The Whiskey Sea
I’ll admit this book might not have come across my radar had it not been for a free advance Kindle copy I received from Amazon Prime. But I’m glad the algorithm sent this novel my way. In The Whiskey Sea, Ann Howard Creel tells the story of Frieda Hope, who is determined to make a better life for herself and her sister Bea. Motherless and destitute during Prohibition times, Frieda and her sister are taken in by a fisherman named Silver. It is through Silver—a father figure to the two girls—that her connection to the sea begins. When Silver sells his boat, Frieda convinces the new owner, Sam Hicks, to teach her engine repair as a means to make a modest wage. However, boat repair isn’t quite lucrative enough to make ends meet, and Frieda is drawn into an engaging and suspenseful back story of rum-running.
I found myself drawn to the setting and descriptions detailing Frieda’s experience in the nautical world of boat repair and running rum on her customer’s boat. It is a unique take on Prohibition told not by the aristocrats or gangsters but by the fishermen and waterfront workers who are looking to simply get by in the changing world. The historical narrative along with the vivid descriptions of life on the water make this story a pleasure to read. n
WATCH OVER ME
Weems & Plath has long set itself apart by constructing high-quality analog marine gear like brass clocks, barometers, and bells. And now the company seems to have hit a home run with connected devices, including the award-winning crew overboard beacon, CrewWatcher. The new device has already racked up international awards, including an innovation award at this year’s Miami Boat Show, where the awards committee praised its simplicity of use.
It is pretty simple: Pair the waterproof beacon (it looks like an orange key float) with the CrewWatcher app and then securely affix it to your PFD. One smart device—a phone or tablet—can watch up to five crewmembers at a time, as long as each has a beacon attached to a PFD (or, for those furry crewmembers, a collar). If the beacon goes overboard, its hydrostatic trigger will automatically sound an alarm. The alarm also sounds when the beacon is too far from its paired device. During an overboard event, the rescue screen on the app displays the target’s bearing, distance, and lat/ long coordinates for locating and retrieving the package.
Of course, if you’re not wearing a lifejacket, it’s significantly less useful.