Keep your balance on the water

By Dan Fannon

How many times have we heard someone say, “Remember to eat a balanced diet,” or “Don’t forget to balance work and play”? Maintaining balance is a primary life skill, but one easily overlooked in these harried times of pressured work schedules and few moments set aside for reflection and refreshment. I encourage you to give serious thought to the effects of balance as it applies to our life on the water.

Read More

DIY Flagstaff

Build a DIY flagstaff for your powerboat

By Dave Osmolski

I’ve been vacationing in Southwest Florida for longer than I have been a member of United States Power Squadrons. I haven’t visited every yacht basin and marina, but out on the water and along the Intracoastal Waterway, I have never seen a vessel flying the USPS ensign save for the one on my boat.

USPS encourages members to introduce our organization to the public with seminars, classes and by our presence at boat shows. While these are important, I think one of the best ways to advertise our presence is to fly the ensign.

Read More

From Newport News to Mystic

From Newport News, VA, to Mystic, CT

By Paul Gray

In early fall, my friend Al Bezanson used to sail Green Dragon, a small wooden schooner he’s had since 1963, down south to the Chesapeake for the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. After spending the winter in Norfolk, Virginia, Green Dragon would head north to cruise the Massachusetts and Maine coasts all summer long.

One year I joined Al and Jay Irwin for the return trip north. We planned to leave Norfolk early on a Friday, round Cape Charles, sail directly to Montauk and head into Mystic, Connecticut, sometime on Sunday, sailing nonstop for about 60 hours.

Read More

In case of a boat fire

In case of a boat fire

What you need to know before disaster strikes

By Charles V. Vanek

The fire

A fellow squadron member called me late Tuesday, 16 Aug., to tell me about a fire at the marina where I kept my boat. My daughter and I hurriedly drove to the marina. A mile from the marina, authorities were turning all traffic around to allow emergency vehicles to enter. I parked the car, and we walked through side streets to get to the marina.

Read More

Rita Sharrie Grady

Rita “Sharrie” (Smith) Grady, 74, of Westborough, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully at her home of cancer on 18 July 2016, surrounded by her loving family and her faithful companion, Frosty. Sharrie was a lifelong Westborough resident and a member of the East Falmouth summer community.

Sharrie Grady

Sharrie was first and foremost all about family. She is survived by her husband of 46 years, Robert Grady, a Worcester native; their children Rob Grady of Manchester, Connecticut; Tim Grady and wife Tina of Hopkinton, Massachusetts; Mark Grady and wife Hui-Ting of Marlboro, Massachusetts; Meg O’Hara and husband Tim of Milton, Massachusetts; grandchildren Eamon, Aislinn, Cian, Shaelan, Mikayla, Liam, Emma, Will, and Josephine; siblings Paul Smith of New Hampshire; John Smith and wife Noreen of Charlton, Massachusetts; sister-in-law Kathy Smith of Paxton; sisters Jean Smith and husband Dennis Kennedy (deceased) of Newton, Massachusetts, Mary Cullen and husband Brien, and Marguerite Kerr and husband Tom, all of Westborough. Her brother, Tom Smith of Paxton, predeceased her.

In addition to a large extended family of nieces and nephews, cousins, and in-laws, she leaves her aunts Patricia Perron and Geraldine Duffy, both of Westborough, as well as many loving friends, especially Michele Gara of Vernon, Connecticut.

Sharrie lived a life of service. After graduating St. Mary’s High School in Milford and Anna Maria College, she began her career teaching on a reservation in Pueblo, Colorado, with the Extension Lay Volunteers of Chicago. She continued her passion for education by obtaining a master’s degree in reading from Worcester State College and teaching for many years in the Westboro School System. She continued to tutor into her retirement at Worcester Public Schools and the Worcester Senior Center RSVP Program. She was a committed parishioner at St. Luke’s Church, and especially enjoyed knitting prayer shawls and the activities of the Forever Young Group. Additionally, she taught Faith Formation at St. Luke’s SPRED Program, andwas an active contributor to the parish of St. Anthony’s of East Falmouth.

Service on the seas was also a love of Sharrie’s. In addition to her recreational boating and membership with the Duxbury Cruising Club, Sharrie was a dedicated member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadrons. Sharrie contributed many hours with her husband, Bob Grady, at Nobscot Sail & Power Squadron events including the annual holiday party, member picnic and the USPS booth at the New England Boat Show.

We will dearly miss Sharrie’s ceaseless energy and determination, her directness, her humor, and most of all her endless love and care. All of these traits have left an indelible imprint on her loved ones, especially her nine grandchildren with whom she shared a deep love.

Share this story

December 2016 star calendar

Star calendar 1–31 December 2016

2 Dec     At dusk, Venus is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left.

3 Dec     Venus is 3 finger-widths below the moon tonight. Mars is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper left. Altair, part of the Summer Triangle, is 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right.

4 Dec     Mars is less than 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left. With binoculars, see if you can spot iota Capricorni, ½ finger-width to the right of Mars.

Read More

Jack Ed Banister

Loving husband and father, Jack Ed Banister, 86, of Hanover, Indiana, passed away peacefully 13 Oct. 2016. He was formerly employed by RCA in Camden, New Jersey, and retired in 1989 from GE where he was division vice president of the Government Communication Systems Division.

