in the Out Islands of the Bahamas with a retired Math Book. We have completed packing retired text books, workbooks, etc. for the schools in the Bahamas. This year we have 60% more retired text books to pack. Our partner, The Charlotte County Public Schools were very generous in donating twelve (12) huge pallets of retired Math and Science Books, Workbooks, Dictionaries, etc. The supplies range from Grades K thru 9th.

We will be distributing to the follow schools in the Exumas: Staniel Cay, Black Point, Little Farmers, Georgetown (3 Elementary Schools and 1 Middle School), Ragged Island and we have added two (2) Primary Schools in the Acklins. The majority of the boxes will be going to Georgetown (350 boxes) and Staniel Cay and Black Point (110 boxes).

The boxes are small (11”L X 9”W X 7”D) or (14”L X 9”W X 7”D) and can be easily placed in a dinghy. The average weight is 8 to 12 lbs. Boxes can be picked up in October thru January in Ft. Pierce, Florida; Vero Beach Municipal Marina, Vero Beach, Florida; Punta Gorda, Florida; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; St. Petersburg, Florida and at the Melbourne Convention.

If you are able to participate (SSCA Members or Non Members / Sail – Power ), please contact Bruce & Marilyn Conklin (Reflection) at goldconk@yahoo.com. Cell: 772-559-1235.


Let us know your boat length and your choice of islands and approximately how many boxes you might be able to take comfortably. We will need 40 boats for Georgetown.

This past year, we visited with the Principals of the Schools and students who expressed sincere gratitude for the donations. As Sharon Bethel, Assistant to the District Superintendent of Schools in Georgetown stated “The materials will assist us in helping to improve the students’ literacy and numeracy level.”

If you are not able to help this year, please pass the word on to other boaters who will be traveling to the Exumas this winter. Together we can touch the lives of more than 800 Bahamian Children.

Bruce and Marilyn Conklin – “Reflection”

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armchairanglers_logoNEWS FLASH!

A non-profit organization in Fort Lauderdale, Florida has launched a new website and fund-raising effort to help physically challenged anglers get back on the water. The stated mission of Armchair Anglers is to provide world-class fishing trips for the physically challenged on a fully accessible, stable catamaran boat, in an effort to bring the healing that only time spent on the water can provide.

Executive Director and Founder, Jim Hargaden, who helped design this unique and customized fishing boat, did so in order to make this dream a reality.

“Our goal, to provide a safe and comfortable day of fishing and to provide education and smart catch & release techniques promoting conservation of our most valuable resources to this over-looked segment of the Disabled Community, is unique,” said Mr. Hargaden. “Our Fund Raising efforts have begun in earnest and we will be working on gathering sufficient funds for the construction and rigging of this exciting venture with your help.”

“We encourage you to join our efforts by visiting www.armchairanglers.org and supporting this worthy Non-Profit in any way you can!” added Hargaden. “Your donation, no matter what level you choose, will serve to provide lasting memories for those with physical challenges.”


Founder, Jim Hargaden

Those interested in receiving the Armchair Anglers Newsletter can sign-up on the website and receive $10 worth of tackle as a Thank You Gift!

All donations are Tax Deductible. To donate go to www.armchairanglers.org and click on the “Join Us” tab.

Armchair Anglers, Inc is a part of the Network for Good by GuideStar – “Give with Confidence”.  Donations can be made safely online via PayPal using any credit card or your PayPal account. You can also download a donor form to mail in a check.


Cobia courtesy of Pat Ford Photos

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NauticEd is a great way to get the skills you want, online from anywhere, anytime. We can’t all take time off to head off to a tropical paradise to learn how to sail, and that’s why Grant Headifen designed NauticEd.

  • NauticEd is Nautical Education and more NauticEd
  • All NauticEd sailing lessons and tests are online
  • Take as long as you need to complete a sailing course
  • Come back as many times as you like for FREE
  • Take the tests as many times as you like for FREE
  • See our next slide for heaps of FREE stuff
Now, for a short time, while the folks at NauticEd are sailing Tonga, they are offering a incredibly special price of just $6.99!! They want something back from you, however…Use your social network to promote for them in exchange. Read more about that below.
“Use this promocode below now to get any one of our courses for $6.99 – that’s just a crazy price.” writes Grant. “Tell as many friends about this as possible. If we grow our sailing school by 1000 students by the time we get back from Tonga on September 1st – we’ll repeat this crazy price again as a Christmas present.  But for us to repeat this we have to get 1000 new students using this promocode by September 2nd.  It’s up to you and your fellow NauticEdonians.”

Suggestion – if you haven’t taken the Bareboat Charter Clinic yet – that would be a good one to put into your curriculum now. If you’re planning on a bareboat charter soon then tell all your crew. So send a personal email to your friends, email your yacht club, Facebook NauticEd, Twitter NauticEd what ever you do – do your part to reach 1000.”

Here’s the Promocode for the $6.99 course for you and all your friendsto use. It’s valid until September 1st.

crazy699for1000 – note it is all lowercase and no spaces.

You can choose your courses here:


Check it out! I did and I can tell you that the courses are interesting, well-designed and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can earn your credentials.

Tell ’em, “Your Cruising Editor sent you!”

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