Drifts and Slips


So there we are, in Borneo, 1939.  The war was almost at hand…wait, that’s someone else’s story.

I walked 6 miles through the snow every single day to put a meal on this table.  Wait – we don’t have a table.

No bike, which means walking 2.5 miles from the boat to South Station, a half-mile from the train station in Braintree to work, do it all over again at night…that’s six miles, not counting walking circuits of the 35,000 square foot store in between.  A few weeks ago, we had this incredible cold snap.  It went all the way down to -4.  My shock absorber on my fancy-shmancy recumbent bicycle suddenly blew its seals and came crashing down on the chain, making the bike pretty much unrideable until I can replace my $400 shock that’s supposed to be indestructible.

Blah blah blah, bitch bitch bitch, but hey, I get another day off!


Then the second storm hit so hard that it froze the water around us along with the fog.  This is the first time we’ve seen frozen fog.  Suspended ice particles.  That was kinda cool.

We had a wonderful time.  We worked on Heart of the Lilikoi, Dena’s new book, the wind howling, doing what we really love to do.


Snow on ice in the marina provides an image of our immobility.  We can’t sail, we can’t work on the boat, we can’t travel or be at anchor.  Because of how extreme this is, we have to plug in to the grid for months at a time.  We don’t have to live like this – we stayed away all summer long – so we have to get to a place where we can live underway.  That means other latitudes.  We are not the first to realize this, and Florida seems kinda scary – overpopulated, making rules against how we like to live, politically fucked.  But we need to do more boating than we get here in New England.


Really, we can’t even ride our bikes.  If we can’t keep our bodies moving, we can’t achieve the feeling that we’re ready for anything.

Meanwhile, we’re having a great time playing in the snow and walking around town.  We’ll wring this place of every joy we can achieve.

Part of that is simply admiring the strange beauty of our surroundings.  The boater’s million dollar view doesn’t disappear with the falling of the mercury.




  1. “We’ll wring this place of every joy we can achieve.” That’s a noble goal for a human lifetime if I ever heard one.
    Made me smile and feel real tender for the two of you. Playing, loving, writing, wearing out your boots, feeling your way along. Making your path by sailing it.
    Extraordinary. Inspirational.

    Frozen fog sounds like a magic spell made of science.

    How about Cuba?

  2. Dude & Dudette,
    I’m totally remembering your feeling of immobility . Kyoko & I worked outside 3 yrs in N.Y. being “Woodsmen”. That minus shit is deadly,not something I would recommend.But Florida??? To my knowledge, thats where N.Y. Jews go to die…bad joke, I know. Anyway, I’m sure you both will go along on your journey and find a place compatible with your desires and lifestyle. And then you can take solace in the fact that you did it and came out smelling like a fucking rose. Stay safe and as always Aloha my friend.

  3. I walked in to West Marine to pick up a few things- to restore and rig a vintage 12′ (yup that’s right,.. twelve foot) sailstar “little bear”, It was made in 1960, the year I was born. and I found you James, a person that was fascinated by my little venture, though the dichotomy between your oceanic ventures, I gleaned from picking your brain for 40 minutes in the store, and my experiences on summer camp lakes seem insurmountable disconnected, Yet you seemed to tune to my enthusiasm and you protected me; “that old part is fine, forget the bling, and just polish that up,…it’ll work” I had no idea what marine Stainless stell costs! You told me a little of your sailing journeys as I prodded. You must have seen my excitement, though not knowing I’ve watched every YouTube video of trans Atlantic/pacific or anywhere further than my San Diego to Catalina island crossing in my college years, not to mention you really knew what you were talking about when it came to sailboat hardware. I’ll be back,..to meet Dena, and have her do my line splicing, and chat with you and her again. Somehow I know you’ll humbly enjoy the before and after pics of this little boat when I eventually show you.

  4. Cool site Don, thanks!
    Thanks for coming in to the Braintree store. Costumers like yourself are the reason I can work for a company such as WM… A company (like ALL publicly traded companies) that prioritizes profits and growth over a living wage for the experts in the field.
    I really do have a kind of love-hate relationship with WM as a whole. I hate the fact that they have singlehandedly decimated the chandler industry by buying up the competition and price setting but I love talking to sailors like yourself, in a warm comfortable environment, about living the dream of sailing.
    …Anyway, it was a pleasure to you.

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