Friday, December 31, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

World ARC 2012

I want to crew for a boat in The World ARC 2012 race which begins in January 2012 in Saint Lucia

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This looks like a useful online web site for making new friends around the world:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Another opportunity to help provide service somewhere within our global village:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Boat and Health Insurance...

Azure II — Leopard 47
The Pimentel Family
Spain and Italy
"We paid $5,250 to Willis Insurance for our first year of boat insurance, which covered everywhere in the world — except for Colombia and Cuba — as well as our transatlantic crossing. Since we're only cruising the Western Med this year, we managed to get insurance with well-respected Pantaenius for just $2,400/year."

"Our family of four pays $2,200 a year to Blue Water Insurance for health insurance — as long as we live outside of the United States for six months a year. There is a $5,000 deductible with the policy."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

cool new site for traveling nomads:
Do you ever wish you could win the lottery, chuck the rat race, and take off to explore the world? Heck—who hasn't? These days, however, there's a group of independent-minded, techno-savvy entrepreneurs who are turning that dream into a reality. They call themselves New Nomads, and they've transformed work-at-home into work-anywhere-you-damn-well-please"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Threads of Seafaring Connections

2010-10-08 Update: Before reading this post, I want to state very clearly - everyone was a beginner at one time - and you only learn by trial-and-error.  If you wait until you know how to handle every situation before leaving the dock - you will never untie the dock lines - or raise your sails to the wind.  Look with kind eyes on my friend's experience - in the manner of a teacher helping a student - seek to find the lesson - not to criticize the student.

Back in 2004-2005, I worked for a start-up in Bellevue, Washington.  By chance, a colleague became a friend after we discovered a mutual passion for sailing.  She and her husband now live in Auckland, New Zealand - and we have remained in contact over the years.  Through that connection, I came to know a fellow sailor who recently moved from Camano Island to Olympia, Washington.

During the period 2006-2009 I happened to work in Olymipia, Washington and made several good friends - one who was inspired by tales of my voyaging to take the plunge and buy his own sailboat.

This afternoon, a phone call from my friend in Olympia...a fire aboard his sailboat while he is in the middle of an afternoon cruise. The fire is extinguished...

But, he's not sure how to handle the situation... to get the boat back into the Westbay Marina without an operable engine?

...meanwhile I am 1400 miles away in Phoenix, Arizona

A quick survey of the situation:
- Estimated 15 knots of wind - may make maneuvering under sail in tight confines difficult

- Potentially strong tidal currents in the bay where he is sailing

- Darkness expected within an hour or so

- he doesn't have any experience anchoring

- not sure how to operate his VHF radio

- no dinghy on board

- no experience sailing his boat to a dock - or into his slip

- four persons aboard who are inexperienced in all things related to sailing

I do a quick mental check of possible actions:

First Options:
- There's a fairly long open dock just North of Swantown Marina - which could be approached with some ease
- Portions of the public docks near downtown Olympia (Port of Olympia) are long - and often wide open - and have long stretches that could be used to  approach with some ease.

However, with no experienced hands on- board - it could be difficult, tricky, or just plain dangerous for him to attempt to rely on their help in getting a mooring line secured as his sailboat might end up approaching the docks too fast - and it would be all too feasible that an inexperienced person might not realize or appreciate the dangers of putting appendages or bodies between heavy moving sailboats - and solid immovable docks.

Second Tier Options:
- See if he can raise Vessel Assist on VHF 16 - and ask if they have any resources/assets in the area.

- Call "Pan-Pan Pan-Pan Pan-Pan" on VHF 16 and request assistance from anyone in the area that might be available with a skiff and strong outboard engine.

We discuss this option over our cell phones as a viable approach...

I also make a phone call to someone that I have never met, and only know through my network of seafaring friendship - on the outside chance that a) he is in Olympia today; b) he might have | or know someone with a dinghy and outboard; c) has the time and inclination to assist a fellow mariner in need.

As it turns out he isn't in town at the moment - but his partner is in Olympia - and they think they know someone who might be able to help.

Phone calls are made - information exchanged - forces are mobilized - recovery operations commenced.

Within a short period - a skiff is spotted skimming across the water - a tow rope is handed and made fast - and within 90 minutes the boat is safely tied back up in her slip.

