4 Lone-Star Cruisers: Over 20 years, the Wallachs, Barb, Josh, Daniel,
and Teak “the wonder dog” have traveled the Gulf Coast extensively with
their boating club, the Texas Mariners Cruising Association (TMCA). Here
Josh is at the helm on their 36-foot trawler Last Trade while Barb takes a
5 Like Mommy, Like Son: Lindsay and Mason Dzielak enjoy some family
time on Lake Anna, Virgina.
6 A Gigantic Raft-Up: John and Carmen Chalfont tie-up for the San
Francisco Giants first World Series game last October, aboard MagPie2, a
46-foot Meridian. They were tied-up with several other enthusiastic boaters
in McCovey Cove, the unofficial name of San Francisco Bay that backs up to
AT&T Park, home of the 2010 World Series winners.
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS Do you have a photo of you or your
family and friends safely enjoying great times on the water?
E-mail the high-resolution digital version to us (min. 300 dpi)
with your name and address, and tell us who (preferably with
life jacket donned) or what’s in the photo. We may select your
photos to appear in this column.
Send to Letters ToEditor@BoatUS.com
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sailing author in the 1930s and 40s, wrote three other equally
excellent books about his various cruises, opened a shipyard, built
landing craft for the U.S. Navy during WWII, and finally settled in
Tahiti where he conducted important research into the causes and
cure of elephantiasis – a spectacular life by any standards.
— Leo Krusack
Glen Ellyn, IL
You left out my favorite book, “The Sea Wolf,” by Jack London.
Wolf Larsen, the protagonist, is a classic in literature. Also, check
out “Killing Mr. Watson,” by Peter Mathiessen, my favorite book in
the last 15 years, which takes place in the 10,000 Islands area of
southwest Florida. — Jim Murray
Silver Spring, MD
Whales And Calves
In December, your “Great Escapes” feature says whales come
to the Sea of Cortez to calve and train their young. I think you’re
confusing the whale calving lagoons on the Pacific coast of the Baja
peninsula with the Sea of Cortez. — Tony Shanley
San Diego, CA
Editors’ Note: You’re right. The whales do give birth in the shallow, safer
waters of Magdelena Bay or San Ignacio Lagoon, on the other side of
the Baja peninsula, which is easy to visit by car, then hop on a day boat.
When the mother whales are up for it, and their calves are robust, they
swim around into the Sea Of Cortez.
Charter Fishing 101
In your December issue, Lenny Rudow discusses charterboat
safety, listing very good points in his Charter Question Checklist;
here are two more.
Be sure the captain is fully licensed. The captain usually has
his or her license framed and mounted in the boat’s wheelhouse
for all to see. If you ask, the captain will be happy and proud to
show it to you. Not all licenses are the same. A typical sportfisherman that sails parties of six or less has a captain licensed with
what is affectionately called a “Six Pack.” No, not beer, but the
maximum number of paying passengers he or she can carry. A
“Head Boat” needs a captain licensed for the size of boat, usually
less than 100 tons. The captain needs a “100 Ton” ticket to run it.
Where you’re sailing counts too. If you’re just sailing inland waters
such as bays, rivers, creeks, and lakes, the captain will have an
“Inland” license. For offshore, the captain needs a “Near Coastal”
or “Oceans” license.
Why all of this gobbledygook about licenses? The skill, experience, and licensing of your captain is probably the single most
important aspect of keeping you safe while you’re out enjoying
your charter. His knowledge and abilities will keep you and the
boat out of trouble or, if things get dicey, he’ll get you home safely.
A “do-it-yourself” captain is as dangerous as a “do-it-yourself”
The second item on the checklist discussed boat equipment, such as life jackets, flares, and rafts. How do you check to
see if your ride is up to snuff? Look for a current USCG Safety
Examination Decal or, for larger boats, USCG Certificate of
Inspection Decal, on the boat’s windshield. As Rudow suggested, check things out before you leave the dock.
— Peter Squicciarini
USCG Atlantic Area