Hard Aground... Again

Good Old Boat Reviews Hard Aground... Again

Hard Aground…Again: Inspiration for the Navigationally Challenged and Spiritually Stuck, - -by Eddie Jones
(Winoca Press, 2006; 148 pages; $14.95)
Review by Kristen Brochmann
New York, N.Y.

In Hard Aground . . . Again, Eddie Jones sends dispatches from the creeks, mudflats and sounds of the Carolina coast. The chapters are gathered from his magazine columns and can be read as separate stories. Fans of Dave Barry will understand the southern comic voice that Eddie uses very well. He is part good ol’ boy and part tent-revival preacher, telling stories about hapless navigation, cranky outboards, and other cruising foibles and drawing life lessons from them. He tells these stories in an easy conversational tone, as if the reader were sitting next to him on the rusted Wal-Mart lawn chairs that he uses for deck seats while watching the sun go down over the swamp grass and hummocks.

In the prologue he calls himself a “recovering boataholic” who wishes “boating wasn’t my passion.” His dreams of blue water and distant islands are grounded by a large family and a small bank account. But he lives the dream as much as he can in whatever boat he can borrow from friends or “borrow” from the bank. He makes the best of tough situations that occur frequently, mostly because of his lackluster navigation.

When the bank takes back a boat, he makes do with a friend’s Sunfish. That his anchorage is a mud flat or that he seems to hit every sandbar and crab pot in the Neuse River leaves him undaunted. He is the cheapest guy in the marina, known well by the gas dock owner and waitress at the local diner. These setbacks inspire him to see the larger picture as reflected in his Christian faith. He reminds himself that Saint Paul, in his cruise around the Mediterranean, had to swim to shore more than once after a shipwreck. The point is that “running aground is nothing to be ashamed of, but staying stuck is.”

He applies lessons to each story. Talking about his experiences with VHF and NOAA weather reports, he says, “intercessory prayer can be a little like the VHF radio,” and he offers a list of tips on radio use, many of which “can be applied to your prayer life as well.”

The invocations to prayer and Christian life lessons are not for everyone. Some do not go to the nautical bookshelf for Christian meditation and prayer focus. But if readers want their humor straight, they can skip the last few paragraphs and still get a good yarn with a Carolina flavor. And besides, a little prayer and Scripture can’t hurt. You never know from where inspiration might come.

U.S. Power Squardron Praises Hard Aground... Again

Eddie Jones has done it again. Done what? Gone hard aground of course, and lucky for us he has included it all in his latest work, Hard Aground…Again.

North Carolina’s most beloved “navigationally challenged” sailor shares his good, bad, but never ugly cruising experiences and boating adventures in this sequel to Hard Aground with Eddie Jones. This time Jones has added a touch of Spirituality to the stories based on his strong Christian faith. No matter what your religious beliefs you will find his advice sound and inspirational. This book had me laughing from the Acknowledgements through the final chapter.

Any boater who reads Hard Aground…Again is going to find plenty of boating mishaps with which to commiserate and they are all hilarious. He even makes about four or five mostly tongue in cheek references to the US Power Squadrons. EJ lives and works in Raleigh, NC but it’s obvious that his heart is in the islands. Like most of us, Jones is always looking for another, i.e. bigger, boat. Maybe if he sells enough books he can buy a comfortable cruising yacht and he and his long suffering bride Bennie can follow their (or at least his) dream to live and sail wherever the wind blows. At only $14.95 a copy he’s going to have to sell a lot of books. Makes a great gift for your Boating friends or anyone needing a good laugh and/or a spiritual boost.

Press Praises

A satisfying large dose of Eddie's down-to-earth humor... along with a goodly supply of advice (some of it actually useful!)..." - From The Foreword by Ted Brewer

"De new book shell reach mon dat be some fine scerfin get to all dem spitual pigmies what don't know." - Capt. Frank Papy
(Frank talks funny but we think he liked the book.)

"Eddie is a very undervalued writer, observer, and sailor. Translation: the book is good." - Dave Martin, Cruising World's 1995 Seamanship Medal Winner

"Eddie's book is very good. Many good points and good advice, but the humor is what keeps me tuned in. After owning six sailboats you would think his experience would at least qualify him for the rank of Commodore. The story about Dinty Moore and poaching the crabs with the ten bucks in the aspirin bottle was too much." - Ricky on Chuckatuck Creek

"Thank you for the copy of your new book! Great job—it looks great! I LOVE the cover. Hey, just think what could have happened if YOU’D been on the ark!" - Vonda Skelton

"Looking for some good laughs and reflections on life? Look no further....the answers are found in Hard Aground...Again by Eddie Jones, a gifted writer and very talented story teller. He has a way of making you think about your life and your dreams, and how you can find them and make them come true! Don't waste another minute, pick up a copy of this soon to be best-seller and you won't be disappointed." - John Riddle, reviewer for Publishers Weekly and founder of I Love To Write Day