Leisure and entertainment

Putting Depths to Scale by Trevor

XKCD is a very intelligent comic, and pretty much every post has something to do with science. Every so often there is a large format comic explaining some macro scientific concept. Today's is talking about depths, likely brought about by James Cameron's recent dive. It does a pretty good job explaining how massive the ocean is. Be sure to click the image for an expanded version, and read all the fun facts (a few are jokes, but some good trivia in there!).

Big Brother Watches Boat Washers... by Trevor

To supplement the Bay Harbor Lake Marina webcam, it looks like the Yacht Club is catching up. These webcams are a great way to keep an eye on your boat, particularly in regards to the weather. You can decide if it is a good day to take the boat out, or be able to tell how hard the boat is bouncing in a storm (not in protected Bay Harbor, mind you!).

Yet another great use of these cameras? Watching us clean your boat. WOW.

The camera pans around to cover the entire bay, and zooms in to check on BHLM in the distance. If only you could control it to zoom in on individual boats!


Drinking and Boating - A pre-season reminder to Get a Captain! by Ryan

U.S. Coast Guard Official Seal

Like most boaters this spring, you are likely planning a series of scenic tours, dinners, and entertainment aboard your beloved vessel. And why shouldn't you? Entertaining and personal enjoyment are the reasons we enjoy boating! As we all know though, drinking and driving rules apply to the road and to the water. Those rules are not always the same though and a failure to understand the differences could cost you big! This brief primer from attorney Todd Levitt outlines the rules and penalties (among other things) for boating under the influence in Michigan. An excerpt...

The following conditions determine if you are boating under the influence.

If your blood alcohol content is 0.10% or greater by weight of alcohol as determined by a breath, blood, or urine test, you are considered to be under the influence of alcohol. If your blood alcohol content is greater than 0.07% but less than 0.10% by weight of alcohol as determined by a breath, blood, or urine test, a law enforcement officer can consider that fact along with other evidence in determining if you are under the influence.

Michigan law establishes the following penalties.

People arrested for boating under the influence are guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon a third conviction within 10 years, a person will be guilty of a felony. If a person boating under the influence causes great bodily injury or death of another person, he or she will be guilty of a felony. By operating a vessel on Michigan waters, you have consented to be tested for alcohol or drugs if arrested by a law enforcement official.

The article includes rules on who can operate a boat, age restrictions, jurisdictions, no-wake rules, and other common operating rules. Rather than sifting through the giant rulebook yourself, I suggest you check out the rest of the article here and save yourself a potential headache this summer.

Unlike driving a vehicle, DNR officers and Coast Guard officials do not need probable cause to board your vessel and perform a "safety check". The rules are strict and the penalties are firm, so follow our advice - GET A CAPTAIN!

Enjoy your night out, drink to your heart's content, and call First Mate for a captain to get you back to the dock safe!

Related articles

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.

by Ryan

Ryan Mather - Detroit Zoo

I had an awesome time at the Detroit Zoo last weekend. Among the many highlights of the day was a trip to the 126-seat Wild Adventure 3-D / 4-D Theater where I watched the Planet Earth: Shallow Seas 4-D Experience. All I can say is "Amazing"! For any boater interested in coral diving, and other shallow ocean life, get ready for an amazing experience. From their website... "In this epic 4-D adventure, hear the power of the ocean's waves as they crash along the shoreline, and feel the salty spray as you surf the coast with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in search of food.  Glide alongside a cast of balletic sea lions as they dive through vast swirling bait balls of anchovy, and track a mother humpback whale and her calf as they navigate from their tropical nursery to the Arctic Circle.  Experience the greatest gathering of seabirds and whales ever captured in Digital HD. Sense the pressure, feel the perils and smell the triumph as you celebrate Earth as never before in Planet Earth: Shallow Seas 4-D Experience."

Spring Bling by Ryan

  Craft-Revival - Grand Rapids, MI

For those of you in Michigan, it's time to start pulling boats out of storage and hitting the water! Those following us here at First Mate are obviously of the most discriminating taste. We know you have have spent much time, money, and energy getting your boat looking tip-top. A fresh buff, wax, and detailing doesn't come cheap, but it makes the ride all the more enjoyable and pride-filled. There's nothing better than seeing the sun glisten off the shining white hulls for the first time in that glowing spring sunshine.

Of course, all that money spent on blingin' your ride is for nothing if you don't look good yourself! That's why I suggest you reward yourself for your hard work by swinging in and talking to the artisan jewelers at Craft-Revival in Grand Rapids, MI. These guys will help you stand out on the docks by putting some custom made shine on for the season! They can also help you give a truly unique and amazing gift for your boating friend, lover, or partner.

