Sailing through the fear

Offshore sailing course teaches sailor to trust herself and her skills

By Libby Cross

My husband, David, had always been into boating. After taking a United States Power Squadrons boating course, he joined Greenville Power Squadron (now Lake Hartwell Sail & Power Squadron), bought an 18-foot bowrider and later moved up to a 26-foot cabin cruiser. He took all the courses for a full certificate. I joined the squadron a few years later and made it to Advanced Pilot.

After we retired, we planned to move onto a trawler and do the Great Loop while visiting friends in the eastern U.S. and Canada. At some point, David started talking about sailing the Caribbean. It sounded like a wonderful dream, but I didn’t think of it as a reality.

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What you should know about visual distress signals

What you should know about visual distress signals

By Joan Wenner

As a longtime boater and boating law writer, I know firsthand how important visual distress signals are to have in your onboard emergency equipment arsenal. Particularly for those newer to boating, it’s important to know that the United States Coast Guard sets minimum standards for recreational vessels and associated safety equipment to comply with federal rules.

To meet these standards, safety equipment is labeled Coast Guard “approved” or “certified,” meaning it has met Coast Guard standards and regulations for performance, construction or materials.

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Ron Terciak

The Mission Continues

USPS member shares boating safety insights with fellow retirees

To some, a boat is just a hole in the water that you throw money into. They say their happiest days were when they bought it and when they sold (or sunk) it.

True boaters call these people landlubbers who never found their sea legs, felt the power of the tides or navigated to the call of a sailing wind. Imagine relaxing in the warm sun, ­being lulled into serenity by the motion of the waves, charting a course through waterways that display a panorama of nature’s beauty not seen from land or air, and savoring the briny scents and salty drops that spray up with each dip into the sea.

Whether sailing or motoring to lounge, fish, snorkel, or simply watch sea life and birds at sunrise or sunset, the Shell Point marina at Shell Point Retirement Community in Fort Myers, Florida, is home to some avid boaters who choose to cruise their way to tranquility each fine-weather day. Boating represents the freedom to discover new worlds.

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Chafing gear failure leaves catboat stranded

Chafing gear failure strands catboat

By Lee R. Johnson

How secure is your boat’s chafing gear? All it takes to find out is a good nor’easter—astronomically high tides, storm surge and rain—just days after the year’s biggest, closest and brightest super moon. Wave action chafed the mooring pendant securing Orleans Sea Scout Ship 72’s Herreshoff American 18 catboat in Town Cove at Orleans, Massachusetts.

On 1 Oct. 2015, Ol’ Gaffer broke free and drifted ashore at the Orleans Yacht Club, landing unscathed on sand and seaweed 10 feet from a rock revetment. It would take a week of determined labor to rescue the classic cat and keep it from breaking up on the rocks.

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BUI laws carry tough penalties

BUI laws carry tough penalties

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column width=”1/1″]By Tim Akpinar

As boaters look forward to summer, they will sometimes hear public service announcements about the risks of operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol. Most would rather think about plans for a weekend cruise than about the statutory blood alcohol levels that could lead to criminal prosecution.

But when it comes to drinking alcohol on the water, current laws can carry felony charges, prison sentences and stiff fines. A conviction can also mean higher insurance premiums, mandatory boating safety classes and damage to one’s driving record.

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Rescue at Sea

Rescue at Sea

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column width=”1/1″]By Patricia H-F Moore

Having just ordered a drink from the bar, I was looking out at the empty Atlantic when the Indonesian concierge came to my table.

“I’m sure you know we have changed our course since you are a sailor,” she said.

Shaking my head sheepishly, I asked, “Why have we changed our course?”

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