The fight for Florida Bay: Why our southernmost estuary is suffering and how we can fix it

The fight for Florida Bay: Why our southernmost estuary is suffering and how we can fix it

Hypersalinity. Sediment destabilization. Nutrient release. To the general population, these words are “science speak.” Without context or real-world examples, they are meaningless.  

To water bodies like Florida Bay, these words are actually ecological occurrences that are wreaking havoc on the ecosystem. They are a byproduct of the way water is mismanaged in Florida, creating a harmful chain reaction that could take years for the ecosystem to recover from.

About Florida Bay

Florida Bay is the southernmost estuary of the Everglades ecosystem, located at the tip of the mainland and cradled by the Florida Keys to the south. Spanning nearly 1,000 square miles and dotted with numerous basins and mangrove islands, it is one of the world’s largest estuaries and seagrass communities.

Florida Bay is also one of the most valuable and unique fisheries in the world. Highly-regarded game fish such as tarpon, permit, bonefish, snook, redfish, and trout, migrate to its pristine flats and luscious mangroves. It’s a nursery, nesting site, and feeding grounds for wading birds, crocodiles, manatees, dolphins, crustaceans, and sea turtles, who all partly depend on the healthy seagrass.

Lack of fresh water, too much saltwater

When we talk about Florida’s water crisis, the impacts to Florida Bay aren’t as easily seen.

Historically, fresh water flowed south from Lake Okeechobee, through the River of Grass and into the bay, naturally balancing its fragile ecosystem. Today, when water levels in the lake reach a certain threshold, water managers send it to tide via the St. Lucie River to the east and the Caloosahatchee to the west.

As a result, Florida Bay receives only one-sixth of the freshwater flow it once did and the ecosystem is imploding. In the summer of 2015, roughly 40,000 acres of seagrass died in Florida Bay due to lack of freshwater flow and unnaturally high salinities. Aquifers in South Florida are experiencing saltwater intrusion as a result of decreased sheet flow in the Everglades, threatening the drinking water supply for 8 million Floridians.

How do we fix it?

We must build the reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. Because of water quality regulations aimed at protecting the Everglades ecosystem, the polluted water from Lake Okeechobee must first be cleaned in man-made wetlands before being sent south. This will require additional storage and stormwater treatment areas (STAs) south of the lake, where aquatic vegetation will remove nitrogen and phosphorous from the water as it slowly flows towards the Everglades.

Benefits of the reservoir:

  • Re-directs the flow of water to the south, providing water managers with another option
  • Reduces discharges to St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee by 55%
  • Stores and cleans water to send south to the Everglades and Florida Bay where it’s desperately needed

Awareness is key

In 2018, we joined a gathering of key agencies to spend a day on Florida Bay with fishing guides and learn about the health and challenges its facing. In February 2019, the Everglades Foundation hosted a similar event, inviting media contacts from across the country to set out on the bay and learn about these issues from scientists and conservationists.

This spring, a new conservation-based TV series called Florida Sportsman Watermen will premier, hosted by Florida Bay fishing guide, Captain Benny Blanco. This show was created to bring awareness to water issues around the state from toxic algae blooms and seagrass die-offs to degradation of springs and spreading coral disease. Woven together, of course, with fishing.

We must continue to advocate for Everglades restoration as a whole connected system. Understanding the impacts allows us all to stay vigilant, have informed conversations with others who are affected, and press for science-based solutions that will benefit the entire system—starting with the EAA Reservoir.

Source: https://captainsforcleanwater.org/the-fight-for-florida-bay/

Patagonia Is Cracking Down on the Wall Street Uniform

The outdoor gear maker won’t create the products for just anyone through its corporate sales program. Recently, Patagonia has shifted its focus to “mission-driven companies that prioritize the planet,” the company said in a statement late Tuesday. It has made gear for all kinds of companies in the past, from big banks to nonprofit organizations.

Patagonia said it wants to add more companies that have the B Corp designation to its client list — businesses that meet certain environmental, social and transparency standards and are certified by a private organization. Patagonia itself is a B Corp and some financial and technology firms also have that status.

The company declined to share exactly when the changes were enacted, but current customers shouldn’t fret. Existing corporate customers will remain in the program and still be able to order more branded items from Patagonia.

Fleece and puffer vests or jackets from Patagonia with a company logo have gained a reputation as a go-to corporate uniform in the finance and tech worlds, an odd turn for an outdoor brand that sells everything from wetsuits to sleeping bags.

