History of the Hard Aground

"In the late eighties I began writing a column called Hard Aground with Eddie for Coastal Cruising Magazine, a publication based in Beaufort, North Carolina. Soon after the publication moved its offices to New Jersey in 1998 the magazine died a slow death. Anyone with similar skills and talent could have ruined the publication in less time but it is my lone bit of notoriety so I take pride in this singular accomplishment."

"The concept of Hard Aground with Eddie was conceived when Bert Quay, the editor of (then) Carolina Cruising Magazine, read a couple of essays I'd written about trying sail a boat with my wife. I didn't know at the time that this was impossible but he seemed genuinely amused that I was naive enough to think a woman of my wife's refined nature would enjoy peeing in a bucket in the cockpit of my ComPac 16 sailboat. He informed me that I had correctly spelled the minimum number of words to meet his editorial standards and since someone on the staff had mistakenly sold one ad too many for the next issue, the publication was in need of some copy to balance out that page."

"I didn't know this at the time. I thought he was genuinely impressed with my writing abilities. I've been told I still suffer from this delusion."

"Bert decided the column needed a catchy name. I purchased a few sailing publications and realized that all columnist were experts in something. I, of course, was an expert on running off the boat ramp, running aground on clearly marked shoals and running away from the stress of family responsibilities. I also noticed that people on boats cussed and yelled a lot when things didn't work and since nothing on my boat ever worked, I decided I would become an expert on taking it easy and going with the tidal flow. That has and remains the general concept of the column. Over the years Hard Aground with Eddie has focused on the setbacks we face in life and on the water and how to enjoy the passing of tides."

"When you run aground in a boat you have two choices. You can either kick and cuss and call the towboat captain or you can build a nest in the cockpit, grab a good book and wait for the tide to float you off. It's all a matter of perspective and pennies and I'm cheap so I usually wait for the tide."

Hard Aground with Eddie continues to appear, on occasion, in a number of boating publications including, but not limited to; Town Dock, Lake Norman Times, and Living Aboard Magazine.