NEWSLETTER -- April 2003
The little publication that
"I thought I could, I thought I could . . ."
This is a true story of a small sailing magazine that started out with a handful of subscribers (well-wishers really, bless 'em) and grew to be a full-fledged magazine with readers from coast to coast and every province in Canada.
In the early days, and to this day in fact, the little magazine was only able to exist by charging subscribers a rather high subscription price (compared to other magazines which offset their costs with lots of big-buck advertising). Some folks even called it a "membership." To make that higher subscription rate palatable to those passionate early subscribers, the little magazine offered one free classified ad as part of the subscription. It was a good deal for everyone.
In their infinite wisdom, however, the publishers could not foresee a day when the little sailing magazine could turn into a Boat Trader-type magazine, if every subscriber took them up on that free ad offer at once! A handful of subscribers can't possibly fill a magazine with great old boats for sale, right?
Good news and bad news came next. The little publication grew. Subscriptions poured in. The sailing niche "for the rest of us," as it turned out, was rather, umm, Large! Suddenly the publishers "got it." If 6,000 or 12,000 or 18,000 subscribers all want a classified ad, what then? (Have a look at the May 2003 issue of Good Old Boat, and you'll see how the classifieds are growing into the blob that ate Brooklyn!)
A revision of the original classified ad policy was in order. As it turns out, web space is available, cheap, and timely, while magazine space is precious, costly, and takes two months from ad submission to magazine delivery. Since the little sailing magazine also had a huge website with a third of a million hits a month and since most of the classified listings were selling quickly on the web, it was decided that subscribers could still have free classified ads . . . on the website. Those who really want a printed classified ad in the magazine can buy one for a reasonable fee of $35. (Well, that is reasonable when compared to what other magazines are charging for classified ads.)
Changes begin with Sept. issue
So starting on July 1 (the deadline for our September 2003 issue), subscribers will receive a discount on print ads and will continue to have free ads posted on our website. Fortunately, ads on the website work very well and are placed there in a more timely fashion than is possible with a magazine that comes out every other month. As it was, many items were being sold before we ever got them published in the magazine! If you don't have computer access to the Internet, you can use your telephone number as your point of contact in the web ad.
Each paid subscriber is allowed one free web ad per year. These run for up to 90 days on our website. Running your ad for another 90 days on the site after you've used up your free one costs $35.
Photos with ads
Because we wind up spending time with each photo, we have always charged $20 if you want to run a photo with your web ad. This does not charge. If you have a webpage, about the sale of your boat, we'll hot link it. No charge.
The new "menu of advertising costs" looks like this:
Removed. Out of date. See out Classifieds Guidelines page.
If there are charges associated with your ad, payment is made in advance. We can charge your credit card or take a check.
Thinking of running a classified ad?
For full details about word counts, deadlines, and so on, call us for more information, 763-420-8923, or go to: http://www.goodoldboat.com/classified_guide.html.
What's coming in May
The May issue's got boats:
- The Montgomery 23 is the feature boat
- The Nicholson 31 and the Rob Roy 23 are review boats
- A Chrysler 27 gets a refit
Serious articles include:
- Changing from tiller to wheel steering
- Selecting boat cleaners
- The fine art of rowing a boat
- Sailing into old age (making the boat safe so you can)
- Inspecting for quality (you'll know it when you see it)
- Maintaining your winches
Just for fun:
- A profile of Yves Gelinas, circumnavigator who founded Cape Horn Marine Products
- A profile of Mark Ellis, designer of the Nonsuch and Niagara (and other) boats
- An argument for cruising in a smaller boat
- Sailing for the sake of maintaining sanity
- Crossing the great divide (becoming one of the "launched" rather than one of the "still-in-the-boatyard" boats)
- A lovely art spread
- Bronzed ports, an anchor rode bag, an outboard motor hoist, and some tried and tested products.
