Archive for » March, 2013 «

BoatingIndustry.com : Crestliner announces additions to extensive dealer network

Brunswick Corporation
March 26, 2013
Filed under News

Little Falls, Minn. – March 25, 2013 - At Crestliner, it’s our goal to provide our customers with the highest quality boats that suit the many ways they enjoy the water.  We also strive to provide a strong network of local, reliable dealers whom our customers can trust with their boat purchase and maintenance.

Crestliner is excited to announce the addition of five new dealers to its growing network of elite Crestliner dealerships.  They are:

George Fuller’s Marine Machine, Inc., Bayville, N.J.

George Fuller’s Marine is a family owned and operated full service marine facility, specializing in outboard engine rebuilding, machine work and all aspects of spring launches and winterization services. They pride themselves on delivering the utmost in customer service and consistently maintaining a 100% customer service rating with their engine and boat companies, as well as achieving numerous Customer Service Awards consistently throughout the years.

Eastside Motors, Inc., Louisville, Miss.

Eastside Motors has been in the marine industry since 1983, providing sales and repair services for marine and outdoor power equipment.  They pride themselves on their customer service and strive to treat every boat as if it were their own.  They offer 14,000 square feet of indoor showroom, repair and storage space, guaranteeing your boat is safe from the outside elements.

Discovery Motorsports, Humboldt, SK, Canada

Offering four seasons of exhilarating outdoor adventure, Discovery Motorsports’ experienced sales staff is eager to share its knowledge and enthusiasm with you. They are proud to serve the Humboldt area for all your outdoor needs, including fishing boats, lawn mowers, trailers, snowmobiles and ATVs.  In addition, they have factory trained service personnel and carry an extensive line-up of accessories to outfit you and your machine to make your outdoor recreation experience one to remember.

Hall Marine of Greenville, Greenville, S.C.

Hall Marine of Greenville is your full service boat dealer.  They have a large modern indoor facility featuring over 40 boats in their showroom. Hall Marine of Greenville is your one-stop location for all of your boating needs; including a professional sales and brokerage department with an experienced staff, ready to assist you.   Their service department with factory trained and certified technicians, is experienced in delivering a high quality level of marine repair services and winterization.

Nisswa Marine, Nisswa, Minn.

Nisswa Marine was founded on the shores of Nisswa Lake in the late 1930s. They’ve seen many trends come and go, but there’s one thing that hasn’t changed – their passion for boating.
Providing quality boats and accessories for everyone from the serious fisherman to the recreational boater, Nisswa Marine has been helping people just like you enjoy the water for over 70 years.

Our customers can find their nearest dealer by visiting www.Crestliner.com.

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Challenging conditions for sailors at Sutton Bingham

Challenging conditions for sailors at Sutton Bingham

Event winners Tim and Niamh Robertson lead Michael Fox and Kate Rew.

A COLD, grey, breezy spring day greeted sailors to Sutton Bingham Sailing Club’s annual Hartley Comet Classes open meeting.

This time last year we were basking in temperatures of 220. Today the temperature struggled to get much above freezing.

The cold weather kept some of the usual visiting competitors at home and we heard that some had actually been snowed in!

A strong NE breeze prevailed, gusting to 20+ knots, so it was a day for thermals, hats, gloves and a hope and desire that you didn’t end up capsizing.

With a morning race, a stop for lunch and then two races back-to-back in the afternoon, twenty-one sailors took to the water.

The two-handed boats started first, (Wanderers, Kestrels and Comet Trios) followed by the Comet single-handers starting five minutes later. A good tussle was enjoyed between several groups of boats throughout the race.

There were plenty of opportunities to make gains by using the wind shifts and gusts to your advantage and a few nasty surprises for the unwary. Line honours were taken by the Kestrel of Paul Simon Kerley, but the race was won by Tim Niamh Robertson in their Wanderer, second place went to Adrian Tracy Neal in a Comet Trio, after enjoying a brief dip in the water at the windward mark.

After a very welcome, hearty homemade meal supplied by the galley crew and a brief warm up in the clubhouse, the afternoon races commenced with a slightly altered course.

Wind strength and direction remained as the first race for both pm races. Paul Simon Kerely were first over the line by only 4 seconds followed closely on their heels by Adrian and Tracy Neal who won the race on handicap.

Several helms tested the water temperature again during the races – to cool down presumably!

There were many place changes, often where gusts gave some boats a good advantage and a burst of speed. Again the two-handed boats prevailed taking the top five places in the pm races.

Alan Chinn provided the entertainment of the day by capsizing his Wanderer shortly before the end of race 3, which gave the duty officers an opportunity to leave the warmth of the clubhouse and perform a rescue. The Wanderer of Tim and Niamh Robertson took top spot, with Adrian and Tracy Neal coming second in the Comet Trio.

The event was kindly sponsored by Hartley Boats and provided some very nice sailing wear to prize winners.

Overall winners were Tim Niamh Robertson (Wanderer – Sutton Bingham SC) runners up Adrian Tracy Neal (Comet Trio – Sutton Bingham SC).

