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Cruising Life
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How To Prepare for a Hurricane

Hurricane season is now well underway, and NOAA says it will be more active than normal. Here’s some great advice from America’s Boating Club (formerly the U.S. Power Squadrons) about how you can make your boat ready for the storm: Hurricane preparation for boaters can help protect your boat during the predicted above-normal 2022 hurricane season. If you live in a hurricane-susceptible area, you need to create a hurricane plan for your boat. First, ask your marina about its hurricane plan and what procedures are in place to handle major storms. This will help you formulate your own plan. Given…

Cruising Life
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China Starts Sea Trials for Autonomous Ship

China just launched a fully autonomous, “revolutionary” research ship that is powered by artificial intelligence and that the director of the Southern Ocean Laboratory there calls a new “marine species.” The ship, Zhu Hai Yun, can carry drones, submersibles and smaller ships on its deck to carry out marine research, and can navigate the ocean waters via remote control. The state-owned Science and Technology Daily said the ship is equipped with an Intelligent Mobile Ocean Stereo Observing System (IMOSOS), described as a one-of-a-kind artificial intelligence system. The Zhu Hai Yun is 290 feet long, with a 45-foot beam and a…

Cruising Life
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Do You Need an EPIRB or Just a PLB?

Do you need a PLB or an EPIRB to keep you and your crew safe this summer? Here’s the answer from BoatUS: ANNAPOLIS, Md., June 14, 2022 – The proliferation of personal locator beacons (PLBs), whose diminutive size belie their enormous on-water safety advantage, are no longer thought of exotic rescue electronics. “PLBs are user-friendly and easy to maintain, and we are seeing more boaters using them as a mainstream rescue device,” said BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water Assistant Director of Boating Safety Ted Sensenbrenner. However, do recreational boaters fully understand the difference between a PLB and…

Cruising Life
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Ten Tips for a Safe Boating Season

Boating season is well underway across the United States, with more and more people (including many new owners) taking to the water. The National Marine Manufacturers Association even predicts that more people will buy new boats this year than did in 2021. It’s going to be busy out there, and staying safe is taking on a new emphasis. Here are ten tips from Sea Tow about how to do that: Have a checklist. Before leaving the dock, have a pre-departure checklist to review all critical systems (i.e.: engine check, battery levels, fuel levels, etc.). Don’t solely rely on the fuel…

Cruising Life
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Lock Closure on Illinois Waterway

The Brandon Road Lock and Dam in the Joliet area of the Illinois Waterway will have restricted passage until August 14, and then a full closure from August 15 to September 4. Anyone planning on the Great Loop needs to schedule accordingly. The Illinois Waterway connects Lake Michigan/Chicago, with the Mississippi. Here is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ schedule for closures along that waterway this year and in 2023: 2022 Brandon Road Lock and Dam – Upper Bulkhead Recess Installation Restriction period/partial closure (will pass traffic under a 70′ width restriction from 6pm-6am): May 9-Aug. 14, 2022 Full closure: Aug. 15-Sept.…

Cruising Life
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Explore the Monitor, and More, with NOAA

Now you can explore the remains of the Civil War ironclad Monitor, built for the Union Navy, and lots of other underwater wrecks and reefs, courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (The Monitor’s bow, resting on the North Carolina seafloor, is pictured above.)  Here’s NOAA’s announcement: Beginning May 15, the public can join NOAA scientists and partner researchers as they explore the shipwreck of the USS Monitor, natural reefs and the maritime cultural landscape off the North Carolina coast. The two week mission — titled “Valor in the Atlantic” — will use state-of-the-art, remotely-piloted submersibles and other technologies to…

Destinations
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Groundbreaking for Big New Lauderdale Marina

Here’s the official announcement from the City of Fort Lauderdale about the start of a new $70 million Las Olas Marina, the future home of the Lauderdale show:  The City of Fort Lauderdale and SunTex Marinas broke ground on the new Las Olas Marina Thursday as part of a public/private partnership. In addition to being the future location of the expanded Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the iconic marina will redefine the Fort Lauderdale waterfront featuring fine dining, boutique retail, state-of-the-art infrastructure improvements, and lush pedestrian-friendly landscape. The $70 million project will be built and paid for by SunTex Marinas…

Destinations
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Mystic Moon: Cruising to Haines, Alaska

It’s still cold, very cold, in Alaska, but that hasn’t stopped John and Kathy Youngblood from cruising about 150 nm up to Haines, north of Juneau, on their 2004 Selene 53, Mystic Moon. The Youngbloods are veteran cruisers, having completed a 35,000-mile journey around the Pacific three years ago, and cruising in the Pacific Northwest since then. Despite storms and snow, they encountered whales, bears, otters and a lot of Dungeness on their latest voyage. Read about it on their blog:  Change of plans….Mr Weather has decided to complicate things a bit. Two storms are coming and we decided to make…

Cruising Life
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How To Keep Your Pet Safe While Boating

Since we’re in the middle of National Pet Week (who knew?), the U.S.Coast Guard Auxiliary has written some great tips about how to keep your pet safe on your boat. Read them here: If you take your dog (or cat) boating, please have them wear a life jacket and have an overboard plan. Please do not take chances with your best furry friend. Have them wear a snug, well-fitted life jacket on the dock and underway. The life jacket should have a strong handle to lift them out of the water and be a bright color with reflective trim. Even…

Cruising Life
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Nav 101: How To Find Time, Distance, Speed

These triangles from Captain John’s Skippers Tips may serve as an easy-to-remember primer, or refresher, on how to determine the basic three factors in coastal navigation: Time, Distance, Speed. Even if your electronics work perfectly all the time (and they won’t), you’ll still want to know how to reach your destination safely without them. Take a look:  These are the basic ‘big three’ in all navigation, whether visual, electronic, or celestial. Time, Distance, and Speed. In order to answer any of these questions, you must know the answer to the other two questions. If you want to find time, you need…

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