For an affordable pen and notebook that will stay dry as you get wet in the high seas, grab the tag team of a Fisher Space Pen and Rite in the Rain notebook. These are the most reliable tools for taking notes and writing about your journey at sea. Rain or shine, in the humid air of the Florida Keys or the icy cold of Alaska, these two tools will not fail you when recording your ship logs.
What Makes A Good Pen and Paper for Sailors
Let’s face it, when you are out at sea things are going to get wet. One of the most annoying experiences as a captain is when the salt water of the sea ruins important information you just wrote down. Naturally, writing notes is a difficult proposition and when you get to port you’ll often find what you have written has become a wet, illegible mess. It’s a seemingly impossible problem to solve, but after all my years as a captain I have found a solution that is impenetrable to water. Enter the Fisher Space Pen and Rite in the Rain notebooks. These two products do exactly what is needed for a sailor at sea, allowing you to write clearly and legibly in rainy or wet conditions.
Why Rite In The Rain Notebooks Are The Best For Sailors
We’re going to start with the amazing Rite in the Rain notebooks. Rite in the Rain uses a truly innovative paper that is created specifically for writing field notes in all weather conditions. These notebooks have been used around the world for boat and dive logs, hiking, student fieldwork, military missions, rainforest inset research and all kinds of imaginable outdoor occupations. No longer do I shake my head when I review my ship logs when I get back to the port, frustrated that I cannot read what I wrote just days before.
The Rite in the Rain story is classically American and begins with their motto, “Outdoor writing products for outdoor writing people.” The founder, Jerry Darling, developed the original Rite in the Rain paper to address the hassle of soggy and illegible paper that had plagued the Pacific Northwest logging industry in the 1920s. Rite in the Rain notebooks are still American made, manufactured in Tacoma, Washington.
The Green Tactical Note Book are spiral bound and contain 100 Universal pages (50 sheets) in green. With the Universal Pattern you can use them for notes and scaled drawings. Useful reference material is also printed on the back and inside covers.
Size – 4 x 6 inches
Page Pattern – Universal green
Binding – Top wire-o Spiral
Cover – Polydura (green)
Pages – 100 (50 sheets)
Weight – 0.2 lb. EA
Stock No. 946
The All – Weather Tactical Field Book All-Weather Tactical Field Books have a tough Field-Flex cover that will withstand the rigors of the sea while fitting comfortably in your pocket. The Field Book also contains 16 pages of tactical reference material.
Size – 4 5/8″ x 7 1/4″
Page Pattern – Universal green
Binding – Perfect Cover
Cover – Field Flex (green)
Pages – 160 (80 sheets)
Weight – 0.5 lb.
Stock No. 980
One wouldn’t think that the magic of Rite in the Rain paper would include environmental friendliness, but that is not the case. Rite in the Rain paper is totally recyclable as standard paper, which isn’t true of other waterproof papers that are synthetic or poly coated. Their “Polydura” cover and reference card substrate contains post-consumer recycled materials as well.
Their All-Weather Writing Paper is a patented substrate created for use in outdoor writing situations. It’s manufactured with the most durable yet recyclable components available. Rite in the Rain also uses virgin wood fibers that are purchased from FSC Certified sources. By doing this it insures Rite in the Rain notebooks are manufactured with high environmental and social standards and practices.
The process involved in creating Rite in the Rain paper has an ultra-low impact on the environment as well. The water based coating process emits only steam and all mill off-cuts are recycled back into the paper-manufacturing stream. All printing plates and processing liquids are recycled and 100% of printing inks are soy based.
Why Fisher Space Pens Are The Best Pens For Sailors
The Fisher Space Pen is arguably the most popular pen of the twentieth century. But there is a lot of mythology about the Fisher Space Pen that we should clear up first. It is often said that NASA spent hundreds of thousands of dollars (inflated to $12 billion in some versions of this tale) to create pen that would work under weightless conditions and the extreme temperatures astronauts would face in space.
