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VOLUME 57 DEC 2003/JAN 2004 NUMBER 10

From the Commander
Bohicket Cruise Weekend
Cape Romain Lighthouse
This Month's Boat

From the Commander
Cdr Charlotte Yeomans, P

t the rather constant urging of Boo & Tony Ward, Steve & I became members of the Charleston Power Squadron - he active & I family. The first squadron meeting we attended was Larry Joye's first membership meeting. As luck would have it, the only other people there upon arriving were Ed and Cindy Kridler, two of the most involved members of the squadron, then and now. They came over, introduced themselves and chatted for a time. Not long afterward, Ken Beeber came into the banquet room; he remembered Steve from teaching him at the Basic Boating Course at Middleton High School a few years prior. These introductions and chats continued throughout the evening before and after Steve's swearing in. To top it off, waiting in line in the restroom that evening, I was approached by a lady with a warm smile and a nice handshake who said, "hi, Charlotte. My name is Marsha Gindhart. It was good to meet you tonight and we hope to see you and your husband again soon." What a great way to end an evening!

That evening and many more like that are what kept me interested in the squadron; that is also - along with a bit of nudging from Cindy & Ed - what prompted me to become an active squadron member. And then, there will always be the fond memory of Harry Gindhart walking me around Bird Key Island until I agreed to become a bridge member…

In my few years of being involved with the Charleston Power Squadron, I have seen many people come. Unfortunately, in the same amount of time, I've seen many people go. The goal of the squadron this year - not just because National wants it, but also because Charleston needs it - is Retention + One. We are going to retain whom we have plus one new member apiece.

In a Log article this past year, I wrote, "There have been some complaints in the past in reference to the squadron not being all that people expected it to be after joining; if you are dissatisfied with what you have paid for, then let the people who can change something know - better yet, help them to change it so you know it's right!" Well, sometimes you can't just wait for someone to step forward to let you know - sometimes you need to poke around and ask, and continue to ask. This will happen.

If it had not been for the hospitable attitudes that greeted us upon joining and all of the fun times we experienced soon thereafter, we probably would not have stayed on. Please think on the goal for this upcoming year - think of how you can fulfill it, then do it.

Thank you very much for the honor of Command of the Charleston Power Squadron. I hope to live up to your expectations; please keep me posted.

Thank you.



Lt/C Stephen C. Kromer, AP

ell, here we are at the end of another year. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and will have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I think the Education Department had a successful 2003, thanks to all of the great instructors. In 2004 it should be even better. We are planning on doing some interesting and innovative things, so keep in touch to find out what is going on.

It was announced at the Change of Watch last month that Steve Whitlock had been selected as Student of the year for 2003. This is quite an honor for Steve, so the next time you see him, extend your congratulations. Also, Wendy Walsh was sworn in as the Assistant Squadron Education Officer. I know that Wendy is going to do a great job in the coming year.

As a matter of fact, Wendy has already put together the course schedule for spring of 2004. It is printed in this issue of The Palmetto Log so that you can use it to plan which courses you want to take. We are starting the courses on 16 Feb 2004, which is later than we have in the past. The idea is to give people a little rest after the holidays. As we did in the fall, we are asking y'all to pre-register for the courses so that we can order the materials ahead of time.

One of the things that is different this year is that we are going to offer two Advanced Piloting sections, one on Monday's and the other on Tuesday's. We are going to limit each of the classes to between 3 and 5 students, so if you want to take AP, pick your night and give me a call or send me an email. The intent is to provide for more one-on-one instruction to each of the students. We are also offering Piloting on Monday nights. We did this to allow folks who just joined the Squadron to take a course as soon as possible and to give those folks in the Squadron who have not taken Piloting yet another option for doing so.

Now the one wrinkle in getting the courses under way is that, if all goes well, I am going to be on a boat trip from 10 Jan 2004 through 7 Feb 2004. So if you want to register for a class during that time please email me at skromer@tariffs.com or call me on my cell phone at 843-906-5631 and I'll get you registered and your books ordered.

