September 2021
It’s Fall in North America, but Summer Sailing Awaits You in Patagonia 
About the time North Americans are hunkering down for the long winter months, basting turkeys, and hanging holiday ornaments, the magical spring sailing season has begun in Patagonia. 

Want to be there? Start planning your trip with a Patagonia navigational chart from OceanGrafix. You’ll find yourself off the southern tip of South America, taking your bearings by the Summer Cross, gliding across the deep, clean waters from Puerto Natales to points north or south, along the western spine of Chileand among the thousands of islands of Patagonia.

Learn more about Patagonia navigation, anchoring, and access to marinas here.
Safety at Sea
As of April 1, 2021, federal law requires boaters to use engine cutoff switches. The new law is intended to help reduce the number of runaway boats and propeller strikes, which can occur when the boat operator is separated from the operating area.

According to the United Stated Coast Guard, the new law applies to motorized boats less than 26 feet long, with three or more horsepower, and operating in navigable U.S. waterways.

“Every year Americans are injured and killed in boating accidents that could easily be prevented by the use of a simple engine cut-off switch,” said Verne Gifford, Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division. “This new rule is intended to make the use of these life-saving devices second nature for boaters, just as seat belt laws have for motorists.”
Boat Drones Enter the Eye of the Storm
Did you know that boat drones are now being used to collect meteorological and environmental data during hurricanes? The Alameda, CA start-up company, Saildrone, sends autonomous robotic boats into hurricanes to collect data, which is then sent back to headquarters to be studied. Saildrone, in partnership with NOAA, is looking for information on how and why hurricanes intensify—sometimes very quickly. Hurricane Ida grew from a category 1 to a category 4 within 24 hours. 

Research is focused on how energy and heat are exchanged between the ocean and atmosphere in the midst of a hurricane. Saildrone’s CEO Richard Jenkins told CNN, “The oceans are really driving our global weather and climate. Understanding the rate of change is going to really give us deep insights into our future and how we might need to change things.”

Saildrone’s unmanned vessels are 23 feet long, have four cameras on board, and measure ocean and air temperatures as well as wind speeds. The Silicon Valley company has made over 100 boats to date, for customers including NASA, U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, and various universities. 

Recognizing Our Hydrographic Partners
Since February 2015, OceanGrafix has worked with English company, Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson to provide Imray charts to recreational boaters. Known for their award-winning cartography, Imray makes, publishes, and distributes a range of quality navigational products.

OceanGrafix currently carries Imray charts for the British Isles and Northwest Europe, the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas, and the North Atlantic Ocean.