Thursday, October 20, 2016

Anchors Aweigh - A How To For CARIBBEAN SAILING

There is something magical about chartering a boat and sailing the clear, turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean. There is no finer way to get a break and relax than to sail from island to island. At some point during your Caribbean sailing experience, however, you will want to stop. Whether you want to fish, swim, snorkel or dive, have lunch or stay overnight, you will need to find an anchorage and either anchor or use a mooring ball. Anchoring a boat securely is one of the most basic skills in boat handling. The key is preparation and slow maneuvering. If you miss the first time, do not be embarrassed. There is not an experienced sailor afloat who has not encountered this problem. Just go around and start again. The important thing is to have it right! By anchoring poorly, not only are you endangering your boat, but also the other boats anchored nearby. By following these suggestions and techniques, you can feel confident that you will have safe, hassle-free anchoring.  

English: Main entrance of the Club Nautico de ...
Main entrance of the Club Nautico de Ponce, Ponce, PR
(Photo credit: 

Selecting the Anchorage

The first step in anchoring is to pick an anchorage. Try to arrive at your anchorage relatively early enough in the afternoon. This allows you enough light to avoid any shoals or other hazards like rock/coral heads, fish nets or boats, ferries, freighters, mooring balls, crab pots and cables. In addition, during peak season (December to April) many popular spots throughout the Caribbean become very crowded. By arriving early enough, you have extra time to go somewhere else before nightfall. 

When choosing an anchorage, there are several things to consider. For instance, is the anchorage protected? A good anchorage offers protection from the current weather conditions and will also offer protection from the expected weather. Are there any local weather (wind) conditions or exposure to swells that could make the anchorage too rolly? How well is the entrance and anchorage area charted or marked? 
How good is the holding? Charts should indicate the type of bottom. Generally speaking, most anchors will hold well in sandy bottoms. Rock, coral and shale prevent anchors from digging in. If possible, avoid grassy bottoms, where it is very difficult to set the anchor. How crowded, noisy, dirty or smelly is it? Is the band from the beach bar going to keep you up until the wee hours of the morning or is the diesel smell of the inter-island ferry going to detract from your ideal scent of paradise? How pretty is the anchorage when you sit in the cockpit enjoying the dawn or dusk? How long a dinghy ride is it to shore and is there a decent place to dock the dinghy? What amenities are available on shore? What is the depth and tidal range? Enough depth is needed so that low tide does not present obstacles your boat might swing into and it is also important when determining scope. Finally, is there enough room? No matter where your boat is anchored, the largest possible swing range should be considered. 

Getting Ready

Once you have decided that the anchorage is the perfect spot to stop on your Caribbean sailing adventure, there are several steps to take before actually anchoring. Before doing anything else, work out a system of communication between the person at the helm and the crew member dropping the anchor. Remember that your engine will be running and therefore you will be unable to communicate verbally. Hand signals usually work best. Furl the sails and generally make the boat shipshape before entering the anchorage. Also, shorten the dinghy painter (the line that attaches at the front of the dinghy) if you are dragging the dinghy behind you. This prevents it from being sucked into the prop when you put the engine in reverse. Open the anchor locker hatch, and if your anchor has a safety line attached to the chain (usually found only in mono hulls), untie and release it. Get the anchor ready to be dropped by disengaging the anchor from the bow rollers. This is done by using the remote control windlass (found in most Caribbean sailing charters) to lower the anchor about two to three feet. Make sure all fingers and toes are away from the chain! Finally, take a tour of the anchorage at very slow speed to get a sense of where you would like to be. 

Dropping and Setting the Anchor

After your tour of the anchorage, pick your spot. As the newest arrival in an anchorage, you must anchor to keep clear of boats already at anchor. Allow for any change in wind direction. It is always safer to leave extra space around your boat. Make sure you will have enough room to fall back on the anchor without lying too close to any vessel anchored behind you once you have laid out a 7 to 1 scope. In normal conditions, if you are using all chain, a safe minimum anchor scope ratio is 5 to 1 (chain length to depth). 

