Tom and Mel Neale’s East Coast Alerts Keep Boaters Out of Trouble; Complimentary Sign Up “Not Just for ICW Snowbirds”
By Mel Fabrikant Thursday, May 02, 2013, 03:46 PM EDT
These well-connected cruisers who have sailed the East Coast for over 28 years have an extensive network of credible, reliable resources, including fellow boat owners, marina and waterfront business staff, bridge tenders, state and local government resources and friends that share news on a range of topics.
Some recently included Alert information has included warnings about shifted buoys and shoals, dredging activities, changes to drawbridge operating hours, construction and barge activity, fluctuating water levels, US Army Corps operations and in some cases, newly-found navigational hazards lurking just below the surface. GPS coordinates show boaters where the problems exist. Divided by region for easy reading, the alerts are emailed usually every two weeks, but issues of critical and timely concern, such as unannounced bridge or inlet closures, are sent immediately. The Neales also distill USCG reports and Local Notices to Mariners.
“Whether you boat on Biscayne Bay or in Downeast Maine, our periodic alerts let you know what’s changed and how to avoid problems. They’re not just for ICW snowbirds and we strive for accuracy as we know how bad advice can get you into trouble,” said Neale, who with his wife, Mel, have raised a family aboard, averaging 3,000 to 5,000 miles per year.
The Neales also write the “Tom Neale’s Cruising for You” section on www.BoatUS.com and have filed hundreds of features for boating publications. Tom is author of two books: All In The Same Boat, and Chesapeake Bay Cruising Guide , Volume 1 Upper Bay, and does extensive public speaking throughout the U.S and in Canada. The couple has also conducted a cruising school, and Mel has taught women’s groups on various aspects of boating and cruising, including workshops for the National Woman’s Sailing Association.