This page is dedicated to those who successfully answered 100 or more Commander Bob Trivia questions during its five+ years of existence. Hopefully, it puts a “face” and a “personality” behind these very knowledgeable nautical Trivia buffs.
John S. of Charleston, SC
A boater for 45 years, the first Trivia player to hit 100 correct answers has recognized the need for boating safety education, and has become a strong advocate for safety at sea.
After completing the Power Squadron’s Boating course, he became involved in teaching in order to pass on his enthusiasm for the subject to other boaters in his community. John served as Commander of the local Power Squadron and chaired their Boating course for more than four years. He joined the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to become more active on the water and was Flotilla Commander a few years ago. He’s been editor of newsletters for both organizations for a total of thirteen years and currently serves as Member Training Officer for the Auxiliary, transferring his knowledge and experience to others in the organization.
John is an “Exhausted Rooster” in the Jaycees, having served in many positions in the organization, including local President and Regional Vice President, and was named JCI Senator by his club. He is still active in his local Rotary club, where he has held many positions including club president and area representative. He is a triple Paul Harris Fellow in The Rotary Foundation.
John’s advice is that whether you own a boat or not, you should take a boating safety class. Those who go along for the ride never know when they’ll be called on to heave a line or take the wheel of a vessel.
Congratulations to John S. of Charleston, SC…and thanks for helping the cause of recreational boating safety through action and deed!
Jim P. of Port Clinton, OH
A boater for 38 years, the second Trivia player to hit 100 correct answers also recognizes the need for boating safety education, and has always been a strong advocate for boating safety.
Jim began boating with his family at the age of 12, with a 16 ft. runabout, on the Fox Chain of Lakes in Northern Illinois. Moving to Ohio after college, Jim began boating on Lake Erie 28 years ago, and has worked up to a FB-36 Trojan, owning a 28 ft. Trojan and 30 ft. sailboat along the way.
A coworker who was also Commander of the local Power Squadron got Jim interested in teaching navigation after completing the Power Squadron’s Boating Safety course 27 years ago. Jim has been involved with boating safety in some form ever since. He enjoys helping other boaters around the marina learn the finer points of “spring lines” and the like. Jim says it is amazing how many $250,000 boats are tied to the dock with just bow and stern lines.
Jim’s words of advice are directed to newer boaters, and he’d like to see them knowing more about navigation tools and techniques. “It’s difficult for them to use the “old-fashioned” tools of navigation…charts, dividers, and parallel rule, because they think it’s “old-fashioned” and not necessary because of GPS and other modern technologies. The only safe way to navigate requires that the navigator be knowledgable in ALL navigation techniques.” And Jim should know. The western end of Lake Erie, where Jim does most of his boating, requires very serious navigation due to its shallow depth.
Congratulations to Jim P. of Port Clinton, Ohio, and thanks for your contributions to the cause of recreational boating safety!
Jim C. of Bayfield, ONT
Jim has been boating for 43 years, and has travelled extensively on all of the great Lakes with the exception of Lake Michigan, where he has only “gone under the bridge at Mackinac and into Lake Michigan for only about a mile”. His favorite area for boating is the North Channel of Lake Huron and Northern Georgian Bay.
Jim is a member of the Bayfield Cruising Club and the Great Lakes Cruising Club, as well as the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron. His winter sport is skiing, and he was a ski patroller for 25 years, a director of the Chicopee Ski Club for 15 years and an instructor of mountain rescue for many years. He started into boating as a canoe instructor and guide in the 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay. This progressively led into sailing, starting with a Sunfish, then a CL14 , CL16, Wayfarer, and Tornado. His first Power Boat was a Doral 15, with a 70 H.P. outboard. He moved up to a Doral 24 footer with a single 205 HP stern drive, and is now the proud owner of a 1989 Doral 27 foot Monticello with twin 205’s that he purchased new. It is equipped for cruising…radar, GPS, sonar, loran, chart plotter, generator and all the comforts of home.
Jim’s wife Marion is Navigator on all of their trips and Jim says she does a great job. “Because I boat on the Great Lakes, it’s a concern of mine for safety”, Jim says. I’m constantly amazed at how many people I have seen navigating with road maps. Marion and I have seen the results of people not knowing where they are and running aground.” Jim tells us “There is a rock near Killarney which the local people call “Cash Rock”, because it keeps the local repair shops busy all summer. And it’s clearly marked on the charts, too!”
Boater education is now mandatory and a boat operators license is required in Canada. “Hopefully”, Jim says, “now it will be better for all who boat here.” Thanks to knowledgable boaters like you and Marion, Jim, we’re on the right track.
Congratulations on your 100th Trivia success, Jim C. of Bayfield, Ontario, and on your expert knowledge and love of recreational boating!
Capt. Steve of Yonkers, NY
The son, grandson, and nephew of fishing boat captains, Steve grew up in salt water. However, he broke with family tradition when he chose not to follow in the family business. Though he now spends his days on Wall Street, Steve’s real passion is still blue water and his 35′ Motoryacht.
