ANN DAVISON: Solo Transatlantic on Felicity Ann

29 Mar

Ann Davison on Felicity Ann

Cast into the past to find the founding figure of bluewater feminism, the first in the line that leads to such modern-day heroines as Isabelle Autissier, Ellen MacArthur, and Samantha Davies, and you bump up hard against a woman named Ann Davison. She is remembered today, when she is remembered at all, as the first woman to sail solo across the Atlantic. She is also something of an enigma, wrapped up in a few ironies. Chief among these being the fact that she probably never would have gone to sea in the first place had she not fallen in ...

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La Cruz (rough) to Punta Mita (calm)

29 Mar

28-Mar-2012 punta mita, mexico.
Last night we talked about getting an early start today, heading to town for some leg stretching and breakfast, then straight back to the boat to get out of La Cruz before the wind picked up. So with an early start in mind it's no surprise that Lowe would sleep until eight-thirty. He's never slept late like that in his life.

So we rumbled in to town, went to YaYa's for chilaquiles, which for a non-egg eater like me is pretty much the greatest breakfast item ever invented, Ouest played with the dogs, fed the birds, ...

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La Cruz Anchorage, She Looks Nice in the Morning

28 Mar

27-Mar-2012 la cruz de huanacaxtle, mexico.
This morning we took advantage of the calm to head in to town. La Cruz is a nice little place though at eleven o'clock in the morning there isn't a whole lot happening. We found a restaurant open and serving breakfast, got Ouest a heaping plate of french toast and spent an hour perusing the book exchange. It's getting harder and harder these days for us Luddites without a Kindle to find a book so any opportunity is greatly appreciated. We wandered around until about one, had a couple of beers and then headed ...

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FEAR OF DRAGGING: Anchoring Tips for Scope Nazis and Other Scaredy Cats

27 Mar

Anchoring a sailboat

If you’re paranoid, anchoring out can be a validating experience. On the one hand, it seems rather simple. You walk up to the bow of your boat, drop a lump of metal overboard, let out some rode, and secure it somehow. Then you stroll back to your cockpit and admire your surroundings while enjoying a libation or two.

On the other hand, it can often seem fraught with danger. The closest equivalent I can think of, in terms of destroying a good night’s sleep with raw anxiety, are those guys who sleep out on mountains they are climbing in sacks ...

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On the High Seas of Banderas Bay

27 Mar

26-Mar-2012 la cruz de huanacaxtle, mexico.
And we're off. We left this morning very close to the time we said we were going to leave, which these days is quite a feat. We motored out of the marina and headed for Yalapa, a small town only accessible by boat on the south side of the bay. It was only about fifteen miles, or two hours. When we were about a mile out a boat came racing out to us to try and sell us a mooring. Apparently there are two competing mooring fields in Yalapa and they are serious about ...

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Clipperton Island Still Uninhabited

26 Mar

I’ve just returned from Clipperton Island, a French atoll lying 800 miles off the Mexican coast. I went as part of the Clipperton Project, an art/science/environmental/documentary expedition, but I was involved more with boats, landings, and communications. They tasked me with a survey of sea turtle nesting sites, but I walked around that whole island (about seven miles) and there didn’t seem to be any nesting sites, or I’ve got really bad eyes.

Masked Boobie with chick

I left La Paz on the mother ship, the Lucia Celeste, a 48-foot expedition dive boat. I returned to Baja on a Downeast ...

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DIY Disasters -or- Crazy things people do below the waterline!

23 Mar

Being nearly finished with a bunch of big boat projects I’m at a bit of a lull with the blog at the moment.  I have plenty keeping me busy but little to write about until I’ve actually completed some of them. In the meantime I dug up some photos of failed hardware and the scariest DIY ‘repairs’ I found on my boat. I’m all for fudging things a little when I think I can get away with it, but this stuff is crazy!

Exhibit A: The Through-hulls
After buying my boat in Florida my original plan to sail her back ...

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How Not to Install a Shaft Coupler

23 Mar

21-Mar-2012 puerto vallarta, mexico.
The diver showed up yesterday after all. After scraping the hull he pulled the prop shaft back and I slipped off the old shaft coupler. Then it was simply a matter of sliding the new one on. Simple. Except it wouldn't slide on. I eventually hammered it on a couple of inches before having to give up and let the diver go. I'm not happy with it though, it really needs to slide on another two inches. So today I went to the store and bought the biggest steel mallet I thought I'd be able to ...

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ALLIED PRINCESS 36: A Robust Cruising Ketch

23 Mar

Allied Princess 36

The Princess 36, built by the long defunct Allied Boat Company up the Hudson River in Catskill, New York, is a robust character ketch that does not pretend to be anything other than a simple, comfortable cruising boat. In truth, it is a boat only a cruiser could love. Designed by Arthur Edmunds and first introduced in 1972, the Princess enjoyed a 10-year production run during which about 140 hulls were built, which likely makes it the most successful boat produced by Allied during its 22 years of existence (1962-84).

Of all the boats Allied built–including the Luders 33, ...

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