Blog 2020

ORIGIN OF HALLOWEEN MASKS

Posted On: October 30, 2020

Halloween Masks - History of Halloween Masks

Halloween has originated from the old Celtic festival and even before that. In those times, a man painted a mask on their face with blackened ashes from the sacred bonfire and dressed up as fearsome beings.

 It was believed that this is the last night for the dead to have their vengeance before moving on so people wore masks and costumes not to be recognized, to scare away evil spirits and to prevent them from entering homes. They believed it was important to honor dead, so Halloween developed from Pagan ritual to Masquerade party night.

It is believed that in this celebration days the souls of the dead roam the earth. So the most common costume is the white ghost sheet, and the common mask is the ghost or spirit mask. People believed that wearing masks and costumes protected them from ghosts. This night represents the border between the living and the death. The souls of the dead were meant to revisit their homes.

Today, Halloween masks and costumes represent supernatural, saints, biblical figures, folkloric and frightening beings. They can also be inspired by celebrities, pop culture figures, characters from mass media like movies, comic books, literature, and science fiction characters like superheroes and aliens. Monster masks and costumes are skeletons, ghosts, devils, zombies, vampires, Dracula, Frankenstein, witches, mummies, and werewolves.

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OPERATE,NAVIGATE, AND COMMUNICATE

Posted On: October 26, 2020

Operate, Navigate, and Communicate

These three simple statements should guide you when you are out on the water.

Operate 

Your number one job is to operate your boat responsibly!!

Nothing should distract you from that. I understand how difficult it can be at times. You are out for a great day of fishing with your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend, Your spouse is going on and on you for a new car to get the kids to soccer practice or your boyfriend/girlfriend won’t leave you alone about the tickets for the upcoming concert. A big fish has just hit your  line and your thoughts go to catching it.

Are you still thinking about your boat?

 You get the idea. Remember, stay focused.

You still are responsible for the safety of the boat and everyone on board.

Navigate

You must, at all times, know where you are and where you are going.

 And by that I mean something more accurate than just knowing the name of the body of water you are on or proudly telling your guests; "That’s America over there". At least sharpen your skills to the point that you can proclaim with some certainty "That’s Montauk, (I think)".

Communicate

Always, .always,  always …..

Whenever you are in doubt, communicate!

Don’t worry that you will sound stupid asking someone what the clearance of that bridge is up ahead?

 Think about how stupid you will look when the mast of your boat is in the cockpit with you. Not sure what the intentions of that tug and tow heading directly at you are?

ASK!

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DISPELLING SOME HALLOWEEN MYTHS

Posted On: October 23, 2020


It"s October, which means Halloween isn't too far away.

4 Halloween myths that simply aren't true

There’s a lot of spooky and even ridiculous things that people believe about Halloween. While the jury is still out on whether Pennywise actually walks around in our storm drains, there are a few things that USA Today says simply aren’t true. 

Myth number 1: People are poisoning your candy. Despite claims of poison, razor blades and LSD being planted in candy over the years, there has only been one proven case of candy poisoning and that was back in 1974. 

Myth number 2: Black cats are in danger of being killed or sacrificed. The ASPCA says, "while it is true that animals too often become the victims of holiday pranks and cruelty, there is no reason to believe that witches are involved.

Myth number 3: Halloween is all about pumpkins. Halloween historian, Nicholas Rogers, says jack-o-lanterns were initially carved from turnips, with a candle put inside to represent a soul trapped in purgatory. 

Finally, myth number 4: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a Halloween story. It's not. Washington Irving’s novel never mentioned Halloween at all. The holiday wasn’t even widely celebrated at the time. Although it is fair to say a headless horseman is terrifying no matter what the season. 

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DON'T FORGET THOSE BOAT SHOES

Posted On: October 19, 2020

So Fall is here and its’ time to think all things maintenance, including your attire.

Apart from the obvious, when you are out boating, if you wear shoes, chances are they are some form of boat shoes. Boat shoes can be worn in a variety of ways.  In everyday wear, they can replace your sneakers. One point on which there has been much-heated debate is whether they should be worn with or without socks. Boat shoes were originally meant to be worn without socks (for practically while boating) but in an urban setting, they can be worn with socks. However, most people do not wear them with socks, and this contentious issue is best left to your personal preferences and comfort since at the end of the day there is no right or wrong answer. If you are concerned that your bare feet will sweat too much, but you don’t like the look of socks, you may want to try a cotton insert.

So how should you care for them?

