Mainlanders

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The water is hot and it soothes my aching bones, chatting with a few tourists they are always impressed and Intrigued that I’m fortunate enough to live in the islands.  One of the girls, pink in the face stands to sit on the edge of the jacuzzi, water droplets cascade down her naked body, this is the way of this resort. People come from all over the world for one week a year, shed thier inhibitions and do thier best to live the life they dream of, I shyly avert my eyes, I miss Melissa more than ever at this particular moment.


It’s barely six months since I gave my tent away to a homeless person and here I am living in a tent again, Brompty faithfully waiting to carry me wherever the day goes.  My new tent is an oasis, a thick wool blanket from the Hudson Bay company lines the floor, it’s big enough to sit upright and I can actually almost do yoga in it.  Meslissa left her huge snuggly and plush down bag as my summer bag isn’t keeping me warm in the chilly spring early mornings.

My food cooked on a single burner, water from a metal bottle and sunsets, every day glorious sunsets with nothing to do but sit and watch them.  I received my first paycheck and while It’s already spent, owed to the small obscure yard where I decided to store  Sookie till we set off in the spring.  I feel rich if only for a day, a tourist buys me a burger for dinner and I’m greatful, once again everything has worked out.

It’s almost my birthday, I’ll be turning a very young 48 and Melissa will be here for a whole week to celebrate with me, it’s all I can think about.  A cup of hot coffee and my day has begun, today will be one spent hanging out with tourists, making them laugh and feel welcome in my tiny island paradise.  For the next 75 days this tiny area will be the most beautiful place in the planet earth, then winter comes which is a different kind of beautiful, the cold hard kind but I’ll be long gone by then.

I look at the calander and count the days, on September first Melissa will come home and we set off and a grand adventure with endless possibilities.  For now all we have are love letters, I sent her off with a stinky tee shirt to remind her of me, she left me a gift as well.  Long distance relationships suck but they can also be quite romantic, a picture here, a poem, a long meandering letter about nothing and everything.  For the first  time in my life I fell absolutely content with the world, I want for nothing but to have this feeling forever, it’s calm and I sleep like the dead, there is not an ounce of stress in my life and every day when I open my sleepy eyes, I give a long stretch and smile, life is good.

“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.” 

― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

Honeymooners on two wheels

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Somewhere across the mighty Atlantic many sets of hands are building Tink’s new Brompton. Sure we could have found a used one, or one off the shelf. Tink being a techno geek and me being one of those you get what you pay for dorks, we decided to have one built just the way she wants. We chose Clever Cycles in Portland to place our order and everything has been a very easy process with excellent communications.  


I learned a lot about touring on a folding bike while drifting through the islands of aloha. I carefully boxed Brompty before flying from the mainland but carried her on when I flew first to the island of Hawaii to do some treasure hunting and then to Oahu to sea trial a Bristol Channel Cutter, I haven’t written about either of these trips yet as I’m waiting the outcome of both before proceeding. I also rode right up to the ferry to Lania and hoped aboard for the best cycling of the whole trip on such a small and quiet island. I had business there as well but nothing worth bringing up.  


The absolute beauty of our type of touring on our little folders is that side trips are easy and painless, for this very reason we have both decided not to make any plans, routes, or goals for our honeymoon on wheels. It may last a day, week or month or we could easily just keep going and circle the planet with our minimalist loads and our delightful folding bikes. Tink wants to cycle the Andes, I want to ride the Camino del Santiago. We both want to ride southern France, Spain and Italy, living off of black coffee, fresh fruit, cheese and wine. She is pushing for Africa and I want to ride Japan and south east Asia.


The reason most cyclists tour on bikes with 26″ wheels and standard gearing is because those bikes have such fragile drive terrains. The Brompton on the other hand is nearly indestructible, easy to tune on the fly even though it almost never needs tuning and with a very small and light spares kit is virtually unstoppable. If it seems like a shock that I’m not buying an American made bike it’s simply because all American made folding bikes are inferior both in ride quality but also in build quality, I’ve done a very fun and exhaustive amount of research and test riding.


So we’ve chosen our bikes, left our path up to the universe and now it comes down to luggage. Being 100% unsupported we have to cover every base even though we will have all the guys and girls at Clever Cycles should we need some brain scratching. It seems silly to have to overnight a spoke half way around the world so true to form we will each inspect and maintain our bikes at the end of every ride while enjoying a cold beer and snacks. I’ve done this my whole life from my pink single speed MTB to my Harley and rarely have I had issues in the field short of t- boning a tree or blowing a wheel on a bad landing.


The gearing up process will be slow and minimalist but I will try and keep all of our thoughts and processes posted here. Because so many people have successfully toured by Brompton there is an absolute abundance of excellent resources out there so I doubt either of us will have to re invent the wheel so to speak.


I’ve never considered myself an authority on anything but now well over seven years since I decided to live my life car free if nothing else I’ve proved that it is possible.  I received a wonderful note this morning from a mother, son dynamic duo who used bits of the ramblings here at AOH to make thier decision to adopt two new Bromptons. I can only imagine how amazing the world would be if people parked thier cars just two days a week and used thier bikes to get from a to b.  It would literally change the entire dynamic of the planet earth, end wars, lower health insurance and cure Americas leading disease, depression. Imagine that, saving the planet and all you have to do is ride your bike.


From the log of Sookie, today I read that 99% of the items we purchase never get used after 6 months and also that the majority of Americans die broke. Consumerism is a word I know very little about, beyond consumables I honestly can’t remember the last thing I purchased new other than Melissa’s ring and that will last a lifetime, was made in America and purchased with great intent.  As I pull piles of books, extra clothes and gear all to be donated I wonder where all these things came from and the miserable hours I spent in voulintary servitude to aquire.  It’s been many years now since walking away from the world I lived in but I still find a daily battle of want vs need.  

Between a rock and a hard place

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Navigating the open sea is without a doubt the purist form of adventure one can achieve in this world tamed by the almighty dollar.  Rich men in thier yachts have sea stories and while the experiences of these yachtsman surely exist they pale in comparison to those who made the same journeys in sailing craft that at first glance may appear to be more fitted for lake travel than that of crossing oceans.


Since the beginning of time the true sailing yacht has come sans engine, a proper and seaworthy yacht with a seasoned and confident crew can sail in and out of any situation the captian finds the need of entertaining. Put the Falmouth Cutter designed by Lyle Hess next to any other boat in any yard across the world and you will see one very distinct difference.  The FC wasn’t designed to sell to sailors wives at boat shows, she wasn’t designed to be mass produced or built by any economy other than that of surviving the ravages of the sea.  She is a work of art, strong, simple, beautiful from any angle, a true blue water ship that can be obtained by any blue collar sailor with the passion to do so.

Unfortunately for this little ship we are at a financial standstill, a cross roads where ownership came with its costs but finishing the last fidly bits in a region where not only the weather dictates progress but also very seasonal employment.  Throw in a crew that lives in two different country’s where we can’t both be together and work at the same time.  The thought of passing this boat on is a painful one but it’s Either that or find a way to ship her somewhere where we can both earn an honest living and finish this little masterpiece we call home.l

With her long run, hollow bow and fat Buttox she is a lady of very few moods.  She doesn’t squat, get cranky off the wind, doesn’t suffer from weather helm and can easily carry a bounty fit for the small crew that she can carry across the sea in comefort and style.  It’s the crew and thier courage, skill and desire that makes the voyage of a small yacht a success.  No need for inboard engines, radar or depth Saunder or any of the other modern day instruments that destroy the challange of crossing oceans.  To the voyagers on thier small yachts it’s the wind and waves that they set off to seek and where thier challange lies.  To navigate by the stars, steer by the wind and truly feel thier diminutive size on a sea larger than the land from which the ship and her sailors kcame.  A battle of wind and waves, ships in the night, uncharted islands, fog, lightning and all the other things that frighten the most experienced of us for we know full well what lies ahead.

Working on Sookies self steering is turning out to be far more of a challange than I had originally thought, she will set off from the east coast straight into the Bowles of the Bermuda Triangle, short stacked seas too much wind and currents that will challange the best of the best of sailors, even those with thier huge rumbling Diesel engines and a every modern aid to navigation, we will do it with paper charts, a sextant and a lead line.

I know for a fact that thier are dozens of modern adventures out there, they slip through the cracks preferring the quiet solitude of ananymity so there are no charts for us to follow.  When Lin and Larry Pardey retired from voyaging it was the end of an era for those of us who prefer the purist form of sailing and enjoy the ramblings of others who share the sail though books and the web.  There is nothing easy about living this life of simplicity but I have been given the gift of gab so as much as I would prefer to silently drift about, the story will continue.

We are spent, both physically, financially and emotionally so our hoonymoon on bikes will give us a chance to rest, to bond as a team and to regain the passion and energy that society has robbed us of.  Our new journey while it may take place on bikes and boats isn’t one of the sea, the land or any of the others modes we choose to live by.  It’s a journey of two gypsy lovers with simple dreams, simple lives and a very strong passion to explore the world together.

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” 

― Rosa Luxemburg

Just say yes…

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I hear scampering outside Sookie, it’s a cold blustery morning, there is a 20 year old girl doing a top to bottom restoration on her little 24′ full keel cruiser.  As the days roll on every guy in the boatyard stops by to waste her time and offer a hand, she declines all of them.  She has a pile of books to guide her, covered from head to toe in dust and paint she is doing good work and it makes me smile to see such an independent young person.


Aboard Sookie I’m moving at a much slower pace, the first week out is one of oranization and careful budgeting, I have a long list, a small budget and I’m pedaling out of here September fifteenth with no plans to return anytime soon.  At 22′ Sookie dwarfs the 24′ boat next to her.  I feel guilty having her out of the water, like I’m somehow letting her down but she needs a good nap, lots of attention and a nice snug place to pass the winter.

Nothing in the world is more stressful to me that seeing my boat on land, it’s something I never look foreward to, going in and going out.  Chatting with a friend who sailed into my bay the night before hauling Sookie, the sun hanging in the late afternoon, a shadow appeared behind him, I thought is was my neighbors wife but the familiar spider of her dreadlocks wasn’t there.  I stared squinting into the sun at the silent silouette and then she opened her mouth, it was Melissa.  I freaked, I’ve never been so happy to see anyone in my life, I leapt off the boat and threw my arms around her giving her the biggest bear hung in the world.  It takes her a full day of travel to get here and I hadn’t planned on seeing her till mid July, she wanted to be there to help me pull Sookie and get her ready for her final stages of becoming a true blue water yacht. Her familiar smell, cute laugh and her strong little gecko hands, so tiny but made for turning wrenches.  Our last night afloat for the forseeable future, we didn’t get much sleep but we both woke rested, glowing and ready for the day.  Steak and eggs for breakfast with hot coffee, life is perfect. 

I’ve spent my entire adult life on the water and I want more, both on the boat and off.  Each day brings me one day closer to  the next journey.  Melissa is busy in Canada literally selling everything she owns and wrapping up her Canadian life, ready to move to America.  I sent  her a letter, don’t get rid of anything that is truly important to you, her response is that things are not important, people and experiences are, she is a true minimalist.

  Her backpack is neatly packed and tucked in beside me.  Together we went through it looking for items that may need to be donated to keep our loads light.  Every single item in her tiny 35 liter pack literally matched what I have in mine, she has good taste and the only thing that got jettisoned was her spare spork.

I hadn’t planned on popping the question anytime soon, I was waiting for that moment on our bike tour when life was impossibly perfect but her little surprise  sent me into overload and I realized that every moment we are together is impossibly perfect.  I was nervous, I didn’t know what to say or how to do it but the time was right, the words flowed and out came a sailors ring, small, simple and strong like Melissa, no rock just a never ending circle. I stared into her Steele blue eyes, the absolute look of shock on her face, time stood still…

You can’t change the company you keep, but you can change  the company you keep.

Katie and Jessie on a boat

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The wind is angry, she lashes at my pennant slowly and methodically beating it to death.  The boat lurches in a gust and my internet dies, the sounds of the spring storm are my only company, the Erie moan matches my mood.  Time stands still… With a ping I’m alerted that my small connection to the outside world is back and I follow the trail of my electronic mail to Katie and Jessie on a boat.


