A Great Connection Makes For a Magic Moment In The Islands

We were staying in Nassau on a 65 Hatteras doing some summertime fishing and diving in the crystal-clear water of the Bahamas. During a fun evening on the docks, we met the crew on a 135-foot yacht, and had a great time and a lot of laughs about some of our adventures at sea. We left early the next morning, crossed the banks, and made our way north to Ships Channel in the northern Exuma Sound. An unbelievable day of fishing followed — lots of huge mahi, and a couple of very nice yellowfin tuna, which of course had us salivating for some sashimi that night. As we headed to our anchorage off Highborne Cay, we started looking around for the soy sauce — none to be found anywhere onboard.

A quick look around with the binocs and we saw that not far away was the yacht from the night before. We deployed the skiff, I hopped in, and took off toward the 135-footer, bearing a big loin of fresh tuna to barter with. I idled the skiff up next to them and blew a little air horn. One of the crew came out and I looked up and said, "Do you have any Grey Poupon?" We both had a big laugh and I made my offer of tuna for soy sauce. Moments later they were all out on deck and saying that was the best swap that they'd ever made.

The vessel's owner invited us back the next night for dinner. We brought fresh mahi. Their chef prepared it with a macadamia-nut crust, and a mango salsa that was out of this world. So our four guys "roughing it" on a fishing trip were treated to a gourmet dinner on a luxury yacht and first-class treatment — definitely an experience I'll never forget.

Another Life Of Torment

I really enjoyed the article "Oh, The Torment" by Obie Usategui (Oct. 2011). His descriptive writings of a life long love of boating, with the highs and lows it brought him, was addictive. I read the entire story a few times, maybe because of a few parallels I drew from it relating to my own life. Although a boat owner now only a few years, my desire dates back 20 or more. Our current ride, a 2006 Bayliner 242, is in a slip because, like Obie, my wife Vikki finally decided she could no longer take my recollections of boating dreams, and it was time to bring them to reality. The least I could do was name the boat after her!

Pro-Fuse Praise

Just finished reading the Oct./Nov. issue front to back as I do every issue. Lenny Rudow's VHF install article was very good. I use fuses for electronics instead of circuit breakers and install similar-rated fuses on both the positive and negative wires, as voltage spikes and surges can find paths on either side. Regarding frozen seacocks, it should be standard practice whenever you're belowdecks to cycle seacocks a few times and knock off scale to keep them operating freely. Also, thanks for the tip on flipping extinguishers seasonally. That went on my list.

Document That Donation

Regarding Mike Vatalaro's boat-donations article (Oct. 2011), I'd like to add some advice that may be beneficial to the potential donor. Photograph every bit of the donation to verify the condition. Include the front page of your local newspaper in each picture to verify that the photos are current. Collect recent dated ads for similar boats stating their asking price and condition as this will help document the value of your donation. Remember that you don't control the price they sell it for, and if they sell it to a "friend" for far less than market value you want to be able to document your claimed donation.

Consider splitting your donation. Make a list of all items that are not an integral part of the boat and donate them in one calendar year, say in November or December. Then in the next calendar year make the donation of the registered boat itself. You can almost double the value of your donation.

Have the title transferred in the year that you make the donation and get a copy. Too often this is not done until the boat is passed on to a new buyer, which may take several years. Also it avoids additional storage liens if the boat is still titled to you. Maintain your liability insurance until you have a copy of the new title showing that the 501(c)3 is legally the new owner.

As stated in the article, consult with a tax professional knowledgeable in the laws and rules for your state. There are significant differences. Being the donor or the recipient of a charitable donation can be very rewarding financially and very heartwarming if done properly. I encourage both.

Found Her!

I thought you might be interested in this picture of the Oneida, taken this past summer in Newport, Rhode Island. Matthew Algeo's excellent article about President Grover Cleveland's clandestine surgery aboard her in 1893, and the cover-up that followed, indicated that its whereabouts were unknown today.

Members' Gallery

Miami Mermaids: Susan Rodolfi tries to take her Boston Whaler out at least once a week into Key Biscayne, along with her teenage son, girlfriends (known as "the mermaids"), and her two bull mastiffs. She says her need to be on the water is an illness for which she hopes she never finds a cure for.

Guess Who? Our article, "Wild Things," last April/May ( reminded Carol and Ron Sekura of a similar trip they took aboard a cruise ship in 2001, when they snapped this photo. "When we cruised in La Mer Channel in the Antarctic Peninsula, we saw this small sailboat with someone up the mast!" says Carol. "I've always been hoping we could find the owner and share the photo." If you know who it is, e-mail us at

Mon(a) Amour: Online searches work well for Sue Moshier. In 2007 she found Daniel Moshier while looking for another sailor, and in 2009 she found this 1981 Victoria 18 sloop, now called Funky Mona, on Craigslist. According to Daniel, a more-than-1,600-mile round trip from Massachusetts ensued, that included a broken axle, then rudder repairs, re-rigging, one long night of freehanding her name on the side, and a conversation with Sue about who had the sailing expertise to claim the helm, before Funky Mona was finally in front of the their home on Elk Lake, Michigan.

Cat That Got The Cream: Jack Kling sent this photo of his daughter Sarah, 6, taking the helm on his boat Jack's Cat in the lower Chesapeake Bay near Cape Charles, Virginia. "The smile says it all," he says.

Cruising The Cape: Nicole Huff, 12, takes the helm on a beautiful day sailing across Buzzards Bay in Cape Cod. Their boat is a 22-foot O'Day. Her father Steven took the photo.