DATE CHANGE! Fall Work Party & Mystery Cook-Off – Saturday November 19th

Fall Cleanup and Stew, Soup, or Chili O’Rama.. Cleanup starts at 9AM. Bring whatever you want judged that will fit in a bowl.. Amaze Your Friends! Last meeting of the season and the list is long!

NOTE: DATE is Now November 19th !

Moved because of Dale Sturms passing

Travelogue by Larry Calliouet

“The Scenery Never Changes: Sailing to Mauritius”

Friday, Oct 21

We exited Cocos Keeling lagoon and set our sails for the long downwind passage. Our first waypoint is at a bearing of 256 degrees—over 2300 miles away. This is the second longest passage of the Oyster World Rally, next only to the Galapagos to Marquesas passage that Crosby, Stills & Nash sang about in “Southern Cross.” Our start was exciting only because we were at sea again. The weather forecasters lied about about the good winds we’re supposed to have. Sometimes they were pretty good but often they were so light we had to assist our sails with the engine just to keep up the pace and our self-respect.

Saturday, Oct 22

I nursed the boat through light winds on my night watch. When I came up for my morning watch, the engine was running and we were staying respectable. Alex suggested we fly the spinnaker so we set up snatch blocks and got out a tack line and a spinnaker sheet. We raised the spinnaker in its sock and then opened it up. 2000 square feet of red, white, and blue nylon filled the air in a fitting salute to Liberty. There is nothing prettier than a big full spinnaker.

As beautiful as the spinnaker was, it didn’t bring our boat speed up to an acceptable level. Trying to sail a heavy boat on 8 knots of wind is what my grandmother would call trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. It just can’t be done. So we continued motor-sailing but now we looked beautiful.

Using the resources of the B&G instruments onboard, I’ve learned something about ocean wind that I never knew. I have always thought of ocean wind as steady compared to the changeable and fickle lake winds. Not so. Although wind speeds did not vary much over the course of a few minutes, wind direction varied considerably. It constantly moved fore and aft against the boat, never staying at exactly the same point for more than a few seconds. At times it would shift 40 degrees in 15 minutes. So it is more accurate to think of ocean winds (plural) than ocean wind.

Sunday, Oct 23

My first watch was 3-6 am. The Southern Cross was peeking over the horizon to the south of us and continued to be lifted up in the black night sky. Behind us a bright orange sliver of the waning moon was rising as the earth rolled toward it. Soon the orange slice became a bright white smile in the sky. As the peachy dawn sky began to emerge from the night, littered this morning with furry black clouds, the stars began clocking out. The Southern Cross was the last to end its watch over us.

After my watch I got unencumbered from my PFD, tether, foulies, and headlamp and went to my cabin to get some rest. Soon the circus began. Two squalls hit the boat and turned the forward cabin into a bouncey house. I didn’t get much rest but it was fun!

The bouncing lasted all day. Winds were 20-30 knots, mostly around 24-26. The sea developed into swells and troughs of 6-12 feet. These ran parallel to our course so we rode up over most of them but some would hit the boat with a bang and a splatter. Walking through the boat became a challenge.

Mr. Wind played a sucker trick on me during my second watch. It decreased steadily from 25 to 15 knots over a period of 15 minutes. This convinced me that the easing was not a momentary fluke, so I fully opened the main and Genoa. Before I could sit back down the wind shot up to 26 knots, so I had to scramble to shorten sail again. All in a day’s work.

Monday, Oct 24

The wind is down around 20 kts this morning, but the seas are also down, so we shook a reef out of the Genoa. This improved boat speed without adding to heeling. Or maybe heeling just feels less in the daylight when you can see the world outside the boat.

The Indian Ocean is the Big Lonely. There is virtually nobody out here but us. With our eyes we can see a boat up to 5 miles away. A 5-mile radius creates a surface area of almost 80 square miles. With AIS we can see other sailboats up to 10 miles away. A 10 mile radius creates an ocean area of 314 square miles. Big cargo vessels and tankers have a more powerful AIS signal so we can see them 50 miles away, sometimes farther. A 50-mile radius creates an area of almost 8000 square miles. There are no boats within 50 miles of us so we are surrounded by 8000 square miles, or more, of nobody. By comparison, Warren County, Kentucky, where I live is only ___ square miles but has ___ people. Hence, the Big Lonely.

