General Boating Articles

YachtWorld Yacht Brokerage University 2013! by Trevor

Here we go again, another year of YBU. First Mate will be live blogging for the third year in a row! Looks like the usual panels, the 'instructional' part is about shooting video, and a new "best practices" panel.

Of course, please excuse any technical difficulties getting the updates going, Wordpress does not format the liveblog the same as regular posts.

If you have any questions you would like us to ask, let me know!

[liveblog]

Scrubber's tan by Brandon

Hey boating season is here faster than we thought! First mate employee Brandon shows off his farmers tans earned for working long hours this week to keep customers happy by making sure their boats are ready for Memorial day! image

When you are outside make sure you're wearing sunscreen so you don't end up like him!

Working with Billy Black! by Trevor

I had a great time helping the world renowned marine photographer Billy Black take some photos on the 58 Cranchi recently. Myself and Christy were  not only cleaning the boat for the shoot, but also helping stage lights and occasionally modeling (looking fabulous) for the pictures.

I am so impressed by Billy Black. Not only is this many so knowledgeable, and so good at taking photos ( you really should check out his site, especially the J-class stuff), but also such a hard-working and nice man. It seems like every day of a boat show, he is already setting up his equipment by the time we are walking on the docks, and we are usually the early bird! But also, he is always smiling and making jokes, and just a joy to be around.  With Billy's permission I will post some pictures, but in the meantime you can look for them in the upcoming Swimsuit issue of Southern Boating magazine!

Maybe I can show I slight preview...

Property of Billy Black!

2012 YachtWorld Yacht Brokerage University Liveblog! by Trevor

YBU Handouts
YBU Handouts
YBU Handouts

[liveblog] Coffee is being consumed, and things are about to kick off here!

Please bear with us as we figure out this liveblog! It is not letting me correct my typos....

[liveblog]

Dry Rack Boat Storage, Pros & Cons by Trevor

The Boats.com blog has an article about why you should and why you shouldn't store on a rack or In/out. A few points that I did not think of, and I do recommend the article for anyone considering it. One consideration I did not think of was the fisherman's schedule:

Worse yet, if you’re an angler who wants to leave at dawn and you fail to call in your request before closing time the evening before, you’re out of luck.

There are plenty of In/out locations in Grand Haven, and St Clair Shores, and of course Florida, but Northern Michigan does not have any. A few owners will get their boat pulled when not using, for many of the reasons advocated by this article, but obviously at a much greater cost than the typical "boatel".

World's only recreation of a three-masted Great Lakes schooner arrives to downtown Milwaukee by Ryan

Denis Sullivan + Discovery World

I lived in Milwaukee a couple summers ago and absolutely loved the city's waterfront. They also had an amazing schooner fully restored that toured from Milwaukee down to the Florida Keys on a nearly annual basis. It is returning this summer and is open for tours!

From TheRepublic.com...

MILWAUKEE — The world's only recreation of a three-masted Great Lakes schooner arrives to downtown Milwaukee this weekend.

The Denis Sullivan returns on Saturday from its winter dock and will be open for public tours at the Discovery World harbor in Lake Michigan.

Professional shipwrights and nearly 1,000 volunteers finished building the 137-foot re-creation of a 19th century Great Lakes schooner in 2000. It is used for education, training and research.

Museum spokesman Richard Cieslak (SEE'-slak) says the ship will visit Manitowoc on the last weekend in June, Sturgeon Bay over the July 4th weekend and then Racine later this summer.

Keeping Track of the Big Boats - Kill Time Online! by Trevor

I was checking all my nautical sites, and while on gcaptain.com (I did not recommend because it is slightly technical and focuses more on freighters and cargo ships) andI stumbled across an online AIS mapping system. Wikipedia explains AIS:

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an automated tracking system used on ships and by Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and VTS stations. AIS information supplements marine radar, which continues to be the primary method of collision avoidance for water transport.