Word of the change spread when Binna Kim, president of the coincidentally-named communications agency Vested, shared on social media Monday an email from a third-party supplier of Patagonia’s corporate garments after it tried to order items for a client and said it was rejected.

According to the email from the unidentified supplier cited by Kim, Patagonia was reluctant to sell co-branded gear with companies they consider “ecologically damaging,” such as the oil and mining industries. It also singled out religious groups, political-affiliated organizations and financial institutions.

Late last year, Patagonia updated its mission statement, saying, “We’re in business to save our home planet.”

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-03/sorry-wall-streeters-you-now-need-to-earn-your-patagonia-vests

5 U.S. Presidents with Ties to the Outdoors

Take a second to read about 5 U.S. Presidents who have made their mark on the world of outdoor recreation.

Theodore Roosevelt: The Cowboy Conservationist

Teddy-Roosevelt-Was-the-Toughest-Person-Ever

No discussion of outdoor-loving presidents would be complete without mention of Teddy Roosevelt. This guy’s penchant for rugged outdoor activity was truly remarkable. He first meandered onto the western landscape in his younger days, with hopes of hunting bison, and eventually found himself running a small cattle ranching operation in North Dakota.

Unlike many of his peers, who traveled West only to exploit the land for their own financial gain, Roosevelt saw the inherent value it had to offer a nation that was rapidly growing but still in its infancy. His early years out West were dominated by hunting trips and cattle drives, but once he saw the havoc that unregulated hunting and ranching was wreaking on the landscape, his thirst for adventure gave way to a desire to help preserve the beauty of the West forever.

To this day, few presidents can claim a conservation legacy as profound as the one left by Theodore Roosevelt. In addition to creating the U.S. Forest Service and designating 150 national forests, the Roosevelt administration produced 4 national game preserves, 5 national parks and 18 national monuments.

To this day, Roosevelt is considered the father of the modern conservation movement.

Gerald Ford: Yellowstone Park Ranger

ford

Long before Gerald R. Ford was keeping American entertained with an epic highlight reel of presidential bloopers, he was holding it down as a park ranger in the Canyon Ranger District of Yellowstone National Park.

Still the only POTUS to have actively served as an NPS ranger, Ford enjoyed the distinguished title of ‘armed guard’ on one of Canyon’s bear feeding trucks.

In addition to contributing to the dangerous habituation of Yellowstone grizzlies, Ford handled meet and greets for important park visitors. Years later he would call his brief stint as an NPS ranger one of the greatest summers of his life.

Jimmy Carter: Paddler, Fly Fisherman and Environmental Stalwart

 

According to a New York Times article from 1994, former Georgia peanut farmer Jimmy Carter was far and away the most skilled fly fisherman to ever occupy the Oval Office.

“Since taking up the sport in the early 1970’s on Georgia’s Chattahoochee River, Carter has passed the big tests of casting a clean line,” the article reads, “taking heavy trout on fine tippets, and tying flies that can stand close inspection.”

Carter didn’t stop at fly fishing. He also enjoyed paddling the many whitewater tributaries of the North Georgia mountains, famously braving the class IV rapids of the Chattooga while lobbying for the river’s protection as a wild and scenic waterway during his tenure as governor.

During his single term as president Carter kept a steady eye on environmental issues, implementing the Soil and Water Conservation Act, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, the Antarctic Conservation Act, and the Endangered American Wilderness Act.

Herbert Hoover: Master of the Rapidan

Herbert Hoover is probably best known for presiding over the worst financial collapse in the history of the civilized world, but man could he cast a mean dry fly.

It’s said that Hoover, who honed his fly fishing skills on Virginia’s Rapidan River, turned to fishing as a respite from the demanding rigors of life in the public eye.

Hoover himself famously claimed that “there are only two occasions when Americans respect privacy, especially in Presidents. Those are prayer and fishing.”

He was what we call in today’s terms a “fly fishing purist” or “trout snob”, whichever you prefer.

In an interview with the National Park Service, Pete Hoover, the grandson of the 31st President, recalled Hoover saying “that really there’s only one kind of fishing and that’s trout fishing in streams.”

Hoover

Barack Obama: Bear Grylls-trained Survivalist and Environmental Conservationist 

Okay, that’s not a recognized certification of any kind, and our 44th President isn’t really known for his outdoor prowess. But hey, he dined on half-eaten salmon with Bear Grylls in Seward, Alaska. How could I leave him off the list?

