Robert M. Lane articles for Passage Maker
Our own Robert M. (Bob) Lane has, for more than a decade, written for Passage Maker magazine. Enjoy a selection of his articles offering his sage advice and collected wisdom.
Scribe at Sea: Troubadour of Cruising Readies for 2014. "When Charlie and Diane Long pack up their Ocean Alexander 40 Dreamtime for a summer’s cruise the most important non-boating stuff to go aboard is his guitar and other musical gear.
"Charlie is a folk singer who loves to describe with original words and music the joys and the occasional agonies and frustrations of cruising through Pacific Northwest waters. He shares his music through dockside concerts in remote marinas on the Northwest coast."
> Read the blog
Meet ‘The Voice of Western Waters,’ an Old Hand at PassageMaker Magazine. "Here I am, the voice of western waters. I sometimes call myself the Scribe at Sea, although some may paste the word “lost” somewhere in that self-inscribed honorific. From time to time in this space I hope to report and comment on boats, boaters and boating issues in the cruising paradise that stretches from Seattle to Glacier Bay – and beyond. I don’t know it all, and won’t pretend I do."
> Read the blog
Diesel Duck. "Five years ago, PMM introduced its readers to a little-known marine designer and his unusual ocean-going cruising yacht. The designer was George Buehler, who lives and works in wooded seclusion on Whidbey Island, in northwest Washington State. The boat was his Diesel Duck. 'Diesel Ducks have not yet reached the big time,' I wrote in the August 2004 article, 'but they are catching on.'” > Read article
Blue Jacket. "Tom and Carol Olson had owned Bluejacket, a Dutch-built double-ended motor yacht, only a few hours when a nasty storm birthed by a far-away hurricane did its darnedest to sink her in Lake Erie. Huge, spike-like seas quickly formed, as unexpected early October winds pummeled the lake in 1995. Tom later would say they resembled the stiff peaks of meringue on a pie. Waves broke over the bow of the 48-footer, sweeping the deck and rolled the rails under." > Read article
A Wilderness Retreat. "Every spring and summer hundreds of pleasure boats move along the central British Columbia shoreline, their owners doffedly pursuing a dream of cruising delightful waterways in northern B.C. and Southeast Alaska." > Read article.
One for the Road "I couldn't help being excited, and concerned. We were driving north on Interstate 5 toward Bellingham, Washington, for the boating challenge of a lifetime. It was snowing as we crossed high ground at Lake Samish, and, better yet, the trees were dipping in the wind." > Read article.
Problem Found, Problem Solved. "Skull Cove: The name of our Bramham Island rock-rimmed anchorage was enough to prompt concern. The least depth of 11 feet overnight was worrisome, too. The scariest issue, however, turned out to be conflicting information on the best time to take my 42-foot Grand Banks through Nakwakto Rapids, where the maximum ebb current runs at a ferocious 14.5 knots. Get there at the wrong time in a 7-knot boat and we’d be in big trouble." > Read article.
Just Like Home – Only Better. "This truly was to be a Mission Impossible. It was something few had tried, but there was no fear of failure. And we did not fail.
"We installed a 21st-century dishwasher in an old Grand Banks. There had been a dishwasher-a machine that washes dishes, I mean-on our boats for at least 15 years. It was a portable countertop device, really intended for use in a recreational vehicle (with wheels)." > Read article.
The True Trawler Yacht. "They came in swarms from builders in the United States and Asia in the early 1970s-the fiberglass boats called trawlers by builders and brokers who wanted to project an image of seaworthiness and strength." > Read article.
Old Woodies Rule. "An untold story in the cruising world is the value that can be found in some older boats selling for modest prices. Well-built decades ago, boats priced at less than $150,000 today have the potential to be cruising for decades more as long as they continue to receive the care that has kept them going for years." > Read article.
William Garden. "William Garden, the naval architect and marine engineer, is a romantic, a traditionalist, a perfectionist." > Read article.
Secrets of a Sea Trial. "YOU DECIDE TO BUY A NEW BOAT. SEND SEVERAL large checks to the builder, drop in occasionally to check progress and to make suggestions. And then, guess what?" Read article.
Fiberglass Gets VIP Treatment. "Few boatbuilders would go to Victoria, British Columbia, just for A plate of pizza and barbecued chicken, so the attraction on Esquimault Harbour on a recent Saturday clearly was the lure of a way to build fiberglass boats stronger, lighter and smarter.About 80 professionals from Washington state and British Columbia found their way to the Vancouver Island city to watch a new and less messy process for assembling glass fibers and liquid resins to make a stronger and, perhaps, less costly fiberglass yacht."
> Read article.
Victoria, B.C.: A Delightful Off-Season Destination. "Our plans for a midwinter cruise to nearby Victoria, British Columbia, turned into a quest for red mittens.We did not find them—they were to be handsome souvenirs from the Winter Olympics in Vancouver—but the cruise nonetheless was a four-star outing." > Read article.
Prince William Sound. "The best time to visit Alaska's Prince William Sound is early May, everyone had promised, and we were believers as our small charter yacht, Faithfully, turned Point Doran into Harriman Fjord with the afternoon sun lingering in a cloudless sky. The air temperature was near 60 degrees." > Read article.
The Salish Sea. "It's time for a geography quiz. Quick, find the Salish Sea on a handy map or chart.Not there? It was not a fair question. That name does not appear on any official chart or map now, but it will eventually. You'll find it on the left-hand coast, covering inland waters of northwest Washington and southern British Columbia." > Read article.
No Choice - Rapids Ahead. "Two routes lead north along the Inside Passage in lower British Columbia, from urbanity, highways, and talk shows on the radio to the welcome wilderness of central and northern British Columbia. Both offer challenges and the opportunity to take a beating from the sea. One is a long haul through often stormy waters, but with hardly a need to change course for a couple of days, while the other curls among islands and waterways, turns from narrow channels to major inlets and vessels glide past snow-topped peaks along the shore." > Read article.