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Wife’s Diary / Husband’s Diary

Wife’s Diary:

Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made

plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was

shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was

upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no

comment on it. Conversation wasn’t flowing, so I suggested

that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but

he didn’t say much.

I asked him what was wrong; He said, “Nothing.” I asked him

if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn’t

upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry

about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He

smiled slightly, and kept driving.

I can’t explain his behavior I don’t know why he didn’t say,

“I love you, too.” When we got home, I felt as if I had lost

him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me

anymore. He just sat there quietly and watched TV. He

continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence

all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes

later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was

distracted and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell

asleep — I cried. I don’t know what to do. I’m almost sure

that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a



Husband’s Diary:

Boat wouldn’t start, can’t figure it out.



Note:  Finally got it started…. Here’s How

It’s Horseshoe Crab Tagging Time Again !

horseshoe crab1

The spring moons soon will be drawing male and female horseshoe crabs up our beaches for an annual Mating Ritual and staff and volunteers from The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk will be on hand to greet them.

The Maritime Aquarium is seeking volunteers to help attach census tags to horseshoe crabs as they come out of the water to spawn at Calf Pasture Beach.  It’s all part of a census of horseshoe crabs in Long Island Sound, being led by Dr. Jennifer Mattei of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, and The Maritime Aquarium is assisting with the census and tagging.

Dr. Mattei’s census is establishing a baseline crab population and will reveal horseshoe crab migrations and any changes in numbers or behaviors. The data is needed because horseshoe crab eggs are an important food source for migrating shorebirds. If the horseshoe crab population declined, that could mean fewer birds on our coastline.

Horseshoe crabs come up onto beaches on the nights of the full and new moons.   That’s a tagging bonanza time for researchers, so extra volunteers are needed to help. To participate, volunteers should attend one of two training sessions at the Aquarium: at 7 p.m. on either Wed., May 8 or Sun., May 12. They’ll learn about the natural history of horseshoe crabs, what has been learned so far from the census work, and how to safely tag horseshoe crabs. Volunteers should be in 10’th grade or older.  Younger children can assist if working with a parent, teacher or guardian.

2015 Tagging Dates: 

Tues., June 2 at 11:00 PM to 2:00 AM for high tide census & tagging,  and June 3 Low tide tagging – 5:00 AM to 8:00 AM


Tues. June 16 at 11:00  PM to 2:00 AM for high tide census & tagging, and June 17 low tide tagging – 5:00 AM to 8:00 AM


Wednesday, July 1 at 11:00 PM to 2:00 AM for high tide census & tagging, and July 2 low tide tagging – 5:00 AM to 8:00 AM


We will go rain or shine.  Only thunder and lightning will cancel – in which case we will go the next night and following morning.

To sign up or for more details about the training sessions, call The Maritime Aquarium at (203) 852-0700, ext. 2304, or e-mail


Happy April Fools Day

April Fools

Thank you for laughing with us ! We hope you have enjoyed our “Fishtails”

See this year’s April Fools Edition… HERE

See last year’s (2014) April Fools Edition…. HERE   (This one had a lot of people fooled!


See some of the hundreds of comments we received about last year’s edition below:


As for my wife and me, no apology needed — we thought this was the most creative, interesting and best April Fools surprise we have seen in a very long time!

We must admit, we were just gullible enough to be taken in at first — until we reread and notice on our second read, in plain red ink at the top, “April Fools Edition.”

So, we howled with belly laughs at the audacity and wit — and at the sure knowledge of the writers that some readers like us might be a little too quick and skip over the red ink, at first!

Thank you for one great April Fools joke. Too bad some of it was only a joke.  Some parts the fictionalized news deserve to be a vision and maybe a reality, oh I don’t know, like maybe the High Speed Ferries!

And this is coming from a tenant of “B” dock.  We are missing our “Boneyard”/Cove-by-the-Sea” slip already!

I would like to think that “a joke a day keeps the Alzheimers doctor away.”   But even if I’m wrong about this, who doesn’t need a few more laughs for optimal health, happiness and joyful living down by the sea?

All the best,    S…….


Are you kidding me?? How highly insensitivity, how rude, crude and just so inappropriate. I’m highly insulted and laughing my ass off.

Life’s too short we need more laughter and less stress. By the way screw the sailboats…. they should be out on the water anyway.