He also preserved 260 million acres of land for future generations, more than any of his predecessors, by designating 19 national monuments.

Credit: TRAVIS HALL, GO OUTSIDE

5 U.S. Presidents With Ties to the Outdoors

Elephants and economics: how to ensure we value wildlife properly

Ensuring the economic health of nations is one of the biggest tasks expected of governments. The elephant in the room has long been the health of the environment, on which the health of the economy (and everything else) ultimately depends.

Most countries still rely on gross domestic product as the lead measure of their economic health. But this does not account for the loss of environmental condition. There is a growing recognition of the environmental damage that human activity causes, our dependence on a functioning environment, and the need for new approaches to measure and manage the world.

We hope this new idea can be advanced internationally at the two-week meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which began this week in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.


Read more: Why we need environmental accounts alongside national accounts


Integrating the environment into national accounts has long been suggested as a way to improve information and has been tried in several countries.

In Botswana, where elephants are included in the nation’s environmental accounts, spending on wildlife conservation is now seen as an investment, rather than a cost. This example shows how integrating environmental assets into economic data can help provide a new policy framing for conservation. But worldwide, this type of “expanded accounting” has had limited impact on policy decisions so far.

On target

The Convention on Biological Diversity includes what are known as the Aichi Targets. Target 2 states:

By 2020, at the latest, biodiversity values have been integrated into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies and planning processes and are being incorporated into national accounting, as appropriate, and reporting systems. (emphasis added)

This provides a clear starting point for conservationists and economists to work together. So far, little has been done on the valuation of biodiversity, and the work that has been done so far has not progressed very far on the question of how to integrate environmental and economic values into national accounting.

On one hand, putting monetary values on biodiversity has been decried as the commodification of nature. But we argue that without using appropriately defined monetary values, the environment will always be vulnerable to economic forces. If Aichi Target 2 is to be met by 2020, we clearly need an agreed concept of biodiversity value, and a shared approach to recognising it.


Read more: It pays to invest in biodiversity


Crucially, as well as calculating the environment’s contribution to the economy, we also need to assess the requirements for maintaining and enhancing biodiversity. To return to the example of Botswana’s elephants, this means recognising that elephants need land and water (Botswana’s wildlife consumes 10% of all its water, with elephants accounting for most use). As tourism-related industries generated roughly US$2 billion in 2013 (Botswana’s second-largest sector by revenue, with mining the first), the allocation of water and land to wildlife is clearly a prudent investment decision.

This approach can also reveal the impacts and trade-offs resulting from different land uses on environmental values. In Victoria’s Central Highlands, for example, the cessation of native logging would reduce revenue from timber production, but would also help support a range of rare and endangered species, including Leadbeater’s Possum. It would also benefit a range of other industries like agriculture, as well as the people in cities like Melbourne.


Read more: Logging must stop in Melbourne’s biggest water supply catchment


Keeping the books up to date

Like any accounting system, these estimates of the economic value of the environment would need to be updated, ideally annually, if they are to remain relevant in underpinning governments’ decisions. This would also entail regular data collection on the species and ecosystems themselves.

Unfortunately, however, consistent long-term nationwide monitoring of biodiversity at the species or ecosystem level is rarely done. And while remote-sensing offers some promise for landscape-scale monitoring of major ecosystem types (such as tropical savannahs, temperate forests, wetlands), there is generally no substitute for boots on the ground.

This month’s summit in Egypt offers an opportunity for countries to reaffirm their recognition of the benefits that biodiversity provides to people and the economy. It also provides a chance to go further, to agree that integrated accounting will help us understand and appreciate the trade-offs between the environment and economy.

Recognizing and accounting for the elephant in the room would be a great achievement – not to mention a sound investment in the future.

 

Credit:

The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of Heather Keith to this article.

https://theconversation.com/elephants-and-economics-how-to-ensure-we-value-wildlife-properly-107184

 

How Climate Change will impact the Snowsports Industry

From POW’s coverage in the New York Times, you know that the snowsports community can and should play an important role in addressing climate change; there’s a lot riding on it (pun intended).

To really understand how MUCH is riding on it, we teamed up with our buddies at ESRI to show just how much climate change will impact the snowsports industry. We broke down our 2018 economic report into this nifty story map. It’s interactive, it’s easy to understand and it’s even easier to share. Give it a scroll. You just might learn something new!