I lay back in my bunk and contemplate words. Words like journey and authentic.  I ask myself, is it possible to tell an authentic story and still create an authentic life; or do we merely become puppets on the end of a string dancing and performing for people we will never meet, people we will never know and most importantly people who have never and will never care about us beyond the superficial shell that amuses them in thier time of need for escape.

From the very first day we met through the web, the photography and writing of Jessie’s has held a deep place in my heart.  I had never heard of the blog until the one day I had a chance meeting with her father, a very generous and kind man, the type of person you would expect to have raised such a stellar young force in this world.

A good story, the truly authentic type needs more than good character development, it needs truly authentic charters, enter Katie, co captian and co conspirator.  Two young humans, practically children by today’s standards when they set off but what they lacked in experience they gained through chemistry, teamwork and mutual trust, more elements in an authentic journey.

Over the years I’ve read every word, dissected ever image and played them like an old time movie in my head while the story unfolded in front of my eyes.  The gaps always filled to the exact preportions necessary to tell enough of the story without ever stepping across that invisible line where an adventurous soul is lost to the story, or the readers or…

Just a few days ago I was bitching to a friend that there are no authentic stories being told, no blogs worth reading and no writers that aren’t in it for more than the misguided attention one receives from the blogosphere. More than ever I needed to be reminded that there is and there are Truly talented individuals out there telling a real story of a real adventure.  And so today I stand corrected as I followed a link to a story that is far and away beyond any form of art, authentic is far too small of a word for Five miles per hour

I finish the essay, turn off my iPad and fall asleep listening to the sounds of the storm.  My last memories before drifting off into that private world where all your dreams can come true are the words journey and authentic, if you don’t know the definition of either of these words you might just click here and go for a magic carpet ride…

From the log of Sookie,   Most people in this world despise authenticity, mostly because they are envious of it.

The minimalists

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I never should have come back to the boat, I knew I wasn’t ready to face it and the memories.  I was mentally  prepared for my arrival and I was prepared for what I would surely face in the first few days or weeks but I wasn’t prepared for what would turn into a daily bout of depression.  I miss Chloe so much and while I thought time would heal the wounds and in some ways it does but being here without her has opened the flood gates of loss on a constant and daily basis.


Another cold and blustery day, I’m glad I got out on the bike yesterday because it’s just too cold for me today. The haul out is scheduled, I’ve borrowed a tent till my one man cave shows up. I pulled out my trusty pack and it’s time to start thinking like a landlubber. I have everything I need and nothing more.  My bike and my pack are ready to roll.

Drifting off to all the experiences I’ve had in the last year I feel them so close I can almost touch them.  How far I am from this day last year, drifting through the Desolation Sound and Discovery Islands in hundred degree tempuratures.  Backpacking Oregon and making wine.  Carrying my best friends lifeless body and trying to let go.  Hawaii, Maui, Sherrif John Brown, I’m always reminded of the scene from the Big Lebowski  ” Stay out of Malibu Lebowski”. The journey home to a place that felt like home more than any I know, yet always empty and cold without my pup. Dealing with my fucked up brain and becoming a medical pin cussion. And now letting go of my sailing dreams of rounding Vancouver island this year.


Sometimes you just need to run away and that’s what I’m doing, more journeys to try and settle the soul. Maybe next year will be different, it doesn’t matter because I don’t plan anything more than a few days in advance if even that.  Mel ordered her new Brompty and with a little luck we will pedal off into the sunset in September chasing the long days of summer.  I know I’ll miss the boat the second I step off her but sometimes it good to want and need and mostly just know that if you ever want or need it that you have a home out there somewhere patiently waiting your return…

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
― Josh Billings

Double income no kids…

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I know of no other financial decision more sound than selling your car and replacing it with a bicycle.  It will save you in the immediate future and add the most most valuable of all commodities in the world, quality of life both mental and physical.


The acronym DINK’s stands for double income no kids. We are soon to be DUNK’s double unemployed no kids  and shortly after that OTWB’s on tour with Bromptons. We’ve settled on Clever Cycles to build Mel’s new Brompty.  They are close to my home town in Oregon and rock when it comes to customer service even if they teased me to no end when I wrote them almost a year ago asking for a cost Brompton.  I can’t imagine how many letters they get from idiots like me but hey, a guys gotta ask.

When it comes to building bikes I go a bit overboard so I’ve left Mel up to the task of choosing her perfect steed.  We’re both still undecided on how we will load the bikes for touring but that is all part of the game.  She annoys me to no end wanting to pay for the whole thing by herself but I’m still going to sneak in a little love, it’s not like she can stop me from Canada.  

So with the extreme disappointment of not getting to sail north this season I’ve already washed my hands of the whole thing and have thrown every ounce into planning a gigantic cycling adventure.  If you want to have some fun click here and you can build your own…

I don’t have a bucket list but my Brompton list is a mile long…

The bitter end

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Sooner or later every sailor will be unfortunate enough to learn the painfull meaning of the bitter end as the last bit of anchor rode slips through thier fingers and then nothing…  I’ve been bipolar to the A.D.D.TH degree these last few months in a desperate landlocked voyage to point my bow north.


Sooner or later we all have to pay the piper and with a great deal of indesision I’ve thrown in the towel for a summer cruise and bit the bullet so to speak.  Sookie is getting hauled till next spring.  I’ve been playing too much and ignoring the final stages of my refit, new pintles and gudgeons, a rudder cheek rebuild and my barrier coat.  In my typical voyaging on a hundred dollars a month budget constraints I’ve decided to patch my existing barrier coat and save the real job for some hot and steamy third world boatyard.  You can’t fit a ten pound parcel into a two pound sack.

I’m bent to say the least but it has to be done if I ever want to get anywhere beyond my 300 mile circle and I do.  Back and forth we went but there is simply no way around it.  So now that I’m getting ready to put on my land legs,my list is impossibly long, a jigsaw sort of puzzle to finish only what is completely necessary on my beer budget.  I have a feeling I will still be rebuilding this little girl for many years to come but so is the nature of being blessed with a good old boat.  Both my master and my servant she needs my full attention right now and so she will get it.

I’ve potentially lined up the lowest paying job on the planet and a free dusty, dirty patch of dry land to store Sookie where I can liveaboard and work on her.  It’s going to make for very long days, up at dawn for a few hours of work, clock in for a long day in the sun and then back to this and that till the sun goes down. November first is my weather cut off and then it’s of to somewhere warm for the winter, I’m already looking into the Caribbean and the many sailing oppertunities in that beautiful sea. 

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”   ― William Wordsworth

You better axe somebody

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Alain de Botton writes,  “We need to swap the Romantic view for a tragic (and at points comedic) awareness that every human will frustrate, anger, annoy, madden and disappoint us — and we will (without any malice) do the same to them.” In his essay why you will marry the wrong person.


I’m a little slow in the head if you haven’t figured it out by now.  I only recently figured out that in the story of Adam and Eve that it wasn’t a piece of fruit that Adam ate from the tree of life in the garden of Eden and was like hell yeah, who the fuck wants eternal life over the forbidden fruit anyways.  


Before this clearly crazy Canuck skipped into my life I had only been truly in love once in my life and that was long before the turn of the century.  For the most part I had begun to believe it wasn’t even possible to find real love, then she walked into my life.  Her brilliant smile reminded me of F. Scott ftizgeralds famous words, “It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”   My first instincts when meeting her were very primal, to hit her over the head with my club, grab a fist sized clump of hair and drag her limp body into my cave, only it turned out that she was the one with the club.

Connected at the hip from the very first, I smiled to myself, “oh, so this is what it feels like”.  So in my secret journal I added Stormy and Mel to a short list of the worlds most famous lovers, Romeo and Juliet, Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Paris and Helena, Orpheus and Eurydice, Napoleon and Josephine, Odysseus and Penelope, Eloise and Abelard, Pyramus and Thisbe and how could any of us forget Pocahontas and John Smith.

If she says yes I will take her by the hand and walk her barefooted deep into the legends of the fall and place this simple sailors ring onto her finger.  Of course first I have to ask her…

To get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.” Mark Twain

Brompton bicycle, best of the best 2016

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The only thing better than a puppy for meeting  people is a Brompton.  I’m stopped everywhere I go, the grocery store is where I get the most questions about my funky, cute little folding bike neatly  stashed in my shopping cart.  I can’t even imagine how many thousands of smiles and hellos this quirky little folder has made.


The first question I’m always asked is how does she ride, she rides like a bike with 16″ tires, exactly like she was meant to.  The owners manual clearly says that Brompton is not meant for touring or aggressive riding. Barreling down the side of a volcano from eight thousand feet to sea level and I’m sure topping 40mph was only one of the many infractions I have made on this bike.  Within a month of finding this little gem I had voided every single warrany Brompton has.  Touring Hawaii was brutal in many ways but it had some the smoothest roads and widest bike lanes in America as long as I was actually on the main Hwy which was a rarity, “some day I may publish the real Hawaii story” heading to either end of the island was a different story with rutted roads, zero shoulder and more wind and water than is imaginable.  My free advice is always ride the island clockwise so when, not if you are run off the road you will be pile driven into a cliff or roadside ditch as opposed to being hurtled off of a cliff.  I stopped counting car bike infractions after the first few days when I learned it’s all part of cycling in the islands.

Eight months  and serveral sets of tires down the road and my gearing is still perfectly tuned.  Should it ever need adjustment it’s easy and takes about 3 seconds and your on your way again.  Changing flats on the other hand can be a major project although a good set of tires will all but eliminate this issue.  It took me at least fifty miles to really dial in my ride on this bike but now I can’t see ever owning any other bike again for any reason.  Ive done the whole hucking myself off a cliff on my MTB thing for half my life and that part of cycling is behind me.  Now I ride for fun or to get places which is also fun.  I can easily see riding this bike around the world over a few years and that’s where her foldability comes in.  The Brompton is bar none the best riding, easiest and most compact folding  and highest quality folding bike on the planet.  I’ve ridden many other brands into the ground but I must say I ride quite a lot, the average person could find a lower end folder on Craig’s list for a few hundred bucks and with basic maintenance it will last them a lifetime.

I’ve never been a fan of panniers, Infact I gave up cycle touring in favor of credit card touring on my fixed gear because I was so sick of riding a bike with panniers on it.  The Brompton has many luggage options and all are centered and low, the front bag attaches to the frame and not the fork so the load never shifts although these bikes are not meant to tour with. While you pay a bit in comefort for small high pressure tires, climbing is a dream as is jumping a shuttle when you’ve hit your wall and hitching with a Brompton is as easy as it gets. My longest ride to date is a relative whimpy 83 miles although I could have easily ridden further on that day had I not found a nice little shore side park with lots of coconuts and no sign of the man so I called it a day.

Living on my little 22′ boat my Brompton is easy to store, I have also carried her onto a train, ferry, in a cab, a helicopter and float plane, hitchhiked, and she fits perfectly in the over head on larger commercial jets.  Mainetnece is easy with a full list of how to videos on youtube and Brompton has the highest quality paint of any bicycle company on the planet.  These bikes hold thier value very well.  When I started shopping I was hoping to find a nice used S model in pink but I fell into a MR6 in orange and am very glad I did, I love the upright riding position and the little wheels are good on my wrecked knees, Infact since finding this bike all my cycling induced knee pain is gone.

What else can I say about a bike that while might seem a bit pricey upfront is worth every penny in fun. It will add 25 healthy years to your life, firm and tone your body, make you smile everytime you ride and generally is the planets fountain of youth and viagra all rolled into one, if you want mine you will have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

If it sounds like I love my bike I do, 7 years ago when I decided to try and live  car free for one year I never could have imagined how much of a better quality of life I could have on my bike.  The upfront cost at 2k might send you into sticker shock but compared to automobile ownership this bike will pay for itself very quickly and not just in monatary ways.