Information provided by AIS equipment, such as unique identification, position, course, and speed, can be displayed on a screen or an ECDIS. AIS is intended to assist a vessel's watchstanding officers and allow maritime authorities to track and monitor vessel movements. AIS integrates a standardized VHF transceiver with a positioning system such as a LORAN-C or GPS receiver, with other electronic navigation sensors, such as a gyrocompass or rate of turn indicator. Ships outside AIS radio range can be tracked with the Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system with less frequent transmission.

This site gives a bit of information about vessel movement, and MarineTraffic.com is about what I imagine an air traffic controller looks at all day (when they are awake!). Not only are you able to browse the entire world for AIS reporting ships, but you can view by type of ship, and a few other parameters. Obviously tracking the big yachts is going to be my primary use for this! Just taking a look at some of the yards in Florida, I was able to quickly find Johnny Depp's Boat, VaJoLiRoJa. Fun fact about his boat, if you say the name fast enough, it sounds like "The Jolly Roger", which would make you think of the pirate movies that paid for the boat, but it is actually the first names of all in his family, VAlerie, JOhnnie, LIly-ROse, and JAck.

As you can see on the left side of the screen, I have filtered out everything but the yachts. Also, notice the ad for an iPhone app! That would be a great time killer on the road!

Looks like the Beaver Island ferry, the EMERALD ISLE is a little late for it's 4:30 projected ETA. If you like big boat, or fancy yourself a diehard yacht spotter, this may be the site for you. These closeups only show a few areas in the US, with a lot of commercial boats filtered out, but there are a lot of boats on this site. Be sure to check out some of the destinations around Europe (Med, Monaco, Cannes, etc) to see some of the big boys! Zooming out still gives you a tiling of green squares with the number of reporting vessels in each area, so you can quickly find the hot spots.

I highly recommend you poke around, and if you find any interesting boats, say something in the comments!

Bilges: Keeping it clean by Trevor

An owner recently picked up a Tiara for "a steal". A large portion of the discounted price was due to the fact the boat was not kept in good shape. The engine room was disgusting; caked on oil, etc. Not only is this immediately not visually appealing, but it is a good indication that the previous owner did not take great care of the boat. As we contiously stress, not having a clean bilge makes it difficult to detect issues when they (inevitably) arise. Lets take a look at the before:

This picture is bad, but a few things to remember; this is the Centerline bilge, which means it does not get all the drips and contaminants that fall from the engines. This compartment is supposed to be the cleanest, so clean in fact that the bilge pump actually pumps overboard from here! Yuck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Much better. Better looking, better for hardware, hell, better for the bilge. Oil and gas are a little rough on surfaces, but other fluids such as that leaking from hydraulic lines can permanently damage or stain the bilge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here, you see a test spot we did. Imagine an entire bilge the gray color (when in fact, much was far worse), compared to the light gray-white that is achievable.

I think we have done enough gel pictures, but here is a recent test spot (different Tiara) of the shine difference.

Buyer's Guide: Nozzles by admin

Nozzle #4

It is almost hard to believe I am writing this post, but there are a lot of options out there! I was organizing some of our gear today and came across a few nozzles which have earned themselves a permanent home in the bottom of a bucket. For something which only has a few moving parts, there are a lot of design features to consider. We will start with our least favorite and work towards our nozzle of choice.

Nozzle #1 Pros: Comfortable rubberized grip Cons: The tip of the nozzle is metal. The best way to keep a metal nozzle from banging into your boat and/or scratching it? Do not let it on the boat to begin with. Grade: D+ By definition it is a nozzle, but only to be used on non-paying customers.

Nozzle #2 Pros: All plastic construction with a soft rubber grip. Cons: Multi-flow head limits variability of flow on the go. Grade: C Less likely to cause damage than nozzle #1, but limited flexibility while in use can be frustrating.

Nozzle #3 Pros: Soft rubberized grip with classic single flow option. Cons: Extra stream setting on tip of nozzle requires fidgeting with, and threaded adjustment knob on rear of handle is prone to fall off. Grade: B- Unlikely to cause damage, single flow option surprisingly gives more flexibility in flow options. Using a lighter to melt rear adjustment knob is always an option.

