Sunday, July 3, 2022

My Love Affair with The Sea

It was my family's tradition (1960s-1970s), during the summer months, to spend a week vacationing by the excellent camp sites by the lakes of the many Arkansas State Parks in the Ozarks. Usually near Greers Ferry Lake (Shiloh Park, Heber Springs, Tumbling Shoals) -  and Mountain Home's lakes (Norfork, Bull Shoals). 

It was upon those protected waters that I learned to read the weather, fish, swim, and handle a boat.

Before I ever saw an ocean...I spent many nights reading a book (bought at a library book sale for less then $0.25) of historically factual accounts...of the exploits, adventures...and mis-adventures...of real pirates...from the 1600s-1800s. 

My first encounter with an ocean...was upon the beaches of Florida's East Coast...probably around Jacksonville - while still not yet a teen. It was the summer that my family did a long vacation...driving from Arkansas to Florida...and making a circuit down the Atlantic side...all the way down to Key West, then back up the Gulf of Mexico side. This was in the days before private folks had GPS in their car - and before mobile phones - and I recall how we used maps prepared by a AAA travel service (which  was called a "TripTik" - a folio of maps and travel guide information -  with color highlighted routes).

(image source:

I distinctly remember my first view of the Atlantic...walking over a dune...and beholding the site of its massive majesty.

Other distinctive memories from that trip...our visit to Key well as stops in Naples and and Pensacola - as well as visiting the battleship USS Alabama - and the submarine (USS Drum) in Mobile, Alabama - on our way back to Arkansas.

 Some years later (when I was 17) - my family spent a vacation visiting the Hawaiian islands...and I had a chance to go diving for the first time in Hanauma Bay

(image source:

(image source:

These were all formative experiences...that imprinted upon my soul the Song of the Ocean...

Being near (or upon) the water has become my Rx for when I need to clear my head, think, rejuvenate, restore my soul, or replenish my mojo. 

Mediating by moving water (whether a beach, or a river/stream/brook) is how I find my center...

After I have been away from the ocean for some time...the first breath of the crisp salty tang of the air - begins a molecular change in my body, mind, and soul. 

The sound of seagulls is music to my ears.

I can usually find something beautiful in most any boat.

When my hand grasps the tiller or wheel - and I am making way to depart a harbor...there is a kind of freedom that swells in my heart...which I have never experienced anywhere on dry land.

After three days at sea...I enter a state of grace with the ocean...and my cares and worries fall away...

Friday, June 3, 2022

Toyota’s prototype Hydrogen 'cartridge'

 Toyota’s prototype 'cartridge' is a way to make hydrogen portable

 "The cartridges would be relatively small at 16 inches long, 7 inches in diameter and about 11 pounds in weight. Toyota calls them `portable, affordable, and convenient energy that makes it possible to bring hydrogen to where people live, work, and play without the use of pipes.. [and] swappable for easy replacement and quick charging.`"

Monday, May 30, 2022

Stainless Steel Cleaning Ideas

Over several years, I've neglected to keep my stainless steel bright and shiny. When I dive into cleaning the deck hardware...I've got a long hard slog to get back to ship-shape.


 A friend suggested, "Bar Keepers Friend"

(image source:

Another product I may need to try...Flitz [1, 2, 3]

An inspiring example...

Thursday, May 19, 2022

news item: Solar-powered desalination device wins MIT $100K competition


"Nona Desalination is developing a compact water-desalination device that requires less electricity than a cell phone charger."

"The traditional approach for water desalination relies on a power-intensive process called reverse osmosis. In contrast, Nona uses a technology developed in MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics that removes salt and bacteria from seawater using an electrical current."

“Because we can do all this at super low pressure, we don’t need the high-pressure pump [used in reverse osmosis], so we don’t need a lot of electricity,” says Crawford, who co-founded the company with MIT Research Scientist Junghyo Yoon. “Our device runs on less power than a cell phone charger.”

"The company plans to sell its first units to sailors before moving into the emergency preparedness space in the U.S"


Monday, April 18, 2022

Boat Gear: Navatiee Collapsible Folding Wagon


[image source:]


Navatiee Collapsible Folding Wagon, Heavy Duty Utility Beach Wagon Cart with Removable Wheels, Large Capacity 
"The internal volume is increased by 40% than other wagons overall, the unfold size is 35.5" x 19.5" x 22". The load capacity is up to 220lbs (100kg),"

In preparation for more moving, traveling (and needing to move heavy items from/to the car), and some future boat projects  - as well as future voyaging - I decided to splurge on a Collapsible Folding Wagon.  

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Roman Titov: Pitchpoled & dismasted 300 miles off Scotland

 A fascinating story of a single-handed sailor's self-rescue, after being pitchpoled

"One by one I had solved all the seemingly fatal problems which I faced."

"Over the course of 17 days, I had been able to clear the boat of water, make a flame, dry wet clothing, erect a jury rig, sew small sails, repair and start the engine."

"With just a marine chart, sextant and compass I had brought the yacht into a Scottish port, a voyage under jury rig of 307 miles."