Thursday, March 30, 2017

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

March 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

I can’t tell you a thing about the day that was remarkable, thought it was a perfect boating day — nice weather, good company, and a fun destination. On the way back, things plummeted quickly, and it was entirely my fault. The captain trusts me to make sure that the first aid kit is stocked, […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

January 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

We can plan summer boating trips far in advance and invite only the people we really like to join us. However, there’s always a party-crasher lurking about, ready to ruin a good day on the water. Predicting Mother Nature’s mood several days in advance (let alone while planning an outing weeks in advance) is difficult. […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

January 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

It was one of those autumn days with cobalt blue skies and high cirrus clouds. It was cool and breezy, but still a good day for boating, so Robin and I spent the morning in my 17-foot Mako. I had shut down the engine so we could drift off the beach. About that engine — […]

Don’t Do What I Did!

Don’t Do What I Did!

December 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

My wife Ronni and I started boating later than many, as I was 50 when I purchased a used 21′ Cuddy from a fellow teacher. With age comes wisdom, and it did not take us long to realize we needed a safe boating class. Luckily, the United States Power Squadrons® had a 10-week class (within […]

Don’t Do What We Did!

Don’t Do What We Did!

November 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

  Rafting up with other boats can be fun and exciting, but it can have its downside as well. A few years ago, we went out for the day to Pirates Cove, a great place for getting together with family and other boaters. We always enjoy climbing the hills, swimming, and relaxing, so that’s all […]

Don’t Do What He Did

Don’t Do What He Did

October 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

I was enjoying a peaceful sunny afternoon on our sailboat, tied up opposite a dock, when I witnessed something that gave me cause for reflection and a change in attitude. The area we were in hosts a multitude of sail and power boats and a myriad of water-related activities, including jet skiing, canoeing, paddle boarding, […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

September 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Insurance was a top priority for my spouse and me when we purchased our third sailboat. We had been sailing for 14 years on smaller boats, and had moved up to a keelboat — this vessel was an investment we meant to protect. We knew that we needed a comprehensive policy that protected us from […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

July 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The summer I turned 23, I planned to have lots of fun on the water. I had recently purchased my second boat, a 19-foot cuddy cabin with a 100 horsepower outboard engine that could cruise at about 34 miles per hour. Unlike my first boat, this one had a small cabin with a head, so […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

June 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Don’t ever try to outwit a railroad bridge. I know from first-hand experience that you will lose and be one unhappy boater. A number of navigable Connecticut waterways, such as the Housatonic, Thames, and Connecticut Rivers, empty into the Long Island Sound. These are popular destinations for Long Island boaters, as are the historic seaport […]

Don’t Do What I Did!

Don’t Do What I Did!

May 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

After boating for three decades, you figure I would have seen and done everything imaginable. Yet that assumption proved wrong one day in December, 2004, while I was out on my 27-foot Shamrock, Striper Viper. The day already had some early issues such as hitting ground and calling for a tow to pull me free […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

April 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Coming off the worst six months of my life (after losing my mother, then my father), I was grasping at straws for something to take my mind off grief and loss. Having been introduced to the sea at an early age by my grandfather, the water was the only place I ever really found refuge. […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

March 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It was a warm and sunny August day with 10 to 12 knot winds out of the southeast. The day was made better because our daughters Christin and Annie were visiting my wife Suzy and me. Christin’s college roommate, Alex, and Annie’s fiancé, Matt, were also along for a boat ride. The six of us […]

Don’t Do What I Did!

Don’t Do What I Did!

November 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

If you suddenly experience a mechanical problem on your boat, don’t panic. It could cost you big time. I know — it happened to me early in my sailing career. This was the first cruise for me and my wife, Meg, in our catboat. We spent the night anchored near a popular tourist attraction, just […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

October 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Like a host preparing for company, I gave my 23-foot Sea Ox cuddy with a Mercruiser 250 horsepower engine inboard a quick wash down before my friends arrived at the dock.  She was a thing of beauty in my eyes. I had bought the boat in late November from a guy in my marina who […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

September 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

If professional navigators screw up — and faulty plotting put a multi-million-dollar racing machine on the rocks in this summer’s Volvo Around the World race — what hope is there for the rest of us?  I’ve been sailing for 20 years; I committed two grievous navigational errors in a single cruise. Shame. Together with my […]

Don’t Do What We Did!

Don’t Do What We Did!

