Getting a head

Getting a Head

What to do when your marine sanitation device craps out

By Steve Hodges

My wife, Susan, and I had sailed to Santa Cruz Island and stayed in Prisoners Harbor. Lovely weather, a lovely anchorage—what could be nicer than being on a sailboat in paradise? But the fun stops when the head does, and that signaled the beginning of the end for that trip.

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A storm to remember

A Storm to Remember

One boater recounts her family’s terrifying ordeal on Lake Champlain

By Diane Ptak

One summer about 50 years ago, my family voyaged to Montreal for our annual cruise. We began our excursion at Waterford, New York, passed through the 11 locks of the 60-mile Champlain Canal, and entered Lake Champlain.

Dad, Mom and we five children—ages 3, 5, 10, 11 and 13—relaxed aboard Princess IV, our 24-foot twin-engine wooden-hull Trojan Sedan cabin cruiser (circa 1960). While leading a small convoy of boating enthusiasts north on the 120-mile-long lake, we encountered a horrific storm. Our boat took a beating. Luckily, we were riding with the current. The wind, waves and rain were another matter.

Having perfected his United States Power Squadrons Seamanship skills, Dad repeatedly examined our vessel instrument panel gauges—tachometer, engine hour meter, ammeter, engine temperature, oil pressure and the fuel gauge to the 50-gallon tank. Then he ran the bilge pump and Raytheon depth sounder. Despite knowing the lake well, he double-checked the compass and nautical charts to avoid crashing into rocks. He knew that when you hit rocks, the rocks win. He was also alert to unusual boat sounds.

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America's Great Loop Part 2 Grand Rivers, KY, to Fairhope, AL

Cruising America’s Great Loop Part Two

By John Simons

Our Great Loop adventure took one year and covered 6,500 miles. We departed from Waukegan Harbor in mid-September 2015 and, after making a series of left turns, returned to Waukegan Harbor in September 2016. Our crew consisted of John and Priscilla Simons and Dale and Andy Arnold.

Hundreds of “Loopers” make this trip each year. America’s Great Loop Cruising Association conducts seminars to help Loopers prepare for the adventure.

You can read part one here.

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Kayaking on Alaska's Glacier Bay

Kayaking Glacier Bay

By Sally Stuart

The Spirit of Adventure approached the drop-off site at Skidmore Beach and ran up the beach a short distance. We crawled up over the chairs, out the window and onto the deck. The crew lowered a ladder. We climbed down and reached up for our gear and kayaks as the crew handed them down.

We waved as Spirit of Adventure backed up and pulled away. Looking at the pile of gear on the beach, we wondered if everything would fit in our kayaks. With our gear finally loaded, we squeezed in our kayaks and paddled off to Skidmore Bay to spend our first night in kayaking Glacier Bay National Park.

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Couple battles boat trouble and COVID-19

By Shelli Swaim

My husband, Jeff, drove to Las Vegas on March 15 to attend a three-day golf tournament put on by a group of friends from the central coast of California. Though social distancing was relatively new, he armed himself with hand sanitizer, a can of Lysol, disinfectant wipes and medical gloves.

Shortly after returning home, however, he developed a headache. By the next day, he had a fever. He wore an N95 mask he found in the garage to prevent infecting me. By then, he had a constant headache, fever and loss of appetite. Just three days after his symptoms began, I developed a cough and fever. Realizing we’d both contracted COVID-19, we were glad we’d been isolated at home since Jeff’s return from Las Vegas.

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National, squadrons cope with COVID-19

National, squadrons cope with COVID-19

By The Ensign staff

As the national pandemic crisis stretches on and states begin to reopen businesses and public places, finding ways to stay safe while coping with social distancing requirements continues to be important for everyone.

At the start of the crisis, United States Power Squadrons, America’s Boating Club, temporarily closed its headquarters office in Raleigh, to comply with North Carolina’s guidelines. Squadrons and districts followed similar precautions, cancelling classes and events to keep their members safe. In short order, national, district and squadrons found ways to cope with social distancing restrictions while continuing to support our members.

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Excellence in Teaching Founder Charles F. Chapman at his home By Land or Sea

Chapman Teaching Award Winners for 2019

By Yvonne Hill

According to Charles F. Chapman, a past chief commander and one of our founding fathers, United States Power Squadrons was founded to prove that small motorboats with educated captains deserved a place on our nation’s waterways.

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Photo of America's Great Loop Map with inset photos of locks, boats and people

Cruising America’s Great Loop Part One

By John Simons

Our Great Loop adventure took one year and covered 6,500 miles. We departed from Waukegan Harbor in mid-September 2015 and, after making a series of left turns, returned to Waukegan Harbor in September 2016. Our crew consisted of John and Priscilla Simons and Dale and Andy Arnold. Our adventure had been nearly five years in the planning, but yours can happen much faster. All we had to do was research and buy a motor yacht, learn to operate it, retire, and decide how we would handle our individual homes while on our adventure.

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Building a Legacy for America’s Boating Club

United States Power Squadrons, America’s Boating Club, has been a major force in educating boaters and helping keep our waterways safe for 106 years. To advance our tradition of boater education and safety, we must look beyond member dues to fuel the continued growth of America’s Boating Club.

With these goals in mind, the USPS Endowment Fund Inc. was established in Sept. 2017. Since its inception, the fund has grown, with assets totaling more than $2.1 million. Income from the fund, over $400,000, has gone to support projects crucial to the growth and promotion of America’s Boating Club, including leadership development, expanded outreach to the Hispanic community, web development, and advertising.

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