Maybe feng shui will make the words flow

Every once in a while I'm willing to try anything to make the words flow. I'm working on a sequel to my novel Deadly Fare and my office was a mess. I'm talking eligibility for Superfund status. So I spent hours today, on hands and knees, cleaning the joint until it was on par with a hospital surgery suite. (I may be exaggeratining here).  But I actually did vacuum, Swiffer, and wipe down the paintings, posters and sculptures on the wall.

So now I'll find out whether a clean workspace is a happy and productive workspace.

I'll keep you posted.

 

DL

 

cleaning office.jpg

They called him Herman the German

 

Check out my story about GE aviation engineer Gerhard Neumann, which appears in the fall issue of the glossy quarterly magazine 01907. https://www.google.com/search?q=01907+gerhard+neumann&oq=019&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j69i60l2j69i61l2.2811j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

Click to read the story:

http://bit.ly/2lcldea

 

 

Gerhard Neumann early days copy.jpg

Aviation engineer Gerhard Neumann 

Feeling sad for the people of Vieques and Culebra

I was there on assignment in August for SAILING Magazine. We sailed in warm turquoise water. My family rode horses in the surf. We anchored in idyllic coves, the only boat in sight. We kayaked in a bioluminenscent bay. The people were so friendly. And now this. 

Vieques demolished

Vieques demolished

Helicopter rescues imperiled sailors

Here's a story I wrote for SAILING Magazine about what sailors can do to prepare for being rescued by a helicopter.

How to prepare for helicopter rescue

By David Liscio

Like those who fail to plan for home evacuation in case of fire, most sailors tend to ignore the possibility of a helicopter rescue.

Should one become necessary, there are specific steps that must be taken to ensure passengers and crew exit safely.

SAILING discussed different emergency situations with helicopter pilot Lieutenant Commander Doug Atkins and rescue swimmer Aviation Survival Technician First Class Joel Sayers from the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, who offered sound advice on how to give this dangerous procedure the highest chance of success.

Basically there are two hoisting scenarios – abandoning ship, or a MEDEVAC to remove a sick or injured crewman. In the latter, the boat is secure and maneuverable, so the focus is on coordinating the hoist and monitoring the victim's medical condition.

In either case, here are the basic rules:

--Don't panic.

--If the boat is sinking, issue a Mayday on VHF channel 16 and activate EPIRB, if available. The EPIRB should be freshly registered before leaving the dock.

--Prepare to switch to another radio frequency, such as 21A or 22A, when instructed. If beyond shore-based VHF radio range, call by SAT phone. Know the number for the USCG Rescue Coordination Center in the area you are sailing.

--Don PFDs or survival suits.

--Activate chem lights, strobes or signal lights on the vessel and those attached to PFDs or survival suits.

--Assess the situation. Is the boat taking on water? If so, tell the Coast Guard so that additional pumps and life rafts can be brought to the scene.

--Describe to authorities conditions aboard the boat (this will help the rescue crew determine what supplies to bring along). Is anyone sick or injured? If so, affix a tag to the victim with a note on injuries. Is there a nurse or EMT aboard? If so, pass that information along.

--If time allows, pack a resealable plastic bag with the victim, containing ID, medication, and personal contact information.

--Get your ditch bag ready – including handheld VHF radio, flares, strobe, smoke signals.

---Prepare the boat as though anticipating a hurricane, keeping in mind that an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter can send 60-70 knot winds straight down onto the deck.

--Start your engine. Drop and secure sails. Knot an extra sail tie around the roller furler to ensure it doesn't unravel during rescue. Put extra ties on the mainsail along the boom.

--Stow loose deck equipment such as fenders, cockpit cushions, coiled lines, anchors, fishing rods, gas cans, rail-mounted barbecue grills, man-overboard poles and LifeSlings, anything that might break free and damage the helicopter rotors or become a dangerous projectile.

--Lash down sports equipment – kayaks, canoes, bicycles, surfboards, liferaft pod, dinghy.

--Secure hatches. Lower flag staffs and antennae. If possible, remove bimini and dodger.

--Duct tape and plastic tie-wraps can help secure sheets and halyards.

