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Capt. Bill Pike's blog

Ahhhh, The Boating Weekend

There are all sorts of boating weekends, of course. Sometimes you leave the dock, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you cook a meal or two onboard, sometimes you don't.

Dolphin Delight (w/Cool Video)

Musta been last year, although DANG! it doesn't seem that long ago. I was helping deliver a Kadey Krogen 48 AE up the eastern coast of the United States, from Stuart, Florida, to Annapolis, Maryland.

A Grand Old Boat

I don't think I'd ever seen anything quite like it before. There was a light rain falling at the time--as there often is in the Pacific Northwest--and I was walking down the long dock at Skyline Marina in Anacortes, Washington. And the vision ahead seemed like pure romance, or maybe pure cinematic romance is more like it. I swear. Had Humphrey Bogart himself swung open the watertight door of the buff-colored superstructure and stepped out into the chilly air to study the sky and pull up the collar of his pea coat, I wouldn't have been a bit surprised.

For good or for bad, sometimes the world works in mysterious ways.

Who’da Thunk?

Illustration by Gil AdamsOkay, I’ll admit it. I’ve become a tad cynical over the years. So when the Deepwater Horizon exploded catastrophically on April 20, 2010,  killing 11 crewmen, I cynically watched developments on TV, day after day, feeling steadily more dismal over the resultant oil spill and what it was gonna do to the Gulf Coast and, more particularly (and selfishly perhaps), Panama City, Florida, the place where my wife and I were keeping our Grand Banks trawler Betty Jane. Having spent several of my youthful years working on oil-field boats in the Gulf, a job that put me cheek-by-jowl with big oil companies like BP, I figured I knew the score. Everybody was gonna lose … except BP! 

Well, I'll Be Blessed. And Betty, Too!

A few weekends ago, I was elbow deep in Betty Jane's annual oil-change (a day-long extravaganza that usually entails, besides the oil deal, a total swap-out of coolant and filters) when I heard something strange and seemingly far off.

A bagpipe? Playing The Marine's Hymn?

Fright Night

 

Illustration by Gil AdamsThere’s more to after-dark navigation than having high-falutin’ electronics onboard.

 
I was curious, really. I hadn’t done any hard-core, nighttime navigation in years. Sure, over the past couple of decades, I’d briefly piloted a few recreational vessels around in the dark, plying parts of rivers and bayous with little more than a chartplotter, a careful hand on the wheel, and a trusty spotlight. But frankly, in all that time I’d never shepherded a vessel through the darkness into a big, working seaport with radar as my primary navigational tool. Would I be as good as I used to be?

Is Frogtape Froggy Enough?

I'm not going to be unduly negative in the following little dittie I hope, just informative. If you're at all into onboard DIY these days, you've undoubtedly heard of Frogtape, a new product that purports to prevent tape-related bleed-through during  painting projects, both big and small. My brother told me about the stuff and, at his behest, I used some on a home-improvement job I had going around the ol' ranchero.