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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Kill Switch

Must-have devices that could save your life

By Dave Osmolski

I have just returned home after spending a few weeks at my “homemade tropical paradise” in Flamingo Bay, Florida, where I can boat, fish, swim and enjoy some of the best shelling in the U.S. I keep my boat in my backyard, so I can be off and running in a jiffy.

During this trip, I learned of a boater who died in an avoidable boating accident, the second boating accident fatality in the area in a few years. Both fatalities could have been avoided had the proper safety procedures been followed.

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Photo of boats transiting the Swinomish Channel

Transiting the Swinomish Channel

By Michael Guelker-Cone

Most of us have a bucket list of things we want to accomplish or places we want to go before heading off to that great marina in the sky. My list of places to visit has expanded along with my experience and the confidence that came with it. Many places on my list are close to home, including Washington’s Swinomish Channel. I kept putting it off because of the horror stories I’d heard of boaters running aground in the channel. In Seamanship and Piloting, I’d been warned that it wasn’t a matter of whether you’d ever run aground but when.

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Cracked hose

Check your engine for cracked hoses

By Nick Ledbetter

Every good captain conducts an engine check before departing on a cruise. I have diligently conducted engine checks on my boat for years, always before a cruise and sometimes when I’m just messing around in my boat.

This check was much easier on my trailerable runabout where I could just pop the cover and quickly see every angle of the entire engine. It’s a bigger job on HoloHolo where I have to get down into the engine compartments and crawl around the front, back, top and bottom to get to the dipsticks, belts, hoses and other checkable parts. Getting through the checklist is literally a pain in the knees and elbows.

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Photo of 2018 Charles F. Chapman Award Recipients

2018 Charles F. Chapman Award Recipients Honored

By Yvonne Hill with photos by Art Dodd

Each year, we recognize the top educators in United States Power Squadrons, America’s Boating Club, with the Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching. These volunteer instructors have devoted themselves to teaching boating and boater safety courses to prepare our members to become the best trained, most prepared boaters on the water.

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Exploring the overlooked anchorage of Polkinghorne Islands

By Steve Lorimer

On several trips to northern British Columbia or southeastern Alaska, I’d noticed the Polkinghorne Islands just west of Wells Passage. We’d passed these islands in deep fog without seeing them a number of times, but in summer 2016 I vowed that it was time for a visit.

None of the guidebooks mentioned the islands as a safe anchorage, but when talking with Billy Proctor, an old-time commercial fisherman, environmentalist and year-round resident of Echo Bay, he mentioned anchoring there while salmon fishing in nearby waters. That did it! He had confirmed what I had speculated, and as we left Sullivan Bay in the Broughton Islands, we headed for the Polkinghornes.

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Spring 2019 Photo Contest winners


Members submitted and voted on their favorite boating photos

Via an online poll, USPS members voted for their favorite photo in The Ensign’s Spring 2019 Photo Contest, in which we invited photographers to submit their best boating photos.

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Fishing Boats in Angelmo, Puerto Montt, Chile

Rounding the Horn

By Rafael Belliard

When my first mate Linda, the perennial travel opportunities researcher, found the perfect way to round the cape, we decided to make it happen. We would take the trip with back-to-back cruises from Miami, Florida, to Valparaiso, Chile, and on to Buenos Aires, Argentina, which included the much sought-after “rounding of the Horn.”

In the Winter 2019 issue, we detailed our trip from Miami to Chile. Here, we complete our cruise around Cape Horn.

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