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Scenes From The 2018 Seattle Boat Show

I sense that for many of us this winter may have begun to seem tedious and endless by now – reminiscent of that mid-point in a long tunnel, the beginning and the end nowhere in sight or barely discernable. Continue reading

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Picking the Perfect Paddles for Your Dinghy

You’ve taken the time to study up on the perfect dinghy for your boat. You’ve even shopped until you’ve dropped to obtain said dinghy. It will perform every conceivable errand you have in mind, and do a great job-but, what about the paddle to propel it with? Continue reading

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Shall We Stay Awake or Hibernate?

Life continually presents us with choices. As I viewed news and weather maps from across the U.S. last week, I was very tempted to hibernate…although, that choice might have lacked some credibility since I’m in the Pacific Northwest. Only our windshields were frosted over in the early mornings. Whereas, scenes from the east coast – waves frozen in mid-arc, boats trapped in ice, impassable (or should I say, impossible?) streets, frozen and ruptured pipes, looming icicle daggers, and the many captive travelers in limbo at airports – offered much more overwhelming evidence to support that latter choice. Then, there were the horrific mudslides in California – a reminder that warmer temperatures don’t always correlate to pleasant conditions. Continue reading

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Recent Storms Portend a Long Winter Ahead, So Time to Hit the Books

OK, so the old year left us with super-freezing temperatures and a Christmas Day nor’easter that took down trees and left us without power for almost two days. And the new year rolled in on us with an even more powerful “Bomb Cyclone” that took down more trees and killed our power for another day. That second storm was aptly name because the satellite views showed a distinct eye forming when it was off of Cape Cod. At that point the winds were already at tropical storm force here in Nova Scotia, and I knew that we were going to be in for it. Which we were. Two of my friends lost their east facing docks to the high winds, storm surge and wave action. My own dock, which is better protected from easterlies, survived the storm winds and ocean state, but the storm surge did deposit huge junks of ice across its length…fortunately, without any apparent damage. Continue reading

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Shallow Water Boating

While the sound of a hearty “crunch” may be a wonderful thing when you’re enjoying your morning breakfast cereal, a hearty “crunch” from underneath your boat is a bad thing–a very bad thing indeed. The damage from running aground in shallow water can not only ruin your boat outing, it can also put a significant dent in your wallet. Continue reading

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Hurricane Prep Important, but Beware the Nor’easter!

How about all of those testimonials sent in attesting to the way SlideMoor’s docking system let boats safely ride out the ravages of Hurricane Irma? And I do mean “ride out,” as SlideMoor successfully helped many of the southwest Florida region’s boats smoothly go up and down with the massive storm surge. Little doubt that the 12 or so written comments represent just a small fraction of area boat owners who experienced limited boat damage due to the SlideMoor system.  Continue reading

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Do You Live Dangerously?

I suspect that some of the more sporting and adventurous among us would say yes, and perhaps flash back to long or solo voyages, or thrill-seeking activities on the water such as running difficult rapids. Some of the gentler souls among us might answer no, reflecting on a love of fishing, kayaking, or more quiet recreation. Most likely, many of us could answer that question either way. Perhaps we all take, or have taken, risks at various times in our lives. Continue reading

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Have You Planned For Unwelcome Visitors…Such As Hurricanes?

Summer and the month of September are now in our wake. I hope that you were able to make the most of them, get out on the water, and that your days were full of more joy than stress. Continue reading

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Summer Sunsets

I’m writing this on September 11th, windows open to perfect weather here in Seattle. Those who love warmth (such as me!) and those who don’t (what can I say about them?), might agree that it doesn’t get much better than today’s sunshine, 70 to 75 degree temperatures, light breeze and clear blue skies. Continue reading

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Rebuilding the Wharf—Old School Style!

Prior to 2010 I pretty much left the maintenance of our wharf to other people. Herb Rafuse had long been our go-to person to repair storm and age-related damage, and had probably rebuilt the entire wharf three or four times during the 50 or so years it had been in our family. He also took care of the annual Fall/Spring haul out/hook up of our two floating docks. Continue reading

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Staying Chill This Summer?

Summer weather here in Seattle offers almost endless possibilities – variations on boating, of course – as well as many other outdoor activities. More people are out and about on the water and on the beaches: tourists and other visitors, little kids and older students on break from school, and many locals who “stay-cation.” It’s a busy, interesting and vibrant scene. I enjoy the plethora of sights, sounds, experiences, and insights. Continue reading

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Choosing the Best Anchor for You

There are almost as many anchors out there as there are differing situations for which they’re best suited. There are hundreds of opinions and thousands of words written about the subject. For the sake of brevity we’ll just cover the basics and not make your head spin right off the bat! Continue reading

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Find the Echinoderm Asteroidea Around Your Dock

I was on my dock last week checking out the pilings and trying to figure out how many more winters I might get out of it before the need for another major renovation job, when I noticed a sea critter that surprised me by its presence because I hadn’t seen one around my dock in several years. In fact, I mentioned the absence of this creature in a Sept. 9, 2015 SlideMoor blogPause and Consider the Micro-World that Thrives Around Your Dock. Continue reading

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We Are Never Masters Over the Seas Upon Which We Transit

Whenever I set out for a sail on my sailboat, I tend to cast a glance back over my shoulder towards my dock as I’m heading out of the harbor. I’m not exactly sure why it’s part of my departure routine, but do know that when departing on an extended voyage the usual glance is replaced by a long, lingering look. I suppose this could be in relation to a subconscious understanding that perhaps my boat and I may not return; acknowledgement that while modern boating is relatively safe compared to seafaring 120 years ago, there is still an element of risk. Statistically the risks are minuscule, but storms can wreak havoc, boats can run aground, sailors do drown, and a 32-foot sailboat is never master over the seas upon which it transits. This lack of mastery is why a good captain will always be on guard, or keep a good watch, while at sea…. Continue reading

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Springtime!

This photo, taken a couple of years ago, might just as easily have been captured this week – that is, if I took advantage of a “sunbreak.” Blue skies and nicer weather seem about to prevail, yet are sporadic and short-lived at the moment. Feisty, tumultuous clouds still take parting shots and pelt us with rain, wind, or hail as they defiantly give way. Our tulips and other spring flowers are tattered, but standing. Continue reading

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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