In yet the latest benefit for United States Power Squadrons members, Maptech has agreed to provide dealer prices to any member of the suadron who buys directly from them. For those of you who are not familiar with Maptech, they provide some of the best quality charts, chart books and electronic charts available today. You can check out what they offer by going to their website at www.maptech.com. If you want to order you need to call them at 888-839-5551. Tell them you are a member of USPS and they will apply the discount. For the trip that Janice and I are planning for February, I needed electronic and paper charts for Florida. I ordered through the number listed above and saved at least $100. For those of you that boat primarily in the Charleston area, they have two products that would be useful. A waterproof chart of the Winyah Bay - Charleston area and a publication called "How To Use GPS With Charts". Each of these publications carries a list price of $19.95 + shipping. With this discount you will probably get both for $25.00 or less. So get your credit card out and have fun.

Finally, if y'all know anyone who wants to take the BoatSmart Course, we are going to offer it the East Cooper Outboard Boat Club in January. Have them call me at 843-851-9112 or email me at skromer@tariffs.com.




P/C Mike Page, P

ew beginnings are opportunities for new ideas to blossom. As the squadron starts the 2003/2004 watch, I am open to whatever new ideas members may have to enhance and improve the external affairs of The Charleston Power Squadron. Among those areas within the scope of the Executive Officer's responsibility are the following committees: Boat show, Cooperative Charting, Safety, Legislative, Public Relations, Liaison, Radio Technical, and Vessel Safety Check. Note that all of these committees are outward looking. They carry the burden of our civil service mission, one of the three objectives of local, district, and national power squadrons. The other two, Self Education and Fraternal Boating Club, are the responsibilities of the Squadron Education Officer and the Squadron Administrative Officer, respectively.

For us to meet our objectives for 2003/2004, volunteer efforts of our membership will be critical. I will be working with the committee chairmen for leadership in asking for volunteers to make our outreach activities possible. When called upon, please participate. Your efforts and support are critical to the squadron's missions. Boat Show Booths must be manned, the vessel safety check program depends on volunteer efforts, and cooperative charting can only be successful with broad squadron participation.

P/C Tony Ward will be looking for people to add to his roster of trained vessel safety checkers-an excellent public service that promotes safe boating and creates awareness of those items that must be onboard to meet minimum safety standards.

Lt/C David Walsh, Cooperative Charting Chairman, will work with all of us to fulfill the commitment we have to NOAA to verify chart correctness on our waterways. I will be working with David to organize and lead geodetic mark recovery outings.

Eugene Gilfillin, N, has agreed to serve as Radio Technical Committee Chairman for this year. He plans to submit articles to The Palmetto Log that will help keep us abreast in the areas of his responsibility.

Listen for the call to volunteer. It will be forthcoming.


Lt/C Janice Kromer

ur 8 January 2004 Members Meeting will feature a Chinese Auction. Please see details of this event elsewhere in this issue of The Palmetto Log.

Paul Yura of NOAA will be our speaker for the 12 February Members Meeting. Paul has proved to be a very entertaining speaker and his knowledge of weather and forecasting makes the subject very interesting to even the novice among us. We will have a potluck dinner at headquarters, and the cost will be $5 per person.

Please note that our plans for a combined cruise/members' meeting have been postponed until May. Many felt that the Hornick Cruise was too busy a day to try to squeeze in a members meeting among all the activities. So the Hornick Cruise is back on for 24 March 2004, and the March Members Meeting will be held on 11 March. But this leaves me without a "plan" for something interesting for March. I'll be working on some ideas in the upcoming weeks, but if anyone has any suggestions - please contact me!

And we do have tentative plans for April. I have been in touch with the very popular author and speaker, Claiborne Young, and he has pencilled Charleston Power Squadron on his calendar for 8 April. As soon as the arrangements are finalized, I'll give you the details.