There is a slow life out there waiting for you. My morning ride is heaven on earth.  A quick trip to the farmers market on a sunny Saturday morning affords me a pile of locally grown veggies and if I’m really lucky a scoop of the best Icecream on the planet.  I can eat as much as I want as often as I want and never have to stoop to stupid exercise videos or going to a skanky gym.  My Brompty is my health insurance, psychologist and amusement park all rolled into one, it also happens to be the most romantic form of transportation known to man.

Disclaimer, I have no affiliation with the Brompton bicycle company in any way shape or form.

Ancient mariner

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I watch a young couple slowly working the bay with thier lead line from the deck of a skooum folk boat.  Unlike all the couples that motor in on thier large boats yelling and screaming back and forth, this couple is silent, they work as a team.


I’ll never understand why people make anchoring so fucking complicated, find an open spot and drop the fucking hook.  I don’t even bother setting Sookies anchor, I ghost in down wind, motor shut off and when I feel good I kick it over, let out a pile of line and snub it on my mooring bits.


I’ve been blessed more and more each day with pocket cruisers sailing into our little bay.  This sitting around and waiting is killing me, yes I need to work but still I could survive without it, it think.  Even the luckiest of us will only get 75 summers in a lifetime, if your 35 half of them are over and you have to wonder how many great ones you will get, maybe 35 more??? What if it’s only 25, time is a wastin…

So I contemplate rowing out with the man can and pouring them a glass of my shit box wine but they look so peaceful I don’t want to spoil thier party, I retreat to my cabin and pout.  Sorting through paint brushes and varnish to take my mind off of my dockside prison I spy a cruising rag a friend dropped off, garbage.  There is a reason blogs will always have thier place in this world.

I love occasionally watching sailing videos but I can’t imagine being a slave to a video camera, sure it pays the bills but at what cost, every memory is talking to a piece of glass.  I really want to expand into video but like my blog, 15 minutes a day is more than too much time to spend on such trivial things.  I throw the rag in the corner and pick up a literally destroyed copy of the cost conscious cruiser, this little book of mine has been through the ringer and many many sailboats with me.  The broken spline is from when we took a mast in the water knock down after having lightning strike within touching distance.  Blind and deaf I left my little boat to tend to itself while I dove below to check my through hulls, I slipped on the book that had been hurtled across the cabin splitting the spline and almost my head in the process.

Those old time writers really had a good strategy, go play for a few years till you find somewhere to swallow the hook for a bit.  Write a book and then wash your hands of it all and go sailing again.  I’m pushing closer and closer to going completely rogue, cancelling my Instagram account which I truly loved was one of the many steps I have been taking to unplug.  And so back to the young couple heaving thier lead line as they slowly practice what the ancient mariners  for many a generation passed down to us, seamanship…

From the log of Sookie BUSTED.  A late eventing call to help move a friends boat and his wife looks at me “are you wearing a skirt?”  No it’s my man kilt is my simple response.  “Stormy, that’s a full blown skirt”. Yes I know that, I say with a  🙂 ” I understand”. She says with a ;).  My friends don’t think I’m nuts, they know I am and they still love me which is why I love them so much.

And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The albatross did follow,

And every day, for food or play, 

Came to the mariners’ hollo!

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,

It perched for vespers nine;

“God save thee, ancient mariner! 

Full keel 

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I’m beginning to feel like nowhere man, not a single place where I can work on Sookie, and a dismal employment scene.  I turn my attention to Sookie and and the neighboring yacht I’m helping out with a little splicing.  Both heavy displacement full keel cruising yachts, one displacing 60,000lbs and one a smidge under 8000lbs.


At 5 net tones Sookie is the only pocket cruiser I know of that can be US Coatgaurd documented.  I turned her little galley into a rigging station, I’m always surprised how much space she has for everything.  Her long sweeping forefoot isn’t a true full keel but Lyle Hess was able to find a balance where she will always tack a bit slowly but easily and will heave to instantly with no fuss, this safety factor is why I chose her over all other cruising boats.


Her 33% ballast ratio is spot on and the reason I can haul so much food around without sinking her beyond her lwl.  I’ve been doing an absolute ton of research lately on under 30′ cruising boats and am constantly surprised at the high end ballast ratios, the higher the ratio the more you pay in loss of comefort and load carrying ability.


I searched for years of a FC without an inboard for many reasons and while I’ve cursed the outboard in so many conditions I’m a sailor, not a motor sailor.  Of all my years at sea all of the most frightening and dangerous situations have been while under or do to our powerlant or laying at anchor.  The internal combustion engine is a miserable beast but I still very reluctantly use it on average about 10% of the time.  My brand new Tohutsu, is a joy to have and runs perfectly but she is still auxiallry which means I work hard at not using her if at all possible.  My old Yuloh was a work of art but Sookie is just to small to carry it so a new sculling oar will be added after the new wind vane goes on if I can make it all fit.


Which brings me back to my full keel from her very long waterline to her hollow entry everything about Sookie is easy on the eyes which is why it’s so hard adding solar and at the same time keeping her simple and traditional looking. Finding a place to add a small solar panel is a challange without destroying her beautiful lines.  My new solar charger has arrived, a gift for a friend through AOH so now it’s time to start drilling holes, feeding wire and trying to sneak in a good location.  On a boat of Sookies size the only instillation worth doing is a fixed one and I think I’ve found a home for it and this is super exciting at the prospect of no longer having to pay transient moorage  while cruising to top my batterybank.


The very first thing I did when Sookie arrived from Southern California was to remove everything from the top of her mast, both antennas and the wind chicken.  Nothing makes you a worse sailor than staring up at that damn thing all day with a crick in your neck, it’s also danegeous because you should be staring at the water.  I pulled the deck lights from the spreaders and dewired  half the boat.  Now two small batteries  power nothing but lights and a small cigarette lighter that I can plug my little hand held vhf into to re charge, the big one was given away the first day I was aboard.  My lead line still works perfectly as does my hand held compass for taking bearings and no need for a knot log in this day and age.   It’s both fun and a challange keeping with the tradition of Sookies design and full keel but also her simplicity makes her substantially safer and more fun to sail, or in my case sit around the dock working on her for our next big adventure.

“A sailor’s joys are as simple as a child’s.” – Bernard Moitessier

I love my Brompton

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I freaking love my Brompton, I cant believe we’ve already been together for 8 months.  She’s been on trains, planes, buses and a trolley, boats and planes that float, cars, ferries and even in a baby carrier.I will never forget my first day with mine, amazing these bikes are.


Sookie spent her first and last night as floating boarding house when I met two adorable young girls in desperate need of a bed.  I spent the afternoon cleaning and getting her all ready and then moved aboard a friends boat next door for the night.  I have to say hearing the giggling voices of this amazing mother daughter dou made me a bit jealous of them and thier beautiful home for the evening.  It was good to have an arms distance view of what others see when they walk by Sookie.


When I moved back aboard Sookie now two friends richer in this world she was spotless and had fresh herbs hanging everythwere, it smells so good in here and I love the look . So backtracking, with a pile of things to do I sent the girls off to play, while they were out I signed  them up for sailboat race to give me time to make Sookie perfect.  As usual I was able to sneak in an amazing ride on Brompty, my legs are finally in full recovery mode and hopefully my lungs are soon to follow. 


Dragging Brompty through 6 inches of horrible Hawaiin clay and a full load I cursed the weather, her small tires and every turn in the road that revealed yet another emty stretch and no relief in sight.  Looking at her after a complete detail I could plop her on the shelf in any bike store and you would think she is new. 


I did a massive amount of research and riding of all folding bikes and now well over a thousand miles into my second set of tires I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Brompton is the highest quality folding bike in the world.  My map is stretched out in front of me, the only question is where shall we ride  for the winter

“I thought of that while riding my bicycle.”

~ Albert Einstein in reference to the Theory of Relativity.

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A life on the sea

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There is a slowness to this sailing life, simple living and minimalist travel.  A new anchorage every day and all for pennies compared to basic living ashore. Simple freedom to explore at your own pace.


Anchor wherever you like, know body owns the ocean.


There is no such thing as inappropriate weather, only inappropriate clothing.  


There is an anchorage over there, somewhere.


Simple systems offer simple sailing.


Canada…


Drop the hook and get ready to explore a new world.

” Some people never find it, some… only pretend,  but Me; I just want to live happily ever after, now and then.”  Jimmy Buffett

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Death of the boatyards

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Driving from California to Alaska I stopped in Bellingham for 5 minutes to look at a boat I had zero interest in owning.  Seven minutes later I owned said boat, broke in a town is never heard of I started the long process of integration.  The boatyard had a very strict no liveaboard policy.  After serveral weeks I was confronted by the yard manager and did my best to convince him that I was not living aboard.  He smiled and replied, “if your still not living here at the end of the month I’m going to have to start charging you electricity”,  and walked away.


It seems that all of the Washington boat yards have a zero tolerance policy these days which make life a living hell for yachts in transit that need a lengthy stay for major overhauls such as drying and re sealing the hull.  Each year one more of my secret yards falls off the map and while they are willing to take every penny you own from thier chandlery to yard expenses they couldn’t care less about serving the needs of the hand that feeds them.


Washington has changed so much since I’ve been here, once a welcoming sea for boaters now the rules are through the roof and even the anchorages are being ruined with the hundreds of morning balls that make you anchor so far off that it takes forever to get to shore.  I suppose that’s why I have to listen to dozens of outboards zooming back and forth all day.


The gentle pull of my oars, the swoosh of water sliding under my hull and the sound the water makes as it drops from my blades.  These all are the call of the sea to me.  Now replaced by huge diesels running for hours on end, smoke filled bays and crowds of non boaters who own boats.  


I ask myself where have all the sailors gone and I was given my answer.  Chris sailed in on his little 18′ sloop that he raced solo in the race to Alaska last year, today he left for the Broughton islands in the same boat.  Another couple sailed in on a beautiful 23′ lapstrake from Port Townsend and another from PT in a beautiful Cape Dory 25. 


We’re  still out here but every year the numbers seem to be getting smaller. Is the marine industry killing sailing and turning it into an eletist hobby.  The small slips are all disappearing making way for larger boats that sit unused 50 weeks a year while the ones of us who use our boats are being slowly pushed out.


My frustration mounts and more than ever I’m feeling like it’s time to leave what was once a boating Mecca but now more and more seems to be gridlock of huge boats polluting the slow quiet ways of the islands. Where have all the sailors gone?

From the log of Sookie, they call it progress, yet another word that should be stricken from the English language. 

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Bow spirit

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I’ve moved the boat 5 times in as many days and I’m right back where I started from, staring down the barrel of June 1st.  Today is a rest day, one of coffee and boat drawings.  I just got word today that a friend though AOH and fellow sailor is sending me his old solar charge controller and with a little bit of cutting into my control panel it will be a perfect fit.

“So dance like there’s nobody watching,

Love like you’ll never be hurt,

Sing like there’s nobody listening,

And live like it’s heaven on earth.” 

― William W. Purkey

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Anchoring in a runway

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The planes come and go, today was my first shore leave since Wednesday, A hot jacuzzi, trim the beard, go for a walk. The sun is out and it’s warm, calm for now and I’m already scheming a way to get back to the dock and plug my heater in for another month so I can finish my annual maintenance on Sookie.


The Pacific North West is a cruel mistress but I suppose if it was always warm here my sleepy island would look more like Miami than a floating farm far removed from Amish country.  Clean, trash runs, water, more cleaning and a bit of inventory of my stores with lots of reorginasation to make space for Melissa and her backpack full of stuff.  It’s slow today and after the constant roller coaster I’ve been living in a need a good break.

I can’t believe how much juice my little iPad sucks from the battery bank, two group 31’s.  Solar may be my first priority after adding a hundred feet of chain and new 5/8″ anchor line.

Big puffy clouds drift by, I miss my girl and the voices and laughter of my neighbors.  To much time alone out here, I’m starting to talk to myself which is just scary.  Maybe a quick cup of coffee and a tour of my neighboring boats in the anchorage, not a bad day for some socializing and boat tours.

“Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.” 

