Any boat will do

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I’m at a stand still, I’ve hit a brick wall.  I’m challanged by my own knowledge and now finding I need to learn more about the things I thought I already knew.  I’m working with a girl to find her a perfect boat for blue water sailing, her budget is too small and she has read to many books and blogs about the perfect offshore boat written by people who have never sailed those boats they write about.


I’m taking notes, walking through another boatyard and scratching my head. Do I hate boats, have  I become some sort of eletist sailing snob?  I don’t think so, I hope not but once you’re been in the belly of the tempest you form some pretty valid opinions.  I’ve been fortunate to sail on hundreds of them, sailboats that is. A lifetime on the water front will do that to a person.  I go back to ground zero and start with the foundation. The keel, layup, rig, design.  The myth that older boats are stronger than newer ones is just that, a myth.  Newer boats are by far stronger, layed out better, at least the good ones are and will give you far fewer headaches than buying into a 50 year old sailboat based off of lore that some guy needing money wrote a book about.

Not that there aren’t good old boats, there certainly are.  I think the biggest problem is that you get what you pay for, if you buy a $3000.00 boat thats pretty much what you have in the same way as if you buy a $300,000.00 boat.  I use myself as the most classic example, I could have bought an Ericsson 27 outitted it, circumnavigated and still had money left over in my pocket for the next adventure for what I have invested in Sookie.  

My problem is that I’ve done many offshore passages in shitty old boats because that’s what I had at the time, it was great when I was 18 but I’m not 18 anymore and simply want more, once is enough.  Back to Larin and finding her boat, she challanges me in a good way, I’m learning as much as I’m teaching her.  She isn’t looking for a lake boat, or a coastal cruiser, she wants a blue water sailboat and it’s my job to find her one on her small budget, what she does with it is up to her.  I sailed the Caribbean in a 36′ costal cruiser and didn’t have a complain in the world other than the miserably challanging sailing conditions.  

Walking the docks this morning a ran into an old acquaintances sailboat, from what I’ve heard through the coconut telegraph he has kicked he cedar bucket and the world has lost a great sailor.  His boat a Coronado 25 is almost identical to my 26′ Seaquest that gave me my first solo offshore adventures.  He did lengthen the water line and add a larger rudder.  He has sailed that boat from San Diego  to Alaska  and seen every single gunk hole and harbor I between  In his stock late sixties era day sailor so I’m brought back to my drawing board, maybe any boat will do, within reason that is. 

I am reminded of a quote by David Brinkley: “A successful (wo)man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him (her).”

Minimalist bicycle touring

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Riding around the island I got into a chat with a girl about my bike and why the hell would I want a folding bike over a full size touring bike for cycling let alone for touring.  I didn’t really know how to answer other than this is the bike I have but also why wouldn’t I want to tour on a Brompton.  When I purchased Brompty it had nothing to do with touring, I just wanted a nice bike that was fun to ride.


Years of watching my beautiful bikes rusting In  the rain tied to the side of the boat was more than I can take.  I’ve gone though an average of a bike a year every year since giving up my car for a better life and cleaner earth, that was at least 7 years ago so I would count seven bikes.

Americans have a funny way about them, Be-it sailing or backpacking or cycle touring or just going on vacation they just have to match thier home life of excess to make themselfs think they are happy.  If I wanted to match my home life I would just stay home. For what ever reason I do the things I do it’s because I want to learn about myself and have fun in the process.  Touring on a 35lb road bike with 45 lbs of gear sucks ass, I tried it and quit on the fist day.  I resized down to a small load and switched out my heavy hitter and had the best tour of my life although I stayed in hotels many of the nights I was also pulling hundred milers on my fixed gear in really challanging terrain.  

Im done with all that shit now and want an upright riding position so I can see the scenery.  A bike that is light and agile and fun as hell to ride and a minimalist load making my days in the saddle fun.  I find it hilarious when people say they want to be comefortabke so they bring tons of heavy shit.  Your whole day is spent in the saddle so that’s where you want to be comefortabke.  I’ve had days that I was so tired i literally fell over hard asleep with a beer in my hand after a grueling ride. The Brompty promotes light simple fun riding and is super easy to maintain.  My total load capacity is 43 liters which is a lot plus my tent on the back rack and hopefully a little camp pad strapped to my pika.  By the end of the trip I hope to be able to find a way to fit the tent in the T-bag and even loose the pika but that’s pretty ambitious.

Having a good small bike and good small luggage is key, you can’t take it if it won’t fit.  I’m not one of those ultrlight techno geeks, my motto is that less is more so while I keep an eye on my weight I also pretty much just leave most of the just in case items at home.  I live in the United States and can get just about anything I need in less than 24 hours but honestly when you live an ultrlight lifestyle you learn pretty quickly how little you need. I’ve long given up on trying to cinvince people I don’t need things, now I just graciously decline everytime somebody tries to give me thier ten man tent for my cycle tour or a sleeping bag that weighs more than my bike.  Why did I choose a Brompton? I didn’t  Brompty chose me…

 You can’t fit a ten pound parcel into my two pound sack.

Dome sweet home

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Holly buckets of tiny, this thing is a micro pod. 12 nights of living in a wet, spider infested hard as a rock, miserably cold hell I finally have my new second home and while I don’t know anything about it other than I fit inside, barely; I’m quite excited to torture test this thing.


I already have buyers remorse due to its size but I didn’t have time to OCD on a small, light weight tent so I did a quick scan and hit the buy now button.  At $129.00 it’s a budget buster, my choice was a new sleeping bag or a tent and seeing as I have a nice down bag that keeps me comfy down to a nippy 68 degrees I jumped the tent like a seaside strumpet.