Our 2018 economic report shows how warming temperatures have impacted the snowsports industry since 2001, what the economic value of the industry is today (2015-2016) and what changes we can expect in the future under high and low emissions scenarios.

Taking another look at the changing winter sports tourism sector in America, we find:

  • In the winter season of 2015–2016, more than 20 million people participated in downhill skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling, with a total of 52.8 million skiing and snowboarding days, and 11.6 million snowmobiling days.
  • These snowboarders, skiers and snowmobilers added an estimated $20.3 billion in economic value to the U.S. economy, through spending at ski resorts, hotels, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and gas stations.
  • We identify a strong positive relationship between skier visits and snow cover and/or snow water equivalent. During high snow years, our analysis shows increased participation levels in snow sports result in more jobs and added economic value. In low snow years, participation drops, resulting in lost jobs and reduced revenue. The effects of low snow years impact the economy more dramatically than those of high snow years.
  • While skier visits averaged 55.4 million nationally between 2001 and 2016, skier visits during the five highest snow years were 3.8 million higher than the 2001-2016 average and skier visits were 5.5 million lower than average during the five lowest snow years.
  • Low snow years have negative impacts on the economy. We found that the increased skier participation levels in high snow years meant an extra $692.9 million in value added and 11,800 extra jobs compared to the 2001–2016 average. In low snow years, reduced participation decreased value added by over $1 billion and cost 17,400 jobs compared to an average season.
  • Climate change could impact consumer surplus associated with winter recreation, reducing ski visits and per day value perceived by skiers.
  • Ski Resorts are improving their sustainability practices and their own emissions while also finding innovative ways to address low-snowfall and adapt their business models.

The winter sports economy is important for the vitality of U.S. mountain communities. This report shows the urgency for the U.S. to deploy solutions to reduce emissions and presents a roadmap for the winter sports industry to take a leading role in advocating for solutions.

 

February 7, 2019 – Anja Semanco

How Climate Change Will Impact The Snowsports Industry

BTT Conservation Partner SweetWater Brewing Co. Participates in Juvenile Tarpon Tagging Efforts

Before the holidays, BTT Juvenile Tarpon Habitat Program Manager JoEllen Wilson and Director of Development Mark Rehbein were accompanied by SweetWater Brewing Company’s Jake Basnett and BTT member Mark Spurgeon on a juvenile tarpon tagging trip. An arduous day of seine netting in southwest Florida yielded a batch of tarpon 12 inches or less that made for viable Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tagging candidates. After four productive years, this tagging effort marked the completion of BTT’s tarpon nursery habitat restoration project at Coral Creek Preserve.

An abandoned residential development with saltwater access, Coral Creek Preserve houses 6 adjacent canals connected by a main canal withan inlet to the west branch of Coral Creek. The original restoration plan was to fill in the canals and return them to their natural pine flatwood topography. But after realizing that juvenile tarpon inhabited one of the canals, the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) decided to change tact and hand creative license of the restoration design over to BTT. SWFWMD’s decision to entrust an outside source was unprecedented. With habitat in Florida already drastically reduced, informed restoration of degraded habitat provides the best opportunity to increase the amount of juvenile tarpon nursery grounds available.

The six canals will serve as monitoring locations for testing various tarpon nursery habitat designs. Over the next 12-18 months, BTT will be using PIT tags and antenna arrays provided by sponsors like SweetWater Brewing to gather data on growth rates and survival rates, and to track tarpon movement throughout the various treatment groups as juveniles emigrate out of the canals and into Coral Creek. 

With the support of SweetWater’s #fishforafish campaign, BTT has been able to tag a juvenile tarpon for every photo of SweetWater’s stacked Goin’ Coastal series of tarpon cans tagged on social media. And with every juvenile tarpon tagged, BTT will be better able to determine which habitat characteristics are most important to a nursery habitat’s success. The completion of Coral Creek and ongoing monitoring efforts will ultimately help inform future decisions regarding critical habitat restoration design elements.

If you’d like to learn more about this project and others, please join us at our Boca Grande Event on Friday, February 1st. Visit our website at www.btt.org/bocagrandefor more information.

