Author Archives: M.J. Moye

About M.J. Moye

M.J. Moye is an editorial consultant and sailor who lives in Chester, Nova Scotia.

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

Moore's Island Dock

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

Books HD

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


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


Dear Santa: This is What This Sailor Wants for Christmas

Christmas is in the air and Santa Claus has undoubtedly checked off “who’s naughty and who’s nice” on his annual gift list. And naturally most avid boaters received a “nice” check by their names. But now Santa has to figure out what to get these boater(s). Continue reading

CL Dock (1)

All Over But the Pilings–Memories of a Dock

Anyone who spends a lot of time on boats likely spends a fair amount of time on docks. Relatively speaking, that is, as the dock is usually just a transit point for getting from land to boat. But along with being an important junction point between land and boat, docks offer plenty of opportunities for recreation on their own merit, with fishing and swimming coming quickly to mind. Continue reading


The Art and Artistry of Docking

Docking a boat is an art, and a person who easily and smoothly brings a boat up to the dock or into a slip is generally a good boater overall. But docking should not serve as a litmus test to discern someone’s boat handling abilities, nor should boating skills serve as an indicator of one’s docking ability. In fact, there are plenty of skilled mariners whose boat hulls sport the dings, chafes and marks that serve evidence that docking skills may be less than stellar. And there are also plenty of skilled boaters who consistently depart and arrive at their own dock with ease, but who can utterly bollox things up when confronted with someone else’s dock.   Continue reading