Here are some of the stories and How Not To Sail moments from Bob Bitchin, Fuel Dock Debbie, and Eric Stone you *didn’t* hear in Season One…!


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Show Notes

I was privileged to be able to chat with a number of salty characters in Season One…and due to the format, I only used about one-fifth of all the great stories I collected. So here’s some of the great bits ya didn’t hear before…

Bob Bitchin

Of course, the very first episode of the podcast features Captain Bob Bitchin.

Check out Episode One (with Show Notes) HERE. 

Plenty More Bitchin!

If you’d like to *see* and hear some of Bob’s great stories on video, I’ve created a whole playlist on the YouTube channel!


Fuel Dock Debbie

Fuel Dock Debbie seems to be one of our most beloved “guests”…and well deserved. Debbie has an amazingly buoyant personality…which is a prerequisite for dealing with all the How Not To Sail moments that happen at the dock!

Aside from this episode, you can find Fuel Dock Debbie in these episodes:


Eric Stone

Eric’s featured in a number of episodes in Season One:

And here’s the video of me jamming with Eric on Latitudes & Attitudes


Wayne Stinnett

I need to get some audio and video of Wayne! But Eric mentioned Wayne in this episode, so I wanted to mention you can find out about all things Wayne right here:

WayneStinnett.com

(Wayne’s not only a discriminating connoisseur of great books, but a fantastic author himself. You can find him dominating the charts on Amazon.)

Wayne Stinnett reading How Not To Sail
Wayne Stinnett reading How Not To Sail

** If you haven’t heard the previous episode(s), I strongly urge you to start with Episode 1 of this series, featuring Captain Bob Bitchin of Latitudes & Attitudes. CLICK HERE to hear the first episode. **


Thank You, Patreon Patrons!

Thanks to our newest Patreon patrons! You are providing the ammo, as it were, for me to spend more time on the podcast and less time on “making the doughnuts.” That’s a pretty tortured metaphor. But anyway, listen to this episode for a shout out to the poor souls we’ve most recently shanghaied. 🙂

Are you listening to the podcast on Spotify or Pandora? Let me know in the comments below!


Transcript: Unheard Gems from Season One

Bob Bitchin: Are you there? I can hear you. Can you hear me? How's the volume?

How Not To Sail. Sponsored by Latitudes & Attitudes and our awesome Patreon patrons.

[Music]

Bradford (VO): Meeting salty characters is easy when you're cruising.

Bob Bitchin: The first day out I was seasick. Second day, I was seasick, wanted to die. Third day out, wished I would die...

Bradford (VO): Getting the best bits on tape, as they say can be harder.

Tanya: Don't make me sound like an idiot.

Bradford (VO): But sometimes you get great stuff.

Bradford: That audio is going to be golden.

Bradford (VO): In Season One, I've probably only used one fifth of all the interview audio recorded; and that's why I wanted to share some of the best bits we missed.

[Music out, SFX: Birds]

And also because I still want to record birds pooping on the boat for the next episode.

Bob Bitchin: Hang on, hang on, hang on. You say you want to get goofy?

Bradford: There you are. You just look Greek now.

Bradford (VO): In the very first episode with Bob Bitchin we had one particular challenge: Bob was in the mountains of California and I was in Atlanta.

So Episode One is the one and only episode in season one where we used Skype.

Bradford: So, uh, let me, uh, just make sure I got something and then I'll call you right back. I can see if I got video.

Bob Bitchin: You want to hang this up?

Bradford: Yeah, I'll do that.

Bob Bitchin: Okay. And then just buzz me back.

Bradford (VO): But when you have somebody like Captain Bob Bitchin willing to be on the inaugural episode of the podcast you haven't quite figured out yet, you go with what you got. So Skype it was. And Bob's stories did not disappoint.

Among other things you didn't hear in Episode One is the story of Bob's Big Bitchin Adventure and how he started Latitudes & Attitudes.

Bob Stories

Bob Bitchin: Yeah, but the mistake I've made my whole life is when I like something. I get really involved in it. And I liked sailing. After kidnapping my bartender, who's now my wife, my bartender at the Portofino yacht club and Marina, which is where I lived, I kidnapped her --Jody-- and we jumped on the boat.

I told her we were going to go to the island. I meant Tahiti. Shortly thereafter we were sailing to, Tahiti. Um, it changed my life. It was right after I sold Biker and Tattoo magazines to Easy Rider. I thought I had enough money to sail around for awhile. I had enough money to sail around for about, I think we made it for eight or nine years.

And went everywhere we ever wanted to go. We didn't do a circumnavigation. We just sailed all over the world. We did the Pacific, went up to Hawaii for awhile, came back through the Panama Canal after stopping at Redondo beach, our home port, to annoy our friends. And, uh, then told them, now we're leaving again.