Lessons Learned:
- You can never have too many fire extinguishers on board.
- Learn to properly operate a VHF Marine Radio 
- It is exceedingly difficult to coordinate things via VHF if you have to keep leaving the helm to pop down into the cabin to-the-only-VHF-radio-on-board.  A portable hand-held VHF can be very helpful in these situations.  They are not that expensive - so splurge for two.
- Learn which channels are monitored within the community of your marina
- Get to know your dock mates - you never know when you might be able to render them assistance - or when you might need theirs.
- Learn how to sail your boat to/from a dock
- Learn how to anchor your boat (bow and stern)
- It is easy to become overly complacent and rely solely on the engine for maneuvering.  Practice using your sails while you still have an operable engine - so that you will be ready when you don't.
- If you go to sea, think about the value of having a dinghy on-board, even if you think you are safe in the waters within sight of your marina...situations can develop quickly - and unexpectedly.  A dinghy is a wise investment: think of it as your escape pod.
- Don't assume that a fire is necessarily a fuel/oil driven event - it could very well be an electrical short...and could quickly flare up again.  [note: Fiberglass will burn with great heat - and speed]

An excellent example of graceful docking under sail: S/V Too Elusive

Then again, you could try and pull a Captain Ron docking manuever!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Voyage Countdown: Improve Spanish Language Skills? Check!

Signed-up for a Fall 2010 evening class at Glendale Community College to improve my Spanish language of the items on my checklist of skills to improve before taking off on another voyage! 175 days to go...

Friday, July 9, 2010

A friend sent me a link today to a useful web site for finding rental units around the world: rentalo.comr

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Steve & Joni's Big Sailing Adventure

My friend, Steve (and his wife Joni), are spending the month of July on a vacation voyage...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2011 Around Australia Ocean Race and Rally Cancelled

Argggh! I'm quite disappointed - as I had made plans to clear my schedule to spend most of 2011-2012 volunteering as crew for yachts as other crew might roll-off.

Still time to formulate Plan-B. Backpacking through Southeast Asia was a 2nd goal for next year...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Travel Networking Resource:

One of the my favorite resources that I tap in preparing for any international travel is

Today I came across another cool travel related site:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jeremy Jackson: How we wrecked the ocean

"...coral reef ecologist Jeremy Jackson lays out the shocking state of the ocean today: overfished, overheated, polluted, with indicators that things will get much worse"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Visit Cape Horn, Patagonia, Tierra Del Fuego and take Flights to Antarctica and the South Pole. Cruises to Antarctica, South Georgia, the Arctic and the North Pole. Over 600 pages and 1600 graphics. Information on Southern Chile culture, history, fauna, flora, anthropology, geography, archaeology, Chile facts, cruising and sailing. "

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Egypt Resources

Long ago, I once spent a month living in desert west of Cairo...and had a chance to visit the city as well as the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx

I hope to return some day to visit Egypt again.

Today I came across a very interesting web site that has some great information for tourists visiting the country:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sailing Adventure Opportunities in Thailand?

I'm interested in chartering a sailboat in Thailand later this year. This blog posting will be my research notes as I look into different options:

Sailing Thailand Yacht Charter, Sailing Courses - Island Cruises Co,. Ltd.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

S/V Concordia Lost

West Island College International of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, which operates the Class Afloat program for students in the final two years of high school and the first year of college.

The Concordia Sank Last Wednesday - 188-foot-long (57.5-meter-long) Concordia was built in 1992...offered a Semester At Sea program...

Captain: Downdraft knocked ship over in 15 seconds - Yahoo! News

I noted these bits of information:

"The storm hit in the early afternoon at a time when most of the students were studying in protected structures on deck — which made it easier for them to scramble to life rafts."

"Two rafts got tangled in the rigging — but the ship's cook had rushed so quickly from her chores that she was still clutching a kitchen knife, which was used to slice through the ropes and free the rafts."

"...the school that operates the ship outfitted it with twice as many life rafts as actually needed for 64 people"

An earlier version of the article quoted the captain saying that the windows gave way - and that is what caused the ship to sink in the knock-down.

First rescued Canadians dock in Rio

Monday, February 15, 2010

2010 Singlehanded TransPacific Yacht Race

The 2010 Singlehanded TransPacific Yacht Race will start this year on June 19th at the Corinthian Yacht Club in San Francisco.

History of the Singlehanded TransPacific Yacht Race

The years continue to slip by...obligations, financial reversals, client in general - getting in the way of pursuing my dream to do this race.

Tonight I am sitting in my study - in my apartment in Phoenix Arizona - where I am working for the present on a client project. If things go as planned, I will be wrapping up my work here in January 2011 - and will then take a long break - and do a bit of traveling and sailing. If things take an unexpected turn - well, I guess I'll do that traveling a bit earlier than planned.

Either way, I will be returning to the ocean in less than 12 months.

I will have to see how things go - perhaps the 2012 Singlehanded TransPac will be a possibility...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lake Pleasant Harbor Marina, Lake Pleasant, AZ

Yesterday, I spent an enjoyable Sunday afternoon exploring Lake Pleasant Harbor Marina, just outside of Phoenix, Arizona...

The Marina's bar & grill offered up a tasty cheeseburger for lunch :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jessica Watson's solo circumnavigation attempt

Great blog of the young Australian, Jessica Watson, and her solo circumnavigation attempt: