Drilling in National Parks?

Oil and gas development already is harming dozens of national park sites around the country. It could get much worse.

Just how many national park sites are affected by domestic oil and gas development? 12 have active oil and gas operations on privately owned lands inside their borders, and 30 more parks could follow. At least 68 coastal national parks could be harmed by an offshore drilling plan President Donald Trump’s administration submitted in the beginning of the year. Since the start of 2017, the Trump administration has proposed oil and gas leasing close to more than 18 national parks in the West. At least 14 proposed major pipelines are in the works across the country, and some of them could end up going through national park sites.

Oil and gas development in and around park lands can harm fragile ecosystems, fragment wildlife habitat, pollute air and water, interfere with viewsheds, degrade visitors’ experiences, and ultimately hurt the economies of local communities that rely on park tourism. Pipeline construction requires developers to permanently clear land, and pipes running through parks could explode or rupture, devastating the landscape and jeopardizing human health and safety.

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Author: Mike Wirth

Source: https://www.npca.org/articles/1916-drilling-in-national-parks

25 Reasons Why Hunting Is Conservation

Reason No. 1 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1907, only 41,000 elk remained in North America. Thanks to the money and hard work invested by hunters to restore and conserve habitat, today there are more than 1 million.

Reason No. 2 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1900, only 500,000 whitetails remained. Thanks to conservation work spearheaded by hunters, today there are more than 32 million.

Reason No. 3 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1900, only 100,000 wild turkeys remained. Thanks to hunters, today there are over 7 million.

Reason No. 4 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1901, few ducks remained. Thanks to hunters’ efforts to restore and conserve wetlands, today there are more than 44 million.

Reason No. 5 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1950, only 12,000 pronghorn remained. Thanks to hunters, today there are more than 1.1 million.

Reason No. 6 why Hunting Is Conservation: Habitat, research and wildlife law enforcement work, all paid for by hunters, help countless non-hunted species.

Reason No. 7 why Hunting Is Conservation: Through state licenses and fees, hunters pay $796 million a year for conservation programs.*

Reason No. 8 why Hunting Is Conservation: Through donations to groups like RMEF, hunters add $440 million a year to conservation efforts.*

Reason No. 9 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1937, hunters actually requested an 11% tax on guns, ammo, bows and arrows to help fund conservation. That tax, so far, raised more than $11 billion for wildlife conservation.*

Reason No. 10 why Hunting Is Conservation: An 11% tax on guns, ammo, bows and arrows generates $371 million a year for conservation.*

Reason No. 11 why Hunting Is Conservation: All together, hunters pay more than $1.6 billion a year for conservation programs. No one gives more!*

Reason No. 12 why Hunting Is Conservation: Three out of four Americans approve of hunting, partly because hunters are America’s greatest positive force for conservation.

Reason No. 13 why Hunting Is Conservation: Every single day U.S. sportsmen contribute $8 million to conservation.

Reason No. 14 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunting funds conservation AND the economy, generating $38 billion a year in retail spending.*

Reason No. 15 why Hunting Is Conservation: Female participation in hunting (3.35 million) is on the rise thanks to a 10% increase from 2008 to 2012.

Reason No. 16 why Hunting Is Conservation: More than 95 percent of our 222,000 members are passionate hunters. More people hunt (19.3 million) each year than play soccer (13.7 million), tennis (13.6 million) or baseball (12.1 million).

Reason No. 17 why Hunting Is Conservation: A wildlife management tool, hunting helps balance wildlife populations with what the land can support, limits crop damage and curtails disease outbreaks.

Reason No. 18 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunters help manage growing numbers of predators such as cougars, bears, coyotes and wolves. Our government spends millions to control predators and varmints while hunters have proven more than willing to pay for that opportunity.

Reason No. 19 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunting has major value for highway safety. For every deer hit by a motorist, hunters take six.

Reason No. 20 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunting supports 680,000 jobs, from game wardens to waitresses, biologists to motel clerks.

