My Favourite books about the Arctic, by Janusz Kurbiel

Since 1975, Joëlle and Janusz Kurbiel from IMERPOL, have dedicated their lives to the exploration of the North Pole. For the last few years, they have navigated through this region with the help of TZ Navigator, their marine navigation software.

In this post, Janusz shares his favourite books written about the Arctic. So if you planning to navigate in this region, make sure to read as many of these books as you can!

Arctic Ice.

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Books about the Arctic Ocean

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  • Tilman, H.W. – The Eight Sailing – Mountains-Exploration Books, Diadem Ed., 1987.

If you need further information on how to purchase any of these books, just leave a comment below. Safe journey!

Cold Weather Sailing Guide

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A Doctor’s Advice on What to Eat Onboard

The ‘Sailing Doctor’ returns to our blog! This week Dr. Jean-Yves Chauve gives us advice on what type of food to eat while sailing.

Jean yves chauvre

You may have already heard of Dr. Chauve as he is well-known for specializing in providing remote medical assistance to sailors and boat racers. He has been involved in several high-profile cases in which he aided racers via telephone to avoid dangerous health situations.

When at sea, we use a lot of energy. The constant motion of the boat, the wind and maneuvering a sailboat may require nearly 5,000 calories in 24 hours.

To compensate for these losses it is very important to eat enough . This is not always easy especially when you are feeling seasick, or when weather conditions make it impossible to cook.

However, freeze-dried meals such as those eaten by offshore racers will make it easier to eat hot food. Just boil water in a kettle, pour the hot water into the bag and wait a few minutes for the food to re-hydrate.

Food for Short Trips

Sandwiches provide a good amount of energy and are well-balanced.

Food for Longer Trips

When each sailor takes it in turn to navigate, it is best to eat at the end of your shift before going to bed.

Calories used for digestion are also included in the amount of energy needed each day and eating at the end of the day will make food energy available to the muscles when you wake.

food onboard

What to Avoid

Avoid eating simple sugars such candy bars, as much as possible. Contrary to advertising, they rather promote sleep and can actually make you feel drowsy.

Last but not Least…

Finally, remember that you should drink water regularly throughout the day. With the wind and sun, dehydration can creep up on you unexpectedly and affect the physical and mental abilities.

Read more of Dr. Chauve’s sailing advice in these two previous blog posts:

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MaxSea Training Sessions in Barcelona

US NOAA Raster and Vector Chart Updates

Updates from March 20, 2017

We just wanted to let you know we have fresh new NOAA charts for both Raster and Vector format. There is also Block charts update only available for TZ Professional v3. Please consult the list to see which charts are involved.

Check out our Facebook page to find examples of the improvements to the charts and find out about big changes in an area near you that you may not have been aware of:
Vector | Raster

Example Screenshot of West Palm Beach NOAA Vector Chart

Chart references:

  • MWRUSAMAP10.1 NOAA Raster Charts
  • MWVSUSAMAP11.1 NOAA Vector Charts & USACE Inland Charts
  • WARUSBCMAP4.1 USA – Gulf of Mexico Block charts NOAA

 Find these charts now available in our chart catalog.


News from March 6, 2014

These US charts have been updated and are available as of March 3rd, 2014 in our Chart Catalogue:

MX NOAA Chart update


The following NOAA chart versions are now available:

NOAA Raster chart coverage (left) and NOAA Vector chart coverage (right)
NOAA Raster chart coverage (left) and NOAA Vector chart coverage (right)

Updated Information

  • Updated NOAA Vector Charts (S57): This Edition adds 71 new Vector Charts to the library as well as many other chart updates.
  • Updated NOAA Raster Charts: This new edition includes the latest chart updates that can be found on the NOAA paper charts.

Read full information about these chart updates in this PDF file.

Example of improvement to the NOAA vector charts: now buoys are numbered (right)
Example of improvement to the NOAA vector charts: now buoys are numbered (right)

NOAA charts are totally free of charge so you can download them right now, to make sure that you’re using the most up-to-date chart data available for US waters.

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5 Tips for Choosing the Best Nautical Chart

In Search of Fish with Maxsea TimeZero

This week, MaxSea partner Olivier Journaux, A.K.A. Cpt. OJ, gives his advice on how to find the best fishing spots. He does this both by using the right onboard equiment, and by understanding the types of areas that certain fish like to be found. Cpt. OJ is an accomplished athlete who now provides sport fishing lessons in France. 

When fishing with a line, jigging or vertical bait fishing, it has become essential to be extremely precise. In my line of work, I coach recreational sport fishing.

For this, it is important for me to position the boat as close as possible to the fish so that my customers can enjoy close contact with the beautiful fish.

It is also essential to constantly discover new fishing areas, which allow me to manage the amount of fishing in each spot. In this way, I take one or two fish per area out of the water and practice the “catch and release” technique that I described in this earlier MaxSea blog post here.

Then I move on to another area before returning again several days later.

cpt oj

Finding predator fish

To catch a predator fish, first we must find the place it is most likely to be. This is obviously the biggest job, the hardest and longest one to master.

Where are the fish

95% of the time, bars, shade-fish and saithe can generally be found near the water surface. They position themselves above their prey and upstream of the current. The pout, their main food source, usually hides in hollows. As a result, it is very common to catch bars and lean on rock surfaces as this is where the pouts can be found.

Onboard equipment

To be able to localise the fish, it is essential to have a sounder and GPS system with nautical charts. Unfortunately electronic charts are never 100% accurate. Maxsea TimeZero PLOT or MaxSea TimeZero SportFishing are perfectly suited to fishing as it allows the user to record the sea floor and generate their own, extremely accurate chart of their favourite fishing grounds.