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Life on the hook

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Another cold day, the strongest  gusts slowly abated as the wind backed to the south.  Gusts still, pour over the hills but the water is flat excentuating  the big puffs as Sookie leans into each one with a tug on her ground tackle. The morning news crackles across my little short wave, my only lifeline to the real world and proof it still exists.


Yesterday was the first day of the season for retards with boats.  Fish bay is a full mile long which would question why my dumbass neighbor from the Marina decided to move his 36′ steel ketch with no motor. Right next to me, ok he’s a really nice guy, just clueless when in comes to boats.  With an outboard powered dinghy on both sides they waited till the wind was 13 gusting to 18 GENIOUS!!!!  First they tried to literally drop thier anchor right on top of mine, I only have 100′ out so it was inevitable that they were going to hit me one way or another.  I’m that asshole that walks to the bow and is like do you see my boat?  See this rope off the bow, that’s my anchor line, look where it goes, you just dropped your hook on mine. For reasons unknown one of the tow dinghy left at this point to go schmooze  around the anchorage.  They then tried to ram a power boat and with a bare miss the wind started to pick up and they drifted down on me.  I walked to the bow “hey fucktard, your prop is about to cut my anchor line”, it was a negative tide, that water about 6′ deep and my line was in danger.  They put it in foreward as I watched the prop miss my line by inches.  This is when I realized a collision was imminent.the full weight of the wind pushed them on to me, luckily Sookie is so light I was able to hold the boats at bay while that big steel piece of shit dragged the length of my boat.  At this point I still hadn’t seen the skipper touch the wheel.  They then tried to anchor with 28′ of chain in a rising breeze and were shocked that they were dragging into the yachts at the guest dock.


The scene went on like this all day with many boats including a 47′ powerboat that hit moneymaker reef twice.  The planes came and went as the relentless wind had us hobby horsing in the steep chop that had zero effect on the larger boats.  I will never be shocked at the sheer stupidity of boaters.  They spend a hundred grand on a boat, then are to cheap to pay a few hundred bucks to learn how to safely use them.  It really pisses me off that these people have such a small regard for other peoples property but so is the nature in America where you can buy anything on time and just keep replacing it everytime you crash it up all for one low monthly payment.

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” 

― Albert Einstein

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Dawn patrol

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Bundled in my foulies I’m almost warm, I sit listening to the sounds Sookie makes and she pitches and roles in the wind over tide driven chop, one of the few penalties for a short waterline. A brass lantern has my attention.


I pulled my delta flag last night to quiet the boat.  It signifies stand clear, manovering with extreme difficulty, a joke from my engineless sailing days but also a very good signal.  Below 35 knots of wind I don’t bother with an anchor watch, I know my gear and trust it.  If other boats are too close I will sleep in the cockpit monitoring them but other than that I sleep deeply, if the wind gets over 15 the flag starts to vibrate and shutter alerting me to the wind increase so I can pop out and take a peek to reassure myself we are safe, I won’t need this reminder tonight, all hell is breaking loose.


My dinner ended up on the cabin sole and that’s where I ate it appreciating the chorus Sookie and all her hanging fidly bits were making.  


It was well past ten before the tide turned allowing me to enter the v berth without levitating.  I took a sip of red wine and listened to the small rollers tumbling under Sookies keel.  Contemplating the universe the one thing that kept creeping through my mind is that when opportunity knocks…

“I recognized you instantly. All of our lives flashed through my mind in a split second. I felt a pull so strongly towards you that I almost couldn’t stop it.”   ― J. Sterling

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Trapped like a rat

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Night time is the scariest,  when you are all alone… The wind howling through the rigging, waves slapping the hull. The tug of your anchor line all the while wondering if you will pull the whole bottom of the sea and drag it across the world with you.  The rocky lee shore gives nightmares only men who have gone to sea can dream of.  It’s cold and my body won’t stop shivering. 


Calm before the storm, it’s feels good to have Sookie back where she belongs but it’s only for a bit, I need her dockside for at least three more weeks to finish a few projects.

Cold and blustery winds blow, Sookie is riding nicely, I let out a little extra scope as it looks like the next few days are going to be a bit breezy. I don’t trust my leaking dinghy, after it was thrown through the washing cycle having been left on a rocky beach in a gale the owner patched the holes with epoxy thickened with oats.

For the first time ever I miss my rubber ducky, that piece of shit didn’t row well and was like towing a suction cup but was incredibly sea worthy and put in many more years of service and abuse than anyone could reasonably ask.  I expected my dink to be sunk by morning but it’s still there and as long as it floats, my lifeline to shore and people and…

I have all my warmies on but I’m still cold, my fingers are cold everything is cold and damp, reminds me of the day I sailed into blubber bay like a drowned rat after crossing the Straits of Georgia , guess that Heater I have in Port Townsend should have been on the top of my list.  I hear the occasional crash of water against the side of my hull as the gusts roll through, the rigging is moaning and the sky dark and brooding.  The occasional fix of Internet gives me a bit to do  but I have to go easy on my power management as I still have yet to add solar, its too gross out to work on the boat.  My fingers worn to the bone from my uke concert today and according to Enviornment Canada  for the foreseeable future the weather is looking really sucky all week with winds gusting to 40 predicted to hit late tonight, gross.

“it was times like these when a man in a desperate situation must take whatever madness is offered to escape the darker madness in which he finds himself trapped.”  ― Sean F. Hogan

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Why won’t anyone visit

You feed me tacos  🙂

Slowing down

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The less money you require, the les time you need to take making it.  In a world where most people want to buy things, or let others do the work for them I prefer to make things and make things better, learning as I go.  I won’t ask or pay for help Untill  I’ve failed at something at least a dozen times.  Perhaps thats why I love boats so much even a complete moron can fix or completly and easily restore a boat with little more than youtube and a book.


Im often asked why I need the boat that I have, need has nothing to do with it, if your going to pour money into a hole in the water it may as well be a beautiful hole. When you find the right boat, you know it.  As with Sookie, I could easily afford her purchase price but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The love I have for her makes the massive expense both in time and money worth it, I would have hated to go through all this for the wrong boat. Sitting out on the hook I am easily reminded why I have all my eggs in one basket.

When it comes to newer boats so called performance and amenities come at the expense of safety and seaworthieness and often even comefort although on a boat that is a very relative term.  Having delivered a countless amount of production boats I can tell you that those big Clorox bottles and I love them all are hell to pay hard on the wind, there is a reason that there are literally thousands of them for sale in every down wind location on the planet.

The barometer is dropping, Sookies hook is set firmly and I have my own little private island.  There is nothing old fashioned  about Sookie, she is a Modern design of modern construction designed by a man who loved the sea and built by a team of men who have spent a lifetime out there.

My time has come and I’ve had to vacate the Marina, I still need a good month dockside to finish my projects but that will sort itself out. a borrowed ukulele a sinking dinghy and nothing but time on my hands, freedom and time to reflect are comming my way sooner than I hoped but my how life flys when you are having a good time.

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Dana 24 for sale

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She’s still avaiable, this beautiful 1985 Dana 24, $36,000.











This is a great chance to jump in on your dreams of blue water cruising.  I also have ties to a beautiful diesel Falmouth cutter, and one of the last flickas built.
“To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their  boats at sea… “cruising” it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.
“I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security.” And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone.
What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.
The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life? ” 
― Sterling Hayden, Wanderer

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Blame  Canada 

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Sitting on the back deck in late afternoon sun on a perfect windless day two pasty white bare feet came skipping down the dock with and bag of goodies and the biggest smile I’ve ever seen, a nuclear explosion was about ready to detonate.   I whisked her from boat to boat, bottle of wine In hand in a flurry of laughter as we toured boats far larger and more elegant than Sookie. “You know stormy, I’ve always wanted to round the horn in a small sailboat.”  She leaned into me and asked if we could go back to Sookie.


I immediately tried to change the subject but it was too late, the gauntlet had been laid.” those other boats are bigger and very pretty but none of them feel as good as Sookie, she is so cozy and perfect in evey way”  I’ve been swashbuckled, the red tape going down the center of Sookies floor boards was the safety zone, I had my side and she had hers..  A border of two friendly nations, the American pirate had one side and the Canadian mermaid the other, the red tape worked well in theory but theory is a very relative term.  I could blame Canada but it takes two to tango and we danced the night away.


My stomach hurts, I feel like I’ve done a thousand sit-ups, I’ve literally never laughed so hard or for so long in my entire life.  We hiked and explored every inch of each island we visited, petting Mona the camel was the highlight of my life, she loved me and came right in for huge kisses and a scratch between her furry ears.  Hitchhiking, perfect lattes, man tacos, wine, whiskey and boat talk, way too much boat talk if that is entirely possible.  I’m not sure where the hell Im going to fit a purple Brompton in Sookie but like many things, it’s on the table and the search has begun.


I’d call her an adrenalin junky but she’s not, she’s a life junky, she knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. Huge waves and fierce winds make her scream, motor cycles, bicycles, van dwelling and that damn horn.  We can’t fry an egg between the two of us but there are other ways to feed the soul. It all started with a beautiful letter, about a reasonable life, the desire to explore by small sailboat, I  replied with an offer to play boat and she I instantly accepted.  One simple blog post set the wheels in motion, I knew less about her than she of me when she arrived, this was just a going to be a causal connection between two wanderers for the wind but the universe had something bigger in Mind.


It’s quiet now, too quiet, my little Canuck has made a run for the border, her next stop the discovery islands by sailing ship.  I should have locked her in my boat but I didn’t, I set her free and now the silence is deafening.  I need a new jolly roger, to hoist it aloft and tighten my sheets, there is treasure out there, the bounty will be mine and I won’t stop until she is back were she belongs, safely tucked into Sookies little cabin.

“We can talk about it, dream about it and dissect the fine print.

In the end, only action satisfies our longing.”   ― Gina Greenlee

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The riggers apprentice 

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Going through a side pocket in my rigging bag I spied my brand new anchor shackle, I bought it years ago after I was given my Rocna.  I picked it up twirling it in my fingers inspecting it’s quality when it hit me.  If this is in my bag what the hell is holding my anchor on!?


I Walked up to the bow and my eyes bulged, the temporary $2.99 shackle I got while waiting for my good one to come was still on my bower. I can’t even begin to count how many nights I slept snug as a bug in a rug having all the confidence in the world in my Rocna and its ground tackle.  That cheap Chinese piece of shit paid for itself more times than I can count, Sookie bucking and straining as the seas built with the changing tides.  My ground tackle has proved itself 100 times over but now staring at that cheap shackle I’m shaking in my Xtratufs  I have to leave the dock in a week and that thing will be changed out before I do.  Funny how my Rocna is Chinese made and it’s the single most important piece of gear on the boat.

It’s amazing the tools we accumulate over the years, and the ones we drop overboard.  Every year winter washes my brain and I forget how everything works, rigging up my chain hook I couldn’t even remember how I had it set up but Sookie has the easiest most fool proof launch and retrieval system of any boat I have ever seen. 30′ of chain is always enough but I’m going to 100′ to reduce my swing radius, I can’t believe how many boats there are here in the summer.  300′ of 1/2 three strand will be replaced with 200′ of 5/8 and I’m good to go.  Splicing is easy but between them I always forget how,  which is just fine because it only takes a few turns and my hands get back into the groove of it.

My little riggers bag has everything I need to work on every inch of my standing and running rigging.  It took me years to perfectly tune my rig to a nuetral helm, it’s one of my biggest accomplishments in life.  About a year later after bragging about how Sookie doesn’t have a single once of weather healm a good friend chimed in, as a solo sailor I like a touch of weather helm just in case.  Star’s started firing in my brain “damn it” back to the drawing board.  Of all the tools I carry in my little bag the most important one is knowledge, not just mine but the lessons handed down by all the masters of the sea that have held my hand through decades of learning. If you don’t do every job with your own hands it’s only a matter of time until you learn how dangerously useless your skills are.

 I pull my trusty copy of ocean passages for the world. I could slip Sookies lines while she lays sleeping in our vberth berth, we would could be half way out the straits before she wakes, swashbuckled. You can learn a lot at the dock but the best lessons are learned at sea, she will always show you what you and your boat are made of. It isn’t a matter of if the shits going to hit the fan, it’s when. I need a new Jolly Roger.

