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Destinations

My experience has been that travel – especially, to places far different than home — broadens my perspective. One might assume that would be the case for everyone; then again, travel itself has taught me that things are not always what they seem. Ironically, some perceived universal truths aren’t necessarily universal. We each have different ways of viewing, interpreting and reacting to things that happen based on our experiences and our understanding of what we’ve learned. Continue reading

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While Preferring the Wild, There is Joy in Urban Sailing

I love offshore sailing and adore exploring remote wilderness coastlines up close by sailboat, but every now and then I get a kick out of urban sailing. That is, exploring the architecture developments, maritime activity, and man-made shoreline of cities. Continue reading

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Late Winter Musings…on People, Passions, Pirates, and Podcasts

I’m fascinated and inspired, and sometimes a bit jealous, of those who can get away for long adventures or take epic voyages. Their stories, photos, and insights sometimes prompt additions to my own bucket list. Continue reading

Don’t Let the Choices Make You Dinghy

When it comes to sailing and cruising, most boaters put in a lot of time and effort finding just the right vessel that will fit the needs of their family and friends. The dreaming, planning and anticipation of finding the perfect boat is arguably the most exciting part of the process. However, when it comes to finding the perfect dinghy, well………….that tends to fall under the “stuff you have to have” category. It’s very important, very practical and fairly boring. Continue reading

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Always In Search of Waterways and a Boat With Which to Ply Them

Whenever I travel to an unfamiliar area I always try to get out on the water. It’s not enough to just feel a sea breeze on my face while taking a walk along a city’s waterfront or by strolling barefoot on a beach. I need to experience the feel of water passing under a boat’s hull. I need to experience the area from the perspective of a sailor, and take regard of the shoreline from the sea instead of regarding the sea from the shoreline. I want to get a feel for the lay of the waterways, a sense of what it might be like to ply these unexplored waters on a regular basis. There’s also my sense that there is more likely “adventure” to be found on the water then there is on land.   Continue reading

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Underwater Views Without Getting Wet

If you live in North America this time of year, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re, at least, slightly chilly. For those of us who live closer to Canada than Mexico, it’s darn chilly. Bleak, cold, short days in the winter can leave you hankering for some warm weather fun.  Continue reading

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Fleeting Thoughts

Out on the water, at any one point in time, you’ll see a few boats that appear to be stationary or drifting. Perhaps, they are fishing? Perhaps, they are taking a break? Perhaps they’ve dropped anchor or have paused for some other reason. Continue reading

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With the Boat on the Hard and Winter Coming, It’s Time to Hit the Books

My boat lies on the hard, enshrouded in canvas and all but indistinguishable from the hundreds of other lonely boats hibernating in the yard. Her truckload worth of gear is piled in disarray in the garage, awaiting some sort of organizational storage skill to put things in order and make the space usable again. Her books and finer instruments are in boxes in the office, while her charts lie on my office couch. Little doubt that I’ll sit beside them sometime in the coming weeks and peruse voyages both past and future. Continue reading

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Don’t Transport Hitchhikers

It’s everyone’s job to prevent the spread of invasive species, but the boating community has a special responsibility. These plants and animals can invade a new ecosystem in an amazingly short amount of time because the new ecosystem may offer no natural predators for the critters hitchhiking a ride on your boat. The incoming species wreaks havoc by bringing in disease, by consuming native species, and creating competition for resources. Continue reading

The Necromancy, Artistry, Beauty and Utility of Traditional Paper Charts

I have long been enamored of nautical charts, by far my favorite navigational tool. And sure, I enjoy the convenience of navigating by GPS chart plotter, but there is no art or romance in it. A chart plotter is all push button and cursor with any resultant specific details available in whatever scale or format you desire. In this age of computerized instant gratification, the paper chart takes a bit of work, but you get to look and touch an artistic canvas, discern subtle details by your own eyes, and use the chart as a backdrop to mentally visualize the transit from point A to B.   Continue reading

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Boating Season Wrap-Up: Memories and Takeaways From This Summer!

