Blog May 2018


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Posted On: May 31, 2018

As the better weather is finally here, so are those little things that can cause us some annoyances.

 Bye-Bye, Summer Buzzkills!

We picture summers as non-stop fun, but bothersome joy-spoilers are everywhere. Nothing wrecks a day like a tossing deck, floating creature, swarming insect, broiling sun, or proliferating bacteria. However, we know some simple ways to ease the summer blues… and reds… and greens.

Bug Bites

Make your own repellent with oils (such as citronella, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, or catnip) or buy a commercial bug spray (though many experts advocate for DEET, we’re not fond of it for many reasons, including that it lowers the effectiveness of sunscreen). Wear light-colored, long-sleeve shirts and long pants. And for an extra measure of protection, serve foods made with lots of garlic!

Should a biting bug get through anyway, treatment depends on the wound (and if there’s a stinger left behind). In general, wash the area and stop swelling by holding ice cubes or an ice pack against the bite for up to 15 minutes. Then apply an over-the-counter cortisone cream or anti-itch lotion. Other remedies include a paste of water-moistened baking soda, salt, meat tenderizer, or crushed aspirin (adults only) over the dampened area.


When you bang into something (or vice versa), apply ice immediately. If the skin is broken, cover with gauze. Elevate the area whenever possible and don’t put weight or pressure on the spot.


Rest and drink water with a pinch of salt. Once you’re feeling better, keep drinking water.

Jellyfish Stings

The best prevention is to avoid going in the water or wear protective gear if you do go in. If you’re stung, treat immediately by rinsing with sea water before coming back aboard. If there are tentacles in the bitten area, use a stiff piece of cardboard or a credit card to rub them up and out. Then apply vinegar or isopropyl alcohol to neutralize the toxins (we hear cola works in a pinch). You may also take an oral antihistamine or apply a cortisone ointment.

Poison Ivy, Oak, Sumac

The best treatment is complete avoidance, so familiarize yourself with the plants you should never touch before you leave the boat to explore the shore. If contact was made with the leaves, remove and bag up any clothing that may have made contact and rinse the area with cool water and soap (some swear by apple cider vinegar) but don’t spread the rash-producing oil around. Ice the area and then apply cortisone cream, calamine lotion, aloe gel, a banana peel, or a mashed-up cucumber. Do not rub on an antihistamine cream.


Those who are prone to motion sickness should start treatment before heading out for the day. Pick up an over-the-counter antihistamine, get a prescription for a pill or a behind-the-ear patch, stock up on ginger capsules (soda, snaps, or tea help, too), and/or acupressure bands that block nausea. Wear, take, and nibble on whatever you need to keep queasiness at bay.

If seasickness strikes while underway, position yourself outside towards the middle of the boat (a breezy, shady spot is best). Breathe deeply and either close your eyes or fix your gaze on a specific spot on the horizon. Slowly sip a cool drink to avoid dehydration.

Stomach ache

You knew you shouldn’t finish a sandwich you started two hours ago, after you left it on the deck to go swimming and then take a nap. But you did, and now you’re in distress. Sit up, breathe deeply, apply a warm compress, take an over-the-counter stomach-soothing medication, or drink peppermint tea or water with lemon either iced or warm.


Treatment won’t be necessary if you take steps to prevent skin damage before you leave home. It’s unwise to wait to apply sunscreen until you leave the dock — you’ve already been exposed to harmful rays while in the car,  walking to the boat or riding the launch, and loading on supplies. Apply sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher before you get dressed, and once you’re outside, reapply at least every two hours (more often if you get wet). If you miss a spot and become sunburned, apply a soft cloth soaked in cool water, vinegar, whole milk, or unsweetened green tea to the affected area. Relief can also come from aloe vera gel, an over-the-counter cortisone cream, or one containing menthol or camphor. Place raw cucumber or potato slices over your well-done areas or mash up some strawberries and rub them in. A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen or naproxen may also ease some of the swelling and pain.

Sun Sensitivity and Heat Rash

Certain medications and treatments can cause sun sensitivity and rashes. Tell your prescribing doctor or pharmacist about your boating plans or look at the warning label on over-the-counter treatments. If there’s a risk, apply sunscreen, wear sun-resistant clothing, and remain in the shade. If you suffer a mild reaction, apply cool compresses and then let your skin air dry.

Ensure that the mouth and nasal passages are clear. Swallow cool water slowly and nibble on bland food as tolerated. Follow tips for seasickness and stomachache



Posted On: May 29, 2018

Reading A Tide Table


Knowing how to read a tide table can mean the difference between a good day and a bad one.