“The traveler see’s what he see’s, the tourist sees what he’s come to see.”

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The morning grind

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Every night when I lay my head on my soft deep red pillows I get excited for a bright morning and hot coffee.  I pull a pile of blankets up to my chin, wiggle in and fall asleep dreaming of what can possibly come my way in the following day.  This liveaboard life on Sookie is a good one.


The wind howles outside but it’s warm and bright in our little cabin.  The walls of Sookie ring with laughter, even when I’m alone it’s  an adventure, but this ship was built for two.  Up at the crack of dawn, coffee, a walk into town to photograph the storm and now the whole day is mine.  My rigging bag needs attention, the stores need to be inventoried and I need a jacuzzi in a big way.

Good company is my favorite word and visitors have been flocking through, maybe I need to name this little boat the hotel Sookie.  Her galley is compete, her berths fit for a queen and her interior is as ship shape as she has ever been.  Back on my quit smoking routine and excercose, I need more.  A month down due to my misfiring brain and I feel soft, fat and skinny at the same time.  The long days of spring have arrived and it’s time to take a break from maintaining Sookie and do a little personal maintenance.

Between it all I sneak in a bit of song writing, read a few blogs and take in a good sailing video.  The only thing exciting about my life is that I’m living by choice, there is no box, no schedule and no worries.  My new log book arrived yesterday, I haven’t written in it yet as I’m pretty attached to my old one but it’s time to put my pen to a new voyage, new perspectives and a new future.

If you have the means to live this life, you are one of the fortunate few.  If you don’t I highly suggest you throw abandon into the wind,  sell everything you own and find a small well found boat, you owe it to yourself to follow your passion and see where it takes you.  The so called real world isn’t going anywhere and they will gladly take you back at any point.  It’s a crime against humanity but none of us are getting any younger.

Be strong, think strong, take care of your soul and the shell it’s wrapped in.  Make the time to sit around pondering all the things a much younger you would have pondered.  Rope the grandest one like a shooting star and ride it like you stole it.

“Let me wake up next to you, have coffee in the morning and wander through the city with your hand in mine, and I’ll be happy for the rest of my fucked up little life.”    ― Charlotte Eriksson

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Bedazzled

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I wake up in my new quarter berth, the cussions are blood red like everything should be on a traditional sailboat.  Bike ride down, hot coffee in hand and a ciggi, which I hate more than anything, I will quit sooner rather than later.  The boat is clean and tidy, I have a special guest coming from Halifax Nova Scotia to play boat for the weekend, talk about van living and perhaps find a very special cutter to call her own.  Today will be a day to measure and locate the perfect spot for my new boom gallows.


Mike anderson created this beautiful stern roller.


It lines up with the main sheet cleat which doubles as a chock and leads to the winch for kedging.


You won’t find anything in Sookie that can be had at your local West Marine or any other chandlery, each piece is unique to her.


The cleats, a gift for a friend, the bronze a gift for Sookie. 

Boat jewelry is a very important part of outfitting and Sookie is bedazzled from bow to stern, adorned with love and living proof of why I have no breakfast.


Peice by piece every inch of her has or is in the process of being replaced, she’s been loved hard and hung up wet.

Unlike any other FC  in the world, each piece fabricated for her, cast in clay her bases and elbows cooled from a molten bronze to shiney, salty art.  The hands of a dozen of the worlds greatest shipwrites have touched this little girl and the never ending process continues.


ABI teak blocks are a perfect match for her new tiller.


Her new bowsprite is crowned with a bronze cranze iron, the mold made by Larry Pardey and casted by Port Townsend Foundry, they also made the bronze FC caps for her mooring bits and haws holes.


With each new piece and each new journey Sookie gets a little bigger and a little closer to her former glory.  Her previous caretaker ken now sailing his BCC in Tahiti told me he regretted letting her go.  Roger Olsen who built her and many of her sisters told me the Falmouth Cutter was his favorite of all boats and I have to agree


If you look closely you can see her stainless steel gammon iron also fabricated by Mike Anderson. These things can’t be rushed, not one single project on Sookie has been anything other than perfection, I figure another hundred grand to finish what I had drawn out five years ago and she is worth every penny, every hour and every cut and bruise that has gone into her.  So I’ve missed a few meals to create my dreams, lived in ungodly places when the boat was in the shop and scrimped sacraficed and saved.  I might not get to eat my Wheaties today but I can tell you with 100% convictions that sitting in my quater berth sipping on piping hot coffee without a care in the world, every single sacrafice has been well worth it.


Simplicity is the ultimate in sophistication.

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Walk the plank

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Going out to the end of my 5′ bowsprite when it’s rough out feels like walking the plank. Over the years I’ve been working with Carol Hasse on the  perfect head sail. I’ve never been a fan of roller furling but because of Sookies narrow beam and long bowsprite I’m ready to bite the bullet.  I want to start racing Sookie this year and every little bit will help.


 I failed miserably on my loose luffed Storm Jib tri sail combo and while on paper it seemed a good sail in realty I got a slap on the wrist and sent back to the drawing board, A third reef will go into my main. My goal in sail management is to only have one adittioanl sail to my all plain sail base set up.  Two sets of reef points will be set into my staysail and the storm jib will be sold.


My new lapper can be rolled into a Yankee or rolled all the way in. I’m hoping a smidge of cloth rolled out will help bring my bow closer to the wind when it’s really blowing and help spread the load of all my fully reefed sails.  When we point our bowsprite across the line Sookie will be carrying a full cruising load and we still expect to surprise quite a few racers. 


You might think I’ve won the lottery because I also sent off for a quote from Iverson‘s for a new dodger. Life moves pretty quickly around here, if you don’t pay attention you might just miss it.  My new journey on Sookie is the exact opposite of any direction I have ever sailed, doors are opening right and left and for the first time in a very long time I’m sitting still, biding my time and my goal is to drop every penny I make this year into finishing this little girl.  The racing scene will feed my sailing soul and the design process will queclch my trapped spirit as I head back into the work force in a few months.  I’ve been camping to long, it’s time for a bit of yachting..  One soul, two minds, four eyes, that’s what I have written on the little piece of paper over my bunk.  I repeat the words often.

“In general, I hope to contribute to a world where we value skills and relationships over careers and money, where we know better than to trust cops or politicians, and where we’re passionate about building and creating things in a self-motivated and self-directed way.”-Moxie Marlinspike 

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Smoke signals

I wake to the worst hang over I’ve ever had, the boat looks like a typhoon has had its way and I think maybe it has. Good friends kidnapped me, it’s been too long since the last time I’ve seen them, far to long.  Four adults one baby crew member and two crazy dogs…  My calander has 3 days to get the boat ready for the newest member of our tribe and then 3 more to get the boat ready to slip her lines.


May 16th, I have exactly $48.00 in my life savings, enough to pay for a month of cell service and continue the blog from my inland sea, or I could buy food for the journey. I feel a tipping point, I don’t know if i want to share my life any longer, this has been a long time coming. Maybe deep down I am a solo sailor and solo but on the surface it’s anything but.  I can sell my camera and iPad and buy enough food for the whole summer.

Self steering
I’m failing miserably at quitting smoking that problem will, solve itself soon enough. For the first time ever I want a job, dock master sounds like a fun way to spend the summer but it’s not materializing.  I have a hand shake deal on a windvane all I have to do is pay for it.  I make a few notes in my journal, this might actually become a sailing blog.  I’m headed to Bellingham at some point, then Port Townsend and need to find myself in Victoria by my birthday for an all out bash, two good friends finishing a circumnavigation and me starting out on my own new journey

From the log of Sookie “I’m never drinking again”, piled in my bunk sipping a Virgin marry, thumbing through a hundred charts. 

“Here I came to the very edge where nothing at all needs saying, 

everything is absorbed through weather and the sea, 

and the moon swam back, 

its rays all silvered, 

and time and again the darkness would be broken 

by the crash of a wave, 

and every day on the balcony of the sea, 

wings open, fire is born, 

and everything is blue again like morning. ” 

~ Pablo Neruda

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Small is beautiful

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Bit by bit Sookie Sookie is starting to gleam. When I finish she will almost look like a new boat but the cruising life is a hard one for boats and by Summer’s end the whole process will need to be done again.


I might have an opportunity to ship Sookie to So Cal for some winter sailing but I can’t help wonder if that is where I want to be. My heart lies here, the Caribbean my mistress.  I hear screams on the dock, more powerboats from the mainland with more money than brains.  The cracking of fiberglass and screeching bending of steel.  It’s almost if this guy has never skippered his  47′ Bayliner before.  Can I survive back on the mainland?  Sookie is diminutive in physical size but her design and build are larger than any scale can measure.  At sea she is more, in close quarters she is more than less.

The yachties are coming and I need to flee, they show up at midnight flashlights all over the dock, smashing thier crabs beside my boat to keep thier area clean.  Boats lit up like a Christmas tree and stereos thumping horrible music.  The names they put on thier boats make you wonder how a human with such a deep lack of creativity can earn enough to buy these boheamaths large enough to hang Sookie on ther Davits.

A friend wants me to come to the Caribbean buy a big boat and charter it for income.  Dare I let these soul dead gringos into my home?  To many options so I crawl into Sookies cozy cabin, she is warm inside and has almost everything I desire writhing arms reach.  No decisions will be made today.  I have to get Sookie ready for…

“An attitude to life which seeks fulfilment in the

single-minded pursuit of wealth – in short, materialism – does not fit into this

world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the

environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.” 

― Ernst F. Schumacher, Small Is beautiful

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The spice islands 

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The lazy afternoon had me on my hands and knees crawling through rich black soil helping out at the cummnity garden.  Today I learned why there are no sailor girls on Lopez, they are all farmers.  It was a beautiful afternoon of hard work, exactly one and a half hours which almost exceeded my daily maximum  and a another 30 bucks in the kitty. When it rains it pours.


Cans, boxes, packages, jars and bottles, the sailors diet is an odd one.  The take every opportunity to eat fresh and local but having a dry veggie locker due to my own forgetfulness I rifled though the cubbards for a real treat.  Fresh back from the jacuzzi feeling clean and happy but almost too exausted to cook.  I scored big time when I found a real box of velveeta Mac and cheese. I’ve never once in my life had this, I always get the nasty organic kind.  10 minutes of boing water and a huge pinch of dried red peppers and it was chow time.  I wouldn’t  go as far as saying it even tasted good but it filled my depleted body with much needed calories.  Two glasses of wine and I was down for the count practically before the sun.

In my big boat fantasies I have a small herb garden in deck, piles of space to store a canner and hundreds of glass jars, ready to be filled with the bounty of spring.  For now it’s the farmers market and and dried black and red pepper.  I’ve been saving for a full half pound of organic black peppercorns the staple base of everything I cook.  Im convinced that fresh garlic and black pepper with a but of canned butter can make anything taste good on canned food day.

I’m no better of a gardener  than I am a cook but I’ve got a strong  back, a firm grip and enough desire to continue exploring barefoot through the garden of Eden this sleepy little island chain provides me.

“Everything that’s innocent to us is crazy to them.” 

― Ernest Hemingway, The Garden of EdenIf you enjoy this site please feel free to throw a buck at my Patreon page, it’s much appreciated 🙂

Paradise

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The still of the morning matches my mood.  Deep restful sleep filled with dreams of simple living in a world my eyes see opened or closed. Last night a girl hurtled herself off the dock, my neighbors saved her.   Desperation, disalusioned, angry, hopelessness, I see this more and more in a world slowly going insane. But why?