In heavy weather, the scope ratio is 7 to 1. Depth is the depth of the water at high tide plus the height from the water line to the bow roller. Scope is the actual amount of anchor line (chain) paid out when the boat is safely anchored. For example, if high water is 20 feet deep and your bow roller is 5 feet above the water, you need 125 feet (5 x 20 + 5 feet) of scope to anchor if using all chain, or 175 feet if using a 7 to 1 scope. Remember, putting out too little scope is one of the most common mistakes cruisers make when anchoring. 

With the bow to the wind, slowly motor up to the desired spot. Stop the boat exactly where you wish the anchor to lay and take note of the depth. Remember that if you are chartering a catamaran, a cat offers less resistance to the water than a mono hull and thus takes more time to slow down than a mono hull. Make sure the catamaran has completely stopped. You can keep a cat straight into the wind by using both engines at idle speed. Once your vessel has lost all forward movement, it is now time to drop and set the anchor. 

Despite the term, "dropping anchor", you never want to throw the anchor over the side or let it run free immediately, because the chain will run out at a tremendous speed and pile on itself rather than laying out straight on the sea bed. A piled anchor chain prevents the anchor from setting properly and may actually foul the anchor. Instead, with the windlass, lower the anchor quickly to the bottom. Let the wind slowly push your boat back- do not try to reverse. Let out adequate scope as the vessel moves aft. If you are in a mono hull, do not worry about being broadside to the wind. When the desired amount of scope has been let out, snub the chain and allow the wind to straighten out the boat. Once the boat is headed with the bow into the wind, gently put the engine into reverse and throttle at 1500 rpm's for about 15-20 seconds. This should set the anchor and the anchor chain should start to straighten. If it vibrates or skips, let out more scope. An anchor that is set will not shake the chain. Once you are satisfied the anchor is set, turn off the engine. Put on your snorkel gear and visually check the anchor to ensure your boat is secure. If the anchor is lying on its side, caught in coral, or the chain is wrapped around a coral head, reset it. 

When the anchor is firmly set, look around for reference points in relation to your boat. These can include other boats or fixed landmarks like a house, rock formation or tower. Over the next hour, relax in your cockpit and make sure those reference points are in the same place. If not, you are probably dragging the anchor. 

Dealing With the Dragging Anchor

If your boat is dragging anchor during the day, it is not a major problem. Start your engine and put it into idle gear. Try to let out more chain. Wait a few minutes to see if the anchor sets itself. If not, you will have to re-anchor. If you boat is dragging at night, it becomes a little more challenging. If you are sound asleep and you do not bump into anything, you might not even know you dragged until the next morning when you wake up in a different place. I have friends who are extremely experienced sailors. They actually woke up in an entirely different anchorage after a night of dragging. On the other hand, you might become aware of night dragging when other people in the anchorage start screaming and flashing lights at your boat. Start your engine and keep it idling. Try to let out more chain and wait to see if the anchor resets itself. If not, you will have to re-anchor. Use your depth sounder to try and find another spot to anchor. Keep all the lights on the boat off to get the best night vision possible. Slowly move to another spot with extreme caution. If your neighbor's boat is dragging during the day, try and get their attention. Put out fenders to avoid damage to your boat. If nobody is on board the dragging boat (they are onshore drinking at the local beach bar), you can either get aboard their boat and reset the anchor, or if you are not comfortable doing that, you may have to move your own boat. During the night, if you are suddenly jolted awake when another boat hits yours, immediately start the engine and keep it idling. Wake up the crew of the other boat (yell, flash your lights, etc), put out fenders and do the same as during the day. 

The Mooring Ball Option

Throughout the Caribbean, but especially in the British Virgin Islands, professionally maintained mooring balls are located in many anchorages and are available for overnight use for a small fee. A mooring is a buoy connected to an extremely heavy anchor or weight. Besides protecting the coral from damage done by an anchor, picking up a mooring ball has three other advantages. First, you do no have to go to the bother of using your anchor. Second, the mooring's anchor probably is never going to drag. And third, because the mooring's anchor is so heavy and deeply imbedded in the sea bottom, less scope is needed and, therefore, the boat will swing around in a tighter radius than it would on its own anchor. 

