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  • January 2022
  • Need A Friggin’ Boat? Fuhgeddaboudit! – Part 1 – 1801-1899
    There was a time when Brooklyn ruled the seas. It’s hard to imagine now. But for over 165 years, Brooklyn built the newest and fastest ships in the world, and it all started in Wallabout Bay where the British starved Colonial prisoners in ghost ships…
  • Tales From the Silent Service – Collision – Submerged
    Nearly a dozen sailors were injured when a USN nuclear powered attack submarine hit an identified submerged object in the South China Sea a few weeks ago. The Seawolf-class nuclear attack submarine USS Connecticut SSN-22 was involved in an underwater collision while operating in international…
  • Sentinels and Saviors of the Seas – The Moan of the Augustus Hunt
    Each month, an interesting aspect of the world’s oldest continuous maritime service will be highlighted. The men and women of the United States Coast Guard follow in the fine tradition of the brave mariners who have served before them. As sentinels and saviors of the…
  • Wheeler Yachts Reborn
    “A functional fishing machine, sturdy, reliant and built to take the worst weather and sweating in any kind of sea.” Ernest Hemingway When legendary author Ernest Hemingway decided to build his dream fishing boat, he chose Howard E. Wheeler Sr. to build it. Wheeler had…
  • What Do You Know About Your Holiday Lobsters?
    The Maine lobsters that are so popular around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays are caught mostly by two person crews, the lobsterman and his or her sternman. The lobsterman runs the boat, hauls in the traps and has the financial responsibilities of the venture…
  • Twin Lights at Highlands of Navesink
    Highlands of Navesink was a natural vantage point for a lookout post. At 200 feet above sea level, approaching ships could be spotted at a distance of nearly 20 miles. During the 1740s, Great Britain and France and their allies were in a conflict called…
  • The Wonders of Water
    It’s a simple three-atom molecule element that covers three-fourths of the earth’s surface at depthsup to 6-1/2 miles deep. It’s mostly what you consist of. It’s what makes the planet look blue from outer space. It is the basic material of life but sometimes takes…
  • Skipper’s Corner – “Slip Sliding Away”
    Did you ever see those old sailing adventure flicks where the British ship commander or the ranting Pirate captain gets the crew onboard to kneel and scrub the decks with fresh seawater and a ballast stone wrapped in a rag! They even had that scene…
  • Dream On
    Well here we are in December and I am still cleaning up leaves, and there are still plenty of them left on the trees refusing to come down. This is becoming a problem as I have other projects to get going on! Over the winter…
  • Legal Perspective – Courts Will Look to Contract Law Issues in Salvage Claims
    When it comes to maritime salvage, the basic concept is an ancient one. The notion of coming to the assistance of an imperiled vessel is something that dates back to the days of sail-driven merchant ships hauling grain and oils across the Mediterranean.Due to the…
  • Seamanship – Time and Tide Wait For No (Wo)Man
    Before reading the weekly tide tables as gospel, let’s take a moment to review a few essentials. First, don’t mistake precision with accuracy. What??? Just because we can predict the tides to the second as far into the future as you could imagine (after all,…
  • Boating Safety Tips – Boat Handling
    Marine Environmental Protection … 10 Ways We Can Protect Our Marine Environment … In the United States the Coast Guard develops and enforces regulations to avert …1 … The introduction of invasive species into the maritime environment … 2 … stopping unauthorized ocean dumping, and…
  • On Living Aboard
    We tried stretching out our stay at West Harbor, on Fishers Island. We eventually had to head back to the yard due to a shortage of supplies and then there was the weather. A late October Nor’easter, with a barometer reading lower than 980mb snuck…
  • The Sailaway Gourmet
    Here we are again, another year has sped by and unfortunately still dealing with a worldwide virus. I think our wish for the New Year is for it to be over. Hopefully, it will be in time.Recently it was decided by a holistic practitioner that…
  • LI Fishing Report
    Fall fishing off Long Island is one of the best seasons of the year. The weather gets colder, the days are shorter, and the fish get bigger. The true warriors don’t pack in until December if at all. When the weather cooperates, there is been…
  • NJ Fishing Report
    Looking back at last year’s January column, we were smack dab in the Covid confusion and for the start of 2022, it’s pretty safe to say we don’t know what the winter months will bring us this year regarding Covid protocols. Signs point to somewhat…
  • November-December 2021