No need to apologize. Everyone should have seen it was an April Fool’s joke when they got to the end and saw the photo and caption “how to get under the bridge on April Fool’s day”

Thank you for some humor – as we get to the end of this long winter and anticipate a good boating season!

Best regards,    G……


I enjoyed the newsletter, perhaps if someone did not understand the nature of it (a joke) they shouldn’t be sitting behind the wheel of a boat !!!!!


For what ever it’s worth coming from me…..i got a real hoot out of the April Fools Edition of Harbor Talk.

It was sent out on a Tuesday, not the usual Thursday, and on April first.  I thought it was great fun while it lasted.


Greatest April fool’s joke I’ve seen in years.   Thanks.


Good grief, no apologies needed. It was fun. What’s the matter with these old poops? You should have added that the newly refurbished Rex store was going to be converted to “Mike’s Bar & Grill”. Now that would have gotten some reaction!

Best,   John


Personally I thought it was Hilarious, totally made my day. I’m still sharing it with people and laughing every time I read it.

Boneyard renamed “cove by the sea” hahahahahaha


Ah, I was looking forward to the tattoo parlor and wet t-shirt contests Saturday nights.


I thought your April fools edition (clearly titled as such) was good humored. I’m a little disheartened that folks are so wound up that they can’t see a joke even when it’s titled Aprils Fools Newsletter.  They probably read the comics and complain that Dilbert’s boss should reprimanded.

Please don’t feel bad. It wasn’t a mistake or in bad taste.  It was funny.

Thanks for the laugh.


That’s disappointing, I was ready to sign up for Flair Craft training !


F….’em if they can’t take a joke.

Even a half wit like me figured it out.  Although I was thinking to apply for a ferry boat drivers job….

Smooth sailing,    Peter Willcox

S/Y Rainbow Warrior


I’m shocked that an apology was in order for some innocent, good humor fun. One would think boating brings together individuals with a casual attitude and a sense of tongue in cheek. Guess not. Certainly the winter has taken its toll on a few.


I am hoping that your apology email is tongue-in-cheek, and that no one really complained requiring you to issue a serious apology.    Don’t listen to any fuddy-duddies!!!   It was fantastically funny!!!    Keep up the good April 1 work in the future!!!


Omg   I knew there was going to be those people out there with no sense of humor but really….     An apology letter ?!

Were the responses that bad?         People….lighten up!


With your position, and the fact that your slips are pre-paid in full … you would be well advised not to pull this shit again. I do not have a sense of humor when the firm I have just written a check for $2,500 uses their “letterhead/official email communications format” to screw with me. I do not read fine print on blogs; I read the headlines.  I forwarded your “joke” on to others that boat thinking it was accurate – due to the format and that it was from you. If I were a Gardella, you would be reading the classifieds.


Canceled——–Introducing the CRUISING CLUB!!

5/1/15   The Cruising Club meeting and events have been

canceled due to lack of interest (no registrations).

2015 Summer Cruises

Have you secretly harbored a desire to do some cruising but prefer not to travel solo or aren’t sure how to start?   Let your cruising friends make it easy for you…

Introducing the CRUISING CLUB!!

We envision some simple raft-ups and overnights, including more elaborate multi-day cruises. Throw in some seminars that will cover in detail what you will need to know, and we have some happy boaters with new found skills and knowledge. Small or large boats, power or sail – it doesn’t matter… Do one cruise or do them all, let’s have fun!
The First Cruise:     Oyster Bay – Afternoon Raft-up and stay overnight… June 20-21.  Anchor out or get a mooring, head back home early if you can’t stay overnight.
The Second Cruise:   Port Jefferson – Danfords Marina and hotel… July 18-19    Leave Norwalk Friday or Saturday AM for Port Jeff, where we will stay on the dock and have a nice dinner ashore, followed by open house boat party on the dock for those who wish to participate. Anyone not wishing to stay on their boat could get a room ashore.  We will get up to a 25% DISCOUNT (depending on # of boats attending)
The Third Cruise:  CT River – Saybrook Point Marina… Aug 15-16 , rooms available if you can’t stay on board. Fun place, beautiful marina – see their website….     Leave Norwalk Friday or Saturday AM for the Connecticut River and Saybrook Point. Open house party on the dock followed by buffet dinner ashore.  Again, rooms ashore as required. Return Sunday, or Monday…   We get a 10% DISCOUNT for 6 or more boats!

