Dispatches

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 BLUEWATER EXPLORERS:

Global cruisers Steve and Linda Dashew's innovative FP83 named Wind Horse, which the long-time sailors dubbed an "unsailboat," was built to handle rough water. Launched in 2005, the vessel took the couple to the South Pacific, Alaska, the Bahamas, Labrador and Greenland. a new DVD, "off the Beaten Path," is now available for viewing or free download at their Web site, www.SetSail.com. A copy of the DVD also can be ordered on the site for $12.95, plus shipping.

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Angling researcher lands a whopper

British biologist Ian Welch was working with Thailand researchers on a freshwater stingray tagging program when he hooked 770-pound, 7-foot ray.

“It dragged me across the boat and would have pulled me in had my colleague not grabbed my trousers. It was like the whole earth had just moved,” Welch told the Telegraph newspaper.

After a 90-minute struggle, Welch was able to bring the ray, which had buried itself on the bottom, to the surface. The endangered ray, which turned out to be a pregnant female, was netted, tagged and released.

Loran-C to be discontinued

The Coast Guard has announced it will shut down the 24 Loran-C stations it operates Sept. 30, the end of fiscal year 2009. The announcement was made after the federal Office of Management and Budget said President Obama’s fiscal year 2010 budget does not provide funding for the navigation system.

In the section for the Department of Homeland Security, under which the Coast Guard is administered, the budget “supports the termination of outdated systems such as the terrestrial-based, long-range radionavigation (Loran-C) operated by the U.S. Coast Guard resulting in an offset of $36 million in 2010 and $190 million over five years.”

The Coast Guard is preparing plans for the termination, and details will be available after the submission of the president’s full fiscal year 2010 budget. For information, visit www.budget.house.gov.

This article originally appeared in the May 2009 issue.