As yet another year draws to a close I am reminded once again of what a great sport, pastime, call it what you will, we sailors enjoy. A late fall delivery from Bermuda to the Caribbean proved the perfect antidote to the continuing gloom that dominated the airwaves last year; I found there’s nothing like a bracing beat into 25-knot headwinds and a rambunctious seaway to banish thoughts of Ebola-infected ISIS militants swarming across the border to behead us in our sleep. Politics, fracking, climate change, none of these meant anything compared to the struggle of merely climbing out of your bunk at change of watch and the bleak contemplation of more of the same as the wind remained resolutely in the south.…Read More
It was just a little tickle on my neck, but something made me give it a flick instead of a scratch. Good thing, too, because instead of aggravating the little scorpion that perched there I knocked it to the cabin sole- and I ended up with a nip instead of a serious injury.
The little brown scorpion had jumped from a large stem of bananas (200+ bananas!) that I was cleaning and cutting into hands, the gift of a generous family back in Panapompom Island. It all worked out, but how could we have avoided a scorpion in the first place?…Read More
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything solely for myself, let alone by hand. Feels strange to put pencil to paper, and awkwardly slow. My brain thinks these sentences faster than my hand can scrawl them down. On the computer, my typing can keep up. Still, somehow this feels better.
I ran my first ultramarathon on Sunday, October 5 over at Blue Marsh Lake, about 5 minutes from my dad’s house, the house I grew up in, outside Reading. The ‘Blues Cruise Ultra 50K’ put on by the Pagoda Pacers Athletic Club.
Saturday night had been later and involved more red wine that I’d have preferred.…Read More
Posted October 15
There’s nothing new about seeing odd ships at Pier 50, on San Francisco’s southeastern waterfront. But this weekend, if you see one that’s sinking, it isn’t. The M/V Tern has come for our drydock.
Ken Watson’s pic, above, shows the Tern in a different place, on a different mission. The word from Coast Guard Public Affairs:
San FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard is enforcing a safety zone Saturday morning for the motor vessel Tern, a 590-foot vessel, that will transport the Port of San Francisco’s Drydock 1 to a green certified ship recycling facility near Shanghai, China.…Read More
(Sydney, Australia)- The Sydney Harbour J/70 fleet has been racing since September thanks to the support of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. The Squadron’s mini-regatta series follows a two-lap windward-leeward format with 3 races each day.
The fleet is sailing every three weeks for the Squadron’s mini-regatta series, the greater Sydney area has about 10 J/70s. It has definitely been a thrill sailing on the magnificent Sydney Harbour regularly in one of the most exciting one-design classes around.
The 3 weeks so far have been sailed in light and generally shifty spring conditions, with the last race completed on Saturday being a drifter. All crews are looking forward to the arrival of the traditional summer northeasterly breezes that tend to hit hard as the weather warms up.…Read More
San Francisco, CA, is on the leading, bleeding edge of environmental goodism — and we need more, much more of that, intelligently applied.
SF’s Mountain Lake Park is connected to the underground system, including Lobos Creek and it’s natural spring, that feeds 80 percent of the fresh water to the Presidio. This is playground central to one of the best family neighborhoods of the city.
Highway 1 roars past on the northern reach, with cars coming from, or going to, the Golden Gate Bridge.
Long ago, the first Spanish military mission camped here—because there was water—before establishing their first version of “The Presidio.”
And here is the story, as delivered by longtime SF Chronicle science writer David Perlman:Read More
As you know, the fine crew of Papillon is currently living ashore. Yes, we’re still firmly tropical on a tiny island in Papua New Guinea, but still. We are temporarily parted from our beloved yawl – and this on our fourth anniversary aboard. Sniffles all around.
For the duration of our sabbatical-from-our-sabbatical, the blog will not be syndicated on SAILfeed. This makes sense, because we are not sailing. So, dear SAILfeed readers, you will have to bookmark the original Sailing Papillon if you would like to keep up with our adventures. Otherwise, I’ll be back on SAILfeed circa April with cruising stories galore.…Read More
NPR’s Scott Neuman chats with Andy about their favorite books that they’d bring along to a desert island or on a long offshore passage. They get going discussing some classic sailing books, then venture into fiction and nonfiction. If you’re looking for something new to read, take notes! Thanks to Scott for inspiring this podcast!
12 years ago today, just about now, Mollie Fenn slipped into the world with all the innocence that comes with drawing your first breath of life. Up until the time she was actually born, my wife Kim and I didn’t know if Mollie would actually be a Mollie or someone else like a Ben or a Jack or maybe a James. Surprises after all can be a nice thing so why spoil the moment by finding out ahead of time if you’re getting a boy or girl is the way we looked at it.…Read More
Imagine a desert island. Ocean breezes blowing, palm trees swaying, perhaps some decorative coconuts strewn about the place. Just you, your beach chair, the waves lapping your toes, and the gentle clink of plastic bottles washing up on shore.
Not quite what you pictured? After four years aboard, I am sorry to say that this is reality. Every windward beach has plastic. Unless someone works every day to clean it, flip flops and plastic bottles are the order of the day. Everywhere. And I am sick of it.
The girls and I went on a beach walk with some on their friends last week.…
Andy reads a story called ‘High Adventure’ he wrote in February 2008. He and a friend, Michael, summited the hightes peak in Ireland. They were traveling together after meeting at a TEFL course in Prague.