Join the Cruising Club by clicking… HERE.


The Cruising Club Kickoff Meeting and Seminar will be Saturday May 9th at 10 AM


Meet in the Rex Marine / Formula Yachts NE training room (in the Rex Marine Showroom).   We will discuss the cruise schedules, cruising basics and have a seminar on Anchoring, Rafting Up and Docking.  Please register (join) to reserve your spot. 


Register for the Seminar & Club... HERE


Membership is only $150.00 to cover making the arrangements, seminars and flotilla management.   Please indicate which cruise(s) you plan on attending.     Once you have registered, please contact Danfords and/or Saybrook Point and book your reservations directly.    We are planning on Saturday night get-togethers, but you are welcome to come early or stay late as your schedule allows.

Sound like fun to you ?  Interested in joining us ?  Click the link above to join and get started.   Additional questions:   Please email Capt. Rick at Rex with comments, level of interest, and ideas. Please include your boat name, size, type (including power or sail).
Circular raftup

       We look forward to hearing from you!   Rick

Capt. Rick Delfosse…


Yes it’s open to anyone – the goal is to get folks out using their boats and having fun on the water.

Kids are always invited and encouraged. Going on family cruises and raft-ups is how many boaters first got their start. Please use your judgment before bringing young children to someone’s boat for a quiet cocktail party… otherwise dive right in!

Come for the day or come for the weekend. If you can’t stay overnight, that’s ok, head back before dark! We have made reserve slips well in advance for some cruises and boat owners will be making those financial arrangements directly. We’re working on group discounts, so don’t call yet.

No boat is too large or too small, too fast or too slow. Some may want to cruise alone, others in a group.

We will have a few seminar/ meetings in advance to review what you will need to know. You don’t need to be an expert, just willing to learn and have fun.

Pets? Why not? but it’s your call. Many folks cruise with pets regularly. If not ready, try the Pooch Hotel in Norwalk.

Additional Costs? There is only a “membership” registration fee of $150.00 to cover making the arrangements, seminars and flotilla management.

 Watch for additional information in Harbor Talk.   Get on the mailing list …   HERE

We look forward to hearing from you!   Rick

Capt. Rick Delfosse…



Spring make-ready: Bottom Paint


With spring, boaters everywhere are gazing longingly at the harbor and beyond,

thinking about.… Bottom Paint.


Yes, bottom paint.  What to use, how to prepare the hull, how much to put on, how to clean it mid-season, what is new this year, are they really going to ban copper ?

If you are asking these questions or need expert advise, see the professionals at Rex Marine or the Cove ships store. With over 75 years of experience, they can tell you what seems to work best and how to do the job correctly. Each store stocks all the materials required, at very competitive prices.  Ask about manufacturers specials and rebate offers.

Prefer to do your homework online first ?  There is a wealth of information on bottom paints on the web, so here are some links to help get the answers you need:

International Paint:

International Painting Guide:

International Paint 2015 Rebate Form:


Petit Paint:

Petit “Gone Water Based” 2015 Mail in Rebate form:


Here are some additional links to articles and guides about bottom paint: 

Antifouling Paints

The Bottom Line (Bottom Paint)

Is Copper Bottom Paint Sinking?

 What Paint Should I Use ?









                            By Capt. Rick Delfosse    203-216-7800


Spring Seminars: History and Navigation of the Norwalk Islands

The Norwalk Islands…. Their Formation, History, Secrets,

Stories and Navigation.

From the Ice age and the formation of Long Island Sound by the
retreating glaciers, the Indians and early settlers, to the Oyster Industry,
Hotels, Bordellos and Prohibition Speakeasy’s.

The Norwalk Islands have always played an integral part in the development of Norwalk and the region.

Public Islands, Private Sanctuaries, Posh Retreats…. all right off the Norwalk coastline.

Come discover their history, along with navigation and anchorages, tips and tricks
around the 25 plus Islands.