At some point I’ll put together a gear list but right now my mind is the consistency of well buttered mashed potatoes.  I was pleasantly surprised that even though the north face lists it at 6×22 I measure it an easy 6×14 and it fits perfectly on my rack.


My new Pika bag by Relevate Designs is absolutely kick ass and yes it took a months food off my table, all I can say is thank god for multi-vitimans and a new age hipster fasting craze cause this vegan is on Top Ramen for the next month easy.  The Pika holds a shit load of stuff and while I don’t understand how, it rides like a dream, I don’t even know it’s there.  If I had any children I’d sell them for a new self inflating camp pad to pack better with my uber small Brompton luggage but I’m sure I can rob an old lady or commit some other minor crimes to finish outfitting.  The sun is setting and I’ve got iced cold beers chillin in the shit bucket so I’m gonna bounce, later biatches… 

 “One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.” 

― Edward Abbey

A different kind of strength

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When the memory fades you can talk yourself into just about anything.  Night comes with a darkening sky, then one planet and the universe slowly opens to me, first constellations then the background blanketed by millions of stars.  I wonder how many thousands of nights I’ve layed cowboy camping staring at the same never ending clockwork of the heavens not once getting bored with my view from this tiny planet. 


I’m on my bike now climbing never ending  hills in hundred degree temperatures and monster head winds.  Sookie slices through huge breaking head seas, I’m focused searching for  deadheads, I’m in my element completely one with nature.  Back at mile marker 43 I’m seven miles from finishing my first sub 12 fifty miler, I’m crushed.  I’m carrying my best friends limp body away minutes after loosing the single best thing that has ever happened in my life, true love.  I’m signing a piece of paper relinquishing a dozen hard earned  years wasted working for money.  It’s pouring rain,  I drag my backpack through six inches of Nasty skank mud, my feet like suction cups stuck in quick sand.  I make it fifty yards and drop the pack heading  back to get the bike, I do this for 12 hours straight.  I’m 19 years old sitting in the rain crying, my life will never be the same, scar’ed for life.  I start a journey that will last more years than I’ve lived at that point.  Each star represents  a story in my quiver, there are many.

   We’re all scared it’s what we are, it’s who we are.  We aren’t just scared but we’re also scar’ed, If you are fortunate some day you will learn to love your scars both mental and physical, it’s our own personal brand. I was having a conversation the other day with a person who said they weren’t afraid of anything and made fun of me for being afraid of everything.  Of course that person had never really done anything to merit the fear that I know and speak of.  My fun meter has been pegged since birth and that bar seems to raised every day.  I woke up at the crack of dawn crawled out of my sleeping bag to have pee and when I returned and flipped the bag open there it was, a huge tarantula my new snuggle mate.  I’m beyond the point of screaming like a 12 year old girl but I wanted to, it explained the phantom creepy crawly feeling I had all night as I could swear something was in my bag with be but blew it off to itchy mosquito bites.  

From the log of Sookie, Spider Island.  I’m done with the outside; I’m moving to the city getting a nice flat furnished by ikea and the biggest tv ever made, a cell phone and a fancy pair of shoes…

Livin the dream

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It’s been a yearn now but the memory is as close as it is far away.  I’d been warned about sailing the west coast of Texas island by commercial fisherman, perhaps that’s why I chose that route, I prefer a good challange.  Ghosting into the dead calm of Bubber Bay it looked like a water bomb had gone off in Sookie.  There was more gear  on the cabin sole and berths than in the lockers from which it came, everything including myself was soaked to the bone.  A rising Gale to the south chased us the whole way but we were fortunate to have a rollicking and comfortable yet soaking wet ride finding safe heaven before the tempest arrived. 


The guide book gave a very low approval of Blubber Bay which is exactly why I went there, it was one of my favorite anchorages of the whole trip, not another boat and lots of space to explore, wrapped from head to toe in foulies, camera in hand I could of easily been the only person for hundreds of miles.  The ferry came and went, the rain came and went and as silently as I drifted in I to came and went.

Now sitting in the boatyard with a jigsaw puzzle of projects and chatting with a few passerby arm chair sailors,  they tell me I’m living the dream.  I wonder if I am, my boat a hostage to the yard, winter bearing down on me and a wasted season doing anything but sailing. Is this the dream? Or the reality of living the dream.  Its been months since I felt the magic carpet ride of Sookie.  Hard on the wind, her rail burried with a bone in her teeth and doing hull speed less than 40’degress off the wind.  She loves to sail and I love to sail her.

Her anchoring system is easier than any boat I have ever experienced.  I can tuck or shake a prefe in seconds, not minutes under any point of sail and her non overlapping head sails give me a dozen working options with a genniker for those wonderful calm days dirfrting just faster than the tide.

I check my bank account and my calander, by October I will almost have enough money saved to make a critical decision, one I’m not prepared to make.  The New York Times says we make about 35,000 decisions a day but I only have to make one.  Saddle up on Brompty and pedal south or sell her and everything I own so I can ship Sookie to Southern California for a solid year of workable weather before heading south.  I’m torn on every account except for one, I’ve decided to make either journey a solo endeavor…

From the log of Sookie, on the hard.  The path less taken can’t be found until you have completely lost all roads you already know.

Cast-away

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I’ve been huddled in a soaking mass of wet down shivering for hours, I’ve reached my breaking point.  I get up, roll the whole mess into a ball and walk the short distance to the laundry room leaving everything in a pile.  My body is in near convulsions when I reach the spa. I’ll go in naked or just jump in with all my clothes on, I’m hypothermic.  The door is locked, rat fucked.  I go to the shower and my trembling hands have me dropping quarters everywhere, my dexterity is gone, I feel like a child trying to out a square block through a round hole.


