The importance of making a good first impression when sailing

Making A Good First Impression

As all sailors soon figure out that proper style is a vital ingredient to sailing, here are two true tales of style from the archives.

Making an unforgettable impression on your advance sailing instructor.

Sometime back when I was just beginning to sail I took an advanced sailing class at J World in San Diego, Basic Keelboat and Basic Cruising all in five days with two 60 question written exams and an on the water practical exam. In other words a serious class and maybe not one for someone that has been on a boat only a few times, also suggested that maybe doing a bit of serious studying before the first day of class.

Monday morning was warm and bright for the beginning of the class. There was a general meeting for all the students taking any class first thing Monday morning, quite a few students as they had about 5 classes going at the same time from racing to very beginning “this is a sailboat.”

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The Maritime Heroes of 9/11 Behind The 9/11 Boat Lift

9/11 Boat Lift Hero’s

As the tragedy of September 11, 2001 unfolded it quickly became apparent that getting 500,000 people off Lower Manhattan was a bit of an issue, Manhattan being an ISLAND with all roads, bridges and subways closed, this is the story from behind the scenes on how the 9/11 Boat Lift came together for the largest maritime evacuation in history safely evacuating 500,000 people safely in 8 hours.

This is an amazing story of preparedness, flexible planning and quick decision making when nobody knew what might happen in the next minute, an amazing story of people who just stepped up to the challenge

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The Untold 9/11 Boat Lift Story

This September 11th is the 19th anniversary of the tower falling.  Almost forgotten is the Flotilla of boats that formed to evacuate 500,000 people from Lower Manhattan.

The boat lift of half a million people from Lower Manhattan was done by a volunteer civilian flotilla that just showed up when the call went out.  The flotilla just materialized when the Coast Guard put out a Marine Assistance Broadcast asking any vessels that could help, to please report to Lower Manhattan to help evacuate stranded commuters.

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Coast Guard halts illegal charters on Lake Washington, Lake Union

The crew of the USCGC Sea Lion (WPB 87352), an 87-foot coastal patrol boat homeported in Bellingham, Washington, conducts vessel safety inspections, boating under the influence enforcement, and counter illegal charter operations on Lake Washington, Washington,, Sept. 6, 2020. The Coast Guard terminated the voyages of three illegally chartered pleasure crafts over Labor Day weekend. U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Cynthia Oldham

The U.S.Coast Guard is charged with safety on Federal Navigable Waters among their many areas of responsibilities. Boats carrying passengers for hire are required to have licensed Masters/Captains in charge and onboard. This is to help keep passengers safe. The lowest level of licensing that would be required for Masters in charge of 100 Gross tons or less is a significant task. When I earned my 50 ton Coast Guard License, I went to school and spent about 100 hours class then add about 200 hours studying. I had to document 365 days on the water and pass a tough exam. For instance the Rules of the road part of the exam is 50 question, closed book with passing being 90%, for added challenge sometimes 3 of the answers are almost correct with a very small technical difference between the almost correct and the proper answer. The exam is difficult and designed to weed out those who are not qualified.

Below is part of a press release from District 13 here in Seattle and the 11th District Pacific Southwest regarding their recent enforcement of illegal charters in their areas and some of the penalties for those operating an illegal charter.

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Boating Safety Tips For The Holiday Weekend

The Coast Guard urges boaters across the country to use extra caution while on the water this Labor Day weekend. Here is the safety advice from two districts with additional suggestions I have learned over the last 30 years as a boater and Boating Safety Instructor.

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of the traditional boating season and is usually a very busy few days on the water.

We want people to enjoy this holiday weekend safely, said Capt. Jeremy Smith, commander of Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. It’s important that you wear a life jacket and tell friends or family your plans, in case there is an emergency.

Consider these safety tips for boaters before leaving the dock:

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Book Review: Falling By Brion Toss

Falling By Brion Toss

Falling by Brion Toss is a delightful and entertaining must read for anyone that works aloft, while the adventures are mostly from the marine field, anyone that has ever worked aloft will find something interesting and maybe even amusing as they grasp the direction of the adventure, such as a pointy tool taken aloft without a lanyard on it to keep it from falling to the deck right next to a trusting soul standing a bit too close to the fall zone.

Falling is a nice book on the adventures of Rigging and lifting loads. The examples are all short and told in a very easy to read format. The book is an easy read well written in a conversational tone like sitting around the table at the end of the day and someone starts out “do you remember the time Rich was working on” and the adventure/lesson is off to the races.

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Quick Lighthouse Tour – Nine Lighthouses Viewed From The Water In 4 1/2 Hours!

Muckelteo Lighthouse

Recently I went on a Saturday afternoon tour of selected Puget Sound Lighthouses organized by The United States Lighthouse Society (USLHS).     The USLHS chartered a high speed whale watching catamaran that cruised at 40 mph which let our tour cover 142 miles and 9 Lighthouses in one afternoon.   The United States Lighthouse Society decided in celebration of their 35th anniversary to organize a tour with views from the water since most people only see lighthouses from the land side when they tour a Lighthouse.

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Book Review: Into the Raging Sea, Thirty Three Mariners, One Megastorm, And The Sinking of the El Faro

Into the Raging Sea
Thirty Three Mariners, One Megastorm, And The Sinking of El Faro

Into the Raging Sea

Thirty Three Mariners, One Megastorm, And The Sinking of El Faro

By Rachel Slade

The loss of the 790 ft U.S. Flagged container ship in Hurricane Joaquin three years ago on October 1, 2015 with 33 souls on board sent shock-waves through the marine industry.

How everyone wondered in today’s world with weather satellite’s and super computers helping with the weather forecasts why a modern ship would sail into the eye of a hurricane. The captain and TOTE Shipping had a good reputation according to the news reports.

Rachel Slade does a great job covering the events leading up to the loss, she goes back and fills in the background giving us a sense of the personality of many of the players involved including those that conducted the investigation.

I highly recommend the book to any mariner even if they are a recreational boater as there are many lessons to be learned for everyone that has eve been on the water and answered some questions I still had after reading the 288 page NTSB report on the loss of the El Faro.

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