The Top Four Obstacles to Sailors Wanting to Go Offshore, and How to Overcome Them

Many coastal sailors, whether experienced or novice, have a desire to try offshore sailing. If you share that dream, but haven’t made it a reality, it may be that you don’t know where to start, or have found obstacles in your way.

You shouldn’t let that stop you. There are ways to fulfill your dream, and join the others who have left the shores to sail the world’s oceans.

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A Knotty Problem

One of the most confusing concepts for a new sailor is the “knot.” Sure, we all know what knots are. They are what you tie in your shoe laces, or what you use to tie the rowboat onto the roof of your car. But “knot” is also used as a nautical measure of speed. Confused? Don’t be. We’re here to untangle the issue for you. Continue reading

June 8 is World Oceans Day. What Do You Know About the Oceans?

Every year on June 8 people around the world celebrate the world’s oceans and how we are all connected by them. You probably know that life on earth depends on the oceans in many ways. Here are some interesting facts that maybe you didn’t know. Continue reading

“Iodine-itis” and Other Shipboard Remedies

Nobody likes being sick or injured, but imagine being stricken on a sailboat a thousand miles from anywhere. Offshore sailors have to be ready to deal with any medical circumstances.

Are you? Continue reading

You Talk Like a Sailor!

photo courtesy of Thad Zajdowicz

photo courtesy of Thad Zajdowicz

Whether you know it or not, you talk like a sailor! Yes, that’s right. Many of the words in common usage today are derived from traditional sailing terms. We thought we’d give you some examples, so without going overboard, we’ve put on our best duds and had a field-day stocking up on interesting words and phrases.

Do you have some of your own? Continue reading

Sea Anchors

Ever since the early days of sail, sailors have faced two opposite challenges: how to make the best of light airs; and how to maintain control when the wind and sea conditions become too great.

All sailors have benefited from evolving technologies that have improved go-fast performance, from types of rig to shapes of hulls to materials used throughout a vessel. But by comparison, a relatively miniscule amount of development (setting aside weather predicting capabilities) has been directed toward technologies to improve the safety of sailing ships in high winds at sea. Continue reading

Colourful Characters of the South Pacific

In our first memoir, Beer in the Bilges, Sailing Adventures in the South Pacific, we talked about our sailing experiences in the early 1980s and some of the amazing characters we met along the way. They included Sharkbite Charlie, Rosie, the three-hundred-pound dancer, and Gunter, the mysterious German chef from South America.

There are plenty more characters to talk about!

There were plenty more that we didn’t have room for, so we are including some of them in a second memoir that we’re currently writing. Here’s a sneak peek into one of those characters.
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Sailing Alone

There is something about sailing alone that appeals to some people. It may be the challenge of a single-handed race, the opportunity for a cruising sailor to have time alone with their thoughts, or the plain antisocial nature of certain individuals. Regardless of the reason, sailing alone is a unique experience. Continue reading

Sint Maarten / Saint Martin

There is a lot to experience on this little island in the Caribbean shared between France and the Netherlands. Ten days wasn’t enough.

Known as “The Friendly Island”, Saint Martin/Sint Maarten was divided between France and the Netherlands in 1648 with the Treaty of Concordia. This arrangement provided for mutual protection from belligerent states. Remains of stone forts built to guard the harbors in the French north and Dutch south still remain, as does the history of pirates that threatened them. Continue reading