The shower comes on after what seems an eternity my clothes in a pile on the disgusting floor, the water scalds me and I jump out turning the water to a much cooler temperature.  Ten quarters lasts five minutes, round two has me picking of my piles of dropped silver and putting them in the machine with a little more ease, it will take 40 quarters, more than I have used since February to shake the chill.  If I had more with me I would use them.


I’m tired, my world is blurry, I head back to Sookie, a place I’m nearly forbidden to go and retrieve more quarters and laundry soap, make a cup of coffee and head back to wash and dry my pathetic wet mess.  My new tent is still AWOL.  I feel like a criminal sneaking around, after a long day of work I limp up to the boat to asses removing her bowsprite.  I haven’t been there ten seconds when I hear a voice, it’s the yard manager.Your not living on your boat are you? 


This is total BS I confirmed with them before hauling her that I would be on and around the boat doing little projects all summer.  Before hauling I contacted just about every yard in the Salish Sea, every one of them said I could stay aboard Sookie for the summer while working on her, everyone but the one I foolishly chose. The hotel who’s property is twelve feet from the boatyard offered to let me store Sookie there so I would have a bed and a platform to work from but the yard flat out denied my request to put Sookie on the other side of the road.  Now I feel like I have to sneak around the yard even if I want to grab a snack or do a project, the thought of wasting my summer working on the boat was bad enough but leaving the island? Impossible!


I could have anchored out but a damp lonely summer working for my freedom and getting nothing done on the boat didn’t seem any better that leaving ths islands.  I have the nicest boat in the yard and also the best maintained, my work space is spotless, I pay all my bills on time or in advance, I don’t play loud music do drugs or any single thing that could annoy them other than to simply exist.


The sun is peeking it’s head over the horizon it’s blowing like stink, thunder rumbles overhead, I’m chilly but huddled up in a comfy beach chair very happy this night if hell is all behind me.. Sitting in the lazy evening light, last night was beautiful beyond compare.  It was almost balmy, golden rays showered my world, lighting crackling in the distance as big black clouds rolled and formed into eiry looking monsters, then the first drops fell from the sky.  I’m tired, worn out and near my breaking point, or at least wondering if I have one.  I feel close now, to knowledge if in no other way knowledge of who I am and what I’m capeable of. I fantasize about sitting in a heated office with a mortgsge and debt up to my ears, a safety net against myself.  I cute little house with a white picket fence and 2.4 kids, who are fucking kidding…

“I have need of angels. Enough hell has swallowed me for too many years. But finally understand this–I have burned up one hundred thousand human lives already, from the strength of my pain.” 

― Antonin Artaud

Sling blade

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Hanging off the side of Sookie with my trusty knife in my mouth I slipped and watched it splash and spiral to the depths.  I scrambled to my feet and dove over chasing the glimmering fleck as my most prised possession spiraled out of sight into the dark murky brine.


As a child one of my fondest memories is of my first knife, it was hard earned by climbing the highest peak in the local Sierra Nevada range that backed to my house.  I remember the very first day I had it, how the bone handle fit in my hand, the shape of the blade and the feel and smell of its leather sheith. I stared transfixed at the deep red blood as it ran down my leg after I accidentally stabbed myself, it was beautiful, raw and a very bonding experience.  My father thought me how to care for the knife, it was my very first lesson in maintaining ones tools and laid the foundation for the care and feeding of every one of my very few possessions.  I don’t own manny things but what I do have is maintained to the highest of standards, always.  It’s not just pride in ownership but also a great appreciation for what this world has bestowed on me.

I literally would have starved to death without my blade in Hawaii, it’s small, über light and the sharpest blade on the planet.  It cares for me in the same mannor that I care for it, like Sookie, we take care of each other.  My blade like my boat and bike are merely an extension of who and what I am, you can tell a lot about a man by the way he wears and cares for his knife.

My lost blade was a family heirloom which sucks but more importantly I had completely restored it including a new razor sharp edge, it was to be a gift for my brothers 50th birthday.  I’m such a fucking idiot.  I already have a really nice blade and never should have been using this one but I loved it so much and thought using it on Sookie would add to its karma, whoops!

I was a bit shocked to find that the maker is still in business and ordered an exact duplicate that he can pass on when he is old and grey.  Stainless steel with a flat grind and no serrations is the only way a sailors knife should be.  Strong and almost rustproof it will need sharpening a bit more often than carbon steel but it’s all part of the process in bonding with the blade.

I waited impatiently for a whole month for delivery and now it’s in the postmasters hands, very belated but sure to put a smile on a sailors face when he opens it.  A sailor has many tools but the blade he wears on his belt is of the utmost importance. A sailor without a knife is like a fish out of water.

The tin shed

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I’ve never seen a more disgusting  array of cluttered shit in my entire life, literally.  I’m living In a pile of rabbit shit, I’ve lived in some pretty interesting places over the course of this journey.  The abandoned clam plant was the most interesting and freaky, blood pans and the constant dripping of water with just enough weldimg masks spread around to make the perfect set for a horror film, there was even a Sickle hanging on the wall for a bit of added effect.  When the wind blew which it always dit it sounded like evil from the gates of hell banging on the walls.


Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, not by a long shot.  I’m willing to go through anything and give up everything if I have to in order to follow my journey.  The boat, the bike, even this blog, these are all just things and things don’t matter.  I can assure you I’m not going to get a Cush book deal sitting on my ass surfing YouTube.  


My journey no matter how fucked up is authentic, even if only to me.  By day I’m the most kick ass club master in the universe and the vacationers love it and they love me because I treat each and every one like gold, even the assholes and there are many.