Want to be part of an international celebration this summer? On June 21, the third annual Summer Sailstice, a holiday for sailors, will be celebrated around the world in large and small ways through group charters and intimate gatherings. In their own ways, they will be honoring the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. It's easy to participate. Just log onto <http://www.summersailstice.com> and sign up to be eligible for great prizes. Then plan your own sailing celebration wherever you sail. The website is designed to help you find crew, a boat to crew on, announce your individual participation, or offer to host a gathering or raft up. Simply, it enables sailors to connect with Summer Sailstice celebrations anywhere in the world. The brainchild of Latitude 38's John Arndt, this is one event worth noting in your own way.
We heard from the good folks at Womanship recently. This sailing school, which helped more than 35,000 women gain sailing skills and confidence, is celebrating its 20th season with new ways for women to learn and empower themselves with a special emphasis on today's limited timeframes and thinner pocketbooks.
Upcoming dates: Passagemaking: Coastal/Offshore, April 26-30; Passagemaking: Coastal/Through-the-Night, May 30-June 3 and June 4-8; 5-Day Cruising Courses in the BVI, May 11-15, June 8-12, July 6-10; 5-Day Cruising Courses in Vancouver, B.C., July 2-6, 7-11-, 26-30, August 9-14, 23-27, September 6-10, 20-24; 9- and 12-Day Sails in the Greek Isles and Turkey, no dates listed; Summer Break Sails in the Greek Isles, July 1-9 and 1-12.
Inside the beltway
by Stephen Watterson
Our cruise up the Potomac to Washington, D.C., was the highlight of our Chesapeake experience. The Potomac is wide and meandering with many tributaries and places to explore on both the Maryland and Virginia sides. The final day of the trip up the river was exciting as we passed Mt. Vernon and, rounding the last bend, sighted the Washington Monument and the capitol dome in the distance.
There was, however, a significant obstacle lying between us and the delights of the Capitol City: the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, where I-495 (the Beltway) crosses the Potomac at Alexandria. This bridge is supposed to have 50 feet of clearance between the surface of the water and its underside. The top of Witch of Endor's mast (including antennae and wind direction indicator) is about 48 feet above the water's surface.
Well, you say, there's 50 feet of clearance, and you only need 48 feet, so what's the problem? Well, I say, whadduya mean, what's the problem? -- that's too close! How do I know that the bridge is really 50 feet up? It looks more like 47 feet to me! It's the skipper's job to be paranoid about his $20,000 rig being wiped out by a bridge! Do you think Woodrow Wilson is going to pay for a new mast?
The bridge does open, but only between 12 midnight and 5 a.m. and then only if you give them 12 hour's notice by telephone. You have to call to make an appointment to get through the bridge in the middle of the night! And then, there you would be -- in total darkness in an unfamiliar place surrounded by the lights of Alexandria, Washington National Airport, Bolling Air Force Base, and the District of Columbia, trying to follow a channel marked with unlighted buoys! When I said that I had the skills required for coastal cruising, this is not what I had in mind.
What we did was to time ourselves to arrive at the bridge at low tide, which on that day was 3:30 in the afternoon. (Margaret was in charge of tides. She was equipped with a marvelous hand-held device called Tidetracker, which enabled her to predict the time of high, low, or slack tide just about anyplace on the Eastern Seaboard). I will never forget this. We inched our way under, and I mean inched, with less than a half knot showing on the knotmeter. My heart was thumping, and my hand was on the backstay to feel that first touch, which I knew would come, while Margaret offered quiet words of comfort like, ". . . it'll only take off the top few inches . . !"
Well, we made it. Actually, there was plenty of clearance. The problem is that when you are approaching a bridge and looking up at the bridge and up at the top of your mast, the bridge can be 80 feet and your mast 40 feet. It still looks as if you are going to hit. It is a well-known phenomenon of perspective known as "Sailor's Paranoia."
Approaching the anchorage in what is known as the Washington Channel was a happy and exciting experience for me. Thirty years of business travel in and out of Washington National Airport, U.S. Army time spent at Ft. Meyer and Ft. McNair some years before that, together with my parents having lived in the District in the 50s and 60s - all combined to give me a sense of having roots in Washington. This was heightened by the circumstance of my son and daughter-in-law living and working in the area. Motoring slowly past the airport and past the Army War College and Ft. McNair to the anchorage gave me a high I will not soon forget.
