Couple falls for Vancouver marina

Couple falls for Vancouver marina

By Jim West

During the middle of the September, Cheryl and I set off for the Canadian Gulf Islands. We ended up spending two nights in Ganges, three nights in Ladysmith, and one night in Montague Harbor. Ladysmith was a new destination for us, and we fell in love with the marina, the town and the area’s beauty.

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January 2015 Star Calendar

Star calendar 1–31 January 2015

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1 Jan      High in the east at sunset, the Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width above or to the upper left of the moon. Aldebaran is 3 finger-widths to the lower left.

2 Jan      Gemini and Orion are high in the southeast by midnight.

3 Jan      Just after dark, Gemini is to the moon’s lower left and Orion to its lower right.

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In memory

Submit an obituary for a deceased USPS member by using the form below.

Stargazer calendar December 2014

Star calendar 1–31 December

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column width=”1/1″]4 Dec    The Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width to the moon’s left or upper left tonight.

5 Dec    The brightest star in Taurus, Aldebaran, is 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower left at dusk. [Binoculars]

6 Dec    By mid-evening, Aldebaran is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right, and Capella is 3 fist-widths to the upper left, with Pollux far below. Orion is to the moon’s lower right, with first-magnitude stars Betelgeuse 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right, and Rigel at the opposite corner beyond the belt.
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Stargazer calendar November 2014

Star calendar 1–30 November

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column width=”1/1″]1 Nov    In the southeast at sunset, Fomalhaut is 2½ fist-widths below the moon. Mercury reaches its greatest elongation of the year, 18.7 degrees west of the sun.

3 Nov    Mars is less than ½ finger-width above Kaus Borealis, the uppermost star in the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius. [Binoculars]
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Stargazer calendar October 2014

Star calendar 1–31 October

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column width=”1/1″]1 Oct    The moon is above the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius, low in the south tonight. Mars and Antares are 3 fist-widths to the lower right.

2 Oct    The bright star 2½ fist-widths above the moon is Altair.

3 Oct    The moon lies between Altair, 2½ fist widths to the upper right, and Fomalhaut, 3½ fist-widths to the lower left.
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Know your VHF channels

By Art Steinberg

If you carry a VHF radio onboard (and you should), you must maintain a watch on channel 16 when the radio is on and not being used to communicate. You may also maintain a watch on VHF channel 9. Note that urgent marine information broadcasts, such as storm warnings, are announced on channel 9 only in USCG First District waters (northern New Jersey, New York and New England).

Most radios have a memory scan option where you can add specific channels to the memory and press scan. The radio quickly switches through and listens to each channel, pausing if someone is using that channel and then resuming the scan.

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4 steps to fix a leak on your boat

4 steps to fix a leak on your boat

By Keith Dahlin

Back in the early ’90s, I lived aboard my Columbia 28 while attending university. I often walked down the dock like a kid in a candy store, making note of the boats I liked (and wanted). One in particular always made my mouth water. A few slips down from me floated September, a classic, beautifully lined Cal 40.

While walking to the marina early one morning, I found September 6 feet deep. Only the mast and spreaders placed the boat within its slip. Shocked and bewildered, I later found out that a seacock or hose connection failure had caused the boat to sink. I imagined it silently sinking in the middle of the night.

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Rig your own emergency lightning protection

Rig your own emergency lightning protection

By Dave Osmolski

In my 14 years as a vessel examiner, I have rarely seen a set of jumper cables on a boat, and I don’t carry jumper cables on mine. I carry four batteries, any one of which is capable of starting my engine. The odds of all four being depleted at the same time are minuscule.

Talking with my brother-in-law, a former sailor, got me thinking of sailboats and equipment. The day was stormy, and we were discussing a sailboat’s predilection for lightning strikes. We talked about using jumper cables as emergency lightning protection by directing the current from a lightning hit to the water. While not a perfect solution, it would be better than having lightning blow out a metal underwater fitting.

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Explore Florida’s rivers by kayak

Explore Florida’s rivers by kayak

By Joe Belanger

Fifteen years ago, my wife, Lee, and I began an RV retirement trip with a twist. Our goal was to see the country; the twist was to volunteer for two-month intervals in different locations. Several cross-country trips landed us in deserts and mountains, beside lakes and along coastlines.

Volunteering took us to Habitat for Humanity disaster relief sites, to an outward-bound 4-H camp, a West Texas Elderhostel, and more than 40 national and state parks. Our assignments included building homes, shooting cannons, reburying Native American remains, tagging sharks, and guiding night hikes and canoe and kayak trips.

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Rusty propane tank explodes on boat

Rusty propane tank explodes on boat

By Bob Burton

After arriving in Spanish Wells on the northwest end of Eleuthera, Bahamas, I tied up my 52 Hatteras convertible at about 1600. Although I didn’t know it at the time, the 70-foot lobster boat Four Ways, parked four boats over, was about to become one of the main topics of conversation in the small fishing community for years to come.
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