Reason No. 21 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunters provide for conservation—and for their families. Hunting is a healthy way to connect with nature and eat the world’s most organic, lean, free-range meat.

Reason No. 22 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunters are the fuel behind RMEF and its 7 million plus acres of habitat conservation. More than 95 percent of our members are passionate hunters.

Reason No. 23 why Hunting Is Conservation: Avid hunter Theodore Roosevelt created our national forests and grasslands and forever protected 230 million acres for wildlife and the public to use and enjoy.

Reason No. 24 why Hunting Is Conservation: With funding from hunters, RMEF helped restore wild elk herds in seven states and provinces.

Reason No. 25 why Hunting Is Conservation: As society loses its ties to wildlife and conservation, the bonds with nature formed by hunting are the greatest hope for creating the next generation of true conservationists.

*financial info via America’s Sporting Heritage: Fueling the American Economy (January 2013) & Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation (January 2013)

*article via http://www.rmef.org/conservation/huntingisconservation/25reasonswhyhuntingisconservation.aspx
*pictures via http://sportingclassicsdaily.com/hunting-is-conservation/

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

Modern Fish Act will change how recreational fishing is managed

Update:

Washington, D.C. – January 2, 2019 – The recreational fishing and boating community is celebrating the enactment of the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018 (Modern Fish Act), which was signed into law by President Trump December 31. The Modern Fish Act finally recognizes in federal law the differences between recreational and commercial fishing and adds more appropriate management tools for policymakers to use in managing federal recreational fisheries.
“Millions of American families take part in saltwater recreational fishing and boating activities and support multi-billion dollar industries that generate hundreds of thousands of jobs in our country,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “Today, we are thankful for this important milestone for federal fisheries management and marine conservation, and we look forward to continuing to improve public access to our nation’s healthy fisheries.”
The Modern Fish Act, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Garret Graves (R-La.), enjoyed strong bipartisan support from a long list of cosponsors representing coastal and non-coastal states alike. On December 17, the Senate unanimously passed the Modern Fish Act (S. 1520) followed by overwhelming approval in the House (350-11) on December 19.
“This is historic for the recreational boating and fishing community, capping years of hard work to responsibly modernize recreational saltwater fisheries management,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the
National Marine Manufacturers Association. “The Modern Fish Act is a critical first-step solution towards establishing a framework for expanding access to recreational saltwater fishing, while ensuring conservation and sustainability remain top priorities in fisheries management. We thank President Trump and Congress for making the Modern Fish Act the law of the land and look forward to working with them in the coming years to advance polices that protect and promote recreational saltwater fishing.”
“The recreational fishing industry is grateful to see this legislation enacted,” said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association. “We look forward to continuing to work with Congress, as well as NOAA Fisheries and the regional fishery management councils, to improve the management and conservation of our marine fisheries.”
“The Modern Fish Act signed by the President provides an opportunity for significant, positive change on behalf of millions of recreational anglers who enjoy fishing in federal waters,” said Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “We look forward to working with NOAA Fisheries, the regional fishery management councils and the states to fully implement the provisions of the bill and improve federal fisheries management for America’s saltwater anglers.”
“CCA is proud to be a part of this important coalition, and we are grateful to our champions in Congress who stood by us during the intense, sometimes contentious negotiations on this legislation,” said Patrick Murray, president of Coastal Conservation Association. “There is still work to be done, but this is a valuable first step. We are hopeful this opens the door to an ongoing discussion of tools and processes that can be developed to better manage recreational fisheries in federal waters in all regions of the United States.”
“This bill becoming law is the most significant step forward in federal recreational saltwater fishing management in the forty-plus years of the Magnuson-Stevens Act,” said Whit Fosburgh, president of Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Recreational fishermen, conservationists and businesses united around a set of principles and worked together to get this bill passed and we will continue to work together on priorities like forage fish management and improving data collection in the future.”
The recreational fishing and boating community would like to thank the sponsors of the Modern Fish Act, Senator Wicker and Congressman Graves, who led this bipartisan effort in the 115th Congress to improve federal fisheries management for America’s 11 million saltwater anglers. We also appreciate the support of Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.), and Congressmen Steve Scalise (R-La.), Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Marc Veasey (D-Texas), Rob Wittman (R-Va.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), and Austin Scott (R-Ga.).
For details on House and Senate passage of the Modern Fish Act and additional industry perspectives, please visit http://www.sportfishingpolicy.com/media-room/u-s-house-passes-modern-fish-act/.
The Modern Fish Act will provide more stability and better access for anglers by:
  • Providing authority and direction to NOAA Fisheries to apply additional management tools more appropriate for recreational fishing, many of which are successfully implemented by state fisheries agencies (e.g., extraction rates, fishing mortality targets, harvest control rules, or traditional or cultural practices of native communities);
  • Improving recreational harvest data collection by requiring federal managers to explore other data sources that have tremendous potential to improve the accuracy and timeliness of harvest estimates, such as state-driven programs and electronic reporting (e.g., through smartphone apps);
  • Requiring the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study on the process of mixed-use fishery allocation review by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Councils and report findings to Congress within one year of enactment of the Modern Fish Act, and
  • Requiring the National Academies of Sciences to complete a study and provide recommendations within two years of the enactment of the Modern Fish Act on limited access privilege programs (catch shares) including an assessment of the social, economic, and ecological effects of the program, considering each sector of a mixed-use fishery and related businesses, coastal communities, and the environment and an assessment of any impacts to stakeholders in a mixed-use fishery caused by a limited access privilege program. This study excludes the Pacific and North Pacific Regional Fishery Management Councils.