We spent a marvelous week anchored there, living aboard our boat literally in the shadow of the Washington Monument. Twenty-five dollars a week to the Gangplank Marina, which borders the anchorage, provided us with a secure dock for our dinghy a short distance from our boat and also access to showers, restrooms, and laundry facilities. (This marina is the home of a large liveaboard population, including Representative James Traficant, then Congressman from Youngstown, Ohio.)
Helicopters flew low overhead along the length of the narrow channel at least once a day -- probably ferrying our poor, deprived civil servants between the Pentagon, the White House, and Glen Burnie Country Club.
We felt as if we were in the center of everything Washington had to offer. The shore on one side was a landscaped esplanade bordered by the marina, seafood restaurants, and markets, while the other side was a large park. A supermarket, a drugstore, fast food restaurants, and a Metro station were two blocks away. The Washington Mall (Washington Monument, The Smithsonian, the National Gallery, and all the other great Mall attractions) was within an easy walk. L'Enfant Plaza (office buildings connected by an underground shopping mall) was also near. This was a perfect place for cruising boaters to stay in Washington, and we had an outstanding week sightseeing and visiting with our son and his family.
Wending our way back down the Potomac to Chesapeake Bay (the District of Columbia lies about three easy days from the Bay), we spent a late afternoon and evening at anchor in a cove up the Yeocomico River, on the Virginia side near the broad mouth of the Potomac. We had stayed there on the way up, and we returned because it was such a lovely spot, wooded and tranquil with a few houses nestled among the trees. The cove is perhaps 300 feet across, and we were tucked well inside in about seven feet of water. During the evening, two or three other boats joined us.
In the morning, as we were moving about on deck taking the awning down, the sailcover off, and doing the chores preparatory to raising the anchor and getting under way, we were visited by a pod of porpoises. We heard the distinctive clicking sound that porpoises make. There were at least four of them; I saw three out in the Yeocomico, moving (porpoising) slowly down stream toward the Potomac, and one was cavorting near us in the cove, checking us out. As we got under way, they stayed near us for a while as we headed out into the Potomac, and then we lost them. We were excited about this -- they were our first porpoises, and we did not expect to see them this far north.
Steve and Margaret Watterson cruised from their home near Cleveland, Ohio, on Lake Erie to the Florida Keys and back. This was excerpted from their book, A Year in Paradise, How We Lived Our Dream, published by Eagle Cliff Press. Available from the publisher, 440-835-3858, <http://www.yearinparadise.com> and from the Good Old Bookshelf, 763-420-8923, http://www.goodoldboat.com.
Your New sailboat: Choosing It, Using It, by the Editors of Chapman Piloting (Hearst books, 2002; 192 pages; $19.95.)
Review by Ted Duke, Fairfield, Va.
Did you read the title and decide you were not interested? Already got your boat? Nothing here for you -- wrong! This well-written paperback offers good insights into what boat might be right for you and how to avoid many of the possible pitfalls when choosing a sailboat. Not obvious by the title is the wealth of information included for prospective boat buyers after they buy the boat or for those who already own a boat.
This book is about how to find the right boat for you and your budget: new or used, large or small, dingy or trailerable, daysailer or liveaboard. It presents ideas on what kind of boat might fit your needs and discusses things prospective sailboat buyers might overlook in their eagerness to get their own sailboat. If you are already feeling the breeze, remember being there? It covers mundane things like marinas, trailers, joint-ownership, maintenance, insurance, financing, and so on. The book details what to look for when you are actually looking at boats, recommends test sailing, reminds you to check fit and finish and to seek your comfort level in the cockpit and belowdecks. It says you probably need a surveyor and discusses how to choose and locate one.
This book also explains many things new or prospective sailors need to know regarding safety, terminology, and maintaining a sailboat. The authors introduce ideas readers can research before they commit to a particular boat or plan for using it. These are items seasoned sailors know but those new to sailing might learn the hard way. It includes information on safety and ground tackle requirements and several helpful checklists. There is a good glossary and index.
This book will be of value to prospective or new sailors who have many questions about sailboats and using them. Many of the questions asked on sailing e-lists and bulletins by newbies are answered here. In short, there is much more here than just a guide to buying a sailboat. It's well worth reading. You might even want to add it to you library for reference and to loan to guests who will sail with you to add some basics to their knowledge.