When I clock out I take off my neat and clean uniform, carefully roll it up and tuck it in my little bag and become a scum sucking homeless piece of shit hiding from the sheriff although a few more days of this and three hots and a cot will start sounding pretty fancy. I lay out my tiny sun shade from Sookie to cover the shit but by morning my 50 degree bag is soaked through from either the rain or heavy dew.  Cold is my constant companion but my life is quite civilized. I sip on a world class glass of wine, I have a few, chew on a nice and all natural peanut butter and jam sandwich on fancy bread and watch the sun set into the western void.

Podcasts on my little iPad keep my mind occupied while I peck out a bit of jiberish here and there, I’m twenty or thirty blogs posts behind, so much has transpired in my life in the last few weeks.  I’ll more than likely delete them all and let the cracks fill with time.  I write for the sake of writing and rarely post more than a smidge of the shit that is going on in my humble and satisfying experience.  The bay is calm and mostly empty, not many boaters this year spells the truth about the real economy in America, not the BS one you see with all the fake numbers flashing around on Wall Street, funny how fast we all forget what happens when the bankers are given free money and allowed to run rampant and unchecked.  Either way it doesn’t effect me one bit, I own my shit and have a pretty good reserve of lentils and multi vitimans. I’m content with what I have and what I don’t.  My freedom is in my complete lack of want  or needs.  

“I had to get a close-hand view of the misery and unhappiness of a man made world, before I reached the point where I could successfully revolt against it.” 

― Emmeline Pankhurst

Bug out bike

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I’m huddled under a tree with my Brompton, it’s well past midnight now, my warmth is gone.  I’m shivering but I’m used to it. A flat tire and no tools has abruptly ended my midnight insomnia induced ride, for the life of me I can’t figure out where the hell I stashed my headlamp.  I’m annoyed that I have a beautiful home only 5 miles from here but Im not allowed to lay my tired head on a soft pillow and fall asleep in a cocoon of warmth and security.  I better get used to this because with no tent, a shitty sleeping bag and only half the freedom chips I need to get to my destination unknown I’m rat fucked.


I found this set up on the Brompton website, it’s as close to what I have been searching for as I can get although mine will be close it will also be very different.
To add insult to injury it now appears that I will have to work my way down a wet and winding coast with winter chasing me the entire way, back to being a migrant worker.  Logging trucks, headwinds, a parade of half asleep Q-tips in 50′ motor homes and no shoulder to ride on.  I don’t have rain gear, cycling wear, shoes or even gloves, not exactly what I was hoping for but sure as hell better than the alternative.

I wake up colder than when I fell asleep, it’s still dark and I have a Pitt in my stomach, I’m shivering uncontrollably, it’s the middle of July.  What the hell am I getting myself into? I couldn’t stop this crazy train if I wanted to, I’m addicted to living close to the edge, waking to sunrise, every sunrise and falling asleep exhausted with my half drinken beer precariously perched in my hand.  There is not a single mile of my intended journey that won’t be wrought with danger of one sort of another but still overall it seems more desirable and  safer than commuting to a shitty job in high speed rush hour traffic.  

Am I insane? Do I live for misery? Perhaps its self induced torture feeding some subbliminal internal loathing gyre to the abys for all the days of my life that I didn’t use to the fullest extent of my ability.  It feels retarded putting money into Sookie that would be better spent on food and warm clothing, I’m beginning  to feel like I can’t keep up with myself, my insatiable hunger for life and the simple smile it puts on my face.  

Call it what you want, I’m happy to a fault, I’m good to everybody and feel 20 years younger than my damn birth certificate says.  I’m strong, fit enough and at this pace will never need viagra to open the flood gates.  Even when I’m sitting still contemplating life, testosterone surges through my veins.  Maybe I’m not trying to keep up with the joneses, maybe  I am the joneses of youth and vitality.

Im out in a flash in my mountian Hardwear kilt and my mankini, tearing  down country roads my back is in agony from being run over by a yachter. I’m testing for anything comfy and modest to ride in other than spandex, it’s pretty good so I slip off the mankini to see if it’s better, fail… Back to the original set up, it’s almost perfect but to hot, the cloth is thin but not thin enough.  Im hell bent on cycling in a pink running skort, is it any more offensive than spandex and all of its banana hammock glory?  It can’t be, can it?  It just can’t be beat for super light comfort and high visibility but I can’t find one long enough or short enough depending on where I search.  

I put clothing off for now and order a seat bag, the Pika made by Relevate designs, it’s 12 liters at its largest capacity and can shrink to 6.  I also order a PCH cycling guide even though I’m not even remotely committed to cycling anywhere. I’m building a bug out bike but for what?  My next payday Is Friday at 5:00, by 5:15 I’ll be broke again but my new front T-bag by Brompton and all my new gearing and what ever else will be in the mail, food be damned if you want shit that’s out of your means you need to scrimp, besides; I have piles of lentils stashed in the woods and a half gallon of whiskey my brother sent me for my birthday, life is good.

I won’t spend a single penny I don’t need to but I’m turning Brompty into an uber light touring machine and keeping her as simple as I can for quick hops on public transportation should the need arise to B-line it somewhere warm. My budget is ten bucks a day with enough silver left over for a one way ticket somewhere warm, anywhere as long as it has blue water and a chance of finding work.

Debt free

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All clean and smooth as a baby’s bottom I admire my little ship.  The slings left some pretty nasty stains on her hull and being hit twice this year has me needing to do a bit of cosmetic work but I need a clean pallet to start my masterpiece.  I say clean pallet but this yard is filthy, one minute after her scrub down and a car driving way too fast up the dirt road sends a plume of acidic dust in the air.


