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All Mud Isn’t Created Equal
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 34 times and there are 0 comments
Posted In Cruising Log
Posted: December 08, 2014
There are at least three problems with any "scientific" anchor test. (1) Anchoring well requires old fashioned seamanship which, in my opinion, is far more complex than that which can be defined by any practical scientific protocol. (2) Anchoring isn't so much a science, as it is an art. And (3) all mud isn't created equal. So while some were surprised at the results of a well planned and executed major anchor test this summer, some weren't.
I'm not a scientist (as is obvious, I am sure) but I've been testing anchors for almost 60 years in every kind of bottom, in hurricanes, in &q...... Read More

The ICW From On High
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 136 times and there are 0 comments
Posted In Cruising Log
Posted: November 03, 2014
A part of the very essence of being on the water is that even a familiar passage is never really the same. But you usually see it from the same perspective; that of your deck. Take a different look of the ICW.
And I looked down from on high... Sounds like it's from the Bible, doesn't it. Actually I kind of felt like that, but not because I have an exalted image of myself (well, maybe a little). Mel, my wife, and I were in the top story of a very tall building in Portsmouth, Virginia, looking down on Mile One of the ICW and also a mile or so of that waterway as it wound south. We were l...... Read More

How Old Is Too Old For A Boat
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 208 times and there are 0 comments
Posted In Cruising Log
Posted: October 07, 2014
How old is too old for a boat? Buying an old boat may be the only option for you or the best option. A boat's age isn't the sole criteria. Let's look at a more complete picture.
My current "Chez Nous" was launched in 1975. She's fiberglass. Some would say she's old. Let them. What do they know? She's tugging at her line ready to get underway as I write this. She's a Gulfstar 53' motorsailer.



Set screws... Read More

Marley’s Mantra
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 235 times and there are 0 comments
Posted In Cruising Log
Posted: September 05, 2014
I don't think Bob Marley had a boat. If he did, he probably got somebody else to keep it floating. I get this idea because of a famous phrase in one of his best songs: "Every little thing's gonna be all right." Not on a boat is every little thing going to be all right. Yes, I know he was inspired by three little birds. I also know what birds do to my boat. And I also know that a boat is full of little things, many of which we don't see and probably don't know are there ... and they're always going bad. And that's not all right.
Usually when we think of the stuff that can go wron...... Read More

Waves Can Sink Boats Even When It’s Calm
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 370 times and there are 0 comments
Posted In Cruising Log
Posted: August 04, 2014
We're all familiar with the perils of sinking. We all spend a lot of thought and effort to avoid it. Yet there's one type of sinking that few of us consider. It's a type and a cause, rolled into one catastrophic disastrous event. And many of us have been on its brink but didn't even know it.
Picture a good fishing day. You're trolling along the drop off, they're hitting and you're taking them in over the stern or quarter. The person at the helm has to play it just right, backing down to relieve line stress and to help getting that fish aboard. His goal is just that, before it breaks fre...... Read More

The Office in the Islands
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 962 times and there are 0 comments
Posted In Cruising Log
Posted: July 07, 2014
In the far gone good ol' days of Bahamas cruising I used to love the fact that I did my work from my boat, not from an office in the US. But I soon realized that even in the Bahamas I had to go to an office. It just wasn't quite the same.
If you had to make a telephone call back in the day you usually had to find a booth on an island or go to what we called a BATELCO office. I preferred the latter, although there were a few problems.
First, the islands didn't have BATELCO offices unless there was also a village on the island. You had to sail to one that did. This was usually easy to figure...... Read More

The Good Fortune and Tragedy of the Steamship New Orleans
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 1096 times and there are 0 comments
Posted In Cruising Log
Posted: June 04, 2014
When we think of the early steamships, we think of the Clermont and even earlier creations. But there was one that fought her way through incredible odds and helped to change our country.
For centuries seamen have spoken of lucky ships and cursed ships. Legend and lore describe sure fire ways to cause one or the other. Changes in name, pursuit by an albatross, and departure on a Friday are but a few of the "bad luck" occurrences. There's one ship that not many have heard about. She had a remarkable life. You be the judge as to whether she was cursed or blessed.
The Steamship New O...... Read More

Boat Jobs
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 1458 times and there are 0 comments
Posted In Cruising Log
Posted: May 06, 2014
If you’ve done a boat job, no matter what it is, you know the ugly truth. They NEVER go the way you expect them to.
The Day that Mel got 3M 5200 in her hair wasn't a good day. Bad hair day, yes, but I'm not talking about bad hair days. I'm talking about bad boating days — the kind that have nothing to do with the weather, or even paying the boat bills. They're what almost always happens when you take on any boat job to make things "better."
5200 is really interesting stuff. I've been using it for years and I hope I'll be using it for years to come. This stuff redefin...... Read More

Aren’t You Afraid of Pirates?
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 1728 times and there are 0 comments
Posted In Cruising Log
Posted: April 03, 2014
People often ask me if we've feared pirates as we've cruised in remote areas. Yes, we have and we still do; but perhaps not the way you'd expect. Piracy comes in many forms.
Pirates aren't Disney cute. They've been responsible for sadistic horrible crimes, often against helpless people. Running around in bars and parties wearing fake hats and yelling "Aargg" doesn't change this fact. Fortunately those of us who cruise don't have to worry so much about the traditional type of pirates, even though there are areas of the world, usually distant from this continent, where it still happe...... Read More

Fire On Boats
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 1972 times and there are 0 comments
Posted In Cruising Log
Posted: March 04, 2014
Fire on boats has always terrified seamen. But in recent years, with more safety equipment and rescue assets available, there seems to have been less thought about it. Here are some reasons why it's just as serious as ever and why, arguably, we may have more to fear from boat fires in modern times than did seamen of old.
People often think that fire on boats is so bad because you can't just walk out the door and stand in the yard waiting for the fire trucks to come, safe at that distance, even though your house is burning down. That's just a part of it, but it's only the beginning. Following ...... Read More

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