Unsurprisingly, this story wasn’t one that Fisher Pen founder Paul C. Fisher was eager to debunk, but the company does describe the development of their Space Pen differently. When NASA astronauts flew they used pencils just like their Russian counterparts, but the lead sometimes broke and became hazards floating in space capsules where there was no gravity. So on his own, independently of NASA, Fisher developed the pressurized ball pen, with its ink enclosed in a sealed, pressurized ink cartridge.
Fisher sent the first samples to NASA, where they were thoroughly tested. The pens passed all the tests and have been used ever since on all manned space flights, American and Russian. Paul Fisher, who has said he spent over one million dollars developing the pen, paid all R&D costs. In December of 1967, Fisher sold 400 Fisher Space Pens to NASA for $2.95 each.
Doing away with urban legend, lets talk about the product. My two favorite Fisher Space pens are the Fisher Space Bullet Space Pen ($33.67 on Amazon) and of course, the classic Fisher Space Original Astronaut Space Pen
($16.60 on Amazon).
The Fisher Space Bullet Space PenFisher Space Bullet Space Pen is all brass with a Matte black finish. When closed, the Bullet Space Pen is the perfect size to carry in your wallet, pocket, purse, car glove box, organizer or toolbox. When open it’s a full sized, evenly balanced pen.
Here are the specs:
Weight – 1 ounce
Dimensions – 3.8x 0.3 x 0.3
Color – Matte Black
Ink – Black
The Fisher Space Original Astronaut Space Pen is the original Fisher Space Pen that was used on the Apollo 7 space mission in 1968 after 2 years of testing by NASA and has been used on all manned space flights since then. The design and construction of this pen has not changed in 36 years. The pen you buy today is exactly the same as the one taken to the moon in 1969. It is a heavy pen and the weight rests reassuringly in your hand as you write. The AG7 is made from solid brass with an extremely hard Chrome plating. Its special design assures you that you’ll always retract the point before you slide it in your pocket. It’s constructed of all brass and steel components of the highest quality and is made in the US.
Here are the specs:
Weight – 4.6 ounces
Dimensions 5.1 x 0.4 x 0.4 inches
Color – Chrome
Ink Color – Black
Fisher Space pens come with an unconditional guarantee to write in temperatures from -30 to +250 degrees Fahrenheit, under water, in zero gravity, at any angle, even upside down. They have been used for over forty years by astronauts, law enforcement, fire fighters, outdoorsman, the military, and of course, sailors.
What Do Others Say?
Rite in the Rain Green Tactical Note Book have gotten sixty-six Amazon reviews, fifty-one of them being five stars.
The All – Weather Tactical Field BookAll-Weather Tactical Field Book has ten reviews, all of them four and five stars.
The Pen Addict has reviewed Rite in the Rain notebooks during a rainstorm and concluded, “I am not a hunter, fisherman, logger, construction worker, or any other vocation that this journal is targeted to, but I can’t imagine another paper product that would perform as well as this one.”
The I.N.C.H. Survival blog also reviewed Rite in the Rain notebooks and said, “If you ever wanted a paper product that can stand up to any kind of weather subjected to it, Rite In The Rain is the company to go with! I was very impressed with how the paper stood up to the rain.
As for the Fisher Space Pens, their reputation precedes them. But to be sure, the Fisher Space Original Astronaut Space Pen has ninety-five four or five star reviews out of 107 and the Fisher Space Bullet Space Pen has 175 four or five star reviews out of 192.
The Pen Addict has also reviewed Fisher Space Pens and said, “I was worried about spending this much on a ballpoint pen and never using it, but this pen writes as well as any similar pen that I have tried.”
The products of these two brands make you wonder how sailors did it before they were invented. Its pretty clear that Rite in the Rain notebooks and Fisher Space Pens are best in class and provide reliability that few others can offer. It feels great to know that when I’m out to sea I’ll always be able to keep my log or journal no matter the weather. So get a Fisher Space Pen and Rite in the Rain notebook for yourself or the sailor in your life.