  • Jules Verne – Imagining the Depths of Our Seas
    Take a boy of nine who couldn’t read or spell, give him a highly illustrated book called “20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA” and what happens? He lives his life as an inventor, artist and writer with a love of all things oceanic. Jules Verne inspired…
  • Last of the Greatest Generation
    According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, of the 16 million who served in the armed services in World War II, only about 325,000 American veterans were estimated to still be alive as of May, 2021. They became known as The Greatest Generation, a…
  • Forcola: The Venetian Oarlock
    There is no other image that more identifies Venice than the gondola. Its unique design dates back to the 11th century. The gondola has been celebrated in song, art and literature for centuries. Mark Twain observed, “We reached Venice at eight in the evening, and…
  • When Life Gets In The Way
    People who would like to have boats but don’t currently have one usually have a lot of valid reasons why boat ownership at this time would not be a good idea. Taken together, the reasons often boil down to life getting in the way for…
  • Sentinels and Saviors of the Seas – The Rescue of Cracker Boy
    Each month, an interesting aspect of the world’s oldest continuous maritime service will be highlighted. The men and women of the United States Coast Guard follow in the fine tradition of the brave mariners who have served before them. As sentinels and saviors of the…
  • Yuletide Cheer
    This time of the year I’m betting there’s a good number of you who break out the Jimmy Buffett CD, Christmas Island. It’s a collection of traditional Christmas songs done with Buffett’s decided tropical flair, plus a few of his own seasonal songs. In case…
  • The Sailaway Gourmet
    How quickly the holidays come upon us. And I am never ready for them. I have to say though that it is probably my favorite time of year for cooking, baking and eating all those cherished holiday foods leaving us heading for the gym in…
  • Fall Bike Week in Myrtle Beach
    As a teenager I was a “gear-head” and a street racer on the highways and byways of North Jersey having ran a ’66 GTO built to the hilt and later-on an SS-396 Chevelle. Next it was piloting a 4200-ton Attack submarine beneath the waves, and…
  • Fayerweather Island Lighthouse
    Whether seen from just offshore or on nearby land, lighthouses, symbols of our navigational past, each have their own special appeal. Of all of the U. S. states, which one has the greatest number of lighthouses along its coast? That will be answered at the…
  • The Party’s Over
    Well, only for six months or so. Looking back at this past season time blurs for me. It came and went so quickly. The weather did not always have our interests at heart, and when it did my family could not always take advantage of…
  • Boating Safety Tips – Boat Handling
    Paddle Craft Safety… Canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, and rafts comprise a growing recreational boating category that features a variety of manually propelled vessels. Some look like surf boards, while others are small boats such as a rowboat and a dinghy. These economical vessels are much…
  • LI Fishing Report
    October has been a great month offshore and mid-shore and ok inshore. Canyon fishing slowed a little. More due to lack of fishable days to get overnight trips in more than anything else. Couple with an amazing mid-shore and inshore bite, fewer people journeyed that…
  • Panic Aboard Is Not An Option
    Panic, according to Google word search is a “sudden sensation of fear, which is so strong as to dominate or prevent reason and logical thinking, replacing it with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and frantic agitation consistent with an animalistic fight-or-flight reaction.”When you are aboard a…
  • Skipper’s Corner – An Inlet Is Very Serious Business!
    Of late there have been a plethora of video postings on social media showing pleasure boats running various inlets in Florida and other states while confronting serious seas. Some of these postings are accompanied by infantile laughter and commentary. It seems as if those filming…
  • A Legal Perspective – Mental Distress As A Form of Damages in Maritime Lawsuits
    When maritime injury lawsuits appear before federal judges, they usually involve some form of physical proof that someone was hurt. A deckhand on a tug suffers a bone fracture from a watertight door closing on his hand. A stewardess on a yacht tears a knee…
  • NJ Fishing Report
    We are set up for a superstar type of late fall through November and into December. October waters stayed warmer than usual, ushering in bluefish like we haven’t seen in years, while striped bass pushed in early last month as well. November’s relative chill will…
  • Seamanship – What? How Small A Wave Can Capsize My Boat?