Saltwater recreational fishing is enjoyed by over 11 million Americans. As an industry, we contribute over $70 billion to the economy each year and support 455,000 American jobs all over the country. In spite of these impressive numbers, when it comes to federal management, our sport is frequently overlooked.

The current federal laws have never properly addressed the importance of recreational fishing. This has led to shortened or even cancelled seasons, reduced bag limits, and unnecessary restrictions – none of which is good news for the recreational fishing industry.

Fortunately, a solution is on the horizon. On April 6, 2017, the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act, or the “Modern Fish Act” for short, was introduced in both the House of Representatives and Senate. This new bill will give federal managers the tools and data they need to both improve access and promote conservation of our natural marine resources.

Bottom line: the Modern Fish Act means more and better fishing for your customers – and that’s good news for everybody.

  • https://asafishing.org/advocacy_and_policy/advocacy/modern-fish-act/

 

Amidst all the turmoil in Washington, D.C., the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 (Modern Fish Act) has made it through Congress and now awaits President Trump’s signature.

“We feel very good to have gotten this thing across the finish line (Wednesday) night,” Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy, said in a telephone interview Thursday. Angers noted that the Senate passed the bill (S.1520) by unanimous consent (100-0) Monday and shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday it passed the House of Representatives.

“We wanted to have an update that made sure that the federal law recognized commercial fishing and recreational fishing are inherently different activities that need to be managed differently. We actually wrote that sentence into the law that was passed last night,” Angers said.

“This bill, the Modern Fish Act, is not a panacea. It’s not going to solve every problem in every fishery in every corner of the country. But the simple fact of the federal government recognizing the differences between the two activities is a huge win for recreational fishing and something we’ve been wanting for the last 40 years.”

Angers said the way U.S. fisheries has been managed dating back to 1976 and the establishment of the Magnuson Act was focused on commercial fishing and never addressed recreational fishing.

“I would always tell this story whenever I would walk into any congressman’s office in Washington. If the only tool available to manage fisheries in federal waters is the commercial fishing model of tonnage-based management, what percentage of a metric ton do my three kids get? How does that work? The problem is the federal government never looked back to see what tools are appropriate to manage recreational fishing.”