Nozzle #4

Pros: Non-adjustable rear adjustment knob is not threaded, no piece to lose! Hinge mechanism is plastic, not metal, and as a result will not rust. Cons: Hard rubber handle. Grade: A- Hey, no nozzle is perfect! Get this to me in a soft plastic model and we can talk about that A. To be honest, the material choice is a very minor issue. No pieces to lose and rust is a huge plus. This nozzle can be found for $5 at your local marine store, and oddly enough is the cheapest of all your options! Now if they could just trap the rubber washer in there permanently...

STRBRD -- A New Online Tool to Organize Race Crew by Trevor

Though Michigan is not quite Newport, or will be hosting the America's Cup anytime soon, we do have plenty of sailing. Small races, like the Wednesday night Charlevoix Yacht Club Races, mid size events such as the Red Fox Regatta, and some bigger races, such as the Chicago to Mackinaw Race. Getting your crew, which may be a larger pool than always necessary, as everyone is part time and has conflicting schedules, can be a hassle. Everyone travelling, keeping everybody up to date on whats going on with the boat, etc are factors.

STRBRD.com is an online tool for organizing everything your team needs. Having a unique page for your boat and integration with social networks makes sure everyone knows whats going on. Also, rich media uploading allows everyone to contribute to the photo pool, and posting of race results is like a virtual trophy room! Be sure to check it out if you have a crew that is a little disorganized!

 

If you like FirstMateYachtCare.com, You Might Like These by Trevor

We are pretty good, but we know that we cannot cover ALL the news in the exciting yachting and boating world. We try though! Take a look at some of these other sites to keep informed on some different aspects of the marine world: LASER Advertising http://laseradvertising.com/blog/ http://www.laseradblog.com/watercooler/ LASER Advertising takes care of promotional materials for luxury destinations and brokerages, but also for individual megayachts for sale or charter. Their site and blog(s) are full of industry happenings and amazing pictures and videos. It is often difficult to get an idea of a what a megayacht looks like inside (especially when they won't let you up the passerelle!), but Laser has full video tours of many of the boats they have made materials for.

 

WoodyBoater.com

http://woodyboater.com/

Woody Boater is focused on the smaller, vintage.....wooden boats! This site is the most popular I know of in its niche, and has hilarious posts as well as amazing media to go with it. For the guys out there, they always have "Woody Boater Babes", and right now "Woodies for Boobies" to support breast cancer awareness. The gentleman who runs it is in advertising himself, so he knows how to write some copy. Definitely worth checking for the beautiful boats. Makes me want a Sea Skiff! If you are trying to learn your classic boats, to tell a Centrury from a Chris from a Truscott from a Greavette from a Hacker,  start here.

 

Scuttlefish

http://thescuttlefish.com/

Scuttlefish is run by Brian Lam, who has a strong pedidgree building Gizmodo.com, a technology blog. Scuttlefish has lots of science posts, about new finds, records being broken, and a 'little' technology. Also, there is plenty of maritime art, and great pictures of exotic destinations in their "Wish you were here" posts. Amazing and obscure oceanic historical finds are "Salty Stories", "Sea Monster Monday" and "Water Wench Wednesdays are great too! More Ocean/nature than strictly boating, but still great.

 

The Great Lakes Cruising Club

http://www.glcclub.com

This site is likely only of interest to our Northern readers, but the GLCC is a strong organziation with quite a few events every season. Joining the GLCC is a way to make friends when you boat, and the GLCC 'chain' burgee is displayed proudly in ports all over. The member directory and designated "Port Captains" will make sure you feel welcome. In any case, look to them for interesting Great Lakes boating news, or for up to date port information.

 

Boats.com Blog

http://www.boats.com/blog/

This is the most 'technical' site I will recommend. Plenty of new boat reviews and manufacturer updates. Also, they are not afraid to write articles such as Marine Wire Markings Deciphered" and "All About Anodes". Definitely worth checking out with frequent posts. Also, this site is more focused on the 25-55ft range.