The overall Comet single-handed winner was Chris Robinson (Burghfield). Interestingly, the top three places were awarded to combinations of father and daughter, husband and wife and father!


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Easter Boat Show on the south coast

AnEaster Boat Show will be taking place at Swanwick Marina in Hampshire this weekend.

From tomorrow, Friday 29 March to Monday 1
April 2013, Premier
Marinas will be hosting the new and used yachts and motor boat sales event at its marina in Swanwick, Southampton.

The marina’s on-site brokers include Ancasta International Boat
Sales, Clipper Marine, Dickies International, Princess Motor Yacht Sales,
Sunseeker and Walton Marine who are planning to make the Easter Boat Show
Swanwick’s biggest and best show ever.

Boat brands available will include Astondoa, Princess Motor Yachts, Sunseeker, Island Packet, Lagoon,
Bavaria, Beneteau, Jeanneau, Prestige and more.

There will also be refreshments available for visitors at The
Boat House Café and further show attractions in the form of; Porsche, Marlin RIBs,
Williams RIBs, Garmin and Raymarine.

Also at the event will be Marine
Installation Engineers, Landau UK, who provide award winning installations and
retro-fits of all equipment and systems to luxury power and sail crafts.

Visitors can also go on tours of the marina.

Click here to find out more.


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Easter Boat Show on the south coast

AnEaster Boat Show will be taking place at Swanwick Marina in Hampshire this weekend.

From tomorrow, Friday 29 March to Monday 1
April 2013, Premier
Marinas will be hosting the new and used yachts and motor boat sales event at its marina in Swanwick, Southampton.

The marina’s on-site brokers include Ancasta International Boat
Sales, Clipper Marine, Dickies International, Princess Motor Yacht Sales,
Sunseeker and Walton Marine who are planning to make the Easter Boat Show
Swanwick’s biggest and best show ever.

Boat brands available will include Astondoa, Princess Motor Yachts, Sunseeker, Island Packet, Lagoon,
Bavaria, Beneteau, Jeanneau, Prestige and more.

There will also be refreshments available for visitors at The
Boat House Café and further show attractions in the form of; Porsche, Marlin RIBs,
Williams RIBs, Garmin and Raymarine.

Also at the event will be Marine
Installation Engineers, Landau UK, who provide award winning installations and
retro-fits of all equipment and systems to luxury power and sail crafts.

Visitors can also go on tours of the marina.

Click here to find out more.


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Robertson gears up for solo test

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    Robertson gears up for solo test

  • Yes there are a number of options available, you can set your browser either to reject all cookies, to allow only “trusted” sites to set them, or to only accept them from the site you are currently on.

    However, please note – if you block/delete all cookies, some features of our websites, such as remembering your login details, or the site branding for your local newspaper may not function as a result.


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    Dwight Tracy & Friends Yacht Sales signs agreement to provide exclusive …

    Dwight Tracy Friends
    March 27, 2013
    Filed under News

    Palm Beach, Florida – As the Palm Beach International Boat Show opened, well-known yacht brokerage firm Dwight Tracy Friends and boat manufacturer Blackfin Boats Inc. jointly announced their launch of a strategic partnership for the marketing, sales and exclusive worldwide distribution of a new, expanded line of thoroughly modernized Blackfin sportfishing boats and yachts.

    According to DTF founder and CEO Dwight Tracy,

    “Unbeknownst to most, Blackfin has during the past decade continued quietly building, in small numbers, superbly hand-crafted center console and open sportfishing boats. These contemporary products are firmly based in, and evolved from the legendary bloodline that pioneered offshore fishing in small craft. Recently, the company decided to expand its current production and product line, to meet a rapidly growing market demand. They contacted us to discuss how best to ‘re-introduce’ the Blackfin brand, which for the past ten or so years has been, perhaps, the best kept secret in the boating marketplace. We felt that their exceedingly high quality product range would very nicely complement our current strong dealership and brokerage coverage in yachts from 45’ on up to more than 180’ LOA. The Blackfin line currently ranges from 27’ to 34’, and will soon re-expand to include express sportfishing yachts 34’ to 42’ LOA. The result of our discussions is a long- term agreement for DTF to become the exclusive sales and worldwide distribution arm for Blackfin boats. Needless to say, all of us involved are extremely pleased with the partnership, and really excited about bringing this sportfishing legend back to a level of deserved prominence.”

    Blackfin Boats Inc. principals Gustavo Cardona and Jose Suarez added,

    “We build boats, terrific boats, whose bloodlines trace back to the original Blackfin offshore sportfishing boats that were proven in the best test tank in the world, the open sea. Building high quality boats is what we do, what we do best, and what we want to continue doing. So, when we decided the time had come to expand both our production numbers and our product line, we carefully looked around for a Florida-based firm that could provide us with a turn-key marketing and sales solution. By far, the best candidate for the job was Dwight Tracy Friends. Their home office is relatively close to our facility. Their principals and associates have in-depth experience in marketing and branding boat and yacht lines. And their accumulated years of experience in the marine industry totals more than a century. We are very pleased to have come to an agreement with them, and we look forward to a great future together.”