Tuesday, Oct 25

The wind was shifting more aft so we thought it would be good to set the pole for a day of downwind sailing with the Genoa poled out to port and the main prevented to starboard. Uh-oh! That sound was the Harken cast metal fitting on the mast end of the pole shattering. I was holding the outboard end of the pole; the inboard end fell and was caught between the starboard shroud and the running backstay. No one was hurt, just a scratch on the pole, but now we can’t use it and we still have 1650 miles of downwind sailing to Mauritius.

Strong winds all day. 191 nautical miles.

My 1800-2100 watch was busy. I kept one eye on the radar and the other on the wind graph. I saw a couple of squalls ahead of us on the radar, but they dissipated before we reached them. Winds shifted like crazy but kept us flying.

Wednesday, Oct 26

30 knots of wind was a gust yesterday but today it’s close to the norm. I mostly saw 26-30 knots, sometimes 32. We were carrying 3 reefs in the main and 2+ in the Genoa and sailing 8-9 knots. Liberty weaves and bobs with the punches of winds and waves like a champion prize fighter, a Sugar Ray Leonard of the sea.

60 home runs. The 4-minute mile. The 200-mile day. Baseball, track, and sailing have these nice round numbers that are the standards of excellence, targets for performance. We hit ours today at 11:29 pm., 30 minutes to spare. We had chased it all day and knew we were on pace or even a little ahead, but we knew the fickle wind could change any minute and leave us so frustratingly short of our mark. I had the last watch of the day, 2100-0000, so I knew I would be the goat if we failed to reach 200. I knew that the outcome was mostly out of my hands—it was wind speed, wind direction, and current that held the winning hand—so I mostly watched, hoped, and made minor adjustments. At midnight we had sailed 204.2 nautical miles since the previous midnight. Tomorrow we would try again.

Thursday, Oct 27

Due to crossing into a new time zone, which was one hour earlier than the previous zone, we had 25 hours between midnight and midnight. A bonus for another 200 mile day? No, it wasn’t meant to be. Still 196 miles at 7.9 knots is a very good day’s run.

I had 3 good sailors with me

Who set sail across the sea.

“Rub a dub dub . . .”

I said to the Club,

“This is true Liberty!”

Friday, Oct 28

On the midnight watch I channeled my inner Polynesian. I covered the chart plotter and 3 of the instruments at the companionway. Boat speed was all I left showing and I covered this with my hand. With all these lighted instruments covered I could see the night sky better. Stars became my reference points. My ears could hear the changes in wind speed. My body could feel the changes in heading. This was almost Polynesian sailing. It may not have been as efficient as micromanaging the sophisticated electronic instruments, but it was happy sailing.

The Green Flash is famous with the setting sun. There is a morning sun phenomenon that I will call the Green Splash. When the morning sun is still rising and a wave top rises to a thin crest, the sun lights up a neon emerald ribbon across that crest. What a a beautiful Green Splash!

The moon’s smile is getting bigger each night. Tonight a cloud covered a small part of it, giving it a snagged-toothed appearance.

Saturday, Oct 29

On my 0300 watch clouds covered the stars so my inner Polynesian took the night off. It was just me and Otto. By my 1200 watch the seas were becoming calmer and although the winds were only upper teens and lower 20’s, the boat was achieving remarkable speeds in the 8-9 knot range. We were taking a Magic Carpet Ride—the ocean current was aligning with our course over ground and giving us a free boost of 1-2 knots. Gotta love it!

By my 2100 watch the waxing quarter moon was hanging in the sky right in front of the boat, smiling down on us like a big Cheshire Cat. It lit a silvery path across the water just ahead of us. Nice job, Mr. Moon!

Sunday, Oct 30

The wind lessened and backed too far aft

for us to continue on a broad reach, so we gybed and headed northwest. Although this gave us a better sailing angle, it was not very effective for velocity made good, but it put us in a better position to gybe again and resume our westerly course. The frustrating part of it is that if we had had the use of the spinnaker pole, it would have given us our best option of poling out the Genoa and sailing directly downwind. We still have over 600 miles to go downwind.