The attempt to bring recreational fisheries to the forefront began in 2014 by the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management in a report titled “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries.” The Commission was know as the Morris-Deal Commission, named for co-chairs Johnny Morris (founder of Bass Pro Shops) and Scott Deal (president of Maverick Boat Group), and many of the recommendations are found in the Modern Fish Act.

It was supported by many fishing and boating entities, particularly the boat manufacturers found in South Carolina, Angers pointed out.

The coalition of groups supporting the Modern Fish Act includes American Sportfishing Association, Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Recreational Fishing Alliance, The Billfish Foundation and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

A news release on the passage noted that there are 11 million saltwater anglers in the U.S. who have an annual economic impact of $63 billion and generate 440,000 jobs. The news release also noted that ”$1.3 billion is contributed annually by anglers and boaters through excise taxes and licensing fees, most of which goes toward conservation, boating safety and infrastructure and habitat restoration.

The Modern Fish Act will provide more stability and better access for anglers by:

• Providing authority and direction to NOAA Fisheries to apply additional management tools more appropriate for recreational fishing, many of which are successfully implemented by state fisheries agencies (e.g., extraction rates, fishing mortality targets, harvest control rules, or traditional or cultural practices of native communities);

• Improving recreational harvest data collection by requiring federal managers to explore other data sources that have tremendous potential to improve the accuracy and timeliness of harvest estimates, such as state-driven programs and electronic reporting (e.g., through smartphone apps);

• Requiring the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study on the process of mixed-use fishery allocation review by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Councils and report findings to Congress within one year of enactment of the Modern Fish Act, and

• Requiring the National Academies of Sciences to complete a study and provide recommendations within two years of the enactment of the Modern Fish Act on limited access privilege programs (catch shares) including an assessment of the social, economic, and ecological effects of the program, considering each sector of a mixed-use fishery and related businesses, coastal communities, and the environment and an assessment of any impacts to stakeholders in a mixed-use fishery caused by a limited access privilege program. This study excludes the Pacific and North Pacific Regional Fishery Management Councils.

Angers feels the passage of this law will help bridge the distrust between anglers and federal managers.

“Generally speaking, anglers will say yes, let’s do the right thing for conservation. When the federal government makes an announcement, because there’s a lack of trust between anglers and federal managers, people are angry. When you hear bad news from your state guy, you’re a lot more accepting because you trust the state managers,” Angers said.

“Making federal management more like state management is a win-win for everybody.”

Angers said the bill doesn’t change the authority that (the South Atlantic and Gulf Fishery Management Councils) have over fisheries. But it helps facilitate the use of better management methods and incorporates better data, “things states already use but feds were not allowed to use.”

Per Tideline Magazine, https://www.postandcourier.com/tideline_magazine/modern-fish-act-will-change-how-recreational-fishing-is-managed/article_34db603e-0539-11e9-bd2c-bb51368ff5e1.html?fbclid=IwAR11V0DPVAVh2nB1Vh-2KC6VufXrUaXEnTYaMj9338ObAqrANCt8HtCvqSE

 

Bonefish Connectivity by Dr. Aaron Adams, BTT Director of Science and Conservation

There are two ways that fish populations in different locations can be connected – by migrations of adults and by the transport of fish larvae by ocean currents. Learning how, and to what extent, bonefish, tarpon, and permit populations are connected is important for conservation because this information allows us to design the most effective management plans.

On the local scale – say an island in the Bahamas, or the Florida Keys – bonefish in different locations are connected by spawning migrations. Tagging and tracking of bonefish in the Bahamas, Belize, and Florida Keys shows that for most of the year adult bonefish stick to a small area. In other words, if you fish a flat often, you are probably fishing to the same local population of bonefish. But during spawning season, these bonefish undergo long-distance migrations to spawning sites – we’ve tracked bonefish migrating 70 miles from their home flat to a spawning site, and then returning to their home flat. This means that during the spawning season, bonefish from a wide region can mix.