If you've ever waited anxiously for the twing of your antenna against the underside of a highway bridge, you know that playing with tides can be a game of inches. To pass safely under that bridge or over the bar that lies between here and home, we need to understand all the components of the tides. Along most of the coast, tides rise twice and fall twice each day. These are called semidiurnal tides. In some places, the tides cycle only once per day; these are called diurnal tides. And in still other places, one daily high tide is much higher than the day's second high tide; these are called mixed tides. Tide tables, provided by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at, tell you three important things for any given place: the time of high tide, the time of low tide, and the heights of each. But what about the times in between? For that, you'll need the Rule of Twelfths (see chart ).



Posted On: May 24, 2018

Memorial Day is much more than just a three-day weekend and a chance to get the year's first sunburn. Here's a handy 10-pack of facts to give the holiday some perspective.

  1. It started with the Civil War

Memorial Day was a response to the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War, in which some 620,000 soldiers on both sides died. The loss of life and its effect on communities throughout the country led to spontaneous commemorations of the dead:

  • In 1864, women from Boalsburg, Pa., put flowers on the graves of their dead from the just-fought Battle of Gettysburg. The next year, a group of women decorated the graves of soldiers buried in a Vicksburg, Miss., cemetery.
  • In April 1866, women from Columbus, Miss., laid flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers. In the same month, in Carbondale, Ill., 219 Civil War veterans marched through town in memory of the fallen to Woodlawn Cemetery, where Union hero Maj. Gen. John A. Logan delivered the principal address. The ceremony gave Carbondale its claim to the first organized, community-wide Memorial Day observance.
  • Waterloo, N.Y. began holding an annual community service on May 5, 1866. Although many towns claimed the title, it was Waterloo that won congressional recognition as the "birthplace of Memorial Day."
  1. General Logan made it official

Gen. Logan, the speaker at the Carbondale gathering, also was commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans. On May 5, 1868, he issued General Orders No. 11, which set aside May 30, 1868 "for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion."

The orders expressed hope that the observance would be "kept up from year to year while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades."

  1. It was first known as Decoration Day

The holiday was long known as Decoration Day for the practice of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags. The name Memorial Day goes back to 1882, but the older name didn't disappear until after World War II. Federal law declared "Memorial Day" the official name in 1967.

  1. The holiday is a franchise

Calling Memorial Day a "national holiday" is a bit of a misnomer. While there are 10 federal holidays created by Congress—including Memorial Day—they apply only to Federal employees and the District of Columbia. Federal Memorial Day, established in 1888, allowed Civil War veterans, many of whom were drawing a government paycheck, to honor their fallen comrades without being docked a day's pay.

For the rest of us, our holidays were enacted state by state. New York was the first state to designate Memorial Day a legal holiday, in 1873. Most Northern states had followed suit by the 1890s. The states of the former Confederacy were unenthusiastic about a holiday memorializing those who, in Gen. Logan's words, "united to suppress the late rebellion." The South didn't adopt the May 30 Memorial Day until after World War I, by which time its purpose had been broadened to include those who died in all the country's wars.

In 1971, the Monday Holiday Law shifted Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday of the month.

  1. It was James Garfield's finest hour—or maybe hour-and-a-half

On May 30, 1868, President Ulysses S. Grant presided over the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery—which, until 1864, was Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's plantation.

Some 5,000 people attended on a spring day which, The New York Times reported, was "somewhat too warm for comfort." The principal speaker was James A. Garfield, a Civil War general, Republican congressman from Ohio and future president.

"I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion," Garfield began, and then continued to utter them. "If silence is ever golden, it must be beside the graves of fifteen-thousand men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem the music of which can never be sung." It went on like that for pages and pages.

As the songs, speeches and sermons ended, the participants helped to decorate the graves of the Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.

  1. Not even the Unknown Soldier can avoid media scrutiny these days

"Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God." That is the inscription on the Tomb of the Unknowns, established at Arlington National Cemetery to inter the remains of the first Unknown Soldier, a World War I fighter, on Nov. 11, 1921. Unknown soldiers from World War II and the Korean War subsequently were interred in the tomb on Memorial Day 1958.

An emotional President Ronald Reagan presided over the interment of six bones, the remains of an unidentified Vietnam War soldier, on Nov. 28, 1984. Fourteen years later, those remains were disinterred, no longer unknown. Spurred by an investigation by CBS News, the defense department removed the remains from the Tomb of the Unknowns for DNA testing.