Like all shoes, boat shoes need to be taken care of, especially since they are often exposed to saltwater and the sun.

  1. To protect smooth leather from the elements, shine them with water-based cream shoe polish on a regular basis. It’s the stuff you find in glass jars, not tins.
  2. Avoid liquid and quick-drying polishes that contain alcohol or silicone.
  3. Keep them free of dirt, dust and salt deposits. Use a brush to do this as required.
  4. Suede boat shoes can be cleaned by sprinkling and massaging cornmeal onto the surface. Leave them overnight and then brush off the cornmeal. Use a brass bristle suede brush to realign the grain.
  5. Although some say your canvas boat shoes can be machine washed if they don’t contain any leather, I would not do it. Much better to hand wash them with soap because you may destroy inexpensive boat shoes in the washing machine.
  6. Dry your shoes at room temperature and avoid direct heat or sunlight to prevent them from drying out and developing cracks.
  7. Store them carefully, and use shoe trees to help retain their shape.
  8. Use a shoe horn to put them on and maintain the shape and structure of their backs.
  9. Keep a close eye on their soles and get them repaired when you see significant signs of wear and tear.
  10. One last handy tip — you can remove spots using a pencil eraser and a vinegar and water solution. If you have oil or fat spots, apply rubber cement, allow it to dry and then rub it off. Again, you do it at your own risk.
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MAKING WAVES?

Posted On: October 16, 2020


What Wave Height Means

Because there is never only one wave height, oceanographers use a statistical analysis to forecast "significant wave height" (SWH). This is defined as the average of the largest one-third of all waves, and it is the wave height that an experienced observer will typically report. The actual wave height at a given time and place can be much higher, as much as twice the forecast SWH. With a forecast SWH of 10 feet, the mean wave height would be 6.4 feet; the highest 10 percent of waves would be 12.7 feet; the highest 1 percent of waves would be 16.7 feet; and the maximum wave height to be expected would be 20 feet.

What Influences Wave Shape, Height, And Direction?

Wind waves are independent of the swell and add to the wave height. The result is called "combined seas (CS)." The National Weather Service considers CS equal to SWH. Waves are defined by four components: height (trough to crest), length (distance between crests), period (time elapsed from the passage of one crest to the next), and steepness. Steepness is the ratio between height and length. When wave steepness exceeds 1:7, the wave will begin to break — resulting in whitecaps. This generally happens in 12 to 15 knots of wind.

Near-Shore Influences On Deep-Water Waves

There are a number of things that will change the shape, height, and direction of deep-water swell.

Reflection happens when waves bounce back from an obstruction and combine with still-approaching waves. Reflected waves have been seen as far as 15 miles off the California coast where the shore falls steeply into the ocean.

Refraction is a change in direction as a wave encounters shallower water near the shore. The shallower water slows the wave, causing a bending (or refraction) that favors parallel wave fronts to approach the shoreline. Near a headland, refraction focuses wave energy at the tip of the point. Near islands, waves often wrap all the way around the island. And when waves rejoin in the lee of the island, they can augment each other to form larger, sometimes breaking waves.

When current opposes the wind, waves can build quickly to steep and dangerous proportions. Common examples include the Gulf Stream, the Agulhas current, and places where prevailing winds oppose tidal currents (San Francisco Bay, or the Bay of Fundy during a strong ebb).

Wave illustration

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COMMON SENSE TIPS

Posted On: October 12, 2020

So you think you know a lot about boating and insurance?

Owning a boat can be the source of endless hours of fun and relaxation, whether you like to go out on a lake to fish or hold a shipboard party in a nearby harbor for the weekend. A boat is a large motor vehicle, and so, just like any car or truck you may own, certain safety protocols need to be followed. 

You should have your boat safety kit available, including life vests for all passengers.

Being able to survive in the water in the case of an event which causes you to leave the vessel until the Coast Guard or another boater rescues you is a good thing. A working radio with which to summon help is also mandatory.

Nothing will ruin your outing quite like being out on the water in a storm. You should ALWAYS check the weather before going out

Maintain your boat properly, making sure that the engine runs as it is supposed to.

Do not overload your boat with people and equipment.

Having your boat capsize is not only embarrassing but downright dangerous.

Use common sense while on the water.

Do not go tearing around like a stunt pilot in a movie, endangering other boaters and swimmers. The same rules that apply to safe driving on the road in a car apply to safe boating. Be alert, as well, to other boaters who may be misbehaving.