Today is Sunday on the boat but it doesn’t feel like it. The sun came up and we kept sailing. The sun went down and we kept sailing. I miss the punctuation of special days and special events. Fortunately I have music of the Christ Church Choir on my iPod.

Monday, Oct 31

It was a slow news day on Liberty. Slow wind, slow boat, slow news. Speeds that were woeful a few days ago were welcome today. We got excited every time the boat hit 7 knots. The ocean gets a lot bigger at 6 knots than at 8.

On this the 11th day of the Cocos to Mauritius passage I saw the second boat so far, a heavily loaded container ship. This is life in the Big Lonely.

Tuesday, Nov 1

The winds continued to bedevil us—just a little too much to fly the spinnaker but not enough to give us the speed we wanted for a fast broad reach. Fortunately we have 25 hours today. We crossed into the Mauritius time zone and set our clocks back one hour.

On my night watch we passed 29 miles north of the little known island of Rodrigues (pronounced Rodreegs), a territory of Mauritius. I had hoped to stop there, because I’ve heard that it is beautiful, but we still have plenty of beautiful ahead of us.

The half moon’s crooked smile and the clear night sky revealed the 360 degree horizon all around us and highlighted the rise and fall of the bow against the patch of silver in front of us. This is what night sailing should be.

Wednesday, Nov 2

The weather which had been rather listless for a couple of days came to life after midnight. Squalls hit the boat during the midnight to 0300 watch and again during the 0300-0600 watch. By the time my watch began at 0600 the cockpit was still wet but the skies were clearing up. Good timing.

A flying fish flew into the cockpit and landed on a seat cushion. It fluttered its wings and managed to jump out of the cockpit onto the deck, but there it seemed to give up its struggle. I reached out to pick it up and when I touched it, it gave one more frantic flutter of its wings and found the ocean again. Lucky fish—he will have an adventure in the strange world above the water to tell his friends about!

Thursday, Nov 3

We are one day out of Mauritius and have finally reached the shipping lanes. When I came on watch at midnight there were 5 merchant vessels visible by AIS, equaling the entire number I’ve seen in the past 12 days. The lights of one were visible in the night 4 miles away.

The morning wind and sky looked perfect for the spinnaker so we called all hands on deck. With a spinnaker there are endless ways to get lines tangled up and once the spinnaker opens it’s like letting a tiger out of a cage—very hard to get it back down for a do-over. We made sure everything was correct and that all four of us were properly positioned for the grand opening. What a glorious sight to see a red, white, and blue sail the size of a 3-bedroom ranch house fill the sky over our heads! What a shame that there was not a boat in sight of us all day to see how beautiful we were.

Friday, Nov 4

Land ho! When I came on watch at 0300 the lights of Mauritius were strung across the horizon. It was the first land I had seen in two weeks and the lights were evidence of a far more developed place than Cocos Keeling or Gili Gede.

An island named Gunner’s Coin sat a couple of miles north of Mauritius and we sailed north of it. Gunner’s is uninhabitable so its black profile was unmistakable as it blocked the lights of Mauritius. Its sharp rising silhouette could easily be mistaken for Diamond Head or Gibraltar.

Mauritius has a beautiful waterfront, but a rather small harbor for non-commercial boats. 20 large Oyster sailboats plus a couple of catamarans filled the harbor so full that half of the Oysters had to raft alongside the other half of the fleet. Oh, well, we are all friends.

Blessing of the Fleet / Huddleston Regatta / Monthly Meeting !

Join us for the Blessing of the Fleet and the Huddleston Cup – Events start at 10AM on Saturday with the Blessing, followed by the Huddleston Cup Regatta and Dinner with the Monthly Meeting on Saturday night around 5pm . Racing Continues on Sunday for the 2nd day of the Regatta. Skippers meeting on Sunday TBD . If you are coming to eat on Saturday, please bring a side dish. This is the premiere event of the 2022 season! Join your fellow club members on what should be a great day on the water.

