Archive for October, 2010

How to Survive at Sea – feedback from a reader

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Andre and Suzanne Wildeman live in the Netherlands and own a Victoire 933 – a sleek and comfortable 30 ft yacht. Below is an extract from an email Andre sent us after reading our eBook, How to Survive at Sea: Six emergencies and how to handle them.

I had a great read and found myself looking at our ship in just another way. Also I had a close look at the crew – my wife and me. We talked through your subjects and went over the tips and measures.

Now in the Netherlands the season has come to an end and our Victoire 933 will go ashore next week. It is the time for cleaning and further maintenance, working through the list composed during the sailing season.

Also time to read and study, prepare for trips next spring and summer.

I assure you I will pay extra attention to the ship’s condition (and of course the crew’s condition as well).

We had a great sailing season this year and we did not run into any trouble. I must admit, the 40 knot wind in August was the worst condition we met, but for our ship as well as for us, not really a problem – we anticipated the weather forecast and had our sail plan ready.

Thank you very much for the valuable eBook.

Andre’s comment about how they handled the 40 knot wind by shortening sail in readiness is just one example of his good seamanship.

And he concluded with:

We are looking forward to reading your newsletters!

If you’d like to get the eBook and become a newsletter subscriber, all you have to do is go to the page, How to Survive at Sea, and submit your name and email address. To ensure security of your email address, you will receive a message requesting confirmation that you want the eBook. When you click on the link in that email, you will arrive on a page from which you can download the complimentary eBook.

How to survive at sea – six emergencies and how to handle them

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Sounds like a good name for an eBook! Well, you’re right. We have developed a series of What if … sailing scenarios that skippers and their crews need to know how to handle and created a 26-page downloadable eBook, including a 35-word Glossary of sailing terms.

How to Survive at Sea eBook

How to Survive at Sea eBook

What’s more, we are giving it away to celebrate a milestone – our 100th newsletter.

To get your free copy, all you have to do is go to the page, How to Survive at Sea, and submit your name and email address. To ensure security of your email address, you will receive a message requesting confirmation that you want the eBook. When you click on the link in that email, you will arrive on a page from which you can download the complimentary eBook.

In addition, you will also be subscribed to receive our newsletter which means you will get our sailing news in your in-box each week. And there’s no cost involved.

Your safety depends on more than knowing how to navigate at sea. Our How to Survive at Sea eBook will help keep you safe.

April Fool and Father’s Day

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Each week we include a nautical quotation in our newsletter. The one in this week’s issue is by Hugo Vihlen, who crossed the Atlantic twice – once each way and 25 years apart – in yachts, pictured below, not as big as our old dinghy!

April Fool, sailed by Hugo Vihlen across the Atlantic in 1968
Photograph courtesy of Hugo Vihlen

Father's Day, sailed by Hugo Vihlen across the Atlantic in 1993
Book cover from Amazon.com

Australian Youth Sailor of the Year

Monday, October 18th, 2010

On Saturday night Jessica Watson was named Australian Youth Sailor of the Year in recognition of her single-handed circumnavigation at the age of 16. Jessica’s mother, Julie, collected the award on her behalf.

The young achiever is being kept busy overseas by her publishers – she’s currently promoting her book in Brazil. She’s already launched True Sprit in Los Angeles and New York, London and Paris where the book has been translated into French. Her trip also took in Cannes where she promoted her documentary.

Jessica Watson signing her book, True Spirit, at the Sydney International Boat Show 2010
Photograph © Bevanda Pty Ltd, 2010

Our picture is from day one of this year’s Sydney International Boat Show. Annie immediately spotted another ‘leftie’.

Both of us wonder how much her signature has changed since that first day she spent autographing her book.

Sailboat handling in strengthening winds – NOT the right way

Friday, October 15th, 2010

You’re out for an afternoon race. The wind is increasing, little by little. As the breeze was lighter when you set out, you’ve put up your No. 1 genoa and the full mainsail.

As the wind has built, you’ve moved to the windward side of the boat, both to help keep the boat flat with your body weight and, more importantly, to be able to steer effectively. Each gust makes you drag the tiller towards you to try to keep a steady course.

The mainsheet trimmer has already been playing the main traveller but now has to release some of the sheet as well. This is inefficient as, when the gust has passed, it’s taking too long to get the main trimmed back on.

Now you realise you will be forced to reef before the windward mark unless you want to be tailing the field. The other competitors have already reefed and are heading straight for the mark.

Only now do you discover that you have not led your reefing lines!

In Boat Handling I and II, I discuss how to reef a mainsail in detail.