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Winter 2020

   Excerpts from a previous Scuttlebutt issue.

Commodore: Brian Hunsaker - W5YE 


I'm finishing up my second term as your Commodore & Net Manager this month. It's been a very rewarding year, as was my first in 2018. I've learned a lot in this second year, and I think I have a better grasp of the job than before. As one of our regulars told me a couple of days ago - “Brian, it's only taken us 2 years to train you!”. I was flattered! But this is what it's like being an officer in the WRCC. Constant cajoling and poking fun at one another. It relieves the pressure we are sometimes under, trying to get those position reports logged in accurately, filling vacant slots in the schedule, and dealing with that ever-fickle mistress, RF Propagation. For those of you who don't check in regularly, there is a standing joke about the usually lousy propagation on Wednesday, where Jeanie and Anthony split the Net Control assignments during the month. The opening line usually goes like this: “Well, it must be Wednesday. We have no propagation.” It's amazing how close to true that statement is.

Some techniques we have been implementing more, in order to combat the poor propagation, is the expanded use of “Remote Stations”. We have about 10 or 11 remotes now at our disposal scattered from Texas (1) to Kentucky (3), Michigan (1), Annapolis (1), North Carolina (1), Georgia (2), and Florida (2). These extra sets of “ears” have really provided a big help in hearing our boating members every morning, no matter where they may be. These remote owners have been very happy to assist the WRCC by allowing us the use of their radios via the Remotehams.com network. A very special thanks here is in order to one of the creators of Remotehams.com - Roger MacDonald, W8RJ, near Ann Arbor, Michigan. Roger is always ready to assist those of us who get stuck in a computer hang-up, while trying to interface our radios and/or computers with his network of servers. If any of you are interested in learning more about Remotehams.com, please contact me, and I will be happy to show you how to get started. Besides being very useful for the Net Operators, it's also a lot of fun. Here's a current list of the remotes we use most often. This is a “fluid list”, so it is being continually updated as we learn of more Remotehams.com remotes that are useful for us. (Geographically from west to east):

  1. W5YE – Harlingen, TX. Hours - early morning to late evening, daily. IC- 7300 and 33' ground plane vertical.
  2. KJ4TN – Birmingham, AL. IC-7300, full wave loop
  3. KJ4TN – Birmingham, AL. IC-7300, full wave loop
  4. WB8SKP – Murray, KY (currently off line due to family emergency)
  5. W8TAM – Ann Arbor , MI. IC-7300, 40 meter wire vertical.
  6. W3IKE – Annapolis, MD. Kenwood TS-590GC, 40 Meter Delta Loop
  7. W3RDT – Dover, NC. TS-480HX, Hy-Gain Vertical
  8. N4LNE – Buford, GA. IC-7600 and G5RV @ 65'
  9. N4GYN – Buford, GA. IC-7610, 40 meter Delta Loop
  10. KF4LZA – Ft. Lauderdale, FL. TS-590, 40 meter OCF dipole
  11. NO2CW – Ft. Lauderdale, FL. IC-7300 and vertical loop

I have not mentioned the annual picnic for two reasons: (1) I purposely left this for our Secretary, and Dick (W3RDT) to report here; and (2), I was unable to attend again this year, due to medical reasons. This is the only reason I wasn't strapped to the main mast, and given 10 lashes with a “Cat 'O Nine Tails” by Madam Secretary. However, not to be defeated, MS, and her trusty sidekick, Ridge, came up with an ingenious method to get me there anyway – well, sort of - at least in voice and video image. They set up a giant screen TV monitor, and connected it to Google Hangouts (another one of our cool tools). So, I was thereby able to preside long distance over a portion of the meeting where it was my very distinct honor to present the “First Annual WA6CCA Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award” to Julie Norman, KE4OIM, one of our dedicated Net Operators, and Fleet Captain. This award was the brain child of yours truly, while reminiscing about what a special person Bill Trayfors was, and wanting to do something to preserve his memory. So - with some refining and research from Madam Secretary, a very attractive crystal trophy, and “olde tyme” scroll was created. It will be an annual award for the WRCC member who best exemplifies the “qualities, talent, perseverance, accuracy, and attention to detail”, which Bill Trayfors, WA6CCA (SK) set as the gold standard for all Net Members who volunteer to serve our Net. Julies Award

And last, but not least, the Hurricane Watch Net sent us a very nice “Certificate of Appreciation” for our contribution and cooperation with the HWN during this past tropical storm season. A very thoughtful gesture from Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, and his crew to all of our members who contributed their time and efforts in cooperating with the Hurricane Watch Net this past hurricane season. That's it for 2019. I'll be looking forward to working with our regulars in 2020. If you're not currently a “regular participant” on the WRCC Net in the morn-ings, I urge you to join us. We need more volunteers to help run the net. Besides, it's very rewarding, and often a laugh (and sometimes a tear) a minute.