--Remove your hat. It can be sucked into the helicopter engines and create problems.

 

Some things to consider from the rescue pilot's point of view:

 

--From an altitude of 500 feet, it's hard to spot a boat in a choppy sea.

--A swaying mast is always a danger.

--Wind direction is a factor.

--The pilot cannot approach if your dinghy is trailing off the stern. The helicopter's rotor wash will flip it like a kite, creating potential danger for the rescue crew and the sailors in distress. To remedy this situation, lash the liferaft to the deck or, at least bring it along the starboard side using a series of bow and stern lines.

--The pilot will likely approach from the stern with the nose of the helicopter positioned to port. This gives the pilot, who is seated to starboard, the most advantageous view of the sailboat. It also allows the rescue crew to view the boat from the open helicopter door.

--The pilot and rescue crew will assess how best to proceed, deciding whether to hoist the victims directly from the sailboat or from the water.

--Never fire a flare or shine a spotlight directly at the helicopter.

--Use a smoke signal in daylight and an incendiary flare at night.

--New night-vision goggles are capable of reducing glare from lights and aerial flares, but these can still make it difficult for the pilot to see when close to the boat.

--Listen for the pilot's instructions on your VHF radio. In most cases, instructions will first come from a fixed-wing aircraft such as a Falcon jet or C-130. It will be almost impossible to talk by radio once the helicopter is hovering over the sailboat because the jet engines are noisy.

--Ask yourself if abandoning ship is really necessary right now. (Atkins emphasized the risk of a hoist must be weighed against risk of remaining on the boat. He noted that sailboats are typically sturdy and won't sink if not taking on water. He cited the 1991 case of the 32-foot sailboat “Satori”, abandoned during the Perfect Storm and found washed up undamaged on a Maryland beach).

--Everything is easier in daylight. Night-vision goggles are a great tool, but nothing beats the human eye on its own. A hoist evacuation at first light will be much safer and have a greater chance of success than one conducted in the middle of the night.

--The pilot will tell you to maintain a certain course heading and speed. Assign someone to the helm. (Atkins recalled one rescue in which the helmsman repeatedly looked up at the helicopter as it approached, leaving the sailboat zig-zagging in the waves.)

--Don't depend on the autopilot. It can't correct course as fast as a human, especially when the boat is being blown by the helicopter's rotorwash.

--If the helicopter crew determines a direct hoist from the boat cannot be performed safely, you will be asked to get into your raft and cast off from the boat or enter the water. The rescue swimmer will be deployed to the water to help hoist you to the helicopter, either in the rescue basket or in a sling attached to the swimmer.

--If you are in the raft, you will be asked to get into the water one at a time so that the swimmer can assist you. Wait for a signal from the helicopter crew.

--If you are on deck, instructions will be given on when to enter the basket. --NEVER ATTACH A LINE TO THE BASKET OR HOIST WIRE or the rescue hook on the end of the hoist to any part of the basket. This could result in damage to the hoist cable, making it unusable or worse, cause a snag that snaps the hoist cable, possibly injuring people on deck or doing damage to the helicopter.

--Once the basket is winched to the helicopter door, wait until the basket is swung into the aircraft before attempting to get out.

 

 

Some things to consider from the rescue swimmer's point of view:

 

--Sailors can be too helpful. Let the swimmer board from the stern without interference. (Sayers said beefy sailors have overzealously hauled him aboard, sending him smashing into the steering wheel, binnacle or other unforgiving structure).

--Let the swimmer climb aboard from the stern. Swimmers typically wait for a wave to lift them close enough to grab hold the boat.

--If you want to help, put a ladder over the side and toss a heavy mooring line overboard with a lifering or lifejacket attached to the end. Thin poly line can cut through the swimmer's gloves and is difficult to grip.

--If the deck is spacious, the swimmer may be dropped directly aboard, presuming there is room to maneuver a Stokes rescue litter, in which a victim with neck or spine injuries can be strapped and hoisted.

 

 

 

What to Expect:

 

--If the boat sinks before the helicopter arrives, get into the liferaft with handheld VHF and EPIRB. If a raft is not available, stay together in the water.

