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Weather Tides Cruise Plan Permission Slip

Welcome Aboard
Welcome aboard--to the fun and adventure of Sea Scouting, a program combining the tradition of the past with the technology of the future. Whether you look to the sea for a career or lifelong hobby, Sea Scouting is for you.

Sea Scouting happens on, in, and under the water. Its program is based on career, social, service, citizenship, outdoor and fitness activities.

Sea Scouting offers the challenge and excitement of the Sea--sailing, navigation, safety, communications, mechanics, weather, piloting, and much more. So welcome aboard. May you have fair winds and following seas!

What is Sea Scouting?
Sea Scouting started in 1912 and has a long and colorful tradition. Thousands of young men and women have had the opportunity to follow the traditions of the sea while learning about what the future holds for careers related to the sea or a life-long hobby of recreational boating.

The purpose of Sea Scouting is to bring character building, citizenship training, and fitness to the youth of America. Typical activities include: safety, customs, swimming, boating, marlinspike seamanship, piloting, cruising, galley, sailing, boats, tackle, first aid, navigation, boat maintenance, engines, sea history, lifesaving, equipment, weather, radio, and more.

Tips before you go...
Wear non-skid shoes with soft soles.
Bring foul weather protection--rain gear, warm woolen sweater, an extra pair of socks, leather gloves.
Prone to motion sickness? Take medication ahead of time to prevent it.
Carry all gear in soft, weatherproof duffel-type bags.

Once you're aboard...
Your captain will show you where you can find life jackets, first aid kit and fire extinguisher.
Listen carefully to instructions, especially about the head (toilet) and radio. If you're not sure, ask.
Don't venture forward on deck without asking permission.

How to Start an Outboard Motor
Lower motor into its normal operating position. Check fuel level. Make sure the motor is in neutral. Open the fuel tank vent and turn on the fuel valve if there is one. Pump up the fuel line priming bulb if there is one. Choke the motor by operating the choke control--either by pulling a knob out or turning a knob, depending on the motor. Set the throttle control to the start position (usually just above idle). Pull once on the starting cord handle. The motor should "catch," that is run for just a brief moment. If it doesn't, try pulling once or twice more until it does. Turn the choke control off--either by pushing a knob back in or turning a knob to its original position. Now pull once or twice more and your motor should start. If it doesn't start, it is not likely that pulling furiously on the pull cord will help much. Go through the above instructions and figure out where you went wrong. Happy motoring!

How do we get this rag boat to stop?
Why of course, we lower the sails, crank up the engine and when we get close to where we need to stop, we shift into neutral and then into reverse, stopping just before kissing the dock, then shifting into neutral and smiling like we'd done it a million times before. No sweat right? Well, it takes a little practice to get it right so when you try it, go slow, s l o w, s l o w.

What if your engine won't crank? New problem right? No trouble, just sail into the harbor. But how to stop...? Easy: Lower the jib first, well before you have to. Come in on main alone. Pay out the main sheet so you're barely moving and head her into the wind as you approach the dock. Careful, don't hit the dock! Seriously, this takes a lot of skill to dock under sail. You must practice many times in wide open water before attempting this around anything solid!

How Much Anchor Rode?
Let's assume we anchor in 10 feet of water with 60 feet of rode paid out. Theoretically, one might suppose this is a reasonable scope of 6:1. Our bow chock, however, is 5 feet above the surface. Immediately the ratio is cut to 4:1 (60:15), Six hours later the tide has risen another 3 feet. So now we have an actual scope of 3.3:1 (60:18), nearly half of the orginal theoretical ratio.

What is a proper scope? Under favorable conditions, 5:1 might be considered a minimum; under average conditions, 7 or 8:1 is regarded as satisfactory.

So how many feet of anchor line do we need to pay out anyway? Let's see: 10 feet of water plus 5 feet to the deck of the boat plus an allowance of 3 feet for the tide is 18 feet to the bottom. To achieve our minimum of 5:1 multiply 5 times 18.

5 X 18 = 90 feet of anchor rode

A more conservative approach to accommodate stiffer weather would be 8:1.

8 X 18 = 144 feet of anchor rode

An Old Saying
"Red sky at night--sailor's delight, red sky in the morning--sailor's take warning." The weather is usually good following a red sky at night.

Four Types of Fog
Did you know that there are actually four types of fog? Radiation fog is formed in near-calm conditions by the cooling of the ground on a clear night as a result of radiation of heat from the ground to the clear sky. Advection fog is formed by the horizontal flow of warm air over cold sea or lake. Steam fog or "sea smoke" is formed when cold air blows over much warmer water. Finally, precipitation or rain fog is formed when rain coming out of warm air aloft falls through a shallow layer of cold air at the earth's surface. Steam fog and rain fog are basically the result of evaporation from relatively warm water, a process which increases the dew point. Both are called "warm-surface" fogs. Likewise, radiation fog and advection fog come under the single heading of "cold surface" fogs.

"Dead Reckoning"
A procedure by which the craft's approximate location at any time is deduced from its movements since the last accurate determination of position.

Reefing a Sail
What is "reefing" a sail and why would you want to do it? Reefing a sail is simply tying it in such a way as to reduce sail area, thereby reducing the forces of the wind on your boat. You would want to reef when you see a storm approaching or the wind gets too strong to sail comfortably. My general rule of thumb on our size boats is to reduce sail when the wind is blowing greater than 15 miles per hour. 10-15 is great sailing weather. When it's blowing say, 15-20 mph I like to sail with a reefed main and full jib. Above 20 I take down the jib and sail under reefed main alone. A reefed main stabilizes your boat and is good in winds up to about 40 mph. Above that you really want bare poles! Our jibs cannot be reefed so we'll focus on how to reef the main:

1. Slack away on the main halyard.
2. Hook luff cringle (bottom forward corner of the sail) on goosneck hook.
3. Tighten the leech pendant (rope running from the trailing edge of the sail along the lines of the reef points to the end of the boom).
3. Tie reef points (small ropes running through grommets in the sail) around the boom tightly.
4. Hoist the main halyard tight.

Proper VHF Radio Use
Channel 16 is the "contact" channel, the distress channel, and the channel most everyone monitors. It is NOT for chit-chat. If you want to talk to another boat use this form:
Venture: "Sea Dawg, Sea Dawg, Sea Dawg, this is Venture."
Sea Dawg: "Venture, this is Sea Dawg. Go to channel 69."
Venture: "69."
Both radio operators switch to channel 69, establish contact again and then talk.

Watch Out for Falling Tides
A prudent skipper knows not only the depth of water when he anchors, but also how it is going to change over the next 12 hours or so. What causes the tides? The gravitational and centrifugal forces of the sun and the moon on the earth. When the sun and the moon line up together, we get greater-than-average tidal ranges called spring tides. Neap tides are smaller-than-average tidal ranges caused when the effects of the sun and the moon partially cancel each other out.

"Keeping the water out is not only the first and most important element of seamanship, but also it is the only necessary element of seamanship. All the other elements are niceties, but keeping the water out is a necessity."


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E-mail: Merrill Lonnborg, Skipper
Phone: (228) 875-7510

E-mail: Dan Zwerg, Committee Chairman
Phone: (228) 875-0728