Tuesday I will pull her bowsprit for the first time in five years for a full inspection and proper paint job In between my regular job.  This will also give me a chance to inspect and varnish my well worn bow chocks.  I’m still searching for a small bronze hawse hole for my stern anchor and trying to get the nerve to install a permanate 4 gallon gas tank with a proper fill hole and vent, that will give me a 48 mile range at 4.5 knots with an extra 12 from my one gallon backup tank.  I can’t ever imagine using more than 4 gallons in a year so this would be a good upgrade and one that’s easily removeable if and when I ever build a new sculling oar and go engine-less again.

I’m still trying to figure out the best way to install my wind vane but it hasn’t arrived yet so all I have to work with are my drawings and a few mocked up pieces of wood.  Nothing will ever be done half ass on this boat so blending in a cross beam to my beautiful boomkin is slow going.  I have an amazing shipwrite on the island, if only I could get him to help me install the bases for my boom gallows.  I’m working on a good bribe to lubricate the process and get him to show up for what will take him less than an hour to do what is an Impossibility for me.  Sookies cockpit feels very exposed in large and steep seas without proper lifelines in the cockpit,  lee cloths will finish the womb and while I’ve give up on a dodger for now the spray curtains will be a huge upgrade in comefort and safety as the FC has no combing.

I have three envelopes filled with one dollar bills, it’s not a lot but  I’m feeling very wealthy these days. One of them says boat, one says bike, the one labeled food is empty but I’m well fed these days so I continue the endless cycle of filling and emptying my little envelopes as work very slowly progresses toward and unknown future.  I’m continually reminded how many of my friends have plans for my life, as of today I have none. I’m a drone now, my mind dull and clouded by the present life I have chosen.

I get an email titled Gale sail, an invitation to cross the straights on a brand new tri sail and staysail made by Carol Hasse, I want to sail more than anything but instead I will work for pennies.  I meet a couple, perhaps in thier 70’s they are dressed from head to toe in brand new travel clothes, they even wear expedition sailing boots for the one minute walk from the hotel to thier little boat that hasn’t moved since they blamed me for crashing it.  I study them intently and wonder what amazing stories they will tell thier friends  and the pictures of them smiling looking like Indiana jones.  

I’ve fought my entire life to never end up old and rich and running on emty yet here I am doing the one thing I despise more than anything on the planet.  I’ve become a psychologist studying anger and why so many people simply can’t be happy.  I don’t get to experience the root, just the present, pissed off vacationers.  I’ve decided to roll solo, my empty coffee cup tells me it’s time to start my one and only day off this week, I have much to do.  I look down at my watch, not because I want to know the time but because it’s shiny and glimmers in the sun and it makes me happy to no end, I love shiny shit.

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” – Wayne Dyer

I’ve been around

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Not exactly exciting but a fun find on the web, Sookie had already been christened by her builder so we just gave her a splash of love and a blessing for safe travels

We slipped her into the water and slowly drifted away on a sea of time. Chloe has gone off to that big field in the sky.  Angela is due to have a baby any day, her life’s dream.  Roy sailed south in his Bristol Channel Cutter and Mathew is still building his dream Lyke Hess 26 and sailing her every chance he gets.  As for me?  I’ve been around.

Hard aground

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The old saying goes, if you haven’t been aground, you haven’t been around.  The crunching of fiberglass as it hits the reef sends chills up the spine of any sailor as his dear ship does one of the few things it should never do, touch land.


I’m so fucking bored a want to pull my hair out,  my soul was never meant to be a part of the corporate cog.  A friend pulled into my island and gave my stale mind a breather, something to chew on, then Karen and Jim stumbled around the corner and my head nearly exploded, I love these guys like no other, Jim didn’t even recognize me as I look so respectable it would even make my own mother want to puke, I was born unshaven with a rag a muffin wig, my hair is better worn wild like the wind that carries me.

I was just notified my new tent is back ordered so I may just have to start sleeping in the bar or ferry terminal, so yeah other than being land locked, bored out of my fucking mind and homeless life is  good, I get a almost free burger evey day which is what I’m living off of and it would be a really nice treat if I wasn’t vegan, don’t get me wrong, i still eat that shit but…

 Take  note children, this is what happens when you trade your life for money and put your boat on dry land, Poseidon curses you evey damn day until you do the right thing and float your boat.  

From the log of Sookie, why is it that when life is good it goes by so quickly but when it sucks ass it is like a slow painful death.  

The Windward sailor

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A seagull flying overhead asked the fish “how’s the water?”. The fish responds “what the hell is Water?” Every day of my life is an uphill battle but like the fish, it’s all I know, so in my reality it doesn’t even exist.  My sailing instructor Captian Lea started me off with long windy and wet windward passages, I figured that’s what sailing was and I loved  it, it was all I knew and so they have never bothered me.  Let’s face it, I can’t sing, I can’t dance and I can’t play and instrument but I do all three.  


Wet decks, cold spray across the bow and living in a small boat heeled well over isn’t a bad way to go if it gets you to your destination.  I’ve been working my ass of and spending nil, hoping to scrape the much needed funds to get the boat to San Carlos, or Ventura or Florida, somewhere warm, a place where I can have a full year to work on Sookie and get her ready to cross oceans.  

My accountant tells me I don’t have a snowballs chance in hell of doing it  this year so I’ve adjusted my course fallen off a bit and am settling in for a long wet winter.  I’ve applied as a charter master in the Carribean, a banker in Nevada, and a broker in Florida, I doubt I will do any of the three but I’m covering my bases.  I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that there will be no little sailors or sailorettes in my life, I took my eye of of the ball and just like that 14 years of my life has vanished. When I adopted Chloe it wasn’t because I wanted a dog, it was because I wanted children but wasn’t sure if I was good enough of a human being and worthy of the honor of raising children.  Pretty much up until very recently I’ve held onto the belief that little tanned feet would eventually rule the decks of Sookie.