--Helicopters can be unnervingly noisy when directly overhead and crank hurricane-force winds.

--Lights on the underbelly of the helicopter will illuminate the boat's deck and surrounding water.

--Keep in mind that conditions may make it impossible to deploy a rescue swimmer or basket directly to the boat.

--If seas are over 8 feet, the rescue swimmer will likely be dropped into the water and swim to the boat. Once the swimmer is in the water, stop the boat.

--Most hoisting evolutions begin with an orange poly-pro tag line (called a trail line by Coast Guard crews) lowered from the helicopter onto the boat. This line keeps the rescue swimmer or rescue basket from swirling as it is lowered or raised and allows the helicopter to conduct the hoist at a slightly offset angle from the boat, giving the pilot a better view.

--Helicopters produce. hoisted huge amounts of static electricity, so it's important that the tag line, weighted with a 5-pound bag of lead shot, is dipped into the sea or touches the boat before it's handled and brought aboard. Usually the hoist operator will do this. (As Atkins pointed out, it can give you a good jolt, though not injurious).

--Once the tag line is on board, coil the slack.

--The other end of the tag line is attached to the rescue swimmer or rescue basket (actually to a secondary hook on the hoist line).

--Once the rescue swimmer or basket is lowered and clears the wheel of the helicopter, pull the tag line smartly and help guide the rescue swimmer or basket to the deck.

--When the rescue swimmer or basket is being raised back to the helicopter, hold the tag line taut until the hoist operator has the rescue swimmer or basket in their grasp.

--The basket and hoist are rated for 600 pounds.

--Hoists are generally easier if the vessel is underway. Course and speed required will vary with wind and sea conditions. Generally, the helicopter crew wants to have the nose into the wind and the vessel bow 35-60 degrees to the right of the helicopter's nose.

--The helicopter will likely approach from the stern, perhaps at the boat's 5 o'clock position. Angling toward a sailboat with a 70-foot mast is more difficult than approaching a smaller boat because the geometry works against the pilot.

--In a MEDEVAC situation, depending on the injury, the rescue swimmer/EMT may stay aboard the boat and stabilize the victim rather than risk a hoist. Sayers put it this way: “If it's an appendicitis, or serious sickness or injury, if the person is going to die unless you get them off the boat, then you have to hoist.”

--Sailors getting struck by the boom during accidental gybes is not uncommon and often results in serious injury. A recent incident to which Sayers responded left one sailor with broken teeth, lacerated cheeks, exploded eye socket and potential head injury. The man had to be taken off the boat despite the pitching sea.

--Be honest. If you are elderly or frail and unable to assist the rescue effort, say so.

--One adult gets hoisted at a time. Small children should ride with an adult.

--Never try to stand up in the basket. Wait until the hoist operator pulls the basket into the helicopter.

--During the hoist, the hoist operator will focus on keeping the basket away from cresting waves or dipping it into the sea, which can cause the victim to fall out.

--The last person off the vessel should detach the trail line from the basket before being hoisted off the boat.

--Should the helicopter crash, it is safe to approach once the rotor has submerged and stopped turning. Assist the helicopter crew and try to account for all aboard.

 

NOTE: Lt. Commander Doug Atkins completed two deployments to the Persian Gulf as a U.S. Navy pilot before joining the Coast Guard. He spent six years as a rescue pilot in Alaska and has been assigned to Air Station Cape Cod since 2007, where he serves as operations training offficer.

 Aviation Survival Technician First Class Joel Sayers has been a U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer for 11 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

helorescue.jpg

Rails to Trails movement gaining momentum

Here's a story about the national Rails to Trails movement that appears in the summer issue of ONE Magazine, which hit the stands earlier this week. It's all about towns and cities that have taken abandoned railways and transformed them into biking and fitness trails.

http://bit.ly/2w4TtLJ

 

People everywhere are taking advantage of abandoned rail corridors that have been transmformed into biking and fitness trails. 

People everywhere are taking advantage of abandoned rail corridors that have been transmformed into biking and fitness trails. 

Sailing relieves writer's block

Sailing always takes my mind off the things that worry me.

