Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Voyage Countdown Reset

T-93 days and counting :)

Due to client needs, I've agreed to extend my current client engagement until Friday, February 3rd.

The benefit of that will be a firmer financial footing for my adventures next year.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

S/V Ceol Mors

Some great writing and photography by this sailing family:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Japanese 'Noah's ark' Tsunami survival capsule

Could the Japanse "Noah's ark" tsunami survival capsule be a lifeboat alternative?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

2011-09-29 Some interesting new links

Attainable Adventure Cursing
("The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site")

The Salty Southeast Cruiser's Net - Old boats, wooden boat building, repair and restoration

The blog of s/v Wee Happy, an Albin Vega Sailboat

Zero to Cruising

Shore Sailor - Yachting news for power and sail

Friday, September 23, 2011

Poem: Skipper Bound To A Desk

A skipper at the helm of a desk

His thoughts range far ahead in time and space

When will he find the time to return to that place

He dreams of wind and wave

Yet efforts now will pave

The road to freedom

Reflecting on the here and now

Treacherous currents of tide and circumstance

The compass of his heart is true

Charts to that one particular harbor firmly etched in his mind

Over briny deep and weathered storm

His course made true

by Kelvin D. Meeks
September 24, 2011 the deserts of Arizona...far from wind and wave

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Survival Food

There are some interesting survival food products available for long-term storage on your boat - some good examples here:

I would probably buy a box of the 3600 calorie bars (20 or 30 bars) - stow it in a locker - and then have some peace of mind in the event I was dis-masted and might need to drift for a few weeks.

Of course, still need to solve the drinking water problem - but a Katadyn Survivor 06 or 35
hand-powered desalination pump would be part of my kit.

Ideally, my next boat will get aKatydyn Power Survivor 40E 12V desalinatior

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Today's Links

I came across some interesting web sites last night...

An inspiring collection of travel stories...

Fleetwoods Circumnavigation - Jack Van Ommens Travels

A very useful travel forum:

The Sydney Morning Herald "Traveller" section:

The Rio de Janeiro City Guide for Gringos

The Sailing Yacht Talofa (the Samoan equivalent for Hawaiian "Aloha")

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Paul Lutus, Confessions of a Long-Distance Sailor

Paul Lutus, Confessions of  a Long-Distance Sailor
An account of an around-the-world solo sail in a 31-foot boat, 1988-1991

Paul is also a prolific software developer, for example:

A Java short-wave weatherfax receiver/converter

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Sailing Firsts...

As I started my adventure as a sailor - beginning with zero experience - I remember a few of my sailing "firsts".  The memory of my evolution and growth as a sailor will always be punctuated by the time before and after these events:

  • The first night I slept aboard my ship
  • The first time leaving the dock - without crew to help 
  • The first time setting the anchor
  • The first time spending the night afloat, relying upon my anchor to secure the ship
  • The first time sailing out of sight of land
  • The first overnight passage
  • The first sunset at sea
  • The first sunrise at sea
  • The first arrival at an island
  • The first arrival in a foreign port
  • The first bit of stormy weather encountered while at sea
  • The first time climbing the mast
  • The first time needing to dive under the boat to clear some flotsam from the rudder
  • The first encounter with a whale
  • The first encounter with dolphins dancing off my bow wave
  • The first encounter with sea lion pups 
  • The first encounter with a micro-burst
Those moments and memories are precious "firsts".  No matter where I am - or how busy I may be working on some project - opening those mental files can instantly transport me back to the deck of my ship...and I can smell the salty wind and waves...

Andrew Evans e-book on Singlehanded Sailing

Great e-book by Andrew Evans
"Thoughts, Tips, Techniques & Tactics For Singlehanded Sailing"

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I happened to come across another useful site for Asian travel information

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Voyage Countdown Reset - New Date: November 4, 2011


It all comes down to choices.

And so I've decided to accept a 3rd contract extension with my current client.

My new target is now November 4th, 2011 - and after that - I hope to take a break and do some sailing - or at least some traveling around the world for a bit.

I had a solid offer to take an assignment in Johannesburg, South Africa - but I've decided for the moment that continuing to run my successful consulting practice is really what I enjoy most.

The freedom to negotiate my own engagements, to be paid a wage that I negotiate, and to be paid for my actual effort - those are very strong positive features that I've grown to appreciate about running my business.  I willingly accept the risks that my choices carry - and I likewise enjoy the rewards that those risks sometimes produce.

I still need to find a boat - but for the moment - I can just focus on the work at hand.

I had a thought last night as I was about to drift off to sleep...I wondered if there might be some presentation that I might assemble - to share with other cruisers some of the approaches I've found to generating monthly income through options trading.  The next 6 months will be a good test of the strategies and I ideas I've been experimenting with the last few years.  One of my goals after my 2004 voyage - and 2007 sabbatical in Mazatlan - was to find ways to generate a decent cruising budget - with somewhat limited risk - and minimal oversight/management of my investments (say, 3 or 4 trades per year).  So far, the results have been promising.

My target cruising budget is about $900/month - which I found to be a very comfortable lifestyle - with the luxury of spending quite a bit of time in Mexico marinas when I wanted.  My lowest month (when just anchoring out) - and staying away from resort towns - was about $350 - primarily covering just food and some internet access (in small fishing villages).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

25 Days or Not?

My life as a consultant dictates certain constraints that I choose to accept.

One of those constraints is the requirement to serve a client's needs - to complete the work that is started - and to be flexible to their needs.

Although my current engagement is scheduled to end within 25 days - some discussions are in process to extend my contract until October/November - which I would gladly welcome.  Leaving now for a voyage - just before the beginning of hurricane season - would not be prudent (although I could fly to the Southern hemisphere for the summer and find a boat to buy or join).  Waiting until November to leave on a voyage would work well for the overall timing - give me time to increase my cruising funds - and find the next boat (which of course would need some time for sea trials and outfitting).

If this engagement is not extended - I have had a few discussions about some potential new client projects - which might involve traveling/working in such far-off destinations as Johannesburg South Africa, Shanghai China, London, New Zealand, Australia, France...and possibly San Diego.  Nothing definite yet - but to have those as possibilities at this stage is encouraging.

And if it all falls down?  I'm fine with that too.  I've found a 27 ft. Bristol in Maryland that I can probably pick-up for not much money - and I could spend a few months cruising in the Caribbean, working my way back to Tampa Florida where my sister lives by the Fall.

Another option would be to buy a small log cabin that I've recently found for sale - on an acre of land in the Ozarks - and spend a season there writing and designing software.

Life is filled with options, I am greatly blessed to have my health, many good friends, and the freedom to pursue my passions and my dreams.

For the moment, the only thing missing is my ship...

I was hoping to negotiate the purchase of this very nice 37 ft. Tayana - but we couldn't agree on creative financing terms or the repairs required to obtain traditional financing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Travel Insurance options?

I came across a recommendation today for a company called Medix:

...however, 9 of 9 reviews of the company were not encouraging...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

100 Days and counting...

Client has requested a 2nd contract extension for my consulting services...updated the Voyage Countdown Timer...100 days, 7 hours...