From the Log of Persevere: Swimming with Whales in Tonga

By Colin Rath

Editor’s note: This is the nineteenth installment in a series of dispatches from the Rath family (Colin & Pam and daughters Breana, Mariel and Nerina), who departed Stamford, CT in the fall of 2014 for a worldwide cruise aboard their Hanse 545 Persevere. You’ll find previous articles linked below.

We enjoyed Niue for multiple reasons. It has some of the best diving in the Pacific, with caves and deep chasms to explore. The water is crystal clear except where the cold springs from the island spill into the ocean and make the water look icy. It’s real cool underwater, like a frost spreading slowly within the water.

Swimming with whales was among the most memorable experiences of the Rath’s two-year voyage.   ©
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Adventures in Docking

By Derek Rupe

Adventures in DockingCaptains learn to recognize fear in eyes of the crew. I’ve seen fear, deep fear, white eyes and long stares. I wish these moments were always on hard crossings, rough groundings, or the occasional dismasting. But alas, terror is most likely experienced during the mundane task of leaving or returning to the slip. This is especially prevalent in people who grew up boating and have developed a Pavlovian fear response to being in the vicinity of a docking boat.

Too many boats are seldom used, the author reckons, because a lot of sailing couples haven’t mastered the nuances of incident-free docking.
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Learning to Sail: Dealing with Wind

By Molly Mulhern

Dealing with WindNot many people go sailing in our neck of the coast early in the season when the wind is blowing over 20 knots. I can understand why. Small Craft Warnings are issued, and well, it is windy! I would not want to go out either, except…

A happy helmsman – the sun is out and the wind is blowing! The J/34C is very well balanced when sailed well, requiring a very light touch on the helm when the sails are trimmed properly.  © Molly Mulhern
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When Whales Meet Sails: How the sailing community can help stop collisions with whales

By Tyson Bottenus, At-Large Ambassador for Sailors for the Sea

When Whales Meet Sails“Currently the database for marine mammal strikes is very sparse. We are requesting sailors and boaters help to submit information on current and past incidents, however long ago that may be. By giving a location, date, identification if possible, and any other relevant information you can help scientists better understand where marine mammals are at risk for strikes, and help fellow boaters know where they are likely to come across marine mammals. This is the best thing we can do in our sport to protect these brilliant creatures.” – Damian Foxall

This humpback whale calf was spotted by researchers in the leeward waters off Maui. The ship-struck animal was a case in which researchers didn’t know the type of vessel involved.   © Ed Lyman/NOAA MMHSRP (permit #932-1489)
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A Different Kind of Furniture Maker

By Maeve Ryan

AC GraylingThe person behind the furniture company AC Grayling is not your average woodworker. A 2005 graduate of the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) in Newport, Rhode Island, Andrew Coughlin is a modest man in his early 40s who knows a thing or two about building durable furniture inspired by ships and the sea.

After helping to restore renowned yachts in New England for 10 years, master craftsman Andrew Coughlin launched his custom furniture company, AC Grayling, LLC, in 2014.   © Maria Burton Photography
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Going Down to the Sea, But Not with the Ship

By John K. Fulweiler

The lore of a captain going down with the ship is well known, but what’s the legal consequence? Are civil, criminal or professional penalties meted out to the ship’s master who scoots clear leaving passengers and crew fending for themselves? 

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The Odyssey of Arethusa: The Making of a Mega Cat

By Tom Darling

ArethusaWhen one dreams of a dream boat, what might that be? In 1900, it would have been a Herreshoff-designed colossus intended for the America’s Cup. In 1936, Mike Vanderbilt had Starling Burgess design him the last of the great J Boats of that decade – Ranger. In the 2010s, ultimate yachts have a new look: multiple hulls. When Phil Lotz and Wendy Darling Lotz (full disclosure: they are my brother-in-law and younger sister) thought “new boat,” they saw what I call a “mega cat” – a fully-featured, carbon constructed, high performance offshore cruising speedster called Arethusa.

Ample charms: At speed with the asymmetrical, Arethusa shows off her generous deck space and array of solar panels. © Gary Jobson Productions



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From the Log of Argon: Winter Sailing in the Caribbean - Saba

argon linda bobPublished March 1, 2017 - Captains Linda and Bob are half way through their one year sailing trip aboard s/v Argon having left Boston last September. Here is a recap of the last few months as they transited through the Leeward Caribbean Islands from the West Indies to the British, US and Spanish Virgin Islands. They are currently in Turks and Caicos as Argon slowly, and somewhat reluctantly, weaves her way northward over the coming months.

You can also follow their adventures on their blog at



Winter Sailing in the Caribbean - Saba

By Captain Linda Perry Riera

Editor’s note: This is the third installment in a series of dispatches from Linda and her husband, Captain Bob Damiano, who are nearly six months into their one-year sailing voyage aboard their Tartan 4000 Argon.

argon saba approachWhat or where the heck is Saba?? This lesser known Leeward Island is about 30 miles west of St. Maarten. And what a gem it is! When approaching Saba, one is deceived by scale. It looks like a small, round island but then you realize that you are still five miles (not 200 yards) out and as you get closer, the sheer cliffs around the perimeter of the island tower above. And on top of those jagged cliffs are some tall and steep mountains…a dormant volcano, actually.

Approaching Saba from the northeast. That cloud was over Saba the whole time we crossed from St. Maarten. This is common with mountainous islands in the trade winds. The trades run up the windward side of these mountains, cool and condense.   ©
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From the Log of Persevere: Niue, The Rock

By Colin Rath

Editor’s note: This is the eighteenth installment in a series of dispatches from the Rath family (Colin & Pam, daughters Breana, Mariel and Nerina), who departed Stamford, CT in the fall of 2014 for a worldwide cruise aboard their Hanse 545 Persevere. You’ll find previous articles linked below.

PersevereWe departed from Tahiti at our usual time in the afternoon for yet another full moon sail with 12 knots of trade winds on our beam to Bora Bora. When we sail these voyages from island to island, it never ceases to amaze me that there is no one out there. No boats, even in the shipping zones around the world –once you are in the ocean you are on your own. Rarely does another boat pop up on AIS once you’re 10 miles from shore. You might see a fishing boat 15 miles off or a freighter on AIS, but rarely visually at all.


The Rath sisters have made new friends around the world.©

I still do sleep on deck and wake every 45 minutes through the night, but mostly to admire the starry nights of shooting stars and following seas. This is the ocean I am talking about. The Caribbean, Med and English Channel are a whole other story of multiple targets that you have to watch out for, while the Pacific Ocean in particular is a lonely place out there. That’s the beauty of it and the precarious nature of the ocean.

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Clean Ocean Access Trimming the Sails for Environmental Wins in 2017

By Dave McLaughlin

Clean Ocean AccessAfter encountering problems with parking along the Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island after a great day of surfing on a cold winter day in 2006, and growing concerns about water quality in the aftermath of frequent sewage spills and beach closures in Easton’s Bay later that year, a group of surfers founded Clean Ocean Access (COA).


Thanks to the efforts of Clean Ocean Access volunteers and partners, surfers along the Newport Cliff Walk enjoy good access and clean waters along Aquidneck Island’s shoreline.   © Dave McLaughlin

COA now comprises folks from all ocean activities who share a common thread of living coastally inspired lives, cultivating friendships with a unified desire of working together, taking good care of the environment, and living healthy lives.

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April WindCheck 2017