By Monica Pepe, Policy Manager, Conservation and Education, Whale and Dolphin Conservation
A North Atlantic right whale breaches. © nmfs.noaa.gov
When he was just one year old, a North Atlantic right whale named Kingfisher became entangled in fishing gear. In a span of six weeks, he went from swimming freely off the coast of Georgia up to Maine, then back down to Georgia all while towing several feet of rope and attached buoys that had wrapped around his right flipper and over his body. A disentanglement effort was attempted with the assistance of the United States Coast Guard cutter Kingfisher (the whale’s namesake) where many of the lines around the body were removed, but in the end was unsuccessful in retrieving the rope wrapped tightly around his flipper. Today, 13 years later, Kingfisher still lives with his right flipper entangled, where the rope continues to tighten, cutting into flesh and bone, causing chronic injury and pain.Read more
Les Iles Sous le Vent
By Nancy G. Kaull & Dr. Paul F. Jacobs
Editor’s note: This article is an abridged excerpt from the authors’ excellent book, Voyages: Stories of ten Sunsail owner cruises.
Authors’ note: The following is based on Nancy’s detailed log entries and photographs. Where these are used directly they are shown in italics. General comments and discussions written by Paul are shown in regular font. The reader can thus directly discern our slightly different perspectives.
When Nancy and I were initially contemplating becoming members of the Sunsail ownership program back in 2009, we carefully scanned the long list of bases scattered around the world. Both of us quickly spied “French Polynesia” on the list and exclaimed, “Wouldn’t that be incredibly special?” Well, it was now late in 2012, and Nancy had carefully hoarded all available PPL time at her job with the American Mathematical Society in Providence. Thus, it was now possible for us to sail “Les Iles Sous le Vent” (the islands under the wind), not for two weeks, but three!
The very lovely Sunsail base, located on the northwest corner of Raiatea © Nancy G. KaullRead more
A non-profit organization called Robots in Service of the Environment (RSE) has developed a robot that will hopefully be the solution to what many experts have described as the worst man-made ecological disaster ever witnessed. The problem is a massive invasion by the lionfish, a voracious predator that threatens to destroy coral reef ecosystems, native fish stock and fisheries in the Caribbean Sea, Western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
Lionfish are ravenous omnivores that will eat any fish or invertebrate that fits into their gaping mouths. ©FGBNMS/A. SterneRead more
By John K. Fulweiler
Around the boatyard this time of year, there’s an obvious loss of optimism. Scrubbing the summer’s growth off the dinghy, lugging lines and stuffing sails into the car’s boot somehow can’t beat a spring day of boat chores. I can’t do much about this truism, but I can offer several random maritime legal issues to mull as you malinger over whether or not to pay to soda blast the hull.
Making a first overnight passage together
By Ernie Messer
As more and more women are taking up sailing as a sport, the incidence of cruising couples naturally follows. Sailing couples enjoy many benefits over fully crewed boats, including more space, privacy, and much easier scheduling and logistics.
There’s not much traffic when you make early departures. © Ernie Messer
Not having to entertain and train a constant flow of guests can add greatly to the experience of each member of the team. Teaching someone how to use a marine sanitation device has to be one of the most tedious chores on the boat! My wife Jan and I have also found that we are more likely to invite other cruising couples aboard – and be invited more often – when there are just two of us.Read more
By Tyson Bottenus, At-Large Ambassador for Sailors for the Sea
Old boats are a dime a dozen in the Northeast, and every year the problem keeps compounding. After a few years off the market, a used boat’s value drops precipitously and eventually it always seems to find itself under a tarp in someone’s backyard, or laying in waste at the back of a boatyard; its fiberglass hull slowly turning black and waterlogged, its lines fraying from ultraviolet radiation.
She used to be somebody’s dream, but this derelict boat might have a future as an alternative kiln fuel in the cement industry.Read more
By Joe Butera
I was becoming increasingly annoyed with the long wait for the club tender to return to the dock and bring me out to my boat. The dog-day heat was melting my freshly purchased ice and the launch was nowhere in sight. I dreamily gazed out at the fleet in the August haze and began to take a trip in the way-back machine of my mind. I drifted back to a sizzling day like this in the late 1950s when I was in my early teens.Read more
By Teresa L. Carey
I left Las Palmas feeling like I had let everyone down. Windy was hoisting its sails for a transatlantic, and instead I was boarding the plane home. During the previous days my anxiety over the passage was building to an overwhelming point, but I couldn’t pinpoint the problem. In hindsight, I see clearly what happened.
With misgivings about the skipper and vessel with whom she’d signed on, the author let the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers depart without her. ©worldcruising.comRead more
By John K. Fulweiler
Youth or stupidity (or a soupcon of both) share the common element of driving many a bad decision. The thing with youth is that the passage of time lays down all those bad wakes whereas with stupid, well you can’t fix stupid, right? This cogency leads me to the observation that the maritime law doesn’t seem to care much whether you’re stupid or jacked on immaturity – either way a penalty awaits.Read more
Finances, Fuel, Feuds and Fishing
By Captain Linda Perry Riera
Editor’s note: This is the fifth installment in a series of dispatches from Linda and Captain Bob Damiano, who recently completed the island portion of a 10-month sailing voyage aboard their Tartan 4000 and are now back in New England waters.
Ten months, 5,000 nautical miles, 15 countries, 80 harbors. One broken collarbone, one clogged head, and one seized up water pump. Hundreds of cruising friends met. This trip has been an unbelievable adventure in so many ways. Below are some more data and figures of our extended cruise.