our chartplotters; only one would boot up. Thirty days later, halfway
through an offshore trip to the Tortugas at night, our other chartplotter went down. I scrambled for the handheld GPS but it wouldn’t
boot up either. We were left with paper charts to guide us through
the Tortugas reefs. From that point on, I began paper-plotting
everything. This has saved me.
In 2010, crossing the Gulf, we got caught in a gale, and our chartplotters went black. Luckily I’d been plotting every 30 minutes on a
chart. Within moments, I knew approximately where we were, used
the Waterway Guides to find a windward port that would accommodate our draft, and made landfall in Panama City the next morning.
We fixed the problem with the electronics (or so we thought), headed
back across the Gulf for Fort Myers Beach, and made the entrance to
Charlotte Harbor before daybreak. I knew the entrance well; it was
badly shoaled along its sides, and its currents can be very difficult to
maneuver. We entered at first light, using our eyes and a spotlight –
a decision that kept us from grounding. Given the foul conditions,
that could have been deadly. The chartplotter, had we followed it in
the dark, put us hundreds of feet out of the channel, in the shoals.
Even as we entered the harbor, it plotted us well off our actual course.
Too many groundings are caused by boaters who steer by staring
down at a computer screen. Buy paper charts to go along with your
chartplotter. Practice dead reckoning. Learn how to build a route.
Keep a hard copy of the Waterway Guides as backup for electronic
information. And most of all, look up from that new chartplotter and
see the world around you as it really is. Brian Mistrot
Sea Mist IV, in transit
VETERANS’ BOAT DREAMS
I read “A Big Thanks To Our Veterans” (August 2014) and was moved to
write. I’m a disabled Iraq veteran and I founded a nonprofit, Providers
of Freedom, an organization that takes veterans and their families out
on a 36-foot Carver for a day or two. I started the foundation in hopes
that I could bring a little balance to veterans’ and their families’ lives.
As crazy as it sounds, the veterans love being on the boat. You can
see life come back into their eyes. Many get motivated and inspired
to dream. Most are dreaming of the day they can have their own boat.
LINE THROWING 101
Port St. Lucie, FL
From The Editors: To find out more about several other great programs
around the country designed to get disabled military veterans out on
the water and utilizing the therapeutic healing powers of boating, and
to learn how you can get involved, see www.BoatUS.com/Magazine
For years I taught the Sailing and Seamanship course for the U.S.
Coast Guard Auxiliary. In each class, we left the classroom and went
out to the high-school hallway. There I presented a line to the smallest student in the class and guided her in the technique that Pam
Wall espouses in “Learn How To Throw A Line … Properly” (June
2014). I was amazed that the line went where it was aimed and my
students were surprised at how far she could throw it. Now more
people will know how to properly throw a line. Thanks, Pam!
writes: “On a recent
adventure up the
Hudson with family,
we stayed at Shady
Harbor. We had a
great trip — 13 days
compared to last
year’s seven days. Our youngest is getting more time in a boat than
most and really getting his sea legs. We enjoyed stays at Waterford,
Shady Harbor, Catskills, Saugerties, Rondout, and Haverstraw, and
returned to Staten Island all in one piece.”
Peas In A Pod Brian Hall sent in this photo of his kids and the children of BoatU.S. members Erik and Stacy Rowen, and Kevin and Jen
Bender. Brian says they often head out on the lake together, tying up
their Chaparral boats in a cove to let the children swim and play while
the adults relax. They are enjoying a fantastic day on Lake Lanier,
Georgia over 4th of July weekend.
What About Wolves?
This was taken on a
shipwreck diving charter aboard a 38-foot
Chris-Craft dive boat at
Isle Royale, Michigan.
Gary Forcier says they
were docked at the
campground site for the
night at Duncan Bay
Lakeside Camp. Gary
reports: “Didn’t see any
moose this trip!”
No Quit’n’ Steve Gardiner
sent in this picture of his son
Nicholas and granddaughter
Annaliese aboard the pontoon boat Quit’n Tym. The
picture was taken on Lake
Wylie in South Carolina.
Steve says Annaliese loves
being on the boat and wants
to spend as much time on
it as possible when visiting
Papa from Maryland.