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Boat Transport Over Land: Our Story

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Some people plan and dream for years before going cruising. Others are more reckless. Curt and I fall into the latter category. We dropped everything, cashed out, and flew to an island destination in the Caribbean. With as little as three month's notice we sailed off into a year and a half of balmy sunsets. Recognizing our impetuous nature, it might not surprise you to learn that we didn't have a firm plan of exactly how we'd wrap up our cruise or what we'd do with the boat afterwards either.

Being closer to the northern latitudes than southern ones, we headed north and tucked our 34' John Robertson H34, Force Five, into Annapolis harbor. Obligations drew us back to California and we could not know when we might return for more Caribbean adventures. It was a brief moment of weakness when we put her up for sale. Then a near-hit by Hurricane Isabel knocked some sense into us, and we were searching for boat transport companies before the national media had stopped covering the hurricane.   more...

 



Sailing  

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A Better Water Tank

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From the first sailors who took to the sea, water stowage has always been linked to the success or failure of a voyage. Coconuts, ceramic vases, wooden barrels have all been used to keep water on board from leaking out and safeguarding it from contaminants. Today, modern plastics help do that job, but knowing how much is in the tank and being able to clean it out of algae residue, sand, and other non-potable substances remain an issue on many boats.

SAILjazz member Scott Nielsen recently tackled the task of installing an access port for the water tanks in his Hunter 30 Artemis. Here’s how it went.

"Having been a submariner for years and seeing the inside of the potable water tanks on the sub full of algae growing up to two feet long, I wanted a means to be able to view, inspect, clean, and know the water level of the 32-gallon tank on my boat."  more...

 



Sailing  

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Latham Cams, catchin the big one

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Latham Cam 1

A video camera designed to live on the outrigger of a sport fishing boat, ready to catch the action from a better angle than you normally see…i.e. better than the back side of a guy fighting a big one. Apparently it’s rugged enough to take the banging around and to be washed and waxed just like the rest of the boat. Veteran captain and video guy Mike Latham sells and installs packages of multiple cameras and recording decks which look very effective. He can even set up a little wireless controller that will turn everything on with a single button push.  more...

 



Technology  

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Shoes, can't help myself

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Harken RivasOK, so I was nosing around Harkenstore.com looking for specs on some cam cleats I need for my Rhodes 18. Couldn’t help but check out the clearance section, and, wow, there beckon lots of the fine Italian boat shoes Harken started selling a few years back. I already have a pair of Torboles, which are very comfortable and beautifully made. Now I’m going to have a pair of the Rivas, right, marked way down to $40 with free ground shipping. They’re in most common sizes too, and Harken has printable shoe chart online.

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Sailing  

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Little things loom large in a boating emergency

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On Watch: Muskegon, Lake Michigan, July 1, 2005. A beach-side resident called Coast Guard Station Muskegon in the middle of the afternoon reporting a sailboat floundering near shore north of Muskegon Harbor.

Within minutes, the Station Muskegon's 30-foot rescue boat broke the pier head at Muskegon Harbor. Four to five foot seas driven by 20 knot winds greeted the Coast Guard crew as it pounded north toward the sailboat's reported position.

"When we approached the sailboat, I noticed a horseshoe flotation device trailing off the stern attached to a tether line," said Mike Tapp, executive officer, Station Muskegon. "This was not good. You had that feeling that someone had gone overboard."   more...

 



Other  

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St. Clair Shores sailor eyes Port Huron to Mackinac race

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Aboard Equation, a 68-foot-long Andrews sailboat owned by Bill Alcott of St. Clair Shores, there is a sense among the crew that winning the storied Port Huron to Mackinac race is as important as the camaraderie they have established over the years.

Alcott's crew took a full-throttle 4-hour practice run on Lake Huron recently in anticipation of the 81st running of the race, which starts Saturday. Organizers said the Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race is the largest fresh water endurance sailing event of its kind.

Alcott, a St. Clair Shores businessman and sailor, is surrounded by the "best of the best" when it comes to sailing crews.

"Today we're making sure everything is straight, get some rust off the driver, and make some adjustments for the race," said Alcott, owner of the boat that won the race two years ago and regularly competes each season in Caribbean-based races. "It depends on the conditions, but we want to be first up there."

While Alcott steers Equation, he typically hands the reins of one of the biggest boats in the Great Lakes fleet to Stu Argo Jr. of St. Clair Shores. Argo's resume includes crewing aboard Bill Koch's America's Cube in 1992, a boat that won the America's Cup.   more...

 



Sailing  

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No flies but no fliers for Chicago-Mackinac

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She was followed two minutes later by Denali, a Great Lakes 70 skippered by William F. McKinley of the Bayview Yacht Club.

A squall blew through the course at approximately 0500 hours. Sailors report some increase in wind speed during the storm, which was memorable for its frequent and explosive bolts of lightning. Following the storm, winds settled in the northern third of the course from the southwest at approximately 15-20 knots. Further storms are expected on Mackinac Island later today.

As of 1330 hours on Monday, more than 100 of the 290 remaining competitors had finished the race. Dozens of colorful spinnakers could be seen under the Mackinac Bridge throughout the morning and early afternoon on Monday. The leading Tartan 10 was at Gray's Reef at 1200 hours on Monday.    more...


 



Sailing  

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Ohio's trumpeter swan program surpassing goal

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In less than a decade the Ohio population of the largest waterfowl species in North America, the trumpeter swan, has gone from zero to at least 17 breeding pairs in a successful restoration program.

Adult trumpeters, which are white with black bills, weigh 20 to 30 pounds, stand four feet tall, and have a wingspan of seven feet.

They are a third or so larger than tundra swans, the arctic species which they resemble and which pass through the region on migration.   more...

 



Animals  

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Ontario First Nations seek seats at Great Lakes water table

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Indigenous leaders are demanding that discussions over the future of the Great Lakes watershed must include Ontario First Nations.   more...

 



Environment  

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River study focuses on St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS -- The state Department of Environmental Quality is studying the Pine River downstream from the former Velsicol Chemical Co. plant in St. Louis to determine if enough contamination exists to warrant remediation.

Five "sampling points" have been established from above the Alma dam, where no known pollutants exist, to about 20 miles downriver where the Pine flows into the Chippewa River in Midland County.

"We want to see what the conditions are down there and determine if something needs to be done," Scott Cornelius, DEQ project manager for the Velsicol site, told members of the Pine River Superfund Citizen Task Force.

The agency plans to conduct human health and ecological risk assessments on the waterway.   more...

 



Environment  

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Grants to help preserve land

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Efforts to preserve land in Door County got a$1.7 million boost from the federal government.

The grants will allow conservation or purchase of 905 acres near Baileys Harbor and on Washington and Detroit islands.

"This is great news for us," said Mike Grimm, science specialist for the Nature Conservancy, one of the organizations that applied for the grants. "This project area has the highest concentration of rare and endangered species in Wisconsin."   more...

 



Environment  

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