Top view of Nao Santa Maria in Beaufort

Piloting a Historic Replica

By Howard Heckrotte with Douglas Nelson

Photos by Bob Corso

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources 25-foot twin-engine fast boat propelled us through rain and 3- to 4-foot seas at over 35 knots for a rendezvous with the Santa Maria. The North Atlantic waves pitched and yawed the two vessels. When a higher wave materialized, the 25-footer went into thin air, engines over-revving before thudding back into a trough, testing knee and shoulder sinews as white knuckles gripped the center-console grab rail.

The DNR officer smiled thinly and throttled back a bit, continuing a course to our rendezvous point, unseen in the rain and light fog but somewhere a few miles ahead. I was wondering how the boarding would take place when the ship’s profile appeared out of the sea mist, looking daunting.

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DIY bird deterrent

DIY bird deterrent for your boat

By Dave Osmolski and Doug Carlson

This time I’m sharing a project developed by friend and fellow Charlotte Power Squadron member Doug Carlson. Doug and I often get together for breakfast at a local diner, where the conversation usually turns to the subject of how we should use our boats more often but can never seem to find the time.

One of the problems with leaving a boat at the dock is that many different birds, mostly big birds, use it as a rest stop and leave their “calling cards.” In addition to being an unhealthy problem, bird guano can harm the gelcoat, upholstery and other fabrics. Some birds have hard shells from small mollusks and crustaceans in their droppings, which can do serious abrasive damage to the gelcoat.

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Alcohol and safety risks on board

By Gino C. Bottino, M.D.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2017 Recreational Boating Statistics, 658 people died from recreational boating accidents.

Alcohol use was the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Where the cause of death was known, alcohol was listed as the leading factor in 19% of deaths.

Even moderate alcohol consumption substantially increases the risk of drowning, and consuming larger amounts of alcohol increases the risk of drowning 30 to 50 times more than that of someone who has not been drinking.Read More

Taming the winds and seas

Use a bridle

Have you been in an anchorage where the wind keeps the boat at odds with the waves, rolling your boat from side to side, making you uncomfortable and nauseated? Some people deploy flopper stoppers on each side to slow down this motion, but you have to store them somewhere, and they take quite a bit of effort to deploy.

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Are you ready to hit the waves?

Traveling by boat is not always smooth sailing. If we’re not properly prepared, the waterways around us can wreak havoc with the boat and people aboard. Before you leave the dock, take a close look at the inside and outside of your vessel.

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Woman to Woman

Lessons learned while docking

By Capt. Kathrine Redmond

In my next few articles, I’ll share information as though you have just completed your boating safety class and are gathering on-land, theoretical knowledge of the docking process.

In my previous column, I mentioned that the helmsperson must stop the movement of the boat in the slip so that the line handler can step off the boat, not jump off. Over the years, I have seen line handlers suffer broken and sprained ankles and have seen them fall into the water when skippers come into the slip too quickly and line handlers attempt to stop the boat by jumping onto the dock to tie a line. This practice is dangerous. The helmsperson’s job is to stop the movement of the boat in the slip!Read More

Montauk Point Lighthouse

Sailors face tough choices during Around Long Island Regatta

By Jeff Taylor

We were just past the halfway point in the 2016 Around Long Island Regatta when Steve Kornspun woke me up in the wee hours of the morning and said, “Jeff, c’mon, we need you on deck.”

I joined a tense conference in the cockpit. The night was eerily quiet and very dark. Something strange was happening. There was almost no wind. In fact, the wind was so light you couldn’t tell what direction it was coming from.

According to the compass, we were headed southwest, just as we should be, but with a strong current in so light a wind, we were actually going slowly but steadily backward!

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Gary Rogers steers his boat as Doug Sherman instructs.

On-the-water training boosts squadron membership

By Doug Sherman

Located in central California with a thousand miles of waterways, San Joaquin Delta Power Squadron/25 offers several options to help boaters become safer and more proficient on the water. The squadron has earned a reputation from local boaters as well as local marinas, marine supply stores, brokers and insurance carriers for providing valuable training, helping train more knowledgeable boaters and creating safer waterways for everyone.

