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the engine out of action due to a faulty starter motor.

There were also a few disappointments, such as not being able to visit Norfolk Island due to the weather or not catching a single lobster throughout the trip, although I saw several while snorkeling in places where spearfishing is now prohibited. Indeed, this is one of an increasing number of restrictions to which cruising boats are now subjected. In many countries, there's a greater awareness of the fragility of the environment and the damage that can be done to it, so more countries now forbid not just spearfishing but also the collecting of shells or coral. Some countries are now imposing restrictions on the use of anchors in certain areas, while more countries require boats to have holding tanks.

The most worrying change I notice is that the weather is no longer as predictable as it used to be. Having seen with my own eyes the shrinking glaciers on my

Jimmy Cornell is a CW contributing editor.

second trip to Antarctica, I'm convinced that the warnings about climate change and global warming aren't exaggerated. One area in which this trend has an obvious effect already is in the behavior of tropical storms: Some of the most violent hurricanes have been recorded in recent years, and the actual seasons as well as the affected areas are less well defined than in the past. For example, a tropical depression that was later upgraded to Cyclone Phoebe headed for the Cocos Islands (Keeling Islands), in the South Indian Ocean, in August 2004, less than two weeks after we'd left there. This was in the middle of what until now had been regarded as the "safe" season. Similarly, Cyclone Gina, which devastated Vanuatu in June 2003, and Hurricane Catarina, which formed off the coast of Brazil in March 2004 in an area where tropical storms had never before been recorded, are perhaps the clearest indication to me that the world climate is indeed changing, and not for the better.

On a more positive note, thanks to GPS and other improvements, ocean sailing has definitely become easier—and a lot safer, too. I say this after a voyage of over 32,000 miles that took place without serious breakages and no real emergencies. As to personal safety, although I heard of a few cruising boats that had been attacked in certain hot spots, such as the Gulf of Aden or Colombia, such incidents are still rather rare and generally limited to a few known areas. In my own case, during four years of cruising in which I was often off the beaten track and anchored in countless remote places, I was never in a situation in which I felt threatened or that I perceived as dangerous.

Looking back on this highly enjoyable experience, I've learned some extremely valuable lessons that I'd definitely heed, should I ever do another loop. I'm now more convinced than ever that the correct choice of boat is of utmost importance to the success of the voyage, as it has a vital bearing on both safety and overall enjoyment. In my view,this means choosing a boat that sails well, isn't too big to be easily handled (and on my own, if necessary), possesses backups for all essential systems, and is functional on deck and comfortable and well thought out below. But above all, what matters more than anything else is one's own attitude, and that means possessing an unequivocal love of the sea and of sailing.

Jimmy Cornell is a CW contributing editor.

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How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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