Sailing through the fear

Offshore sailing course teaches sailor to trust herself and her skills

By Libby Cross

My husband, David, had always been into boating. After taking a United States Power Squadrons boating course, he joined Greenville Power Squadron (now Lake Hartwell Sail & Power Squadron), bought an 18-foot bowrider and later moved up to a 26-foot cabin cruiser. He took all the courses for a full certificate. I joined the squadron a few years later and made it to Advanced Pilot.

After we retired, we planned to move onto a trawler and do the Great Loop while visiting friends in the eastern U.S. and Canada. At some point, David started talking about sailing the Caribbean. It sounded like a wonderful dream, but I didn’t think of it as a reality.

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Ron Terciak

The Mission Continues

USPS member shares boating safety insights with fellow retirees

To some, a boat is just a hole in the water that you throw money into. They say their happiest days were when they bought it and when they sold (or sunk) it.

True boaters call these people landlubbers who never found their sea legs, felt the power of the tides or navigated to the call of a sailing wind. Imagine relaxing in the warm sun, ­being lulled into serenity by the motion of the waves, charting a course through waterways that display a panorama of nature’s beauty not seen from land or air, and savoring the briny scents and salty drops that spray up with each dip into the sea.

Whether sailing or motoring to lounge, fish, snorkel, or simply watch sea life and birds at sunrise or sunset, the Shell Point marina at Shell Point Retirement Community in Fort Myers, Florida, is home to some avid boaters who choose to cruise their way to tranquility each fine-weather day. Boating represents the freedom to discover new worlds.

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Avoid common sailing injuries

By Anthony Pozun

A sailboat’s many working parts combined with its movement can result in sailing injuries and accidents, but you can avoid them with a little planning and forethought.

Don’t go overboard

Everyone on deck should wear a personal flotation device. Those alone on deck, at the helm or sailing single-handedly must also wear a safety harness tethered to the boat.

When moving about, remember the adage “one hand for me, one hand for the boat.” Move slowly, low to the deck and with purpose. To retrieve someone from the water, boats should have safety equipment such as a man overboard pole, life ring, throw ring, floating cushion, hoist and lifejackets with GPS locators.

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DIY inexpensive propane storage

Store propane cylinders safely on deck

By Dave Osmolski

Summer’s here! Now’s the time to get in the boat, visit your favorite cove and drop the hook. Before long, you’ll get out the propane grill and throw a couple of steaks on while you enjoy a glass of wine with the sunset.

Propane grills that attach to a boat rail or a fixture inserted into a fishing rod holder are popular and provide additional enjoyment on day trips and cruises; however, their use raises the question of how to store the steel propane cylinders that fuel the grill.

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A flare for safety

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As a boater, you should have the required flares on board, but do you know how and when to use them?

flare-copywebWhen to use flares

  • You want to use your flares when you are in distress and in a location where they can be seen by someone. If you have radioed or called for help, you may be asked to fire a flare to pinpoint your location, so you can be spotted at sea and from the air.
  • If searching for you, the U.S. Coast Guard may ask you to set off a flare or an orange smoke flare in the daytime. Lighted flares are effective for short time spans (some for 8–10 seconds, others for 2–3 minutes), so use them efficiently with foreknowledge and practice. Don’t wait until the need arises before preparing for action; it could make the difference between life and death.

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