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I spent the morning corralling $7.97 from my Patreon account, it’s a lifeline and one I’m unbelievably greatful to have. I also pulled $50.00 from my paypal acoount, food for another month, I’ve turned the point, I’m going to live and not just survive but thrive.  It’s been a massive struggle since arriving back on the island.  The cold, the lonlieness of Chloe not being here with me, my dtysfunctioning brain, no work…

Why? Why would anyone do this to themselves? My medical community wants to put me on disability, retired for life, quadruple what I need to live free and happy.  Every few years this comes up when my eyes shut down, I refuse.  I could take the money and the easy ways out but then Art of Hookie would be dead.  Regardless of weather you get my writing or not it’s my tiny mark on the world, it’s my art.  A free ride through life would make this entire journey one big lie.  The struggle to live is what I live for, it isn’t about boats or bikes or island life. It’s about being an artist a writer and a photographer, it’s about living a true and authentic life.   As I peck these words out my eyes are straining and watering, I’ll be dizzy for the rest of the day, I shouldn’t write, it’s even worse when I use the camera.

So im an occasional starving artist who has a passion about simple words and bending light, and in all of the pain and suffering I go through I find solace in the fact that I am living my dreams eyes wide open.  Today I’m splurging, I pulled my secret sugar out of its locker and opened a tiny can of condensed milk to add to my coffee.  Man tacos for breakfast, cabbage, vinager and touch of secret sauce and a quarter of an onion, nirvana.

When I lay my head down tonight I might feel a slight pang  of hunger but I’m not underfed, not physically or emotionally. When I sailed away from the dock three years ago, penniless I had a dream, to make it 25 simple miles and find a new home.  I can’t help but wonder if more people would just listen to thier hearts perhaps there would be just a little bit less desperation in this world.  No boat today, no bike, no more writing and no camera.  Today I will walk in any direction I choose.  I will commune with the island bunnies, bird watch and pet every dog I meet, I’ll talk to the horses and cows and maybe get to play with a snake.

No this blog isn’t about sailing, or biking or… It’s about following my passion to the end of the road.  Who knows what I’ll find when I get there but who cares, my life has no script, no chart and no map.  Every day is the first day of my life.

“I have no taste for either poverty or honest labor, so writing is the only recourse left for me.”  -Hunter S Thompson 

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Are big boats safer than small boats

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I was recently asked this question and answered that no boat is larger than the sea.  More and more people are telling me my boat is too small.  I think that their is a brainwashed category of people that think small sailboats are unsafe.  There is common theory that a perfectly operating large boat will always be safer than a perfectly operating small boat and while I can agree on this in theory in reality it isn’t always true.


A friend of mine who is regarded as one of the most knowledgable and able sea men in the region used to always tell me my boat was too small and too simple to be safely sailed long distance.  While I think I have proven him wrong I always thought that his multimillion dollar 50′ fully equipped custom built cruiser was a poor choice and unsafe for many reasons that don’t really matter.  When his boat sunk after hitting a reef it went down so fast he couldn’t get to his deck mounted life raft to deploy it and it went down with his ship.  His dinghy trailing behind him literally saved his life.  

In this instance my boat is substantially safer for a few good reasons.  First and foremost my shallow draft would have never hit the reef in the first place my draft being literally a third of what his was.  More importantly not having radar, a depth sounder or a sophisticated satellite navigation system I have to pay attention at all times.  I do this by reading the water and my charts often. Even when it’s really scary I love the simple act of navigation and with my shallow draft I have put Sookie in many places that no one in thier right mind would venture with even a six foot draft.  I have also found many hidey holes that simply are  not accessible to larger ships.

I think money is the biggest safety factor in that most people with large boats simply can’t afford to maintain them properly or at least that’s what I see with my eyes everywhere I go.  Smaller boats still cost a bloody fortune but not a tenth of what the larger ones do both in terms of money but also in time.

I have a rule that if I can’t fix it with my own two hands, I don’t have it on the boat.  With the exception of that beautiful new motor hanging off the back of my boat I can blindly maintain, fix and or rebuild anything on Sookie in the dark with one hand tied behind my back and I know that I have the tools because I uninstalled and reinstalled every single thing on the boat.  

So back to the question of safety. If you can’t hand pull your anchor, manhandle your sails in a gale, navigate without electricity, or sail your boat on and off an anchor in thirty knots of wind you might rethink how long your larger boat is safer than my small sailboat.  Things on boats fail often and it’s rarely in good weather or close to a chandlery, so depending on how you look at it both large and small boats are safer to some degree.

I’ve been spastically wanting a boat just a few feet longer so I can have guests aboard, room for a heater, a winter shower and more stores but the longer I look the more I realise I simply don’t like any boats more than Sookie. I try to find a way to love these larger more sophisticated craft and while I certainly admire them to the end of the world I just can’t fall in love with them.  I’ve been afflicted with two feet itis but I think it’s mostly from listening to the joneses and all of thier  reasons why my boat is too small.  

The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use.

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You gotta know when to fold them

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You got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them.  Know when to ride away and know when to thumb. You never count your mileage, when your riding down the hwy there will be time enough for counting, when the pedalings done.


I’ve taken a much needed breather from Sookies annual maintenance to get Brompty ready for her next adventure. Now on her second set of tires I feel she has more than proven her ability as a long distance touring bike as well as a grocery getter and all around urban assault vehicle. 


I did an OCD amount of research and test riding when I was on the hunt for a good folding bike and it’s of my opionion that the Brompton is far and away the highest quality build, best riding and fastest, easiest and most compact fold.  This bike is a work of art although dragging it through 6 inches of  Hawaiin mud I cursed my bad fortune the whole 10 miles.  It was completely useless in those conditions as I suspect any bike would be.  


I have unfinished business in those islands and now that Sherrif John Brown has been dealt with I’m thinking about a short trip to finish the forbidden Hwy, this time I think I’ll remove my fenders and rack and opt for a front bag and seat bag with a small day pack for extra water and stores on the long haul. 


I haven’t done any upgrades and while her pedals, seat and grips are adequate to get the job done I think I will find a suitable replacement for all three. I’m one of the fortunate few who knows exactly what saddle was built for my body and it can picked up in and LBS in America. 


My preferred cycling shoes are still my Chacos and this year I’ll splurge for a real tent. The one man tent was like sleeping in a coffin but nice to carry size wise even if it was the most useless tent on the planet when it came to keeping water out.  This year I hope to opt for a one man, one woman tent which will be cramped  in a good way.


My long term sailing plans are slipping through my fingers as winter is rapidly approaching but I have a long shot at a job with a dock so there will be pleanty of time to get Sookie ready to ship east before the first flakes of winter settle on her decks.  If your not on the water right now you better get going because fall is just a few short weeks away..

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ” 

― Coco Chanel

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Mom

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My first car was a 1968 Volkswagen bus.  My mom made it into a home with a bed and privacy curtains and a big smiley face painted on the front spare tire cover.  It was in that van that I first discovered the freedom of travling with my home.  My personal surf shack and a safe place to lay my salty head at night.  I lost my virginity in that van and discovered the world of freedom that I would occupie at any cost for the rest of my life.


Exploring the California coast for surf, that van created my first and some of my best memories of freedom.  Back before Instagram and Facebook and blogs and all the other forms of social media I quietly lived my life as a surf bum.  I worked hard to keep enough money in my pocket to fill the tank and buy a burger at the end of a long day on the water.

California has one of the largest populations of great white sharks in  the world, Carcharodon carcharias, I learned to live in harmony with them.  When the Grunion fish would run the great whites would give berth to the cutest little torpedo like creatures you have ever seen.  We would dive the beaches at night with our powerful lights watching these beautiful little fish in thier feeding frenzie.  I was 16 the first time I caught  a great white in my bare hands held the mighty beast becoming one with its power and the power of the sea.

Young eyes, wide open and the freedom to roam.  Some people migh blame my mother for my hippie, vagabond ways but I will always thank her.  I have always been given the freedom and support to follow my dreams to the end of the path less taken, I love you mom 🙂

“But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.” 

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A fish out of water

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When Sookie arrived in Bellingham from a tiny obscure storage yard in the Port of Los Angeles her hatch was wide open and everything inside was wet.  The gimbal on her stove was sheered clean off and the beautiful side load teak and rosewood door of her refrigeration unit was broken beyond repair.  I was just happy to have my boat as it had literally been kidnapped by my cooked shipping company.


This is one of my favorite images in my memory banks, her captain circumnavigated solo.  I love the fact that the first circumnavigation on this fine design was done by a sailor girl.

There is nothing in The world more un natural than a boat out of water and I’m already freaked out at the prospect of shipping Sookie again.  I sent out for three shipping quotes although I really wish I had a trailer for her.  I sent a letter to  Yves Gélinas  for help with his Cape Horn wind vanes.  Sent one last plea for the vane I want, maybe the seller will change his mind.  I hired a broker to list Sookie and before the end of the day I will submit an offer on a Halberg Rassey 36 in Italy. I’m not even remotely freaked out about buying a boat sight unseen, it’s actually an adventure and I can fix anything I need to when and if I arrive.

So I’ve opted for every channel on the planet to getting back to warm water.  Sell, ship or sail it’s all very exciting.  Deep down shipping is what I want most, Sookie would love the Caribbean.  I can already feel the smooth cobble stone roads under my feet, the history of pirates and sailors and the legends of lost gold.  It’s time to resume my treasure hunting ways.

Sipping on a glass of Caribbean rum I could taste the dry warm breeze of the tropical paradise that will be my home before Christmas I snuggled into my berth as Orion slipped into the horizon.  I’ve been missing Chloe more that ever and with so many dogs on the dock it makes me feel even more alone, she was always my right hand.  

It was the kind of town that made you feel like Humphrey Bogart: you came in on a bumpy little plane, and, for some mysterious reason, got a private room with balcony overlooking the town and the harbor; then you sat there and drank until something happened.” 

― Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Dairy

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White cliffs to coral reefs

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I woke to the pitter patter of rain and smiled, today I get a day off.  Digging through my library I realized I’ve read all of my books twice, I took the whole lot and donated them.  The search continues for a book I’ve wanted to read for over twenty years, White cliffs to coral reefs.  My second favorite boat on the planet a Vetue 25, different from Sookie in every way but still an easy on the eyes salty little blue water cruiser.


The debate continues, I’m looking to add a bit of chain to Sookie, 100′ to be exact and I go back and forth between 1/4 and 5/16 HT. The smaller is more than strong enough but it’s harder to pull and it sounds girly running out the Chain pipe.  My 5/16 on the other hand sounds like a ship in from the sea as that old familiar sound tells me I’ve made yet another safe passage as it sounds the alarm that it’s beer thirty.  I don’t ever drink a drop inside of 50 miles from the nearest shore unless I’m a passanger or crew.

Today is a lay day and another trip to the bank will happen eventually so I can get one of those magic plastic cards that holds my meager life savings.  My journal and calculator are my tools for the day, I want roller furling but it’s more weight to the bow, more windage and like my new lifelines and stanchions, detracts from the lines of my little cutter.  With her relatively narrow beam of 8′ her whisker stays are too close together to sit in while working the jib so I have to straddle the bowsprite bronco style when I want to change or remove sails.

Jib bags are also on the drawing board as the sail storage bags I’ve been using aren’t even remotely idea and a real pain to use, now sun faded and worn thin.  I doubt they will last the season but I have many friends with sewing machines so this will be a fun project.  I’ve also started a new sailing club and working on designing a delta flag with AOH lightly embossed over it.  If your not familiar with the delta flag it says stand clear, manovering with extreme difficulty.  A joke my friend conceived years ago when we were all engineless.  As the years thunder by each of us has added a reliable outboard that we try and never use.

It’s noon and my day is rapidly slipping away as the lazy May sun turns its clock like path to the crystal blue waters I hope to see someday soon.  For now I’m in liveaboard mode making the best use of my time that I can until I’m ready to make the big left turn.  Ok maybe one more cup of coffee before I head out.

4:00pm life altering, well maybe, we shall wait and see…

“The cabin of a small yacht is truly a wonderful thing; not only will it shelter you from a tempest, but from the other troubles in life, it is a safe retreat.”   — Francis Herreshoff

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Hotel California 

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When you say it out loud it starts to feel real.  When you put it into writing it becomes proficy.  I’m not the only one, we chat dockside and I say it again.  If I can’t get this trip together I’m packing up and shipping out on the bike.  I write my words in my journal, my future is altering course. 


