Seven Days of Sailing out from Athens with The Moorings on a Leopard 3900 Catamaran
We chartered a Catamaran from the Moorings in May 2016. The following is a report on what we did and where we went. We have to preface the whole report with a big OMG. What a great place. I was a little hesitant at first at the Athens area just because I’m more used to hitting more remote islands having sailed such places as The Kingdom of Tonga, Sea of Cortez, Bora Bora, and the Leeward islands of the Caribbean. Yet the allure of culture was calling and so I thought we’d give Athens a try. So wrong I was to prejudge. Following you’ll read about all the tiny ports and villages and historic places we went. Just amazing – so amazing I’d do exactly the same trip again. Read on …
Day 0-1 Friday/Saturday Austin, Texas to Athens to Nisos Aigina
I always love the idea of the great circle, otherwise, it seems counter intuitive to fly so far north to Toronto from Texas to get to Athens. Albeit it was also the route that we managed to get also with United Credit card miles. Anyway, the 10 hour flight from Toronto to Athens went quickly and dropped us into Athens at 9:30 am.
First business was to buy 2GB of Data from Vodafone for EUR20 so that I could post the heck out of gorgeous photos on facebook specifically to make friends jealous. The Uber ride to the Moorings Base in Marina Zea, Pireas on the out skirts of Athens was 40 minutes. Yes! Austin Texas we used UBER and we were not killed because the Driver was not finger printed (private Austin joke after the city council suckered to a special interest vote to oust Uber in favor of protecting Taxis).
After a coffee and a few Greek pastries, we checked into the Moorings Athens Base at noon. The base staff were overly friendly and helpful, and eager to get us on the water in our 3900 Leopard Catamaran as soon as possible — but before we could do anything they asked me for my ICC sailing license and took a photocopy for the local port authority. Whew, just as well I bought it. No ICCy no saily in Europe. (More about the ICC)
This is the Base Staff holding up my ICC license after checking it and photocopying for their records
Checking our ICC Sailing License
We discussed our desires for the trip with Kostas the Base Manager. He had two suggestions: One was to head out to the Cyclades which he said was more remote and beautiful. The other was to stay closer in and do some of the islands and ports nearer to Athens with more villages. We opted for the later wanting more of a cultural experience. Kostas then proceeded to give us a really thorough insight to all the cool marinas and places to visit including his hide-away restaurants on the back streets of every port. Thanks a heaping helping Kostas!
Here is us doing the chart briefing.
Chart Briefing with The Moorings Base Manager
And here are the notes we took from the chart briefing with a highly accurate chart drawn. Actually, this method works out pretty well for any trip. Throughout the week, you can just refer to your sketch and remember the cool places.
Proposed Route Sketch
This then ended up being our actual track map for the week which pretty much followed Kostas’ suggestions.
Athens 7 day charter map
Albeit, I prefer this one that we drew in the restaurant on the final evening due to the authentic Ouzo glass on the left.
Sketch of our Sailing Trip
The grocery store for provisioning our boat in Athens was walking distance from the boat and so we loaded up 3 shopping carts of essentials electing to not buy much dinner food but rather provision for breakfasts and snacks instead since we wanted to spend the week eating fresh Anchovies and Sardines with Greek Salads. Yummy my favorite!
By 4pm we were off the dock and heading out. That’s the first time I’ve done that – landed in the morning and on the water that afternoon. And Kudo’s to the Mooring base staff for the efficiency of the process.
For wind speed, in Europe they extensively us the Beaufort scale so it is a good idea to learn that. Beaufort 3 is 7-10 knots and Beaufort 4 is 11 to 16 knots. The forecast for the week was Beaufort 4 max so no worries in sight.
First stop was the Island of Nisos Aigina and the port of Aigina 16 miles south-west of Pireas. The winds started out at 18 knots (higher than forecasted) and so we hoisted with a double reef in the main. We blew that out to the first reef after a mile or so then blew that out as the wind dropped off to 10 knots.
