Randall Ink: The Ocean Blue in a Bottle

27 Jul

Improbably, the focus of this post is fountain pen ink, but it takes some explaining to get there.

I married into a family of crazy sailors–a happy accident. Chief among these crazies was my wife’s godfather, a man named John Stewart, who was known to most simply as Beard. This latter name referenced the outstanding facial feature that could be found surrounding another unusual anatomical appendage, a perpetually smoldering pipe.

My wife likes to remind me that, for all the trouble I cause her, she never worries about me. Her defense: “Look at the things that happened to Beard, and ...

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Garmin’s ActiveCaptain marine business plan looks good, plus Eartha

26 Jul

On Tuesday I drove down to Yarmouth, Maine, to meet some of the ActiveCaptain Community team at the former DeLorme headquarters building that Garmin now partially leases for inReach and cartography development. The key news is that Garmin recently contacted marine businesses to explain the three-tier business “ownership” and advertising plan they intend to roll out in late August. I think it’s brilliant.

Garmin obviously took a cue from Google — no shame — with the concept that every relevant business on a largely crowd-sourced map deserves special status regarding the facts about their business, and that granting such status ...

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Awlgrip Topsides with a Brush

25 Jul

For reasons too convoluted and bizarro to explain, we can’t spray paint in our boatyard. We can only brush, but you’d be surprised at the results a talented painter can achieve with a brush. Fernando, who I will refer to often in this post, is our painting contractor, and the results he gets with a brush are astounding. Many around here say his topside jobs are better than most spray jobs, because with spray there is often a bit of orange peel texture to the finish, but with Fernando’s jobs it’s pure glass:

Fernando is partial to Awlgrip, and he ...

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Coming to grips with the Golden Globe Race

25 Jul

The start of the Golden Globe Race

Isn’t it interesting how life creeps up on us? I remember when I was a kid and they built a new ring-road around the town where I grew up. I thought that they were crazy. There was hardly any traffic on it but these days it’s bumper to bumper. It just happened, slowly and inexorably. The traffic and ...
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DICK CARTER ISN’T DEAD YET: And He’s Written a Book to Prove It

23 Jul

Dick Carter

This was a rumor that may have started on a Dick Carter fanboy thread on Sailing Anarchy a few years back: that Carter, one of the leading designers during the IOR era back in the 1970s, had sadly passed away. Even people active in the thread who’d once been close to Carter–like Bob Perry and Yves-Marie Tanton, who both designed boats with him back in the day–were in no position to deny this and so accepted it as fact. You can imagine then how surprised Tanton was when he ran into Dick Carter in Newport, at a memorial service for ...

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Bellying Up

22 Jul

Hopefully, Carolyn Shearlock’s provisioning tips this month will help those of you who, like me, are useless at stocking their boats for a cruise of any duration. Bacon, eggs, cheese, a couple of steaks, a handful of onions and a loaf or two of bread, and I’m good to go. A couple of days later I’m pulling long-forgotten cans out of the lockers, wondering what culinary masterpiece I can throw together from pickled beets, artichokes, peas and a suspiciously rusty tin of Spam. In the end, it’s usually sardines on toast, washed down with the kind of last-resort boxed red ...

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Mission in the Hills & 80º NORTH // Delos in the Arctic Part 11

19 Jul

Andy Helm Ice Magdafjord_2500px.jpg

We got ashore around 7 pm and tied up the dinghy to a giant whalebone on the stony beach, keeping her offshore with a stern anchor and starting up the steep slope to the hill just west ofIsbjorn’s anchorage. Large polar bear tracks led west in the snow across the little saddle towards the archipelago on the other side. We made the ridge in a few minutes and walked further south for a view over the alpine lake, which feeds a little waterfall that plunges down towards the anchorage. The lake, on July 1, was frozen solid and covered in ...

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See Moli at Angel Island on August 11th

19 Jul

Image result for angel island

On Saturday, August 11th, Moli and I will be attending the Ocean Cruising Club’s annual Bay Area potluck, held this year at Angel Island. Tony Gooch, who sailed Mo as Taonui for many years, will also be there.

The potluck is open to non-members, so bring your own food and drink and come on by to meet Tony, Mo, and me, and explore what the OCC can offer.

For more details, including Ferry Schedule to Angel Island and RSVP, see here.

I joined the OCC at Tony’s suggestion (he is a Vice Commodore of the club) just ...

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Thank You!

17 Jul

Image may contain: 10 people, including Machelle Reynolds Vietz and Randall Reeves, people smiling, boat, sky, ocean, outdoor and water

To see the wild ocean with your own eyes, uncut by the perspective of others; to seek for solitude at its source; to take on difficulties that call for previously unsuspected grit; to cast your lot with the likes of Ishmael and to assemble your story from the stuff of an endless, empty sea; in other words, to sail alone around the world … isn’t a solo enterprise. It takes a community to pull it off.

So, it’s fitting that now, in the brief space between the Figure 8 attempt that began last October and the one to come this ...

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Weather Prediction on the ICW

17 Jul

As cruisers, we learn to predict the weather in our home waters with relative ease: it becomes instinctive. In the summer cruising grounds your radius from home port is likely to be only 100 miles. You will probably stay within your local seasonal weather pattern. Cruising the ICW is quite different. If you watch the local TV weather forecast in the morning, its afternoon predictions will be practically worthless as by afternoon you will be 50-60 miles away. This morning’s weather center forecast for tomorrow morning will be different from the forecast at tonight’s anchorage. In short, you will get ...

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