Brian – W5YE

Commodore & Net Manager - WRCC

Comments from the Sick Bay (in a round about way) Jeff Kornblum, MD KE5QHA  

Returning from a six day passage to the Bahamas I reflect on maintaining a balanced diet and fresh food at sea. For you cruising snowbirds who anchor out in locations where good groceries are not available consider some fresh items you can easily make on board.

It’s hard to beat a fresh fish, lobster or conch going from the water to your plate in under an hour. Not a lot to be said other than beware particularly of the potential for Ciguatera poisoning in reef fish and the predators of reef fish particularly Barracuda and black grouper in the Bahamas and Caribbean.

Gardening is a great way to bring fresh produce onto your boat. This is obviously dependent on your latitude and the size of your boat. Nevertheless, there are some fresh greens most anyone can grow. Con-sider bean sprouts which take up little space to pro-duce and provide an ongoing source with little effort. You can grow many different types of bean sprouts though Mung beans and Lentils are about the easiest and fastest to sprout. Other beans can be used how-ever if your location limits your selection. Alfalfa, Pinto beans, chickpeas are just a few other examples. Not all seeds are created equal so you want to get beans from a grocery store or health store that are ok for human consumption. Seeds for the garden or packaged in garden packets may well have been treated with chemicals that you should not use for sprouting. Rinse the beans and pick out the dam-aged or broken beans as well as any foreign material. I have purchased beans in some locations, I won’t mention here, that had small rocks mixed in with them which likely added to the merchant’s profit mar-gin but had to be picked out.

Fill a jar or container with clean water and soak the beans. The beans will expand quite a bit so the beans shouldn’t take up more than about a quarter of the container. Cover with cheesecloth or some other drainable cap and soak for eight to twelve hours at room temperature. Drain through the cap and then rinse with fresh water. Leave them upside down in a low light location and on an angle so air can access the opening.

Just like new grass seeds, don’t let them dry out. Rinse and drain twice a day or more if needed so to stay moist. If growing Lentils or Mung beans they should take two to about five days to have nice edible sprouts. Taste them daily during rinse to decide when they’re ready to enjoy. Give them a last rinse and if not to be eaten right away, store them in a container or plastic bag lined with a paper towel and refrigerate. Sprouts can be eaten raw or cooked.

These sprouts are home grown, no pesticides or fertilizers. Mung beans are a good source of fibre, protein, vitamin C , folic acid and a little iron. If you don’t have good access to fresh produce, sprouts can be the answer to something fresh.

How about some fresh bread on the boat? In some locations you can purchase fresh bread daily which I always look forward to. When that’s not available; making your own is very doable. There are hundreds of recipes but on a boat and particularly at sea I like simplicity. Here is an amazing bread that has just three dry ingredients and no need to knead! It is not my recipe so whoever dreamed it up has my thanks and gets the credit. The recipe can be cut in half if desired:

1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast (or two packets)

1 tablespoon salt

6 1/2 cups flour (I like bread flour but all purpose will work), plus more for dusting dough

3 cups of water

In a large bowl proof the yeast with about a cup of warm water (about 100 deg F) then add the rest of the water, salt, and flour. Mix it together so nothing is dry and let sit covered with a cloth towel (not sealed shut) at room temperature for two to four hours. At this point you can bake it or put it in the fridge (in a sealed container) for up to a week or so. After two days you will have a great sour dough!