The Athens area is a major port and so there is significant container traffic to be aware of. Better know your collision avoidance constant bearing rule. If a vessel has a constant compass bearing to yours, then you are most likely on a collision course. You can also watch the land slipping behind or gaining on the vessel – that gives you an almost instant determination.
We elected to slip in behind this one.
I had bets with one of our crew members over an approaching container ship. I won – it slipped easily in front of us. I used the changing land behind method.
We arrived latish about 8pm into Aigina Port. This is a Slide show of Aigina Port click twice to start it.
One thing to know is that you have to get into the ports early to get a mooring at the town quay. The ports are small and so late arrivers should expect to have to anchor out. Thus predictably so — there were no slips left. So we anchored outside in an anchoring area no problem and took the dinghy ashore. Kostas’s recommendation of Skotadis restaurant on the waterfront was awesome – look for this in their doorway and yup you guessed it, Anchovies and a Greek salad.
Afterwards, we played my international travelling game which is – whenever walking around, where ever you look you have to go down that street or alley. It works every time as you end up at the coolest little courtyards and zocalos with statues and interesting things. Playing this game, we ended up in A backstreet and found an awesome little bar and so for blogging purposes only, we sampled the local Ouzo which I highly recommend that you spend quite a bit of time doing.
Our final intention of this day was to stay up as late as possible to power right through jet lag as fast as possible. From a lot of international flight experience, that is definitely how you do it. Back to the boat and for a gorgeous night’s sleep being rocked into jetlag comatose.
Bareboat Charter in Athens Greece with The Moorings
Sunday Day 2 Aigina – Perdika – Hydra
Our plan for the week was to get going early each day so as to explore on the way then make it into the stay over port early to explore further. Our first early explore was the village of Perdika – a seemingly innocuous place as you sail in but Kostas had insisted that we stop. OMG what a delightful tiny port. Sunday morning church was in full swing as we pulled in. But our first job was a med mooring into a tight spot.
The concrete marina piers are about 3 boat lengths apart. I nosed the boat up to the windward pier where we dropped anchor and then backed downwind into the spot between two monohulls. I instructed my anchor man keep the chain taught and let out slowly so that I am backing against the pull of the chain. This keeps the bow into wind while I keep backing downwind to the concrete wall. Once the stern was tied to the wall, we tightened further up on the anchor to keep the aft of the boat off the wall. We then pulled out the gang plank and went ashore. Perdika is a must stop – even for an hour as you can see from the photos.
Next, we set sail to Hydra Island but first we stopped for out first swim at a gorgeous island called Spathi at the eastern tip of the mainland. It’s still May so the water is a little chilly but that didn’t stop us from leaping off the cabin top with our GoPro’s into the clearest water you’ve ever seen. One thing about the Med is that the water is so clear. Dropping the hook was no problem, we could see it lying on the bottom 20 ft down.
Anchor on the bottom in the clear Mediterranean waters
Here is a clip of the fun we had in the bay.
Hydra is like every other place – a must stop. A wow even. A small port packed with fishing boats and charter boats. This is a slideshow of the view coming into Hydra. Click on the show twice to start it.
Our swimming made us arrive a little late and so the port was already full. Desperate, however, we sort of might have illegally parked next to a sign that said don’t park here – maybe. In our defense the sign was confusing, I mean Don’t park here has all kinds of meanings. Anyway, we performed another stellar Med mooring parking job.
In olden times, Hydra was a very rich island with their very own Navy and so walking around the back streets to see fabulous Greek mansions and houses was a real delight especially with the backdrop of the gorgeous Kolpos Idhras ocean. See this Slide show.
On the marine promenade, there are lots of bars and restaurants. So for blogging purposes only, we sampled the local Ouzo which I highly recommend that you spend quite a bit of time doing. There is a fantastic walk from the main town to the west out along the cliff. There are some gorgeous restaurants there also and a swimming area off the rocks. Take your swim suit and a towel.
We elected for a back street restaurant for dinner which is pretty much my rule anywhere. The food is always better and the restaurant owners much more keen to engage in conversation. To find such restaurants see Day 1 – international travelling game.
