Thursday, July 26, 2018

A harrowing story

Not that I like harrowing stories, but when it is well documented like this one, I find it helpful to prepare you and see what you would have done differently.

Kelaerin - An Omega 45' Cutter

Also, in this case, the couple had been circumnavigating the glove for 17 years, and they have over 270,000 sea miles experience, so it is even more interesting to see/understand what happened.

Read and learn.

Interesting to know, the boat, was recovered and still floating a month later.

Reading the Coast Guard report, one thing I noticed was: "The sailing vessel wasn’t actively taking on water, but seawater had washed aboard."

Not sure why they abandoned the ship then, however reading the story, there was not much time to make a decision, so I would probably have done as they did.

Of course, sobering, but if you have time do read Steven & Linda Dashew: Surviving the Storm: Coastal and Offshore Tactics.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Small boat single handed race across the atlantic

If you like me, prefer small simpler good boats and seamanship, a challenge (not a race) about a week  ago (on May 7, 2018).

The challenge runs from Plymouth, England to Newport, Rhode Island, USA.

The no entrance fee challenge is held bi-annually, is for boats under 30 feet. There is no time limit to complete the race, and that is it for the rules!

It is called, the Jester Challenge 2018. The first one was in 2016. In 2018, 7 competitors started, with one who may depart soon.

You can follow the progress on the Jester Challenge website.

How about a challenge the other way?

Monday, May 14, 2018

Chasing Coral documentary

Yesterday, I came across the "Chasing Coral" documentary on Netflix.

A Netflix documentary

We all have heard about coral bleaching, did you know how serious this is? It's actually until now an unseen tragedy. If you have not seen it, do watch it, its an eye-opener.

It's actually quite depressing to watch this documentary, however, it does give you more energy to want to fight climate change, as it shows how real it is.

I would say that if you know climate change deniers, and unfortunately I know too many. This would be a great movie to watch. The way to introduce it to them without sounding alarmist, or they will simply be turned off, might be to ask them "Do you like Oceans? Do you live fish and corals?", and simply tell them, if so, that they should really watch this informative documentary.

Ultimately, we need to get as many people to take notice and realize what is happening. That's our only chance, please watch and take action!


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hawaii banning sunscreens

Hawaii passed a bill that will ban sunscreen with chermicals that are destructive to corals. These chemicals are used even in the Hawaiin Tropic brand.

Not so innocent

This is great and a step in the right direction. Bayer (maker of Coppertone) opposed the ban. So, I suggest to do like me and ban all Coppertone products, not just in Hawaii. Corporations have to get the message that the mighty dollar is not the only thing that matters, as the corporations have no scrupples obviously.

Now, I hope this ban will be reviewed and endorsed in more places.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Viola 14 Sailing Canoe

I'm not sure, but maybe it should be renamed "Voila"!

Fun sailing dinghy

Wow, what a great little boat, unfortunately, I dont need another project, or this would be top of list!

Check out the video here. It looks likes so much fun! Plans available here for $100.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

YouTubers: Sailing Kittiwake

As I have mentioned, I do watch a lot of sailing youtube channels. Because, yes I still have a job that I need, so do live through these channels! Tho, I have a big ocean trip coming up, but more on that later.

No caption needed, really!

Anyways, like the sailing crowd, most of these channels seem to think the only way to do this is with big boats and big budgets. So, I do prefer the smaller, resourceful travellers that can still do it.

I gotta say, these guys have really become my favourite channel: Sailing Kittiwake.  First about their channel, yes they the usual travel videos, which I really enjoy. But, I would say, that they also give back to the community by discussion sticky topic, such as the loo as the Britons say, and somewhat reluctant subjects: budgeting, working while sailing.

Their blog is also quite useful and very well written, check the blog here.

They bought a boat, a small, older, catamaran (Heavenly Twins) for about 10K GPB and refurbished it.

Also read an article that Elena (I can call her just Elena, right? I feel like I know Ryan and Elena like friends! Hahaha!) just published about their coming to sailing.

If you cant tell, I'm a fan, so "chapeau", keep doing what you are doing! Also, their patron page is here should you wish to support them too.


Friday, March 2, 2018

Start 2.0 for couple who sank their dream

Well, all is well (I wont say end well yet), as the couple that sank their, and literally everything they owned a couple of weeks ago.

Happy family

So generous soul who
sold them his cherished 1985 Cheoy Lee Pedrick 36-foot sailboat the Odyssey for $1 after reading they’d come from Colorado, like he and his wife, and had a 2-year-old pug, which reminded them of their old pug, Chow.

All the details here. Interesting article that also details what happened with their GoFundMe and Facebook pages. Let's just say people can be mean.

I am happy for them, but hopefully they are more careful this time, and hopefully they take some sailing lessons.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Blog: Boat Bits

Actually probably my favorite boating blog, the guy likes simple non-sense systems.

This goes against all the new crazy tech bits that everyone think they need to leave the dock. I am in total agreement with him.

Read and learn a few bit of boating wisdoms.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Boat Docker

So, you think you are good a docking? :-) 

Try with a single screw for fun!

Before bashing real docks, go have fun with The Boat Docker.

A simple and fun similator with emphasis on learning docking skills. You can run from the website, or download a simple EXE to try on Windows. Oh the fun, its really missing the crunch noises tho!


Friday, February 16, 2018

Crow 16

I love small sailboats, specially ones where you can camp cruise.