As of today I have 75 days until I have to spin the bottle and decide my winter, I’m poaching s tree house until my tiny new one man tent replaces the one I temporarily borrowed, I hope it’s better than the last but after living in a giant two man tent I think it may be a bit cramped.  My knees are blown from my job, basically I’ve been running a marathon a day, every day, I’m too old for this shit.  Two and a half months is far to long to wait for my next journey to begin but not nearly enough time to cross everything off of THE LIST. One day at a time is all I can do and should it all become too much I’ll just mount my trusty Brompty and pedal off into the sunset.  Sailing hard on the wind only sucks if you choose for it to.

“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.” 

― Theodore Roosevelt

Foot prints

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The sailors bouquet is made of paintbrushes, varnish, whipping twine and blue masking tape. I’ve got a pile of supplies that a few of my life’s units bought for me, a long list of this and that I and a few very serious decisions to make about my steering system. I dont know if I still have a heater or not but one way or another Sookie will have a heat source right after water and fire and hopefully before the winter that I have no plans of enduring arrives.

I packed up my pack, pulled the tent and nothing was left but her footprint, a sign of me having rested my weary head long enough for the outside world to change and die while beneath my bed of grass a green reminder will slowly fade away like the days of our lives. 


Sookie got a quick rinse but tomorrow she will get her first proper bath in quite some time as will I, we are both beginning to smell like yesterday’s trash.  I sail vicariously with Mary as she crosses the South Pacific on her Falmouth cutter, I am landlocked but now for the first time I am seeing all the good in having Sookie in the yard, at least for now.  I miss her cozy berth, having logged over two thousand nights in my crappy down sleeping bag I am in desperate need of a new one, the cold nights are a reminder of many things other than the simple fact that I am freezing in July.  Fall is now closer than spring, the days are noticeably shorter and it’s time to pick from my bouquet and paint some magic so I can get to the real task at hand.

From the log of Sookie, land locked.  The fog is slowly rising,  from my Perch in the boatyard I notice that Sookies compass is pointed due south, she is speaking to me.  

Totems

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The rain comes each night and occasionally in the mornings, this has so far been a no summer, summer and my brain is confused by the lack of warmth I wait so long for each year.  I’ve postponed my entire future waiting for a sign from the sea, no more sailing, the bike trip is off and now I have to figure out what road lies ahead. 


I don’t know why but I sent off for payment instructions for my new wind vane.  I haven’t been able to find much motivation to take advantage of Sookie being in the boat yard, my brain is in knots.  To many choices will do that to a person.  I slowly read about a girl and her solo circumnavigation on her Falmouth Cutter 22.  

It’s been nearly a year without Chloe and the void continues, I play with every dog I meet but deep down I know there will not be another in my life.  I piddle around Sookie wondering why I didn’t just sail off broke for the summer but reading through the manuscript of a book I wrote and will never publish about my accounts in Hawaii and I’m reminded that I don’t need any more adventure in my life, my fun meter is pegged.

A slow boring simple life is out there, it’s calling me and now all I have to do is say yes, but I have already said no.

Descent into minimalism

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My journey into my minimalist lifestyle started  shortly after the turn of the century.  I had many addresses that I called my own but was happily living out of a very small backpack.  My transition was simple and painless, I walked out my front door and left everything that wasn’t in the pack behind never missing or wanting to see any of it again. I would close million dollar deals from my laptop while parked at some off the map mountain summit camping in my car with my dog, I was well on my way.


Riding my bike through Lahaina I noticed a fair bit of seemingly homeless guys riding thier clunker old beach cruisers around with a small daypack in thier front baskets.  I assumed that those packs contained all of thier worlds possessions and was very envious of the freedom it afforded them over my very heavy 38 liter backpack with my tent, Uke and camp pad strapped onto the back; there was no mistaking that I was camping out.

Later in that journey while swimming in one of my favorite off the tourist track waterfalls I met Marina, she had the smallest pack of any Trekker I had met.  I shared a  rolli with her as we discussed traveling light.  When I asked if I could see what was in her pack she took her sarong off, laying it gently on a patch of dirt and carefully remeved everything placing it all in neat little piles on her makeshift picnic blanket. She didn’t even have a sleeping bag, pad or tent, just a hammock and a tiny blanket from the plane for chilly nights.  No cooking gear or a stove, just a single mug.  She had a few bags of fruits and nuts to last each day between hitchhiking to the next roadside stand.  She told me that everywhere she went guys would offer to buy her dinner but that she hadn’t accepted a single one not wanting it to ruin her solo zen existence. She was about half way through her one year stay and easily living off of less than 500 per month and contemplating a second year as she was way under her travel budget.

Most of the Trekkers I met carried the biggest packs I had ever seen with front packs larger than my main pack.  They had silly wide brimmed hats and wore full grain leather boots.  It exhausted me to watch them trying to gear up for the long hike from the baggage claim to the taxi stand.  Those guys reminded me so much of my previous over stuffed life.

My disconnect started with my television and home phone.  My laptop and cell phone were shut off at 4:00pm every day and not turned on until the next work day.  I found my phone to be a devil that created a false sense of urgency, clients would call me at 2:00 Am and I would answer even though there was literally nothing I could do till the next day.  Shutting off my phone relieved 50% of the stress in my life, having no TV made me smarter-happier and much healthier, it also made me much more of a fun person to be around. The car was next and again now that I’m human powered. I have far more time to ride my bike as I don’t have to work to pay for my car, phone, tv or any of the other stuff in those subliminal ads that are fired directly at my brain 500  times a second.  By this stage I was given back a full 8 hours a day of my life, time that is much better spent walking to the market, riding my bike or napping in the shade of my favorite tree, the more time I found the more I wanted, I was becoming addicted to living my life.