August 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

  It is never a dull moment when the McMahon family goes to Port Jefferson. As much as we love boating there, something always occurs. Something that ends up on these pages! Pirates Cove in Port Jefferson had taken one of my family’s anchors in the past. I recounted on this page how changing tides […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

July 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

One beautiful summer day, back in 2011, I went kayaking with a friend on the North Fork. Both of us were inexperienced, but it was a beautiful morning and we were ready to go! We put on our lifejackets, hopped into our double-seated kayak, and pushed ourselves off the shore. That’s all there is to […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

We have all been there — arriving late to the marina on a long weekend, wanting/needing to find the perfect weekend dock. The seriousness of preventable events that occurred later all stemmed from the same initial failure to check the marine forecast before heading out. The wind and waves on this July day were memorable, […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

May 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

I wanted to anchor just uptide of a bridge, so my friend dropped the anchor as I powered in reverse to set the hook. Using a 4:1 ratio of line to depth — we played out 40 feet of line for the 10-foot depth. A short while later, we were frantically fending off the bridge […]

Don’t Do What I Did!

Don’t Do What I Did!

March 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Nuns in the sun drinking beer. That was why we had braved a cranky Rockaway Inlet, venturing farther west than ever before. Yes, JFK’s mighty jets loomed in the distance, but basically, it was just us and the dear sisters at this pub on the pier. It was not enough. We needed excitement. I asked […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

February 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Few boaters (if any) will say that the boat ramp is their favorite part of boating — especially on those days when the scene at the ramp is complete chaos. Tempers flare as people yell at each other over who is taking too long and who is cutting in line. If you are new at […]

Don’t Do What I Did!

Don’t Do What I Did!

January 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Capt’n Mike and I dreamed during the frosty winter about a boating adventure aboard our trailered 17-foot Siren, Katie. We would have our first overnight trip with the boat, accompanied by our nine-year-old and seven-year-old kids. A handheld GPS had been Capt’n Mike’s Christmas gift (a real budget breaker), and I had read the manual, […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

In December of 1998, I had accepted delivery of Shear Pleasure in Staten Island.  The dealer provided a captain to escort me home; I shrugged aside my ego and accepted. I planned for us to leave Staten Island and navigate Fire Island Inlet at slack water to avoid a rough inlet. We left Staten Island […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

October 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

During all of my years on the water, I focused on power boating. My parents owned a 21-foot cuddy cabin when I was growing up, and I’ve owned boats of my own from 16 to 37 feet.  Before buying my current boat with twin engines, the boats I owned were single engine outboards and inboards. […]

Don’t Do What I Did

September 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

          After earning my pleasure craft safety certification, I knew I required current navigational charts for each section of our upcoming boating adventure, so I purchased them along with a cruising guide, a good resource to have aboard. If you’re thinking I sound quite organized, think again. My lack of attention […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

August 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

With the navigation lights reflecting off the glassy dark water, three of us left East Rockaway Inlet at 4:30 am on my 25-foot Aquasport. My girlfriend Robin, my friend Ed, and I were headed to a favorite spot off the New Jersey coastline.We were soon greeted by a crimson sunrise, prompting Ed to recite the […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

July 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We bought our first sailboat, a used Pearson 33, and needed to relocate it from Hampton Bays to Northport. My husband, Ron,had sailed in San Francisco Bay before moving to New York, while I had no experience other than fishing from small power boats.  So we asked a friend who was familiar with Long Island […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

June 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

My girlfriend Robin, my brother Peter, my 6-year-old niece, Abby, and I set out early for the first “shakedown” cruise of the season. We were excited about the trip to my new marina in Oceanside on my newly re-powered 19-foot Winner. The plan was to travel from Massapequa Cove to the State Channel, pass Jones […]

Don’t Do What I Did!

Don’t Do What I Did!

April 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

At my favorite summertime retreat, Tolland State Forest in Massachusetts, I can pitch a tent and enjoy nature at its finest. Relaxation abounds, especially at the Otis Reservoir, a pristine body of fresh water that is ideal for swimming, boating, and fishing. One year, our nature-loving group consisted of my husband, our two adult kids […]

Don’t Do What I Did!

February 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

In 1978, I owned a 1971 24’ Revelcraft with a 318 Chrysler salt-water-cooled inboard engine.   This was a very comfortable boat, capable of taking me and my fiancée on extended-day adventures away from the mooring in Oyster Bay. One beautiful day, we decided to take the boat across the Long Island Sound to Connecticut. […]

Next Page »