It's late October. The leaves are falling and darkness comes early. It's the perfect time to bundle up and gather around a bonfire on the beach to swap ghost stories. There are many nautical spine-tingling tales, but here's our most recent favorite: the ghostly Palatine Light of Block Island.
- Continue ReadingOctober 25, 2019
- Continue ReadingNovember 02, 2018
Save 10% on boat deck and floor hatches, escape and ventilation hatches, portlights, and storage boxes through November 25, 2018! How many of us have caught wind of trouble and said, "Batten down the hatches"? We know we have. It's something we say and hear often, but have you ever thought of where the expression comes from?
- Continue ReadingOctober 20, 2018
What's the scariest thing you've ever seen while boating? We're not talking about close encounters with sharks, though those are pretty scary. We want to know your creepy, weird, spooky sea stories. Last year, we scared ourselves silly with the tale of Mary Celeste, the most famous ghost ship of all time. This year, we turn from the warm waters of the Sargasso Sea to the windswept Maritime Provinces for a legend as chilling as the Bay of Fundy.
- Continue ReadingJune 15, 2018
Happy Father's Day, dads! We're celebrating with cookouts, steak dinners, and boat rides, as well as remembering our fathers who have passed away. This is a story from our own Gene W. about a fearless backwoods boy his father knew in the Army, and the happiness Gene feels when he remembers how much his father loved to tell this story.
- Continue ReadingApril 06, 2018
Nowadays, steering a boat doesn't require much thought; the boat goes where you turn the wheel. Those of us who use an outboard motor know that steering with a tiller is not like steering a car. You want the rudder to point the way you want to go, which means pointing the tiller in the opposite direction. After the invention of the ship's wheel about 1703, the transition from rudder orders to wheel orders was not without difficulty, and sometimes resulted in tragedy.
- Continue ReadingMarch 10, 2018Humans have been boating for tens of thousands of years. Spear points found on the Greek island of Naxos suggest that even Neanderthals took to the waves as long as a quarter of a million years ago. The far-flung islands of the vast Pacific Ocean were discovered by ancient seafarers, some of whom built the mysterious moai statues on Easter Island eight hundred years ago.
- Continue ReadingNovember 10, 2017
November is a month for unpredictable, dangerous weather on the Great Lakes. The most ferocious winds don't usually roar in until late in the month, as they did in 1905. Over two days near the end of that November, the "Mataafa Storm" damaged or destroyed 29 ships on Lake Superior, including the steamer which gave the storm its name.
- Continue ReadingOctober 27, 2017
Hallowe'en is a few days away, the leaves are falling fast from the trees, and the gales of November are winding up here on the shore of Lake Michigan. On nights like this, the waxing moon glows in a halo of clouds, and the waves seem to sigh mournfully, as if lamenting the summer that is gone. This weather puts us in the mood for a good ghost story, of which the history of boating has no lack. Help yourself to some hot cider (or a pot of grog, if the fancy takes you) and gather round.
- Continue ReadingOctober 13, 2017
When facing something as mighty and unpredictable as the sea, sailors and fishermen have long sought ways to tip the odds in their favor. Since ancient times, superstitions have surrounded boating. In honor of Friday the Thirteenth, we've compiled thirteen spooky boating superstitions and traditions. Do you observe any of these?