My friend Philip Kersten caught me buzzing along in Massachusetts Bay a couple of days ago aboard my Bristol 32 sloop Mistral and sent along this photo. You can see Boston in the background.

Philip was aboard his beloved Alden 44 Tioga, which we've sailed back and forth between Boston and Bermuda. Always great to run into a friend at sea.

Heading to Culebra and Vieques

On assignment for SAILING Magazine to bareboat charter in the Spanish Virgin Islands. Stories and photos to follow. July 2017.  Planning stops in Culebra, Vieques, and some of the smaller islands in the archipelago. #sailingtoCulebra #SpanishVirginIslandscharter

Serial killer drawn to illuminated cross on hill overlooking Boston

I'm lucky to have such talented friends. Mark Garfinkel, an award-winning Boston Herald photographer, managed to capture the drama around the illuminated cross atop Orient Heights in East Boston during a recent storm.

The soaring cross is a familiar sight to commuters and anyone flying into Boston. It's also the focus of a major scene in Deadly Fare, my Boston-based serial killer thriller that's topping the charts among crime fiction books on Amazon.

Thanks Mark, for such a perfect picture. www.pictureboston.com

If you're about to read Deadly Fare, get ready for some thrilling action scenes with the Orient Heights cross as a backdrop. (Can't tell you more than that!)

Amazon US……http://amzn.to/2iI5YHh

Amazon UK…..http://amzn.to/2iETi3u

#OrientHeightsCross #DeadlyFare #SerialKiller #noir #Bostonauthor#EastBoston #organizedcrime 
#Eastie #FBI #Bostoncrime #IrishMobsters

What happened under the cross? 

What happened under the cross? 

Winners announced in Goodreads Giveaway drawing for Deadly Fare

I'm smilng because 1,204 readers entered the one-week-only international Goodreads Giveaway for my serial killer thriller Deadly Fare.

The drawing by the Goodreads staff was held at midnight after the giveaway was closed to entries.

The two winners are Connor Bedell of Bay City, MI, and Rachel Finchum of Murfreesboro, TN. Each will receive an autographed copy of the Amazon bestseller. Congratulations!
I hope you enjoy reading Deadly Fare.

Amazon US……http://amzn.to/2iI5YHh

Amazon UK…..http://amzn.to/2iETi3u

FREE to Kindle Unlimited members or $3.99 on Amazon.

#DeadlyFare #SerialKiller #GoodreadsGiveawayWinners #Noir #OrganizedCrime#BostonCrime #BostonAuthor

Six sailors rescued after boat sinks in Bermuda Triangle

The latest issue of SAILING Magazine has my story about six sailors rescued off Bermuda after their boat sank in the Bermuda Triangle. http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1897-mayday.html

 

 

It all happened before dawn during the Antigua to Bermuda Race. Plenty of drama. And some lessons learned. 

#SailboatsinksinBermudaTriangle #SailingMagazinestory #DavidLisciosailingrescue

Images by Montreal-based photojournalist Tristan Peloquin, who was on assignment and on board when the sinking occurred. 

Images by Montreal-based photojournalist Tristan Peloquin, who was on assignment and on board when the sinking occurred. 

The international Goodreads Giveaway for Deadly Fare has begun!

Starting today (July 5), for one week only, Deadly Fare will be part of an international Goodreads Giveaway. 

Two winners of the drawing will receive an autographed copy of the Amazon bestselling serial killer thriller. 

More than 125 readers joined the giveway in the first hour. 

More than 125 readers joined the giveway in the first hour. 

Technology occasionally gets the best of me

I happily posted news yesterday about being interviewed by blogger and author Mary Ellen Quire, who chose me and my serial killer thriller Deadly Fare as subjects of her monthly Discover New Authors online feature.

BUT... the link went back to my FB page instead of to Mary Ellen's website, which is where the interview actually appeared. So I'm trying again. If you'd like to read her interview, and maybe learn a bit about how Deadly Fare came about, click here: 
http://maryellenquire.com/discover-new-authors-2/

#MyBad #SpaceCadet #WhatwasIthinking#Technopeasant#JustPlainDumb

Goodreads Giveaway for Deadly Fare begins July 5

Save the date because this giveaway will run for ONE WEEK ONLY!