As in anchoring, approach the mooring area slowly with your dinghy pulled in on a short painter. Have a crew member ready with a boat hook at the bow to direct you and to pick up the mooring pennant (a line with a loop at the end). Have one end of a line attached to a bow cleat with the free end close by. If you have chartered a catamaran, one line is sufficient. If you have chartered a mono hull, however, attach a second line to the opposite side bow cleat. Point the bow of the boat into the wind and slowly approach the mooring ball. By shifting alternately from forward to neutral, you can coast towards the ball. Shift into reverse to stop the boat as the crew member lifts the pennant on board and passes the free end of the line(s) through it. Quickly cleat off the free end of the line on the opposite bow cleat for a catamaran or on the same side for a mono hull.. On a mono hull, the two lines prevent chafing and limit the risk of breaking free from the mooring ball. On a catamaran, the line hangs low enough that chafing from tension is rarely a problem. Again, do not be embarrassed if you miss picking up the pennant the first time- it has happened to all of us! Just circle around and try it again. Once secured, adjust the lines, if necessary. 

To leave a mooring ball, make sure the dinghy is again on a short painter. Un-cleat the line(s) and simply let go of the pennant. Take care not to run over the mooring buoy and pennant as you leave for your next Caribbean sailing destination. 

Weighing Anchor

Before raising the anchor, preparation is again necessary. Make sure that loose items are stowed and hatch covers are closed. (The anchor locker hatch cover should be open). Shorten up the dinghy painter again. Start the engine. Most charter boats require the engine on to operate the windlass. Have a crew member stand on the most forward point at the bow with the windlass remote control. Using hand signals, the crew member instructs the helmsman to move the boat forward very slowly in the direction of the chain. Make sure the helmsman stops the motion of the boat before overshooting the anchor. While the chain is slack, start cranking it up. When you get to the snubber, put down the remote and remove the snubber. Then resume cranking. When the chain is taut again, with hand signals, instruct the helmsman to move the boat forward again in the direction of the chain. The whole idea of this is to avoid using the windlass to move the boat forward, as this causes incredible strain on the windlass and on the chain roller. At one point, you will find the boat straight above the anchor. Finish cranking the chain until the anchor is all the way up and settled on the rollers. Signal the helmsman that the boat is free. Reattach the safety line to the anchor chain if it has one, stow the remote control and secure the anchor locker hatch. Then return to the cockpit to help raise the sails. 

No matter where your Caribbean sailing adventure takes you, at some point you will want to stop. Anchoring is among the most important activities you will do while cruising. Anchoring is as much an art as a science. The helmsman and crew have to orchestrate their efforts with the wind, current and vessel. The important thing to remember is not to be embarrassed. Even the most experienced sailors have difficulty anchoring at times. As the old adage says, "Practice makes perfect." To perfect your anchoring skills and enjoy the most relaxing vacation ever, contact Virgin Island Sailing to arrange your charter. Nothing else beats Caribbean sailing!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Little RED WINE Could Take You A Long Way!

Longevity interests a lot of people who aren't ready to give up their lives, just yet, and who look to healthy alternatives to culturally defined eating patterns and "health care."

Tempranillo varietal wine bottle and glass, sh...
Tempranillo varietal wine bottle and glass,
(Photo credit: 
The benefits of drinking wine have been touted for a while and are thought, by some, to be the reason why the French can get away with eating a high fat diet while enjoying a low rate of coronary disease.

A few years ago, a study by French research team also found that men who regularly drank at least two glasses of wine daily were 50 percent less likely than non-drinkers to suffer a second heart attack.

Previous studies with yeast, a small species of worm, and fruit flies have shown that resveratrol -- a polyphenol antioxidant found in grapes, especially red grapes, and particularly pinot noir grapes which are grown in northern latitudes and used in wines coming from New York, Washington, and Oregon -- is a life-extending compound.

In a new study from Italy, resveratrol has been used to increase the life span of a short-lived breed of tropical fish by more than 50%. Not only did fish given resveratrol in their food live longer than the control group, they stayed livelier as they aged and displayed better memory in stimulus/response tests. And the neurons in their brains didn't decay as quickly when they died and were dissected.

Resveratrol, an organic compound contained in the skins of grapes that protects them from disease, is extracted from grapes by the wine making process. The wine becomes a preservative for the resveratrol and prevents its oxidation.

