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Blue Water Sailing January 2019

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.

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United States
Blue Water Sailing
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min
“don’t you think it’s…”

My wife Rosa and I have sailed many, many miles together as a couple, with our boys and with friends. Over the years and the miles, we’ve developed our routines, our signals, our style of sailing. One of the most important things we agreed on early was that for the safety of the boat and crew, we would decline to press too hard. I learned early on that when she said, “Don’t you think it’s time…” that I didn’t have to finish her sentence but I did have to put a reef in the mainsail. The act of reefing almost always has a pleasing effect on the boat’s motion and on the crew’s attitude. The noise of wind in the sails is reduced to more pleasant levels, the boat stands more…

5 min
five tips for line handling in the panama canal

The Panama Canal is so beautiful and going under the Bridge of America was a surreal moment for me. When I volunteered as a line handler on a friend’s boat, I was excited. What a dream of an experience and opportunity. Here are my top five tips, tricks and everything you should know before you go! One: Be flexible. I was to be expected on board at 2:00 p.m. to meet their advisor for the canal entry on Tuesday. Monday at 4:00 p.m. this was changed to Tuesday at 6:00 a.m. I now needed to be aboard at 5:30 a.m. Don’t expect to be through the canal in a single day. Our trip took two days. Luckily, before dark the first day, we moored to a large rubber mooring ball in…

7 min
tuning in without dropping out

Early next week I’ll start to filter through my always-filled sea bag. The next delivery is rapidly coming up, and each passage is different. Some require an abundance of cold weather clothing. Others demand more bathing suits and sunscreen. For me, they all require that I update and re-initialize my InReach satellite tracking and communications gadget. The small, reliable and battery-operated comm device provides me with an inexpensive baseline of communications while I’m offshore. There are newer systems, faster systems, more comprehensive systems and certainly more expensive systems, but it’s a start. Where communications onboard goes from there is anyone’s guess, because the new Gunboat 55 catamaran I’ll be delivering to Florida has just finished sea trials, and I haven’t been onboard yet. The communications system may very well be state…

8 min
magnificent mallorca

Even after 17 charters, Europe and the Med are still a draw for us, as the ports are beautiful and the food and history are amazing. Thinking mostly of tapas we decided on Spain and in particular the Balearic Islands 100 miles off the coast of Barcelona. We had all the right training paperwork in hand (IPC certificates from the ASA) and a core of interest. The best prices are in the shoulder season, so it was to be May or October. Published accounts suggested the season officially ended on October 31 and after some negotiations we got our charter to end on Halloween. The Moorings base is at Marina Naviera Balear, part of a massive harbor complex in Palma, Mallorca. There are lots of yachts and many flight options. Taxis…

6 min
across the pond and back again

With 41 transatlantic passages under my keel, I can safely say, “been there, done that,” and happily enough, I’d be glad to do it again. Whether it’s been north to south, south to north, east to west or west to east, there have been a wide variety of starting points, destinations, routes and memories along the way. It has provided a virtual treasure trove of experiences, and the people and places have become the real jewels in that treasure box. Those accomplishments were borne on the back of how we played the weather as the general routes where determined by starting point, destination and overall climatology. The general route was then modified as we made our way across the Atlantic, based on real time meteorology and the forecasts that were…

8 min
jeanneau sun odyssey 410

Right after last fall’s Annapolis sailboat show, I had the opportunity to sail the brand new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410 on the Chesapeake Bay. It was a beautiful morning and the breeze was strong enough to give us a fair evaluation of how the boat performs under power and sail. I am a former Jeanneau owner and have sailed just about every Jeanneau model sold in the U.S. since the early 1980s, so it is always fun to see a brand new model and get a feel for what the company has done to innovate and improve the now venerable Sun Odyssey line. The 410 is the little sister of the new 440 and 490 that were introduced in late 2017 and early 2018. The boats are the first three in what…