December 31, 2007

Squid Salad with peppers for the Holidays

May is squid fishing season in RI. I had my most successful year yet. Before the holidays my friend, George, told me the squid is getting too old to use for bait so we would have to eat what's left. (just kidding!) I came up with this squid salad recipe right before Christmas.

2 lb. squid cleaned - rings and cut up tentacles
12 oz. wine vinegar - for extra flavor use garlic vinegar
1 med. onion diced
1 sweet red pepper diced
1/4 cup mild yellow pepper rings
1/4 cup diced hot cherry peppers
1/4 cup celery diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Ground black pepper

Rinse the squid and simmer for 35 minutes in the vinegar. Add just enough water to the vinegar to cover the squid. Stir occasionally. You can add a dash of red pepper flakes and/or a bit of "Hot Shot" to the vinegar to spice it up a little. Drain and rinse the squid in cold water.

Toss the squid in a bowl with the diced onion, peppers and celery.
Sprinkle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the mixture, and season with ground black pepper to taste. Chill and serve with crackers or crusty bread. Enjoy!

Happy New Year,

December 29, 2007

Madeline at Sunset during the 2007 Newport Jazz Festival

One of my highlights of 2007 was spending the weekend on Lots A Luck in Newport on the Jazz Festival Weekend. Here is a photo of Madeline cruising past our anchorage taken Saturday evening, Aug 11.


November 25, 2007

What's lurking in your gas tank?

I was running the outboard on the Boston Whaler yesterday to winterize the motor. The motor started up OK, but died after warming up for a couple of minutes. I tried and tried to restart it, but couldn't get a kick out of the engine. Although there were a couple of gallons in the 6 gallon portable tank I was using, the engine sounded suspiciously like it was out of gas. I switched over to the second tank and after a couple of false starts, it started right up and ran. Using a large funnel, I drained the gas from the first tank out into a can. As the tank neared empty, the fuel started looking milky. The photograph shows what it looked like after the gas and water separated. This is my first exposure to serious ethanol/water separation. I filled up the tank in September, and it sat 2/3 empty until late November. Glad I didn't run into this while out on the water!

My fleet is put to bed for the winter now. I'll be rebuilding the windshield for Lots-A-Luck in the garage, and dreaming of warmer weather. Keep warm!

August 20, 2007

Peter Duck a Haven 12-1/2 built by Eric Dow visits Newport

I met a gentleman visiting from CT, who was rigging a gorgeous Haven 12-1/2 sailboat with his daughter at the Fort Adams launch ramp in Newport last weekend. She is a new boat, built by Eric Dow of Brooklin Maine and delivered about six months ago. He told me the hull is cedar.

I did some looking on line and and took the following excerpt from an interview with Eric Dow by Pauleena MacDougall and Amy Appleton published by the Maine Folklife Center

We still try to stick with wood as much as possible but it’s still the same design pretty much. I’d like to continue to build wooden pea pods but when I started out I think I sold the first one for $700 and you couldn’t begin to paint one for that now. The fiber glass ones are about $2,500 now and they take no time compared to a wooden would take to build. I don’t know a wooden pea pod like that now would be in the $11,000 range. There aren’t many people willing to pay that kind of money for a rowboat. They are very rare so we jumped up a step and we’re building the Haven twelve and a half. It’s a 16-foot day sailor, sailboat, very traditional design. It was adapted by Joel White from the Brooklin Boat Yard. He took a Herreshoff design and based this on the Herreshoff style, which had been a very popular boat. Woodenboat magazine was interested in that project and did a how to build boat and fairly publicized the design. We went into that and it got the price where we could and still do produce those boats and are able to earn a living at it. When you can build a 16-footer and get in the $30,000 range for it then the numbers work better than they would in a smaller boat.

What a fine piece of craftsmanship! I felt privileged to have a chance to get a close look at this rare beauty. After a bit more poking around the web I found another one listed for sale in Southwest Harbor Maine. The price is equivalent to a year's tuition at a good private college. For more on the Haven 12-1/2 see

I hope to see you on the water!

