Saturday, November 14, 2009

Floating Doctors

"Live a life of service, and you will be happy"


If you have a few spare dollars and want to support a worthy cause, they have a link to paypal for donations.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm always on the lookout for good gear to add to my voyaging tools - and also - interesting places to explore when I arrive at some particular harbor. I happened to come across and wanted to add a blog post to remember it for later.

As an example of some of the interesting content on that site - if your travels / voyaging happen to bring you to the Pacific Northwest - you might be interested in exploring the "Enchantment" region of the Washington State Cascade Mountain range.

Friday, October 9, 2009

2009-10-09 - Lessons Learned from my 1st Voyage

In 2004 I departed King Harbor, Redondo Beach, California on a voyage and adventure that was to last five months. I had no particular destination in mind, and was able to indulge my desire to travel at a leisurely pace - with no concern for schedules.

I sailed aboard my home - a 1971 32 ft. Islander, built by Wayfarer Yachts, in Costa Mesa, California. She as sloop rigged, with a fin keel, skeg-hung rudder, and a 16 hp. diesel to push her through the water. She was not a fast boat (or at least I never learned to sail her properly to show her true stride) - but I was sure of her - and she kept me safe in some sketchy conditions. She was my version of pre-school...a training ground for exploring what worked for me,and what didn't.

I had in my mind the idea of beginning a new chapter in my life of working 6 months, and sailing for 6 months.

Here's what I learned:

- I love cruising

- There are many types of people that go cruising, but the majority I found belong to a common tribe that is easily identtifiable by their common characteristics: independent, self-reliant, friendly, helpful, outgoing.

- I don't need big, new, fancy, shiny. I'm perfectly happy with older, simpler, efficient, sturdy, safe.

- Speed is not a priority for me...if it was, I would fly there. I sail because there is something mystical in the weaving of wind, wave, man, boat. Looking up at the stars each night and beginning to get a feeling for how to steer by them bridges a connection with skills that have been all but lost - a connection to ancestors that surely were seafaring folk.

- Plenty of freshwater on board (or the ability to make it) is important

- A shower may be a luxury - but I want the option of being able to offer a real shower to guests on my next boat

- The first time you are caught in a narrow, busy shipping heavy the last time you'll say: "I don't think I need a radar"

- Although the Garmin YachtBoy Shortwave Receiver I had on board did allow me to listen in on weather reports, I __really__ want a full SSB radio on my next boat.

- Having a backup to the electronic autopilot (mine was an older ST-3000) would have allowed me to have a bit more piece-of-mind at times.

- Having a Wind Vane (for self-steering) installed would have __really__ given me peace of mind. Hand steering from Los Angeles to Catalina Island to San Diego, motivated me to dig out my electrical tools and learn how to repair the wiring in the ST-3000's control unit.

- 16hp was very efficient at fuel consumption - but there was a moment in a gale at sea that I really wished I had at least a 50hp to help punch through those waves...

- A fiberglass dinghy, with the full sailing kit, will be my 1st choice - not an inflatable. And forget about rowing an outboard. When you are traveling in the dinghy...especially at night - think about having the following on board: an anchor with 150 ft. of rode, flares, a flashlight, and a portable VHF radio. Ask yourself what would you do if your motor died, you dropped an oar overboard, the current started dragging you out of a bay...

My voyage completed, I returned to the Pacific Northwest to find work again...with a strong desire to restructure my life so that when I depart on my next voyage - I will be able to generate passive income in one or more ways to allow a longer voyage - and more freedom.

2009-10-09 Friday - Boat Dream'in

I have my eye on a certain 1986 43 ft. Hans Christian. She is a beautiful ship - and in all respects she is the boat of my dreams:

Now, there are those that will disparage a heavy displacement boat - and argue for a faster, lighter, boat. Fine I say...but I have been at sea in conditions that taught me to value the benefits of a full keel, heavy displacement, boat. Aye, and she is a salty looking lass, with graceful and yet powerful lines. She says "home" to me in ways that cannot be explained. She is the epitome of my vision of a "magic carpet".