 

Well, that is all the recommendations I have for now, I left out quite a few because of such infrequent updating I didn't want to frustrate anyone. If you think I missed something, let me know in the comments!

FMYC on Billy Joel's VENDETTA by Trevor

We had the privilege of seeing the Piano Man himself's  boat at the Palm Beach Show. Captain Gene politely declined a wash, but he could tell that we knew the boat, and we wanted to get aboard. After an evening working the Northop and Johnson tent (brokerage representing the sale of VENDETTA) on the last day of the show, Captain treated us to some drinks on the boat, and boy was it great to get aboard.

[I would personally recommend you play some background music for this post.]

The boat is a commuter, this style of boat was built for the social elite who found it far more fashionable to travel from home to work by sea than by land-- but who also justified this travel by making it quicker!  These boats were sleek lines and big engines. Also, the interior was not for long distance cruising, and would have a very spartan layout. These boats were purpose built to go from Point A to Point B to Point A. A different, more comfortable boat would handle more luxurious cruising elsewhere.

The designer of the boat is none other that "the Down-East Expert" (FMYC's term) himself.....*drumroll*..... DOUG ZURN! We take care of quite a few Zurn influenced boats, and you will recognize his styling even if you don't know its his. The Hinckley ____, the MJM's patented "parabola" window line, Marlow Yachts 65, Custom Builds for Lyman Morse, even the hull of the Vanquish runabout. take a look at Zurn Yachts to see his boats lined up next to each and other and notice the commonalities in his designs.

Billy is quite a boater, and I came across more than a half dozen boats that he owns or has owned in researching this article. Further, he is somewhat involved with CH Marine:

In the early '90s, he worried about boating jobs on Long Island. "First there was the luxury tax and then the recession. I wanted to keep talented people working. I wanted to get involved. I didn't want the boatbuilders to lay off people." He teamed up with Doug Zurn and Peter Needham at Coecles Harbor Marine and, in 1996, introduced the 38-foot Shelter Island Runabout. So far, 39 have been sold (base price: $356,800).

Then he wanted something bigger for himself. "There are two subplots here," he said. "Trying to revive a local builder, plus reviving a tradition of great commuter boats." [Yachting Mag]

Related, from CNN Money

Suddenly, though not for the first time in his life, Joel had a hit on his hands. "We figured there might be a market for it, so we took it to the boat shows," Needham recalls. "The phone started ringing off the hook. We had to hire people, train them, and start a bona fide boat-building business."

It helped that there was nothing quite like the runabout on the market, save perhaps for the wildly successful 36-foot Picnic Boat just introduced by Hinckley. It also helped that the stock market bubble was beginning to swell. A Microsoft executive flew in from Seattle and wanted a runabout immediately, Joel says. "He looks at my boat, and he goes, 'Whose boat is that?' I said, 'That's my boat.' And he goes, 'Well, are you in the boat business or not?' So I actually sold my original boat. But it was good for the company."

Needham has just completed hull No. 36. Joel didn't invest in the business but owns the design and the tooling, and he collects a royalty on every runabout sold--the base price is $340,000. Needham says that another singing boat nut, Jimmy Buffett, nearly bought one. "He was 99% there. But at the last minute he said, 'I can't do this--it's like sitting on another man's throne.'"

The black hullsides, wood cabinsides, and an off-white bridge really sets of the sloping lines, which to me gives it a "wind-tunnel"  look, of the air breaking just aft of the cockpit. This profile is further accentuated when the boat is in motion, on a low plane angle, but with a frothy wake accepting the terminus coming over the boat, everything the boat is cutting through being churned and blown by right about where the transom is.