That's why drinking grape juice or eating raisins doesn't have the same effect; the resveratrol has neither been extracted nor preserved. It's also been shown that resveratrol in food supplements oxidizes upon exposure to air and loses its effectiveness.

Red wine may truly be a "wondrous drug!"

Other studies have shown that wine, especially red wine, can help prevent colds, increase the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, lower the risk of Alzheimer's, reduce the size and number of fat cells in the body, reduce the risk of prostate cancer, and has anti-inflammatory properties to boot.

Drug companies are trying to copy Red wine may truly be a "wondrous drug!", but might not be able to preserve it's health-preserving benefits. Besides, resveratrol is freely available in red wine and not patentable as such.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

LANZAROTE Attractions - Mirador Del Rio, Jameous Del Agua and La Cueva de los Verdes (Lanzarote 22)

It is possible to do these three attractions in a single day providing you set out early and plan your day.

Cueva de los Verdes, Canary Islands, Spain. Re...
Cueva de los Verdes, Canary Islands, Spain. Reflection on water.
(Photo credit: 

As we live in Playa Blanca, we travelled north on the LZ-2 via San Bartholme and Teguise into the mountains in the north where we made our first stop at the Mirador Del Rio.  This is a cafeteria cut into the mountains in the north and has the most spectacular views of the island you could possible want to see, so a camera is a must.

After a drink and a snack, we continued North and then turned at the top of the island and made our descent to sea level, where we saw an array of different coloured sands blown across the sea from the Sahara desert.  If you are into beaches, you might want to stop off here to explore the many bays on offer.  

Shortly after this we arrived at our second attraction, the Jameos del Agua. Enchanting, Mystical & Magical, the three most common words used to describe a place created as a result of a formation of gas explosions within a volcanic bubble. Over the years, seawater has flooded the tunnels so that eventually a lagoon has been left behind. A lagoon that is home to thousands of tiny white crabs that have become blind through many years of living in poor light, a lagoon that has a bar and a restaurant and even a nightclub three times a week ! 

English: Mirador Del Rio on Lanzarote. La Grac...
Mirador Del Rio on Lanzarote. La Graciosa can be seen in the background.
 Photo credit: 

Almost next door, we found our second attraction of the day - La Cueva de los Verdes, one of the longest volcanic galleries in the world at 6km long and there is surprise element to this tour which I cannot tell you about otherwise it would spoil your visit. You need to be reasonably fit and healthy as you need to climb several stairs and bend over in order to get under many low recesses. It is impossible to take a pushchair into the caves, so go prepared. 

We had an hour to kill at the end of the day, so we stopped off at the Jardin de Cactus which is on the way back. Here we saw 1,400 different species all planted together in a small area of land to create the beautiful Cactus Garden.

A great day out and the children really enjoyed it and they slept like logs that night !

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Pay Attention to Common SWIMMING POOL Problems to Prevent them

Having your own swimming pool in the backyard is a great way to spend your time. Everyone in the family can enjoy it! However, there are some common swimming pool problems that can come along and prevent that from happening. Knowing what to watch for is very important so that you can prevent severe damage from occurring. Routine maintenance is very important to the longevity of your swimming pool.

English: A Private Swimming Pool
A Private Swimming Pool (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you hear any types of unusual noises you need to investigate. Chances are it is a sign that your pump or your filter is clogged or going bad. Always make sure you have the right size of pump and filter too for your size of swimming pool. You can find out these specifications online or from a swimming pool dealer. If you have an older swimming pool you may find it is a good idea to update your pump. The older ones don’t seem to last like the newer ones due to the technology behind them. Any time you get a new filter or pump for your swimming pool try to get one with a very good warranty.

You will find that you have a water pressure gauge as well. Too many swimming pool owners don’t pay attention to it though. However, with a close eye on it you will be able to prevent serious problems from occurring. Make sure you know what the pressure should be. When it climbs up higher it is a strong indication that your filter is blocked or that it needs to be replaced. This higher pressure makes the pump work harder too so you may end up having to replace more items that you would have if you don’t keep a close eye on that pressure gauge.