April 02, 2007

NOAA Raster Nautical Charts are available online

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) decided to make Raster Nautical Charts (RNC) available online at These charts are geo-referenced, full-color images of NOAA's paper nautical charts, and are published by NOAA in the BSB format (Note 1) . NOAA updates the RNC for Notices to Mariners on a weekly basis. They are an official product of NOAA and meet the S-61 Standard - Raster Navigational Charts - of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).

The following corporations/organizations offer a number of charting related products that may provide useful important information. This listing is for information only and neither the Office of Coast Survey nor the Government endorse any of the products or services provided by these corporations/organizations. The links for raster chart navigation software connect to Web pages outside of the Office of Coast Survey Web site.

Free "Demo" Raster Chart Navigation Software
(for viewing NOAA RNC™ (BSB format) files)

Global Navigation
Software Co
Maptech Raster Chart SoftwareThe Cap'n Raster Chart


Marine ENC Software

Caris Easy ENC
Free online viewing of NOAA raster charts is available using the links below
(for use as a reference or planning tool).

US Atlantic Coastal Charts are accessible using the free NOAA Raster Chart Viewer. The free viewer offers limited image size and resolution; however, the online charts provide an accessible reference.

Note 1. BSB format is named after one of Maptech's predecessor companies, BSB Electronic Charts, which had an exclusive license with NOAA to produce official electronic editions of NOAA's library of paper charts. Soon, BSB Charts became the official standard for electronic navigation, with many other companies creating software to use these charts.

February 25, 2007

Why trailer wheel bearings need to be re-packed every year

After every season, I pull the wheel bearings off my trailer, clean them out and and re-pack them with fresh grease. This year, when I pulled the right hand wheel off the trailer, the seal was in perfect condition. The grease looked like the day it had been packed. There was no evidence of water infiltration. I started to wonder if I really needed to re-pack the bearings this year. When I pulled off the other wheel, it was a different story. From the color of the grease, it was immediately obvious that water had infiltrated the seal. The grease was milky white with rust mixed in. Letting that side go through the winter and into another season would have been a recipie for disaster. Each season, I put a few hundred miles on the trailer. I mostly use the local launch ramps around town, within a few miles of my home, but I do make a few trips to Newport, Point Judith and Charlestown each summer that rack up some highway miles. We've all seen too many boat trailers left along the side of the road due to a bearing failure to let this go. If you haven't pulled those bearings out yet, now is a perfect time to take care of them.

Fishing humor: Give a man a fish...

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

Top 20 Reasons WHY FISHING IS BETTER THAN SEX... courtesy of Jim "Lead Rod" Boland, Sr.

#20 - No matter how much whiskey you've had, you can still Fish.
#19 - A limp rod is still useful while Fishing.
#18 - You don't have to hide your Fishing magazines.
#17 - It is perfectly acceptable to pay a professional to Fish with you once in a while.
#16 - The Ten Commandments don't say anything against Fishing.
#15 - If your partner takes pictures or videotapes of you Fishing,you don't have to worry about them showing up on the Internet if you become famous.
#14 - Your Fishing partner doesn't get upset about people you Fished with long ago.
#13 - It's perfectly respectable to Fish with a total stranger.
#12 - When you see a really good Fishing person, you don't have to feel guilty about imagining the two of you Fishing together.
#11 - If your regular Fishing partner isn't available, he/she won't object if you Fish with someone else.
#10 - Nobody will ever tell you that you will go blind if you Fish by yourself.
#9 - When dealing with a Fishing pro, you never have to wonder if they are really an undercover cop.
#8 - You don't have to go to a sleazy shop in a seedy neighborhood to buy Fishing stuff.
#7 - You can have a Fishing calendar on your wall at the office, tell Fishing jokes, and invite coworkers to Fish with you without getting sued for harassment.
#6 - There are no Fishing-transmitted diseases.
#5 - If you want to watch Fishing on television, you don't have to subscribe to the Playboy channel.
#4 - Nobody expects you to Fish with the same partner for the rest of your life.
#3 - Nobody expects you to give up Fishing if your partner loses interest in it.
#2 - You don't have to be a newlywed to plan a vacation primarily to enjoy your favorite activity.
#1 - Your Fishing partner will never say, "Not again? We just Fished last week! Is Fishing all you ever think about?"