Saturday Afternoon April 25th   9:30 am thru 1:30 am 

Please register in advance – see below. Seminars are $ 60.00 / person

Tavern Island 1


Coastal Cruising

Call for info & next date offered

Please register in advance – see below

This seminar will focus on the preparation, planning, and skills

needed for memorable and safe cruises

        We will cover:
  • Planning & Provisioning
  • Plotting and Weather
  • A Review of Rules of the Road
  • Anchoring & Docking
  • VHF radios, DSC, AIS & Electronics
  • Cruising style – Marinas or Anchor out ?
  • Review of Charting and how to plot your trip
  • Traditional Plotting and GPS Navigation
  • Find a Marina for Transient Dockage
  • Safe Anchoring in Unfamiliar Areas
  • Safety and Emergency Preparedness


 To Register:

Please register for the April 25th Norwalk Island seminar … HERE

Questions?  Please e-mail, Text or Call  Capt. Rick Delfosse:  203-216-7800

The Seminar will be held at Rex Marine

Directions: Please see directions on the registration page.

Consider bringing a snack (or lunch) and something to drink.

Rex Marine Center,  144 Water Street, South Norwalk, CT 06856


Rick is a Coast Guard captain, the editor of Harbor Talk Weekly, a National Safe Boating Council close-quarters boat-handling and open water boat handling instructor, Connecticut and New York certified safe boating instructor and a US Sailing-certified instructor.   He also conducts on-the-water courses and classroom seminars on coastal cruising and boating skills. The owner of a 43-foot pilothouse cutter and an Aquasport powerboat, he has extensive cruising and one-design, coastal and offshore racing experience.

 Private Sessions – On-the Water – On your boat

Contact Capt. Rick     203-216-7800


Almost Time to Winterize – Here are Some Ideas

 If you are winterizing your own boat, here are some things you should add to your list to protect your boat from moisture, freezing or corrosion damage:

Drain your fresh water tanks, including the hot water heater and winterize with non-toxic antifreeze (AKA Pink Stuff). Winterize all other plumbing including fresh and salt water pumps and drains, air conditioning, refrigeration, ice makers, including all water-using appliances, wash down pumps, toilets, filters and holding tanks.

Change your engine oil and filter(s), lube and gear oil. Run and fog your gas engine per the manufacturers instructions.

Drain all water from your engine. Winterize the cooling systems with Pink Stuff. Check all belts and hoses, steering and trim gear.

Lubricate shift and throttle cables and linkage.

If your boat is stored on land, remove the batteries, check the water levels, bring to full charge with a small portable trickle charger and store in dry place. If you are in a boatyard and can plug in the boat for a day during the winter, batteries can be left on board with the charger ready to go. Just remember to charge them once a month or so and unplug the boat before you go home.

Top off fuel tanks to minimize fuel contamination with water from condensation. Add stabilizer if you don’t use ValvTect fuel to prevent ethanol separation and potential gum up in gasoline engines and to prevent algae in diesel engines. More is better than less!

Remove, inventory, and store electronics that are not cabinet installed in a warm, dry place. Spray all exposed electrical terminals and junction blocks with a protective coating.

Inspect and store sails, canvas, bimini tops, dodgers, vinyl curtains and cushions.

Often the installation of moisture absorbing units and air treatments will help prevent the formation of mold and mildew while the boat is closed up for the winter. Try Kanberra, a blend of tea tree oil and natural ingredients which will neutralize and eliminate mold problems and associated odors.

For more on winterizing engines, click here….


By Captain Rick Delfosse  203-216-7800

Rick is a Coast Guard captain, National Safe Boating Council close-quarters boat-handling and open water boat handling instructor, Connecticut and New York certified safe boating instructor and a US Sailing-certified instructor.   He also conducts on-the-water courses and classroom seminars on coastal cruising and boating skills. The owner of a 43-foot pilothouse cutter and an Aquasport powerboat, he has extensive cruising and one-design, coastal and offshore racing experience.




Summer Storms – A Textbook Example


Last week we talked about Summer storms and how to use Intellicast to help predict (and avoid) them. As that edition was being finalized last Wednesday, a VERY strong and fast moving Summer storm ripped through Norwalk harbor with wind gusts of 54 MPH and “white out” conditions

Here are the details of that squall and a look at how specific internet websites and technology can help us predict and avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The storm moved quickly southward from Massachusetts, through CT and dissipated as it crossed the Sound.

This is the view on Intellicast just before it hit Norwalk:

Summer Squall 1

This Fast Moving Squall scored a DIRECT HIT!


