Willy, age 11, from Connecticut asks: What is the history of marlinespike?

This is a very good question Willy!  Marlinespike is the art of seamanship that includes the tying of various knots, splicing lines, working with cable or wire rope and even making decorative ornaments from rope or line.

marlinespiketool.jpg (1489 bytes) The name marlinespike is derived from the tool that is used for splicing lines. It can be a tapered metal pin or carved from wood. It is used to open the strands of line so that other strands can be threaded through.

Did you know that once a rope is onboard a boat, and is given a specific purpose such as dock line, halyard, spring line, etc., it is called a line, not a rope? bowline.gif (8961 bytes)

There are many books on marlinespike and how to tie various knots that you can probably find in your local library. 

Crazy Boaters

Justin’s question is “Why do people act crazy in boats while they are in them?”

We have wondered the same thing, Justin! We have seen some crazy behavior on the water – often from people who are very careful drivers on the road. Perhaps it is because we think of boating as fun and forget that there are rules and safety procedures. Sometimes just the idea of “relaxing” makes people (usually adults) act like nuts.

But like any sport, boating is more fun (and a lot safer) when you know the rules. That’s why we recommend taking a boating safety course. You might be surprised by all you don’t know. And some of those things you don’t know CAN hurt you.

Often, alcohol plays a part in crazy boating behavior. The effects of alcohol are intensified by the weather and the motion of the boat, which can cause an unanticipated diminishing of mental and physical capabilities. Even with a designated skipper, alcohol and boating do not mix well. In fact, the majority of alcohol-related boating accidents involve drunk passengers falling overboard or just plain falling down and hurting themselves and others.

Also, many skippers are not aware that they are responsible for any damage the boat, or its wake, may do. In many states, boating accidents have the same criminal penalties as auto accidents.

As a kid, what can you do? Protect yourself! Avoid confrontations with other boaters who are not acting responsibly. Always wear your life jacket and carry safety equipment onboard in case you can’t avoid crazy boaters. Keep a lookout and be prepared!

All of us who share the waterways need to understand our obligations as well as our rights. Congratulations for using your common sense, Justin! We’ll be glad to see you on the water and hope you’ll be wearing the BoatSafe Kids T-shirt we are sending you for your thoughtful question!

Anthony, age 10, from Connecticut asks: Why is the Bedford Buoy red and white?

Great question Anthony! Although I don’t have an available nautical chart of this area, a red and white vertically striped marker indicates a fairway or safewater marker. safewater2.gif (723 bytes)

safewater1.gif (569 bytes) Usually this is found at the entrance to an inlet or other body of water when returning from sea. Many times these will be designated as MO(A) buoys. This MO(A) stands for Morse Code Alpha.

070797mv.gif (1480 bytes)


This buoy’s light characteristics would be the Morse Code for Alpha or the letter A. That is a short and a long light sequence ( wpeC.jpg (700 bytes) ).

You can pass to either side of the marker and can expect to see additional red markers on your right and green markers on your left marking the entrance channel.

Kid’s Korner

Kid’s Korner

aex2.jpg (27931 bytes)Alex Does It Again!

During the Club N�utico de San Juan, Puerto Rico Tournament held last November 4th and 5th, Alejandro Manuel Rosas-Salgado (Alex) won two first place trophies for kids and came in second among adult anglers, for a total of 3 trophies.
This annual tournament is held for San Juan Club N�utico members, family and friends. The rules call for four anglers per boat, along with a mate. The tournament starts with departure from the Club a 7:00 AM and returning no later than 4:00 PM, without any limit as to distance.

Fishing about 40 miles North of San Juan from his father’s power boat, a 35 footer Golden Egg (Egg Harbor), among Alex’s total production was a 405 pound Blue Marlin.

Alex’s entire family, including his father, mother and sister, not only enjoy fishing but diving as well. They often visit various locations throughout the Caribbean, including Norman Island where they dive the caverns. They also enjoy going to Cooper Island where, at about 125 feet deep, lies the SS Rhone. This British ship, which sank due to a hurricane about three centuries ago, is now a National Park visited by thousands of tourists every year from all over the world.
Alex’s Previous Story  

alex_fish.jpg (21740 bytes)Some outings are more exciting than others and then there are those occasions when your fishing outing turns into a world record.

On January 7, 1998, then 12 years old, Alex broke the Juvenile World’s Record in Deep Sea Fishing. While fishing 35 miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Alex caught this 57� pound Bull Dolphin.

The former record was established in 1984 by a 15 year old Australian boy. His dolphin weighed 54 pounds.

In the last Dominican Republic International Tournament, Alex, now 14 years old, brought home 5 trophies, among them the Grand Slam Trophy.

If you have a record fish, or just one you’re proud of, or any boating-related story, send us a picture and/or story and we will add it to the “Kid’s Korner” gallery.