It can be tempting to forego various types of testing on your swimming pool due to things being right all the time. Still, you need to stay in that habit because as Murphy’s Law goes, once you don’t check it something will be array. Never let the Ph level get higher than 8.0. Ideally it should be from 7.0 to 7.6. Some people never check their Total Dissolved Solids either so make sure you do so. Some people do it monthly while others do it every six months. If you find you have trouble with calcium build up then that is an indicator you need to check the Total Dissolved Solids more frequently.

It is very important to keep the area where you place the chlorine clean too. Check it each time before you add new chlorine tablets to it. They tend to built up calcium and that will result in you not being able to get the chlorine you need to your swimming pool. As a result of this plenty of other problems can occur.

Make sure you take the time to remove built up from the trap at the pump too. You will be amazed at what gets caught up here. Mainly it is hair which can clog it and block the water from flowing through the pump like it should. This can also result in the pump working too hard and that will reduce the overall life span of it. 

Many experts will tell you to add your chemicals to the water after the sun goes down. This way less of them will be evaporating during the day. This is especially true if you live in areas where it gets into the 90’s or 100’s during the summer months. If you can’t commit to adding the chemicals in the evening then do it as soon as the sun comes up. At least that way your chemicals will have a few hours to sit in the water before the sun is beating down on it. 

By avoiding common swimming pool problems you will find you enjoy it more. You also will reduce the overhead expensive associated with owning one. Routine maintenance is the key to having a great swimming pool that doesn’t continually have one problem after another for you to contend with.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Basics of HORSE CARE

Horses are amazingly beautiful and sensitive creatures. Horses require not only understanding and patience to have a horse as a pet, it also requires a whole lot of care.

Horse looking out of stable window. Picture wa...
Horse looking out of stable window. Picture was taken in farm, probably a race horse.
(Photo credit: 
Herd Mentality:

Observe horses in the herd system, each horse's welfare in the wild depends upon an instinctive submission to the discipline of the herd. The instinct is for immediate action. To the horse, action is survival. When horses live in an herd environment, they often take turns sleeping and standing guard for any predators. When the leader of the herd signals danger they take flight.

Learning respect and ascending to authority starts on the first day of life for the foals, there is a distinct pecking order in herds of horses.

It is important to keep a quiet profile around horses. Horses naturally do not like unnecessary noise because in the wild their survival depends on detection of predators with their hearing. Extraneous noise interferes with this predator detection. This predator detection is tightly coupled with a horse's flight reflex. Due to these survival genetics, horses have a physiological wiring in their brains that predisposes them to prefer quietness and to become bothered by unnecessary noise. Many horses can get startled easily from abrupt noises and this could result in injury to the horse, the rider, or people around the horse. Talk to your horse in a quiet, reassuring voice.

Relationship With Horses:

A horse will love you if, first and foremost, you treat it fairly, and secondly, if you allow yourself to develop a relationship with it in the same way you would a human partner. There are too many who will look after the horse's material needs but put nothing back into the partnership itself. The horse born in captivity will identify with an alternative provider and companion, resulting in a healthy relationship from the beginning. A healthy relationship with your horse requires: trust, coupled with respect, fondness with compliance, and a desire to please.

Check Your Horse:

Examine your horse every day and especially prior to riding the horse. Carefully examine the horse's legs and back for any unusual heat or lumps. Make sure that the horse's eyes are alert and not glazy. Listen for any excessive noise or gurgling sounds coming from your horse's stomach. Catching problems before they become serious is critical to keeping a show horse sound and alive.

Exercise caution and discretion when around stallions and mares when they are in heat. They are dealing with hormones on an order of magnitude that you probably can not comprehend. Stallions typically bite and some may be easily triggered into violent behavior.

Grooming Horses:

Keep your horse clean. Keep your horse's entire coat free from dirt, mud, sand, and sweat. Brush your horse every day. Pick out your horse's feet every day. Wash out any sweat residue from the saddle pad or girth every day. Wash out any dirt or sand residue, as from the riding arena, on your horses legs every day. A number of different problems can result if a horse's coat is not kept clean.

Barn Care:

Keep your horse's stall clean. Make sure that your horse's stall is cleaned every day. Be sure that any wetness is removed with the manure. Replace the removed bedding with fresh, clean, dry bedding. Water should be dumped from buckets every day without exception. Unhealthy dirt and bacteria can build up in a bucket if it is not cleaned on a daily basis. Clean water is essential to maintaining a healthy horse. Make sure your horse always has clean, fresh water available.