Specializing in high quality hand made pieces in almost any metal you can think of, these guys are truly at the top of their game. I have personally had a couple of rings made by Jason & the guys and their attention to detail is absolutely stellar. Nothing will match the shine of your yacht like the sparkle of a couple fresh diamonds and some white gold!

From their website...

"We create jewelry that is made for you, not sold to you. Mix any of our available precious metals with any stone or pearl from around the world and create a one of a kind ring or pendant. Other products include a wide variety of bridal sets and engagement rings, cuff links, belt buckles and broaches. Aside from our constantly evolving Craft-Revival signature selection, we are able to create finished custom pieces made just for you. If you do not see exactly what you are looking for, present your idea and challenge us!"

Jason at Craft-Revival is also a licensed importer of rare animal pelts and skins. I personally drool over the amazing selection of stingray wallets and clutches, gator skin briefcases, eel money clips, and custom iPad cases on display. Nothing would make your dock-mates more jealous than a custom gator skin fighting chair!

So go ahead and let your imagination run wild this spring. Match a cocktail ring to your sweet new hull pin-striping, protect your teak aft cockpit dining table with hand sewn stingray coasters (Steve Irwin will thank you), or get your boat's name engraved into a new custom platinum ring inset with any stone or pearl you desire. Custom cuff-links to match would be perfect! Whatever you do, tell the guys at Craft-Revival that First Mate sent you!

You can find Craft-Revival in their convenient downtown location in the historic Tannery-Row district on Ionia Ave in Grand Rapids, MI. A map and other contact information is available on their website. Go ahead and give them a call. Your deserve to look as good as your yacht!


16 ionia ave sw suite 2

grand rapids, mi 49503

P. 616.678.3650

F. 616.678.3650

EMAIL. jayson@craft-revival.com


High Class on the Mega Yacht Docks - Pierre Hardy High Heeled Boat Shoes by Ryan

Thanks to Luxist for the pointer. For the classy boater with discriminating taste, have performance with non-slip razor siped soles and make your legs look good! Pierre Hardy High-Heeled Boat Shoes"Pierre Hardy wants women to take preppy chic to a whole new level. While the traditional boat shoe provides comfort and an effortlessly classic flair, Hardy's High-Heeled Boat Shoes ($1109)offers casual sexiness and unique appeal.

Styled in black pebbled leather and decorated with contrasting white stitching, brown leather laces, and a golden buckle, these leather heelsmaintain their classic aura but with a modern update. Hardy's High-Heeled Boat Shoes are just shy of four inches, so you'll get height, but hopefully the rugged rubber sole will counterbalance the pressure on the balls of your feet.

Pair with loose fitting shorts and a linen button down shirt for a casual, yet polished look."

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


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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State Record Muskie at Short's Brewery by Trevor

image image

Kyle Anderson's state record Muskier, which he affectionately named "Queenie", is on display at Short's.

Kyle will be talking about the catch today and tomorrow, at 2pm and 5pm. It looks like he will be hanging out and drinking all day as well, probably wouldn't be too hard to pry some tips from him any time of day!

Also, $1 of your first pint when you show a valid fishing liscense!

Ultimate Pirate Ship Bedroom - For the boating child at heart by Ryan


pirate ship bedroom1

When I saw these pictures this morning, my jaw dropped! What cooler project could a father and a son take on together than building the ultimate in fantastically imaginative decor? Complete with a two story climbing rope, birds nest, port holes, a 2 story tube slide, and working rope bridge, this is by far the coolest nautical wonderland outside of a real pirate ship I have ever seen.

From mymodernmet.com...

More than just an incredible design, the ultimate pirate ship bedroom was the culmination of a father's dream. As the designer Steve Kuhl tells us, "Our client grew up as a repressed type-A child and never really lived the childhood he dreamed of. He had to help support the family from a young age. When he became a father one of his goals was to give his son, Zach, a childhood full of play and adventure. He approached me about designing something special. I conceptualized a few different ideas including a space ship and a race car. Ultimately, the pirate ship ruled the day."

I for one am as jealous as any 4 year old! You can read more of the imaginative owner's interview and see original sketches of early design here.

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For all the diving lovers out there - How to hold your breath like David Blaine by Ryan

If you are like many boaters, diving around to check out fish, ship wrecks, and other underwater curiosities probably gets you excited. If you are looking to shave a couple of bucks off of your boating budget but don't want to sacrifice the underwater scenery, you can try ditching the expensive scuba gear for some serious free diving!

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