This leads us to the regional scale – say between Mexico, Belize, Cuba, Florida. Gathered in large groups, bonefish swim offshore at night to spawn. They spawn in the top 200 feet or so of water that is thousands of feet deep. They use a method called broadcast spawning – they eject eggs and sperm into the open water, where fertilization occurs. The fertilized eggs hatch in about 24 hours, and the tiny larvae live as plankton in the open ocean for between 41 and 71 days. During this oceanic phase, ocean currents can act to retain the larvae near their parents’ location, or the currents can transport the larvae long distances. So a larvae that is spawned in south Andros, the Bahamas, might end up becoming a juvenile in Andros, or it might end up on another island in the Bahamas or on the north coast of Cuba. The end result is that bonefish in separate locations are essentially part of the same regional population.

What does this mean for conservation? On the local scale, habitat conservation and protection must focus on adult home flats, spawning migration pathways, spawning sites, and juvenile habitats. On the regional scale, we have to make sure that bonefish populations are healthy in all locations, even if we only have one favorite fishing location. And that the local conservation measures, like habitat protection, are adequate in all locations to ensure that the local populations are healthy. In other words, every location where bonefish live is important to having a healthy regional population, and your local fishery depends on a healthy regional population as well as local conservation measures.

Article via Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

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)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | More
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!

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

 

A Hiking Guide to Easter Island

 

Ask me which Pacific island has the most to offer hikers and I’ll probably answer Easter Island. Here on an island 11 km wide and 23 km long you’ll find nearly a thousand ancient Polynesian statues strewn along a powerfully beautiful coastline or littering the slopes of an extinct volcano.

The legends of Easter Island have been recounted many times. What’s less known is that the island’s assorted wonders are easily accessible on foot from the comfort of the only settlement, Hanga Roa. Before setting out see the sights, however, visit the excellent archaeological museum next to Ahu Tahai on the north side of town (the term “ahu” refers to an ancient stone platform). Aside from the exhibits, the museum has maps which can help you plan your trip.

The first morning after arrival, I suggest you climb Easter Island’s most spectacular volcano, Rano Kau, where Orongo, a major archaeological site, sits on the crater’s rim. But rather than marching straight up the main road to the crater, look for the unmarked shortcut trail off a driveway to the right just past the forestry station south of town. It takes under two hours to cover the six km from Hanga Roa to Orongo, but bring along a picnic lunch and make a day of it. (If climbing a 316-meter hill sounds daunting, you can take a taxi to the summit for around US$6 and easily walk back later in the day.) Once on top, you’ll find hiking down into the colourful crater presents no difficulty. It may also look easy to go right around the crater rim, but only do so if you’re a very experienced hiker and have a companion along as shear 250-meter cliffs drop into the sea from the ridge.

Another day, rise early and take a taxi to lovely Anakena Beach at the end of the paved road on the north side of the island (you should pay under US$10 for the 20 km). A few of the famous Easter Island statues have been restored at Anakena and you could go for a swim, although the main reason you’ve come is the chance to trek back to Hanga Roa around the road-free northwest corner of the island. You’ll pass numerous abandoned statues lying facedown where they fell, and the only living creatures you’re unlikely to encounter are the small brown hawks which will watch you intently from perches on nearby rocks. If you keep moving, you’ll arrive back in town in five or six hours (but take adequate food, water, and sunscreen). This is probably the finest coastal walk in the South Pacific.

Almost as good is the hike along the south coast, although you’re bound to run into other tourists here as a paved highway follows the shore. Begin early and catch a taxi to Rano Raraku, the stone quarry where all of the island’s statues were born. This is easily the island’s most spectacular sight with 397 statues in various stages of completion lying scattered around the crater. And each day large tour groups come to Rano Raraku to sightsee and have lunch. However, if you arrive before 9 am, you’ll have the site to yourself for a few hours. When you see the first tour buses headed your way, hike down to Ahu Tongariki on the coast, where 15 massive statues were reerected in 1994. From here, just start walking back toward Hanga Roa (20 km) along the south coast. You’ll pass many fallen statues and enjoy some superb scenery. Whenever you get tired, simply go up onto the highway and stick out your thumb and you’ll be back in town in a jiffy.

