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Cruising Life through the Eyes of Tom Neale

Red, right, return: buoys as rites of passage

Reaching the elusive Red Buoy as a youngster was just the beginning of Tom's cruising adventures.It was always out there. Way out there. Tethered by an old chain to a mushroom anchor at the end of the long shoal stretching between the Mattaponi and Pamunkey rivers, where they joined in a Y to form the mighty York.

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The cruiser’s search for that plot of gold

Some opt to buy a waterfront lot and build a retirement home when their cruising winds down.Mel and I moved aboard full time in 1979. Since then we’ve traveled thousands of miles a year, spending 19 winters in the Bahamas and visiting many wonderful places. We’ve had some very tough times and some very good times, but we’ve loved the experience and would start again in a heartbeat.

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Real world tips for when the ‘stuff’ hits the fan

A couple was enjoying the beautiful waters of the Bahamas in a trawler that they’d carefully prepared for years of cruising. One morning, shortly after getting under way, they smelled smoke. Less than half an hour later the trawler was burned to the waterline and on the way to the bottom.

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Shedding a little light

Good lights are very important to have on board. Here are a few that we’ve found to be particularly helpful. Keep in mind that this is not equipment you should buy “cheap.”

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Love the boat you’ve got and have some fun

Own a Grady-White? Consider meeting up with 'The Grady Bunch' for some cruising in company.“Having Fun Since 1988,” proclaimed the large blue banner. It was grandly draped over the side of YaBut’s cabin. She was part of a small flotilla of Grady-Whites from about 25 to 36 feet tied up at Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor in St. Augustine, Fla.

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