Meeting April 9th – Workparty #2 rescheduled but Meeting and a Meal is a go!

The Telltale will be coming shortly, but not right now.  I felt that I needed to get this reminder out to you immediately.  I am like the butcher who backed into his meat grinder.   I got a little behind in my work.  Yes, Virginia, at 78 years old I am still working.  Where did I go wrong, let me count the ways.

Remember that we have a Meal (12), and Meeting (1-7) scheduled for this coming Saturday, April 9.  The management has decided not to have a clean-up.  It might rain off and on, here and there.   But, unless you are the Wicked Witch of the West, you will not melt.  Reverend Bradon Cook will be serving a delicious meal.  And you will want to hear the latest new at the Meeting.\

Please come out.  We miss you.

Lee Huddleston, Scribe

The Telltale – February 2022

THE wake-up call

As Dr. Frankenstein is reputed to have said, “It’s ALIVE!  It’s ALIVE!  Well, yes, the Port Oliver Yacht Club really is still alive.  It just needs a couple of dope slaps to get it moving.  The Club looks rather good; the docks are floating; and the Lake level is up above summer pool.  The docks are not secured to the land, so don’t put your boats on the docks quite yet.  Wait for the Dock Master, Greg Glass, to give the signal.   Besides, the water is still rather cold.  And there is a large raft of logs and trash blocking the end of the ramp.  Which brings up the first installment of Coming Attractions.  


On Saturday, March 12, from 9:00 until 12:00, we will have a clean-up of the Club Property.  Other than the mess at the end of the ramp, there are leaves to be picked up and other house-keeping tasks to be completed.  At 12:00 we will have a potluck meal.  Please bring food to share.  After the meal, there will be our first meeting of the year. 


Founder: “Founder” is an unusual word in that it has many different, unconnected meanings.  Of course, we have the five “founders” of our Club, Bud Burford (father of John), Joe Mayfield, Don Mayfield, Paul Huddleston (father of Joe, Phil, and Lee), and Joe Huddleston (brother of Phil and Lee).  There is “founder” which means melting and casing metal.  There is “founder” which is to disable an animal, especially a horse, by overfeeding it.  But the “founder” that I am interested in is the nautical context, where founder means to submerge or sink.  This species of founder comes from the Latin fundus which means the bottom or base.  So, a sinking boat is expected to end up on the fundus. 

Apophenia:  The human tendency to link unrelated things.  (For example, including this term in a sailing club newsletter.)  😊

Duning-Kruger Effect:  People who know the least about something often seem confident that they know more than everyone else.  (Now my bet is that you think that term is apropos to a sailing club. 😊)  

Weatherly:  The ability of a sailboat to sail close to the wind with little leeway.  A modern racing boat can sometimes point almost to 30° off the wind.   Most cruisers do well to sail to 40° or 50° off the wind.  Viking ships and square-rigged boats struggled to sail 70° off the wind.  Whereas clipper ships could sail up to 65° off the wind.  That may not seem like much of a difference, but consider that they were traveling very long distances. A small advantage added up to a big difference.    


The air will soon feel warm, except for a few cold snaps such as “Dogwood Winter,” “Blackberry Winter,” and “Linen Britches.”  But, the water will remain cold for several more months.  The point is, if you get your boat in soon, please keep the temperature of the water in mind.  First-of-all, launching your boat is going to be a “bracing” experience.  Give some thought to how you might be able to launch without getting wet.  It can be done with a little forethought.  

As you go out onto the Lake, please wear a Personal Floatation Devise (PFD), that is, a life jacket to those of us who have been around a while.  Of course, it would be prudent to wear your PDF even in the summer, but in the early spring it can be more than just handy.  A warm body falling into a cold lake can practically paralyze the person’s muscles.  Climbing back into a boat or righting a capsized boat may be easy in the summer but nearly impossible in the spring.   And, even if it does not save your life, it will make it easier for us to locate and thaw out your body. 

For those days when the air is cool, remember that cool air is denser.  So, a brisk wind which would be wonderful in the summer may be harder for your boat to handle in the spring, same wind speed but much more power.  Adding to that, the winds in the spring tend to be stronger.