An outstanding 13-km walk begins at the museum and follows the west coast five km north to Ahu Tepeu. As elsewhere, keep your eyes pealed for banana trees growing out of the barren rocks as these often indicate caves you can explore. Inland from Ahu Tepeu is one of the island’s most photographed sites, Ahu Akivi, with seven statues restored in 1960. From here an interior farm road runs straight back to town (study the maps at the museum carefully, as you’ll go far out of your way if you choose the wrong road here).

A shorter hike takes you up Puna Pau, a smaller crater which provided stone for the red topknots that originally crowned the island’s statues. There’s a great view of Hanga Roa from the three crosses on an adjacent hill and you can easily do it all in half a day. A different walk takes you right around the 3,353-meter airport runway, which crosses the island just south of town. Near the east end of the runway is Ahu Vinapu with perfectly fitted monolithic stonework bearing an uncanny resemblance to similar constructions in Peru.

Easter Island’s moderate climate and scant vegetation make for easy cross country hiking, and you won’t find yourself blocked by fences and private property signs very often. You could also tour the island by mountain bike, available from several locations at US$10 a day. If you surf or scuba dive, there are many opportunities here. A minimum of five days are needed to see the main sights of Easter Island, and two weeks would be far better. The variety of things to see and do will surprise you, and you’ll be blessed with some unforgettable memories.

Kayak Fishing Tips

It takes a long time to become an expert in kayak fishing. The period of apprenticeship, which must be served in order to transform the novice into a veteran kayak angler can be discouraging and often runs into years.

About the nearest thing to a short cut is to have an old-timer take the first-timer under his wing and let the novice accompany him on kayak fishing trips

Basically, kayak fishing is gradually making a name in the industry. Its popularity is steadily creating sustainable gratifications aside from the fact that kayaks have long been used in fishing.

History has it that even in the early times; kayak fishing has long been the primary source of fish supply ranging from the ìflatfish halibutî to other kinds of big fish. These activities, which happened from the mid 18th Century until the late part of it, were all noted by the Russian Orthodox priests. These turn of events are now known as ìThe Native History.

From then on, kayak fishing continued to dominate the fishing industry, where once, people were doubtful if it could really aid the anglers to catch some fish. The steady feature brought about by its ìsit-onî type has long been the primary characteristics of kayaks that made it an ideal fishing boat.

However, with kayak fishing, the angler has to learn how to steady the kayak as he tries to paddle through the waters, in which it is considered as part of the whole process.

Therefore, for people who wish to know some tips about kayak fishing, hereís a list that may help them enjoy this tricky activity.

1. Safety first

Like any activity, it is necessary that before an individual plunges into action, he or she must first observe some safety measures and background checks to ensure security and protection against any imminent danger.

The angler must check the weather condition, the tide, and other elements concerning kayaking.

2. Hatches should be closed at all times

The angler should always keep in mind that it is best to keep the hatches closed while fishing. Water can never seep through the kayak if the hatches are kept closed.

3. Steady fishing

When the angler is already in the midst of the waters, it is better to have an anchor to keep the kayak steady while on the verge of catching fish.

Best of all, before an individual goes out to the waters, it would be better if he let somebody know his whereabouts. In this way, somebody will be able to keep track of your activity.

As they say, safety should always come first.

Browse ReelTrail for all your outdoor needs, from night vision goggles, to kayaks, snowboards and skis, to backpacking and climbing equipment.

Have a closet full of gear you don’t use? Sell it on ReelTrail for the lowest fees around. Only pay when your item sells, and print discounted shipping labels directly on our website and app! Download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.