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Ocean Sailing Book Review

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Your Adventure on the High Seas Starts Now For many sailors, an ocean passage is the big dream. But worry about having the right experience, the right boat or the 'right stuff' keeps many from setting out. Ocean Sailing paints a picture of what crossing oceans is really about, told through the experiences of those who have already ventured across the world's oceans themselves. Members of three great cruising clubs - the Ocean Cruising Club, Royal Cruising Club and the Cruising Club of America - share their vast experience, and focus on the practicalities of ocean sailing to allay the anxieties and doubts of prospective ocean cruisers.

Paul Heiney, a British broadcaster and ocean sailor, asked his friends in the well-respected bluewater sailing clubs to share their expertise in various areas of ocean cruising. Topics covered range from safety to boat outfitting and preparation, budgeting, communications, equipment breakdowns and repair, choosing destinations and routes, he…

Resolutions for 2020 - a Leap Year

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We are rarely given extra time, but as 2020 is a leap year, this year we may feel like we have an entire extra day to do with as we please. I personally do not intend to squander it. February 29 falls on a Saturday so, if it works out weather-wise, we are going to take this extra time to get out on the water and mess about in boats!

Here are some more resolutions for the leap year: Introduce at least 10 people to sailing this year, esp. kidsStrive to learn something new every day on the waterMake a point of gently teaching/coaching novice sailorsGet in better shape for sailingGo out even when you don't feel like itInspire young people to interact more with nature Become attuned to marine biodiversity and contribute to the citizen science databaseClean up some beaches and islandsEncourage people to try something new on the water, whether kayaking or SUPImprove my own small boat handling skillsMake it fun, regardless  And here are a few thoughts across the sailing family spectrum: Fo…

Happy New Year!

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The new RCCPF guide to Atlantic Spain and Portugal.

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Before I say anything about the book, I must shout out that it comes with a free one-year subscription to the full set of electronic charts for the region covered by the book. The RCCPF has released a new app for iPhone and Android for the display of their charts, and it's pretty interesting. This is a game-changer for an RCCPF pilot book that costs £45.

The guide covers the region from Cabo Ortegal to Gibraltar and is the essential companion for yachts making passages from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean or onwards to the Canaries before an Atlantic crossing. It is also vital for yachts crossing the Atlantic from the Americas and a comprehensive cruising companion for anyone availing of the delightful cruising grounds found here.

'Atlantic Spain and Portugal' is the classic guide to this varied coast which includes the Rias of Galicia, the estuaries of the Douro and Tejo with Lisbon, the Algarve and the coast of Andalucia down to Gibraltar. It's one of those boo…

Are you a 'Digital Nomad'?

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Periodically, a new term crops up in the sailing world. 'Digital nomad' is just such a term. Digital nomads are people who make a living working while travelling, and of course, sailing is the ideal way to become a digital nomad. These people don't wait until they retire. They rewire early and use their acquired skills to work while underway. Not a bad gig.

I know quite a few cruisers who are working from their boats. Many barter traditional skills, like sailmaking and canvas work for anyone with a sewing machine. Some write magazine articles and books or sell their services in website development and systems support.

But there's a new breed out there. Entrepreneurs who do distance consulting, accountants, bankers and others who provide their services to regular people - nonsailors that is. There are so many professions that are not dependant on face-to-face or onsite employment. The work can be done anywhere at any time. Some examples of these kinds of jobs are copyw…

The sailing cycle of life

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Craig Leweck of Scuttlebutt has once again provided commentary on youth participation in sailing. He says that sailing was broken when it became 'soccerized'.  I agree.


He goes on to cite an article in the NY Times by Tom Farrey who decided to investigate how different countries approach youth sporting activities. What he found is that one country has managed to succeed in satisfying children's needs in sport. They have done it through a statement on the Children’s Rights in Sport. Essentially, it gives kids the right to decide how they want to take part. Until the age of 13, they can do as they please. After that time, those who decide to be competitive and have the ability are provided with advanced coaching. The approach supports the vision: “Joy of Sport for All.”

Craig asks could this work for sailing?  I say, for certain. If we change the minds of parents and politicians. But in this political arena, I don' think it can happen in the States at this moment in hist…

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for cruisers

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Exercising on a small boat can have its challenges. Do you find your life afloat too sedentary? Are you looking for a simple way to keep your body in shape? Here is a good one. Four minutes, three times per day. No equipment is necessary. Can be done anywhere in the space in which you stand. Could this be the best onboard workout for cruisers? 

Dr Zach Bush has created a 4-minute work out that done 3 times per day will help build muscle and keep joints functioning smoothly. It's based on the principle of nitric oxide release. He calls it High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). In less than 15 minutes per day in total, you will be promoting physical fitness and combating detrimental inflammatory processes.

It's based on some well-known principles. Your muscles have a certain amount of energy stored. If you use up that energy, they'll release nitric oxide as a signal for your body to recuperate. Nitric oxide is found in the endothelium, the inner layer of your blood vesse…