And we went through the Canal and went into the Caribbean. And had a ball there. And then we went over to the Med. Had a ball there, turned around, came back. I met so many people. It was, it was unbelievable. And during my cruise, I was writing a newsletter. Not you know, just what I'd do is I would, I would send a letter to a friend of mine who had an office, and his secretary would copy it.

And she'd mail them to all the people that were on the mailing list. To start it out it was thirty people. By the time we got back, it was 300 people. When I came back, the only thing I knew was magazines. At that time, my two best friends, one was the editor of Easy Rider and the other was the editor of five magazines for Prime Media. They're all motorcycle-related or car-related. And they said, you need to get back in publishing business. And one I can get you a contract with a distributor. The other one said I can get you a contract with a printer. And less than a year later, the first issue of Latitudes & Attitudes magazine came out.

It was an instant, believe it or not, hit. Within three years, it was the best selling marine title on the newsstand. And we published it for 18 years.

Bradford: And that was the basis of my cruising problem. Thanks.

Bob Bitchin: Yeah, I ruined thousands of lives with that magazine, I can tell you.

Bradford (VO): Captain Bitchin inspired sounds of people to go Cruising that's for sure, including a couple of folks in this little nugget, which was not included in Episode One. And you may want to send your minor children out of the room for a moment.

Bob Bitchin: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that was, that was more fun than... Uh, my wife and I had been, after the South Pacific, going up to Hawaii. I belong to the Hawaii Yacht Club and I've been a member there for 30 years. While we were there, we picked up these two girls that were, um, ski instructors from Colorado. Blondes. Attractive. At the Hawaii Yacht Club.

And they walked up to the boat and they said, you need any crew? And I looked at Jody and said, can I keep 'em? And she said, yeah. So we brought 'em aboard. And they were the best crew we ever had, because they smell better than men.

Bradford (VO): Well, of course they do. And that's just the kind of salty story you'd expect from somebody that used to hang out with Evel Knievel. .

Bob Bitchin: I went back to give Knievel is his change and we're back in Filthy's. And I was interviewed by the guy that was writing a story about Knievel for Rolling Stone magazine. And this was the issue that had the group that's saying, get your picture on the cover of Rolling Stone when they were on the cover. And the opening line to the story about evil Knievel was "Bob Bitchin was..." and that's how the whole story started.

And it's the first time I saw my name in print. I loved it. Ego. Ego, yeah. My head wasn't this big all the time. It's grown.

Bradford: Right.

Bradford (VO): If you've met Bob, you know he's pretty much big all over. And with all those tattoos and stuff, the name of his 56 foot Formosa sailboat seemed to fit. And led to a final interesting story that you didn't hear before.

Bob Bitchin: When people look at me, they know you're off the Lost Soul.

They didn't have to ask. They knew. I remember when we were in Christmas Island in the middle of the Pacific and we're getting fuel, which you have to fill by getting 55 gallon drums of fuel and putting them in gas cans and put in the boat, many trips.

And somebody said that the Catholic priest of the line islands was looking for us and I'm like, that's weird, you know?

So we find him, father Vermont. He says, you have to take me to Fanning Island. And like, why me?

And he says, your boat's the Lost Soul, yes? I said, yes. And he said, I need to go on the Lost Soul. You need to find yourself.

And so we took him and now here's what's weird. We were sailing up from Samoa to Christmas Island, which is on the Line Islands.

It's 900 miles into the wind crossing the Equator, and it's iffy. You know, we had 35 knot headwinds all the way, all the way to Christmas Island. Soon as we got to Christmas Island and fueled up Father Vermont got on the boat and we, with a drifter, in 10 knots of wind and no seas. sailed to Fanning Island.

I started to believe. I really, anybody who does not believe in God, all you have to do is get on a boat out at sea for a while you believe. I believe

Bradford (VO): I believe we have a couple more salty characters coming up. Who may or may not be fuel dock Debbie and Eric Stone. But first, I need to take this opportunity to thank Bob Bitchin and Latitudes & Attitudes for their sponsorship.

And to thank our awesome Patreon crew.

If you're not afraid of catching the cruising bug, you can go to latsatts.com and check out Latitudes & Attitudes online. Or get a print subscription for a very reasonable price.

And if you've enjoyed the How Not To Sail audio podcast or YouTube channel or website or book, you can help make more of this mess by going to HowNotToSail.com/Patreon. And for as little as $3 a month, you can help keep the ship afloat. I sure do appreciate you.

Debbie Stories

One of our most popular victims, I mean interviewees, in season one was Fuel Dock Debbie. And as you may have gathered, the main challenge with Debbie was to find a minute when she wasn't busy. But eventually we did get to sit down on a bench right outside the fuel dock store. And one thing I learned, which you didn't hear yet, is what a well-rounded life Debbie's had.