Photo Credit: JoEllen Wilson

PC 1: JoEllen Wilson preparing to surgically implant a PIT tag into a juvenile tarpon

PC 2: A stack of SweetWater Brewery’s Goin’ Coastal cans

Credit: https://www.bonefishtarpontrust.org/blog/2019-01-09-btt-conservation-partner-sweetwater-brewing-co-participates-juvenile-tarpon-tagging

BrandBuilders Podcast + ReelTrail

BrandBuilders Podcast with Ryan & Kirk Leaphart from ReelTrail

 

September 13, 2018  |  BrandBuilders  & Dunstan Group
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or weekend warrior, you’ve probably got a bunch of used gear in your garage that you hate to throw out. Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist, and even Nextdoor are all options… but they all have their drawbacks, too.
Enter father and son consignment shop owners from Charleston who thought there had to be an easier way — so they designed ReelTrail, a buying and selling website and app that also gives back to environmental causes. Ryan and Kirk Leaphart joins us on the Brandbuilders Podcast with The Dunstan Group!

 

 

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 25:37 — 35.2MB)
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http://dunstangroup.blubrry.net/2018/09/13/ryan-and-kirk-leephart-reel-trail/

Learning to Sail the USA Way

 

The syllabus can be readily divided into two parts. The Keelboat Sailing Certification Program is made up of seven stages while Small Boat Sailing Program contains a further two stages.

The Basic Small Boat Sailing Standard requires no previous experience or qualifications. It is the first course in the Small Boat Sailing Program. Students must demonstrate a theoretical knowledge of the names and functions of various parts of a boat together with common sailing terms, the sail and its ancillary components, the International Rules for Collision Prevention both at sea and on inland waters and hey should demonstrate a basic knowledge of safety procedures. On the practical side they must show they can tread water for 5 minutes and swim 100 metres, rig, launch and retrieve the boat, set and trim the sails, sail both upwind and downwind, tack and gybe, correctly apply the rules of the road, recover a man overboard, recover from a capsize, accept and pass a towline, tie four specified Knots within a given time. Upon completion he or she will be able to sail a centerboard or multihull sailboat in light to moderate winds and sea conditions in familiar waters.

The first course in the Keelboat Sailing Certification Program is known as Basic Keelboat. No experience or qualifications are necessary. To complete the course students will be required to demonstrate that they can put a name to and describe the workings of various parts of a boat including the hull, keel, deck bow and stern. The components of both the running and standing rigging. The different sails including the names of part of a sail – foot, leech, luff, head, tack and clew. The various spars, mast and boom. They will be familiar with sailing terminology used to describe various manoeuvres such as gybing and coming about. Students will understand the points of sail be it close hauled, reaching or running. They will understand the basics of collision avoidance including rules of the road. They will demonstrate they are familiar with regulations covering registration and identification, proper waste disposal, who to notify in the event of an accident and what safety equipment is requires by law to be carried on a vessel and how it is used. They will be able to demonstrate a knowledge of buoyage Participants will know how to anchor a boat and describe the choice of anchors and their attributes and failings. On the practical side they must demonstrate sail handling skills, they will display competence at the helm including mooring, sailing both upwind and downwind together with a successful tack and gybe. They will complete a successful man overboard recovery. They will show they know how to tie 6 different knots and understand their various uses. Upon completion of the course students should be able to sail a boat of some 20 feet in length in moderate winds in familiar waters.

The second stage is called Basic Coastal Cruising and students must hold the Basic Keelboat Sailing Certificate prior to undertaking this course. The course looks at safety on board including equipment and procedures. An understanding of fire prevention and fighting is required. Students will be required to demonstrate a knowledge of first aid and the treatment of hypothermia. Basic meteorology is considered and students must demonstrate an understanding of shipping forecasts. An understanding of the relationship between the skipper and crew and the respective duties of each is required. Students must be able to undertake basic chartwork including depths; types of bottom, hazards, bouys, beacons and lights. The practical side of this course looks at boat handling under power and sail, man overboard recovery, the various points of sail, reefing and heaving to, docking and mooring and some knot work. When completed the sailor should be able to cruise safely in regional waters on a sailboat of up to 30 feet in length, in moderate winds and sea conditions.