Monday Day 3 of 7 Hydra – Epimioni – Dhokos — Spetsai
6:30 am – now this is the thing to do. Get up super early, leave port and drift the boat about 1 mile out and have breakfast looking at a Greek town off the back deck of the boat. Here was our view of Hydra that morning as the sun rose. Breathtaking!!!!
We then headed west towards Ermioni. If there is such a thing called negative wind we struck it. None – nada – zip – zilch. When you mix this negative zilch wind with the deep blue of the Med you get this. Water so clear and flat it is actually indescribable. Best way to get what I’m talking about is to just experience it. Here is a little video clip on the trip of Hydra to Ermioni. Watch for the bow cutting through the water.
Behind us, we left this amazingly long straight wake. So I made up this overly philosophical statement.
And OF COURSE, we did another perfect Med Mooring up to the concrete quay.
Another Perfect Med Mooring
Ermioni is (I know) a must stop for a lot of reasons but the biggest one I know of is Drougas bakery at the start of the pier. I mean come on look at this – like WOW!
Drougas Bakery In Ermioni
OMG of all my travels, Drougas is hands down by far without a doubt indisputably the most awesome bakery shop of all time ever in anyplace in both the known and the unknown universe. And just for the sake of sake, I’m throwing in another OMG. We ate their three times in the matter of just 1 hour. If you ever want the best Baklava, Spanakopita, Kataifi and other delicious pastry things with greek names you can’t pronounce, go to Drougas. I actually mean don’t go through life with out going here. Even more to say – you will die a happy person if you have knocked this off your bucket list. In the Bakery you also have to meet 6 foot 10 Inch Panagiotis Efstratiou and his wife Athanasia Drouga, owner of the bakery – friendly and nice people doubling as excellent baristas also. I do however worry that they thought we were storking them as we kept on going back. We also picked up some gifties of jam, olive oil and chutney for our friends back home. Disclaimer. Athanasia did ply us with apple pies but my review of Drougas Bakery is unswayed by the bribe and true to its sole. Here is the Trip Advisor link for Drougas if you don’t believe me.
My short crew with Panagiotis Efstratiou @ Drougas Bakery in Ermioni
Ermioni has history going back 4000 years. There are records that a festival in honor of Poseidon was held here with conjecture that this was the site of the world’s very first small sailboat regatta.
Here is a slideshow of the sites around Ermioni
The close by island of Dhokos is another mustie. After we moored in east end of Ormos Skindos bay, Beverly, a crew member asked “so what is here?” Of which my replay was “absolutely nothing”. Check out this nothingness bay.
Here is our 1st mate, Sam gaining his new nick name Sam-On-The-Rocks as he ran our bridled aft longline ashore with the dinghy.
Sam on the Rocks
And of course, since NauticEd are friends of The Moorings, here are a bunch of really cool pics of our Moorings boat in an idyllic setting.
I snapped this shot of the GPS as we pulled anchor. Note that the brown is land, white is water. Hmmm notice anything wrong. This pic is especially for those who think they can navigate at night using GPS only. It is not that the GPS is wrong, it is that the land is placed on the electronic map wrong by about 500 yards (meters).
As the wind picked up for the afternoon we set sail for Spetsai Island. 18 knots Force 5 is perfect for a quick sail at 8 knots in the cat.
Proudly we blasted past a few boats who we saw running around to trim their sails to keep ahead with little effect. I’m sure their excuse was ‘oh but they are a cat – they should be going faster”. The result was the same however, we wasted them. In all sailboat races, it is skill if you win and just bad luck if you loose.
Sailing along, I noticed this potentially expensive mistake. Always chase your lines with your eyes when sailing. A little thing like this would cost you about $1000 when you arrived back at the base for final check out.
A potentially expensive mistake
Spetsai has fantastic little bars but only to be found playing gamous internationalous (see day 1). One in particular had amazing works of iron art all embedded into the functionality of the bar. Very cool! Sticking with our Modus operandi of always arriving too late but with the best intentions of getting there early (just too many distractions enroute) the more popular area to moor to the east of town in Baltiza Creek was full and so we elected to moor in the new harbor outside the main town Dapia. I used my handy Pocket GRiB app to check the wind forecast so that I could see how the wind would shift in the night. I thus picked the east side of the pier to med moor. Albeit, I may be loosing the touch a little, we needed two attempts to do it this time. The first we did not set the anchor out far enough and it dragged in as we hauled on it to pull the boat off the quay. The second time it held but to be sure, I snorkelled it and dug in in better.