Debbie: I worked for a private membership campground and, um, in Texas and had worked for them for a long time wonderful company and decided to go sow some wild oats. So loaded up everything, moved to the mountains of Colorado.

Beautiful. Fished, bow hunted, everything you can imagine. Loved it, woke up one morning and decided I'm cold. It's time to come back to Texas. Once I got back to Texas, I realized that our job had another opening for a campground manager in Florida.

So I moved to Florida. Wachula. Good ol' Wachula Florida. Lovely little town. Spent about four years there. Go through that midlife crisis again. This time, sell everything and buy a boat. Wonderful words, ain't they?

Finally made it down here to the Keys, pulled in and loved it, fell in love with it.

The water is amazing. The people are amazing. And walked in the office to pay for my slip, and they said they were hiring. I was like, well, what are you hiring for? And they said, fuel dock. I said, well, what does that mean? And almost 11 years later, here I am.

Bradford (VO): You might think Fuel Dock Debbie was born with a boat hook in hand. But you'd be wrong.

Debbie: I bought my trawler in 2008. 1987, Marine Trader trawler, beautiful boat. Loved it. Did not even know how to turn it on. My first experience with the boat, what is that yellow cord for? Right.

Bradford (VO): Well, that makes me feel better. And it just goes to show you this boat thing can be learned.

But of course, after a few years working the fuel dock, Debbie had plenty of great How Not To Sail stories to share.

Debbie: Okay. I can give you a perfect example. I am a redneck from Texas. And you know, things were a little different when I got down here to the Florida Keys.

So my first experience with, "Oh my goodness, what just happened?" A boater came up on a dinghy, and I offered to take his lines and tie his dinghy up. He said, no, he has it. And was pretty adamant.

So I said, okay. He comes in, he pays for his stuff. We walked back out and his dinghy has floated out away from the dock because he didn't tie it up very well. And I'm trying to keep from laughing. And he looks at me with this funny look on his face, and then he strips down naked and jumps in the water and swims out to get his dinghy.

And of course I can hardly stand up from laughing so hard. I still laugh about that. Yeah. Those things happen.

Bradford (VO): Oh, but there's more where that came from.

Debbie: So I think I'm thinking about the dumbest thing I've seen. And this is really dumb. Dumb. One of our people were leaving during an evacuation and, um, out at one of our markers, they decided as they're heading out of the channel, they decided to go downstairs. They left the helm of their boat.

And the next thing you know, you hear this screeching horrible metal to metal sound. And the guy has hit the marker.

That was the worst noise I think I've ever heard. It was like,

he went down to -- downstairs to fix a sandwich. And pops up, like what just happened? Oh my God.

Bradford (VO): Of course, Debbie has seen some not-funny stuff too. Including one time she had to use some of her training from back when she was a firefighter

Debbie: We had a boat pull in. 76-footer with quite a few gentlemen on board. Um, one of them had slipped and fallen, hit his head on the boat and fell into the water. And at that time we were busy on both sides of the dock.

So I saw a man leaned over the dock looking into the water. So when I went to him and asked, what are you looking at? He's calling this man's name. So about the time this man pops up. Um, obviously in distress, bumped his head. So he had a little bloody noggin and throwing up water. So we get the throw ring out to him and try to get the ladder deployed and he was not able to pull himself up.

My first reaction, because I have a firefighter background, I dove in the water and push the man up so that we can retrieve him from the water, put him on the dock.

And that was probably one of the ones, just amazing things is, um, you just react in a situation like that when that's the farthest thing from your mind. Within seconds, he was out of the water, an ambulance being called and he was fine.

So a happy ending to a tragic, scary moment.

Bradford (VO): Of course i couldn't wrap up my conversation with Fuel Dock Debbie without asking her about her future plans

Debbie: Well, 10 years from now, I'm going to be retired on my own boat, pulling into fuel docks and letting somebody else do what I've done for almost 10 years. And giggling. And I look forward to that.

Bradford (VO): Debbie has certainly earned some R&R. And she's definitely earned a place in our How Not To Sail hall of fame. And in the hearts of our How Not To Sail listeners.

Eric Stone

But this episode of unheard gems wouldn't be complete without sharing some of the nuggets we didn't use from my interview with Trop Rock singer, songwriter, and author Eric Stone.

One of those clips had to do with Eric's home decor. Besides the man sized bird cages, there was one feature of Eric's place i couldn't help noticing.

Bradford: So, first of all, what's with the pineapples?

Eric Stone: All right. So there's a show, a TV show, that was on regular TV for long, but I haven't had regular TV in a long time. So I've got Netflix and I have Prime, you know, and I just saw it, popped up on the screen every once in a while, it's called Psych. P S Y C H. Right? So I'm like, I don't know if I want to watch that.