    Certainly, tragedies abound that point to the urgent need for more understanding by boat captains about the forces of capsizing. There is a tremendous amount of data on “righting moments”, centers of buoyancy and gravity, thanks to the US Navy and the US Coast Guard,…
  • The Return of the Whales!
    From the Jersey side of the New York Bight, along the Long Island Coast, Montauk Point, the shores of Block, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, and into the Sound, as every year goes by, we have been privileged to see the resurgence of ocean mammals. This…
  • Tales from the Silent Service – Quantity vs. Quality During the Cold War
    Cold War era Soviet submarines frequently suffered calamitous disasters like those that plagued the Soviet Union’s Project 627 boats. And they were often their own worst enemy.The United States Navy launched the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine the USS Nautilus SSN-571 in 1954 that revolutionized undersea…
  • USS Sequoia
    Imagine if the highly polished mahogany cabin walls of the Presidential yacht Sequoia could talk what they could say of the private conversations of some eight American presidents with powerful leaders from around the world for the period 1933 to 1977. The Presidential yacht Sequoia…
  • Adapting To Climate Change
    According to a recent Newsday article on the effects of climate change, Long Island is becoming shorter and narrower. Up close we can see the rise in sea level on our docks as high tides become higher, roads flood on sunny days and more intense…
  • In Our Waters – Million Dollar Murder?
    Charles Hammell reached over and tugged on the jacket sleeve of his friend as they walked along the beach in Ventnor, NJ in the morning hours of February 13th, 1910. “What the hell is that?” he asked as he pointed toward the ocean and the…
  • Eatons Neck Lighthouse
    When sailing western Long Island Sound at night, a reassuring steady beacon of white light can often be spotted 17 miles out from its source. Shown from the 73-feet fieldstone tower that stands on a bluff, the lighthouse at Eatons Neck has served mariners for…
  • Skipper’s Corner – It’s Time To Get Serious About Bumpers!
    Bumpers, fenders, squishy protector thingies – Call ‘em whatever you want. The name makes no difference as long as everyone on your boat knows what you’re talking about when you suddenly need one. “Hey Jimmy! Hand me one of those white soft things with the…
  • Requiem For A Boat Owner
    It was some winters ago in the northeast. I was very sad. The boating season was coming to a close. All the signs were there. The days became noticeably shorter, the nights colder and the annual migration of boats from their slips to their winter…
  • Boating Safety Tips: Boat Handling
    Handling a Powerboat … It is Better to be Safe than Sorry !!! The skills required to safely handle a powerboat go far beyond those included in boating safety courses. A proficient Skipper must keep one step ahead and take the time to fully understand…
  • Odds and Ends
    Things have been a little hectic around the home front the last couple of months. My oldest son got engaged a while ago and they decided to get married this October. So this has given my better half one more thing to think about. After…
  • Seamanship – An Act Of God – Just What Is It?
    Any school child knows, or at least believes, a terrible storm or other natural phenomena that causes damage to your property, or, causes your property (your boat) to damage someone else’s (another boat), is an Act of God. Behind this “fact” lies protection for the…
  • Legal Perspective – Positive Recommendations Emerge From NTSB Fire Investigation
    Aboard any ship or boat, big or small, few sounds convey more fear than the dreaded fire alarm. Fire is never a good thing anywhere, but on the water, the dangers of fire are intensified. Narrow passageways, steep stairways, and ladder trunks could become difficult…
  • On Living Aboard
    Our intentions were to head out for a week or so at anchor, far away from COVID and all the rhetoric surrounding it. However, a letter from our insurance company informing us that our coverage would be ending soon put the kibosh on that. I…
  • The Sailaway Gourmet
    As always, summer has sped by and for many, sadly, it’s time to store the boats away for the long winter. This is not the case for avid fishermen, be it on their boats or casting off the shoreline. And clammers are still clamming.After some…
  • NJ Fishing Report
    In many angler opinions, you’re not going to find a finer month to fish the salt than October. Most of the “summer” fishing is gone, but what replaces it is completely and utterly electric. The Fall Run really begins to take shape and even peak…
  • LI Fishing Report
    Long Island fishing is by far the best in the world. There are so many opportunities to target a wide variety of both inshore and offshore species. From Boat, jetty, dock, or beach with limitless methods of catching your desired species. False Albacore tuna start…
  • The Mary E. And All That Jazz!
