These tips are for people without much Internet experience. Some of our friends and relatives are new to the Internet and need this kind of information. People with web browsing experience should just go ahead and explore our site.
The way to move from page to page within our website is by "clicking." Most people click with the left button of their mouse, and that is assumed here. The things to click on are usually underlined words. That is, position the cursor on an underlined word by using your mouse, and then press its left button. All underlined words in this site are "links" to other pages, so if you click on an underlined word (or group of words) something different will appear on your screen. Don't worry about clicking, you can't do anything "wrong" or cause any damage by clicking on anything in this website. No matter what page you get to, there is a way of returning to try something different. Don't be afraid to experiment.
At the top of this page are several underlined words, which are links to major sections of our site. "Home" is an introductory page, with the "Welcome Aboard!" heading. We update this page frequently with notes about our latest travels. By clicking on the underlined word "home" on any of our pages, you will return to that starting page.
One of the site's major sections is a collection of photographs. You can get to those photographs by clicking on the underlined word "photos" at the top of this page or on any other page where it appears. The photos index shows a list of countries we have visited, with their names arranged so the latest visited is at the top. That is, the country we are in right now will generally be the one at the top of the list, the country we saw just previous will be second, etc. Where we visited a country more than once, we put all its photos together so you will find the name of a country only once in this list. The reason for this "backwards" arrangement is that people who visit our website regularly are probably most interested in the latest stuff which they haven't seen yet. We're trying to make it easy for our family and friends to keep up-to-date with what we're doing. Anyhow, click on the name of a country to see photos of that country.
Where we have many photos of one country, we have secondary indexes to them. This may be a simple list, or a map with boxes you can click on to see photos of that place. For example, we went to Australia twice, and our total visiting time there was nearly two years. The secondary index to Australian photos is a list with two columns, one for each extended visit. Photos are grouped according to places we saw, or people we were with, or subjects. Clicking on the underlined descriptive title of a group of photographs will get you to a page of "thumbnails."
Thumbnail pages show small versions of all the photos in a group. By looking at the thumbnails, you may quickly see which of the photos in the group are of interest to you. You can escape from this group of photos by clicking on an underlined option at the top of the page. If you click on a thumbnail picture you will see an individual photo page with a bigger version of that photo, probably with a caption underneath it. Individual photo pages all have options for returning to the thumbnail page or other sections of the site. The photos shown in one thumbnail page are connected in a ring arranged in the same order as they appear on the thumbnails page. Many individual photo pages have thumbnails to left and right of the main photo. By clicking on the right-hand thumbnail you will see the "next" photo in the ring and by clicking on the left-hand thumbnail you will see the "previous" one in the ring. Where photos do not have thumbnails on left and right there are links at the top to move around the ring.
Where it is natural to group our photos of a country according to places or subjects, we use a map of the country instead of a list of photo groups. We have a French Polynesia map, for example, with red rectangles in some places, and by clicking in one of these rectangles you will see thumbnails of the photos for that island. Our Thailand and Malaysia photos include so many places that we have more than one level of maps with rectangles for those countries. For example, the Malaysia photos map has one box for Sarawak, and when you click in that box a map of Sarawak appears with boxes to click on for several sets of photos.
There is a "World View" in the "Maps" section. This is a world map showing all "Arctracer" voyages. Most of the countries we have visited are named on this map with a rectangle around the name which is a link to photos. The "World View" can be used as a master index to photos, and will get you to the same pictures as the menu of countries in the "Photos" section. Some people prefer a list while some prefer a map, so we provide both. After using either method of arriving at a particular country's photos, you can return via underlined word links to either "Photos" or "World View" to choose another country.
Another major portion of our website contains letters we have written. You get to the list of them by clicking on the underlined word "letters" at the top of this or some other page. The list is broken up by country headings to help you find the one(s) you want to read. The name of the letter includes the date when it was written. Like the photos, this list is ordered with the latest letter at the top, so people keeping tabs on our travels will be able to see immediately if there are any new letters they haven't read.
Many of you will never see our boat, so to give you some idea of what it looks like and what its features are we have photos, text, and diagrams in the "Boats" section of this website. Click on that underlined word at the top of this or some other page and you will see thumbnails of our catamaran, our dinghy, and our old schooner and previous boats. Click on one of those thumbnails and you will be able to learn more about that boat and our use of it. There is a catamaran layout section where you can see photos of the interior and exterior. This layout section starts with a sketch of the boat, and you can click directly on that diagram to see photos of that part of the boat. This is not the designer's diagram, but one we made. Therefore, it cannot be used for accurate measurements but does show the actual setup of our particular boat instead of some generalized setup for sister ships of the same design.
