mooring balls

Let's address the dangers of mooring balls

Danger Broken Morring Balls Danger Broken Morring Balls
There are several types of moorings but as you can see their maintenance status can vary.

1) Government Agency mandated聽 moorings
these can be maintained by the government agency - state or municipality - or outsourced to a vendor so in countries where moorings are a mandate to use in a particular anchorage due to conservation or environment or safety concerns you may be forced to use them- the question is what happens if it breaks ?
Ideally cities and port districts also have established mooring maintenance requirements. The schedule to lift, inspect and (possibly) repair moorings vary from harbor to harbor, with many requiring renewal annually or every other year.

Moorng Diagram
Mooring System Diagram -聽 many points of failure - starting with what materials are used - here is one in the BVI's

mooring in st thomas2) Private moorings or mooring fields
run maintained or operated by a marina or commercial entity -
Most likely they are not the same and the breaking strength will vary based on thickness weight and overall maintenance - the question is what happens if it breaks ? Who pays / what it is warranted for and since you are paying who actually warrants it ?


Bad Mooring3) Individual locals moorings - 聽 small dive shop operators - fisherman - local guys who are not necessarily ensured -聽 endorsed by the government agency to have them and are selling them to you anyhow - the question is what happens if it breaks ?


Material聽 Fatigue

Materieal Fatigue


4) or bring your own mooring -
think YOUR ANCHOR - you set it you know it you add scope you sleep well


African winds from SW – SE

A Calima wind, which brings sand from the Sahara Desert聽 is unpredictable so it can happen any time of the year, but it usually appears in the winter season between December and March.. It can last from 3 to 5 days or even up to a week and it is very dense, causing low visibility and extreme amounts of dust entering everywhere.

Calima Winds

The word Calima itself originates from the Spanish word for 鈥渉aze鈥. This haze is a layer of dust and sand brought on high winds originating from Africa. On occasion weather fronts in the south-west of the Canary Islands can increase wind-speeds even more. In these cases the Calima will escalate bringing very high temperatures with it, and is able to carry dust high above the Atlantic covering hundreds of thousands of square miles with a dense cloud of Saharan sand, sometimes聽 reaching the Caribbean.

DETAILS from 2020 Yacht Maya >>

SandstormHigh Winds


One measure of air pollution is the amount of coarse particulate matter 鈥 or PM10 鈥 in the air close to the Earth鈥檚 surface, another is aerosol optical depth (AOD) which is a measure of how much direct sunlight is blocked by dust and haze in the atmosphere. CAMS has been tracking both and, as confirmed by Aeronet observations, the CAMS forecasts of total AOD represented the event very well, including the longer-range transport.

In the Canary Islands, air quality was severely degraded for several days as a result of the dust storms, with high measured PM10 values.


Aggressive Killer Whales Batter Sailboats Off Spain And






So dear friends,
it caught me last night around 7pm just before Gibraltar. About 3 nm off Barbete a group of Orcas went onto my boat. There were about 10 animals, big and young. First they ripped the little rudder off the wind flag control, then the main rudder was cut off in 2 parts. Some seemed to be playing with the parts floating in the water as if trying to balance the part on the head. After about 10 minutes, the parts in the water were uninteresting and they were attacking my boat from all sides. First it was spinning in a circle, then they swam against the hull and kiel with a crazy surge. With every hit, it cracked like the laminate was breaking. My boat is an old Kevlar/epoxy race boat in Sandwich build, the kiel is extremely massive screwed with the cage inside. I had the feeling that they were trying to separate the kiel from the hull as well. I held on to the mast the whole time and sent out an SOS over the satellite phone and radio right at the beginning. It took 50 minutes then the sea rescue was there. Their use was extremely professional. They circled the boat twice and fixed sideways. Helped me onto her boat and I was safe. Now we waited about another 10 minutes, the captain said he could not leave until the Orcas were gone. And actually out the window I watched my boat take more blows. It was the most terrifying experience I’ve ever had, yes I was absolutely scared to death. Can’t imagine when you have to go into the water and these animals are around you. The whole attack lasted less than an hour. On the way to the harbor, the captain said that they had rescued a cat yesterday, he is now in front of me, same problem. Last year May-August they would have saved about 15 boats in each month, partly 8 in a week.
I think my boat will be a total damage because the laminate will have major delamination damage. But here in the harbor the lift is broken right now and they believe it will take months until it is repaired. So wait and pay 44.44 every day.
My dream of the big round has come to an end here, I can’t say at the moment if I’ll ever be able to move a sailboat on the sea again with calm thoughts.

I wish you all the best and that you never experience anything like this.


Orcas destroy rudder of the coast of spain

Recommendations for boaters if killer whales interact with the boat

If you are sailing and you come across orcas or other cetaceans and the orcas interact with the boat, the skipper/captain of the boat will adopt, whenever possible and do not create a greater danger, the following measures:

orcas sea

Prevent people on board from getting close to the bands, trying to place them in places that provide the greatest possible protection against sudden movements that could cause injuries or a fall into the sea, and against blows caused by the sudden movement of moving parts. .
In the event of an interaction, it is always preferable to navigate by motor than by sail and avoiding stopping the boat. You will navigate according to the characteristics of the boat itself and always keeping in mind the safety margins and the wind and sea conditions, towards shallower waters, until the killer whales lose interest.
In those cases of boats sailing under sail, it must also be borne in mind that the integrity of the daggerboard could be affected, and this could influence the stability of the boat, so it is recommended to lower the sails and navigate by motor.
It is recommended, always within the safety limits and characteristics of each boat, to sail as close as possible to the coast, where there is less probability of encountering groups of orcas, especially in the vicinity of the Barbate cove.
Any ship or boat that observes the presence of killer whales or other cetaceans, whether or not they give rise to episodes of interaction, will maximize compliance with the provisions of Royal Decree 1727/2007, of December 21, which establishes protection measures. of cetaceans, especially those aimed at avoiding behaviors that may cause death, harm, discomfort or concern to cetaceans and, in general, any of the behaviors indicated in articles 4 and 5 of the aforementioned Royal Decree.
Observe, and if possible, take photographic records of the orca specimens involved in the event. Observation activities will be carried out without disregarding precaution and compliance with the obligations of good marine practice, without prejudice to the exercise of any necessary decision for the safety of navigation and only when possible and safe, without expose the ship or vessel, the people on board or the cetaceans to greater risks.
Take into account any other new instructions or recommendations that may be disseminated to sailors.
The obligation that every captain/skipper has to report those events likely to be a danger to navigation is recalled, and, therefore, interactions with orcas must be reported through the corresponding Maritime Rescue Coordination Center.




The best time to cross the Atlantic to the Caribbean聽 is between November and February. The Mid-Atlantic tradewinds 鈥 Easterly winds that travel continuously from east to west 鈥 are stable and (usually) unaffected by hurricanes at this time of year.