How pirates researched their murdered victims online...oldest solo woman record in sight for Socrates...Sea Monster kitten tale...using your springs to greatest effect...making a genny last longer...and much more...

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 21 Apr 2011

Oldest solo woman heading for Cape Town and a record

Jeanne Socrates - going for a record  .
The most heart-warming cruising tale of the week, though a bit scary, is of 68-year-old Jeanne Socrates on Nereida in the southern Atlantic.

She's currently trailing a drogue in high seas, mending her engine and waiting for another low pressure to arrive, heading for Cape Town where she expects to arrive in early May, becoming the oldest woman to circumnavigate solo – by accident. By accident? Read why.

Another yacht has a feisty tale to tell of crossing the Great Australian Bight. It's Jack and Jude Binden on Banyandah. They've already written one book of their travels, maybe there's another to come.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, as cruising tales go, Meghan Cleary, luxuriating in the tropics on Velella, tells what it's like to go cruising with her cat, Nessie.

On the practical side, I have heard even long experienced ocean sailors confess their ongoing nervousness with positioning their precious boat in closed waters – there's an excellent piece this week with some great pointers about the use of springs for close manoeuvring. UK-Halsey Sailmakers also give some good advice on making a cruising genoa last longer, and how they've achieved it in their sailmaking.

There's nothing like declaring a 'Day' to promote an idea, and this week there are two to watch out for – 'Ready Set Inflate Day' – when sailors across the world will simultaneously inflate their life jackets, and 'World Ocean Day', drawing attention to the vital part the ocean plays in all our lives, not just sailors'.

Many more stories too – from tales of tall ships to the latest from pirate waters. So browse down the headlines to see what interests you.