So, do not dilly-dally,   Get your boat ready enough and go sailing.  The Lake is calling you.


The first order of business is the selection of sails.  Reconsider flying that 155% genoa.  I know that it is beautiful and makes your heart leap up, but it can easily overpower your boat.  Save it for the summer doldrums.  

If you can reef your main sail, think about doing so before you go out.  When there is a nice gentle breeze in the Cove, look out at the main body of the Lake.  If you think that you are looking at a herd of wild, white stallions, think again.  They are whitecaps that appear when the wind reaches 12 to 13 knots.  A prudent sailor will put at least one reef in her main before going out.  When she gets out on the Lake and discovers that the wind is within her capabilities, she can always shake out the reef.   You will find that it is a lot easier and safer to put in a reef while you are sheltered and shake it out later than to go out and get beaten up by strong wind while you try to put in a reef. 

If you are getting healed over too much for your comfort or even rounding up, you need to adjust your center of lateral resistance relative to your center of effort.   Say what?   Your center of lateral resistance is your centerboard or keel.  Your center of effort is the combination of your sails.  

Most people think that the only purpose of the centerboard line is to raise or lower your board according to the depth of the water.  But they are missing out on a very useful tool.  Most centerboards are attached at their forward end.  When they are lowered, they pivot on that forward attachment until they are essentially vertical.  But there are a lot of positions between vertical and horizontal.  If your board is all the way down and your boat is healing more than your like, you are probably “tripping over your board,” in other words, the wind is trying to push you sideways and the centerboard is pushing against the water to resist.  The push of the sails is above the resistance of the board so the sideways push tends to heal the boat over.  When you first pull on the centerboard line it does not lift the board straight up.  It starts the board pivoting on that forward attachment.  The first few inches of the line raise the board very little.  What those first few inches of line do is move the board aft.   When you do this, you will be moving the center of resistance of the board under the main sail.   The boat will not round up or heal as much.

For boats with fin keels, of course you cannot raise the keel.  But you can move the keel slightly farther aft my moving weight forward.  If the bow is down and the stern is up, the center of resistance will have been moved aft to some extent.

One more line with which you need to become familiar was invented by a distant relative of our Member, Tom Cunningham.  It is called a cunningham after Briggs Cunningham.  It is a line that runs through a grommet in the luff of a mainsail about a foot above the gooseneck (where the boom attaches to the mast).  If you have reefing on your boat, the first reef point grommet is probably a few inches farther up the luff.  The cunningham is used to tighten the luff by pulling down on it.  

You may ask, “Why not just lower the boom or raise the sail higher?”  A very reasonable question.  Raising the sail higher or lowering the boom does tighten the luff, but it also affects the whole sail in ways you might not want.  Another good reason is that most racing boats have black lines around the ends of their masts and booms to prevent a sailor from using a larger sail or stretching her sail larger.  Take a look at your own boat.   Now you don’t have to wonder what those black bands are for.  By using a cunningham, a sailor can tighter her luff without going over those black lines.  

So why would you want to tighten your luff?  The topic of this article should give you a clue, heavy weather sailing.  When you are sailing you want the deepest draft of your mainsail to be as close as you can get it to your mast.  As you know, the wind moving over that bulge is what creates the lower air pressure, which in turn, moves your boat.  But without a cunningham, as the wind increases in strength, the bulge tends to move aft.  Normally the lower air pressure at the front part of the bulge pulls the boat forward.   As the bulge moves aft, the lower air pressure will pull less forward and more to the side, slowing the boat down and making it heal more.

If you do not have a cunningham grommet in your mainsail and you want to add one, please note that the grommet has to be embedded in a lot of extra pieces of sail cloth to keep it from ripping the sail.   

Lee Huddleston, Scribe

Perfection : Belated February Telltale by Lee Huddleston

  Perfection is the enemy of good enough.  That is a principle that I know, but repeatedly forget, to my eternal distress.  It applies often to work on sailboats.  You want it to be “perfect” so it does not get done at all.  If that does not sound familiar to you, you are probably one of those fortunate people who simply get things done.  They may not be “perfect” but they are done.  If it is familiar to you, keep reminding yourself to stop trying to be perfect.  Your “good enough” really is good enough.  Getting it done is more important than making it perfect. 