    As a lifetime Long Islander (YeahBud! Brooklyn and Queens are Long Island!) I’ve visited ports of call from Red Hook to Montauk and Orient. One of my old favorites was Greenport back when potato farmers drove tractors to town for breakfast at 6:30 AM. The…
  • USS Grayback
    One of the most successful submarines of World War II, the USS Grayback, fought its last battle at the end of February 1944, but was never seen again. Commissioned on June 30,1941 she set sail for Pearl Harbor after about six months to join the…
  • The Canal Boat Experience
    Have you ever thought about living on a boat? The canal boat life as experienced by the Brits on their narrowboats was the topic of a recent New York Times article. The English canal system started out as manmade connections between cities and towns on…
  • Lighthouse Artist, Bill Kuchler
    At age 74, Bill Kuchler figures he’ll run out of time before he runs out of lighthouses scenes to paint.Since retiring four years ago as an advertising creative director, the West Islip resident spends much of his time in the Blue Barn Studio, his name…
  • Beach, Culture, Food and Comfort on the Jersey Shore
    Last season’s “bring your boat to the beach” story spotlighted Fire Island. This season, the beach cruising gets better and easier on the New Jersey shore. Cruising to the BeachCruising to the northern New Jersey shore is a must-do for boaters in the region. It…
  • USCG Activities on City Island, NY during WWII
    BackgroundDuring World War II, the harbor defense and port security resources assigned to the protection of the New York Harbor region were significantly expanded due to the important strategic value of the port, as well as its associated shipping and terminals. This effort was undertaken…
  • In Our Waters – Iron Man Down
    The barge Nelson Bloom’s passing through the familiar waters of Thunder Bay, Lake Huron offered an almost silent and solemn homage to her long-lost sister ship whose remains lay dormant in the waters far below. Forty-seven years earlier, while plying the same waters, the Nelson…
  • Skipper’s Corner – When You Get Boarded!
    You are going to get boarded. It’s not a question of “if” but “when”. If you have a boat and use it, it’s inevitable. Be educated concerning the multiple government enforcement agencies that have the right to ask to board your vessel. The “asking” part…
  • Delaware’s Fire Control Towers
    In the early morning hours of February 27, 1942, the 7,451-ton tanker R.P. Resor was running parallel to the New Jersey shoreline, en route from Texas to Fall River, Massachusetts. Under the dim light of a quarter moon, the ship’s lookout spotted the running lights…
  • Legal Perspective – Duty To Cooperate With An Insurance Carrier
    It’s hard to turn on the TV these days and not see commercials for insurance. It’s a competitive industry, and to their credit, some of the carriers do a good job of producing funny ads. Whether the ads involve geckos, emus, or dysfunctional families, they…
  • New Horizons
    New boat, new operator, and new horizons. Despite all the rain and wind we have experienced this summer, my family and I have been able to use the boats fairly often. After getting the trailer put back in useable condition we took our Boston Whaler…
  • LI Fishing Report
    Weekend warriors had a tough go in August. It felt like every weekend had some questionable weather days. Wind and waves kept many anglers closer to home. However, there were plenty of mid week weather windows that allowed boaters to head out of Long Island’s…
  • Boating Safety Tips – Aids to Navigation
    Aids to Navigation … Do Yellow Buoys Mark Yellow Submarines ??? Not really … but yellow buoys do exist. They are a part of the U.S. Aids to Navigation system which covers Near Coastal and Inland waters. It does not include the Western Rivers nor…
  • Nautical Lyrics
    I’ve never been real big on poetry. I’ve tried reading it and even writing it, but I just don’t have the knack for it. Or, in some salty way, do I?I had a friend years ago that aspired to be a musician. Unlike many of…
  • The Sailaway Gourmet
    As always, summer has sped by and for many, sadly, it’s time to store the boats away for the long winter. This is not the case for avid fishermen, be it on their boats or casting off the shoreline. And clammers are still clamming.After some…
  • On Living Aboard
    When we modified Patty O’, our 42-foot Huckins sedan cruiser to be able to live aboard permanently, our plans were to travel up and down the east coast, following the nice weather. For reasons I won’t go into, that hasn’t happened yet. One of the…
  • NJ Fishing Report
    What a completely wild summer we’ve had so far! Strange tropical critters were all over Jersey waters in late July and August, the likes of which included Spanish mackerel, cobia, barracuda and sit down for this one – tarpon! Some bizarre cyclical phase is upon…
  • August 2021
  • Tales from the Silent Service – A Tale of Two Bluefish
    My service in the USN Submarine Service spanned 1969 to 1973. Upon my graduation from Basic Enlisted Submarine School at new London CT in December 1969 I had the distinct honor and privilege to be assigned to the Pre-commissioning crew of the Nuclear Attack submarine…
  • Sayville Yacht Clubs’ North American J-24 Regatta A Huge Success!