Sookie is the best little home in the world, I hate the idea of leaving her again in the boatyard but I need movement, exploration and new terrain for my eyes.  A story teller constantly needs new material, new experiences and a constant dose of tiny exploration.  The bike is ready, I’m ready and the world is waiting for me to explore it in my slow meandering style.  The seeds for this journey were planted somewhere riding down one of a thousand lonely roads in Hawaii. Cycling isn’t a hobby or a sport for me, it’s a way of life.

Small tents, camp fires and a cool can of beer at the end of a long day.  Roadside snacks, micro brew tastings and every vineyard  from here to there.  Afternoon thunderstorms wash away the searing heat of the mid day sun on a painfully hot blacktop that never ends.   You’ll never know what’s out there if you don’t look.  Years ago hitchhiking through Mexico I ended up at the Hotel California, I smiled content with my discovery as I had never thought of it as a real place.  

All I need is a pile of fresh maps, a good bottle of water and the sheer will to push my bike over the next horizon.  I wish I could say that this is one of those coin flipping situations but I think the road to my future has already been paved.  

Mirrors on the ceiling.

The pink champagne on ice

And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”

And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast

They stab it with their steely knives,

But they just can’t kill the beast.

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Payday

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I woke to an email from Patreon telling me it was payday and that I have $7.97 in my account waiting for me, it might as well have been a million dollars.  To celebrate I opened a can of condensed milk and added it with a pinch of sugar to my coffee, two things I never do.


Ten years of  blogging has taught me many things.  When I added a buy me a beer button last year it went against everything I stood for but I’m changing and growing.  The addition of the Patreon account was a bit painful until I realized the glory of getting paid to do what I love most.  This very well may be the most boring blog on the planet but my choice is to accept donations and keep writing or get a job and write nothing, it still may come to that or maybe I will find a happy medium.  I’ve also reconciled with the big sailing rags and while my boycott of commercial sailing might be over I’m still not putting stamps on any of my feature articles

In the pandemonium of arriving back at Sookie and getting her back into ship shape I completely forgot that I had finished Boatyard Pirates and am the push of a button away from publishing.  Being that it’s me in charge I have lost the book altogether, I literally don’t have a clue as to where it is so i guess I’m out on that one.

Nothing much exciting to write about, just another day of waxing,  painting, varnishing, loosening, tightening, adding and subtracting.  I have 8 days to figure it all out before I have to cast off from the Marina and still no oars for my very old rubber dink.  The simple life is a good one with simple problems that are easy to solve.  I just finished the last coat of wax on my hull and slowly but surely Sookie is starting to look more like a yacht than a workboat.  The second we leave the dock all of my hard work will start to undo itself until I redo her for winter which again will kill all of my hard work until the whole process starts over again in the spring.

“The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting spec, and being managed.  Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can.  The job might be difficult, it might require skill, but it’s a job.

Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people.

I call the process of doing your art ‘the work.’ It’s inpossible to have a job and do the work, too.   The job is not the work.”  Unknown

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Ride your fucking bike

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Eight straight hours in the sun fried me so today I’m in hiding even though I will at some point have to get back out there and continue with my days projects.  Surfing the web I found this interesting little story and while I doubt that it really happened it made me smile.  Each and every day I try and find ways to make my footprint smaller.  This is nearly impossible as boats are by nature one of the most toxic beasts on the planet.  Nothing about boating is green, a challange or sure but a endeavor worth perusing.

Brompton
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment.The woman apologized to the young girl and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

The older lady said that she was right — our generation didn’t have the “green thing” in its day. The older lady went on to explain:

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable besides household garbage bags was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags. But, too bad we didn’t do the “green thing” back then.

We walked up stairs because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day.

Back then we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.

Back then we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blade in a r azor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the”green thing.” We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the “green thing” back then?

When it comes to health and fitness the cure and prevention for every single ailment is riding your bike.  If you want to save the planet stop fucking taking about it and ride your bike.  If you want to live a long healthy life ride your bike. If you are stressed out ride your bike, if you are poor, ride your bike.  If you are a natural born leader than lead by example and ride your bike.

The good life

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My young niece, a child the last time I saw her only a few months ago has bloomed into a woman, my brother at her side fishing for sculpin in the late afternoon sun. My mom sits next to me in the cockpit sipping on wine, her first visit to Sookie.  It’s been a long crazy day and we are all tired, fat full of my world famous man tacos, life is good in our quiet little Marina.


I look over at the young one, I wasn’t much older than her when I bought my first sailboat and a set sail.  It was the easiest thing I have ever done because it was what I wanted more than anything else in the world.  Now decades later having filled those dreams I look to distant horizons, a new and different way of sailing through life.  Looking out over the quiet bay at dawn, I realize it isn’t my dreams that have changed, it’s me that has changed.

I’m not that same person and my goals are now simpler and smaller although when I say smaller I say smaller from my current perspective, compared to a young Stormy they are like climbing Mt Everast but that’s what my simple life is, ever evolving to meet my current needs.  The islands  are magnificent at this time of year, the journeys slow and un choreographed, no rules, no goals other that to wake up every morning with a feeling of satisfaction in that I’m doing everything right, right now.  Today is one of those days, everyday is.  Life is what happens while we are making plans.

“You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.”   ― Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The real one percent 

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I hear the giggles being chased by tanned bare feet.  The liveaboard life is a fine life for the little ones.  I can only imagine it’s like living in J. R. R  Tolkins Shire.  Catching huge crabs off the dock, running barefoot through the spring grass, local farms and the farmers market, these young minds are living a life city kids couldn’t imagine in thier  wildest dreams.  I guess us grown up kids are doing the same as well.


Cleaning the boat for guests I found a killer bottle of wine and decided it would be a feast of all of my very well ripened veggies.  In the city these would be thrown in the trash but on my tiny footprint I eat everything.  In my ganja induced food coma I cranked reggae music and swayed to the beat as I chopped diced and spiced my gourmet meal.


There are no rules onboard Sookie, no curfew and no expectations other than to rejoice in the simple life and to keep our tiny footprint as small as possible.  I’m not a vegan or a veggie head yet 98 percent of my diet would suggest that I am.  I’ve chosen to commune with the briny deep I share company with, rather than to exploit it for my own benefit, not that for one second I disparage others that do.  I just happen so see the creatures of the sea and earth as my brothers and sisters.  I will however break with tradition on random occasions of cannibalism but it is an extreme rarity.


Crunchy kale, island heirloom tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, local garlic and onions, all these fruits of the land are my bounty.  My quinoa salad is a masterpiece topped with fresh dried spicy pepper seeds, cilantro and if I’m really splurging fresh fetta cheese from a local farm.


I pile everything in the steamer, throw everything but the kitchen sponge in my pot and cook it for 10 minutes to conserve fuel. Another ten minutes off the heat and I have a fancy dinner with exactly enough leftovers to heat up for breakfast with a few farm fresh eggs and a bit of spicy juice.  Simple living for sure and not for everybody but the perpetual smile on my face and well worn crows feet tell me I’m in to something good.


When it comes to finding the perfect liveaboard the key is to find a boat just small enough that you want to step out into nature at every available opportunity.  To find a boat you can almost afford, because let’s face it, I’ve never once met a person who can afford thier boat be it 100 foot motor yacht or a 15′ Montgomery.  The labor of love and sacrifice that we lavsh just a bit beyond our means, like a starving artist who is so passionate about creating thier masterpieces year in and year out with satisfaction and a life well lived as thier only rewards. The labor that you put into your boat and life will eventually pay off.  My best advice having done this for almost all of my life is to make your first boat your last boat, go slow, make your home your lifestyle, your art and your artistry and take her everywhere you go.  Sookie isn’t just a movable home, she is a moveable feast.

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” 

― J.R.R. Tolkien

How to safely cross the Straits of Georgia

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Fly you fools! And that was the best advice I was willing to give.  Ask any two sailors the same question and you will get three answers.  Personally I feel that preparation trumps experience 99% of the time but for that one percent, if you have to ask, your not ready.  Unfortunatly the only way any of us can become ready is by being a bonehead and getting caught up in it.

I’ve been a constant on the water front my entire adult life, It seems that there is an unlimited number of trophies when it comes to the Darwin Award.  Let’s face it, you know exactly what you are capable of and what you are getting yourself into. You also do or should know the limits of your boat, engine,  sails and rigging, both standing and running.  I’ve seen it turn from 3 knots to 35 in the course of 5 seconds on a weather report that called for light and variable winds. But wind is just wind, it’s the seas that will get you.  In my lifetime of sailing only on a handful of occasions have I seen anything meaner than I’ve witnessed in the straights of Juan de Fuca otherwise known as Juan de Puke ya and Jaun de fuck ya.
I still haven’t given up my dream of doing an engineless clockwise circumnavigation of Vancouver Island which means I’ll be putting Sookie though some bumpy conditions.  Her rig is good, her turn buckles have been pulled inspected and greased.  All sails are in good order including my new 38sq foot storm jib and all my running rigging has been inspected and passed.  Im a fair weather sailor and will be taking my time and watching the weather but as I learned the hard way when  I took my first of only two mast in the water knock downs 10 miles off the backside of Catalina, the weather can change in the blink of an eye.  Minus loosing my official Captians log and everything else in the cockpit there  was no damage other than maybe some mental damage to my crew.  I’ve also put Sookies masthead in the water which wasnt planned but turned out to be the final step in her renaming/christening process.

The only known weakness on Sookie other than the abilities of her captian is that in anything over 40 knots of sustained wind into the wind she starts to loose the battle fast.  She can reach and run just fine in those conditions and has on serveral exillerating occasions.  So back to the original question I was asked, there is absolutely nothing in the world that can prepare you for your first really big storm but a well maintained boat and a very close knowledge of how to use it will get you through.   When you least expect it, expect it.  On the flip side, 90 percent of my sailing has been in 12 knots or less of wind and that’s my type of sailing.

“Uncertainty is a temptress. We may try our best to avoid her. But what is certain is that at some point of time, she will find us. The only question that remains is whether like Medusa, she will paralyze you, or whether like one of the nine muses of ancient Greece, she will drive you to greater things.”   ― Richie Singh

A temple to the sea

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When I go to the sea I take my masters with me on every journey.  Robin lee graham, Lea, the Davis brothers, Karl, Larry Pardey and dozens more.  They are all there and it’s because of them that I am there.  I literally learned to read with the Dove and it was only a few short years later that I tracked them down, both Robin and Patti in a little mountian town, I was eight years old.


My tiller, hand crafted by Mike Anderson, my cranse iron by Larry Pardey, a beer bag from gentle flower my shackle wrench from Frenchie  and the lanyard from Captian sterling, the list goes on.  Every time I sail I look at my bronze pad eyes that hold my ABI main sheet blocks.  One day a good friend showed up with them and his drill and said lets go sailing.  A year later he showed up with more tools a bottle of tequila and a yuloh that he made for me.  

The giving and receiving of nautical gifts goes far beyond generosity, it represents good karma for the boat and safety at sea as does every single hand that has touched my tiller and passed yet another sailing lesson into my black box.  What I love most about small boats other than the fact that they are simply more fun to sail is that you are forced to be creative in how you set up thier living space.  It doesn’t matter where I look, there is a very special gift hanging from a little bronze hook.  I’m always on the lookout for little treasures in old marine chandleries that can be saved for a later date, I have collected a little box and try and keep it full at all times.  I still have the very I first gift I ever recieved, an aqua marine crystal that my mom gave me when I was 18 and found my first sailboat.  That crystal sailed all the way to Mexico with me and has been on every boat I have ever owned, it is stuck with a bit of wax on my cabin mirror as I type these words.

Boats aren’t things that you own, they are a part of your history and you’re  future, they represent the most powerful forces in nature, the wind and sea.  If your are fortunate enough to be the current care taker of a fine sailing craft maybe this weekend would be a good time to do a little primping and perhaps give your girl a bit of boat jewelry, I know I have something special in store for Sookie this weekend.

 From the log of Sookie- in a fit of rage, on some damn island. I just finished laying the best coat of varnish in my life.  Twenty minutes later a sea plane took off covering it with a fine layer of salty water, proof that there is no such thing as a finish coat. So is life when you live on a watery runway.