Med Mooring in Spetses Greece
This is an appropriate time to talk more about Med mooring. There are two types: One where there is a slime line attached to the pier wall leading out to a sunken mooring in the harbor. You back up to the wall, attach your stern lines then hold off the wall with engine power. You then grab the slime line and chase it forward until you pick up the main mooring line. You attach this to the forward cleat on your bow and tighten up as much as possible. Now you can make adjustments to the whole to nicely position your boat off the wall. Simple enough and the key is in dock line prep and crew briefing.
The second type of med mooring is an anchor off the front. In Spetsai we had a nice display of how not to do it by some guys in a gorgeoud Lagoon 450. Here is how not to do it: Position the boat nicely then the anchor man drops the anchor as fast as possible while the helmsman backs the boat as fast as possible to the dock wall all the while all crew members and the captain are yelling in a foreign language (I think) to each other to watch out and other boats are scrambling, exchanging their gin and tonics for fenders.
Reset: The second type of med mooring is an anchor off the front. The way you do this is to nicely position your boat estimating 5 times the depth of water to the pier plus a boat length (i.e. your anchor is at the front of the boat so add 1 boat length). You use boat lengths to make this estimation. If the water is 8 meters deep and your boat is 12 meters long then set up to drop the anchor 3.5 to 4 plus 1 boat lengths off the pier. Have the anchor man drop the anchor to the sea floor. The helmsman begins backing and taking orders from the anchorman who is paying out the anchor at a rate to lay the chain down at the same speed as the boat. About 1 boat length out, the anchorman stops and allows the boat momentum to dig the anchor into the bottom. The helmsman applies a little extra power to help set the anchor. Now the helmsman applies slight reverse while the anchorman eases the boat back by slowly letting out the chain. This method keeps the chain taught and slowly bring the boat back to the wall all the while slight reverse power is maintained. At 1 meter out from the wall, the anchor man stops and the aft line crew – or even the helmsman can attached the lines to the pier. Once those are set the anchorman can tighten the anchor to pull against the aft lines ashore. This is a sure, calm and safe way of how to do a Mediterranean mooring. It ensures the anchor is well set which is a necessity to hold the boat off the pier wall. And it can be done in any wind direction. For a catamaran this is essentially fool proof. For a monohull, it is a bit more tricky since stopping the momentum of the boat to set the anchor will make you have to deal with propwalk (see our maneuvering under power course). So you do have to keep the boat moving. What is particularly cool however when med mooring downwind is that the anchor will stop your bow from bearing away downwind i.e. It holds your bow to windward. If you have never med moored before, as easy as it is, for goodness sake, DON’T let it be the first time you do it when you’re going up next to a five million dollar bohemouth. Practice it at home preferably with your anchorman to be. A final tip is to check back on your boat frequently to make sure that your anchor has not slipped as this would allow your boat to slide back to the very hard concrete pier wall. Not good!
After the entertainment at the pier, we enjoyed strolling the back streets and sampling more ouzo before walking back to Baltiza Creek for a nice waterside dinner.
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The International Certificate of Competence
aka the ICC – How to get one
To gain the ICC is now a simple process.
You can do it in one of two ways. The first is a simple assessment of your theory knowledge and sailing competence by an RYA qualified instructor. The assessment takes one day. It is a pass/fail assessment whereby no instruction is given. See ICC Assessment details below.
The second is that you gain the RYA Day Skipper Certificate which automatically qualifies you for the ICC. Note: that you can not do this process with the ASA because the USA has not signed Resolution 40 and thus ASA is NOT authorized in anyway to issue any government Sailing or Boating License. Their IPC is not sanctioned or recognized by United Nations.
Gaining the ICC via the RYA Day Skipper Certificate Route
Watch this video which discusses the RYA Day Skipper Course.
