By Robert Anderson, Chuck Wells and Shawn GoitAmerica’s Boating Club’s on the water training and certification programs include both on-water training and boating skills certification. On-the-water training provides hands-on skill development for new boaters and a practical extension of our classroom instruction. Our Boat Operator Certification program provides credentials certifying the boating skills and educational achievements of members.
By Howard Heckrotte with Douglas Nelson
Photos by Bob CorsoThe 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.
By Jeff TaylorWe 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!
By Doug ShermanLocated 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.
By Michael Guelker-ConeMost 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.
By Emmarie RabyThe crossing from Grand Portage, Minnesota, to Windigo at Isle Royale National Park takes you over 24 miles of open water. Because you can’t see land, you have to navigate using charts and set courses on the GPS. It’s fairly difficult to stay in a straight line with lots of waves and wind pushing you in different directions.
By Yvonne Hill with photos by Art DoddEach 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.
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.
By Rafael BelliardWhen 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.”
By Al Meyer
The beginningI launched my previous boat, Wee Lass, a Penobscot 14 designed by Arch Davis, in 2004 and had lots of fun with it. In 2008, Hurricane Ike damaged the boat, but I repaired it and got it back in the water.
The boat developed a slow leak where the centerboard case joins the hull. Over time, it became more and more of a nuisance. When I noticed discoloration on some of the hull planks, I decided to start building a replacement.
By Tim Akpinar with Erol AkpinarFrom their childhood, people might remember the enchanted tale of “The Reluctant Dragon.” Its author, Kenneth Grahame, is probably better known in boating circles for this quotation from “The Wind in the Willows”: “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
As readers can appreciate, much of that “messing around” involves contracts being entered into for the hauling, storage, mooring and repair of those boats. In many instances, people don’t always realize a contract has been created because such deals are often consummated casually with nothing more than a handshake or nod.
By Dick SorensenOn a cloudless Ohio winter day, Dr. Ralph Newman of Columbus Sail & Power Squadron/29 led 20-plus Ohio State University Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps midshipmen out into the bright sunshine. The rest of the squadron’s Navigation instructors joined them to teach the basics of a noonday sight. As students raised their sextants to take their first reading, my mind flashed back to how this came about.
I had read in a recent issue of The Ensign that the United States Naval Academy was reintroducing the study of Celestial Navigation to the midshipman curriculum. My initial reaction