    In order to assure a smooth transition from its current level of production to one more in line with presently growing market demand, Blackfin engaged marine technical and business consulting firm, the Port Royal Group, to plan and manage the expansion, as well as work with them in terms of new model development. The Port Royal Group is headed up by Phil Friedman, who has a long and varied background in the marine industry, as a boat builder and marine operations and business manager and consultant. Said Friedman,

    According to Tracy, Friedman is perfectly suited to help in the plan to carry current-day Blackfin to re-emergence as a powerhouse in the sportfishing boat marketplace. Not only does Friedman have significant hands-on boatbuilding experience, but during several years as president and CEO of Palmer Johnson Yachts, was responsible for executive management of two major shipyards with annual gross revenues in excess of $60 million and nearly 600 employees across the country. And prior to his stint at PJ, he was VP- Operations and CFO for a multi-location luxury yacht dealership and chain of boatyards, so understands issues and problems both on the manufacturing side and on the marketing, distribution and sales side.

    Said Friedman of his latest undertaking,

    “When Dwight Tracy, whom I’ve known personally for many years, asked me to take a look at getting involved with this project, I literally jumped at the chance. My “spiritual” connection with Blackfin boats dates back to the early 1990s, when I was testing, evaluating and writing about boats as Senior Editor for Power Motoryacht magazine. Blackfins have always struck me as paradigm examples of how, every so often, a multiplicity of factors coalesces to produce a superior vessel, whose performance in the broadest sense of the term is very difficult, if not impossible to improve on. To my mind, they are true “classics”, albeit today fully modernized in terms of materials and production technology.”

    Asked what Blackfin Boat Sales upcoming promotional activities will be, Tracy said that they will be interesting and novel, but declined to disclose details at this point. He did, however, say that a Customer Loyalty Promotion was in the making, and that current and previous owners of Blackfin boats are invited to contact the company for further information and the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this exciting time in the history of Blackfin Boats. He also invited current and previous owners of Blackfin boats to share their experiences and opinions with other former and new Blackfin owners at blackfinownersgroup@blackfinboats.com.

    Dwight Tracy Friends is described by those familiar with the firm as a tight knit, family- oriented organization, with a sterling reputation built upon honesty, integrity, and dedication to professionalism and a tireless work ethic. DTF founder CEO, Dwight Tracy, is the former owner and chief executive of the Allied Marine Group (AMG). Tracy was widely credited with transforming AMG from a single-location operation to a global marine powerhouse, and for helping make brands such as Hatteras, Azimut, and Ferretti virtual household names in this country.

    As the Palm Beach show wrapped up, the Blackfin and DTF guys were seen smiling broadly in reaction to the tremendous level of interest, well wishing, and praise for their displayed product they received throughout the show. Their latest Blackfin® 34 Open, which garnered so much positive comment at the show, was headed back to Fort Lauderdale, where it will be available for demonstration rides by appointment.

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    Sailing to Freedom: Private-public partnership promotes boating access for disabled

    Carrie Zundel, left, and Cheryl Thomas wave as their boat passes during the Shenanigans on the Lake regatta on Saturday.    Lance Shearer/Citizen Correspondent

    Photo by LANCE SHEARER

    Carrie Zundel, left, and Cheryl Thomas wave as their boat passes during the Shenanigans on the Lake regatta on Saturday.

    Lance Shearer/Citizen Correspondent


    Amanda Burkholder tends to her sailing during the Shenanigans on the Lake regatta.    Lance Shearer/Citizen Correspondent

    Photo by LANCE SHEARER

    Amanda Burkholder tends to her sailing during the Shenanigans on the Lake regatta.

    Lance Shearer/Citizen Correspondent


    Starter Bill Meisner signals the next race during the Shenanigans on the Lake regatta on Saturday. In the Adaptive Sailing Program at Sugden Regional Park, disabled sailors get to experience the freedom of sailing.    Lance Shearer/Citizen Correspondent

    Photo by LANCE SHEARER

    Starter Bill Meisner signals the next race during the Shenanigans on the Lake regatta on Saturday. In the Adaptive Sailing Program at Sugden Regional Park, disabled sailors get to experience the freedom of sailing.

    Lance Shearer/Citizen Correspondent


    Racing sloops jockey for position rounding the buoy during the Shenanigans on the Lake regatta on Saturday.    Lance Shearer/Citizen Correspondent

    Photo by LANCE SHEARER

    Racing sloops jockey for position rounding the buoy during the Shenanigans on the Lake regatta on Saturday.

    Lance Shearer/Citizen Correspondent


    There is nothing like the freedom of sailing on the water, turning the power of the wind into forward motion, gliding along with the rudder and sheet alive in your hands.

    Allowing the developmentally disabled to experience this feeling of independence and control is the impetus for Collier County’s Adaptive Sailing Program. Run by the county’s Parks and Recreation Department in conjunction with the Freedom Waters Foundation, the initiative allows youths and adults, many with Down’s syndrome and autism, the thrill of captaining their own ship, in a safe and supervised environment.