I was thoroughly delighted on a recent Saturday when I made phone calls to solicit Port Captains. If you'll remember, Port Captains allow their contact information to be published on the USPS national web page. If a visitor will be coming to the Charleston area and has questions on a particular waterway, he can call that Port Captain for advice. As usual, our members came through, and we now have 11 participants. I am still looking for someone to take on the Shem Creek and Folly Beach areas, so if there are any more volunteers out there, please contact me. So far, the following Port Captains are part of our program:

Dick Finn - Buzzards Roost Marina and Stono River
Nelson Hicks - The City Marina, Ashley River and Charleston Harbor
Bob Gulbrandsen - The Cooper River Marina, Charleston Harbor and Cooper River
Steve Kromer - Bohicket Marina - Stono River and North Edisto River
Mike King - Dolphin Cove and Ashley River
Gary Lampkins - Duncan's Marina and Ashley River
Elizabeth Mims - Isle of Palms Marina and Intercoastal Waterway
Fred Wichmann - Stono River and James Island waters
Glenn Workman - Ashley Marina, Ripley Light Marina and Ashley River
Steve & Cat Yeomans - Stono Marina and Stono River
Jim Davis - Daniel Island Marina and Cooper River

Thanks to all of them. As more volunteers sign up, they'll be posted in future issues of the Palmetto Log.

Janice Kromer



A recent BoatSmart class brought in several new members to our squadron. Please welcome:

Nathaniel Hoyt Zola Driggers
Sullivans Island Charleston
NEMO - 22.5 feet Jet Ski

Art & Merle Clark Jim Singley
Mt Pleasant Summerville
32' Power Boat Power Boat 19'

Russ & Maria Cooper
Power Boat BaBaLou

And welcome back to David Smylie and Charles Latham who are reinstated members of USPS.

If anyone would like to call our new members to welcome them or just say "hello", please let me know and I'll put you in touch.

Janice Kromer


Lt/C Robert A. Gulbransen, S

hoy! Everyone! This issue I thought about giving everyone a heads up on the latest Maritime construction project in the area.

Our state senator, Arthur Ravenel, has been the driving force behind the building of the new Charleston Bridge over Town Creek and the Cooper River. To his cronies and constituents, Senator Ravenel is fondly known as "Cousin Arthur." Before the bridge was officially named in his honor, the Post and Courier asked for bridge-naming suggestion. One reader offered " The Cuzway." Though the bridge was appropriately named later after the senator, the full name is a mouthful, and I suspect " The Cuzway" may prevail in future Charlestonian parlance.

The new bridge is rapidly rising from the Charleston harbor, and it plans to be quite a landmark. The new bridge will be a colossal structure. The main span over the Cooper River will measure 1546 feet (more than five football fields) and will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America. The two diamond shaped towers from which support cables will be strung will reach 550 feet into the sky (almost two football fields), and the roadbed will be 200 feet above mean high tide of the Cooper River. There will be eight traffic lanes, compared to five on the two existing bridges, and one more lane will be used for pedestrians and bicycles.

The bridge has a colossal price tag to match its size, contact bid of $531 Million. Cousin Arthur had to do plenty of brow-beating and arm-twisting to come up with a sum like that. It is by far the most expensive bridge ever built in South Carolina, and we can thank the American taxpayer for providing a lion's share of it. The good news is that the project looks now like it's going to come in under budget and will be completed a year ahead of time in 2005.

The architect for the new bridge wanted to "praise and pay homage to the historic city of Charleston and Mount Pleasant." The two towers are meant to look like sailboat masts, reflecting on the maritime history of the area, and the simplicity of the tower design suggests the elegance of the City of Charleston.

If you haven't seen it yet, now is the time. Load up your boat and bring your camera. This spectacular giant will forever change the waterfront view of our city.



Lt Kirk Williams

Swept Out to Sea in a Kayak

On July 29th, 2002 John Stockton, went out for a short row in his new kayak. Some twenty-four hours later, after a Coast Guard HH-65 helicopter, C-130 jet and a Navy P-3 Orion aircraft went searching for him, he was plucked out of the water.

During this time period, the Coast Guard and Navy search more than 12,000 nautical miles of ocean, more than twice the size of the big island of Hawaii. Incidentally, that's where Mr. Stockton went kayaking.

