Capt. Bill Pike's blog
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.
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.
So 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.
The Aspen 32 from Aspen Power Catamarans (www.aspenpowercatamarans.com) 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.
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.
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.
Here’s hoping that, this year, Christmas will be as wonderful as Thanksgiving’s just turned out to be for my wife BJ and myself.
Big boat shows like the one held in Ft. Lauderdale every year offer a remarkable potential—just when you least expect it, you can find yourself sitting in the saloon of some boat some place with a bunch of people you’ve only read about, or who know way more about boats than you do, or who are well above average in their ability to please and handle an audience.