Jack BanisterJack had many memberships and honors which include Eagle Scouts, Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power Squadrons, Spring Hill Kansas Masonic Lodge #56, South Bend Scottish Rite, Murat Shriners of Indianapolis, Distinguished Hoosier, Aircraft Pilot Owners Association, M.E.N.S.A., Christian Ardinger Chapter of Sons of American Revolution, and the Society of Indiana Pioneers.He served honorably in the U.S. Navy from 1949 to 1954. Jack was an instrument-rated pilot for 60 years and flew missions for the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He had a wide range of interests, including sailing, amateur radio and teaching boating safety and celestial navigation. He was awarded the title of Kentucky Colonel in recognition of his accomplishments and outstanding service to the nation.

He was married to Frances Mae Harnett in Oakland, California, on 13 Oct. 1950. He is survived by his wife and others, including: his daughters Frances Ann Ebert of Auburn, Maine, Beryl (Kevin) Kelley of Berlin, New Jersey, and Leslie Banister of Chesilhurst, New Jersey; his sons Paul (Debbie) Banister of Hagerstown, Maryland, Dr. Mark (Suzanne) Banister of Plymouth, New Hampshire, and John (Suzanne) Banister of Rancocas, New Jersey; his sister Linda Jo; 12 grandchildren; and 3 great-grandsons.

Funeral services were held 17 Oct. 2016 at the Bass & Gasper Funeral Home in Westport, Indiana.

Jack was a dedicated and active member of the Louisville Sail & Power Squadron and a past district commander for District 24. Even this year Jack served as the Squadron Commander’s Aid and as an at-large member of the Executive Committee.  Jack was a true gentleman, educator and friend. He will be missed by all of us who knew him and had the privilege of working with him.

Share this story

P/C Merle E. Miller, JN

Merle E. Miller of Newport, North Carolina, passed away 3 Oct. 2016 after a courageous six-year battle against cancer. Merle is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sharon; son Ross of Lenoir City, Tennessee; son Scott, daughter-in-law Tricia, and grandson Warren of Athens, Georgia; sister Marcia Kiechle of Newark Valley, New York; and brother Marvin of Columbia, Texas.

After graduating from high school in Middleburg, New York, Merle joined the United States Army and served with the 101st Airborne Division. He later attended the State University of Albany, New York, where he earned BS and MS degrees in business education. He served as president of Alpha Pi Alpha Fraternity. Merle taught business courses at Bethlehem Central High School in Delmar, New York, for 32 years where he founded and coached the boys’ soccer team and began a student work-study program.

Merle retired to North Carolina in 2001. He enjoyed golf with the “Hot Doggers” at Morehead City Country Club and fishing with members of the Saltwater Light Tackle Club, St. Egbert’s Holy Mackerel Fishing Club, and the FinAddicts. Merle was an active member of the Fort Macon Sail & Power Squadron, achieving the rank of Junior Navigator and serving as Commander. Merle and Sharon enjoyed traveling and took many cruises, visiting Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, the Normandy Beaches, and Paris.

In lieu of flowers, Merle’s family would appreciate memorial contributions to the Carteret Community College Foundation, Morehead City, NC 28557 for their scholarship fund.

Merle was a much-loved husband, father, grandfather, brother, teacher and friend who will be greatly missed.

Share this story

November 2016 star calendar

Star calendar 1–30 November 2016

2 Nov     At dusk, Saturn is 1½ finger-widths below the moon and Venus is 3 finger-widths to the lower left. The equation of time is at its maximum for the year, 16.48 minutes.

5 Nov     Low in the south at dusk, Mars is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left, and bright Altair is 2½ fist-widths above the moon.

6 Nov     Daylight saving time ends this morning at 0200. Turn your clocks back.

Read More

Boathooks that get the job done

Boathooks that get the job done

By Craig Grosby

The innocuous boathook, though simple in form, is critical for docking and mooring. It acts as an extension of the human arm, assisting with ordinary daily tasks, and is one of the most overlooked but important pieces of boating safety equipment. During docking, a boathook should be used for fending off, instead of hands and feet. It’s also used to retrieve items floating in the water.

Today many boathooks serve as multifunctional tools, converting into deck brushes, mops, squeegees and fishing nets.

I tested three different brands and discovered some well-designed boathooks to meet almost every need. All three boathooks performed as advertised. They’re boathooks, after all—simple tools that make boating easier. Deciding which to buy depends on your idea of what a boathook should do. Is it a single-purpose device or multifunctional? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

Read More

Take care before and after fueling

Take care before and after fueling

By Gene Clark

An older U.S. Coast Guard safety pamphlet indicated that “a cup of gasoline spilled in the bilge has the potential explosive power of 15 sticks of dynamite.” With that in mind, let’s review safe fueling recommendations.

Read More

Preplan for anchoring success

Preplan for anchoring success

by John Schwab

Ground tackle refers to all the parts of an anchor system between the boat and the anchor.

If you use only line, the ground tackle may be referred to as simply the anchor rode or line. Most experts recommend either a combination of chain and nylon or all chain. The terminal connections between the rode and the anchor are critical. Look for weak links in your own anchoring system. A proper connection will consist of a properly sized galvanized shackle rated for the intended use. Always mouse or seize the shackle pin with Monel seizing wire to prevent the pin from backing out. Plastic tie wraps are unacceptable.

Read More