The edge

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Its interesting going through life not actually knowing if your going to live through the day.  With all the wonders of modern science they still can’t figure out what’s wrong with my brain.  I feel my life slipping away but it doesn’t really matter cause there is nothing I can do about it.

Boat knife

There are good days and bad, this whole week has been bad but I still find a way to get out and live.  Anchored in thirty feet of water I heard a splash and with it went my unreplaceable sailing knife given to me by my grandfather.  Sure I could just go buy another one but it wouldn’t be the same.  Sometimes we don’t fully appreciate what we have till it’s gone.  Like my life my little pocket knife gets my praise and appreciation every day.  It’s over 8 years old now and like my lost sailing knife this little gem holds a very sentimental attachment.  I’ve used this knife to the full extent possible from cooking to scraping blisters and inspecting rotten bulkheads and carving pieces of this or that for Sookies interior..  Using it in the line of my sailing duties I have pushed it far beyond it limits year in and year out. The only sign of wear is that the top handle is faded from the sun  where it sticks out of my pocket.  I’ve also used it in one way or another for every single project in Sookies refit.

Captains varnish

 

So my vertigo is annoying to no end, it’s like being seasick 18 hours a day but I do my best to carry on.  If Sookie is my last project I want her to look like a million bucks before I go to that big ocean in the sky.  Each morning I wake up content that I haven’t wasted a single day of my life and haven’t and won’t change any aspect of how I live.  I wonder why more people don’t take this approach always waiting for some magical date or…

Perfect varnish

It’s sac religious for me to sand down my beautiful wood again and again but I always know that when I’m done with my last coat she will be well protected and easy on th eyes until the next time.  Like my mind, my knifes and all other tools are cared for in he same manor, always well oiled and sharped.  I’ve been doing quite a lot of life assessment these days, it seems like a waste of time to be entering yet another midlife crisis when I don’t even know if I’ll make it through the day but it’s still fun to do.  Taking inventory of my life I have very little that was purchased new and while I certainly don’t have the best of everything, I make the best of everything.

Boat jewelry

Walking through the boatyard after a trash run, I’m surrounded by old, neglected and unloved boats  I wonder how they had fallen so far from grace.  Once loved and cherished both Shiny and new, they are now alone and lonely sitting in the yard of broken dreams.   One of the first things I tell new sailing students is that your boat will only love you as much as you love her.  I could write a hundred books of ships at sea and the storms I have sailed though but I don’t need to waste my time, one look at Sookie is all you need to know how much she loves and cares for me.

From the log of Sookie-April San Juan islands.   Talking to a passerby on the dock she asks “aren’t you afraid when your out there all alone and storms and dark and no help and no security.”  Yes I replied I am often afraid.  “Then why do you do it?”  Because if you aren’t afraid of the life you are living than you are not really living, you just sitting in the waiting room of death all warm and secure waiting for this ride to be over having never even experienced it. 

I dream of dinghy

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“Wherever we want, we go. That’s what a ship is, you know. It’s not just a keel and a hull and sails; that’s what a ship needs. Not what a ship is. What Sookie really is, is freedom. Now bring me that horizon.” -Stormy Sparrow 


The letter starts, “you are living my dreams Stormy” I stop right there and out loud correct her, nightmares, I’m living your nightmares.  So close yet so far away is a hard shore to navigate in a fog but it’s timing in this world that makes and or breaks everything.  I’ve all but given up on finding a hard dinghy that will safely sit turtle on Sookies dog house.  My last resort options are to design and build a little dink or suck it up and buy a soft deflateable one.  My Avon was the most bad ass dingy on the planet and near indestructible but it was heavy and it’s like towing a suction cup.

In the blink of an eye my Marina will go from a few bucks a day to 50 bucks a day so daylight is burning on the dinghy front.  My life’s options have about quadrupled this week in every single avenue of my life except for what to do with the boat and where.  I’ve had to throw all my thoughts into the wind and now only time and destiny will tell me my new direction.

I operate best when I have my back to the wall so I’m pretty excited to see what will happens next but I can’t be worried with my impending future just yet.  Sunday is my deadline for a 180 flip and that means I have 7 glorious days to play Peter Pan, stay up too late and sleep in as long as I’d like.  My soul mate, Katie is coming for a visit soon so the debotchery will continue   My nickname Stormy is quite fitting for me, hers should be hurricane.   She is a salty sailor out of Bellingham we met many years ago over a bottle of whiskey and a ciggi, yes that’s what I said, a bottle.

So I will burry my head in the sand for another week and then spin the bottle of chance and see which direction it points.  I really do miss the days when my surfboard was my dinghy and lifeboat and yes, it also worked quite well as a surfboard. More often than not the best solutions are right under our nose, it’s just that we aren’t looking in the proper direction to see them.

“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?” Stormy Sparrow

Pocket cruiser

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With a pop and whoosh my little hobb fires to life.  A hand full of fresh chopped garlic is thrown into the cast iron skillet and both the sizzle and the aroma please the senses.  I’m cooking a feast by the light of my lantern.  The sweet melodies of Bebe Gilberto echo through the cabin to the rhythmic chopping of cold Steel and hard wood, bits of veggies tumble to the floor, two eggs roll back and forth with the surge. I take a sip of my extra spicy Virgin Marry and smile, this is yachting.

Sailing blog
I was recently sent a picture of me sailing through the Desolation Sound, I was surprised by how small Sookie looked and how large I looked in the cockpit.  Sookie has never once felt too small for me yet somehow I am always eyeballing larger boats. Sure would be nice to have a Diesel engine, or space for a hard dinghy.  My mind wanders through all the what ifs yet somehow as nice as they are to think about I can never push the button.

Pocket cruiser

I have a full price offer on Sookie which is causing me great pain.  She is having issues qualifying for the dollar amount which secretly brings me great joy as the offer I’ve written on a turn key boat on the east coast that is 100% ready and waiting for me to take her to Bermuda isn’t my true love.   My offer hasn’t been accepted yet, maybe I’ll get lucky and they will say no.

San Juan islands

Cozy is the best way to describe Sookie, she fits me like a glove, sails like a dream and is the most beautiful boat I’ve ever laid eyes on.  Having my faithful pup at my side, I was never in a hurry to do anything other than to give her my undivided attention.  Now that she has gone to that big field in the sky I have an indescribable urge to sail far and free.  Not having the budget to finish this fine craft I more often feel trapped like a rat.  Is it just a boat I seek or is it a lifestyle?

Anchoring

The new boat is big and powerful and beamy with double roller furling headsails, a huge Diesel engine, a powerful windvane and even a water maker and dodger.  It was professionally outfitted by a couple that dove into the dream before they tried on the lifestyle.  Well over a hundred K into the boat, they want it gone, my offer is slightly half of thier investment and we are close.

Salty dog

Dining and chatting over the new boat I can’t help but wonder if it’s the biggest mistake I will ever make.  Will I lose that cozy factor?  I’ve owned some pretty large sailboats and even my Cal 40 wasn’t as fun to sail as Sookie, it was also way more boat than I needed.  If this all falls together I’ll be in Massachusetts in two weeks for sea trials and a lazy summer of learning the ropes of my new boat.  If it falls apart, well… Who knows.

“A big group of daily friends or a white painted house with bills and mirrors, are not a necessity to me—but an intelligent conversation while sharing another coffee, is.”
― Charlotte Eriksson

Down wind

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The only thing more annoying than sailing in a gale is sailing out of a gale and into a dead calm.  The life of a budget liveaboard voyager is one of never ending chasing.  Chasing the wind so we don’t have to use the motor, chasing fresh water cause we never carry enough, chasing work because we never stop moving for Long and chasing a better use of space because no matter how large a small boat is its always too small until spring outfit in which case no matter how small its always too big.

  
It isn’t all waterfalls, rainbows and perfect sunsets although I do get my fair share.  The task at hand on top of everything else in the world it to rig some lame sort of steering system and a way to safely navigate.  It’s always a dance to keep enough sandpaper and brushes without overdoing the budget or missing the good weather in the small doses we get it due to not having enough supplies.

The rudder is done but it’s only the beginning, rain is coming tonight so I’ve taken the day to hunt down exactly what I will need to finish Sookies rear end during the next short weather window.  At this time it’s hurry up and wait but I’d rather be onboard waiting that somewhere else hurrying up.

The Brompton  has come into her own delivering me in style form place to place as I buy the last little bits of this and that. I was able to skimp just enough to have a box of wine and a shower in the budget.  I’m still in my refit stage so as the green rolls in I grab a head of cabbage, a pile of eggs and a bag of potatoes and everything else goes into boat gold as I call it because anything made for a boar seems to be priced in gold.  Somehow I always pull off the right amount of refit with some outfit and exactly enough food and fuel to keep the fire stoked.  It’s a good life but not for most.

For the most part DINKS “double income no kids” have the best success in this life.  It’s really a godsend to have that extra set of hands and income but some of us pirates just aren’t willing to walk that plank.  I would say it’s a lot of hard work but I almost enjoy the process while I’m doing it and knowing my boat is unstoppable is a good feeling when your hundreds of miles from your home port.  It feels good to finally be back in the throws of it with bits of paint in my hair, tools scattered around the boat, a huge pile of something eatable in my big pot and just enough hooch to sit back at the end of a long day to admire the fruits of my labor.  It’s tape pulling day and arguably the best damn day of my life.

“There is an art to flying”, said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” 

― Douglas Adams

My Patreon site is up and completely changed, if you enjoy the ramblings of a lunatic please feel free to dump a buck in the rum fund.

Made for escaping 

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Have you heard the news today…murder, rape, crime, hate, slimy polititions, and that’s all in Seattle less than a hundred miles as the crow flies from this utopian world I live in. Has the whole world gone mad? It’s cool this morning but I have the heater cranked, my big fluffy socks keep my toes wiggling and warm.  A super fuzzy jacket and my purple sailing kilt have my sleepy morning a blissful one.


My alltime favorite book and superhero is Forrest Gump.  It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in life if you can simply avoid the traps and anchors that hold us fast.  Freedom is a word I take very seriously and I’m not looking to some skeezy lying politition to provide it for for me.


An early morning ride on Brompty shakes the mad polluted world on the airwaves and reminds me it’s just a myth, living in the sewer is a choice, I’ve chosen a different path with different obstacles.  Fresh air, no traffic and an island that has what we call the Lopez solute, every person waves as they pass you by.


I’ve traded the persuit of little pieces of green paper for the persuit of green rolling hills with young sheep and goats lazily playing in the pastures.  My religion is love for my neighbors, no judgement and an extended arm, meal, or just some happy teasing for anyone who needs or wants it.  My prayer is appreciation for the weather and the many moods she brings me.


Actions speak louder than words and the way you live your life speak volumes over the tiny words that come out.  Natural power and off grid living is the surest way to save this planet and our souls.  Want to end war and child slavery, sell you car and stop shopping at Wallmart.  I don’t worry about my neighbors as I have my own battle to fight, typing on my second hand iPad I’m the problem, my second hand Nikon also shows that while I think I care I really don’t or I’d  refuse to purchase the byproduct of my tools of the trade.  It’s journey and while I get better each year I’ll never get there, just closer and closer.


I’m avoiding my boat chores by writing, it’s my job but one I love in ways I’m not capable of describing.  My fingers peck a little screen with a muted clicking noise and my story appears on a flat white screen, how far I have fallen from my lead pencile and a scrap of paper.  My log book is where I pour the secret inner working of my mind and my mental warm up to a more modern form of story telling.


Today is a day for giving and sharing.  Like every day, today started and will end on my little Brompton.  Sookie is my refuge, my little turtle shell and I’m in hiding, it’s a full moon which makes me batshit crazy.  Tonight when my island is asleep I’ll sneak out of my hole ride Sookie to the end of the road and run wild and naked though the woods howling to the moon with all the other creatures of the night.

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From the log of Sookie June 2011. I loved her like a hurricane, I loved her because she was dangerous, and so am I.  The collision of two fronts created the perfect storm.