    The program operates four days a week during the cooler months, using access sloops specially designed for maximum safety and stability, or tip-proofness. Those who can sail without assistance cruise around the 60-acre lake at Sugden Regional Park solo, while those who need a little more assistance are paired with a volunteer co-captain.

    But once a year, the sailors put their skills to the test, and challenge each other in a full-fledged sailing regatta. Called “Shenanigans on the Lake,” the regatta is in its ninth year at Sugden, and it took place last Saturday. About a dozen developmentally disabled clients participated in the races, with nearly three times that many volunteers helping out. Some joined the clients in a sailboat, some manned the committee boat anchored in the lake and running the races, some roamed around in outboard-powered safety boats, and some remained on shore, rigging the sails and handling logistics. The volunteers joked and horsed around as they helped, seeming to enjoy themselves as much as the clients.

    A stiff breeze raised ripples on the lake, and caused the volunteers to reef the lone sail on each sloop, reducing the sail area and costing some speed but helping to avoid capsizing. Like any racing sailors, these skippers “jilled about” between races, sailing off in all directions. But when starter Bill Meisner on the committee boat called out the next race on his bullhorn, a gaggle of boats assembled by the starting buoy, and the race was on.

    These captains were way more laid back than most racing sailors. No fouls were called, no protests recorded, and sailors and committee took a laissez-faire attitude toward exactly which side of the buoys the boats were supposed to go.

    Freedom on the water is exactly what clients get from adaptive sailing, said Sugden Regional Park manager Michael Toolan.

    “You get them out of their wheelchair or their walker, doing something totally on their own,” he said. “You can see the satisfaction on their faces.” The “committee boat” for the sailing races is actually a ski boat used to tow waterskiers during waterskiing events, and those are also provided for the disabled, in the adaptive skiing program.

    “People say the disabled can’t do this,” said Toolan. “I say, ‘come watch.’” The Adaptive Sailing Program was recognized by the National Association of Counties with a 2012 Achievement Award, a countrywide prize honoring innovative government programs, for extending water-based recreation opportunities to all.

    Freedom Waters Foundation, Collier County’s partner in the adaptive sailing program, provides a wide range of programs allowing people who would not normally be able to get out on the water to enjoy the experience. They offer Fishing for Fun, giving those with disabilities, youth at risk, and now returning veterans the chance to land the big one. Yacht outings for children with cancer or special needs are also provided, thanks to the generosity of local boat owners who donate their time and their craft for three-hour excursions, along with the opportunity to participate in boat parades and family fun days.

    Those interested in finding out more about the Freedom Waters Foundation, a nonprofit group, and helping fund their therapeutic aquatic programs, are invited to come out for what else? a boat cruise. On April 17, Freedom Waters hosts its inaugural Caribbean Sunset Cruise, featuring the “flavors and rhythms of the Caribbean.” With boarding at 6 p.m., the Naples Princess will head out for sunset sightseeing, serenaded by the sounds of the seven-piece West Side Tropico band. Casual Caribbean dress and dancing shoes are encouraged, so break out your calypso shirt and huaraches. Tickets cost $50, with a cash bar.

    For tickets or more information, call (239) 248-1120, or go online to www.freedomwatersfoundation.org.


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    Sailing in the U- boats ‘ deadly wake

    ‘Periscope!
    Off the starboard bow!’

        Campbell and La Salle ranged over the sea with their
    glasses. It was oily smooth and the shimmering haze created a blur at any
    distance, obscuring a clear view.

       ‘Where-away?’ Campbell cried.

       ‘Four points off the bow. Looks
    like he’s surfacing.’

       As one, La Salle and Campbell
    trained their binoculars along a line forty-five degrees off the ship’s course.

       ‘I’ve got him,’ La Salle said. ‘He’s
    coming up all right.’

       ‘By God, so he is!’ Campbell
    cried. ‘How far? What’s the range?’

       ‘About 3,000 yards.’

       Campbell pulled the other’s arm.
    ‘Don’t let him see we’ve spotted him. Not yet.’

       They steamed on. At 2,000 yards
    the U-boat’s deck broke the surface.

       ‘Right! Turn hard a’port. Make it
    look like we’re making a run for it!’ Campbell crossed to the voice pipes. ‘Chief,
    increase speed but not much. I don’t want to go over nine knots. We’ve got a
    sub in sight. Stand by.’

       The ship began a tight turn to
    port. The submarine, just over a mile away, seemed to follow. As the ship’s
    stern swung through the line of their previous course, La Salle saw men coming
    out of the conning tower hatch. Three were heading for the gun position forward
    while two figures in officers’ headgear stood in the tower training binoculars
    on Farnham.

       ‘Looks like a 3 ½ inch,’ La Salle
    said as the U-boat crew raised the gun from its lowered position. La Salle
    identified it as a Ubts L/30, 88 millimetre. Somewhat less powerful than the
    newer 4.1 inch version, but frightening enough. They called it the Schnelladekanone – quick loader. The name was well-deserved. A sharp crew
    could fire a dozen rounds a minute. That translated into a delivery of more
    than two hundredweight of high explosive in sixty seconds. Rather more than
    their twelve pounder could manage.

       ‘They’re getting ready to fire,’ he
    said, almost under his breath.