The once-unknown fighter was Air Force pilot Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie, whose jet crashed in South Vietnam in 1972. "The CBS investigation suggested that the military review board that had changed the designation on Lt. Blassie's remains to 'unknown' did so under pressure from veterans' groups to honor a casualty from the Vietnam War," The New York Times reported in 1998.



Posted On: May 22, 2018

What Is a Maritime Expert Witness?

 A maritime expert witness is a person who possesses knowledge of matters relating to the construction of ships, marine shipping, or navigation and who offers this expertise in a court of law. They prepare an analysis of situations and present the information to attorneys, judges and juries. They offer general insight on the cause of an accident, reconstruct the events of an accident and determine environmental threats. They also may be called upon to analyze the cause of personal injury suits and product liability suits. 

An expert witness is a person who has specific knowledge in a given field and is called to testify in a court of law. The court permits this person to testify without having been present at the scene of the crime due to specialized training or experience in a given field. Unlike other witnesses, who are only permitted to give testimony based on observed facts, an expert witness gives technical testimony based primarily on expertise and opinions. The court allows either the prosecuting or defense attorneys to use such testimony to support claims made by the prosecution or the defense.

A maritime expert witness analyzes the cause of marine causalities and personal injuries during litigation for either the defendant or the plaintiff. An maritime expert witness may also be called to testify in environmental cases and offer analysis on the threat of hazardous materials such as lead, toxic PCBs and other toxic metals either aboard the ship or at the ship yard.

A maritime expert witness may be called upon to recreate the technical events causing an accident. An expert witness can provide testimony and analysis on the design, construction, and operations to determine the cause of the injury. A maritime expert witness is instrumental in product liability cases and can help determine whether an accident was due to faulty ship design or construction, management of the ship, or maritime operations.

Our services are available to offer expert witnesses when maritime accidents occur and the cause is unclear. An exceptional maritime expert witness service will provide the knowledge of fundamental maritime principals to advance the case and demonstrate the probable cause and effect necessary to the courts. The service will always include an analysis either supporting or defending claims and prepare reports for litigation. The analysis should cover each phase of the design, maintenance and operation of either the ship yard or the ship.



Posted On: May 17, 2018

So its the boating season, but do you know the basic safety necessities of boating?


Safety is a must, and not knowing is not acceptable. Your life and that of others could be at stake.

Test your boating knowledge on the most commonly missed questions from the US boating foundation’s boating safety course.

Whether you've been boating for 20 days or 20 years, many boaters around the country are now required to take some form of boating education in their state.

How well did you do?

1. Which of the following is required on federally controlled waters for boats less than 39.4 feet (12 meters)?

a) A VHF radio
b) Whistle
c) Paddle or oar
d) First-aid kit

2. According to the Navigation Rules, which of the following is true?

a) A boat under power is always a stand-on boat.
b) A personal watercraft is always a give-way boat.
c) An overtaking boat always gives way to the boat being overtaken.
d) A boat under sail is always a stand-on boat.

3. Which of the following must follow Navigation Rules for a powerboat?

a) Any sailboat equipped with an engine
b) All sailboats under sail alone
c) A sailboat with sails up but no engine
d) A sailboat with its engine engaged

4. A float plan should contain what information?

a) A date and time to contact the authorities
b) A national weather service storm advisory signal listing
c) Coast Guard emergency radio frequencies
d) A pre-departure checklist

5. Which of the following will increase the effects of alcohol and drugs when boating?

a) Food
b) Vibration
c) Spray
d) Temperature

6. What is the USCG-approved meaning of "serviceable condition" for life jackets?

a) The ability to turn a person face up
b) Proper size and fit
c) Straps and zippers work
d) Must be within easy reach







Posted On: May 15, 2018


Another class of students emerge into the cold reality of the world we live in.

It’s okay to be scared but don’t let it stop you

We all are scared. Even those of us who have been emerged in it for decades. But, trust me, you get used to it. Take Will Ferrell, describing his own career journey, Ferrell said he graduated in 1990 from USC with a degree in Sports Information, “a program so difficult, so arduous, that they discontinued the major eight years after I left.” Instead of going into sports broadcasting, Ferrell knew in his heart that he wanted to pursue his hobby of comedy as a full-time job.

