HARD TO PUT DOWN
The Ensign, Official Magazine of United States Power Squadrons,
January 2004 ©
Hard aground. Those two words jumped up at me just like a
Bogue Banks sandbar. Being aground in a boat is a subject
of which I have a working knowledge. Next to the experience
of one Eddie Jones of Oriental, N.C., however, I am a novice.
Jones writes a monthly column for www.towndock.net. Anything
titled Hard Aground had to be checked out. The column was
well worth the read, but it left me wanting more.
Fortunately for his fans, Jones has compiled 39 of his most
entertaining works into Hard Aground with Eddie Jones.
He calls the stories "selected sailing essays for the
navigationally challenged." If that doesn't pique your
interest, the book's cover features a picture of Jones's Nimble
20 high and dry on the Camp Don Lee Sailing School's canoe
Jones looks at the laughs at his own blunders, failures,
trials and triumphs. He takes us along on his cruises and
I defy anyone who has spent more than a couple of weekends
paddling a canoe at the local lake not to find similarities
to their own boating experiences. Like most of the boaters
in and around Oriental, Jones is a sailor. There are, however,
plenty of events with which us "stink-potters" can
Some of my favorite passages include stories of jumping from
the dock to the boat while carrying an outboard (while his
young son sat on the bank to watch for snakes), sinking his
trailer at the put-in ramp and his hilarious explanation of
who really purchases boats. (Here's a hint: It's not the guys.)
Don't make the same mistake as I and start reading Hard Aground
at bedtime. I couldn't put this book down, and was up half
the night reading and laughing, much to the chagrin of my
first mate, who has to rise for work at 0500. However, once
she starts reading it for herself, she will understand why
I kept her awake and all will be forgiven.
This is one great book! Best of all, your own autographed
copy can be purchased for only $14.95. Check it out at www.hardaground.com.
You won't be disappointed.
Cdr Jack E. Cummins, AP
Winston Salem (NC) Squadron
Reprinted with permission from
The Ensign Official Magazine of United States Power Squadrons
January 2004 ©