This is the view of the Norwalk Cove weather station during the storm.  Note the Barometer falling as the storm approached, then shooting back up as it passed by. The wind graph indicates the lower wind after the squall cell has passed through.  The temperature dropped noticeably and the wind was eerily quiet just before the storm hit. It came in with a vengeance, quickly building whitecaps in the harbor which then had their foamy heads blown off as the strong wind frothed them into a wall of salt spray.


Summer Squall 2


Below is the SailFlow view of conditions at Cedar Point Yacht Club showing the dramatic spike in windspeed and 180 degree change in wind direction as the squall hits and passes by.

Summer Squall 4

Here is a picture from the safety of the pilothouse on Independence as the Squall passes through.

At the height of the storm, Independence, a 43 foot cutter, was heeling 20 degrees on her mooring and local visibility dropped to less than 40 feet. The shoreline and other boats on their moorings disappeared in “white out” conditions.


Summer Squall 5


Lessons Learned

Prepare your boat like it could blow over 50 knots in 20 minutes.  Don’t leave cushions, lifejackets or towels laying out.

Watch the various websites and use these incredible aids to insure you aren’t “surprised” by a fast moving squall line. It least keep a watchful eye on the horizon.

Be prepared to ride out the storm. Pick up a mooring, drop your anchor, really think twice before running back into the “safety” of the Norwalk Islands if you are in the Sound. It may be much safer to stay in deep water, away from the rocks. Get in the lee of an island or the shoreline to lessen the effect of the wind and waves.

Consider keeping a diving mask or ski goggles aboard. When the wind blows in the 50’s with driving rain, you can’t see!

Know that it blows through quickly. Two hours later I went to the concert at the beach!


By Captain Rick Delfosse  203-216-7800

Rick is a Coast Guard captain, National Safe Boating Council close-quarters boat-handling and open water boat handling instructor, Connecticut and New York certified safe boating instructor and a US Sailing-certified instructor.   He also conducts on-the-water courses and classroom seminars on coastal cruising and boating skills. The owner of a 43-foot pilothouse cutter and an Aquasport powerboat, he has extensive cruising and one-design, coastal and offshore racing experience.





AIS Grows Up


AIS (Automatic Identification System) is a tracking system originally developed to allow commercial port operations Vessel Tracking Service managers identify, locate and track large commercial vessels. Legally, all passenger ships (regardless of size) and all ships of over 300 Gross Tons are required to transmit their AIS information and use the information received from other ships while navigating.

AIS has trickled down to pleasure boating in a big way since it was first mandated on commercial ships in 2002. Prices have dropped and new features have blossomed.

If you haven’t yet experienced what AIS can do for you on your boat, click HERE to see a web based presentation of vessels in your area. Note that vessel types are color coded for identification, Blue = Passenger, Green = Cargo, Red = Tankers, Yellow = High Speed Craft, Blue = Tugs & Pilots, Purple = Yachts and smaller vessels.  Click on any vessel and see all their pertinent data and even a picture!


There are two types of AIS units for private boats, Receivers (which gather other’s data but does not send your vessel’s data) and Transceiver (both sends and receives data). These systems use a VHF antenna to receive other vessel’s data and need to be connected to an external GPS (or have an internal GPS) to transmit data. Some higher end transceivers have two VHF antennas, one to receive and one to transmit, as well as a dedicated GPS antenna.

Be aware that commercial transceiver systems broadcast at a higher wattage output (for a greater range) and broadcast their data more frequently than a recreational system does.

Vesper watchmate     Standard GX2200_thumb     Icom VHF with AIS


Receivers can be black box units that share your existing VHF antenna and connect to your existing chart plotter to overlay AIS info on the chart, or stand alone units (think redundancy here) with their own displays and antennas. They are now being integrated into the latest generation of VHF radios, so keep your eye on that market segment.

If you plan on doing any serious coastal cruising, an AIS unit is now a must have tool to add to your boat.

LINKS:     Web Based AIS  (note, volunteer stations collect this data, so not all vessels may be shown)

Standard Horizon Radios

ICOM Radios with AIS

ICOM Transponder Standalone

ICOM Black Box

Vesper Marine – Great AIS options

Ask at the Rex Marine or Norwalk Cove Ships Store for pricing and details.