The technology of the boat is extremely impressive too, and it being custom, allowed a lot of things to be tried (that may not be feasible/practical for a production run). Some Specs:

  • LOA: 57ft
  • Beam: 15ft
  • Draft: 3'11"
  • Fuel Capacity: 620 gallons
  • Year: 2005
  • Builder: DERECKTOR
  • Speed: 44/50 Knots
  • Engines 2xMAN 1300hp

 

Some notable tech on the boat are the hull made with SCRIMP technology, and the Power-Vent surface drives. SCRIMP which is much more common nowadays than it was in 2005, and is now commonly referred to as "vacuum bagging". To summarize the advantages of the system, you have a perfect resin/glass(cloth) ratio, taking out some of the soft spots found when laid up by hand. The Power-Vent system, is extremely impressive, and directs the exhaust under the boat to create a pseudo surface drive configuration.  This accomplishes excellent performance, with less specialized parts, and a few side benefits such as no projection off the transom. Some of the surface drive boats (Magnum) will have MASSIVE achitecture coming off the transom, sometimes 6-8ft long! When a clean look and high speed is required, a configuration like this makes sense. Captain Gene was also discussing some other advantages with the power drive, as far as other engine intake/exhaust benefits which I cannot recall, but I do know the system was flexible enough to create some VENDETTA-specific advantages.

From the Power-Vent Page:

Advantages:

  • Shallow shaft angle (performance-draft-installation)
  • Proven reliability (long term, low maintenance)
  • Simple installation (cost effect manufacturing)
  • Easy and simple maintenance (field repairable)
  • Unobstructed transom (allows for stern boarding and accessories)
  • Quiet Operation (exhaust exits under vessel)
  • Transom Area: is usable deck space (transom is free of engine box or steering gear)
  • Transom Options: Removable, fold down or swing in or out doors for rapid deployment
  • Low Radar Profile (no rooster tail)
  • Minimal IR Signature (exhaust gasses mixed with propeller wash)
  • Come Home Capabilities: Single engine on step running. Manual steering via tiller at any speed, even if console is destroyed.

Not Required:

  • External trim system
  • External steering cylinders
  • External U joints
  • External rubber bellows
  • External seals
  • External oil filled housings
  • External features to cover up drive system

The helm is laid out in a form follows function manner, with 4 STIDD chairs in a military layout, 2 on the port, 2 on the left. Much like those darn Coast Guard boats always counting my life-jackets... This configuration makes sense for the purpose of commuting, and also allows a huge hatch down the the engine room. All deck in the helm is oiled teak, and the dash has every control you need, nothing more. The mechanical gauges are set in a single piece of stainless, alluding to a fast machine. Electronics are Raymarine 12"s, and an extra screen for the passenger in the port passenger seat to aid in navigation or plotting. Radar and Autopilot are included, but no FLIR or extra antennae that would disrupt the profile. The white exterior is repeated in the helm walls, and light wood accents for the forward bulkhead and ceiling.

Heading down below, immediately to your port is a half galley, more for serving than preparation, with enough refrigeration for an extended trip. To starboard, table with two benches and seating for four is available for meals. Forward of the galley area, there is a bulkhead with a  curving "Y" cut in it to allow a very open feeling, while still suggesting a solid structure. The other side of this bulkhead has center-facing seating for six, and a forward head makes use of that otherwise dead space. The cushions are a light green seafoam color, and the carpet and counter tops are both light neutral brown and gray.

The engine room is unremarkable except for the size. Other bilges I had been in at the show were the MJM 36z With compact Volvos, and the Cruisers 47, I think with IPS 600's. HUGE difference in engine volume, for these engines to be put on a 50-60ft boat, you would expect the boat to be 20,000lbs heavier. I did a very poor job photographing the engine room and aft bilge that houses the Power-Vent tubes, guess  I'll have to get more pictures next time I run into the boat.

Another thing I would like to mention is how large the canoe stern is. It is big, a wide expanse of black, with the very ominous sounding "VENDETTA". This name by the way is not in reference to some long held grudge or rivalry against a fellow musician, but proudly suggesting that he wages a war with life. As often as it cold and cruel, he 'wins' by living well. I have no plans available, but I would venture that the beamiest part of the boat is 3-4ft from the stern, further stretching the tumblehome.