Lines: A Half Century of Yacht Designs by Sparkman & Stephens, 1930-1980, by Olin Stephens II, (David R. Godine Publishers, 2002; 228 pages; $125 hardcover, $250 limited signed edition.)
Review by George Colligan, Turin, N.Y.
For those of us who sail yachts designed by the firm of Sparkman & Stephens, the publication of Lines by Olin Stephens, the most influential yacht designer of the 20th century, is a momentous event. Anyone who truly loves sailing yachts to would feel privileged to look into the artistry of an individual who has so thoroughly set the standard of sailing design excellence for more than half a century.
In print for the first time are the lines -- the actual three-dimensional draftsman's representation of the hull shapes -- of some of the greatest sailing yachts of the 50 years from 1930 to 1980. Included are drawings for Dorade, Stormy Weather, the New York 32, Baruna, Bolero, S&S 34, Running Tide, Intrepid, Yankee Girl, and many others. Each drawing is accompanied by a commentary on the design by Olin Stephens reflecting the significance of the design, its place in the evolution of design thinking, and the performance of the completed vessel. There are some brief insights into things that didn't go so well but which lead to other developments and improvements.
Communicated as well is something of Olin's personal sense of love for the boats he created and the team at Sparkman & Stephens which worked so diligently and creatively to bring these magnificent sailing vessels to life. Good Old Boat readers know many designers passed through the doors of Sparkman & Stephens on their way to excellent careers of their own.
Throughout the pages, the reader will find a clarity of vision about what makes a good boat. The narratives are rich in the lessons learned as yacht design moved from a purely intuitive venture to an ever more quantitative undertaking, all the while building on what was proven in the heat of competition and the test of the oceans.
If there is one shortcoming, it's that it doesn't have twice as many boats and drawings, but then Olin says these are his favorites; that, in itself, should be instructive enough.
This is a beautifully produced large-page volume. The full plans including the lines of the hull and offsets, the interior layout plan, and the sail plan are included. If you are a particularly ambitious student of yacht design, this is perhaps the only time you'll get to see the actual design specifics of Freedom, Courageous, or Flyer. If you are a sailor with an appreciation of the aesthetics of sailboats, this volume will give you a unique glimpse into the creative mind of the best of the last century's designers and artists who, at the age of 94, is still having an influence in the world of yacht design.
Rules of the Road at Sea (Seaworthy Publications, 2003; CD and book; $59.95.)
Review by S. Merrill Hall, Yarmouth, Maine
The ultimate guide to the collision regulations" -- "Memorable learning tool." This is supposedly everything you need to study and learn the Rules of the Road. The package includes the Rules of the Road at Sea CD, The Skipper's Pocketbook, A Seaman's Guide Pocket Book of The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, and the U.S. Navigation Rules CD touted to be a "Bonus Worth $25!" I was initially impressed.
The Skipper's Pocketbook is filled with information on many boating topics similar to many other handbooks of this type. However, it's printed in the United Kingdom, and some information is not appropriate for operating in U.S. waters and could be confusing to the novice. The Rules of the Road section refers only to the International Rules. In the U.S., where we operate under both the International and the Inland Rules, its value for quick reference to the Rules is diminished.
The Seaman's Guide Pocket Book isn't a guide at all but a pocket version of the International Rules without illustrations. Its practical value is minimal.
My expectations were high for both CDs. A well-done CD can be a powerful self-teaching tool. I fired up the "Bonus" U.S. Nav. Rules CD. The "U.S. Navigation Rules and the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway Rules" headings bring up copies of the Rules identical to USCG books currently in print. There is no attempt to be instructive. You're on your own to read and study the text. In my opinion, this would be more conveniently done using a book. The "Apply the Rules" heading opens up seven sections where each contains a Q&A series to test your knowledge. Roughly 50 questions in Sections 1 through 3 on the International and Inland Rules could be helpful to learning. Those in Sections 4 through 7 have absolutely nothing to do with the Rules. They seem to have been taken from a professional mariner's exam with questions regarding commercial vessel operations. Perhaps the publisher ran out of Rules questions and had to quickly do something to "bulk up" the content. This CD is, for the most part, not much of a bonus at all.
