Sailing News

Local Boater's Adventures Featured In Sea Epics Anthology

Marlin Bree, who survived Lake Superior's "Perfect Storm" in his home-built sailboat, is featured in a new nonfiction book, Treacherous
Waters: Stories of Sailors in the Clutch of the Sea, from International Marine. Bree was sailing alone in his twenty-foot sailboat, Persistence, when he was caught by the infamous Boundary Waters Canoe Area storm on July 4, 1999, with wind gusts estimated up to 115 mph. Editor Tom Lochaas introduces Bree's account of the ordeal as "pure action and struggle, a fight to survive against the elements, which have suddenly become overwhelming." The nonfiction book is part of the publisher's Epics of the Sea collection, which mostly have stories on the North Atlantic and South Pacific. Bree's saga is the only adventure on the Great Lakes included in the anthology. Bree's adventure is excerpted from his own book, Wake of the Green

Storm: A Survivor's Tale (Marlor Press, 2001), which was a regional best seller on for more than a year. Bree is a former magazine editor with the Minneapolis Star Tribune and a past president of the Minnesota Press Club. He has authored numerous boating and sailing books and boating magazine articles for Northern Breezes, Sailing, and Cruising World. His web site is

Blue Sea Systems Launches Coluntary Safety Recall of T-1 Circuit Breakers

Blue Sea systems of Bellingham, Washington has issued a voluntary recall of its T-1 Circuit Breaker, due to a potential safety problem. Boaters who own any of the surface mount or panel mount versions of this product (surface mount Part No. 7120-7133; panel mount Part No. 7020-7033) can arrange for a free replacement by visiting the Blue Sea Systems website,, or contacting company headquarters: 800-222-7617.

Blue Seay Systems has received no reports of any serious incidents, but has determined that there is a possible fire risk if the operator holds the circuit breaker handle in the “ON” position after the unit has tripped, causing the contacts to weld together.

There is a reduced risk of failure of the product if some simple operating guidelines are followed, but the breaker should be replaced as soon as it is practical. The guidelines are; 1) don’t use it as a switch, and 2) don’t hold the breaker in the “on” position if it trips.

For more information call 800-222-7617 or

Gain 1,000 Pounds and Feel Good About It:
Adopt-A-Manatee for the Holidays

Adopt-A-Manatee for someone special this holiday season and you’ll see that good things DO come in big packages. You can’t bring the manatee home, but Save a Manatee Club (SMC) will send an adoption certificate, a photo and biography of a manatee, and a personalized holiday gift card to someone you love - all for a $25 annual individual membership. Adopting a manatee is the gift that keeps on giving. Adoptive “parents” receive a newsletter throughout the year that features updates on their manatee as well as additional manatee photos and information. Proceeds from the adoption program go toward conservation efforts to protect endangered manatees and their habitat.

It’s hard to resist the charm of these huge, slow-moving marine mammals with the whiskered snouts. Although they average about 10 feet in length and weigh between 800-1,200 pounds, manatees are gentle animals. Avid eaters of aquatic plants, they spend much of their time traveling, exploring, and basking in warm waters. Manatees can be found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater byas, canals, and coastal areas. A migrating species, manatees are concentrated primarily in Florida in the winter, but they can be found as far west as Texas and as far north as Virginia in the summer months. Unfortunately, manatees are listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and only about 3,000 remain in the U.S. today. Many manatee mortalities are human-related, and most human-related manatee mortalities occur from collisions with watercraft.

SMC has three manatee adoption programs, located in Florida. Nineteen manatees who regularly winter at Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, FL, have been chosen as adoptees. Blue Spring maintains a year-round temperature of 72 degrees and is an attractive winter refuge for manatees who need warm water to survive. Some of the manatees featured in the Blue Spring program include Whiskers, Dana, Howie, and Phyllis. Whiskers is a relative youngster and is one of the newest additions to the adoption program. He is known for being both curious and playful. He is the son of Dana. Howie is a very gregarious manatee. He is known for tipping over the research canoe and the resercher in it! Phillis is a frequent visitor of Blue Spring and brought a new calf on her latest stopover at the park.

Five manatees are also available for adoption at Homosassa Spings Wildlife State Park (HSWSP) in Homosassa, FL and include Amanda, Ariel, Betsy, Rosie, and Lorelei. Amanda was rescued on Christmas Day in 1973 after she had suffered severe injuries from a boat propeller. She is the mother of Ariel and Betsy. Rosie is very gentle, and the rangers believe she looks after the younger manatees at the park. Lorelei is quite social and is often seen resting in the company of other manatees.

In addition, five manatees frequently seen in the Tampa Bay area and along the west coast of Florida are up for adoption. These manatees include Elsie, Jemp, Vector, Ginger, and Flicker. Elsie is easily identified because her tail has been mutilated from an encounter with a boat propeller. Ragtail is also known for her disfigured tail and has wintered in Tampa Bay since 1993. Flicker was named for the many, small propeller scars across her back that researchers thought looked like “flickering flames.” Jemp and Vector are traveling manatees. Jemp has explored a wide range along Florida’s west coast, and Vector has been tracked as far north as the Suwannee River. Gringer frequents areas near Marco Island and Ft. Myers.
The Adopt-A-Manatee program is the primary source of funding for SMC, a nonprofit organization established in 1981 by U.S. Senator Bob Graham and singer Jimmy Buffett. Funds from the Adopt-A-Manatee program go toward education and public awareness programs, manatee research and rescue, and advocacy efforts to help protect manatees and their habitat.

For more information on manatees, contact Save the Manatee Club at 800-432-JOIN or