An elaboration of sorts…

The century was almost old enough to discard and our Sovereign Nation was in ship shape and Bristol fashion. The event was the celebration of our first anniversary and the destination was our place of the declaration of our joining, Doe Bay on Orcas Island (Lat: 48 35′ 56. 84″ N. Lon: 122 52′ 09. 57″ W.) We’d worked for over a year to see this dream come into fruition and as I stood on the bow of our mighty ship I knew that our adventure had just begun. So. we tossed off the moorings at 0700h and shortly there after we set sail leaving Port Washington in Bremerton, Wa. for the last time. The weather was perfect for sailing our 50ft William Garden Sea Wolf ketch rigged wooden sailboat with 15 knots of wind on our Port-side beams as we rounded the southern most point of Bainbridge Island. All day long we tacked from shore to shore making our way North. At the end of the first day we called the Kingston Marina home. We jumped aboard the Kingston/Edmonds ferry and discovered the best Indian food restaurant in Washington just on the other side of the ferry terminus. Rested and ready for the continuation of our adventure the S/V Sovereign Nation with her crew of two (and one pissed off cat) set sail once again on the beautiful Puget Sound. As we rounded Point No Point the winds kicked up to 18 knots and the first reef went in the main. It was a spectacular sail. Because of the favorable winds we made the decision to head into the Saratoga Passage between Whidbey Island and Camano Island to drop the hook for the night at the Langley Anchorage… A beautiful night on the hook followed by a meal of[…]

Read more

Crabs (the fun kind)!

So, Saturday July 25th 2009 was the 35th annual Rebel Marina’s Crab Regatta! It was a spectacular sailing adventure and the Willoughby Bay in Norfolk, VA was riddled with hundreds of sails with almost as many different kinds of sailing vessels!!! We’re in the process of re-powering S/V Itinerant with a larger prop for our Yanmar 3GM-30 so unfortunately we had to (got to) sail both out of and back in to our slip for the “race” (note quotation marks). When we “sailed” out we got hit by a few variable gusts that spun us in circles three or four times, got us caught up in the rigging of S/V Norfolk Rebel, bumped us into the tide wall and really set Dena and I off on a bad foot but of course once we got out of the marina entrance the sailing was amazing! The “Race” is one of the most interesting and hilarious experiences that one could have on the water! Each year they change the rules and the course to fit their needs and the only real rule is that you !!!MUST NOT!!! take the race or the rules seriously! The flag ship for the regatta is, of course, The S/V Norfolk Rebel, the worlds only “Tugantine”, a 68 foot steel gaff rigged schooner/tugboat that carried the first marker on her starboard aft quarter for most of the race, meaning, all the racers had to (got to) follow the Rebel in pretty much single file until she dropped the anchor for the marker (affectionately known as PHRED, a recovered aircraft carrier fender). Each of the boats in the “race” is given a “handicap” prior to the race and you are disqualified if you don’t follow through with your handicap as described and implemented by a panel of judges[…]

Read more

Sometimes it takes a day or two to process this stuff…

I wrote the story below  yesterday to my friend Dean moments after coming back to my home on the Rebel Marina aboard the Sailing Vessel Itinerant… I mutated the story a bit (like I do) but believe me, the facts are all there! Anyway here it is… I delivered a boat to a marina today for a haul out and got deeply humbled by the weather AGAIN!!! She’s  a little S2, 24 foot racing sailboat with no memorable name, “South Wind” or “Weekend Wife” or some shit  and we, meaning, me and the guy I’m replacing at my new job, got our asses handed to us on a paper plate! < "Here, here's your ass, now go over to that corner for a spell and think about how you'd do it differently"> With about 14 long tacks through the bay we flew a 150% Genoa off the fore-deck with the main all the way up, clipping along at a little over 6 knots  for most of the day. Although it was really intense looking in the sky the wind and weather were lined up for perfect sailing from Long Bay Point in Virginia Beach Virginia (N 38 degrees 54′.15 W76 degrees 04’25.47)  for the first 6 hours. After all that time of what seemed liked no more then a few moments of absolute perfect sailing we approached land  and our speed increased to 8 knots on a highly stretched broad reach. At that point I decided to start the “‘Ol Iron Jib” and round her up into the wind to down sails. Out of no where, and I do mean right (the fuck) now, we got hit by a squall packing about 35 knots of wind with stinging raindrops the size of quarters! As we rounded up into the waves[…]