So one day I just watched it and I immediately was addicted. In the first episode, the two main characters are going to go on a road trip. And all of a sudden, Shawn grabs a pineapple from behind the screen. You can't see it off camera, you know, and he pulls it up. He goes, should I cut this up for the road?

And so every episode of Psych has a pineapple in it. It's hidden somewhere. It could be an earring, it could be stitched into somebody's clothing. Can be part of a purse. So there's a game that you can actually go, there's a website, used to be, anyway, called where's the pineapple. And if you can't find it, you can go there and then they'll show you where it is.

Right. So you try to find, watch every episode, plus it's hilarious show and, uh, find a pineapple. And I just became addicted. So then I started texting my friends, and I'll be out and about like in town or something. I'd see somebody with a pineapple t-shirt or pineapple purse, I'd snap a picture of it and just send it to them and go, "Psych!"

And so, but I used to play games. There's a drinking game, two of the things they do in that show. So I played that a lot back when, on Dockside, the restaurant in Marathon. But now I just like, I like how they feel like good luck to me for some reason. So I have, you noticed in my house, there's lots of pineapples.

I think I have a pineapple problem, honestly.

Bradford (VO): We've all got our issues. Mine is trying to spend enough time on the boat to keep making a sufficient quantity of dumb mistakes. Now several of my friends in the know tell me that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to run a restaurant or bar. Which Eric did for a while in the Keys. At a place called Dockside.

Eric Stone: Yeah, so I was playing, uh, I had just left the Virgin islands for the summer, which I did every year and went around and toured. And this time we were thinking about going back again for another season, but we're going to sail back.

So we're getting the boat ready, where I was, I was bartering. A slip down Islamorada for playing one night a week. So four gigs a month, and then I didn't pay slip fee, but on weekends, and as I go and I play Dockside, which is a Marathon. I go there to play one day and they call me, I'm actually on my way to the car. And they said, we're going out of business.

I said, okay. So I didn't play the gig. And then I started thinking, man, that place is a gold mine. If it was run by the right people. And I wanted to get off the road, I'd been on the road for a long time. Every summer, you know, and then Virgin Islands. It was just long. I thought I wanted to get off the road until I started running a restaurant. And then I missed the road, but, uh, it was a great experience.

We ran it for three years. We were doing really good and we just couldn't get along with the leaseholder and we had to cut ties. And that's when we closed, but a great experience. I'm glad I did it. And I look back at it with a lot of good fond memories and some scary ones and some bad ones, but I did it.

So that's part of my life, it's done and no more restaurants for me. Unless I'm just a name owner, you know, now I'm not gonna run it. No, thank you.

Bradford (VO): If the name Dockside rings a bell, perhaps you've read some of Wayne Stinnett novels.

Eric Stone: Many of Wayne Stinnett's books talk about pulling the boat up at Dockside.

And actually, I didn't realize it for years, and I've known Wayne because he came and did a book signing. That's how we met. At Dockside. And I brought him a red Stripe because I had a Red Stripe and I just grabbed two instead of one. Cause he was sitting there and everybody was, how do you know I drink that?

So I didn't. But he does. He likes Red Stripes. So that was cool. But then he says, he's telling me about the books and everything. And, you know, I'm kind of half listening. Cause I didn't really know the books and I was really busy trying to run the restaurant.

I didn't realize that he had put me as a character, as myself. I was playing my-- I'm a really good actor, apparently. He'd put me as a character in the books, you know, as a guy that plays music at whatever place and stuff. And then he ended up having me write a song for his novels.

And so he became my mentor as a writer. So it's all those chance encounters, man. You never know where they're going to lead. And now I've written several novels and it's all really because I met Wayne and he showed me the way, you know. He showed me the Wayne.

Bradford (VO): Those are just some of the interesting conversations i had putting the first twenty episodes together. Big thanks to Eric and Debbie and Bob and all the other salty characters who made Season One so much fun.

Stay tuned next time, when I suspect some birds may usher in the official start of Season Two. If you're just getting started with How Not To Sail, I recommend reaching back into the dim and distant past, as Ian would say, and starting with Episode One, because... well, you'll see.

Thanks so much to our awesome Patreon patrons. If you'd like to help keep the ship afloat, you can go to HowNotToSail.com/Patreon. Or just look for Patreon in the menu at HowNotToSail.com, where for as little as $3 a month, you can be part of the Patreon crew. With some cool perks.

If that's not in your budget but you'd like to help out, you can leave a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. And tell a friend. Better yet, grab their smartphone and their thumb and mash it on the big red button at HowNotToSail.com.

They'll thank you for it. I'm sure.

Meanwhile, remember: just because the engine had oil in it when you bought the boat, you may still want to check it periodically.

And I'll see you next time on...

How Not To Sail. Screwing up is part of cruising. Let me show you how.

[SFX: Marina birds]

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