As a true minimalist I haven’t gotten rid of anything important to me.  I don’t count my poesssions, or get rid of anything simply under the premise of getting rid of things.  I simply don’t aquire what I don’t need.  I recently closed all of my social media accounts other than this blog.  I had been browsing Instagram when I clicked on a picture I really liked, it turned out to be someone I know and I flipped through all thier pictures and captions and realized the whole page was 100% BS then I started looking at all the pages I followed and my tiny brain stated to click.  I looked at my own feed, no captians just pictures that I made and that I liked but was like, who fucking cares, I had these same images on my fb, my blog, my Instagram, I didn’t even know it but I was on Twitter and Google plus, what a fucking waste of other peoples most valuable commodity, time… So I killed them all.

The reason my posts are so short is that I don’t believe my words or experiences are worth more to others than one minute and thirty seconds which is the average time people stay on my blog.  Now having literally nothing that the joneses insist I do, I have no debt, no revolving debt, my total monthly expenses as of today are zero.  

I can get anywhere on the island by bike in about an hour including the ferry which is free because I ride my bike on, all of the other islands and the mainland are also free, not that would ever go to the mainland.  I have time to make strange concoctions of food in my camp, I  take at least two naps a day, I get up early and do a lot of shit in a day so I need em. There is always time to BS with other people and best of all I’m not a slave but   I do work a bit, the other day at work I was asked  to clean because it was slow and my answer was, bite me; it’s not my job.  If I want to sit around all day at work I will as long as my duties are done and they are always done because that’s how I roll, the rest of the time is for socializing, if they don’t like it I’ll get on my bike and go ride the coast.  Just because you are on a payroll it doesn’t make you a slave. Because I’m not desperate for a paycheck, I’m not at anyone’s beck and call.  Sure I’m working a menial job but it’s only for 2 months and it’s really fun, I don’t worship money, I worship freedom and freedom is a very powerful thing.

So when ever I feel like it, I will wash my small load of Landry by hand and hang  it to dry. I guess I should make my way to the lodge for some free wifi so I can post this.  If I don’t get around to it today there is always tomorrow, or next week.  I never once asked myself how I could live a simpler existence, just why would I want to and once I found the answer it’s been all down hill.

So I’m reading this journal and it says that less than ten percent of the people on the planet will ever follow thier dreams.  Of those ten percent 90 will be back at work within the year.  So its Independence Day week, I take time I reflect on my life and what I’ve made of it.  Reading the statistics above aren’t hard for me to understand.  With so many distractions in this world how is one ever to even find the time to think clearly.  If your not living your dreams it’s nobody fault but your own.  You can sit around blaming the world for the mess you’ve gotten your self into or you can look into the mirror and see how much you’ve aged, perhaps you don’t need that new car or iPhone or cloths or fancy dinner. Perhaps you just need to face the fact that your days are numbered and if you don’t start living your true life now you just never may get around to it which is also ok, without spectators there would be no parade.  Happy Independence Day

“A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.”
Lysander Spooner

The illusion of freedom

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The early mornings are my favorite, cool and quiet.  The bay is calm now but this is that calm before the storm, by 10:00 am it will be go time, crazy boaters, bitchy yacht clubers, campers, cyclists, tourist by the dozens.  The whole world has shown up to my sleepy island to celebrate Independence Day, but are any of us really free. 

 The day after the 4th there will be a mass exodus, back to work, back to traffic, id say back to the stressful life of the city goers but most of them brought thier stress to the islands so they will be taking that back with them.  My camp is neet and tidy, I have a very small Footprint.  I set up my picnic table for breakfast and went to the shower, when I returned all my stuff was on the ground and my table has been taken by campers, theses sub human beings who can’t think beyond their own needs trash mine and I’m left wIth a pile of my junk scattered around in rabbit shit. Is this what they are teaching thier children?

I wonder what the world has come to but watching people scream at thier kids, beat thier dogs, berate my staff, its all a bit surreal, I let it roll off my tail like a drop of water down the backside of a duck.  I am as free as any human in this world if not more.  Not because I think I have rights that I clearly don’t but because I’ve made a concious choice to live a minimalist life, debt free, and easy on the planet I live in. My world is perfect so I can’t be angry, stressed, or just generally pissed off at my world because those elements don’t exist in my realm.

Do you remember when you were kid, the smell of a musty tent, the dry summer grass, chasing frogs and trying to catch a shark  on that one week summer vacation, the crackling of dry summer earth with each step, not a care in the world, that’s where I still live.  In my generation we found status in the cars we drove and houses we took lifetime loans out on, how much money we could convince people we had, you remember the old slogan he who dies with the most toys wins.  I’m quite far removed from that world. My world all about a life well lived, time to smell the roses, a good meal and a nap in the park.  Wandering eyes and a wonderful world to explore, the truly simple things in life that anyone can afford.

Yes I was born in the wrong skin and also the wrong generation but it doesn’t mean I have to be trapped in that ancient and backwards mindset.  Today Americans have less freedom than at any time in the history of this country but our prisons are self enduced, we chan break the shackles that bind us at any time we choose.  I’ve chosen my freedom and I mainline in like heroine. 

My coffee is especially good today, I have many friends in and many more coming, in a few days Melissa will be sleeping next to me in our little tent, our vacation home if you will.  I soak up every second of every day, when we pedal out of here we have no idea when we will return, Central America keeps getting thrown into the mix but who cares about tomorrow today is as beautiful as any I have ever known. It’s through having nothing that I have gained everything, to become a minimalist is to set our selfs free from the prison we have created for our selfs.

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” 

― Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

The Orgin of Canada day

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Happy Canada Day. My grandfather who loved all Canadians very much as did his father and that before him as well, passed this story on to me to share with future generations.