Why the name Vendetta? I asked. "Because living well is the best revenge," he laughed. "I live in a Gatsby-type house, now I have a Gatsby-type boat. I enjoy that lifestyle."

The little things I noticed (but would never think to photograph) were that the fixtures I saw were all of the highest quality. Things like the hardware for the engine hatch were definitely not something you can replace at West Marine, and all felt very solid. The cabin had lots of natural light, with both cabinside windows and hatches letting in a lot of light. The forward windows are just slivers, but justifies the slight rise in deck while drastically brightening the cabin. The mast, larger and exaggerated like that of a lobster boat, is the first thing a lot of people comment on, and I frankly think it fits well, and the boat would have a very different profile without it. Also, the boat was not 'flashy" at all, but rather modest. Nothing ornate, and the only real decorations were a few plaques from military organizations thanking Mr. Joel for his $upport.

Thank you again to Captain Gene Pelland for the time, and check out our video of him skillfully taking the boat out of its corner slip, leaving the Palm Beach Show. You can also catch a few glimpses of the boat on our "horn blowing" video.

 

Related / Sources

 

FMYC VENDETTA Album

Insurance Information - Hull Coverage / Total Loss by Trevor

Geico Racing Boat at Palm Beach

Guest editor Robert Loudon of the insurance industry is going to be filling us in on some insurance questions we have been asking him, as well as generally rounding out the blogs content. Be sure to ask Rob any questions (except for asking for quotes!)  All postings are wholly independent of his employer. Geico Off-shore Racing Boat

Physical Damage Just as car insurance offers collision and comprehensive coverages for damage to your auto, hull insurance provides coverage for physical damage to your boat, regardless of fault.

Nonetheless, as with car insurance, the details of hull coverage vary among both policies and carriers. First and foremost, in the unfortunate event of a total loss, there are several general methods for valuing the boat:

· Actual Cash Value (“ACV”)

· Replacement Cost Value (“RCV”)

· Agreed Value

Actual Cash Value ACV is essentially the market value of the boat. The insurance carrier will determine ACV for the boat through guides and comparable boat listings.

Replacement Cost Value RCV provides sufficient value to replace the total loss with a new boat. Given the moral hazard implicit in this method, this valuation generally must be selected upon purchase of the boat as new, with some grace period. Also, there is usually a time limit of several years after which the valuation reverts to ACV or Agreed Value. Details will vary by policy, so ask your agent.

Agreed Value Perhaps the easiest method, the policy specifies the agreed value of the boat prior to the loss. Regardless of actual value or cost to replace, the agreed value is what the insurance carrier will pay for the total loss.

Depending on the age and value of your boat, the insurance carriers available, and your financial situation, you have many options to insure your boat against physical damage. However, the foregoing is general information and does not constitute professional opinion or advice. Consult a local insurance agent to address your unique needs. This is the first in a series on boat insurance.

Zeelander Yachts - From Holland to Holland Michigan by admin

As if launching new models under a few brand names was not enough for the Holland, Michigan S2 based company (makes of Tiara and Pursuit), they have taken on producing yet another brand, Zeelander Yachts.  The Zeelander certainly does not take any design elements from anything else S2 currently produces and definitely has a Euro feel to it.  Here is Trevor with a quick overview of the exterior of the 44' Zeelander at the Palm Beach Show.  

 

Haven't heard of Zeelander and still not convinced they have faith in their product?  Well, apparently there was this "small" little party in the BVIs at the Yacht Club Costsa Smeralda you might have heard about.  Guess what boats were on hand for the press and VIP guests?  That's right, there were a few Zeelanders zipping about during the Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous.

The Boat International Superyacht Regatta, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with Boat International Media, has brought together a roster of impressive entrants from around the world. This event could potentially be the most extensive selection of superyachts in one place this year - many leading the field in terms of cutting edge technology and design. Zeelander are therefore delighted to provide the boats for the regatta, seeing this event as an ideal opportunity to showcase this premium new brand to an exceptional gathering of racing elite who are able to identify with Zeelander’s unique design qualities and performance.