During the summer months, you can find Steve cruising anywhere from Boston to Norfolk, in Long Island Sound or on the Hudson River, as far north as Canada in Lake Champlain. In the winter, he spends his time planning next summer’s cruises or working on his boat.
A Lieutenant Commander in the U. S. Power Squadrons, Steve has been teaching the Power Squadron Boating Safety Course for the last ten years. A certified NY State Instructor of Safe Boating, Steve is a firm believer that education is the way to really enjoy the privilege of recreational boating.
Even though he loves his GPS and Maptech PC charting system, he still stresses to his boating classes that with a good compass, paper charts, and a little knowledge, you never need to worry about dead batteries, crashed programs, or weak satellite signals. Steve shares an opinion with the best sailors in the world when he says “The last place you want to be is out on the ocean when your GPS decides to stop working and you don’t know how to navigate with compass and charts.”
Congratulations to Capt. Steve of Yonkers, NY, for 100 Trivia Wins at Commander Bob’s. Our heartfelt thanks for the time and effort you devote to boating safety!
Patrick D. of Chevy Chase, MD
Having been a sailor for the past 23 years, Patrick is a USCG-licensed, 100-ton Near-Coastal Master with auxiliary sail and assistance towing endorsements. He started his sailing career as an unrestricted line officer aboard the USS Preble (the bridge of which is now part of the Nauticus museum in Norfolk, VA), where he served as the missile officer and uninvited guest at various Caribbean and Persian Gulf political functions. Patrick has transited both the Suez and Panama canals and he became a shellback when he crossed the equator in the Indian ocean.
After the Navy, he worked as consultant in Washington, DC, for Navy programs including the Aegis cruiser and the Tomahawk missile. He currently calls the Chesapeake Bay his home where he captains the 50-foot Gulfstar Ketch Seanchai for sailing charters and training. He also occasionally serves as captain for other charter sailing vessels including the schooner Patricia Divine out of Annapolis.
Patrick has been an active member of the Sailing Club of Washington for ten years and helped design and teach their Basic Sailing course. The stress here is on safety. The club doesn’t want to lose any of its boats or members. Students of his course always remember Patrick’s first unwritten rule of the road, “Little boats stay out of the way of big boats”! With the ship traffic on the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River, this is a pretty good rule.
In the off season, Patrick teaches preparation courses for skippers wanting to sit for their limited tonnage Master’s license. He observes, “It’s amazing what huge gaps many people with twenty years experience have in their boating knowledge. It’s a case of ‘they don’t even know what they don’t know’. That’s where Power Squadron and Coast Guard Auxiliary courses can really make a difference. Modern navigation tools like GPS and radar are wonderful, but if you don’t have the basics of navigation and good seamanship behind those tools, you can get in way over your head (literally) pretty quick.”
Right you are, Patrick. Thank you for all the hard work and time you’ve devoted to boating safety in your part of the world, and congratulations on your 100th Commander Bob Trivia Win!
Bob M. of Mt. Pleasant, SC
Although Bob was born in Charleston and has lived all his life near the water, he says he didn’t really take an interest in it until about 8 or 9 years ago. His father served in the Coast Guard (Volunteer Port Security Force) during World War II. He started as seaman apprentice and ended in ’45 as Lieutenant jg. Bob’s two younger bothers both served in the Navy, and Bob chose to do his military service in the Army.
One of Bob’s brothers eventually got him interested in fishing, and that gave Bob the bug to own his own boat. “Knowing that my boating knowledge was nil”, Bob recalls, “I decided to take a Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Skills and Seamanship Course. I was so impressed with the people teaching the course, I decided to join.”
Since then he has become CG Auxiliary-qualified as a crewman, instructor, marine dealer visitor, and vessel examiner. He’s also served the organization as Flotilla Commander and Vice Flotilla Commander, Finance Officer, and currently serves as Division Captain. “Early on I took the Basic Coastal Navigation course and did so well that I’ve been co-teaching it now for 5 years”, Bob says. “I also completed all seven of the Auxiliary Specialty Courses.”
As an advocate for boating safety, in both word and deed, Bob echoes the belief that “mandatory training should be required of all boat operators, just as it is of all automobile drivers.”
Congratulations to Bob M. for achieving his 100th win at Commander Bob’s Trivia, and with it the gratitude of boaters everywhere for the time and energy he’s expended to help make our waterways safer and more enjoyable.
Capt. Dick of Avalon, NJ
Capt. Dick is an aviator who loves boating, and finds that he has difficulty separating the two when it comes to the safe operation of an air or watercraft. “In aviation we are taken to a high standard of safety,” observes Dick. “Knowledge of the mechanical systems that must be understood and maintained in order to bring us home.” Dick has been flying for 35 years, and boating since he was six years old.
Reflecting on both his love of boating and of flying, Dick finds that the heavily populated and congested East Coast is “unforgiving to any errors”.
A big “hats off” to Capt. Dick for his knowledge and awareness of safety on the water and in the air. He enjoys both, and knows that understanding the risks and minimizing them is the key to that enjoyment. And congratulations on achieving his 100th Trivia Win at Commander Bob’s!