The winter solstice is that time of year full of promise and hope as the sun reaches its southern extent and we look forward to longer and warmer days. It’s also time for an early reminder of our winter navigation courses so we are ready to sail in time for ice out.
News from DWS
Joanne and I were in Guadeloupe mid-November for some hiking, snorkelling and of course, sailing. We chartered a 40 ft. catamaran with friends to enjoy the Caribbean trade wind sailing in 2-3 metre seas and 15-20 knot winds. After recovering from day one queezies, we enjoyed the local flavour of the islands, the sea life and 24-7 cock-a-doodle-doos. Thank goodness our travelling friends speak French, it was rare to hear any English. Navigating foreign waters is always a lesson in fundamentals; piloting plans, route planning, missing nav aids and uncharted aids. In the technical brief, we were reminded of our legal responsibility to keep a navigation log, but of course no instruction – that’s where DWS training comes in.
At the same time, Sue was in Barbados on a yoga retreat, also hiking, snorkelling and sailing. We heard from students while we were away, who were extending their warm and sunny season in the tropical latitudes too. If a sunny, warm and wet vacation is on your agenda, we wish you fair winds and following seas.
Winter Navigation Courses
Diamond Waters Sailing intends to run Basic and Intermediate Coastal Navigation courses starting February 4, 2023. Reply to let us know if you want a reservation – we need at least 5 students to run the course so make your reservation now – no fees required until the course is confirmed. When we reach our minimum number we will advise you that the course is on, and request your 50% deposit to confirm your registration. The zoom lessons will be from 7-9 pm and allow an extra hour for tutoring and end at 10 pm. Course dates may vary by consensus.
If you have taken the course and just need to write the exam, or if you want to challenge either of the navigation courses, please let us know by reply. You will be welcome to join us for review and exam day.This schedule below is subject to change:
Basic Coastal Navigation – 16-20 hours of instruction, $350 includes e-notes, practice chart (Georgian Bay), plotting instruments and surprises. See the standard:
Course dates (not firm):
4 Feb, 09:00-15:00, course start on zoom
14 Feb, 19:00-22:00, zoom
21 Feb, 19:00-22:00, zoom
28 Feb, 19:00-22:00, zoom
04 Mar, 09:00-16:00, course finish in class in Parry Sound with review, exam and registration. Dinner together to celebrate is an option.
Intermediate Coastal Navigation – 18-20 hours of instruction, $300 includes e-notes
11 Mar, 09:00-13:00, course start on zoom.
14 Mar, 19:00-22:00, zoom
21 Mar, 19:00-22:00, zoom
28 Mar, 09:00-22:00, zoom
01 Apr, 09:00-16:00, course finish with review, exam and registration. Dinner together to celebrate and talk about launch
VHF/DSC Radio Operators Certificate We are still working on providing radio training. Stay tuned for updates.
DWS will be sail training all season starting early in June and ending before Thanksgiving. Send us a note to reserve dates for any of the introductory courses, Basic or Intermediate Cruising Standards. We will build our schedule around you until we are reaching capacity. See our sailing packages on-line:
The words come to mind, “ I’m sorry this message is so long, I didn’t make the time to write a shorter one”. The deeper I dive into defining what sustainability means to me and to Diamond Water Sailing, the longer the message becomes.
Sailing is a means of transport that has a relatively low environmental impact, you might have heard us talk about a sailboat being the ultimate human made solar energy machine. The sailing community has embraced sustainable practices to bring awareness and action to the health of our oceans and fresh water.
The global tourism community is another course we follow to operate sustainably. The coverage is broader than the focus on water protection and includes:
– Fair and proper business practice
– Community partnerships
– Cultural awareness and respect
– Environmental protection
It’s a voyage of discovery and my eyes and ears are opening more everyday to the common sense benefits of living sustainably. We have an operations plan, policies and procedures that feel like little more than words, but each day of practising brings a better understanding and a more natural way to demonstrate the benefits. When our sustainability plan is posted on the website, we hope it is much more than words, we hope that it interests you and that you find some takeaways that apply to your every day. Please hold us to our tag line, “ Sailing for a healthy planet ”.