 When John Smith and Pocahontas were exploring the north west passage they were captured my a motley group of woodsman who were quite friendly. They apologized profusely for capturing them and shooting at them but explained that they were protecting a great nation that would some day be famous for hockey and bacon.  

When John Smith enquired about the name of this great nation his captors proudly called it the C.N.D. territory which stood for Canuck and native democracy. John Smith asked how it was spelled and his capturer said C,eh N,eh D, eh and so John smith pronounced it Canada and he smiled and the Canadians smiled. The explorers were released and a life time friendship of two nations was born.

  This date was July first and all Canadians will forever celebrate this day as the day they joined as neighbors with America. This would explain why they decided to put their border so close to ours and why they give us great gifts such as the blackberry phone and maple syrup. In exchange for these most wonderful gifts we created Costco and affordable cheese and milk and that is how two great nations came to rely on each other and the Orin of Canada day.   

Tent dweller 

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I wake up with a crick in my back, I roll over and feel my entire body cracking into alignment, it’s time for a bit of tent yoga. Going through my journal this is my 51st day in the last year sleeping in a tent, then there was the tin shed I had in Oregon for a few months, not half as creepy as the adandoned clam plant I lived in for serveral months a few years back.


Hotels, hostels and couches filled the rest of the year minus about 100 days on board Sookie.  I sure will be happy to be a full time liveaboard again but I don’t see that happening this year, or any time in the near future.  I’m slowly packing her for a long nap.


It’s cool in the tent in the mornings, today I was awoken by a very loud fog horn, I almost jumped out of my skin thinking I was being run down in the right, quite the rude awakening.  It’s still cold  and foggy but I can already feel the tent warming which will chase me away till near sunset.  My time would be better spent working on the boat but I think I have a long slow ride in me and then a nice afternoon nap under an old shady tree.  I don’t get my once a week shower till tomorrow so today it will be a swim in the frigid waters somewhere off the south end of the island, then I will lay around like a sea lion letting the sun warm my naked body before jumping back on the bike for the long downwind ride home.


I’m tired and can’t seem to find my boundless summer energy but I’m also working hard and getting stronger by the day.  My body is getting drunk off of vitiman D, water is my new drug of choice, cool and refreshing from my metal bottle.  There are no more meals, just snack, all day little bits of chewy crunchy love filling me with enough energy to find the next sidetrack in my slow island life.  


Unlike my recent jaunt to the tropics these islands don’t have hurricane force winds at this time of year or torrential rains.  There are no scorpions, turanchulas, fire ants, centipedes, or any of the other creepy crawlies that kept me in such good company in my little island paradise.  The San Juan islands are the safest and least toxic place in the entire northern hemisphere, yawn.  Maybe a quick nap and one more cup of coffee before I start my day.


“I am almost a hundred years old; waiting for the end, and thinking about the beginning.

There are things I need to tell you, but would you listen if I told you how quickly time passes?

I know you are unable to imagine this.

Nevertheless, I can tell you that you will awake someday to find that your life has rushed by at a speed at once impossible and cruel. The most intense moments will seem to have occurred only yesterday and nothing will have erased the pain and pleasure, the impossible intensity of love and its dog-leaping happiness, the bleak blackness of passions unrequited, or unexpressed, or unresolved.” 

― Meg Rosoff, What I Was

Six is enough

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Ounce for ounce Fritos have more calories than any other food in the planet.  They also happen to make great fire starters, I’ve even used them to cook my coffee in an empty tuna can and to this day they still only have three ingredients, corn, oil and salt.  Call it junk food but it’s always been my go to survival rations. Be-it after a long day sailing in the relentless sun or a pavement pounding hill climbing 80 miler into the wind and up hill the whole way on Brompty.  I get my sodium fix, calories and they just taste good, I prefer the scoops and use then to shovel spoonfuls of tuna into my pie hole. 


Reading though dozens of bags on the self I can’t believe how many ingredients all the other Chips have, even the so called natural ones.  I grab my bag of Fritos and am reminded of the simplicity of my trusty Brompton, six gears is enough. Most bikes these days have thirty gears and fragile and sensitive derailers, WHY?  As humans are we that lazy the we want to completly remove the experience of hill climbing from our lives.  Why do we always need to add more expense, complexity and weight to something as simple as riding a bike?  If my knees weren’t blown I never would have sold my trusty fixe but let’s face it, none of us are getting any younger.  

My Brompton has a three speed internal hub with a high low derailer giving six speeds.  She was designed for commuting and while she did fine in my 750 Mile fully loaded tour through Hawaii I’m reducing her gearing by 12% which is easy as switching from a 50 tooth chain ring to a 44 and clipping a few of the chain links giving me a bit of extra oomf for the hills and head winds we expect cycling the west coast. Neither of us will train for this ride other than just playing around the island so the first few weeks will be a very rude awakening.

Our loads will be as simple and minimal as our bikes with just one extra set of clothes so I can only imagine how stinky we will be but we have already vowed to skinny dip every body of water we cross in an attempt to save money We neednt spend for such silly luxury as showers.  We will be fully dirbaging it as we each only set off with a grand and want to make this trip last as long as out bodies can hold out.  There are people out there who go to great lengths to never be to hot or too cold.  To never be afraid or push the limits behind thier boundarys.  To never take a chance in finding a true adventure, we are not those people, we are gypsy lovers and this is our dirtbag diary.

Fritos scoops 9 ounce bag, average price $2.50

1200 calories

270 calories from fat

45% RDA sodium

32% dietary fat

18 grams of protein 

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.


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.

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.

“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.” 

― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

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.  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.

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

― Rosa Luxemburg

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

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

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

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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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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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