    There is no doubt the last year and a half has been a particularly trying time for everyone. Recently, however, there have been some bright spots in the water world of competitive sailing. With the easing of Covid this year, the Sayville Yacht Club proudly…
  • Newport: A Northeast Cruising Destination
    The nautical town of Newport, RI should be on every cruiser’s destination. Its protected harbor is located in Narragansett Sound, on the lower part of Aquidneck Island. Newport offers many things to do along with plenty of good restaurants. We recently spent two nights on…
  • If We Eat Like Fish, Will We Live Forever?
    Since I last spoke with Bren Smith for the 2016 Seaweed article, he has written a book, “Eat Like a Fish,” which reflects his trajectory from a Newfoundland high school dropout who became a lobsterman, then a commercial fisherman in Alaska, went back to school…
  • The River That Runs Through Us – “The Majestic Hudson”
    The Hudson River has been called “The Rhine” and ‘’Danube” of America. She is graced by cities, towns, castles, grand estates, mountains, farms, woodlands and marinas. It has been sailed on, fished, fought over, loved, polluted and redeemed by a humble folk singer who devoted…
  • Jean Lafitte, Patriot, Pirate, Privateer
    Mystery surrounds the life of Jean Lafitte. Lafitte always denied he was had committed the crimes of which he was accused. But he did admit to smuggling because of the unjust laws of the United States which forced him into it. Not much is known…
  • NJ Fishing Report
    Strangely enough, it seems that everything has been a little behind schedule for the first wave of summer in that water temps in early July were still hovering between 58 and 65 degrees on any given day. That gave a kind of slow start to…
  • And The Hits Keep Coming
    Last month I wrote about the failure of our boat trailer. With little use (less than 150 miles and never put into water) the left rear wheel bearing failed on the trailer. I had a hard time getting the wheel bearing off the axle spindle…
  • In Our Waters – Bound By The Barrel
    Jonathan H. Baldwin walked slowly over his own well-trodden path along the wooden deck of the Cunard Dock jutting out upon the waters of the Hudson River. His round now complete, he reflected upon the date as he sat down on his chair at the…
  • Legal Perspective – What Is An Open and Obvious Hazard?
    There are many popular videos out there that captivate the public’s fascination with abandoned places. For boaters, the videos that focus on ships probably hold particular interest. Now and then, I get asked by young people about poking abandoned vessels near their homes. And I…
  • Skipper’s Corner – The Book You Need – Before You Buy A Boat!
