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Pantaenius 2022 - SAIL & POWER 1 LEADERBOARD ROW

Off the beaten path

by Noonsite 2 Jul 22:30 UTC
Marshall Islands © Noonsite

The Marshall Islands in the North Pacific is made up of 29 atolls, 5 islands and 1,225 islets which form two major islands chains: The eastern Ratak ('towards dawn') and the western Ralik ('towards sunset') island chain.

Ranked the fourth-least visited country in the world, the Marshall Islands is perhaps the last frontier of yachting, with pristine vibrant ecosystems. Cruising these remote atolls that played a major part in some of the most historical events of the 20th century, requires time, effort and cruising permits, however, it's well worth it, as the crew of SY Alice detail in this report.

Stuck in ice in Greenland for 130 days with his pet chicken, is about as far off the beaten path as you can get with a sailboat. French sailor Guirec Soudée has made headlines with his numerous seafaring adventures, not to mention his unique on board pet - the little red hen Monique. Just sailing from the north to the south pole was not enough for Guirec, who has since rowed across the Atlantic twice and is now working towards an entry into the next Vendee Globe. We review Guirec's new book at the end of the newsletter and you can find out more about this fascinating French sailor and his adventures at

Watch this free SSCA webinar to get the latest information about NOAA Chart transition from raster to vector format. The webinar also covers satellite charts, especially outside the United States. Longtime SSCA cruisers discuss the use of OpenCPN chart software to create custom Satellite Charts, and satellite chart archives available free of charge to sailors cruising to remote locations around the world.

John and Sue Hacking of SV Ocelot have been publishing charts for years. They have been cruising their Wauquiez Kronos 45 catamaran for over 20 years and their mbTiles charts now cover over 30 countries, including all of the Eastern Caribbean, Galapagos, Micronesia, Solomon Islands, PNG, most of tropical SE Asia, and much of the tropical Indian Ocean. They offer satellite imagery from ArcGIS, Bing (MSFT) and Google Earth, as well as nautical charts from CMap (new, not CM93) and Navionics.

The satellite imagery is incredibly accurate, with max positional errors on the order of 3m (10') and most of them can see underwater reefs to about 10m (33'). The resolution (Z18) is high enough to see individual coral heads, and they are exactly where plotted. The nautical charts aren't as accurate, but they have depths, which are certainly useful. SV Ocelot also show you how to use "Chart Groups" in OpenCPN to switch between charts with only a single keystroke. Cruisers are welcome to download their mbTiles and those with high-quality mbTiles themselves are encouraged to contribute them to Ocelot's repository, so others can download them.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of

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