For Ocean Racing Fans
The Route du Rhumb 2022 race (single handed, trans-Atlantic, every four years) started in St. Malo France on November 9 and the early finishers arrived in Guadeloupe while we were there. The route is about 3500 nautical miles (6500 km) and the racers started arriving while we were cruising. Our routes crossed but we did not see any of them until we returned to Marina Pointe-au-Pitre. The boats were lined up across from the fuel dock which was our destination. Manoeuvring practice and preparation helped us dock successfully despite the sudden squall that rocked and soaked us in the narrow channel, but that’s another tale. The big trimarans are futuristic water world, wind racers – their skippers are rock stars in France. The winning boat was an Ultim 32/23 trimaran (32 metres long / 23 m beam) – Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, sailed by 48 year old Charles Caudrelier, in record time of 6 days 19 hours – that’s averaging 520 miles (965 km) per day, 21 knot average speed! The Ultim picture attached is the 3rd place finisher in the class.
First place in the IMOCA 60 class was Linked Out, sailed by 41 year old Thomas Ruyant, 11 days 17 h. Jo and I are standing by his boat. IMOCA 60s are used in the Vendee Globe, around alone, non-stop race.
Meanwhile, in the Golden Globe Race 2022
It’s day 100 of the race (started September 4 in France). Of the 16 starters, only 7 have made it past Capetown SA, 8 have retired for various reasons and one is just arriving at Capetown with thick barnacle cover dragging him down. He is weeks behind the rest of the fleet.
My favourites are 27 year old Elliot Smith from Florida and 39 year old Kirsten Neushafer from South Africa.
Elliot ‘in wonderland’, has only been sailing for 4 years and has a very modestly funded campaign with his Gale Force 36 – Second Wind. He arrived in Capetown in 7th place, after almost 80 days. He said some days he misses family and friends and other days he could stay out forever. He also said he has no business in this race with his minimal experience. After lamenting being out of snacks (candy, chips and peanuts), he picked up a freshly caught tuna from the cockpit, giggled and called it dinner. Second Wind’s bow sprit broke just out of Capetown and he returned to repair it – unassisted, but with expert technical advice while at anchor. He sailed a couple days later into difficult seas that lasted a week and then into a high pressure system (no wind) for another week, making 10-20 miles per day. His daily tweet said something about losing a staring contest to a bowl of oatmeal and going insane.
Kirsten has a beautiful Canadian story of finding her Cape George 36 – Minnehaha – in Newfoundland, delayed pick up in 2020 due to Covid, finally sailed to PEI in the fall for a year-long refit and left PEI for home in South Africa in November 2021, in a 45 knot wind. Her daily tweets almost always read, “All good. k”. You can find her story here:
Just past Capetown on November 18, Kirsten was called on to rescue 64 year old Finnish racer Tapio Lehtinen, who was wakened with a loud bang and a sinking boat. Five minutes later Tapio was in his life raft, watching his beloved Gaia 36 – Asteria, slip to her watery grave. Emergency procedures were enabled and race organiser Don McIntyre coordinated the rescue – superbly, I might add. Kirsten broke the seal on her emergency GPS, changed course and sailed 105 miles to rescue Tapio. Hours later she transferred him to a cargo ship en-route to China and home for Christmas. She was awarded 35 hours compensation for the diversion. Kirsten is currently in second place in the Southern Indian Ocean 700 miles behind 62 year old Simon Curwen from the UK. Simon is making over 150 miles per day and is expected to reach Tasmania before Christmas. All racers have until the end of January to pass through a gate in Hobart, Tasmania to remain in the race.
They call it a Retro Race, sailing with 1968 tech in the wake of Robin Knox-Johnston and Bernard Moitessier; no GPS and nothing digital, except they are required to send daily tweets to the Race Committee as a safety measure. The boats are full keel, blue water cruisers, 32-36 feet, designed prior to 1988.“The plain idea of racing in simple strong boats, using no technology and combining the traditional seamanship skills of the sailor with their ingenuity, passion and determination to drive them across the finish line first, is both simple to understand and intensely satisfying. It is also a very affordable adventure and challenge for all! The dream is back!” (from GGR website). Check the live tracker and find the menu bar to turn on Windy.
Have a wonderful Christmas and don’t wait to sign up for our winter navigation course(s).
Larry and Sue
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