I’ll be posting where and when you can enter the international drawing for two autographed copies.

If you haven’t heard about this Boston-based serial killer thriller, here are a few insights:

---Released in October, Deadly Fare quickly reached Amazon’s Top-100 List of crime fiction books and later made its way to the Top Ten among all Noir, Organized Crime and Serial Killer books.

---It was added to Crime Fiction Lover’s popular Ten to Taste List.

---Acclaimed authors including Anita Waller and Drew Yanno gave it five stars, as did UK-based reviewer Susan Hampson at Books from Dusk Till Dawn.

---Deadly Fare is currently ranked 4.7 of five stars on Amazon and 4.5 on Goodreads.

---In May, it appeared next to Dennis Lehane’s “Live By Night” on Amazon’s Bestseller List and alongside three of award-winning author Angela Marson’s crime fiction books.

---The blog BookAdrenaline.com selected it as its Pick of the Day.

---Criminally Good, a blog favored by crime fiction fans worldwide, interviewed me about writing Deadly Fare.

Deadly Fare is FREE to Kindle Unlimited members and only $2.99 on Amazon ebooks.

Amazon US.…http://amzn.to/2iI5YHh

Amazon UK…..http://amzn.to/2iETi3u

See more about Deadly Fare on my website: https://www.davidliscio.com/deadly-fare/

#DeadlyFare #SerialKiller #Noir #BostonCrime #BostonAuthor #OrganizedCrime

Pumped up by adventure travel

I'm back home on the coast of Massachusetts after six days at sea, sailing with five friends from Bermuda to Boston's North Shore aboard a 44-foot sailboat.

Nearly 700 miles of blue water separate the two points and if something goes wrong, you're on your own unless you happen to be sailing within rescue range of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard rescue helicopters can reach out 300 miles and remain on scene for about 40 minutes until their fuel guage says it's time to head back to shore. That range covers nearly half the distance between Boston and Bermuda. Unfortunately, Bermuda has no air or sea rescue service, so if your boat sinks a few hundred miles from that remote island, chances are you'll spend days in a liferaft, hoping a passing ship will stop to help. There's also the possibility that nobody will find you. The Bermuda Triangle is known for swallowing up boats without a trace. 

#SailingBermudatoBoston #PumpedupbyAdventureTravel 

But that's what adventure travel is all about and why it pumps me up, gets my adrenaline flowing and my soul glowing. There's a risk factor that heightens your senses. It's about putting yourself out there. 

So now it's time to write the Bermuda sailing story, edit the photos, and send them off to SAILING Magazine. www.sailingmagazine.net. In other words, I'm On Deadline. 

But once that assignment is tucked away, it'll be on to the next: sailing a bareboat to Culebra and Vieques in the Spanish Virgin Islands. That adventure begins next month and I'm looking forward to it. 

#SailingtoVieques #SailingtoCulebra

At the helm of Tioga this week, sailing from Bermuda to Boston. 

At the helm of Tioga this week, sailing from Bermuda to Boston. 

J-class boats out on the race course today in Bermuda.

Such lovely vessels, both elegant and powerful. And what a contrast to yesterday's duel between the high-tech speedsters Oracle and Emirates Team New Zealand in the 35th America's Cup.

That competition continues a few days from now, but by then I'll be sailing home aboard Tioga, a 44-foot Alden sloop, with five friends from Nahant, MA. We'll be six days at sea and I'm hoping for a safe and fun passage.

On assignment here for SAILING Magazine.

#DavidLisciophotography #OnassignmentinBermuda#AmericasCupBoats

www.davidliscio.com

Emirates Team New Zealand rips across finish line at America's Cup

First day of racing at the America's Cup in Bermuda left Americans a bit stunned as Emirates Team New Zealand won both events. 

Lots of activity on the racecourse with zigagging media boats, VIP boats of all kinds, ferries, police vessels and a flotilla of boats filled with race management and team support crews. Helicopters flew so low over the course their rotor wash rippled the water, causing the America's Cup skippers to complain it was effecting the race.

Here on assignment for SAILING Magazine. 

PHOTOGRAPHY www.davidliscio.com