       ‘They probably think we’re not
    worth a torpedo,’ Campbell said brightly.

       ‘Not very flattering, is it?’

       ‘Well, they do cost the Kaiser a
    thousand guineas apiece!’

       ‘So however highly we think of
    ourselves, we’re actually worth less than that. Quite upsetting, isn’t it?’

       Campbell emitted a short bark, a
    peculiar noise that, La Salle had learned, was as close as he ever came to
    laughing.

       ‘Never forget it, my boy!’

       La Salle chuckled, mostly at the
    thought of how their mood had changed. Suddenly, in the face of mortal danger,
    they were exhilarated. Day after day of criss-crossing the same stretch of
    ocean, seeing nothing, depressed them mightily. They worked at remaining
    optimistic and each man had his own way of dealing with the monotony, but the
    thought of the war pursuing its course without them crushed the spirit. Every
    man in the ship was a volunteer. They thirsted for action. Now, with the
    prospect at hand, they were like excited schoolboys. This was the game they
    longed to play.

       La Salle saw a flash at the
    muzzle of the U-boat’s gun. Before he could utter a word the air was filled
    with a high-pitched moan and then an explosion as a shell landed just off their
    bow.

       ‘He’s hoisting a signal,’ he said,
    aware of a drumming in his chest, a dryness in his throat.

       ‘Can you make it out?’

       ‘ML. STOP.’

       ‘Happy to oblige.’

        Campbell called the engine
    room, ordered STOP then picked up
    the adjacent speaking tube: ‘Campbell here. The sub has ordered us to stop. I
    want the panic party on deck with the Baronian crew. Await my orders.’ He turned to Fisk, the
    navigator: ‘Is the position up to date?’

       ‘Yes, sir.’

       ‘Right. Let’s swap rig then.’
    Campbell shucked off his reefer jacket and passed it to Fisk. Then he handed
    over his old trilby. As Fisk put them on, Campbell nodded with satisfaction. ‘You’ll
    do,’ he said.

        La Salle joined them in the wheelhouse and traded
    jackets with Jenkins.

      
     ‘You’d better have this
    too,’ La Salle said, loosening the silk scarf around his neck, adding with a
    smile: ‘Oh, Jenkins. I want it back.’

        Jenkins grinned. ‘If all goes well I’ll be able to buy
    myself one,’ he said cheekily.

        ‘Cut the chat now,’ Campbell
    snapped. ‘And I don’t like talk about prize money.’

        ‘Yes, sir.’

         Jenkins joined Fisk on the bridge. La Salle and Campbell
    crouched down, hiding themselves from view below the wheelhouse glazing.
    Campbell had his trench periscope in one hand.

       ‘Can you hear me, Fisk?’

       ‘Yes, sir.’

       ‘Where is he?’

       ‘Coming up on the port quarter.’

       ‘Fully surfaced?’

       ‘Yes. Hang on. He’s hoisting
    another signal: T.A.F.’

       ‘Bring-Me-Your-Papers,’ Campbell intoned.
    ‘Well, Fisk you’d better do as he says. Now remember, you must be the last off
    the ship. Direct the boats to go clear of the bow. The Baronian crew should do the same. Take the tender to make a
    show of giving him our papers. Jenkins, can you hear me?’

       ‘Yes, sir.’

       ‘You know the drill. Make sure
    the boats are not in my line of fire.’

       ‘Yes, sir.’

       ‘Good luck to you.’

       La Salle heard the sound of boots
    on the companion ladder and shouts coming from the deck. Campbell put his
    trench periscope up to the glazing, turned, then lowered it.

       ‘Nothing yet,’ he said. ‘He must
    be abaft the beam.’ Campbell picked up the voice pipe linked to the hidden
    guns. The firing positions had peepholes and were better placed to see what was
    happening astern. ‘Campbell here. See anything?’

       A distant voice said something
    like ‘abeam – port side.’

       ‘How far?’

       ‘About 600 yards.’

       ‘Stand by. Good luck.’

       Campbell slid on his stomach to
    the port wing of the bridge and raised his head to a spyhole drilled into the
    woodwork below the rail.

        ‘Good God, Julian,’ he
    exclaimed. ‘Those idiots from Baronian are all over the bloody ocean!’

       La Salle wriggled over to the
    spyhole. Fisk had got the Baronian
    crew away first in their boats, but instead of pulling clear towards the bow
    they were hanging off, apparently unsure of which direction to head in.

       ‘They are between us and the
    U-boat,’ he said.

       ‘Damn them!’ Campbell hissed. ‘If
    they don’t shift I shall fire anyway.’

       ‘They’re moving now,’ La Salle
    said. He saw one of Farnham’s
    boats pulling hard away from the ship with Jenkins in the bow, wearing his
    clothes. Fisk, with Campbell’s jacket and trilby, was in the other boat. Would
    they fool a U-boat commander into thinking the master and his crew had
    abandoned ship in a panic? It was vital the submarine had no inkling that the
    true skipper and his gunners were hidden aboard, waiting for the moment to
    spring their trap.  The Farnham boats were being rowed awkwardly, as if by
    inexperienced and frightened men. A perfect panic party, thought La Salle. But the U-boat commander had had
    enough of time-wasting. They heard the report of a gun and almost
    simultaneously the ship shivered along its length as a shell crashed into the
    hull amidships. Splinters of steel shot past the wheelhouse with an angry whine
    and a great cloud of choking smoke enveloped the bridge.