By Captain Rick Delfosse  203-216-7800

Rick is a Coast Guard captain, National Safe Boating Council close-quarters boat-handling and open water boat handling instructor, Connecticut and New York certified safe boating instructor and a US Sailing-certified instructor.   He also conducts on-the-water courses and classroom seminars on coastal cruising and boating skills. The owner of a 43-foot pilothouse cutter and an Aquasport powerboat, he has extensive cruising and one-design, coastal and offshore racing experience.

Dinghy Poker Run – July 26th 2014

Dinghy Poker Run 2

Pre-Register ASAP for the 3rd Annual Dinghy Poker Run !     

Participants of all ages are encouraged, and Pre-Registration is REQUIRED!!

Everyone is welcome… Shore & Country, South Norwalk Boat Club, Norwalk Boat Club, Ischoda Yacht Club… Come on down!

Dinghys, Jet Skis or kayaks are allowed (water pistols are encouraged).   Join your friends and enjoy a fun day on the water !

There will be 5 card pick-up checkpoints around the harbor. Collect a playing card (in an envelope) at each checkpoint. Bring the envelopes back to the finish and find out what hand you have for a prize !

Registration is  at 11:30 and Game time is noon – 3:00 pm followed by a BBQ, awards and volley ball at our beautiful Venue “Harbor View at Norwalk Cove” for all participants. Land your dinghy on the beach at Harbor View to finish. Entry fee is $5 per ‘hand’ and multiple hands per dinghy are allowed. Winner takes the proceeds.



Pre-Registration is required !  Please e-mail or call 203-838-3681 to pre-register.

There is a $ 5 cash entry fee per contestant…and there can be multiple contestants in each dinghy.  Entry fee will be collected at registration.


1. Participants of all ages are encouraged to join in on the fun. Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and wear a PFD.

2. All participants must register at 11:30 am on the event day in order to receive their cards at each checkpoint. Registration will be behind the Cove Service Department with the Start from the Service Department docks. The finish will be at the Harbor View Beach.   All participants should be back by 2:00 PM and winner will be selected soon after.

3. Participants must adhere to speed limits and no-wake zones as well as proceed with caution in congested areas and in the channel.

NOTE:  This is a run…not a race and there is no benefit to finishing ahead of everyone else.    Safety  First !!

4. All participating watercraft must have proper safety equipment, (kill switch lanyards are recommended) and must follow all boating safety regulations.

5. It is suggested that all participating watercraft carry a VHF radio and monitor VHF channel 68 (Not required).

6. Water guns are allowed (and encouraged) however, mechanically powered water cannons and water balloons are prohibited during this event.

7. Approach each checkpoint with your watercraft under control.

8. Tie-ups may be required at some destinations so please have 2 dock lines (1 fore and 1 aft) pre-rigged.

9. Maps of the card pick-up locations will be provided upon registration.

10. Participating boats are not to exceed 16’ in length.

11. All boats must start the race together upon starting signal. No departures before assigned start time.

12. Only one poker run hand is permitted per participant = one card redeemed at each checkpoint per participant.

13. Only sealed envelopes containing your cards will be accepted at card submission judging.

Do NOT open the envelopes containing your cards. This must be done in the presence of an event judge.

14. Cash prizes for top three best hands will be awarded based on the “Winning Hand Guidelines” below. Decision of the event official is final.

15. Each participant is required to sign a waiver upon registration in order to participate in the event.


Procedure for Obtaining Cards at Checkpoints:

At registration, each participant will be given five checkpoint passes, a map and instructions in a zip-lock bag. Please use the markers provided at registration to write your name and phone number on your zip-lock bag.

Each checkpoint pass is identified as A, B, C, D and E. You must go to each checkpoint as indicated on your map and can do so in any random order.   For example, if you start at checkpoint ‘C’, once there, hand your checkpoint pass labeled ‘C’ to the official and in return, you will be handed a sealed envelope labeled ‘C’, containing your first poker card.


Place it in the ziplock bag, seal the bag and continue on to your next checkpoint until all checkpoint passes have been exchanged for cards. (5 in total.)  If you have more than one registered player in your watercraft, they will need to have their own set of checkpoint passes to redeem for their playing cards.

Once completed, return to the Harbor View Beach by  2:00 pm where the event judge will open your envelopes and record your best poker hand.


Poker Hand Ranking

There are 52 cards in the pack, and the ranking of the individual cards, from high to low, is ace, king, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. There is no ranking between the suits – so for example the king of hearts and the king of spades are equal.