There are distant lands to be explored, seas to be crossed, mountains to be climbed, and friends waiting that are as yet unmet.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

2009-10-07 Wednesday - Link Harvest

I happened to find some interesting links this evening: The social network for cruisers. Sharing your adventures, pictures, videos and blogs with other cruisers is only a click away.
TravBuddy is an online community for meeting travelers and sharing travel reviews, photos and blogs was released in 1997 when it was introduced as the Web's first site to enable its members to create online travel blogs which revolutionized the way people travel and share their adventures with the world. remains, as always, a "for the travel community" service.

Voyage of the Rogues' Scholarship
"In November of 2005 we set sail on our 51ft. sailboat to see the world. We have covered over 10,000 miles so far."

S.V. Wildflower is a forty-foot, custom built, steel hull, pilot house ketch. She is sailed by the Morton Family: Joe, Julie, Stephan and Finn. We are currently cruising in Mexico, mixing pleasure with repairs

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

2009-08-23 Sunday

I've started reading Bernard Moistessier's "Sailing to the Reefs" - very enjoyable.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

2009-08-08 Saturday - Hans Christian 43

I'm heading to Seattle today to look at a 1980 Hans Christian 43 ft. cutter-rigged sailboat.


The boat was in fair-to-average shape - however, their asking price is a bit high, given some deferred maintenance that needs to be completed. Also, from the yachtworld photos - it appeared there was a dinghy mounted on the deck - and no dinghy was present when I arrived on the docks. The broker didn't know anything about the status of the dinghy...and hasn't called me back with any information 3 weeks later.

I will keep my eye on this one for a potential price drop - but I'm also considering several alternatives in the 36-39 ft. range which are as much as 1/5 to 1/3 the asking price.

On the plus side - there are a LOT of good boats on the market right now.

Monday, July 20, 2009

2009-07-20 Monday -

I happened to see today that Paul Tufts (of became a follower on my Twitter account (SailingEACoder). Their web site looks very interesting. I would have liked to have had a nice wood sole installed in my Islander 32...and some of the other boats I've considered in the past 1-2 years had teak decks that needed some repairs / replacement.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Northern Yacht Restoration

I happened to come across Northern Yacht Restoration web site today.
Northern Yacht Restoration, a DBA of Lackey Sailing, LLC, is dedicated to the preservation of classic sailboats and powerboats through restoration, rebuilding, unique projects, and thorough documentation with a steady Internet presence. One boat at a time, we strive to raise the bar in quality and return a neglected classic to Bristol condition--at surprisingly reasonable cost. Let us show you how.
Like so many small business, Northern Yacht Restoration and Lackey Sailing grew from humble and almost accidental beginnings. Though Tim's always been interested and involved in the marine industry, from driving yacht club launches to a 4-year stint at Maine Maritime to building hulls at Hinckley to 12 years as a marine surveyor, it was a trial-by-fire entry into the minor refinishing of his sound, yet tired, 1967 Pearson Ensign in 1998 that began the path down the road that has led here today.

Tim's work looks first-rate to me.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Santa Cruz, California

On Saturday, June 6th, 2009 - I visited Santa Cruz California.

This looks like a good place to anchor off the pier - although it appeared to be a bit rolly - and potentially too open to the West for safe anchoring during winter storms.

Capitola, California

On Saturday, June 6th, 2009 - I visted Capitola, California. What a beautiful little town. I need to do a bit more research, but I have quite a few photos to post later!

Costa Rica

I came across this site today: Nosara Yoga Institute , located in Costa Rica - definitely something to keep on my list of places to visit when I sail into the waters of Costa Rica!

Friday, May 22, 2009

2009 Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival

2009 Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival

South Lake Union, Seattle
Dates: Saturday, July 4th and Sunday, July 5th, 2009
Time: 10 am – 6 pm daily

Zac Sunderland - Circumnavigation Nearing Completion

Zac Sunderland is nearing the end of his solo circumnavigation. He is on the final leg of his voyage - and should complete it sometime later this summer. If all goes well, he will be the youngest person to complete such a solo circumnavigation.