The maps in this site often show routes we have taken. The routes shown are only approximations, so don't try to sail your boat exactly along the lines shown. These are "not for navigation." However, they will give you an idea of where we went and when. The maps are good for "overviews," and for details you can look at the corresponding photos and letters. All the little maps are thumbnails, so click on one of them and you will see the map blown up, and will be able to see more of its details. We try to put in the names of places that have significance to us and may be written about in our letters. We are not attempting to provide complete and balanced maps such as can be found in atlases or on-line at National Geograpic and other sites. If you want to see a better map of a country, try searching the web.
The links section of our site has a few links to other websites where you can get further information. Those are not our sites, so we have no responsibility for what they contain. In fact, they may be changed or disappear without us even noticing. If they are not sufficient, you can try your own search for the information you want. There are many other websites of people cruising around on boats. We have not attempted to include links to all related sites so you can find out much more by searching.
This section was intended to allow you to find specific things within our website. We used Google's search engine for a while but then that was cut off for some reason. We will re-establish a search capability in the future.
To see what has been added or changed recently in this website, go to the "Updates" page. This page will let you see if anything new has been added since you last looked at our site. This page has links which you can click on to go immediately to the new and updated pages.
Jerry writes poems occasionally. Some are about cruising and related subjects. We put a few in the "Poems" section. We have also included some poems by other authors. For example, "Sea Fever" by John Masefield is a very famous poem and Jerry copied its style in "Electric Fever" so we thought it might be useful for you to have easy access to it plus a few other parodies of that poem by clicking links at the bottoms of those poems. Much poetry can be obtained by searching the Internet.
When you are done looking at our site, at least for your current session, click on "Close" in the upper right corner of your screen. That's the red box with the white "X" in it (or a little black "X" if you are in "Full Screen" mode). This will pop you back to wherever you came from. This can also be your escape if you cannot figure our how to get back to another part of our site. You can always re-link to our site and start at the beginning again.
Many of our pages are large, especially the photo pages. You may need to use "sliders" to see some page edges. Sliders are the bars which appear at the edges of your screen when not everything fits. You can move a slider by clicking on it and keeping the button held down while moving the mouse. Alternatively, you can click on the arrowhead boxes at the ends of the sliders to move the stuff on your screen, or use your keyboard arrows. Having to use sliders often can be annoying, and may cause you to miss content you might enjoy, such as captions underneath photos. We recommend using the "Full-Screen" option of your browser when inside our site. Different browsers have different methods for starting and ending full-screen viewing. Most have a "view" menu at the top of the screen or accessible with a right-click of the mouse.
Your "browser" is the program running on your computer which actually displays pages to you. Our favorite browser is Mozilla's "Firefox" but there are others such as Microsoft's "internet Explorer." A common feature of browsers is the ability to increase and decrease the size of things displayed on your screen. This is especially useful for people who have difficulty reading small print. These options can usually be accessed by clicking on "View" in the line of things available at the top of your screen or on "Preferences" in the "Edit" menu. The menus should enable you to find your browser's options for changing the appearance of pages. To simply make text bigger, try the combination of "Ctrl" and "+" keys on your keyboard. This works in several browsers. You can hit these more than once to make the text bigger and bigger. Similarly, you may be able to make text smaller with "Ctrl" and "-".
It isn't easy to remember website names and what they are about. If you want to revisit our site occasionally, put us into your "Bookmarks" list. To do this, first get into our website. Then click on the word "Bookmarks" (or the appropriate icon) at the top of your screen. This will give you the opportunity to add our site to your personal list of favorite places to visit in the world-wide web. You can put any elaborate name you want on an entry, not just the web address. For example, you could call ours "Nina and Jerry's sailing adventures." Later, when you look at your bookmarks list again, you will remember what this entry is about better than if you only have "www.arctracer.com/home" in your list. Once you have us in your "Bookmarks" you can get to our site easily by clicking on the entry you have made.
If something doesn't work right for you, it's probably a "bug" we need to fix. If you have trouble, chances are other people are having the same trouble. Please tell us about any problem you encounter so we can make necessary changes. Perhaps you spotted a factual error or a misspelling in a title, caption or letter. We may have received bad data or simply blundered, but we don't want to keep spreading incorrect information. We don't want our friends to be frustrated or annoyed by anything in our website. Let us know if you see something we can improve. We also appreciate your comments about what you like.