First, pass the online RYA Day Skipper course at NauticEd. The course is quite extensive and covers everything required by the United Nations Resolution 40 which authorizes the ICC. See below for the UN knowledge requirements. No matter your experience, we also guarantee that you will gain some great sailing knowledge.
Once you pass the Online theory Day Skipper Course, you then attend one of 500 RYA sailing Schools in the world. North Americans should attend the Yachting Education RYA Training Center in Charleston, The Bahamas, or The US Virgin Islands.
The Online RYA Day Skipper Sailing Course
Complete the theory requirements for the RYA Day Skipper Course and ICC online at home
The NauticEd RYA Day Skipper online course requires a real person to take the time to grade your exam and that you do the exam with RYA Charts and an Almanac which we include in the cost of the course. Thus, the cost is a bit more than our regular other eLearning courses.
Essentially, the course is a combination of the NauticEd Skipper Course and the NauticEd Coastal Navigation Course ($95 combined cost). Thus, if you have already purchased these courses, you will gain an approximate equivalent credit for these courses when purchasing the RYA Day Skipper Course.
If the NauticEd courses are not in your curriculum we have provided an easy start method whereby you can gain access to the RYA Day Skipper course for less. For just $155 you gain access to the course and we send to you the RYA charts and materials. Note that you will not yet be able to submit your exam to our RYA instructor if you select this option. – Eventually, you will need to upgrade to the full pack ($195 upgrade) to submit the exam but at least this is a way to get started with a budget in mind.
The full RYA Day Skipper course if you want to start out properly is $350 (with appropriate credit automatically calculated for Skipper and Coastal Navigation Courses purchased prior). When you pass this course – you are issued with the RYA Day Skipper Theory Course and Exam complete certificate. Your practical time on the water after that is a breeze, you’ll be doing no exams on the water.
The RYA Day Skipper Practical Training
To complete the RYA Day Skipper Certification, take the 5-day vacation/learn to sail sailing course. By the end of the 5-day training, as long as you demonstrate competence to the standard then you will be issued the RYA Day Skipper Certificate. This automatically qualifies you for the ICC and NauticEd will arrange this for you upon passing the theory and Practical.
Gaining the ICC via The One Day Assessment
The one-day assessment is a slightly grueling assessment of your theory knowledge and practical competency. But don’t be intimidated, just make sure you know your stuff.
There is heavy emphasis on the theory knowledge of navigation (plotting courses, currents, tides, chart work, day and night ATONs and markers), passage planning, and navigation rules of the road in the assessment. Thus you should learn and get comfortable with this in the theory training online prior to the assessment. The last thing you want to do is fail. Most sailors can not “wing” this assessment without some study (even experienced sailors). Given this, our North American assessor will not allow you to test out of the assessment without having completed either the NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master bundle of online courses or the RYA Day Skipper online theory course. He simply does not like to fail people but will if they try to wing it. For example, can you draw a North, South, East and West Cardinal Mark? What is the distinguishing light of a safe water marker or an isolated danger mark? Could you calculate at what time could you could enter a shallow harbor given the tide almanac? Your sailboat under sail is overtaking a small powerboat on its port side, who must give way? In IALA-A is it Red Right Returning or Red to Red on Return? What about IALA-B? Given a specific current flow rate and direction changing over a tide cycle, could you plot a series of courses to arrive at a destination and estimate the time of arrival? What about fire extinguishers, can you name on the spot the best types of extinguishers for the type of fire?
In addition to the on-the-spot theory assessment, the assessor will test your practical competence including backing into slips, springing off the dock, and all aspects of maneuvering in the marina under power, your ability to lead a crew and give proper instructions using proper terminology for all types of sailing maneuvers.
Usually, we find the sailor is practically competent but are lacking on the specifics of the theory. This is why we strongly suggest the student to take the online classes prior to the event else your $400 assessment fee could be wasted.
(1) Doing the one-day on-the-water assessment with NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master Bundle of online courses or the RYA Day Skipper online course.