In this case, both the Coast Guard and Navy can chalk up a successful Search and Rescue (SAR). Not every SAR case is successfully prosecuted, and boaters, all boaters should understand the dangers, as well as the good times involved in what is essentially a very safe sport.

While this is an extreme example of what can go wrong, we, and that is an all inclusive we, have found that truth is stranger than fiction. Problems while kayaking (or boating or sailing) happen everyday, but thankfully most victims don't find themselves swept 80 miles out in the ocean.

Let's examine Mr. Stockton's case and see where he went wrong and what he could have done to minimize the danger he put himself in, as well as the danger to the rescue crews who went out to search for him. The lessons here work whether you're going to take your vessel (any vessel, from a rowboat up to a 65' cabin cruiser) away from the dock.

According to published reports, Mr. Stockton said, "…that strong winds capsized his kayak…it was just real big swells, 10- to 15-foot swells, wind just howling." Rule one is checking the weather forecast prior to leaving the dock. And continually check the weather.

If the forecast shows a weather pattern or possible weather pattern that is adverse to the conditions your vessel is able to handle, stay home! If the weather begins to turn ugly, head for the nearest safe port.

Weather can turn your four hour cruise in to a twenty-four year nightmare (just ask the crew of the SS Minow), or ask Mr. Stockton if he'd like to repeat his twenty-four hour cruise? Somehow, I don't think so

Safety Equipment

Safety equipment is an absolute, especially on a kayak. All kayaker's, indeed all boaters, should wear a correctly sized Personal Flotation Device (PFD), what many of us still call a life jacket. Should your vessel capsize, it is suggested that you stay with your capsized vessel, and not try to swim to shore.
Swimming to shore, in most instances is a very dangerous decision, since the shore always looks closer than in reality. In addition, without a PFD, the chances for drowning and/or suffering from hypothermia increase logarithmically.

It's not entirely clear from reports if Mr. Stockton had a PFD (life jacket), but he at least had a "yellow" jacket and an emergency blanket. It was reported that Mr. Stockton thought about swimming to shore. At the speed that his kayak moved away from shore, it would seem that the swim mostly likely would have killed Mr. Stockton.

Cell Phones vs. VHF radios
His entry into the emergency systems was precipitated by his use of a cell phone. While the Coast Guard frowns upon reliance on cell phones, in this case, Mr. Stockton's use of his cell phone did save his life. Unfortunately, he left shore without a VHF radio, which could have communicated with the CG C-130 aircraft or the HH-60 helicopter.

The reason for the Coast Guard's stance on cell phone usage is three fold.
1. Vessels are required, if they have a radio (for recreational boats having a vhf radio is not a federal requirement) to maintain a safety watch on VHF CH 16. CH 16 is the emergency hailing frequency. If you were to call a May Day, this is the frequency you would use.
2. If you call for assistance, and the Coast Guard doesn't hear you, then other vessels within the area of your signal might hear you and either forward your message to the Coast Guard and/or offer assistance to your vessel.
3. Use and range of a cell phone are limited offshore, and no one but the called party will, under most circumstances, hears your distress call.

Signaling Devices
Federal regulations require signaling devices on board most vessels. Signaling devices come in two varieties, audio and visual. Visual devices are further broken down into daytime and nighttime. Mr. Stockton had none, but by using his ingenuity, he made a signaling device.
For most kayaker's, a plastic marine whistle and a signaling mirror tied to your PFD, would enable you to make yourself known during the 'normal' operating times of the vessel. Kayaks, since they are not required to have lights, should only be used during the period of sunrise to sunset. If there is a chance that you'll be out after sunset, a flashlight is recommended.

A perfect example of how to use a signaling device, even a makeshift one is offered by Mr. Stockton. "Finally they got close enough and he flew right about 1 o'clock high. I had this blanket, a shiny metal emergency blanket, I tied it on the oar and I stuck it up there and I took off my jacket and I was waving it around. I was just like, Let them see me."

It doesn't do any good to shoot off your flares, or blow your whistle, if there is no one to see or hear them. Use them judiciously! Federal law requires only three (3) flares. Three flares don't last long.

