Total solar eclipse to throw shade on U.S.

By Arnold Medalen

Nature’s most dramatic phenomenon—a total solar eclipse—occurs on Aug. 21, 2017. The last total solar eclipse visible in the continental United States occurred on Feb. 26, 1979, nearly four decades ago. The last solar eclipse with totality visible across the continental U.S. occurred 99 years ago.

Totality covers a 70-mile-wide path, making landfall on the northern Oregon coast at about 10:15 a.m. PDT and moving offshore in South Carolina at 2:48 p.m. EDT. The longest duration of totality will be 2 minutes 40.2 seconds in southern Illinois, near Carbondale.

The beginning of the eclipse, called “first contact,” starts more than an hour before totality when the moon’s edge first appears to touch the sun’s edge. “Second contact” occurs when the moon just covers the sun, which lasts until the sun begins to uncover at “third contact.” At “fourth contact,” the last portion of the sun is uncovered, and the eclipse is over.

To see if your location will be in the path of totality, important safety information and much more, visit eclipse2017.nasa.gov.

Don’t despair if you’re not in the path of totality. The continental U.S. will see at least a 55 percent eclipse, which is an experience you’ll always remember.

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Star calendar July 2017

Star calendar July 2017

1 Jul    Jupiter is less than 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right at sunset. Spica is 3 finger-widths to the lower left. Arcturus is 2½ fist-widths above the moon.

3 Jul    Earth is at aphelion, 1.01668 AU from the sun.

5 Jul    At dusk, Antares is less than 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right, and Saturn is a little more than 1 fist-width to the lower left.

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Claude “Skip” Wharton

Claude “Skip” Wharton, AP, was born Oct. 8, 1947, in Mount Clemons, Michigan, son of the late Claude Arthur Wharton Jr. and Lucille Keats Wharton. He was a retired director of business operations for the Applied Research and Development Institute of the South Carolina Research Authority. Skip was a Citadel graduate, Class of 1969, and was a captain in the U.S. Army. He served in Vietnam where he was the recipient of the Silver Star for gallantry in action. His various organizations included membership in The Citadel Alumni Association, life member of American Legion post 0172, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia Life Member, 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment Association Life Member, and a member of the VFW Member-at-large of South Carolina.

Skip is survived by his wife, Patricia Wharton; son, Jeremy Wharton, of St. Petersburg, Florida; daughter, Mollie Dadin (husband Brian); beloved granddaughters, Aila and Eliza Dadin, of Charleston, South Carolina; and sister, Tootie Owens (husband James) and her family of Richmond, Virginia.

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Moving forward with Cooperative Charting

Over 15 million recreational boat users in the U.S. use NOAA digital chart products when navigating. These boaters, like their commercial counterparts, expect more precise, higher resolution charts with more timely and easily accessible chart updates. United States Power Squadrons is the NOAA Office of Coast Survey’s original trusted partner for valuable observations and data to improve charts, especially for recreational boating. NOAA remains committed to the Cooperative Charting Program.

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Lake Michigan

Hybrid power refit

Taking a solar-electric hybrid approach to marine propulsion

By Phil Shelley

As an engineer interested in renewable energy, I’ve long considered the viability of electric propulsion for marine vessels.

In recent years, large vessels such as cruise ships, ferries and tugboats have increasingly adopted hybrid electric drives. Now that solar panels have become more efficient and dramatically cheaper, I decided to try converting a medium-sized hull to a solar-electric hybrid. Read More

Honoring the 2016 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching winners

By Yvonne Hill

You don’t become a Charles F. Chapman Award winner by remaining safely in port; you must chart new educational ground and expand the limits of your teaching skills. The 2016 winners, sailors all, exemplify this Chapman spirit. They share a wealth of boating knowledge and experience, a love of teaching, a dedication to their students, and a desire to make the water a better place through education.

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Reliefband

Reliefband helps ease motion sickness

By Debbie Yeagle

Growing up, I was the little kid, green at the gills, crying at the Illinois State Fair. While the rest of my family rode the rides, I stood still, usually facing away from anything that moved. I suffer from vertigo and motion sickness. I never know when it will strike, and it can be quite awful.

I have tried everything: protein loading; ginger; pills of all kinds; getting up certain ways; lying down other ways; stretchy, tight elastic wristlets; and other well-intended suggestions from folks who have never suffered from motion sickness.

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Boaters answer distress call

Boaters answer distress call on Lake Mohave

By Andy Pensavalle

Phoenix Sail & Power Squadron members met at Lake Mohave for a weekly get-together on a beautiful day with clear skies and no wind. The summer crowds had disappeared, and although the lake had dropped and some beaches were mud bogs, everyone had enough flat warm sand to set up chairs. A series of fast sequential horn blasts interrupted our quiet respite. An island obscured our view of the main lake. After moving her vantage point, Barb Accardo saw smoke coming from a runabout dead in the water in the middle of the lake.

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