(2) Gain the RYA Day Skipper Certificate via the RYA Day Skipper online course and the 5 day on-the-water training at an RYA training center. This automatically qualifies you for the ICC.
Which one do we recommend?
Well, it really depends on you. If you are open to learning new tricks and tips and get some solid formal training, you can not beat the full RYA Day Skipper route. If you think you know enough practical, then do the assessment with the Bareboat Charter Master Bundle of courses.
United Nations Resolution 40 ICC Standards for Knowledge
1. For the issue of an international certificate the applicant must:
(a) have reached the age of 16;
(b) be physically and mentally fit to operate a pleasure craft, and in particular, must have sufficient powers of vision and hearing;
(c) have successfully passed an examination to prove the necessary competence
for pleasure craft operation.
2. The applicant has to prove in an examination :
(a) sufficient knowledge of the regulations concerning pleasure craft operation and nautical and technical knowledge required for safe navigation on inland waters and/or coastal waters; and
(b) the ability to apply this knowledge in practice.
3. This examination shall be held with regard to the zones of navigation (i.e. inland waters and/or coastal waters) and must include at least the following specific subjects:
3.1 Sufficient knowledge of the relevant regulations and nautical publications:
Traffic regulations applicable on inland waters, in particular CEVNI (European Code for Inland Waterways), and/or in coastal waters, in particular the Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, including aids to navigation (marking and buoyage of waterways).
3.2 Ability to apply the nautical and technical knowledge in practice:
(a) general knowledge of craft, use and carriage of safety equipment and serviceability of the engine/sails;
(b) operating the craft and understanding the influence of wind, current, interaction and limited keel clearance;
(c) conduct during meeting and overtaking other vessels;
(d) anchoring and mooring under all conditions;
(e) maneuvering in locks and ports;
(f) general knowledge of weather conditions;
(g) general knowledge of navigation, in particular establishing a position and deciding a safe course.
3.3 Conduct under special circumstances:
(a) principles of accident prevention (e.g. man over board maneuver);
(b) action in case of collisions, engine failure and running aground, including the sealing of a leak, assistance in cases of emergency;
Posted by Director of Education on July 3, 2016 under Skipper | Comments are off for this article
Went for a walk along the dock the other day and took a few pics of the anchors on sailboats. I’ve named them for identification purposes.
Plough Anchor (aka Delta Anchor)
Our favorite all-purpose anchor is the Plough Type Anchor
Here is a video we took at the Annapolis Boat Show of anchors at work.
If you want to know all about anchoring techniques and anchors for best situations and bottoms, take our Anchoring Course which is a required course for the NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master Rank accepted by Yacht Charter Companies worldwide.
Using our nano forum technology, one of our student’s asked the question.
Q: Please help! In the image, a sailboat has a powerboat (looks like a cabin cruiser) to port, apparently adrift in this example. However, there are no sails deployed on the sailboat. The sentence beneath this picture says the powerboat must give way, making the sailboat the Stand on boat. Why is this the case? Is it because the powerboat has the sailboat to starboard? Is it because the powerboat is adrift? Is the sailboat under power or adrift? This picture is confusing me because it seems the sail boat is also either under power or adrift. It’s certainly not overtaking the powerboat from the rear. Can anyone help with this one?
Here is our answer
A:Powerboat rules apply. The power boat sees the power driven sailboat on its right (sees a red light) and thus must give way. Additional note: adrift is still under power regardless if the engines are on or off. Why is that? Well, how could the sailboat know if the engines on the powerboat are on or off? For consistency of the rules then, adrift IS underpower. Further note: the sailboat even tho stand-on still has the responsibility to not cause a close quarters situation. Thus, let’s say the power boat could not start its engines, then there is no problem because of the sailboat’s continued responsibility. Further note: the student also asks what if the sailboat is adrift. Well, that point is moot because both adrift would not cause a collision. However, even if the wind was pushing the adrift sailboat towards the adrift powerboat, technically both are still underway and the powerboat is still the give-way vessel. Further note: if the powerboat was at anchor, then it is at anchor no longer underway.
Thanks to Perry G of Oregon for asking the question using our Nano forums “SeaTalk”.