Trailerable Multihull Standard, this course is the second in the Small Boat Sailing Program. It may be taught as part of or following the Basic Coastal Cruising course. Completion of the Basic Keelboat is a prerequisite prior to taking this course. On the theory side students must be able to identify and name the various parts of a multihull that are not found on a monohull including the different wing decks, hulls, cross arms, three point rig, bridle line, safety nets, seagull and dolphin strikers. They will be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of multihulls including, performance, comfort safety and the danger of capsize. On the practical side the sailor will demonstrate: how to cast of and leave the quay with at least two different wind directions relative to the bow and then return and berth alongside, pick up a mooring buoy, manoeuvre in a restricted space, reverse, recover a man overboard, the different points of sail, tacking and gybing, sail a compass course within 10 degrees. They will anchor in the following ways, bow anchor and bridle and single bow with a stern line to the shore. When completed sailors are able to cruise safely in local and regional waters as both skipper and crew on an auxiliary multihull sailboat of up to 30 feet in length, in moderate wind and sea conditions.

Bareboat Chartering is the next stage. Participants are expected to hold the Basic Coastal Cruising Certificate before doing this course. The theory side covers the preparation of both crew and boat for a one week cruise including the preparation of a passage plan. Meteorology is considered including a look at fog and onshore and offshore winds. Seamanship is looked at and students should know what action is required if the engine fails, they should know how to anchor the boat bow or stern to. On the practical side the student will be able to undertake daily and weekly maintenance tasks, manoeuvre the boat under power in a restricted space, pick up a mooring buoy, use the VHF radio. The following navigational skills are required, plotting a course and establishing the compass heading and calculating an estimated time of arrival. Establishing a fix using visual bearing. Use a chart to pilot the boat into an unfamiliar harbour. Students must obtain and interpret a shipping forecast. When completed the individual can act as skipper of a boat up to 50 feet in length sailing by day in coastal waters.

The next stage is known as Coastal Navigation. This is a theory only course and no prior experience or knowledge is required. Students will be required to demonstrate knowledge of various State and Federal regulations pertaining to sailing. They must understand how the use navigational instruments including both steering and hand bearing compasses, binoculars, depth sounder, log, parallel rule and dividers. Participants must display an understanding of tide tables and their use when dealing with secondary ports. They should be able to convert bearings and compass courses between, compass, magnetic and true, plot a dead reckoning position, understand the effect of current and leeway when estimating a position and plot a position by two or more bearings, a running fix and a bearing and distance. Finally they will need to demonstrate a knowledge of buoyage and lights.

The Cruising Catamaran course deals exclusively with multihull sailing and concentrates on the differences a sailor finds as opposed to monohull sailing. Participants should have completed the Bareboat Chartering stage. On the theory side students must be able to identify and name the various parts of a multihull that are not found on a monohull including the different wing decks, hulls, cross arms, three point rig, bridle line, safety nets, seagull and dolphin strikers. They will be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of multihulls including, performance, comfort safety and the danger of capsize. On the practical side the sailor will demonstrate: how to cast of and leave the quay with at least two different wind directions relative to the bow and then return and berth alongside, pick up a mooring buoy, manoeuvre in a restricted space, reverse, recover a man overboard, the different points of sail, tacking and gybing, sail a compass course within 10 degrees. They will anchor in the following ways, two anchors of the bow or stern, bow anchor and bridle, single bow with a stern line to the shore and bow to fixed mooring. Upon completion the person can skipper a multihull sailboat of up to 50 foot in length by day in coastal waters.

Advanced Coastal Cruising follows and participants should have completed both the Bareboat Chartering and Coastal Navigation stages. Students will be required to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the theory of sailing, an understanding of meteorology including the various cloud formations and the weather that can be expected with each. They will understand the needs of heavy weather sailing, the necessary sail changes and the use of the correct safety equipment and procedures. They will be able to describe: how set a second anchor to reduce swinging, how to recover a fouled anchor, how to use a trip line and an anchor buoy and when and how to set an anchor watch. They will describe how to tow or be towed. They will have a knowledge of distress signals. Students will correctly describe the actions required in the following emergency situations: a dismasting, running aground on a lee shore and engine failure. Students will be able to carry out maintenance and repairs on the engine. On the water students must: sail on all points of the wind and tack and gybe in a wind of at least 15 knots, sail a compass course to within 10 degrees, carry out a man overboard recovery in darkness. They will demonstrate their ability to set, sail with including a gybe, douse and pack a spinnaker. And finally they will stand a navigation watch of 20 miles both at day and night. When completed a person can skipper a sailing vessel of up to 50 feet in length both during day and night in coastal waters regardless of weather and sea conditions.