Sweet sailing

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

Grandmother sailor heads for a record circumnavigation
Nancy Knudsen,
Jeanne Socrates, 67-year-old grandmother, is currently stopped in a gale in the middle of the Southern Atlantic Ocean, drogue deployed, as a system passes over her, but she is headed for Cape Town and the completion of a triumphant circumnavigation as the oldest woman to complete a round-world voyage via the Horn. But in a way, it's an accident...... [more]
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Bandanyah's feisty crossing of the Great Australian Bight
Jack Binder,
Jack and Jude Binder are circumnavigating Australia on their yacht Banyandah, and they have just completed a crossing from Albany across the Great Australian Bight to Portland in Victoria: Oow, my head still hurts like it's going to shatter. Aye, from too much celebrating.... [more]
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Sea-Monster Kitten Nessie cruises the tropics
Meghan Cleary,
Do you have a cat on your boat? Have you ever thought about it? ASA writer-at-large Meghan Cleary, her fiance Prescott, and their Sea-Monster kitten Nessie are on a planned 9-month cruise in the tropics on their yacht Velella, and this week Meghan writes about Nessie and her boating skills.... [more]
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How to make a great cruising genoa last even longer
Adam Loory, UK-Halsey Sailmakers/Sail-World,
Getting a great furling jib to be a better furling jib is what this article is all about. UK-Halsey Sailmakers' lightweight Passagemaker II is the ultimate sail for the cruising sailor who wants a sail designed to reef and keep its shape over a great range of wind conditions and sail configurations. So what's the improvement? Adam Loory tells:... [more]
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Spring lines and their magic capabilities
Capt. John Jamieson/Sail-World.,
Manoeuvring in close quarters can sometimes frighten an ocean sailor more than an approaching gale. For instance: Two powerboats are docked flush against the fuel dock. The dock master says to fit between them - there'll be about a foot on each side spare. How can you do it? Here is some excellent advice from Captain John Jamieson, using those magic aids - spring lines.... [more]
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Sailors for World Ocean Day - join an event or make your own
Alyssa Isakower,
June 8th of every year marks the official, United Nations-recognized celebration of World Oceans Day, and thousands of individuals and organisations that value the ocean - yacht clubs, aquariums, zoos, museums and conservation organisations around the world will participate with fun, inspirational, and educational events.... [more]
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Falling skies and active hurricanes
Keeping American boaters aware of the need to make early preparations for the upcoming hurricane season is a tough job for the USA's boat owners group, BoatUS.... [more]
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Pirate researched cruising sailors blog to establish ransom
TPM/Sail-World Cruising,
The fact that a pirate in a leadership role used the Internet to research the four Americans on board the yacht Quest, who were killed by the boarding team of 14 pirates, sends an alarming message to cruising sailors who divulge a lot of information about themselves in cruising blogs.... [more]
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HMB Endeavour sets sail for circumnavigation
Jeni Bone,
The replica of Captain James Cook's HM Bark Endeavour begins an epic circumnavigation of Australia today, bound for Brisbane, where she is scheduled to arrive 26 April.... [more]
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Violent Somali piracy at an all-time high
Sail-World Cruising,
It is not only the long range cruising sailor who is now on high alert about the piracy danger of the Indian Ocean. The murder of four American sailors changed the game effectively for any would-be circumnavigators, but violence and the number of murders are also higher than ever in the commercial maritime world.... [more]
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World first for Yanmar in New Zealand
Connexion PR,
The three-masted barquentine Spirit of New Zealand is believed to be probably the world's busiest youth ship. Commissioned in 1986, the ‘Spirit' spends around 340 days at sea. In September 2010 ‘Spirit' commenced an 11 week refit in Whangarei New Zealand. Central to the repower was a new Yanmar 6AYM-STE (rated at 490 kW at 1900 rpm continuous).... [more]
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American sailors keep their butts out of the water
BoatUS/Sail-World Cruising,
You might comment that it would be better if they gave up smoking altogether, but in a move that could well be copied around the world, American boaters are keeping their butts out of the water - and not the kind in swim trunks.... [more]
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'Ready, Set, Inflate!' - 2011 event coming
Yvonne Pentz,
Boating enthusiasts across North America will gather on May 21 to raise awareness about boating safety, specifically life jackets, during a special event designed to kick-off National Safe Boating Week, May 21-27.... [more]
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Ireland's lost tall ship Asgard II - hope for a replacement Cruising,
She was Ireland's pride. Like America's Eagle, Australia's Young Endeavour, Portugal's Sagres III and a host of other nation's tall ships used for training, Asgard II for 27 years provided very special experiences for young Irish sailors - until she sank, ingloriously, in the Bay of Biscay in September of 2008. But now there's hope of another...... [more]
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Yacht owners revolt - don't increase our berthing fees
Independent Online/Sail-World Cruising,
Don't like the increases in your mooring/berthing fees? Don't grumble, do what the yacht owners in Malta did, and you just may win! Two Malta lawyers have taken up the cudgel on behalf of the sailing-mad yacht owners of Malta (why wouldn't they be? right in the middle of the Mediterranean) and they are doing well.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - at the heart of sustainable power
Velux 5 Oceans,
As the world, including the world of the cruising sailor, begins looking at sustainability and alternative forms of power to fossil fuel, so are round-world racing sailing teams. Here is a look at the lengths the Velux 5 Oceans racers go to in order to manage their consumption sustainably while racing the world's oceans.... [more]
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US Sailing awards Hanson Medal for Huntington Lake Rescue
Jake Fish,
US Sailing has awarded the Hanson Rescue Medal to two crews who saved three lives in an incident on Huntington Lake near Fresno, Calif. on July 23, 2010.... [more]
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Ocean warming detrimental to inshore fish species
The findings of a study published today in Nature Climate Change indicate negative effects on the growth of a long-lived south-east Australian and New Zealand inshore species – the banded morwong... [more]
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Artist, Guy Harvey supports Circle Hook Symposium in Miami
John Bell,
Celebrated marine artist, scientist and conservationist Guy Harvey has offered his artistic talent and foundation sponsorship funding in support of the upcoming Circle Hook Symposium scheduled for May 4-6 in Miami.... [more]
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