Posts Tagged “Seamanship”

FV Aquila

FV Aquila

We moor most of the time at Bell Harbor Marina in downtown Seattle. About a third of the marina’s slips are available for monthly moorage over the winter, and the remainder are for transient moorage only. We enjoy the continually changing scene as boats come and go. Some weekdays the marina will be almost empty,…

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Storm Force Winds in the Strait of Georgia

Storm Force Winds in the Strait of Georgia

On our Christmas trip to Desolation Sound this year, we were looking forward to testing the boat in some rough winter weather. We’ve been out in a few gale warnings, and the boat has handled well, but we wanted something more serious. We got our chance one morning on a trip from Gorge Harbor to…

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Coast Guard Boarding

Coast Guard Boarding

Two weeks ago, while anchored off Blake Island, a Defender Class Coast Guard boat approached. Rare before 9/11, we now frequently see these boats around Elliott Bay, accompanying ferries, patrolling the shoreline, or passing through Bell Harbor Marina where we often keep our boat. This one approached unusually close, and the crew indicated that they…

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Running at night

Running at night

Although we hadn’t run overnight before the Alaska trip, we frequently ran at night in the previous boat. And we did make a couple of night runs in the 52. The learning from those two runs proved invaluable in our 24×7 trip. We found that 1) the navigation screens were too bright, even turned down…

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24×7 Rhythm: Watchkeeping

24×7 Rhythm: Watchkeeping

  One of the things we learned from our trip to Alaska is that 24×7 operation with a double-handed crew is achievable for us, and with reasonable comfort. We arrived at the end of the run feeling alert and well-rested. In planning for the trip, we researched aspects of running a boat 24×7, ranging from…

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Night-running monitor covers

Night-running monitor covers

We have four Lenovo ThinkVison L1900ps for navigation monitors. They have a low-profile bezel and controls in the front, so can readily be flush-mounted into the pilot-house dash. The display is crisp and clear, and we’re very happy with them. But we found they were a little bright for night running, even with the screen…

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Gale warning

Gale warning

A major spring storm was forecast to hit the Puget Sound on Friday. A 972-mb low over southern Vancouver Island would generate storm-force winds along the  Washington state coast. A gale warning was in effect for the more-protected Puget Sound, and winds there were forecast to reach 30-40 knots, with wind waves of 5-7 feet….

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BC Ferry Accidentally Deploys Anchor Outside Active Pass

BC Ferry Accidentally Deploys Anchor Outside Active Pass

Last week, an anchor accidentally deployed on the BC Ferry Spirit of British Columbia at it exited the east end of Active Pass into the Strait of Georgia. The ship apparently did a complete donut as the crew put the vessel in full reverse to slow it down. The ferry was delayed for 80 minutes…

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A new rock in Blakely Harbor?

A new rock in Blakely Harbor?

Approaching the head of Blakely Harbor this weekend, we saw what looked like a rock near where we planned to anchor. It turned out to a small boat, submerged bow-up. It was covered with barnacles and appeared to have been underwater for a while. We guessed that it must have blown in from farther out…

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Transmission Shift Cable Breaks While Docking

Transmission Shift Cable Breaks While Docking

Elliott Bay Marina is a wonderful place to keep a boat, but docking can be difficult—the fairways are narrow, as are the slips. And the slips are oriented east-west while the winds are typically from the north or the south, so if any wind is blowing, it’s against the side of the boat as we…

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Close Quarters

Close Quarters

The vast majority of time, close quarters maneuvering at low speed is fine. But strong current or big wind gusts can greatly reduce the margin for error. We recently saw an example of exactly that at Eagle Island, where strong currents wrap around the island. A particularly large exchange that weekend made for especially swift…

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Reader Question: Boating Laptop

Reader Question: Boating Laptop

Hi James,   As I recall, your website shows pictures of you using your laptop on the bridge of Dirona. Can you tell me what laptop you use that is viewable in the bright sunshine? Is your laptop dedicated to Nobeltec or other software or does is get all-around use?…….Excel, Word, Photoshop…..that sort of thing….

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Secret Coast Reader Question: Anchor Buoy/Trip Line

Secret Coast Reader Question: Anchor Buoy/Trip Line

Hi. I just bought your book and love it.  I’m a little confused about the anchor buoy/trip line system you describe in Chapter 4. We run a Bruce 33 lb. anchor off a 32-foot wooden Grand Banks.   If the anchor is fouled, it sounds  like you approach the buoy while continuing to pick up…

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Swedish Stern-Tying Variations

Swedish Stern-Tying Variations

In busy Pacific Northwest anchorages, stern-tying is a common option to allow more boats to fit in than would if they all swung free at anchor. Smuggler Cove Provincial Marine Park along the southern BC coast is a good example: We aren’t often in anchorages that busy, as we tend to favor less-traveled areas. Nonetheless,…

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