Take a handful of the dough or more and stretch the surface folding it underneath to get a smooth surface on the top of the ball. Place on parchment paper and let stand for about 40 minutes. (If the dough was in the fridge let it stand for at least 1 ½ hours.) Pre-heat the oven at 450 degrees F with a baking or piz-za stone in the oven if you have one. In the bottom of the oven place a broiler pan during pre-heat. After the dough has rested dust it lightly with flour and slash the top to let steam out as it bakes. Slide the dough on the parchment paper onto the baking stone or an upside down baking sheet. Pour a cup of hot water onto the broiler pan in the bottom of the oven and shut the oven to trap the steam. (Skip this step if you are rolling at sea and instead spray a light film of water on the dough before dusting to help make a hard crust.) Bake until browned about 30 – 40 minutes depending on your oven and how big the bread is. I use a temp probe (195 deg F) to always get it right. You should let it cool but I can never wait that long! I would point out that this recipe has no sugar! There are no preservatives so I prefer to make smaller loaves that I will eat in just a few days and then make another from the dough. I enjoy bak-ing different types of bread but love this one because it is so easy, has a nice crust, and you can enjoy a great bite while sailing a bight!

Fair Winds

Jeffrey Kornblum, MD


Secretary / Treasurer's Report: Jeanie - N4WFM  

Another great WRCC year is almost in the books. There was lots of participation, but we can always use more – especially for those daily positions that keep our net running like Net Control, Weather readers, Relays, and Fleet Captain. Please think about volunteering to help out.

And, as much fun as it is to talk to people on the net, it’s even more fun to put a face to a voice. Our Annual Picnic is the perfect place to do just that. This year we decided to mix it up a bit and move the picnic away from Wickham Park in Melbourne (partially be-cause the SSCA Gam was moving). Quite a few locations were discussed, but in the end we settled on New Bern NC. We tried to time it so that the boaters that were up north could make it to the NC sound country without rushing. Land Cruisers were able to use the camping facilities at the New Bern KOA and the KOA Campground allowed the WRCC free use of the meeting hall for 2 days. We catered a barbeque lunch from a local restaurant and had a nice turnout of around 60 people. But we would like to see more people at these gatherings. How about some input from the group. WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE THE ANNUAL PICNIC TO BE NEXT TIME? AND WHEN WOULD YOU LIKE IT TO BE?

Our dock in Palm Coast is almost always available for transient dockage. We love to meet and greet and swap stories. Only 2 boats stopped this year, but we sure would like to see more of you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. Anthony and Annette stopped just a few days ago with Magnolia and we had a short but fun visit. We are easy to find, just off the northern canal of the 3 Palm Coast canals, with 50 feet of face dock, water, electric and a trip to town if you need it. And, of course, 2 extremely friendly dogs to greet you.

Jeanie - N4WFM

I look forward to working with the 2020 slate of WRCC Officers and seeing more of the members. Happy Holidays, everyone, and here’s to a very Happy New Year.

Jeanie (aka Madam Secretary), N4WFM

Companion Nets to the WRCC Net:  
  • Immediately following the Waterway Net
    • Wednesday — Land Cruisers Net
    • Friday — Computer and Winlink Net
  • Daily Nets:
    • 0700 ET — CW Net on 7057KHz
    • 0720 ET — Bahamas Weather Net on Marine SSB frequency 4003 KHz USB (non-ham) Occasionally move up 3 or up 6 depending on interference.
    • Other Nets of Interest:
      • MMSN — Maritime Mobile Service Net on 14300 KHz from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST and 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM EDT.
      • HWN — Hurricane Watch Net on 14325 KHz whenever hurricane monitoring warrants it.
      • Cruiseheimers — 0830 ET on Marine SSB frequency 8152 KHz-USB (non-ham).
      • DOO-DAH Net — 1700 daily on Marine SSB frequency 8152 KHz-USB (non-ham). Traffic and Float Plans.
      • CHRIS PARKERS WEATHER NET — on Marine SSB, times and frequencies are listed on his website: www.mwxc.com
      • SSCA HF RADIO Net — 1215 UTC and 1315 UTC Standard Time and 1215 UTC during Daylight Savings Time on Marine SSB frequency 8104 KHz-USB (non-ham).

WRCC CW Net: Bob Lade - W9UCR  

Musical Frequencies

I first checked into the Waterway Net in 1977 after hearing some familiar SSB while dinghying around in American Harbour on Man-O-War Cay in the Abacos. The op was Don Paxton on “September Song” and the frequency was 7268 kHz. Don's call is long lost in my memory banks, but his name, boat name and the frequency remain. I guess you might wonder what's so remarkable about this? Well, for one, the frequency of the Waterway SSB net has remained the same over all these years.

