landfall_september_2016_leaderbd.jpg

Hunkering Down: Hurricanes

By Vincent Pica, Commodore, First District, Southern Region (D1SR), United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Hurricane Earl was inflicting damage in the Caribbean and Mexico as I wrote this, providing a grim reminder that we are not immune. Almost without exception, we get the tail, shoulder or rump of one or two of the dozen or so that form up in the Atlantic between Africa and the Caribbean and bring so much destruction and misery with them as they thunder west and north…and Hurricane season still has time to run. In the Northeast, we live on or around the sea. This column is about that.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Seamanship – Set and Drift – “Leaning In”

By Vincent Pica, Commodore, First District, Southern Region (D1SR), United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Imagine that you are walking along the sidewalk, trying to get to the coffee shop on the corner. But the person next to you is leaning against your shoulder, keeping pace with you and pushing you away from it. There is only one way you are going to make it to the coffee shop (short of belting the guy!). You have to lean into him to such a degree that you overcome the force of his push and the speed at which he is applying it. This is the essence of “Set and Drift” when navigating as well.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

“Hello? Hello? Can You Hear Me Now?” Cell Phones and Boats

By Vincent Pica, Commodore, First District, Southern Region (D1SR), United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

When I wrote in the past about the need and use of a VHF radio, I noted that if you didn’t have a radio aboard that you were risking your life over a couple of hundred dollars – it was “nutty” not to have a radio aboard. Nonetheless, many don’t! And those skippers rely on their cell phone for emergency assistance. OK, I guess you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. Here is the “scuttlebutt” on cell phones on the water…

Read more
Add your reaction Share

The Rules of the Road, Set to Poetry

By Vincent Pica

Commodore, First District, Southern Region (D1SR)

United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Over 130 years ago, Captain George Eldridge set to poetry the most essential aspect of the Rules of the Road (COLREGs.) From this, the renowned Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book, the most respected tide and current guide since 1874, was born. I’ve had one at the helm of my vessels since, well, I can’t remember that far back. Here is what the Captain penned, and the dissection…

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Summer Isn’t Far Away, But Warm Water Is – Cold Water Boating

By Vincent Pica, Commodore, First District, Southern Region (D1SR), United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

We’ve had a few mild days lately. This reminded many of us that summer isn’t far away – and my wife to say, “You’re not thinking of putting the boat in the water already, are you?” We’ve had a cold and rainy spring for the most part, but summer is close aboard. However, even then the water will be cold for several weeks and you need to be aware of how dangerous that can be – if you aren’t prepared and savvy. This column is about that.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Gentlemen (and Ladies)! Start Your Engines!

By Vincent Pica, Commodore, First District, Southern Region (D1SR), United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Back in the fall, we talked about how to get the boat ready for a long, cold and dank winter. Time and tide is now on our side. Most bay constables allow moorings back in the water as of April 1 – and the weather will turn our way too. So, BEFORE you start your engines, ready the boat!

Read more
Add your reaction Share

“Get Me in This Thing…” – Joining the US Coast Guard Auxiliary

By Vincent Pica, Commodore, First District, Southern Region (D1SR), United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

In the days that followed September 11, 2001, those words kept running through my head… What could I do that would be something more concrete that writing a check to the Red Cross? While many Americans turned to volunteerism in order to put their hearts, hands and minds at work, I was faced with two realities – at nearly 48, I wasn’t exactly what the Army Recruiter at Times Square in New York had as #1 on his list of potential (or wanted) candidates and, secondly, it was apparent that the terrorists were seriously dedicated to wiping out as many Americans as possible. The unthinkable – suddenly – became thinkable. “Terrorists are coming here to kill my wife and kids” kept running through my mind.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

The Dangerous Dock

By Vincent Pica, Commodore, First District, Southern Region (D1SR), United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Sinking at the DockIf I told you that statistics on boats sinking showed that the dock is four times more dangerous than the open waters, you might tell me to check my calculator, amongst other things. But study after study show that four times as many boats sink at the dock than under way! Why is that???

© boatus.com

 

 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Rescue, Recovery and ReWarm – The Maritime 3 Rs

By Vincent Pica, Commodore, First District, Southern Region (D1SR), United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

When we were kids, it was all about readin,’ ritin’ and ‘rithmetic. On the sea, especially in cold water environments, it’s all about rescue, recovery and re-warming. I don’t expect many boaters are on our waterways now, but some are out there. And the waters will still be cold once April comes around. This column is about that.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Mal de Mer – Oh, My Aching Stomach!

By Vincent Pica, Commodore, First District, Southern Region (D1SR), United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

As an avid student of the sea, I am always amazed when I read that even some of the ‘round the world sailors get “mal de mer” – seasickness. While they get over it in a few days, which everyone will if they are just out there long enough, I wonder how they can put to sea knowing with certainty that they will be sick as dogs for two or three days. 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Drysuits_for_Windcheck_online_Final.jpg
SSWebAdWC.png

defendersept16_EV-100_300x250.jpg

CIYC_MembAd_300x250_20151231.gif

QKW2017_Windcheck_300x250.jpg

Click_here_to_download_our_September_2016_issue.png