There’s a fellow who crossed the Atlantic over the course of three centuries. Wild, right? But it’s true. He crossed The Big Blue from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. It’s not a riddle, but more in the vein of an historical fact as to how this occurred. More later.
Right now, what I’ve got is that smattering of summer snacks you see spread out in the cockpit after dropping the hook. None of it worthy of dinner, but a nice lead-in to the stovetop casserole that’s still percolating.
A recent DNA test (courtesy of a family member’s gift) showed I’m almost fifty-percent Scottish? Sort of belies my Germanic-sounding name! On the other hand, it might explain the occasional irascibility that serves as a counterweight to my overall affability.
The 2022 Newport Bermuda Race got off to a lovely start, nicely narrated by Kate Somers and Joe Cooper. I wish those two would provide that kind of narration for more races. Really, it’d be fun as heck to have them commentate on some dinghy races. They need a YouTube channel.
The loss of a sailor during the Bermuda Race should underscore the seriousness of what offshore sailing means. It also sets us maritime attorneys thinking about loss on the high seas in general and the inequities of the Death on the High Seas Act (the statutory scheme for recovery of the death of anyone on the high seas). I won’t bore you with the details but suffice to say there’s a much larger monetary remedy (read: fair compensation) available the decedent’s estate and loved ones for a shoreside incident as opposed to one occurring on the high seas. Why is this the case? I have no flipping idea aside from my opinion as to the usual suspect – the marine insurance lobby!
I lost a salvage arbitration a couple of months ago; I mean, we won, but not the sum we should’ve. Here’s the thing; arbitration is a stinker. I listen to those morning adverts on Bloomberg about how great arbitration is and I’m here to tell you otherwise. While my experience is limited to maritime arbitrations, I just don’t think overall it’s a good route and yet, I get the appeal. I mean, it sounds like sailing in the bay as opposed to banging about offshore. There’s a sense that arbitration will offer a forum where it’ll all be: “Hail Fellow Well Met.” Rare is that the case, in my opinion. If you’re ever tempted to arbitrate something, call me first. Let’s talk about the pros and cons.
I know what you’re thinking, what with me attacking the arbitration as opposed to addressing the merits of the salvage claim we brought or how we presented the claim. Trust me, we were on steroids and the claim was presented perfectly. It was the forum.
If you’ve bought a boat and it’s been nothing but trouble, read your purchase and sale agreement to understand your rights and remedies. And here’s something: I had someone recently tell me they’d been having a helluva time with their yacht. It seems the manufacturer couldn’t fix the problem and it’d dragged on and was preventing use of the yacht. Short story long, the manufacturer was broadcasting that if it was working to find and fix the problem, it couldn’t be sued or something along those lines. That’s a pile of nonsense. A manufacturer doesn’t get to keep trying to find a fix while you lose the benefit of the bargain. New boats (from the yacht to the skiff) will have problems and most should be fixable without too much pain. If that’s not the case, call a maritime attorney and get talking about solutions.
There were a lot of readers that sent me emails and left voicemails in response to my last bit of writing (“Are Boating and Finance Kinda Sus?”). Nary a negative voice. Thanks. Someday, I’d like to write something about how Elon Musk made his money; maybe one of you financiers out there can explain it to me. I just don’t understand and there’s this kernel of thought I have that he’s stalking horse for some ugly weather that we can’t yet see on the horizon.
John Paul Jones was a Scottish-American naval captain in the American Revolutionary War credited with telling the British (while basically standing in seawater aboard his vessel): “I’ve not yet begun to fight.” I’m not sure if he was irascible, but he did kill a mutinous crewmember with his sword so there’s that. He died in Paris in his late forties, leaving behind as colorful a personal life as was his maritime career. It’s this Captain Jones that’s credited with having crossed the Atlantic during the course of three centuries in that he was exhumed in the 1900s and his body interned at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
I’ve got a desk phone that’s ringing and a black pug that’s barking for a quick turn around the office block. These are good circumstances and the sort of fair weather you can’t complain about. Wherever you are, know the wind shifts and dawn always comes.
Underway and making way. ■
John K. Fulweiler, Esq. is a Proctor-in-Admiralty representing individuals and small businesses in maritime matters including personal injury claims throughout the East and Gulf Coasts and with his office in Newport, Rhode Island. He can be reached at 1-800-383-MAYDAY (6293) or email@example.com, or visit his website at saltwaterlaw.com.