Read more

Our First Sail

Kept hearing from people that a blizzard could hit today, so we got a second space heater and planned to hunker down for the duration. Instead, we went sailing. Not in a blizzard – I’m not that hardcore – but on a sunny, clear, cold day on Willoughby Bay.  I wonder if that’s redundant.  Doesn’t Willoughby sound like a contraction of Willow Bay?  Willow Bay Bay.  It would make sense.  The British make fun of Americans for butchering the language, but they are worse than anyone about dropping letters, and I don’t just mean aitches.  Worstestershire sauce, anyone?  How about Norfolk? We tore the boat up some more, put things in new places that made sense to us, undid an “improvement” of the last owner, and got upset with the mess of line meant for going aloft.  James suggested that we cut the line up and use it for new jib sheets.  Once we had it cut and whipped the ends, we just had to break them in, right? It was our first sail since becoming owners several days ago.  At first, we were too buried in our stuff and the stuff left on the boat by owners of yore.  We just got ourselves more or less figured out today and, sure enough, she took us sailing! We went out into the little bay here, not out into the shipping channels or the main body of the Chesapeake Bay.  Sailing up toward, well, land, we started getting shallow soundings, but I can’t figure out for the life of me why.  Something on the keel?  We cycled through points of sail and ended up sailing slowly, wing on sagging wing, back to the marina breakwater. It was a nice easy sail, and the perfect kind for getting to know a new[…]

Read more

Where We Are

We are here: N 38° 57.865′, W 076° 17.765′ And google thinks it looks like this: <br /><small><a style=”color: #0000ff; text-align: left” mce_href=”http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&amp;ei=5zOaSeq8JY-ctwea7r27Cw&amp;q=N36+57.865+W+076+17.765&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=h&amp;z=14&amp;ll=36.972798,-76.291895&amp;source=embed” xhref=”http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&amp;ei=5zOaSeq8JY-ctwea7r27Cw&amp;q=N36+57.865+W+076+17.765&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=h&amp;z=14&amp;ll=36.972798,-76.291895&amp;source=embed”>View Larger Map</a></small> Which is pretty darn close!

Read more

This IS the next chapter!

On Friday the 13th in 2009 we signed the paperwork and bought a beautiful new (to us) sailboat henceforth to be called, S/V ITINERANT! …Once again, at sea at last! S/V Itinerant is a (we think) 1961 Philip Rhodes designed “Chesapeake” sloop rigged sailboat. She came equipped with 180 watts on 3 solar panels and a Rutland 913 wind power generator, we are now officially OFF-THE(Mythical)-Grid!!! Fair Winds And Following Seas, Sucka’s!!! Saturday the 14th- V-Day! Our first night aboard S/V Itinerant and all is well! Our new marina, the “Rebel Marina” on the Willoughby Spit in Norfolk, VA. is a real gem in the sea of iffy Chesapeake marinas! It’s not only beautiful it’s friendly and has incredible access. For cruising sailors they offer free wi/fi, a loaner car and a very intensely hot, hot-tub!

Read more

What you gonna do with…

This was my Journal page on the S/V Sapien site… The above shot was taken one day south of the Tropic of Cancer in Novenber of 2006 on the way to Hawaii. It’s proof in contrast to the one below that sailing in the Southern Latitudes is just, let’s say, better…Click here to read the story about our adventures from San Francisco, Calif.to Hilo, HI. …As always most of my thoughts are best brought into fruition through the still-life photographic images that I love, not through the convoluted words that I write, speak, leave on answering machines, friendsters, et-cet. For example: Well, first of all in January of 2006 we finally sold our 9ft Fatty Knees lap strake dory, the “Diplomat” just before going on our Hawai’i vacation. We bought that great little boat to be a replacement to Sojourner Earth (the tender for SVSN that we lost at sea in 2002) but sold S.V. Sovereign Nation before ever getting to put her on the new davits we had built for her.We thought she would make a good tender for S.V. Sapien but after three years of intense testing in pretty much every saltwater environment we could put her in she turned out to be way too big to efficiently travel long distances on a boat the size of S.V. Sapien (35ft overall). We placed an ad with Latitude 38 and she sold in three days. I love that magazine! Secondly: seconds turn into days, weeks months, ah the controls of time through patients. If you wait you’ll see how it turns out… At the beginning of September 2005 Dena, Dean and I went offshore to Monterey, Calif. for a shake-down cruise of all of our new electronic equipment. (See new gear) As usual we discovered that our choice in[…]

Read more