Ever hopeful, I loaded the Rules of the Road at Sea CD. The table of contents lists seven chapters of which five have instructional material. These cover the International Rules with explanations and questions and help-links regarding their application. The graphics are sometimes animated and include sounds and lights. This works quite well. However, several of the examples are somewhat whimsical and not reflective of common circumstances. The CD can be of learning assistance for the International Rules but, without inclusion of the Inland Rules, it is incomplete and therefore unacceptable for learning the rules that apply to U.S. waters.
In my opinion, the Rules of the Road at Sea package is over-priced for something of such limited practical value. The USCG Navigation Rules International -- Inland can be bought for less than $15, and there are better self-teaching courses available at a fraction of the cost. That would be the way to go.
The Cruise of the Blue Dolphin: A Family's Adventure at Sea, by Nina Chandler Murray (The Lyons Press, 2002; 306 pages; $24.95.)
Review by Beth Rosenberger, Minneapolis, Minn.
I am glad then, as gales blow and jar the house, and horizontal snows fly by, that my father with his typical creative, extravagant imagination, took his children out to sea to learn how to live." This sentence ends a wonderful book full of adventure and stories that would interest sailors and non-sailors alike. As a sailor, I could put myself in Nina's place as she and her family set sail from New England to the Galapagos Islands and back. What a wonderful book to escape a cold Minnesota winter day or to read while you swing from a anchor.
It was 1933, the middle of the Great Depression, when Nina's dad, who was unemployed, decided to take his family sailing. This family included his wife, four of his children, his mother-in-law, and six crew members who would help sail the boat he chartered. His teaching skills would be enriched by his artistic wife and his mother-in-law who loved literature.
The trip began on a dangerous note as they encountered one of 21 hurricanes that hit the East Coast that year. They made it through 60-mph winds -- all this without radar, GPS, or other modern electronic equipment. What sailor today would head out to sea without a basic radio? But they counted on a reliable crew and a sturdy boat. Their adventure starts with a storm, but along the way, many adventures await them. Who wouldn't be thrilled to have a school of dolphins follow their boat or ride on a 400 pound, 200-year-old turtle in the Galapagos Islands? Friendly islanders in the Caribbean great the crew warmly; the children are anxious to meet these strange new children.
I invite you to come along with the Chandler family as Nina tells the amazing journey that changed her life and that of her silbings back in 1933 and 1934. As she states in her book . . . "the comprehensive sea-going curriculum awoke a curiosity in these children that never left the young mariners."
In the Wake of Madness: The Murderous Voyage of the Whaleship Sharon, by Joan Druett (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2003; 277 pages; 24.95.)
Reviewed by Niki Taylor, Ayden, N.C.
Natives murdered Captain Howes Norris on the whaleship Sharon, and people assumed that the reason was because of their savage ways. Author Joan Druett searched for the real story behind the murder in her book, In the Wake of Madness: The Murderous Voyage of the Whaleship Sharon. On May 25, 1841, the Sharon sailed out from Massachusetts to the whaling grounds of the northwestern Pacific. In the book, the author described their whaling adventures, the captain's treatment of his crew, and his murder and its aftermath.
This was a fascinating read. Joan Druett not only wrote about this piece of maritime history, she turned it into a good adventure/murder mystery yarn. She also juxtaposed this story with fellow sailor Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick. Here was how she ended the introduction and segued into the story:
"When the events took place, Herman Melville was in the Pacific and undoubtedly heard about the murder and the heroic recapture, as gossip ran round the fleet fast. He also would have read the official version in the papers. He was home in New York when the story hit the headlines again after the Sharon arrived back in February, 1845. He heard more details from his old Acushnet shipmate Toby Greene, who in 1843, less than a year after the sensational events, had socialized with the Sharon sailors during several lengthy midsea visits. It is probably no coincidence that Captain Ahab found disaster in the same empty tropic seas where Captain Norris was killed. So what really lay behind the story of the Sharon?"
