Cruising

A Lot of Wind Video

19 Dec

As I've said many times, sailors are notorious exaggerators, and the wind and waves always seem to get a little higher and stronger after a few drinks. The video below is what I consider a lot of wind. I posted this video on YouTube a few years ago as an experiment, and I'm shocked that over twenty thousand people have watched it, which I guess isn't that many in the YouTube world.

To answer nitty-gritty questions, this was at Peninsula Tamar, at the Boca Occidental of the Straits of Magellan, with a typical low pressure system blowing through. Captain Slocum ...

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William Faulkner, Sailor Man

19 Dec

© Floating around the net

Being on a Southern sojourn, I counted it high time to renew acquaintance with my friends Eudora Welty, Robert Penn Warren, William Faulkner

And so it came about that in a five-pounder of an anthology I found a piece by Faulkner that was new to me, an autobiography of sorts in 19 pages posing as an investigation of swamps and Snopses and small towns called cities and tiny black women of fortitude and loyalty who lived and died surrounded by admiration and slow tragedy: out of that welter emerged a few nuggets of the 1949 ...

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GUNBOAT 66 PHAEDO: Shifting Into Cruising Mode

18 Dec

Paul Hand and Lloyd Thornburg

When I first stepped aboard the bright orange Gunboat 66 Phaedo while chatting up ARC sailors here in Rodney Bay, I had no idea at first who I was talking to. A soft-spoken not-quite-clean-shaven young man in a t-shirt invited me aboard after I hailed the boat from the dock, and I naturally assumed he must be crew. He eagerly pointed out the skipper (Paul Hand, on the left up top) and some of the other folks aboard, and it was only after I inquired directly as to his own identity that he admitted, a bit bashfully, that he was ...

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2011 ARC: Dock Walk

15 Dec

ARC fleet at St. Lucia

I'm hitting the rally beat hard these days. After recently not sailing in the Caribbean 1500, I'm now down in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, checking out the end of this year's Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. To get a feel for things, I took a long stroll yesterday around the docks. I don't know about you, but walking around a marina or boatyard ogling boats is something I never get tired of.

There were two in particular I was looking for. The first was a Class 40 Akilaria named Vaquita. She turned in a stellar performance, crossing the ...

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Dog Tired

14 Dec

We're remodeling our kitchen. We wash our dishes in the bathtub. We've been saying for a week, hey, let's just move onto the boat, where we'll have a kitchen and be perfectly comfortable. The wind has been from every which way lately in San Francisco, making for a choppy, surgey mess. In the best of times my marina is rough, but it was particularly rough over the weekend. The rocking wasn't so bad, but the surge was terrible. Every time the boat surged, the dock lines creaked, squeaked, and groaned. Every time there was squeaking and groaning, the dog sat bolt upright and ...

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Cruisers Occupy Oakland

14 Dec

Yesterday, one thousand members of the Occupy Movement once again shut down the Port of Oakland. Nearby, truck driver Javier Johnson said, “What are these idiots protesting? This day is costing me $600 and I’ve got a family to feed.”

An Occupy spokesman said, “We are mainly targeting SSA Marine, which is partly -owned by Goldman Sachs.”

Protesters beat drums and yelled “We are the 99 percent!” and “Die Capitalist Pigs!”

But far in the back, a smaller, but more militant group yelled, “And stop running over sailboats!” The unruly rabble, dressed in oilskins and canvas hats, held signs that ...

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My Boat’s Broke. Again.

12 Dec

We set out this morning for Tenacatita. But not before raising the anchor by hand thanks to a dead windlass battery. I later discovered that the battery combiner wasn’t working and I was able to just bolt the two wires together for a temporary fix. 

 
The dinghy davits, which it turns out had broken a total of three support welds, was now a web of lines that actually seemed to hold the whole contraption together quite well. Yet another temporary fix.
 
We had a nice calm morning and were motoring along in just five knots of wind on ...
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Another Day on the Hook

11 Dec

Spent another day solely on the boat. It’s amazing to me how we can pass an entire day in this small space without any problem whatsoever. Ouest is the only one who you would really expect to complain about it, but she seems completely content to be bobbing around at anchor spending her entire day surrounded by her toys.

 
I did take her out with me onto the dinghy tied up behind the boat to do a little work. She helped me pump it up with air where I discovered to my utter disbelief that I still had a ...
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Just Another Day at Anchor

10 Dec

We didn’t go anywhere today, not even off the boat. Perfect weather, a beautiful bay, and a tired and sick family made the decision to just lounge around on the boat an easy one. In fact we’ve been boat bound now for three days and don’t really mind it one bit.

I patched the hole in the dinghy. A proper patch this time, and I barely even used my super glue, opting instead for the hyphalon repair kit included with the dinghy. We cleaned the boat up, everyone got showers, we ate tacos and guacamole, and I went for a ...
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Sailing to Chamela, Mexico

9 Dec

There is no more difficult way to travel one hundred miles than to sail it. Riding bikes would have been a breeze. Jogging with Ouest on my shoulders, no problem. Sailing. My goodness, I’m beat.

 
Didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. Ali was up with a crying Lowe most of the night. He got sick too now. And I couldn’t stop thinking about how I was going to get the transmission coupler fixed.
 
So anyway, the sun came up, beautiful morning, and I crawled inside the bowels of the engine compartment. It didn’t take me long ...
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