Red Sky in the Morning, Sailors Take Warning – Isaac on its way

27 Aug

Well just twenty-four hours ago this storm was barely relevant to New Orleans and now Tropical Storm Isaac is plastered all over the news. For now I can report that the weather is quite nice, and Lake Ponchartrain was exquisite for sailing until just this afternoon.

When we get word around Sunday evening that New Orleans was likely to take a direct hit people started to think about candles and tying things down in the yard. Well, tomorrow, or the day after, mostly. For reasons that seem suspiciously related to a certain anniversary rather than this storm in particular it ...

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Cape Horn Demystified

25 Aug

Some expressed surprise that I listed Cape Horn among my Top Ten Cruising Destinations a few weeks ago, so here I will include more about this legendary cape, the "Everest of Cruising." Make no mistake, the Horn can be every bit as deadly as it's always been: the difference is the knowledge and excellent weather forecasting we have today.

The Horn is at 56 degrees south, and sticks right out into the endless march of big winds and giant waves that circle the earth, unobstructed, in the Southern Ocean. And a shoal area extends about sixty miles south of the ...

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Toilet Talk

24 Aug

This is toilet talk, so if you’re offended by poo, you can stop reading now.

One of the great joys of sailing is independence, but to have this independence we must take on a few shore-based functions: We must become our own electric company, our own phone company, and yes, our own sewer. We must move and store human waste, which we, as a species, have judged to be the foulest and most objectionable substance on earth.

Without a functional head, the rest of the day, cruise, weekend, or passage is at stake. A crew, generally speaking, needs a functioning ...

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Nothing about boats here…

23 Aug

When I moved down to New Orleans I was following my sister, who in turn came down here to help build the New Orleans Community Printshop. They’ve been pushed out of two spaces in the last two years, rebuilding each time, and now they’ve moved into a great place that they’re building up with the help of a sucessful kickstarter campaign. A piece of that pie was set aside for a gigantic darkroom sink, which they decided should be 8’x3′. Originally they were thinking stainless steel – very nice but very expensive- but after a couple brainstorming sessions in ...

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Bumfuzzle’s Cruising Buffoonery

23 Aug

We've often been accused of playing up our lack of sailing experience. People say things like, “They can't really be that dumb.”


To which we reply, “Au contraire, we most certainly can be that dumb.”


And I think, really, we all can be. The difference is that I don't mind admitting it. I got over impressing people a long time ago. What do I care if I appear to be a genius or an imbecile? If you need to act like a genius, it's a fair bet that you aren't one. Isn't it? And don't we all hate ...

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Smart Sharks

18 Aug

In honor of The Mariner's Human Week, I too have a shark story.

Sailing solo along Costa Rica's Pacific coast, I was doing my best to put some meat on the table. I'd bought some new lures and trolled with rod and reel as I motored through the calms.

Unfortunately, I kept hooking Jack Cravelle. As I learned my first time cruising Mexico years ago, the Jack Cravelle is a great fighter and a game fish, but pretty much inedible. We tried to eat one once and it was like fish flavored cat food, brown and bloody. Since then ...

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Do It Yourself! Index of DIY and Technical Posts

17 Aug
Doesn’t this look FUN?

Part of what excited me about this blog was the extra incentive it gave me to thoroughly document the repair process on my boat, and to write about it. There’s still plenty of work to be done and quite a backlog to write up but a good deal of progress has already been made and documented. As the blog format makes it a bit of a pain to track down past posts, I’m creating this index. I’ll keep it updated and link to it, and I’ll try to add stuff from the other sailfeed bloggers as ...

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Sailing’s Seriously Simple Stupid

16 Aug

After my post titled, Catamarans vs Monohulls, I received a lot of feedback. Most of it positive, because I am the utmost authority and I have now handed down judgement on the subject. But one commenter to our Facebook page said that he stopped reading the article after he read, “Sailing is not meant to be complicated.” He said I do myself and the sport of sailing a disservice by describing it as simple.


My reply was, “BUT IT IS SIMPLE!”


Maybe I should have added, because he may not have been aware, that I am the ...

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Diesel Engine Longevity

14 Aug

The meter on my Perkins 4-236 diesel engine just turned over 12,000 hours, and I'm only responsible for about 4000 of this. Over the course of forty-five years and a circumnavigation Charlene (I don’t know why my diesel engine is named this) has had routine maintenance, and lots of components replaced, but she’s never been rebuilt.

In the fifteen years I’ve owned the boat, the engine has only failed to start with a touch of the key twice: once because it was too cold in New Zealand, the other a few weeks ago when the starting battery was shot. That’s ...

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Young Inspirational Cruisers

13 Aug

I don't follow many cruising websites. Even people we know tend to just rehash the same old stories from paradise. But some sites compel me to check in every now and then to see how things are going. Liz Clark's is one of them.


Her story is fun and amazing in itself. She was introduced to sailing young. Her parents took her on a six-month cruise when she was ten. At fifteen she started surfing and within just a few years was the College Women's National Champion. Just a couple of years out of college the opportunity to become

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