On every page of our sailing courses, there is a SeaTalk button. Use this button to ask and answer a question. In particular, please help the community by answering questions when you see that there are comments or question on the SeaTalk page.
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PLUS BE A LUCKY WINNER OF THE NAUTICED CAPTAIN’S EDUCATION BUNDLE
NauticEd International Sailing Education is the proud title sponsor for the May 12th 2016, Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race. Two of NauticEd’s practical sailing schools, Island Sailing Club and Vancouver Sailing Club are a significant part of this title sponsorship and many of their students are participating.
The race, in its 40th year is 193 miles long and begins off the coast of Astoria, Oregon and finishes in the harbor at Victoria, British Columbia.
As part of the education sponsorship, NauticEd is giving away 6 Captain’s Sailing Education Packages to 6 lucky participants. This represents over a $2000 donation to the cause of keeping people save on the water with advanced sailing education. View the contents of the Captains package below. This represents extensive and vital education for all sailors wanting to sail more than 20 miles off shore or over long distances.
All participants are encouraged to create a new account with NauticEd whereby they will receive 2 FREE NauticEd courses, Navigation Rules and Basic Sail Trim and a FREE sailor’s electronic logbook.
Students of Island Sailing Club and Vancouver Sailing Club are encouraged to join in on the race.
WINNERS: If you are a winner of one of the 6 Captain Education Packs, sign up for a free account at www.NauticEd.org/signin then send us an email. Once we verify with the Committee your prize, we will drop the 12 sailing courses into your curriculum. Congratulations!
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After the anchor has set and adequate rode has been paid out, take time to ensure you are not drifting. And considering changing winds and tide height and tidal current, it is important to periodically monitor how well your anchor is set.
Check your anchor set manually and electronically. Do this manually by sighting bearings to objects on shore and determining that they are constant. Note that the boat will swing back and forth with the wind making it a little difficult to check that you are remaining steadfastly connected to the bottom. But, over time, you will get a feeling that through each successive swing, bearings to objects on the shore are not changing.
Using an electronic means will give you a more accurate determination of anchor set. If you have a GPS device, turn it on and turn on “show track.” Observe over time the history track of your boat. If the tracks overlay each other then you are holding steadfast. You can also use an anchor alarm on your depth meter. To do this, you set the maximum and minimum allowable depths. If the depth goes out of this range, the alarm sounds. There are also Apps for your mobile device. Here are a few:
Chances are that you will be switching over to an inflatable PFD pretty soon given that they are so comfortable. Here the adult is wearing a Type II inflatable PFD while the Child is wearing a comfortable Type III PFD.
Inflatable PFD’s are available in a variety of styles (and colors) and are generally more comfortable and less bulky than traditional foam vests. They need to be worn on the outside of all clothing and weather protection for obvious reasons of gaining access to the inflatable tube and also allowing the water to activate the automatic release of the gas cartridge.
They come in different sizes for children and adults. International standards on inflatable PFD’s require them to be fitted with a whistle and reflective tape. For vessels operating at night they are also required to have a light attached. It is recommended that you buy PFD’s, especially child ones, with a crotch strap to prevent the PFD from rising over the head.
The air chambers are always located over the breast, across the shoulders and encircle the back of the head. They may be inflated by either self-contained carbon dioxide cartridges activated by pulling a cord, or blow tubes with a one-way valve for inflation by exhalation.
Some inflatable life jackets also react with salt or fresh water, which causes them to self-inflate. Some inflatable life jackets are only inflated by blowing into a tube. These are more dangerous and should be avoided because it is possible the person falling or being knocked overboard may be unconscious. The latest generation of self-triggering inflation devices responds to water pressure when submerged and incorporates an actuator known as a ‘hydrostatic release’.
Regardless of whether manually or automatically triggered, a pin punctures the cartridge/canister and the CO2 gas escapes into the sealed air chamber. However, there is a chance that these water pressure activated inflation devices do not inflate the life jacket if a person is wearing waterproof clothing and falls into the water face-down. In these cases the buoyancy of the clothing holds a person on the water surface, which prevents the hydrostatic release. As a result, a person can drown although wearing a fully functional life jacket.