       ‘See anything?’ Campbell asked,
    suppressing a cough. Before La Salle could reply the scream of another shell
    split the air above their heads.

       ‘He’s aiming at the bridge!’

       They scrambled towards the hatch
    in the floor of the wheelhouse. La Salle threw it open and Campbell signalled
    him to go first.  Halfway down the
    ladder, La Salle felt giant invisible hands take hold of his head and squeeze
    until he thought it would burst. The pressure wave from the blast of a shell
    sent him tumbling down, dazed and deafened. He was aware of Campbell’s full
    weight striking him on the shoulders as everything went silent and dark. Slowly,
    the unseen giant crushing his skull relented. The pressure eased. Campbell lay
    beside him, his upper lip moving soundlessly over a bloodied chasm where his
    mouth had been. Most of his jaw was missing. Instinctively, La Salle raised a
    hand to his own face, felt it gingerly, rubbed his fingers over his skull. It
    seemed to be as he had always known it. He felt his head begin to clear, he
    even made out a dull sound as the ship shook from the impact of another round
    from the submarine. Campbell was trying to say something. La Salle couldn’t
    hear properly and Campbell’s face was like a lump on a butcher’s block,
    although something moved in what remained of his mouth. Did he say “engage”? La
    Salle reached out for the bottom rungs of the steel ladder and pulled himself
    to his knees. He raised Campbell to a sitting position but his head lolled and
    he seemed distressed. The only light came through a deck prism but La Salle could
    see Campbell’s tongue was shredded, his jawbone gone. He laid him out flat on
    the sole of the small passageway. Campbell vomited, convulsed violently and La
    Salle turned his head sideways. ‘Please, please,’ he murmured aloud. ‘Don’t let
    him choke.’ His eye caught something behind Campbell’s left ear. A shell
    splinter, jagged and shiny was sticking out of his skull. It had burned the
    hair around the wound and La Salle found himself wondering, almost as a matter
    of idle interest, how far it had penetrated. His hearing was beginning to
    return. The ship was being struck below the waterline now. Someone would have
    to command the gunlayers. The shell that hit the bridge would have destroyed
    the voice pipes. No question of that.

        Campbell stirred, trying to lift his arm. The hatch in the
    wheelhouse had slammed shut as they fell, but there was a strong smell of
    smoke. Fire! Terror rose in La Salle’s throat. The ship was taking a hammering.
    Who knows? Perhaps the gun crews weren’t even there anymore. He was seized by
    an urge to escape. It would be possible, by following the passageway, to emerge
    on deck, slip to the starboard side and dive into the sea. One of the boats
    would pick him up, surely. He was aware of a searing heat from above. Anything
    would be better than being roasted alive in a blazing steel oven.

       La Salle shook his head, as if
    trying to banish a bad dream. He pulled off his jersey, rolled it up and
    tenderly placed it under Campbell’s head. He hauled himself upright, hand over
    hand up the rungs of the ladder; steadied himself. The ship was taking a heavy
    list to port. There was thick smoke in the air now. He felt his way to the
    door, opened it carefully. The bridge was on fire. Black smoke hid the forepart
    of Farnham from him, but he could
    see the dummy deckhouse that housed the twelve pounder. It was intact. Further
    aft, the mock lifeboat that concealed the six pounder was still there. The
    U-boat put another shell into the ship’s waterline. La Salle could see nothing
    of the boats but the exploding rounds were drawing a hail of splinters like a
    white-hot curtain of metal around the ship. He slid aft on his belly with the
    zinging sound of shrapnel so close even his muffled ears could hear it. At the
    deckhouse he raised his head slightly. He could see the submarine now, clearly
    visible over the bulwark as the ship leaned groggily to port. La Salle crawled
    round to the starboard side of the house, putting it between him and the
    U-boat. He hammered on the false side panels with his fist.

       ‘Roberts! It’s La Salle.’

       Someone spoke through a spyhole: ‘What
    the bugger’s going on? No bloody orders, the ship feels as if she’s sinking.
    Where’s the skipper?’

       ‘He’s wounded. I’m in command.’
    Uttering the words took La Salle aback. Yes, it was true. He was in command. ‘The
    submarine is a few hundred yards off the port side, but the ship’s listing
    about ten degrees. You’ll have to get your elevation right pretty smartish.’

       ‘All right,’ Roberts said. His
    voice had gone strangely calm.

       ‘Are you in touch with Edwards?’

       Edwards was manning the six
    pounder under the dummy lifeboat. Roberts said he still had voice pipe
    communication with him.

       ‘Good. Tell him to stand by. Get
    one of your men to pass on my order when I give it.’

       ‘Right. We’re ready.’

