Author Archives: Don Gilzean

It’s Getting Dark Earlier

In my opinion winter has arrived.  It’s not really winter until December 21, however, for me it’s winter when we move off daylight savings time back to standard time.  That’s the point it starts to get frustrating getting back to the dock before … Continue reading

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Watch the Stern

First a “tip” then the detailed explanation with some practice exercises. The Tip: While docking in a slip (once the bow is in the slip) and when doing a fairway rotation, focus primarily on where the stern is with observation … Continue reading

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That Just Doesn’t Seem Like the Right Thing to Do!

August can be an interesting time at the Tradewinds docks.  Lots of wind, accompanied by the normal “too much wind docking entertainment.”  One particular August Saturday saw the day end with two boats “parked” at the exact same spot, laying … Continue reading

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Getting the Most Out of Your Bareboat Cruising Class

With many things in life, you get out what you are willing to put in.  Sailing classes are a great example.  Over the years, I have had students that have not even cracked the book open, and others who have … Continue reading

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Random Thoughts Regarding the Richmond Ferry Service

It’s been a long wait, however, ferry service between the San Francisco Ferry Building and Richmond is scheduled to begin on Thursday, January 10, 2019. We are already hearing a lot of questions on how the ferry service will impact … Continue reading

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Coast Piloting Part 4 – Lines of Position

This tip could have been named “Obtaining a Fix.”  Maybe it should have been, because that’s what its all about. Dead Reckoning is a great thing.   It’s a way to figure out approximately where you are.  However, the goal of … Continue reading

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Coast Piloting Part 3 – Course to Steer

If ever there was a “catch all” navigation tip, this is it.  While determining a course to steer, the navigator needs to know and/or take into consideration: The relationship of Distance, Speed, and Time Conversion from True to Magnetic to … Continue reading

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Coast Piloting Part 2 – Entering an Unknown Port

When I think of Bareboat Cruising students and graduates, I visualize a skipper interested in spending a week or two on a chartered boat, enjoying an established cruising area with an number of “day sails,” stopping nightly to dock, moor, … Continue reading

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Exiting Chrysopylae … “The Golden Gate”

Also known as … is it safe to head out the gate? For over two hundred years, the Golden Gate hid its existence from the Europeans transiting and exploring the coast of California by boat.  First “missed” by Juan Rodriguez … Continue reading

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Coast Piloting Part I – Dead Reckoning

I’m not a fan of the term Coastal Navigation.  It has become quite popular over the past several years, however, it’s a bit too vague to properly describe the process of safely operating a vessel in coastal waters.  The proper term, … Continue reading

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