The Mail Buoy

In the fall of 1940, word spread of L. Ron Hubbard’s arrival in Ketchikan, Alaska. He had accomplished a feat few others would consider--sailing northward through the passages of British Columbia to Alaska in a vessel as small as the 32-foot Magician.

As news circulated of his feat, he was asked to share his experience and knowledge for the sea in a series of radio shows entitled the "Mail Buoy," broadcast from KGBU in Ketchikan. Mariners were invited to write in their questions about everything from fire prevention to navigation to proper care of their vessels.

The shows were avidly followed by those who plied the frigid coastal waters, and the mail bags quickly grew in size. Ron was called upon to explain the care of wooden boats, anchoring techniques and choice of anchors, ventilation of fuel tanks and engine rooms, and even how to sail a fishing trawler by wind alone in an emergency.

Published here for the first time are transcripts of five of these shows, in which Ron imparts his knowledge and advice about safety and efficiency at sea to the yachtsmen and fisherfolk of Alaska.

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