    Charles Fredric Chapman 1881-1976 was the famous editor of Motor Boating Magazine for over 56 years and was an avid boater himself. In 1916 the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin Roosevelt asked Chapman if he would create a manual for small boat handling. That…
  • New York Harbor’s Oyster Islands
    In its early history, the tidal waters of New York Harbor were host to large areas of oyster beds. They served as an important food source for Native Americans and early colonists. Their abundance eventually prompted Dutch colonists to name the harbor’s three tiny islands,…
  • Boating Safety Tips
    Carbon Monoxide (CO) – An Odorless, Colorless Predator … In most respects boating is a healthy outdoor activity that gives us opportunities to exercise and relax at the same time. During any given day on the water, boating enthusiasts go fishing, swimming, tubing, skiing, and…
  • The Sailaway Gourmet
    Summer is passing too quickly. And the weather has been crazy from the start, but I’m sure everyone is enjoying all the activities there are to do during the season. One of the favorites among my boaters in Mt. Sinai is fishing. There are the…
  • On Living Aboard
    Changing the oil on Patty O’, our 42 foot Huckins sedan cruiser’s twin Cummings diesel engines as well as the generator, is not performed on schedule. What we do is take a sample from each engine, which is sent to a testing lab, and the…
  • CT Fishing Report
    Many years ago, back in the late 60’s and early 70’s all anyone fished for and expected to catch on plugs and jigs were striped bass, bluefish, fluke, blackfish, and scup or porgies. Even great eating and hard pulling blackfish were nowhere near as popular…
  • LI Fishing Report
    The weather just does not want to let up this summer. The 4th of July saw some windy and sporty conditions. A week later tropical storm Elsa did a drive-by Long Island. Thankfully, it was a fast-moving weak storm by the time it hit us.…
  • Down At The Old Boatyard
    I’ve always been of the opinion that guys need two places to remain balanced: one is a place to be alone; the other is a place to be with other guys. In both cases, if possible, it’s best if it involves boats.The “alone” place is…
  • July 2021
  • They Who Go Down To The Sea – Capt. Joseph Darius Meade
    Not many of us have generations of family who have lived and worked on, and by the sea. Jed Meade is one of those lucky salts. Jed’s family history goes back to the age of sailing ships, and he lives in the house his grandfather,…
  • Tales from the Silent Service – USS Skipjack SSN-585
    USS Skipjack SSN-585 was the lead ship of her class of nuclear-powered attack submarines and the third ship of the United States Navy to be named after the skipjack, a streamlined, fast-swimming pelagic fish common in tropical waters throughout the world.Her keel was laid down…
  • Guy Lombardo’s Need For Speed
    Freeport Long Island was a frequent destination for my family. My father loved seafood and we ate at Barnacle Bills Seafood Restaurant often. It was on one of those dinner trips to Freeport, LI that my dad took me to see a fellow named Joe…
  • Getting Out On The Water, One Way or Another
    As Amazon changed our shopping habits with some help from the COVID restrictions, these same rules that kept us at home away from other people moved new boat sales into the fast lane. The lockdown problems affected the supply of new boats because boat building…
  • In Our Waters – Bound For New Orleans
    The macabre discovery in all of its horrifying nature was revealed because the top of the crate was unhinged and removed. The marbleized green-tinged skin of the corpse was clothed only in a shirt. The lifeless body’s neck was tightly bound to the knees with…
  • One Door Closes, Another Opens
    Or should I say, “solve one problem and another pops up”? Last month I wrote about installing a new turbocharger on our boat Keeper (Got Boost? LIBW June 2021).After taking care of some other items that needed attention, like a loose propeller, we launched Keeper…
  • Exit Three on the LI Sound, Oyster Bay
    Captains and families on the Long Island Sound do not have to go far for a fun weekend on their boat. Long Island’s north shore has six “exits” off the Long Island Sound that are worth a visit. These include three bays, two harbors and…
  • Skipper’s Corner – Let’s Go Faster, Even Faster!
    You love boats and want to be out on the water for a relaxing weekend, cruising with the family, rafting with friends, enjoying nature in a quiet cove, or hitting the fishing grounds. Some boaters are semi-pro boat racing enthusiasts and race in appropriate venues.…
  • Renaming A Boat
    The naming of a boat, even a very small boat, is a serious matter.-William Adkin I sell boats, new and used, so I don’t need our trade journals to tell me LOTS of you have bought new or a used boat recently and you’re wondering…
  • Let’s Take A Look at Her Bottom – Part II
    In last month’s installment, we discussed removing old bottom paint, repairing imperfections, and getting the vessel prepped for repainting. Time to paintThe paint should be shaken at the store and mixed again before use. When any paint sits for some time the components will separate…
  • Distress Signals Use and Identification
    It’s Easy As ABC and 123 * * * Previously we talked about the proper use of the ship’s radio for both standard communications and in emergency situations. However, emergencies can occur at times when neither radios nor cell phones can be used due to…
  • Seamanship – Hurricane Prep – The Boat
    Recently, NOAA issued an updated hurricane forecast, indicating a windy road ahead. After thinking about protecting yourself and your family, what about the boat? Tis the season of heavy weather. This column is about that. Let Me Say It Again…Never stay on the boat. I…