I am sharing this warning with you to help you avoid the trap and to explain why this Telltale is so late.  The Facebook program doesn’t allow formatting (at least not for me) and posting pictures has evaded my brain.  So, I decided to prepare the Telltale using Microsoft Publisher.  I want the Telltale to look great, with color, pictures, drawings, and interesting layouts.  When I served as the Scribe before you were born, I prepared the Telltale on a typewriter with hand drawn pictures on 14-inch paper which I then mailed to every member.  I even weighed two sheets of paper and a staple to be sure it was mailable with one stamp.  Now  Facebook is a marvelous program, but it is cramping my style.  So, rather than getting it done the “old” way, I wanted to do it perfectly.  Unfortunately, teaching myself how to do it “perfectly” has been harder than I anticipated.  So please excuse the tardiness of the February Telltale coming to you in March.  Hopefully, someday, it will be worth the wait.


You are sailing along in the dark.  The only light you can see is off your starboard bow.  The single light is red and it appears to be crossing your bow from right to left.  What are you looking at?   What additional information do you need?  And what should you do? 


On Saturday, February 13, 2021, the POYC Board of Directors met via Zoom.  Present were Commodore Kevin Klarer, Vice Commodore Brandon Cook, Scribe Lee Huddleston, Social Chair Meg Webb, and Race Chair Rob Hatcher.  Absent were Purser Gary Reimer, Hard Master Bob Zoellner (due to email problems), Assistant Hard Master Bob Sharlow (snow skying), and Past Commodore Troy Monroe.

1. The first item of business was the Spring Clean Up, Potluck and Membership Meeting scheduled for Saturday, March 13.  Yep, that is this coming weekend.  The Clean Up will beginning by 10:00 a.m. or earlier if you can make it.  All Members are asked to attend so that we can get the Club in ship shape.   Please bring all the tools that you think you or someone else could use.  

Please bring a dish to share at the Potluck.

After we have eaten so much that we can hardly stay awake, Commodore Klarer will conduct a monthly Membership Meeting.  If you want to find out what is going on and even influence the future, come participate.

2. The next item on the agenda is another Work Party, Potluck, and Membership Meeting scheduled for April 10 beginning at about 10:00 a.m. followed by a Potluck.  The Vice Commodore will live up to his last name, Cook, by preparing some primary gourmet dish to complement the scrumptious vegetables, salads, baked goods, and deserts provided by Members.  Yummy.  Don’t miss it.  After the meal, if you are still awake, Commodore Klarer will conduct the April Membership Meeting.  

   3. The next item of business was the Blessing Of The Fleet which is scheduled for Saturday, May 8 at 12 noon.  After the Blessing, we will have a lunch and then a Membership Meeting. 

4. The next Membership Meeting will be Saturday, June 12.

5. Then at Board Meeting Race Chair Hatcher set out his schedule of races for the season. 

May 22 and 23 – Huddleston Cup Regatta – Kevin will run it.  Meg in charge of meal Saturday night

June 19 –   the Karl Millen (plus an attempt at a Glow Race that evening). The Karl Millen was originally meant to be a one-design race such as all Sunfish.  Unfortunately, we don’t have enough of any class that races.

July 10 – Yankee Doddle – then meal and Membership Meeting

August 14 – Infinity Race – then meal and Membership Meeting

September 11 – Moment of Silence for 9/11.  Porkey Race – then meal and Membership Meeting

October 9 and 10 – Great Minnow Regatta – with meal and a short Membership Meeting on the 9th

October 30 and 31 – Pirates’ Plunder

7.  There was a discussion of how we might be able to build some way we could use our docks during high water and not miss out on weeks of good sailing.  Anyone with ideas is encouraged to make suggestions to the Hard Master, Assistant Hard Master, or Commodore. 

8. Vice Commodore Cook said that the last Trivia Night was well received so he will probably schedule another one in the future, day and time TBA.