A poker hand consists of five cards. The categories of hand, from highest to lowest, are listed below. Any hand in a higher category beats any hand in a lower category (so for example any three of a kind beats any two pairs). Between hands in the same category the rank of the individual cards decides which is better, as described in more detail below.


Winning Hand Guidelines

Hands are judged according to the following guidelines listed in order from best to worst hand based on 5-Card Stud Regulations.

Since it is possible to get a five of a kind, if a five of a kind should occur, it will beat all of the traditional poker hand rankings as outlined below. (Highest five of a kind is top hand.)

If a tie occurs with a four of a kind, three of a kind, two pair or one pair, the tie will be broken using the next highest single card held in each hand.   Any ties that cannot be broken using cards held will be handled by the team’s choice of either splitting the prize money or breaking the tie using the highest cut of the deck.

1. Royal Flush – This is the highest poker hand. It consists of ace, king, queen, jack, ten, all in the same suit. As all suits are equal, all royal flushes are equal.

2. Straight Flush – Five cards of the same suit in sequence – such as J-10-9-8-7. Between two straight flushes, the one containing the higher top card is higher. An ace can be counted as low, so 5-4-3-2-A is a straight flush, but its top card is the five, not the ace, so it is the lowest type of straight flush. The cards cannot “turn the corner”: 4-3-2-A-K is not valid.

3. Four of a kind – Four cards of the same rank – such as four queens. The fifth card can be anything. Between two fours of a kind, the one with the higher set of four cards is higher – so 3-3-3-3-A is beaten by 4-4-4-4-2. If you need to compare two fours of a kind where the sets of four cards are of the same rank, then the one with the higher fifth card is better.

4. Full House – This consists of three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank – for example three sevens and two tens. When comparing full houses, the rank of the three cards determines which is higher. For example 9-9-9-4-4 beats 8-8-8-A-A. If the threes of a kind were higher, they win.

5. Flush – Five cards of the same suit but not in sequence. When comparing two flushes, the highest card determines which is higher. If the highest cards are equal then the second highest card is compared. If those are equal too, then the third highest card, and so on. For example K-J-9-3-2 beats K-J-7-6-5 because the nine beats the seven.

6. Straight – Five cards of mixed suits in sequence – for example Q-J-10-9-8 (in varying suits). When comparing two sequences, the one with the higher ranking top card is better. Ace can count high or low in a straight, but not both at once, so A-K-Q-J-10 and 5-4-3-2-A are valid straights, but 2-A-K-Q-J is not. 5-4-3-2-A is the lowest kind of straight, the top card being the five.

7. Three of a Kind – Three cards of the same rank plus two other cards. When comparing two threes of a kind the hand in which the three equal cards are of higher rank is better. So for example 5-5-5-3-2 beats 4-4-4-K-Q. If you have to compare two threes of a kind where the sets of three are of equal rank, then the higher of the two remaining cards in each hand are compared, and if those are equal, the lower odd card is compared.

8. Two Pairs – A pair is two cards of equal rank. In a hand with two pairs, the two pairs are of different ranks (otherwise you would have four of a kind), and there is an odd card to make the hand up to five cards. When comparing hands with two pairs, the hand with the highest pair wins, irrespective of the rank of the other cards – so J-J-2-2-4 beats 10-10-9-9-8 because the jacks beat the tens. If the higher pairs are equal, the lower pairs are compared, so that for example 8-8-6-6-3 beats 8-8-5-5-K. Finally, if both pairs are the same, the odd cards are compared, so Q-Q-5-5-8 beats Q-Q-5-5-4.

9. Pair – A hand with two cards of equal rank and three other cards that do not match these or each other. When comparing two such hands, the hand with the higher pair is better – so for example 6-6-4-3-2 beats 5-5-A-K-Q. If the pairs are equal, compare the highest ranking odd cards from each hand; if these are equal compare the second highest odd card, and if these are equal too compare the lowest odd cards. So J-J-A-9-3 beats J-J-A-8-7 because the 9 beats the 8.

10. High Card – Five cards that do not form any of the combinations listed above. When comparing two such hands, the one with the better highest card wins. If the highest cards are equal the second cards are compared; if they are equal too the third cards are compared, and so on. So A-J-9-5-3 beats A-10-9-6-4 because the jack beats the ten.

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