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Capt. Bill Pike Blog

Cruising Down The Perfume River

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted 2014-08-29 11:06

Capt. Bill Pike in Vietnam 

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Nada on the Han

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted 2014-08-28 08:43

River Views on the Han

Retracing the steps you took, or rather the waters you swooped across, during a combat tour that enlivened your youth need not be a totally grim endeavor. In fact, there are aspects of it, I am finding out, that can actually be fun. For example, a couple of days ago on the Song Thu Bon, the Vietnamese skipper of our little single-diesel-powered double-ender (sort of a sampan, I’d say, with a roof and benches) let me drive for a while and I had a superb time doing it.

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An Extraordinary Project

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted 2014-08-27 09:15

Cua Viet River

Back in 1969, I served as an infantryman—a combat medic—in Vietnam. My unit operated in what was then called I Corps, just south of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), a stretch of no-man’s land between the northern and southern parts of a country torn apart by a horrible war. A few weeks into my stint with Charlie Company, First Platoon, a cool thing happened—the brass decided we needed a little R&R and sent us all to a spot at the mouth of the Cua Viet River, just a bit south of the DMZ.  Cua Viet was home to a Navy base, with a beach, a mess hall—with food that beat the livin’ daylights out of the C-rations we were regularly feasting upon—and movies on most evenings in a sort of outdoor theater.

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Removing The Un-removable

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted 2014-08-11 09:00

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Using a Sextant for Navigation

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted 2014-06-05 16:18

Going Back For Backup

Can you believe? A celestial voyage down memory lane!

Many years ago, during what often seems like another lifetime, it was my job as a U.S.

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Goodbye Split Controls...And Good Riddance

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted 2014-05-08 09:56

Boat HelmSo let’s go totally retro for a sec. Let’s say it’s 1988 and I’m just making what I remember as a fairly ragged transition from commercial seafaring to the recreational realm, or to be more technically accurate, to the realm of marine magazines.

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Talk About A Sweet Boat

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted 2014-04-04 11:56

Coastal Craft 65 Concord

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A Wild, Wild Ride

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted 2014-04-02 12:09

Aspen 32The Aspen 32 from Aspen Power Catamarans ( has got to be one of the coolest, most interesting watercraft I’ve sea trialed in years. She has a very monohull-like appearance despite the fact that she’s got two hulls, not one. And get this: The Aspen is not actually a cat, despite her builder’s catamaranish name.

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From the Field - Maritimo 58

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted 2014-04-01 12:01

Maritimo 58 So this is the first Maritimo 58—and indeed the first Maritimo of any description—I’ve seen with a black hull. Very striking. In fact, as I made my approach from dockside, I believe I was constrained to exclaim, “Holy Smokes.” Black hulls, of course, tend to show the least imperfection in glasswork and this hull looked about as smooth as a peach without the fuzz.

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Ah Seattle…For A Whole Week

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted 2014-03-31 11:31

Arnie Hammerman

What better way to crank up an entire week in Seattle testing boats that to take a boat ride with my friend and Power & Motoryacht Publisher Arnie Hammerman and his sons, Avery (left) and Hadyn (right). Arnie upgraded to a brand new (or almost new actually) 26-footer from Cutwater, a Pacific Northwest builder, and he was quite excited to show her off.

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