Joan extensively researched this story as evidenced by the chapter notes at the end of the book. She also included the Sharon's crew list and resources she used to research the book. Her well-documented research showed in her writing and added support to the credibility of the story. To further the Melville-Sharon connection, she provided a chronology of Melville's adventures and publications. Melville fans will especially appreciate the Melville-Sharon connection, but the Sharon story stands on its own.
What readers will appreciate about the book is that it gives you the feeling of being there. You can almost smell the air and feel the water splashing against your face. Readers will feel like crew members themselves as they read about exchanging goods with natives and turning whale fat into oil. That, plus the murder mystery itself, makes for a fine read. Those who enjoy maritime history, whaling, and Melville should embark on the Sharon book voyage for a thrilling ride.
- In the February newsletter we named all the marine consignment stores we could and asked for more. We got more, of course. Special thanks to Tom Klin who provided most of the following additions.
These were very out of date. We removed them to protect the innocent from search engine robots.
- Please see our up-to-date consignment stores page.
A couple of products caught our attention at Strictly Sail Chicago this winter: an interesting way to add mast steps without drilling holes in your mast and a new water-resistant breathable fabric for outdoor clothing.
The Prime Climb Mast Ladder System is a set of rigid mast steps which fit together as modules. It fits internal sail track openings of 11/32 inches or wider. You slide one section with a step and a spacer (of 14, 16, or 18 inches) up the sail track at a time in the same way that you bend on a mainsail with sail slides. You don't need additional sail slides, winches, blocks, or halyards.
Steve Simon is president of the company offering this product, SJS Custom Marine Products of Broomfield, Colorado. He notes that you've got to have a lineman-type belt for security aloft. By using the belt for security you as you climb and to hold you snugly at the top (where by the way, you can have a double foothold, so you can stand to work on that pesky masthead light), you can climb safely and work independently and without the assistance of halyards, bosun's chairs, and heavy winching. The steps are made of lightweight anodized aluminum. They are added when you need them and removed when you don't, so there's no additional weight aloft or sharp things for catching sails and halyards. SJS also makes a winterizing and flushing system which may be of interest. For more on both products, visit Steve's website at <http://www.prime-climb.com>.
The powers behind the Chapin Company, located in Minneapolis, Minn., are Ken and Susan Tarter. This dymanic duo founded the company in the late 1990s, about the time that Good Old Boat magazine came into being. What caught our attention was their outerwear line of clothing made from Epic fabric. This is a lightweight material that breathes and feels soft and comfortable. The shocker is that it is also water-resistant and windproof. It's also fast drying, lightweight, and washable. There are no plastic coatings or heavy, inflexible laminates. What's not to like?
At the Chapin Company booth, we were amazed by a demo showing that water does not go through the fabric while at the same time it allows air to pass through. If you sail in a warm-weather climate, this could be the perfect material for wet sailing conditions. For more about the products Ken and Susan have developed using the Epic fabric, go to <http://www.chapincompany.com>.
Boat of the Year spoof
I really enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek "Boat of the Year" piece that you did last issue (January 2003). I am actually currently looking for a jeep carrier to restore and use to land my private jet on. I found the information very valuable . . . !
(with his own tongue firmly in cheek)
More on Boat of the Year
Reading the newsletter, I'm getting the impression that y'all took some heat for the GOBOOTY. That was the funniest, cleverest piece of entertainment I've seen in a boat mag. in recent memory -- maybe ever -- and I am not easily amused. The writing was first-class. Taken as a whole, the sailing press is woefully devoid of good humor right now -- Tom Neale being about the only regular notable exception I can think of.
Oh no! We've started something!
You recently featured an article on an aircraft carrier, Rangerette, although not exactly within the description of Good Old Boat, I was intrigued and would like to know more about this. Can you hook me up with contact information?
A reader (whose name we withhold)
We had to tell this reader the bad news: "We made it up. It was meant to be a spoof. But way too many people believed us. So we're eating a bit of crow now." To this he replied with good grace: "Awww shucks. I feel like such a guppy, it was such a good idea, maybe someone should do it. I should have figured it out with the word Raspberry and all that stuff about the power plants being donated by the Navy . . . Let's see now if I just go to eBay and type 'search' for Aircraft Carrier, yeah that should do it." On the other hand, we told him, "When you do find it and do the refit, we'll run the article (provided it's a sailboat, of course)."