As summer winds down, at least on our calendars, I love to reflect on the best parts. I think about what I will remember and would most like to carry with me into the future from these recent, seemingly fleeting, weeks and months. Continue reading

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Fathoming The Mysteries Of “Ghost” Docks And Finding A Bit Of Hollywood

Perhaps the oddest dock I have ever encountered was located just outside of Greenville, North Carolina in a small pond deep in the woods near my step-grandmother’s farm. And when I say “small” I’m talking quarter acre at most. So small that you could traverse its length in a canoe with a couple of strokes of the paddle. So small that the dock, which only extended about seven feet over the water, seemed like it ended right in the middle of the pond. And ended to what purpose would be the question, as the pond was too small for boating and one could easily fish every part of it by casting from any one spot on the shore—that is, if that dock hadn’t been in the way. Continue reading

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Fishing Lessons

My father fished commercially as those of you who read this blog regularly may recall. As well, he fished for pleasure starting at a young age. He didn’t have to go very far to find water, as he grew up on a hillside farm in Norway. It was positioned between high mountain lakes above, and Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, Sognefjord, below. The family farm also had a hidden “fishing hole” that was fed by a mountain creek. My father told of learning to swim in the fishing hole: as a very small child, his older brothers tossed him in and left him to figure it out. Fortunately, he did. Continue reading

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Boat Rental Bonanza

Summer is here and the urge to be out on the water in a boat is overwhelming. But what if you don’t have a boat? You don’t even have a friend or a relative with a boat. In the past, your only options were to save up and buy your own boat, rent a boat from a pricey marina, or just sit and cry. Now there’s a new option: rent a boat from the boat’s owner.

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SlideMoor Is Now Available On Home Depot’s Website!

We here at SlideMoor are excited to announce that you can now purchase our Floating Dock Bracket (FDB) from Home Depot Online! Home Depot is one of the leading hardware and home improvement retailers in the world, and we are proud to have such a reputable company standing behind the SlideMoor name. Continue reading

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On Adventure, Innovation, and Spring Cleaning…

Fresh spring weather is here and with it some exciting boating-related news and activities – ahead of Opening Day. Several seemingly unrelated stories caught my interest and imagination in recent weeks. Continue reading

How to Play in the Water Chicago Style

How to Play in the Water Chicago Style

When you think of fun in the sun and boating, Lake Michigan probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind. But when you have a city of over 2,700,000 people next to a lake that has 22,394 square miles and the sun starts shining, fun things are bound to happen. Continue reading

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Hitting the Water With Old-School Virtual Reality

It snowed over the weekend. Only about four inches, but enough to put a damper on the notion that we might have an early spring this year. The forecast for the coming week does not look promising as far as the boatyard doing much launching this week. Not that it really matters given that it’s the unholy tax filing month, and with my duel American-Canadian status I get double filing detail. Sigh…. Continue reading

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Kicking Off the Season—Just Me and My Boat!

It is an especially cold mid-winter day. The type of day that gave reason to mammalian hibernation, as just trying keep warm in the cold of the open air would rapidly deplete an animal’s fat reserves. So cold that birds are reluctant to fly and the briny water of the harbor has iced over, encasing docks and mooring balls in a steely grip. Continue reading

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Passages

During these winter weekends and evenings, I’ve been navigating though some of my rainy-day projects. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to finish digitizing my photo albums, some of which belonged to my parents. The oldest photographs date back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. They showcase very different times. Continue reading

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Reflections On Fiery Endings and New Beginnings

Happy New Year! The year’s end and the ringing in of 2016 were cause for celebration, as well as reflection for me, and hopefully for you as well. I enjoyed seeing stories and video from cities around the world as they welcomed this new year. I have also enjoyed reading, hearing or watching insightful stories with ideas and observations about ways to make this new year a better one — by tackling persistent problems, by making daunting projects into more manageable tasks, and, and, and, and… Continue reading