An outstanding testament to the spirit of man.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

West Coast Yachts, Seattle, WA

If you are looking for a yacht, I have a great broker to recommend.

Dave Melin is a personal friend, and the owner of West Coast Yachts. He is an experienced sailor, a consumate professional, and a man of high integrity. I highly recommend him and his firm.

Dave is a Hallberg-Rassy dealer.

Mazatlan, Mexico

I have lived in Mazatlan several times in the last few years...spending several seasons aboard my sailboat in the beautifully renovated Marina Mazatlan.

If you need a marine surveryor - or if you need any type of marine or rv refrigeration work done, Mike Wilson of is a great guy, a personal friend, and an excellent business contact for the Mazatlan area.

Another very good friend of mine, Francisco Javier Ramos Granados is a licensed real estate agent for Marina Gardens - and is an excellent local contact (cel. 669 106 91 71)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ferrocement Sailboat Construction

Ferrocement is one method of sailboat construction.
"This site is devoted to the promotion of Ferroboats as well as a base for all matters Ferro in the boating world. Ferro-cement is the name given by English speaking people to a boat building method using steel wires covered with a sand and cement plaster, patented in 1855 by the French, who called it Ferciment. Ferciment boats built before 1855 are still in existence and at least one is still afloat. The Italians called the method of construction Ferro-cemento. The British, New Zealanders and Canadians who promoted the method for amateur construction called it Ferro-cement, often referred to as "concrete". It is the cheapest and easiest form of construction for boats over 25 ft. And apart from strip-plank composite construction, it is the only viable material for large round-bilge boats within the amateur capability, without the requirements of special tools or a weather-proof building."

One man's labor of love (building a ferrocement boat): SEAFALCON.ORG

One bit of recent research regarding "Aluminum Bronze Alloy for Corrosion Resistant Rebar (link updated Aug 8, 2010)" might be of interest to those considering building a ferrocement sailboat:
This project evaluated aluminum bronze alloy as a possible alternative to steel for corrosion resistant concrete reinforcement. Rebars from aluminum bronze alloy were fabricated for laboratory and field evaluations. Initial tests showed rather low mechanical properties for alloys as compared to steel. Further work focused on improving the strength and mechanical properties of the alloy by optimizing its composition and fabrication process. The process eliminated the hot rolling operation and entailed direct continuous casting of aluminum bronze to a near net size and shape of rebar followed by cold drawing the bar to finished size and shape. The cold drawing operation increased the strength of aluminum bronze rebars close to that of mild steel rebar, meeting the ASTM specifications (Figure 1). In corrosion tests, the aluminum bronze alloy showed high resistance to seawater corrosion as compared to mild steel and ductile steel (Figure 2). Cost analysis of aluminum bronze rebars showed a cost of $0.85 per lb. as compared to $1.20 per lb. for stainless steel at current metal prices. The final report is available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS # PB97-141972).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

San Juan Islands, Washington

wikipedia: San Juan Islands:
The San Juan Islands are a part of the San Juan Archipelago in the northwest corner of the continental United States. The archipelago is split into two groups of islands based on national sovereignty. San Juan Islands are part of the U.S. state of Washington, while the Gulf Islands are part of the Canadian province of British Columbia. There are over 450 islands in the entire archipelago at high tide, but fewer than one-sixth are permanently inhabited.

In the archipelago, fifteen islands are accessible by public ferry. Public ferries serve nine Gulf Islands and six San Juan Islands.

I have spent a little time in the San Juan's - those beautiful islands are enchanting, beguiling, and healing. One feels the stress of the hustle and bustle of life falling from one's shoulders as the minutes pass on a voyage from Anacortes Washington via the ferry...

A user-friendly guide to the San Juans:

San Juan Outfitters

Snug Harbor Marina Resort

Roche Harbor