Crow 16

One guy that has been designing and building his own boats, Roy Schreyer of has designed and build several boats.

Roy does live fairly close by here (Alliston, I believe), I hope to one day cross wake and meet him and his boats.

No, that I have anytime to build a boat, but his Crow 16 catched my eye. Beach cruiser, with quite a bit of internal space (including a queen bunk - I kid you not), stable, can be sailed from the cabin Nice. And it is a Scow, I really like these type of designs. These designs are making a comeback in smaller boats now.

Also check out his YouTube channel, many interesting videos, mostly of his tiny innovative houseboat design called Rose.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Advice for sailing YOLO

For the not aware, YOLO stands for You Only Live Once. This is generally associated with people accomplishing their bucket lists, quitting a bad job or marriage for accomplishing something they've always wanted to do.

First of all, I am the first one that envies the life of people living an Alternative lifestyle. Either giving up everything to go Sailing, Vanning, Biking, etc. God knows my YouTube subscriptions and blogs that I follow are full of people living it up, such as Sailing La Vagabonde, RAN Sailing, Hasta Alaska (aka Kombi Life), etc.

I almost did that myself, but....responsibilities and making sure I will retire with decent means, held those plans in check. I did, however, compromise by moving out of the city to live by the water with access to boating and fishing year round (not boating, but yes fishing). I have definitely improved my quality of life, not beating traffic and living in nature and on the water, plus having a great community all around.

So, a pet peeve of mine is definitely when someone seems to throw everything to the wind (literally and figuratively).  The following two recent cases show what the dark side of YOLO can be:

Case 1 (detailed article here, which is spread all over facebook).

Nikki Walsh and Tanner Broadwell bought at $5,000 1969 Columbia 28-foot sailboat to sail around the world. Their trip lasted 2 days. In the end the boat sunk to the bottom of the ocean. They departed Tarpon Springs, Florida. By 9PM on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, their boat was at the bottom of the sea. They were able to save their dog, a dinghy, and their IDs before abandoning ship to a SeaTow.
Case 2

This one pains me, as I know the couple. Mike and Rebecca Sweeney of ZeroToCruising, perhaps they should rename their blog CruisingToZero (bad joke, I know).

They left Canada about 8 years ago sold everything and bought a catamaran PDQ 32, sailed down to the Caribbean. They then went into business and chartered a boat for about 2 years from what I remember, then left that (due to unfortunate circumstances), bought an Amel 46 sailboat with the intention to sailing it to Patagonia. Unfortunately, issues were found after buying the boat. They have a pending lawsuit regarding the boat issues. They then decided to bike down from California to Patagonia instead. Suddenly, in Costa Rica, they are completely out of funds.

How does that happen? Lack of planning? Lack of acknowledging reality? Hoping for a miracle? Biking through central America is as cheap as it gets.

Thank god I know these guys will bounce back as they have a great network and many friends, but it is very unfortunate and sad to see.

General Advice for YOLOing (for sailing specifically):
  • Learn to sail first
  • Never enter a strange harbour at night
  • Have an overall backup plan (totally missing in both cases)
  • Better planning, especially financially, I know life can throw curveballs, so being conservative is better/safer. 
    • Example: On buying a boat, I would say a good rule of thumb would be to buy a boat that is less than 10% of your net worth. Probably higher when younger as time give you a chance to recover, but at most 30%. The reason for this is to make sure you are not sunk (pardon the pun) financially should disaster strike.
  • Have a revenue stream to keep you afloat.
    • House being rented out (or passive investments)
    • Books or articles revenues
    • Work and travel. Replenish the cruising kitty frequently.
    • Less attractive, but do-able: make money while travelling (here, here, here, and here)
  • Others?

I am not trying to condescending in anyways, but frankly, I don't see too many of these pieces of advice on the internet. Hopefully, some people see this and think about consequences and more importantly PLAN better.

Okay, off my soapbox.

Now go, plan and enjoy life!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Rapid Whale small boat

I'm always fascinated by small boats. Here is one tiny/small motor boat that looks like fun. The RapidWhale Mini-Boat.


Designed by Josh Tulberg, the Rapid Whale Mini Boat is a DIY kit that lets you build a tiny one-person watercraft. That’s right, you’ll actually have to put this thing together on your own, which should be fun if you enjoy building stuff in your spare time. We don’t know how long building one of these things will actually take, but we imagine it can take up an entire weekend (maybe more). If building a boat sounds daunting, well, it kind of is. For this project, though, Tulberg simplified the process as much as possible, relying on the popular “stitch and glue” method of boat building. Except, he simplified it further by replacing the stitching part with binding the part using zip-ties instead, which should help speed up the build in a considerable manner.

The kit includes laser-cut marine plywood parts, various 3D-printed plastic components, a thick Plexiglas steering wheel, steering shaft bearings, and various sizes of gaskets.  If that doesn’t sound enough to build a boat, you’re right. The kit is designed to pair with a list of items you can get off the shelf, all of which are available from an Excel sheet on the product page. It’s quite a long list, so it could be overwhelming, although they did include a direct link to a specific recommended product from either Amazon or Chesapeake Light Craft, so you can just click on the links to order everything in one sitting

There's a funny video here, it looks like its going real fast, but only 4MPH, also can only carry 200lbs occupant, which is probably less desirable for a US market. Good for most anywhere else!

Kit available for $950, seems a little steep to me, but still lots of fun.

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