Training A Horse:

The intelligence of the horse increases rapidly with education. An intelligent trainer can make an intelligent horse. A kind but firm trainer will result in a disciplined but pleasing horse.

Horse Feed:

Feed your horse(s) at the same times every day. A horse may get upset and colic or injure themselves by kicking the stall or pawing, if not fed when feeding is expected. You should not make radical changes in a horse's feed program. If you must make a change in the feed program, make the change gradually. Drastic changes in a horse's feed program can cause the horse to colic and in some cases, may die. Your horse's stomach is a highly sensitive bio-reactor that maintains a delicate balance of the organisms that digest food in your horse's digestive track.

Visitors should not feed a horse that you do not own without the owner's permission; no carrots, no apples, no treats, nothing. The horse could potentially, get sick if they have an allergy or sickness.

Pay attention to everything that goes into your horse; that means all feed, all hay, all water, all treats, all supplements, all pills, and all shots. This knowledge could save your horse's life in an emergency situation. Post this information on your horse's stall door so that it is available to a vet if you are not around in an emergency. Make sure that your horse gets high-quality feed and hay. Your horse's health and soundness depends on the nutrition that you provide for them. Take good care of your horse. A rider without a horse is no rider at all.

Vet Care:

Make sure that you have a good equine veterinarian. A good vet will save you money in the long run and may save your horse's life some day. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make sure your horse has all the vaccinations that are normal for your geographical location. All horses should be on a good worming program to control intestinal parasites. A horse should be wormed by a vet at least twice a year.

Horse Flies:

In the summer spray your horse trailer down with fly spray about 10 minutes before you load the horses. The flies should leave, and your horses will be without those pesky flies!

Cooling Horses:

Never spray a hot, sweaty horse with cold water immediately after working the horse. This can cause muscle spasms and binding, or shock that can lead to death. Wait until the horse is breathing regularly, and use warm water if it is available. If a horse has heat shock, consult your vet and the vet may instruct you to cold hose the horse, even if still hot and sweaty. Never put a horse in a stall or confined area while sweaty or while they are still breathing heavily. This can result in shock and/or colic that can lead to death. Walk the horse until the horse is cooled out and the breathing is normal.


Horses' hooves generally grow approximately 1 cm in a month, and take nearly a year to grow from the coronet band to the ground. Horse's hooves need to be trimmed regularly (about every 6-8 weeks). Shoeing a horse does not hurt them. If you were to grow out your finger nail, you could put an earring/pin through it without causing discomfort; however, if you pushed the pin through the part of your nail that is attached to the soft tissue of your finger, it would hurt. When horse shoes are nailed in, they are nailed at an angle so which the horse doesn't feel it.

Make sure that you have a good farrier, especially if you show your horse over jumps. The concussion from landing from jumps amplifies any problems in a horse's shoeing. If a horse gets sore feet or legs from bad angles or bad shoeing, the horse can not just take his shoes off, sit back on a couch, and rub their feet, or find another pair of shoes like you can. Bad shoeing can result in your horse becoming lame due to a number of problems including: bowed tendons, popped splints, or shoulder/back soreness or spasms. Bad shoeing can ruin a good horse, so don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish where shoeing is concerned. A laid-up horse is far more expensive to maintain than a good farrier. And remember not all horses need to have shoes, only if they are competing, walking on hard/rocky surfaces, or have hoof problems.


Horses do lay down to sleep, but only if they feel completely comfortable in their environment. It is not enough to provide a dry stable, food and water. Horses will often sleep standing up by locking their knees. Horses are one of the few animals that can put one half of their body asleep while the other half is wide awake. Emotionally and mentally, all horses need to feel they have and be comfortable in their own space!

To fully enjoy a horse's finer qualities you must treat them with both kindness and quality care. In the end, a happy horse will mean a nicer ride and a happier rider.

Copyright 2006 Rob Daniels

Sunday, May 15, 2016

First Time On The GREEN

If you are a novice golfer, and need direction to put your game on the right track, you require learning many things in earnest. For example, you need skills on how to hold the club properly. Your stance should be proper, and you must learn the correct swing to connect the golf ball to the driver. The best way to learn is to look for a competent PGA professional and take lessons individually or in a group. This will go a long way in letting you develop your golfing skills and to acquire techniques to make your game enjoyable.

