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Blue Water SailingBlue Water Sailing

Blue Water Sailing May 2018

Blue Water Sailing is the leading magazine for cruisers and offshore sailors. Every issue offers readers the dream of cruising under sail in the form of real stories from around the world and how to make that dream come true. Founded by circumnavigators George and Rosa Day, BWS offers valuable insights into what the cruising life is really like, what boats and gear work (and don’t work) and where to go for the best in cruising and sailing vacations. Plus, the digital version of BWS provides direct interactive access to dozens of great marine websites where you will find everything you need to make your sailing life safer and more fun.

United States
Blue Water Sailing
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12 Issues


access_time2 min.
safe sailing is no accident

As we get into late spring and the change of the seasons, skippers everywhere are preparing for passages as they change their cruising grounds for the summer. Some will be heading home from Mexico and the Caribbean. Some will be heading across the Atlantic to Europe. Some will be heading to Hawaii or Alaska. While there is inherent risk in blue water sailing, there are established things all safe and prudent skippers keep in mind. Here’s my list.Make sure the rig and sails are sound. If you are not experienced inspecting your mast, boom, rig and sails, then it makes good sense to hire a rigger to inspect the rig and a sailmaker to go over your sails.Equip the boat with spares for all essential equipment from the lowliest bilge…

access_time7 min.
the terrifically terrible tether

Te hardest part about having an adventurous spirit is the inevitable aloneness that accompanies it. I’m not just talking about the physical aloneness felt by a distance through-hiker or a solo sailor. I’m also talking about the mental aloneness ingrained in all of us who fall off the beaten path in search of a new horizon. We isolate ourselves with concerns of preparation, while our friends and family members attempt to engage us deeper into their lives. Even sitting around the Christmas tree, exchanging the year's gifts with loved ones, some of us are already imagining the next adventure to come. Our homes become mere meeting places where friends and family stop by to catch a glimpse before we set out again leaving them behind to indulge in normal earthly…

access_time4 min.
volvo ocean race stops in u.s. to huge crowds

Te Volvo Ocean Race is a unique sailing event. It’s one of the longest and toughest regattas in the world and, at the same time, it is also a very successful international marketing event for Volvo and the other sponsors.The VOR made only one stop in North America when it sailed into Newport, RI just before dawn on May 8 for a 12 days stopover. The race for the line in Leg 8 from Brazil to Newport was amazingly close; and the Spanish yacht Mapfre was able to pip Team Brunel at the post and after 15 days of hard racing took line honors by 61 seconds. The rest of the seven-boat fleet arrived within the next few hours.That there were hundreds of Newporters and race fans at the docks…

access_time6 min.
steering by any other means

(@Laurie Warner)Many years ago on a delivery from the east coast of the U.S. to the Caribbean, I was engaged to move a small ketch to the BVI. The boat had recently undergone a professional survey that had failed to spot a number of problems. One was the undersized packing around the prop shaft. Another was the aged and cracking rubber bellows in the emergency bilge pumps, and another was the lack of hydraulic pressure in the steering system. By the time we stopped in Bermuda, we had discovered those problems and more. I can now look back on that experience and testify to the fact that whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger… or perhaps wiser… or perhaps more neurotic. In any case, there are quite a few things…

access_time9 min.
cruising guide to the western caribbean

For U.S. east coast cruisers looking to extend their cruising experience beyond the Bahamas, a Western Caribbean cruise offers an adventurous alternative to the more common Eastern Caribbean destinations such as the BVI and Windward Islands. My favorite Western Caribbean route includes the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Honduran Bay Islands, Belize and Mexico.For those with a bit more time, Cuba and Jamaica are also convenient to this route. One of the greatest aspects of this itinerary is that most of this sailing route takes advantage of favorable winds and currents. This is a key difference between this Western Caribbean route via the “Thornless Path” of traveling upwind from the Bahamas to the BVI via Turks and Cacaos, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. That can be a real slog.DEPARTING THE BAHAMASGeorgetown, Bahamas,…

access_time6 min.
a hard night in the caribbean

It had been a long day. We’d begun the 90-mile sail from Tortola in the BVIs to Saba shortly after breakfast. The wind had been blowing the predicted force five from ENE, and we’d spent the day close hauled with waves assaulting us from two different directions. It’d been a pretty wild ride and after 15 hours out on the water we were all looking forward to our arrival and a good night’s sleep.It was close to midnight when we approached the southwest shore of Saba in darkness and headed towards a cluster of anchor lights where we hoped to find a mooring for the night. We furled our jib, turned on the engine and started to prepare a mooring line and search light. Three miles from the coast the…