       La Salle smiled. Roberts and his
    men had been in their tiny enclosure, without being able to move, not knowing
    what was happening, for almost two hours. “Ready” hardly did it justice. La
    Salle glanced at the mast. It was still standing, flying the Danish colours. He
    took a deep breath, clambered to his feet, sprinted towards the cleat holding
    the flag halyard. A white ensign was furled in a piece of small stuff at the
    base of the mast. He undid the halyard, tugged down the Danish flag.

       ‘Stand by!’ he shouted at the
    deckhouse. ‘Let go!’

       He pulled on the halyard, sending
    the Royal Navy’s white ensign aloft. In the same instant the sides of the false
    deckhouse flew outboard with a clatter. Roberts and his men already had the twelve
    pound gun swinging towards the port side. One man was on the rangefinder calling
    out as his mate wound the elevating wheel furiously. Another had a new charge
    in his hands. Despite himself, La Salle jumped as the gun fired. He ran down the
    sloping deck. A geyser of water was tumbling into the sea fifty yards from the
    submarine.

       ‘Short! Elevation! Elevation!’

        He looked back at the U-boat. Two figures in officers’
    headgear stood in the conning tower, training their binoculars on Farnham’s gun. La Salle glanced at Farnham’s dummy lifeboat. It had folded open like a cracked
    walnut to reveal the six-pounder and its crew. The gun fired. La Salle whirled
    around to see a shell explode just over the U-boat. The U-boat’s gun crew had
    just put another shot into the ship’s waterline, forward of the beam. Good, La Salle thought. The engine room is well aft of
    there
    . One of the German officers was
    gesticulating at his gunners, pointing wildly at Farnham. Now they were shifting their aim, from Farnham’s waterline to her decks and the men at the guns. The
    U-boat crew raced to reload. La Salle counted in his head. It took five seconds
    to load and fire the Schnelladekanone.
    Two … three … four.  On five, Farnham’s
    twelve pounder spoke again. This time
    the shell exploded only feet from the U-boat, in line with its gun. The German
    gunners were knocked over by the blast. As one man staggered to his feet the
    officers disappeared from the conning tower. They’re getting ready to dive, La Salle thought. They’ll finish us with a
    torpedo.

       For the first time, he thought about the men in the
    boats. When the U-boat had dispatched Farnham it would resurface. Then, La Salle knew, the
    submarine commander would machine-gun the boats. The Kaiserliche Marine had declared
    Britain’s mystery ships “pirates”. Anyone on board one could expect to be shot.
    He thought fleetingly of Fisk, Jenkins, Captain Foster and his son. Well, young
    Foster was probably already dead. He caught sight of Roberts behind the twelve
    pounder. The gunlayer’s face was eerily expressionless. Roberts was barely twenty,
    a thin, intense Welshman whom the others treated with care. As a gunner, few
    could equal him. La Salle saw something in his eyes; a cold eagerness. Roberts
    seemed entirely unafraid. La Salle envied him.

         They had re-loaded.
    Roberts pulled the firing cord. To La Salle’s immense joy he saw the round
    strike in precisely the position in which he would have placed it if he had had
    the power to drop it on the U-boat himself. It hit the submarine’s hull high
    up, square on the turn of the deck. When the smoke cleared he could see buckled
    plating. The U-boat’s gun had tilted to a strange angle. Two of the gun crew
    had disappeared completely. The third was lying under the gun. As he took this
    in, Edwards fired the six pounder. This time, the shell struck the base of the
    conning tower. It appeared to have little effect. La Salle felt a sickening
    sensation in the pit of his stomach. It was notoriously hard to penetrate the
    pressure hull of a U-boat, especially with a relatively light charge. He felt
    suddenly impotent, angry that everything they were doing was right, but not
    enough. The bully was too big for them. The U-boat was making way, angling
    forward slightly. He was diving. No one came out of the conning hatch for the
    gunner lying on the deck. They were getting away.

       ‘Keep firing!’

       Roberts did not need to be told.
    His next shot hit almost the same spot as his previous round and this time they
    were rewarded with a glimpse of jagged metal. Within seconds the damaged area
    was below water as the submarine crash dived. Edwards fired into the conning
    tower as the U-boat disappeared, a good hit, but then there was no target to
    aim at.

       La Salle jumped up on to the gun
    platform.

        ‘What do you think, Roberts? I thought I saw a hole in her.’

       The gunlayers nodded.

       ‘That last round got through,’
    Roberts said. ‘I’m sure of it.’

        There was a sudden lurch as Farnham slipped sideways. Below deck, metal was grinding on
    metal. A bulkhead has gone, La
    Salle thought. The ship was listing close to fifteen degrees.

       ‘She’s going down,’ one of the
    gunlayers muttered. ‘If he doesn’t torpedo her, she’ll find her own way to the
    bottom.’

        There was one serviceable lifeboat on the deck. It
    looked more or less unscathed. They could put Campbell in it and tie it
    alongside, ready to board if the old ship went. But La Salle felt a resistance
    to the idea of abandoning their ship. There was a hotness in his blood. All
    cowardly thought was gone. He wanted to carry on fighting.