Flares and other pyrotechnics, as far as Federal Law is concerned, are only good for three years (all USCG Approved flares are marked with an expiration date). However, they most likely will last longer. Many people carry some recently expired pyrotechnics with them. These are the ones that they try to ignite or fire first.

The reasoning is that if the older, expired pyrotechnics works, then you now have one additional flare or other device to shoot off. If it doesn't, then nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Float Plan
While not a required item, the Coast Guard strongly advises all boaters to file a float plan with a friend or neighbor. A float plan is a simple document that lists all the possible factors in a pre-planned voyage. The plan should include the type of vessel, its identifying features, make, model and power plant.

It also includes what extra safety equipment is kept on board, the intended path that the voyage will follow, including stops and the intended timing of the voyage (when you think you'll be where, and when). The float plan also lists who is on the vessel, including names, addresses, ages and physical condition.

Should you not show up where and when expected, the holder of the float plan (and their can be multiple holders) can then call the Coast Guard, who would institute the beginning stages of the Search and Rescue system. The more information provided to the Coast Guard, the better the search planning and the faster the rescue.

Mr. Stockton is, as previously mentioned, an extremely lucky man. But if he had taken the proper precautions, his reliance on luck would have been markedly reduced. All boaters should learn from Mr. Stockton's two days at sea. Learn what not to leave at home, and learn what to do in an emergency.

From Wayne Spivak,
Wayne Spivak is a member of, and holds various offices in, the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Canadian and U. S. Power Squadrons. He is an Adjunct Professor at Lehman College, City University of New York.


Bohicket Cruise Weekend
14, 15 and 16 November

The weekend of the Bohicket Cruise turned out to be great fun - cold, but fun! The festivities started off on Friday afternoon when Mike and Joan King on Kingdom (did they get a new name for their new boat?), John Van Way and Donna Fleming on Gooneybird, and Mary and Glenn Workman on O'l Paint all arrived in time to join Steve and Janice Kromer for lunch at the Rose Bank Café. Grady Barnwell with Leah Henley arrived early evening. It had taken them seven hours to sail from Charleston Harbor. Due to the cold weather forecast, the Potluck Dinner on Friday night was moved to the Kromer condo on Seabrook. Dick and Ruth Finn, Dave and Wendy Walsh, Jack and Sylvia Scobee, and Susan and Ken Ingram joined the "lunch crowd". Ed and Cindy Kridler brought a wonderful pork loin, and all of the side dishes and desserts were delicious. Saturday was a quiet day, and most of the boaters spent the time on maintenance and cleaning their vessels. Rumor has it that one of the cruisers "slept in" 'til early afternoon. Nelson Hicks arrived in Victory at the Marina on Saturday afternoon after his first solo anchor out on Friday night in Church Creek. On Saturday evening, Cat and Steve Yeomans drove in and came aboard the No Sense, along with all our other members at the marina, for an impromptu cocktail party on No Sense before dinner at the Privateer. We were delighted to have new members, Art & Merle Clark join us at the party, and there was a lively discussion on what the Clark's should name their new boat. I hope they let us know soon what they decided on! Sunday morning saw a smooth departure of all of the participating boats, and all arrived home safely after a wonderful weekend.

Janice Kromer


Cape Romain Lighthouse
14 February 2004 Cruise

Come join us for the annual cruise to the Cape Romain Lighthouse on 14 February. Boats will dock at Leland Marine Services in McClellenville, SC or anchor out Friday and depart on Sunday. No activities are planned for Friday or Sunday; the festivities are all on Saturday 14 February.

If coming by car, park at Leland Marine Services and go to dock by 1000 Saturday morning to board Squadron boats for the trip to Lighthouse Island. We recommend that you bring rubber boots or shoes that you don't mind getting wet. The short walk to the lighthouse is muddy but, well worth the hike. After spending about 2 hours exploring the island and visiting the lighthouse, we will return to McClellenville around 1500.