Thanks for your Honor Demands (in the February newsletter)! Hard-bitten skeptical old physics teacher that I am, it was only after some reading that it all dawned on me. I'm reminded of an article that appeared in The Skipper magazine, a long-defunct Maryland publication. In the '50s an article appeared exhorting us to be aware of the fiberglass worm, a new mutation. Having recently bought a 1957 sailboat, this scared me badly. Only some preposterous statement at the end of the article brought me to my senses.
Look at the good side: you people have a very high credibility index (like another sailor, Walter Cronkite, the most trusted . . . ).
Tony du Bourg
Escort carrier yarns
I read your sea story about the escort carrier and the battleship. You may know this already (a little thing like that never stopped me from telling a good yarn, though), but that incident actually did happen! The Battle off Samar, Philippines, on 25 October 1944 resulted when six jeep carriers and their escorts were jumped by not one, but four battleships, six heavy cruisers and destroyers.
They won. Read the account in Samuel Eliot Morison's The Two-Ocean War. The story that most sums up the courage and resolve of the bluejackets in this battle came from the Chief Gunner's Mate Jenkins of U.S.S. White Plains, who fired her single five-inch gun at any cruiser that got within range. "Hold out a little longer, boys," he is reported to have said, "We're luring them into 40-millimeter range!"
Booze on board?
Do not apologize for the humor in the last issue or its continuation in this newsletter. They are a refreshing change from the dour prose in the more traditional sailboat magazines. I look forward to the March issue, particularly the piece on " . . . advanced swigging for the traditionalists . . ." I take it that you are presenting a collection of grog recipes?
Jerry responded: "The swig is an island courtship dance practiced in traditional cultures in the Pacific Northwest. Advanced swigging occurs when the dancer attempts to court two young women at the same time in the same dance. It is part of the normal cruising lore that we all must learn. A follow-on article called 'Very Advanced Swigging' will explain what to do if both young women accept. Rum will not save you."
These were very out of date. We removed them to protect the innocent from search engine robots.
One more discovery at Strictly Sail Chicago was a neat little book, called A Sailor's Guide to Life, and its author, Randy Deering. This is a book of quotes, and we offer a few of our favorites here:
Knowing your vessel is everything; each one is a law unto herself. Some pretty fancy maneuvering can be done by a skipper who has learned his ship's idiosyncrasies.
-- Donald Hamilton
One of the benefits of depending almost exclusively on sails is that you'll have the joy of working into the same anchorages that Columbus, Drake, Cook, and Nelson entered under sail alone.
-- Lin and Larry Pardey
Who can feel poor when the sails are full and the spirit is full?
-- Herb Payson
Certainly every man that goes to sea in a little boat learns terror and salvation, happy living, air, danger, exultation, glory and repose at the end; and they are not words to him but realities which will afterwards throughout his life give the mere words a full meaning.
-- Hilaire Belloc
With repetition comes good habits, with good habits comes good seamanship, with good seamanship comes security, and with security comes enjoyment. And after all, isn't that what we're looking for in the first place?
-- John Rousmaniere
When a man comes to like a sea life, he is not fit to live on land.
-- Dr. Samuel Johnson
The sea being smooth, how many shallow bauble boats dare sail upon her patient breast.
-- William Shakespeare
To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes
The sea knows awareness, she knows patience, she knows staunchness, she knows foresight; yet she knows nothing of man's longing for riches or fame or even of his efforts to overcome or to thwart her.
-- Tristan Jones
Sailing does this for me! The world leaps into my eyes and ears, touches me in private places, and afterward I return to the mainstream of my life renewed.
-- Herb Payson
Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.
-- August Hare
Raise your sail one foot and you get ten feet of wind.
-- Chinese proverb
There are many points on the compass rose. I had to locate the few that were meant for me and head for those that summoned me with a passion, for they were the ones that gave meaning to my life.
-- Richard Bode
To be at one with the wind is to be at home in the world.
-- Richard Bode