Useful features within MaxSea TimeZero

A computer with MaxSea TimeZero connected to the GPS and sounder can store unlimited depth points, and adjusts for the current water level depending on the time and date (integrated tide information).

This means that by simply navigating in your fishing spot, you are simultaneously saving thousands of contour lines and the precision of your seabed data becomes increasingly sharp.

Thus, in places where all charts tell you that the bottom is flat, you discover hidden contours, sometimes more than 10m high over distances of 500m long. All you need to do is to explore the area with your sounder.

MaxSea offers the ability to create whatever you want, ideal routes, specific marks that can represent fish, rocky peaks , buoys, wrecks etc.

Then you can also add comments to each mark. In TimeZero software, you can consult classic hydrographic office charts, and add your own bathy data, and even record a bottom classification to view the type of sediment in each area

two fish

Types of spots favoured by fish 

Depending on the direction of the current, we can have a good idea of where fish are most likely to be found.

They are usually

  • upstream of the current and
  • above the rocks (the highest point)
  • just below the first step of a rocky “staircase” if there is one in the area. They like these spots because it means that they are high up yet sheltered from the current. It is often a favourite spot for saithe when the current exceeds 1.5 knots.

By following these steps, I personally found wonderful fishing areas in the rocky waters of Antioch and Breton in France where I came across beautiful fish that had never previously been disturbed by humans.

Read more about Cpt. OJ on his website (in French) by clicking here.

You can email him at olivierjournaux@neuf.fr or call him on +33 (0) 6 50 58 56 59.

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MaxSea TimeZero SportFishing

A Doctor’s Advice on Sleep Onboard

Last November, the well-known French doctor Jean-Yves Chauve gave us advice on how to combat seasickness onboard. This week, he is back with more useful advice about the importance of adequate sleep, especially for racers.

Jean yves chauvre

Dr. Chauve is a doctor who specialises in providing remote medical assistance to sailors and boat racers. He was involved in several high-profile cases in which he aided racers via telephone to avoid dangerous health situations.

A doctor’s advice about sleeping onboard

Offshore racers know this from experience: Sleep is a necessity to maintain vigilance. It is imperative for assuring good security and your own physical performance. Tests have proven that after 16 hours without sleep, your level of drowsiness is equivalent to a BAC of 0.5 g. This means that your level of concentration is substantially impaired.

It is therefore very important to have regular periods of sleep when navigating. To sleep effectively, you must be aware that throughout the day, there are times when one is predisposed to sleep. Yawning is a sign that the body sends to indicate that it is ready to sleep. This is the moment when you should try to sleep or take a nap.

eat sleep boat

How Long should I Sleep?

Sleep duration depends on the constraints of navigation. The ideal length would be to sleep for one a complete sleep cycle, which is from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Otherwise, it can be useful to take short naps for 20 to 30 minutes. Napping regularly can be very effective for a few days. If napping is not possible, then there is the final option of “flash” naps, consisiting of just a few seconds of sleep.

When “real” sleep is impossible, this brief disconnection can allow the brain to de-stress, which is very important when engaging in such a physically demanding activity as navigating.

No matter what, make it a priority to get at least some sleep while onboard. Otherwise your judgement and physical ability will be significantly impaired.

The Ultimate Guide to Boat Rentals

La Solitaire du Figaro 2011 : Jérémie Beyou wins in Dieppe and is crowned king of the Solitaire du Figaro 2011

Today, Wednesday at 12:49:01 Jérémie Beyou crossed the line first to win the fourth and final leg from Les Sables d’Olonne to Dieppe. By finishing in Dieppe ahead of the rest of the fleet, and scoring his third consecutive victory, BPI’s skipper Jérémie Beyou was crowned overall winner of the 2011 Solitaire du Figaro, an edition he dominated from the outset. This win means he joins the exclusive club of double winners of the event.

The BPI skipper covered the 437 miles in 72 hours, 37 minutes and 1 second. It was one of the closest finishes ever for the race, with four boats flying past the line in a little more than 30 seconds. Second place went to Paul Meilhat (Macif 2011) just 12 seconds later, third to Fabien Delahaye (Port de Caen Ouistreham) 28 seconds after the winner and fourth to Erwan Tabarly (Nacarat) at within 35 seconds. Continue reading

La Solitaire du Figaro 2011 : Jérémie Beyou winner and overall leader in Dún Laoghaire

The 2005 Solitaire du Figaro champion crossed the finish line Dún Laoghaire not only to win the second leg but take the overall lead in the four-stage sailing race. Nicolas Lunven, the 2009 champion was second with Adrien Hardy, who won the stage to Ireland in 2010, third. Morgan Lagravière, was top rookie in 6th. The first of the four British sailors, Phil Sharp, was 23rd, just over an hour behind the leader.

The pewter grey skies cleared briefly to let some bright sun through to spotlight the first Figaro on the horizon and reveal the breakaway leader of the 46 solo sailors competing on the second of four legs that make up La Solitaire du Figaro race. The second leg, 440 miles from Caen to Dún Laoghaire close to Dublin on the East coast of Ireland, set off last Sunday and took just over 65 hours for the winner to complete. Jérémie Beyou (BPI), blew his spinnaker in the shifty breeze just a couple of miles from the finish, but had been surfing downwind at a blistering average of 14 knots, whilst keeping a close eye on his pursuers as he helmed his boat to victory at 10:15 in the morning. The successful and experienced French solo sailor, averaged 6.7 knots over the 65 hours and 25 minutes and 16 seconds. He was both jubilant and exhausted upon arrival. Continue reading