A Saturday evening dinner/oyster roast is planned at McClellenville's famous Crab Pot Restaurant on Hwy 17. Serving starts at 1800. Those coming by car are asked to transport boaters from the Leland Marine Services to the Crab Pot Restaurant.

You won't want to miss this unique chance to visit Cape Romain's historic lighthouse. Our Cruise Captain, Fred Wichmann, was born at the Cape Romain Lighthouse and February is Fred's birthday. The lighthouse is not open to the public. Because of Fred's special status, the lighthouse will open for this event, affording us a rare opportunity to climb the lighthouse. The view of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge from the top of the lighthouse is spectacular!

(Insert Fig 3)

Caption: Charleston Power Squadron at the lighthouse in Cape Romain attire

Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge is a 64,000-acre Class I Wilderness. It was established in 1932 as a migratory bird refuge and is accessible only by boat. Today, it is the largest nesting site for loggerhead sea turtles outside of Florida, averaging 1,000 nests per year. It is also home to many other endangered species, among them the American kestrel, bald eagle, glossy ibis, least tern, osprey, peregrine falcon, and wood stork.

By car, Take Highway US 17 from Charleston to McClellenville (about 40 miles). Turn right on Pinckney Street and go 1.1 miles and turn right on to Water Street. Leland Marine Services is about 300 feet ahead.

By boat, turn at flashing daybeacon #35 near ICW Standard Mile 430 turning west into Jeremy Creek. Leland Marine Services is about 1 mile ahead on the north shore of Jeremy Creek.

Address and Phone Numbers
Leland Marine Services, 541 Water Street, McClellenville, SC 29458, (843) 887-3641
The Crab Pot, 10024 North Highway 17, McClellanville, SC 29458, (843) 887-3156
If you are bringing your boat and can take passenger to the lighthouse, let us know. If you are coming by car and want a boat ride to the lighthouse, let us know. We will be matching up boats and passengers.

For further details please contact: Cruise Chairman, David Walsh, (843) 556-3258, E-Mail: wals6563@bellsouth.net


This Month's Boat

This month's boat was purchased three months ago by member Chris McNeal and Kara Grasso, their first boat. She is a 24' Regal Commodore 2665. The following note was attached to the photo.

"We have a blast and learn something new on each and every outing. We are not certain of a name yet…but have been dubbed 'Regal Chicks' at our marina. We like the name 'Chicks in Charge'; however, we change our mind with each attempt at docking (not feeling so 'in charge' yet!). We cannot believe we waited so long to purchase the boat because we live in the idyllic environment for boaters!

"We would like to thank every one of the Power Squadron members for their encouragement and words of wisdom. We have enjoyed the education and the chance to meet so many people with similar interests."


Chris McNeal and Kara Grasso


Cooperative Charting With
Golden Corner Lakes Squadron

On Monday 17 November 2003 the two boats and crews from the Golden Corner Lakes Squadron arrived in Charleston for a day of Cooperative Charting. This was a special cooperative charting effort with District 26 Cooperative Charting Chairman Horst Boettge conducting a training session in addition to charting. From Golden Corners Lakes Squadron were Kathy and Don Redford who brought their boat Monarch. Kathy is the Editor of Golden Corners Lakes newsletter, "Golden Anchor." Don is the Squadron Commander. Also from Golden Corners Lakes Squadron were Steve Pietrowicz and Ron Osburn who operated GPS and took sightings. Representing the Charleston Squadron were Steve Kromer and David Walsh who went along as observers and received special charting instructions from Horst Boettge.

The day started out with launching Horst's boat No Name IV at Wappoo Landing. Winds were 0 to 5 knots and the Charleston Harbor was like glass. The two boats took range readings, shore observations and aids to navigation positions in the Harbor and Ashley River. All of these readings are for Chart 11524. This chart is shared among Charleston, Golden Corner Lakes and Lake Hartwell Power Squadrons.

In the tradition of the Power Squadron, the team docked for lunch at a nice restaurant, California Dreaming. This gave ample opportunity to discuss the day's charting and plan for the afternoon. The day ended with a visit to the Charleston Aquarium's dock for snacks and harbor sightseeing.

David Walsh


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