And that came with being open to failure. Ferrell said he “didn’t utter a word” the first time he participated in the comedian-training ground of Groundings, an improv and sketch group. “Even in this moment of abject fear and total failure I found it to be thrilling to be on that stage. I then knew I wanted to be a comedic actor.” He would perform at Groundings for years until he got his first big break after being selected to join Saturday Night Live in 1995.

“And yes, I was afraid. You’re never not afraid. I’m still afraid. I was afraid to write this speech. And now, I’m just realizing how many people are watching me right now, and it’s scary. Can you please look away while I deliver the rest of the speech?” Ferrell said. “But my fear of failure never approached in magnitude my fear of what if. What if I never tried at all?”

Think about that a bit.




Posted On: May 10, 2018

Keep On Charging

It's that little box that keeps the whole show running. Show it the respect it deserves with these simple tips.

Load Testing Your Batteries

On a boat, the easiest way to apply enough load to a battery for a meaningful test is to use the starter motor on the engine as the load. Disconnect the ignition coil, if yours is a gas engine, so the engine won't start up, connect your voltmeter to the battery, and have a friend crank the engine. If the voltage falls below 9.6 volts, you need a new battery.

It Won't Stop Your Heart, But ...

Direct current (DC) might be less likely to shock you than alternating current (AC), but there's a lot more to safety than not getting shocked. DC sparks around charging batteries can cause an explosion. Battery electrolyte is made from sulfuric acid, which can cause severe burns or blindness. DC systems are relatively safe, but still demand your respect and caution.

Don't Let Your Batteries Go Boom

Batteries do go boom from time to time. Explosions involve two things: hydrogen gas and a spark. Hydrogen is the lightest of the elements, so it will disperse quickly if released into a ventilated space. But an explosion could still happen if the electrolyte levels get so low that the plates are no longer covered or, if the vent is clogged, allowing hydrogen to build up. So, be sure your deep-cycle batteries are in a well-ventilated space, check the electrolyte levels regularly, charge it using a marine charger with a regulator, keep grease and other contaminants away from the vents, and watch out for bulges in the battery case, which indicate a buildup of hydrogen gas.



Posted On: May 08, 2018

i can't tell you how many times I see and hear about wet phones.  It can be a very frustrating moment to see your phone drenched with water, but panicking and rushing to dry it with anything that you find is not the solution and may actually cause more harm.

According to Apple, in most cases, you can still save your iPhone after it has been exposed to water, but it’s important that you take the necessary precautions to limit the damage and avoid causing extra harm.

Here’s the process they recommend to deal with an iPhone that has been damaged by water.

Precautions to Take When an iPhone Is Exposed to Water

  • If your iPhone is plugged in to a power source, unplug it immediately as it can cause short circuits. Also, disconnect USB cables, headphones, or any other accessories connected to it by a wire.
  • Completely dry the external surface of the iPhone with a piece of cloth. Avoid using electronic devices for drying, such as a hair dryer.
  • Hold your iPhone upside down and gently shake it to get liquid out of the ports and sockets.
  • If the iPhone is still turned on, power it off by holding down the power button.
  • If your iPhone is in a case, take it off to avoid any liquid being trapped inside.

Now that you’ve taken the necessary precautions to limit the water damage to your iPhone, you’re ready to dry the internals.

How to Dry a Wet iPhone

It’s a popular concept to stuff a wet device into a bag full of rice to dry the internals. Based on experience, this actually works and helps to absorb the moisture within the iPhone.

  1. To get started, grab a plastic zipper-lock bag or anything else that can be filled with rice.
  2. Now fill it with rice and place the iPhone in it so that its entire body is covered by rice.
  3. Leave it there for about 36 hours or more until all the moisture is absorbed by the rice. Be warned that some dust or rice grains may get into the ports.
  4. An alternative option is to use silica gel which is more effective in drying a wet device, but you’ll need lots of them to cover the iPhone.

Once you’ve waited for at least 36 hours and feel confident that the iPhone has dried completely, take it out and try switching on. In most cases, the iPhone will turn on successfully.

If your iPhone doesn’t turn on, then you should take it to a nearby Apple Store and have it inspected. Keep in mind that iOS devices have a liquid contact indicator that shows whether the device was damaged by water, so make sure that you don’t claim that the iPhone stopped working without any apparent reason.

Protect Your iPhone from Water

Not all iPhones will survive a bath, so it’s best to play it safe from now on. You already use a case to protect your iPhone from accidental drops, but why not from water damage? To protect your iPhone from an early demise caused by water, use a waterproof case.