In contrast, the less venerable WW CW Net has been a lonesome orphan moving from frequency to frequency like a waif in the Foster Home system. Hey, I'm trying to illicit some sympathy here, guys. For some time we have resided on 7047 kHz, but learned that 7045 is a recommended DX-pedition RTTY frequency and when running split mode, the chasers sit about two kHz above 7045 right on our frequency. So after battling the RTTY QRM for a number of years, and after careful research on existing organizations and their calling frequencies we decided to move to 7057. This entails getting the information updated on the ARRL net database as well as informing all members of the change.

We were happy with the choice but about a year ago, a new-then mode appeared on the scene: FT8. This digital mode has become extremely popular and all one needs to do is look at the RBN (reverse beacon network) to see how FT8 operations vastly exceed the number of CW QSO's at any particular time. OK, so the FT8 folks have picked 7076 as their calling frequency and all should be well. Enter the DX-pedition crowd. They unilaterally selected 7057 as their main FT8 frequency, so when there is an active expedition, the DX station is being QRM'd by our net on 7057. Seems we can't win!

The SKCC (straight key century club) has also complained with no luck. SKCC consists of over 20,000 members yet their objections have fallen on deaf ears. Anyway, we have, once again moved. This time (and I hope the last time) to 7053 kHz.

Band conditions are beginning to improve and we are getting check in numbers of 30 or more again, just like a few years ago when conditions were better. So, I would like to invite one and all to dust your key/bug/paddle off and come join us at 7:00 ET daily. You can check out our web page at www.waterwayradio.net/cwnet.html and pick up a copy of the recent roster there. We usually finish before the SSB net starts, so you won't miss any of the excitement on 7268 and, who knows, you might enjoy some of the gossip down band.


Dr Bob W9UCR, manager WRCC CW Net

Pictures from the WRCC New Bern, NC, Picnic  

Carolyn Wardle, C6AGG, Bahamas Weather Reader on the morning WRCC Net, 7.268 MHz.

Brian Hunsaker, W5YE, remote presentation of "First Annual WA6CCA Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award” to Julie Norman, KA4OIM.

The only WRCC member at the picnic in New Bern, NC tent camping was Tom Rader, K4WJC and Ziggy. Tom also checked into the WRCC Net from there.

Freddi Lipstein, KK4COO, and Jeanie Schreiber, N4WFM, working the Registration Desk. Thanks from all the membership for the good work!

Around The Waterways: 

Some web sites for help in determining what is going on around the waterways this season:

Salty Southeast Cruisers Net:   www.cruisersnet.net

Waterway Guide:   www.waterwayguide.com

Active Captain:   www.activecaptain.com

From the Editor:Art Howard  


Another year is starting! Where has all the time gone? I start-ed as your Scuttlebutt editor for the Winter Scuttlebutt issue of 2012. Now it is 2020, so that makes me 8 years old as a Scuttlebutt Editor. I do not feel that young!

We are sitting at the Indiantown Marina, Indiantown, FL waiting on boat parts this year. We left Minnesota later this year and that has caused work projects on the boat to start later. However, it is not a problem! I look at the weather for Minnesota and see snow, ice, and rain in the forecast. We have been having the rain part here in Florida, but no snow or ice. Life is good!

We enjoyed the New Bern WRCC Picnic. Just wondering where the WRCC Picnic for 2020 will be located. Please send e-mails to either Brian or Jeanie with your request for the fall of 2020. I think that planning needs to start early spring or sooner to get a location and then start looking for the catering folks. I really appreciated the efforts of Dick and Judy Giddings, W3RDT, for their support of the WRCC Picnic at New Bern, NC. They certainly did a lot work behind the scenes. Thank you, Dick and Judy, for a job well done!

Please continue to share your news, stories, photos, items of interest, comments and suggestions. Send them to:

Editor@waterwayradio.net or


73, Art - KC0TPG

Scuttlebutt Contributions:Art Howard  

Scuttlebutt is published quarterly to inform members about Waterway Net news, activities and items of interest. Email your material to the Editor for possible submission.

What to Send

  • Your Editor is always looking for articles and photos
  • News from gatherings and luncheons
  • Human interest stories, humorous, hair-raising and 'Don't worry, honey. . .'
  • Bahamas and Island news
  • CW and Land Cruiser's news
  • Technical topics
  • Safety & navigation notices
  • Letters to the editor
  • Poetry
  • Boating/Ham events
  • Sea Chest: items wanted or for sale
  • Use your imagination and send it in
  • Send Silent Key and obituary notices to our Sunshine Lady.
    Address changes should be sent to our Club's secretary.