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Mljet

Chartering along Southern Croatia

By Walter LaMendola with Bruce Cochran, Michelle Denton, Pam McCain, Charley Oliver and Nancy VanDeMark

“Why?” I’d wondered when Nancy told me that our group of sailor friends wanted to go to Croatia on holiday. I only had half-formed notions about Croatia and its people, but I should have known the “why” was typical sailor stuff.

The reasons included a long archipelago of sparsely inhabited Mediterranean islands; miles of beach, rock, vineyards, forest, palm trees, farms and olive groves; the southern Adriatic’s clear waters; and the generous people sustained by its riches. Mostly, it had to do with history and sailing with sun, wind and stars.

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Priscilla “Polly” Jones Woods

Priscilla “Polly” Jones Woods of Westbrook, Connecticut, died peacefully on Saturday, July 27, with family by her side. Polly was born on Valentine’s Day in 1930 and was the beloved wife of her husband Robert Woods for 70 years. She graduated from New Britain High School in 1947 and attended Wheelock College in Boston. As a swimming instructor she was a pioneer in teaching swimming to those with special needs and also teaching infants to swim. She had a lifetime association with the YMCA and was a Water Safety Instructor and a Master Swimmer. Polly taught a Water Aerobics Class at Essex Meadows and worked extensively with Sarah Inc., which helps families raising children and adult family members with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities or special healthcare needs. Providing them with coaching, assistance and encouragement, she brought joy and smiles of success to her students in the water, many of whom had difficulties on land. She also was a volunteer at Red Cross Blood Drives. She and Bob were very active members of America’s Boating Club with Polly rising to the rank of District 1 Lieutenant Commander. Polly loved swimming, boating, and the beach and passed that love on to her whole family. Her caring and giving ways will be forever missed.

Polly Woods

Polly Woods

Polly met the love of her life one summer at Grove Beach Point in Westbrook. That romance, which started as teenagers, lasted over 70 years. She married Bob when he was serving in the Army during the Korean War. They settled in Plainville where the raised their four children together, but still summered at Grove Beach Point or on their boat.

She is survived by her husband Robert Woods of Westbrook, her two sisters Natalie Neri of Niantic and Constance Peck of Madison. Her daughter Dianne Bronkie of East Berlin, her son Gary Woods and his wife Shelley of Deep River, Laura Woods of Westbrook, and Gail Sartori of Burlington, Ct. Polly’s grandchildren who she loved dearly are Jenifer Mongillo and her husband Jeff, Myshel Enman and her husband Garrett, Jaime Petillo and her husband Jeff, Jessica Sartori, Nick Sartori and his wife Jacilyn. The Great Grandchildren who will be missing her are Addison, Rocco, Ryan, Anna, Joseph, Dominic and Calina. And of course, her two beautiful Golden Retrievers Kate and Cooper, who were always by her side.

She is pre-deceased by her sister Barbara Jones Kellam and her loving parents Milton and Edith Jones of New Britain. A special thank you to everyone at The Shoreline of Clinton for the loving and compassionate care they bestowed on Polly.

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Emergency room afloat, part 2

The day sailor’s first-aid kit


By Gino Bottino, M.D.

In the last issue, we discussed “time to professional medical help” as the single most important variable in determining the extent of medical supplies and training needed aboard.

Accordingly, we divided the theoretical “complete medical chest” into smaller kits based on boating needs. The simplest of these is the day or deck kit, where medical help is available in less than 30 minutes.

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Woman to Woman

Develop your docking muscles

By Katherine Redmond

In my next few articles, I’ll share information as though you have just completed your boating safety class and are gathering on-land, theoretical knowledge of the docking process.

Most boaters would agree that docking a boat is the most difficult maneuver in the sport. It’s amazing to watch adventurers who have crossed oceans become uncomfortable when docking their vessels. If we are to become proficient at docking, we should learn all that we can about the task through on-land lessons and on-the-water skill drills.

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