We look forward to finding out more about this partnership and seeing if current Tiara and Pursuit dealers will be marketing the Zeelander in Michigan!

Steve Erwin Was No Fluke - Flying Sting Ray Attacks Woman on Fishing Charter by Ryan

The eagle ray weighed about 300 poundsA while back (2006), beloved nature explorer and television personality Steve Irwin was "accidentally" killed by a "confused" Sting Ray. Having suffered a massive puncture wound to the heart, Irwin died on the scene before help could arrive. Nature sympathizers and sting ray supremacists alike declared the event an isolated incident in which Irwin was the clear provocateur. In typical fashion, the left wing media failed to report that the sting ray, a known Obama supporter, attacked Irwin with an unlicensed stinger barb. Now it appears this "isolated incident" was anything but! CNN is reporting that a massive 300 pound eagle ray has assaulted a Florida woman on a fishing charter for photographing their movements. Intelligence reports suggest that the Eagle Ray is the faster, and more maneuverable sting ray breed, often used for stealthy assaults.

CNN reports...

A huge eagle ray weighing as much as 300 pounds landed on top of a woman on a boat in the Florida Keys last week, throwing her to the deck and pinning her underneath it, the captain of the boat told CNN. The woman, Jenny Hausch, was on the chartered boat Friday with her husband and three children, taking pictures of a group of eagle rays as they flew out of the water. "These eagle rays, they were flying through the air," said Kelly Klein of Two Chicks Charters. "These giant things go out of the water and slam back down." Hausch was in the front of the boat, snapping away, Klein said. "One of the rays jumped in the air and she gets this perfect shot," the captain said, adding that rays always jump twice. On the second jump, one ray hit her in the chest and she fell down, hitting her head, Klein said. "It keeps slamming and slamming on top of her, trying to swim away," she said. Hausch's husband and children watched in horror. Florida Fish and Wildlife Officers Aja Vickers and Bret Swensson were patrolling the water near the tour boat when they heard screams. "We turned around and looked and saw the eagle ray thrashing around in the boat and at that point we realized we had a problem," said Vickers.

When Vickers was questioned about the Eagle Ray's motives, she responded, "In 2008, a woman died from the impact when a ray jumped out of the water and hit her as she boated in the Keys, but [this was a]  freak accident. This is a total one-in-a-million chance. These animals aren't attacking by any means. One theory is these animals jump during mating season."

Make note everyone, the sea rays are on the war-path again, and Vickers is a sympathizer! Early reports show that the giant river rays have not allied themselves with the eagle rays yet, but both parties have been trying to reach a strategic agreement for some time. Unless sanctions are brought against all tributaries and estuaries actively supporting all terrorists and radical oceanites, the problem will only spread.

Giant Stingray

Related articles

TED Talk - Brian Skerry reveals ocean's glory -- and horror by Ryan

Right_Whale_BIG_5

I for one am a huge fan of TED talks. They are self proclaimed "Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world". Occasionally one really strikes my fancy, as was the case with the talk given by Brian Skerry.

From the TED website...

Brian Skerry is a photojournalist who captures images that not only celebrate the mystery and beauty of the sea but also bring attention to the pressing issue which endanger our oceans. Using the camera as his tool of communication, Brian Skerry has spent the past three decades telling the stories of the ocean. His images portray not only the aesthetic wonder of the ocean but display an intense journalistic drive for relevance. Skerry's work brings to light the many pressing issues facing our oceans and its inhabitants. Typically spending eight months of the year in the field, he often face extreme conditions to capture his subjects. He has lived on the bottom of the sea, spent months aboard fishing boats and dived beneath the Arctic ice to get his shot. He has spent over 10,000 hours underwater.

A contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine since 1998, Brian Skerry has had twelve stories published in the magazine with several more upcoming.

To read more about Brian Skerry, check out his amazing website full of fantastic high res images from the mysterious deep here. His photography really piques the inner-child fantasy I've always had about the ocean. Travelling by boat over open water has always left me wishing I could know just what was swimming about underneath the hull, living quietly in the deep.

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