Tag Archives | safety

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Facing up to health care

Keeping up with routine health care needs isn’t a problem when cruising. It’s rare to be in a place where quality care cannot be found, or reached quickly should an emergency arise. In Puerto Rico we played catch up with dentist and dermatology checkups. We arrived in Puerto Rico expecting to hop-skip-jump across the south […]

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VHF radio etiquette

“Thanks for the wake, @$$%*#!”  Unpleasant to imagine, unpleasant to hear, and rude on all sides. We haven’t heard that since leaving the USA and I don’t miss this aspect of many boaters in close proximity plus a dose of …well, of whatever it is that prompts throwing a wake or respond like that! They […]

Off Samana on VHF with Akira

AIS and radar from the hurricane season stragglers

  Sunrise tinted the margins of Puerto Rico’s rugged profile with a warm glow. Making landfall on the west coast after a week of bumpy, on-again / off-again passage making from the Bahamas was a relief. Totem and her crew are the stragglers of southbound boats for hurricane season, long since expected to have the […]

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Safety on board: preventer setup on Totem

Boom preventer. Boom brake. Whatever you do, whatever you call it, having a way to prevent or dampen the force of the boom to prevent accidents while sailing deep downwind is important. A lot of cruising IS downwind, so thinking through a smart setup is critical! I’ll never forget learning about a boat some miles […]

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Offshore Communications: Satellite or SSB?

Cruisers anchored off a small beach in the Exumas dinghy in for cocktails and chat while the sun sinks behind a distant cay. Most evenings in this idyllic spot new cruisers and old salts alike meet over plans to go fishing in the sound, the best time to avoid day-trippers in the Thunderball grotto, when […]

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Guns and cruising

“What kind of guns do you have on board?” This was the opening question from a new acquaintance at a cocktail party. Loaded with assumptions from someone who doesn’t know us, and who has no intention of traveling the way we do. Walking down the dock the other day, a woman was overheard talking about […]

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Passage planning: the float plan

Writing a float plan is a simple thing to do, may be critical in the event of an emergency, and is all too easily set aside and left undone in the stack of tasks that precede going offshore. Provisioning. Checking the weather. Vessel integrity checks. Checking the weather again. What and why The bare minimum […]

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Mermaids are real: getting the kids swimming

Sitting around a worn wooden table in the open side of a thatch-roofed hut, looking out over the sparkling water of a lagoon in PNG’s Hermit Islands, we listened to tales of mermaids. Like the school teacher in the Louisiades, the subsistence fishermen we met here believed fervently in the (red-skinned, black-haired) sirens that hid […]

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Lessons from a dinghy crisis averted

“STAY AWAY FROM THE PROPELLER!” From below deck I heard Jamie shout from the cockpit, and froze. It was our last day in Comoros; our sixteen year old son, Niall, had just left with the dinghy– those words could only mean one thing, and it terrified me. Niall was in the water, and the outboard […]

Commercial ships in Singapore

Maritime industry and safety at sea: infographic

I’ve been thinking a lot about safety at sea lately, as we get ready for next year’s Indian Ocean transit- waters that have a well earned reputation as dangerous to mariners. So when Bracken Foam Fabricators sent me this infographic on maritime safety, it got  my attention. (Mum, I promise we will stay away from […]

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