       ‘We’re not done yet!’ he cried. ‘Stand
    by the gun. I’m going down to the engine-room.’

       Farnham was carrying a cargo of pit props. It was not genuine
    freight, but part of an experiment Lieutenant Commander Campbell had persuaded
    the admiralty to try. Campbell argued that a ship filled with wood would float
    even if badly holed by a torpedo or gunfire. It would give them an extra chance
    to fight back, he had said. To an extent, he had been proved right. Without
    the wood in her holds Farnham would probably have sunk by now,
    La Salle thought.    But would it continue to keep her afloat?

       He ran to the hatch over the
    boilerhouse and slid down the steel ladder. There was two feet of water at the
    bottom and the watertight door to the engine room was shut tight. He kicked at
    it with his boots.

       ‘Chief! Chief! It’s La Salle.
    There’s water out here but you can open up. Chief! Can you hear me?’

       There was a sound of sliding
    metal as the dogs on the watertight door moved. It swung open. The water was
    above the sill and it streamed through. Chief Dilkes seemed unperturbed. La
    Salle looked around the engine room. Two stokers stared back at him blankly.
    The engine space had not been hit. La Salle could have cried with relief.

        ‘Chief, you’re all right?’

       ‘Yes. But I don’t want too much
    water in here. I still have the fires going.’

       ‘Can you make steam? Can we get
    the pumps started?’

       ‘We can try. What’s happening out
    there?’

       ‘The skipper’s wounded. I’ve
    taken charge. We hit the submarine. It’s dived. We must try to make way. I
    don’t want to be a sitting duck for a torpedo.’

       Dilkes nodded, as if this was all
    the information he would ever need. He turned to his stokers, issued a brief
    command and walked to the controls.

       ‘I’ll try the pumps now,’ he
    said.

       La Salle clapped him on the back
    and splashed out of the engine-room. On deck he found Roberts scanning the sea
    to port. Farnham’s boats were
    pulling hard back to the ship, but Roberts’ attention was focused on a patch of
    sea somewhat farther away.

       ‘There’s something over there,’
    Roberts said, pointing into the middle distance. He handed his binoculars to La
    Salle. There was a disturbance on the water, a furious bubbling.

       ‘He’s blowing his tanks,’ La
    Salle shouted. ‘He’s coming up! You did get him, Roberts. You did!’

        The submarine began to
    surface at an odd angle, the stern slightly higher than the bow.  ‘That’s why he couldn’t get off a
    torpedo,’ La Salle murmured to himself. He became aware of movement at the twelve
    pounder. The gun fired.

        ‘Roberts! He might be surrendering!’

        He threw out an arm, pulled at Robert’s shoulder. Roberts did
    not shift his attention from the breech of the twelve pounder. He shrugged off
    La Salle’s hand. The gun fired again. In the numbing split-second that followed
    the crash of the big gun, La Salle saw the afterpart of the U-boat fly into
    pieces like a joke cigar. Almost immediately he heard a double thump of two
    explosions, the second much more powerful than the first.

       ‘His stern torpedo!’ One of
    Roberts’s gunlayers was shouting, throwing his cap on to the deck. ‘His bloody
    stern torpedo!’

       The U-boat seemed to hang
    suspended over the sea, then it rolled slightly, swung like a pendulum and,
    with the bow pointing skyward, slid vertically out of sight. No one moved. They
    all stared at the same bubbling patch of sea.

       ‘Did you see anyone? Did you see
    anyone coming out of her?’ La Salle asked at last.

       ‘I think the hits on the conning
    tower probably jammed the hatch,’ Roberts said, in a voice that could have been
    commenting on a good ball at a village cricket match. ‘Nicely bottled up in
    there, they are.’

       The word “are” struck La Salle
    like a slap. Of course. They were still alive. Most of the thirty or so men in
    the submarine would have survived the explosion of the torpedo. Now they were
    sealed in a steel coffin heading for the bottom in 500 feet of water. His mind
    flashed over the scene. Dark inside, probably. Plenty of air for now. But not
    for long.

     

     

     

     

     


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    High school sailing team in Seattle regatta

    The Orcas High School sailing team traveled to the big city for a long weekend of practice and racing in mid-March.The weekend started with a Friday afternoon practice with the UW sailing team. Sam Parish (OIHS ‘09 Alumni) and the rest of the UW team had boats rigged and ready to get on the water for some team racing. Tuning tips and race strategies were discussed as well. When the team got back to shore, ISAF rules writer Dick Rose led a forty-five minute rules QA for the team.

    “His definitions and diagrams of the rules in action helped all of us a lot,” said Orcas coach Burke Thomas.

    Saturday brought cold temperatures, rain and wind and a long day on the water. The team had a couple capsizes, but sailed very well, in the puffy unpredictable breeze. Twelve races were completed by the end of sailing Saturday.  Seniors Rhys Thompson and Annie Ryder grabbed a couple first place finishes in a fleet of 26 boats. Sunday was cold but had clear skies and 10 races were completed, in a shifty southwest wind. Orcas grabbed 4th overall in the gold division and second in the silver division. Complete scores and regatta report can be found at http://nwisa.hssailing.org/.

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