English: Cottesmore Golf and Country Club - Go...
Cottesmore Golf and Country Club - Golfer Taking a Swing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You must learn slowly so that you get the best results. Do not just land up at the driving range, bring out your driver, and begin to swing. During the first session or at least half of the first session put all questions you have to your instructor and try to follow and understand the answers. You must also use this session to build up rapport and be at ease with each other.

In learning golf, your initial focus should be on putting. Putting is the best way to build a sound foundation for power control and most importantly let you learn to concentrate on the target. It will also help to build up your confidence to a very great extent as you find your putts going in the hole even from three or four feet. During the next phase, start practicing chipping and short pitch shots aimed at a particular target. By this, you will learn how to make solid contact with the ball and learn techniques to ensure your shots travel a long distance using very little power.

It is essential that you keep up with your practice, and try out techniques you learnt during the first session. Your instructor will need to quiz you, and clear your doubts on points related to any issues you may have encountered. It is essential that your instructor control your pace of learning at every stage. Overall, the first session means constant reviewing and repeating of basic golfing concepts. By the time you reach the end of the first session, you may have a putter and a number 9 iron and/or a PW for practicing. Being new to the game, you must always wait for some time before you buy yourself a complete set of clubs. 

A couple of sessions later you may find yourself in a position to tackle the full swing. A good way is to start by swinging without a ball. Concentrate on fundamental issues like stance, grip, and brushing the ground using your golf club. Start slowly beginning with short swings; this will let you grasp the concept of the full swing. When you can hit the ball consistently, do it slowly and comfortably aiming at short targets.

Do not forget to do your homework for building stamina, agility, and strength. Go for specific exercise programs exclusively meant for golfers. These exercises strengthen your hands, wrists, and torso, and prove very helpful to your game.

Friday, April 29, 2016


Many people go through such lengths to search family history. For some, it might be quite a daunting task considering the many past records, documents and other related information that need to be gathered, collected and analyzed in order to build an extensive family tree chart. How fast the tasks can be finished and done with depend on how efficient you can be in finding the information that you need. 

English: A chart illustrating the different ty...
A chart illustrating the different types of cousins, including genetic kinship marked within boxes in red which shows the actual genetic degree of relationship (gene share) with 'self' in percentage (%).
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here are some tips to help you find the right information that you need to build up your family tree.

Search Obituaries

Most family history searches usually start from the present and work its way back to the past. Information concerning present members of the family tree is usually the easiest to gather and collect. It is the information of past relatives that may prove challenging.

The obituaries provide a good means to look for relatives and members of the family tree who may have already passed away.  Not only would it provide information of a relative that has passed away including the date of birth, the date of passing as well as the place of burial. Not only that, other information that obituaries may provide include information about surviving relatives who might be contacted to provide additional details to the family tree.

Census Records

Aside from the obituaries, census records may also provide a wealth of information when building a family tree and information about long gone relatives and family members are required. Census records usually are kept dating back into the 1930's which may provide a wealth of clues concerning some of your ancestors. When the earliest census record of a known relative is found, other information pertaining to family members as well as location may also be found. Subsequent yearly census records would yield clues as to the time when another generation into the family tree may be added.

On Location Data Gathering

Once you have discovered a certain locale where previous ancestors may have lived, you might obtain more valuable information if you try to go on location to gather more data there. A known location may be a good place to source out more detailed information about a certain portion of the family tree. You might need to dig even deeper this time around in order to get more resources to determine a more accurate means of placing people in your family tree.

Research Previous Family Trees

There may be a good chance that you are not the only one in your long line of forebears who wanted to establish a family tree. Chances are there might have been other past relatives before you who may have gone to the extent of starting their own research into building the family tree. You may want to take a close look at this and use the information to sort out and add into the research that you may have already done.

Consider also that such family trees, especially those that may be found online or otherwise, are also mostly works in progress. They might also contain certain blanks tat may need to be filled out. You can use the information to put two and two together and search for clues as to how the previous family trees may fit into the one that you are trying to make.