The next stage is called Celestial Navigation. The course is theory based and requires no experience or prior qualifications. The student must be able to demonstrate the Celestial Navigation required to navigate a sailboat on an offshore passage. The successful student will have demonstrated their ability to: Convert longitude into time and standard time and zone time to GMT. They will be able to calculate: the zone time given longitude, the chronometer error given a previous error and the daily rate, the time of meridian passage of the sun and calculate the boat’s latitude from the observed meridian altitude of the sun, the times of sunrise, sunset and twilight, plot celestial lines of position on a Mercator projection or on a universal plotting sheet and the true bearing of a low altitude celestial body in order to determine the error and deviation of the compass. The student will be able to apply the corrections for index error, dip of the horizon, and total correction to convert sextant altitudes of the sun, stars, planets, and moon to true altitudes, determine the latitude at twilight by means of the Pole Star and the approximate azimuths and altitudes of the navigational stars and planets at twilight. In addition they will be capable of solving the navigational triangle using a navigation table and advance the LOP obtained from a sun sight to another LOP obtained from the sun at a later time and find the boat’s position using a running fix (sun-run-sun).

This celestial theory can be put into practice during the Offshore Passage Making course. Entrants should be certified to the Advanced Coastal Cruising level. The student will plan a passage across either the Pacific or North Atlantic using Great Circle Plotting Charts and Climatic Charts. They must show an understanding of the essential factors to be considered when selecting a vessel for an offshore ocean passage of at least 1000 miles including hull construction and shape, keel, rig, and rudder type, fuel and water capacity. They must provide a list of tools and spares required for such a voyage. They must victual the boat for four people on passage for seven days. They must list the items to be carried in the first aid kit and describe basic treatments for injuries and illnesses that may occur together with identifying a source of mare advanced medical information while on passage. They will prepare a watch keeping system and define the duties of crew members both on and off watch. They will design a maintenance plan to cover: Bilges, electronic equipment, fuel system, hatches, galley equipment, rigging, safety equipment sea cocks, steering and the water system. They will describe the procedures to be undertaken in the following emergency situations: abandon ship, dismasting, fire onboard, lightning strike, man overboard. A comprehensive knowledge of the International Regulation for Preventing Collision at Sea must be demonstrated. When the course is completed is the sailor cans skipper a sailing vessel on offshore passages in any weather.

Tackling Conservation Through A Community for Outdoor Enthusiasts

ReelTrail.com; Helping Tackle Conservation & Building a Safe Haven for Buying and Selling Outdoor Gear 

July, 2018– Created by outdoor enthusiasts for outdoor enthusiasts, ReelTrail.com is a fast-growing community and marketplace for outdoor enthusiasts looking to buy and/or sell outdoor gear. ReelTrail’s 7.5% fee compared to eBay’s 12% and Amazon’s 15% fee, makes them the lowest around, and they go one step further by donating 1% of every sale to conservation.

 

ReelTrail started from a small storefront located in Charleston, South Carolina, where father-and-son, Kirk and Ryan Leaphart, sold outdoor gear through consignment. Faced with endless frustrations from dealing with eBay and Craigslist and the cycle of fees, ReelTrail was birthed as an online community created and operated by outdoor enthusiasts to help solve the dilemma of buying and selling outdoor gear seamlessly.

 Relationships are the gold standard for us. We want to help others create small and/or large businesses through our platform, and give back to our planet at the same time. We know how it is when the big companies are over-charging, adding in hidden fees, and taking advantage of their users.” says Ryan Leaphart.

“Our core principle is transparency, and we wanted to build a safe and simple marketplace for outdoor enthusiasts to buy sell or buy gear without all the nickel-and-diming. ReelTrail does not have hidden fees, and we allow our users to list as many items as they choose to, as long as they fall within our categories!”

Created with the goal to provide a tailored community for outdoor enthusiasts, ReelTrail is very easy to use. Interested users can download the free ReelTrail app in the App Store or Google Play Store, visit them online at www.reeltrail.com. Interested sellers can choose between PayPal, Venmo, or direct deposit to be paid when their gear sells, and have a piece of mind that each item they sell contributes to conservation.

ReelTrail’s  mobile app is FREE to download in the App Store AND Google Play store, download now!

Media Details:

Contact: ReelTrail, LLC
Email: support@reeltrail.com

 

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