Knowing your location

I was listening to the VHF radio on channel 16 this morning and listening to all the boats in some form of distress (perceived and real.)  For most communications the US Coast Guard will switch folks over to Ch. 22A for the discussion portion as 16 is for hail and distress only.  Anyway, an interesting discussion took place on Ch. 22A this morning when a boater reported a “row boat” that was unmanned partially submerged in the vacinity of the Bay Bridge.  The US Coast Guard ultimately asked the good samaritan to give their position.  The position that they read off of their GPS was in degrees and decimal minutes.  Interestingly my IPhone gives GPS coordinates in several ways which can be a little confusion especially if you are trying to take GPS coordinates and apply them to a paper chart.  I am sure that the US Coast Guard is smart enough to sort out whatever coordinates you give, but if you are trying to take a GPS coordinate and put it on your paper chart you need to understand how to translate.

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2016 Greenland Climate Project

As “waterfolk” here at J World Annapolis, we all care about the health of our waterways – including what goes into them. From local Save the Bay efforts to the Pollution problems in Rio this Olympic season, water pollution is a much talked-about issue. Watch this video to learn more about micro-plastics and other water pollutants!

US Sailing and Waterway Guide announce partnership: A press release from US Sailing

US Sailing and Waterway Guide Media are pleased to announce a partnership that provides benefits to members and constituents of both organizations. Students who take US Sailing’s Basic Cruising course at any accredited Keelboat School will be auto-enrolled into Waterway Guide’s cruising club, which provides discounts off fuel and dockage at participating marinas. They also will be signed up for Waterway Guide’s weekly newsletter that offers cruising topics, safety tips, navigational alerts, event notifications and more. US Sailing members will also be provided with the added benefit of a 25% discount for all Waterway Guide publications.


“We’re really excited about what this partnership will offer for US Sailing members,” said Stu Gilfillen, Training Director of US Sailing. “US Sailing is constantly seeking new ways to support those sailors interested in cruising, and we believe that this partnership fits in line with our goals. From the Guides to the newsletter, US Sailing members will greatly benefit from knowledge and information provided by the Waterway Guide.”

Graham Jones, Business Development Manager for Waterway Guide, said “We are excited about this partnership because it introduces boaters to the importance of safety and training before they head out on the water. As new boaters become involved, and want to learn, it is important that they have easy access to information in order to stay informed. This partnership provides benefits to boaters who are in the beginning stages of their education. We are pleased to be a part of that process and wish them smooth sailing.”

About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry. For more information, please

About Waterway Guide Media
Waterway Guide was founded in 1947 and is the longest continuously published series of annual cruising guides for boaters in the U.S. Content is updated daily at Waterway Guide Media publishes the popular Waterway Guide series that includes Cuba, Bahamas, Southern U.S., Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Chesapeake Bay, Northern U.S. and Great Lakes. Skipper Bob Publications, a series of boating guidebooks, is also owned by Waterway Guide Media, LLC.  The company’s other media includes mobile and web applications for planning, education, news and events. For more information, please visit

How Does Arbitration Work at J World Annapolis

Protest arbitration provides an intermediate method of protest resolution before the protest is heard by the protest committee. Arbitration gives sailors a chance to take a less severe penalty than disqualification when they realize that they have broken a rule. Arbitration does not solve all protests, but for most situations involving the rules of Part 2 and rule 31, arbitration is seen by competitors to be fast, informal and much less intimidating than attending a protest hearing.

Here is how arbitration works at J World Annapolis.

The sailors tell the arbitrator(s) what happened on the water and the arbitrator(s) makes a decision about which boat, if any, broke a rule.

Here at J World we make this short and sweet handling arbitration by conference call and limiting sailors to two minutes of testimony each. The party that broke a rule may take a reduced penalty which is specified in the Sailing Instructions. If the arbitrator’s decision is accepted, the protestor withdraws the protest and the dispute is resolved without a hearing by the protest committee.

The primary purpose of arbitration is to simplify and speed up the protest process for incidents that do not require the full protest hearing process.

The Penalty

Arbitration can only work if the boat that the arbitrator says broke a rule receives a penalty that is less than the disqualification she may receive in any subsequent protest hearing. The penalty is stated in the sailing instructions and, if accepted by a boat as a result of arbitration, holds the same status under rule 64.1(b) as the penalty she could have taken on the water. The penalty for arbitration should be more severe than any penalty that is available to the boat on the water at the time of the incident, but significantly less severe than a DSQ. In the case of the J World Annapolis Thursday Night Racing series, the penalty is 40% scoring penalty.

Principles of Arbitration

Arbitration is consistent with the 2013-2016 Racing Rules of Sailing. None of the rules in Part 5 (Protests, Redress, Hearings, Misconduct and Appeals) that protect the interests of the competitors are compromised by arbitration. All of the safeguards built into Part 5 Section A (Protests and Redress) and Part 5 Section B (Hearings and Decisions) remain in place. If the decision of the arbitrator is accepted by the protestor, the protest is withdrawn. If not, the protest remains and must be heard under the rules of Part 5 Section B by the protest committee. See rule 63.1 (Requirement for a Hearing). Rule 44.1 is changed to permit a boat that has broken a rule of Part 2 or rule 31 to take a penalty after racing but prior to any protest hearing. Her penalty shall be a scoring penalty as calculated in rule 44.3(c) equal to 40% of the number of entries. Arbitration takes place after a written protest has been lodged, but prior to the protest hearing.

For Thursday Night Racing, the arbitration hearing is held via conference call. Testimony given during arbitration should not be overheard by any potential witnesses of a subsequent protest hearing. Only the arbitration judge(s), the protestor and the protestee are permitted to attend. No witnesses are allowed.

If a competitor believes the case requires a witness, the protest will go to a protest hearing.

Arbitration will only be used for protests where:

  1. the incident only involves two boats. A protest involving three or more boats is usually too complex for a single or two judges to handle in less than 10 minutes.
  2. the incident is limited to the rules of Part 2 or rule 31. If it becomes clear that other rules are applicable, or another boat may be involved, the arbitration hearing will be closed and the protest forwarded to the protest committee.
  3. there was no contact that could have caused serious damage.

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The Comeback of Distance Racing

The Comeback of Distance Racing
by Lin McCarthy, SpinSheet
On the Southern Chesapeake Bay racing circuit, mid-distance and longer races have become a not-so-unusual occurrence. The obvious reason is because racers like this race course format. Beyond that, there are two main reasons that the number and quality of distance races has increased recently.

First, distance racing is a change. The main staple of racing on the Southern Bay is still windward-leeward legs around drop marks. The emphasis is on crew work and speed. He who rounds the marks with the most perfect spinnaker sets and sail choices has a good chance to make it to the post-race podium. Crew work and timing pay big dividends.

More importantly, middle-distance and longer races around designated marks no matter the wind direction test entirely different skills. Yes, it is still necessary to recognize a chance to power reach and react accordingly, but there is a huge emphasis on navigation and strategy. In a distance race you have to know where you are in relation to currents, surface conditions, your competition, and what lies ahead. Read more

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