9. Rob Hatcher will be dismantling (chopping up) two cruisers in the next few days, one in the upper lot and one in the lower lot.  While he is cutting lead, stay away for your health.  Maybe this will inspire some other owners.  Hey, don’t look at me!  😊

10. There was talk of holding a swap meet.  If you are interested, let an officer know.

answers to the quiz 

You are probably looking at the port bow running light of a sailboat.  “Probably” because you are initially assuming that the skipper of the other vessel has equipped his/her boat with the prescribed lights and that he/she has correctly turned them on.  If you are on a body of water patrolled by the Coast Guard, you can have relatively high confidence in your assumption.  If you are on a lake such as Barren River Lake, your guess might be correct, but you should not bet your life on it.  While most boats will have the regular equipment because they were manufactured that way, the lights may not be on, the red and green may have been reversed, additional lights of various colors for attracting fish may overwhelm the regular lights, or the crew may be celebrating some holiday or just happiness for being on the water by displaying whole strings of multi-colored lights.  It is best to give such boats a wide berth and watch them.

Back to our assumption, a sailboat crossing your bow.  Why do we assume that it is not a motor boat of some sort?  Because we don’t see a white steaming light above the running light or an all-around white light (usually near the stern).  

Just for comparison, if your boat and the other boat were both power boats, the color of the light is your clue as to what to do.  Stop and let the other boat cross your bow.  If you can’t stop or you are too close, turn hard to starboard to avoid the other boat. Your turn to starboard will present your red running light to the other boat and give an unambiguous signal to the other boat that you have turned and “given way.” The other boat does not have “right-of-way.”  There is no such concept in the COLREGS (International Regulations To Avoid Collisions At Sea 1972) which can be found at OR  The other boat is simply the “stand or carry on boat.”  Its duty is to keep going the same direction unless it sees or believes that you are not going to give way.  To avoid confusion and a possible collision make your turn or other action early and obvious.  

Back to our assumption that the other boat is another sailboat.  The additional information that you need is “what tack is the other boat on?”  Just like the racing rules, starboard tack over port tack, and leeward over windward, even in the dark.  You start by noting your own tack and the direction of the wind.  If you are beating to windward on a port tack, with your boom over your starboard side, the boat crossing your bow probably has the wind on his starboard side and his boom out to port.  Thus, the other boat is on starboard tack and you are on port. The other boat is the “carry on boat” and yours is the “give way boat.”  If you can slow down enough to make it obvious that you are giving way, do that.  If it will not be obvious enough, turn to starboard, showing your red port light, and pass behind the other boat.

 If, on the other hand, you are beating to windward on the starboard tack and the other boat is still on starboard tack, both boats are on the same tack.  BUT your boat is leeward, so your boat is still the “give way boat” and the other boat is still the “carry on boat.” 

Now, one last scenario, assume that the other boat is a power boat.  As a sailboat meeting a power boat, you are the “carry on boat” so you sail on.    But you have to wonder whether the other skipper knows the rules AND will comply.  You should carry on until it is obvious that the other boat is not going to comply.  Of course, that can be a little scary.  This is why if you are a “give way boat” it is “good form” to give way earlier rather than later.  If the other skipper fails to give way, resist the understandable urge to aurally reflect on his linage and seamanship. Avoid making enemies on the water, no matter how outraged you are.  Sometimes people who don’t understand or care about the rules have been known to become dangerous on the water, especially in the dark after a few drinks.    


Let me know what you liked about this Telltale, what you did not like, what changes you would like me to make, and what other topics you would like me to address.  Please send it to me.  If you have written an article, send it.  If you have something to sell or buy, let me know.  Once I learn to publish photos, please send some to me and tell me when they were taken and by whom, and the name of anybody in the picture.  

I am going to try to email the next Telltale, if possible, to avoid the limitations of Facebook.  If you are not sure that the Club has your email address, please send your name and email address to me.  I am afraid to put my email address in this Telltale because it is public.  Just remember that my email address is the name of my O’Day plus my sail number at  Just about every fiberglass boat has a serial number in the fiberglass on the transom.  I have simply used my number as my sail number.  Or you can text me at my phone number (between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. because my phone makes a noise when I get a text)        

Lee Huddleston, Scribe