Finally, follow all of the safety procedures for anchoring when on the water and for docking when you return to the marina.

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CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS SOME MYTHS DISPELLED

Posted On: October 09, 2020

Here are some things to know about Columbus:

*He didn’t prove that the earth is round.

Kids in school have long been taught that when Columbus set sail in 1492 to find a new route to the East Indies, it was feared that he would fall off the edge of the earth because people thought the planet was flat. Nope. As early as the 6th century B.C., Pythagoras — later followed by Aristotle and Euclid — wrote about earth as a sphere, and historians say there is no doubt that the educated in Columbus’s day knew quite well that the earth was round.

*Columbus didn’t “discover” America.

During four trips that started with the one in 1492, Columbus landed on various Caribbean islands that are now the Bahamas, as well as the island later called Hispaniola. He also explored the Central American and South American coasts. But he didn’t reach North America, which, of course, was inhabited by Native Americans, and he never thought he had found a new continent.

The famous names of the ships he took on his famous 1492 trip across the Atlantic Ocean, the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, probably weren’t really named Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria. The Santa Maria was also known at the time as La Gallega, meaning the Galician. The Niña is now believed to be a nickname for a ship originally called the Santa Clara, and the Pinta also was probably a nickname, though the ship’s real name isn’t clear.

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KEEPING AFLOAT IN YOUR SLIP

Posted On: October 05, 2020

Here’s some cold hard facts about boating mishaps involving sinking.

According to BoatUS, the largest insurer of pleasure boats in the country, for every boat that sinks at sea, four go down in their slips.

That’s a fairly amazing stat.

 Why?

The sad truth is you don't have to have a rendezvous with a rock to get a one-way ticket down to the bottom.

In fact, you don't have to do anything. Just let your boat sit awhile, and eventually it will find the bottom.

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?

As the storage season approaches for many of us, I offer some of the more common causes for boat sinking and things to explore and some tips on how to avoid the symptoms.

Avoiding sinking 

Store your stern drive in the down position when out of the water to avoid the bends and creases that stress rubber. Inspect the bellows two or three times a year and replace it annually.

 Scuppers in the Fall & Winter

 The scuppers can get clogged with leaves. This won't seal the drains, but it can greatly slow the release of water. In a heavy rain storm, the cockpit can fill enough to weigh down the boat so it floods or accumulates enough water to reach non-waterproof openings in the deck and fill the bilge.

 Keep the cockpit covered, or have wide-mesh external screens made to protect the scuppers.

 If you don’t, when snow falls and ice builds up around the scuppers, they will fill. Since this occurs under the snow, you won’t see it. The added weight of the snow and ice will cause the boat to sink. Haul out for the winter, or have a waterproof, reinforced cover that can take the weight of accumulated snow

While the boat is on land, check the hoses by flexing them back and forth. If there are any cracks, replace the hoses. And while its out of the water, inspect the plumbing. Look for apiece of plumbing corroded, cracked, or just weak. The weakest link is the hose that can crack, most often around the stress points created by the clamps.

 Hose Clamp Failure

Inspect your hose clamps. A hose attached to a seacock below the waterline, or a through-hull just above it, can came off its fitting because the hose clamps gave way. The result could be extremely wet. Secure each hose with two clamps where it passes over the fitting's nipple. Check that the clamps are all stainless steel (a magnet won't attract stainless). Often, the tightening gear and its case are mild steel, which rusts away.

 Stuffing Box

 The packing gland surrounding the prop shaft loosened. Or perhaps it rotted away as it hadn't been replaced for many seasons.

Dripless shaft seals that require minimal maintenance are used by 90 percent of today's boatbuilders. But many boaters still use old-fashioned stuffing boxes on the rudder shafts. Check stuffing boxes often, and replace.

 Trapped Under a Dock

 You tied up the boat at low tide. The wind pushed part of the boat under the dock, the tide came up, and the boat became trapped beneath the dock, then took on water and eventually sank.

 This can happen when the pilings supporting the dock are too far apart to keep the boat parallel to the dock and out from under it. No matter how many dock lines you rig, this will be a problem. If you can't dock elsewhere else, set anchors out from the bow and stern so the boat won't swing.

 Tied Down, Tide Up

At low tide, your bow and stern lines were tight. When the tide came up, the lines stayed that way-firmly holding the boat down as the water rose.

Long spring lines attached at acute angles to the boat adjust as the boat rises and falls. Bow and stern lines may have to be tended as the tide goes through its cycle.

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