For decades America's Great Loop, the renowned circular tour of the eastern
half of the United States, has attracted cruisers across the country and
around the world.
Now in its second year of operation, the America's Great Loop Cruisers'
Association (AGLCA) is revving up for another season. The organization,
which includes members from 42 states, supplies crucial information on
navigating the 6,300-mile adventure also known as the Great Circle Route.
AGLCA's bimonthly newsletter, "The Great Loop Link," contains pertinent
updates on everything from anchorages and ports of call to maintenance
and cruising tips. If you complete the entire Loop, the group awards you
its BaccaLOOPerate degree, of which 53 have been granted to date.
Annual dues are $18. For more information, log on to www.greatloop.com,
or call (865) 856-7888.
The waters near the fertile islands whose exotic species inspired Charles
Darwin to pen his theory of evolution were blanketed with more than 160,000
gallons of oil in January.
Days after the stricken Ecuadorean tanker Jessica spilled her cargo of
diesel fuel near San Cristobal Island, the easternmost of the Galapagos
Islands, hundreds of volunteer groups from around the world arrived to
help contain the disaster. Reports of oil-covered birds, iguanas, sea
lions, and turtles sent shockwaves through environmental and conservation
Fortunately winds shifted during the days that followed the accident,
and the Galapagos were spared what could have been an ecological disaster,
according to NOAA. In fact, scientists believe the islands should make
a full recovery, though the accident's long-term impact has yet to be
"The real tragedy here lies with the slow reaction to create and enforce
real protections for the islands," charges Abdon Guerrero, director of
an Ecuadorean agency that aims to balance development and conservation
in the Galapagos. "There was no emergency plan."
Though at presstime Ecuadorean police had not filed charges against the
ship's captain or his company, Acotramar, the chief of marine monitoring,
Capt. Ramiro Morej-n, said the spill could have been avoided.
"A signal buoy was mistaken for a lighthouse," he explains. "The accident
was definitely caused by human error."
In January Yamaha Motor and Ford Motor were reportedly close
to a deal to build boat engines. The joint venture, slated to launch this
spring, would handle both manufacture and sales and could include stern
drive systems as well. ...Bombardier and Genmar will purchase
the assets of Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC). Bombardier will
get OMC's engine business, mainly the Johnson and Evinrude outboard lines,
while Genmar, which owns Carver, Hatteras, and other boat companies, will
get OMC's boatbuilding facilities and assets, among them Chris-Craft and
Four Winns. ‰Raytheon Marine Company, which recently won a DAME
design award for its Pathfinder radar, has been purchased by a management
buyout team for $108 million. The new company is being called Raymarine,
and no substantive changes are expected for the immediate future.
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