To be on the safe side, a pill-activated inflation device is preferred. A small pill that dissolves very fast on water contact is the safest option, as it also works in shallow waters where a hydrostatic activator fails. This type of jacket is called an ‘automatic’. As it is more sensitive to the presence of water, early models could also be activated by very heavy rain or spray. For this reason, spare re-arming kits should be carried on board for each life jacket. However, with modern cup/bobbin mechanisms this problem rarely arises and mechanisms such as the Halkey Roberts Pro firing system have all but eliminated accidental firing.
Looking after your inflatable lifejacket
The care and maintenance of your inflatable PFD/lifejacket is your responsibility. Here are some simple tips to help you properly care for your inflatable lifejacket.
Have you read the instructions?
Your inflatable lifejacket should contain information on how to wear, operate and look after your device. It is important that you familiarize yourself with these instructions.
How do I look after my lifejacket?
Check the following for excessive wear, cracking, fraying or anything to indicate possible loss of strength:
all fastening mechanisms and devices.
Also, check that:
the gas cylinder is screwed in firmly so as to allow the firing pin to pierce the cylinder bladder
the lifejacket has not been previously activated without refitting a new activation device and cylinder
there is no rust on the gas cylinder
Important – Rust on the gas cylinder may damage the fabric of the cylinder bladder allowing the gas to leak over time.
Don’t forget to manually inflate the lifejacket from time to time. To do this:
open up the inflatable lifejacket to expose the inflation tube
inflate with dry air
leave it inflated overnight
check for loss of pressure the next day. If you believe there is leakage, contact the manufacturer immediately. If there is no obvious loss of pressure, deflate the inflatable lifejacket by turning the cap upside down and holding the topside (with the knob down) pressed into the inflation tube. This will open the one-way valve.
make sure all the air is expelled and the life jacket is repacked correctly.
What should I do with my inflatable lifejacket at the end of a day out?
If your inflatable lifejacket is equipped with automatic inflation, remove the bobbin or cartridge before washing to avoid accidental inflation.
Rinse: If it has been exposed to salt water, rinse thoroughly in fresh cold water.
Wash: To clean the outer shell of it, hand wash with warm soapy water. A clothing cleaning agent can be used for removing grease and stubborn stains.
Dry: Hang it up to dry thoroughly before storing.
If your inflatable lifejacket is equipped with automatic inflation remember to replace the bobbin or cartridge once the inflatable lifejacket is thoroughly dry. The bobbin can only be inserted one way and the cartridge simply screws in.
Bobbins and cartridges
Some automatic inflatable lifejackets are equipped with sacrificial water-soluble bobbins and others with sacrificial paper element cartridges. They are prone to accidental inflation if exposed to humid conditions for any length of time. If you have any difficulty, contact the manufacturer or place of purchase.
What if I have deployed my inflatable lifejacket?
If you use your inflatable lifejacket, you will need to replace the CO2 gas cylinder and the activation device once it has been used. It is recommended that you have your inflatable lifejacket serviced each time it is deployed. The inflatable lifejacket can then be checked for any damage which may have occurred during the incident. For automatic inflatable lifejackets, it is recommended that the bobbins or cartridges be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Does my inflatable lifejacket need to be serviced?
Your inflatable lifejacket should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for full servicing details relevant to your inflatable lifejacket. However almost all manufacturers recommend at least annually.
Transporting Lifejackets on Aircraft
Is it OK to take inflatable lifejackets on commercial aircraft ?
IATA publish Table 2.3A regulating the transport of dangerous goods which states that: Subject to prior approval from the airline, self-inflating life jackets are permitted if they contain not more than two small cylinders with a non-flammable gas in Division 2.2 plus not more than two spare cartridges per person. They are permitted as: carry-on baggage, checked baggage, or on one’s person.
Not all airlines follow these rules, so consult with your airline well in advance and also allow additional time for check-in. We also question whether the average security check person knows this. So we advise you to call the airline ahead of your flight and check your lifejackets in your baggage if allowed.