Journey to Caterpillar Island

cat“You’ve got to go to Caterpillar Island,” my friend Harvey told me one day. His enthusiasm for the island, located about 10 miles down the Columbia River from Portland, was undeniable. Still, it sounded too far from my homeport to justify the effort…  Read the rest of the story  over at Three Sheets NW.

Living Summer


Rick Steves says, “Travel is intensified living- maximum thrills per minute and one of the last great sources of legal adventure.”

I’ve already been striving intensely to gather in every bit of summer this year right here in the northwest. I take every opportunity to be outside. Rather than riding the train home from work, I’m biking the extra miles over a small mountain to be outside just a little longer, to feel the rush of the wind and the pull of gravity as I zoom down.  Continue reading

Not Your Typical Opening Day

hove to

Sitting hove to in 30 knots of wind was not how I anticipated spending my opening day.

When my friend Andy and I decided to attempt a 25-mile circumnavigation of the South Sound’s Harstine Island in Row Bird, I worried we’d only have enough wind to sail half the route, if that.

Read the rest of the tale, across the jump at Three Sheets NW.

Street Snake


It was a typical summer afternoon in Portland: 80 degrees, dry, and sunny. I was riding my bike home from work through a working class neighborhood of small, well-maintained houses with tidy lawns and small trees when I noticed something in the street.  Continue reading

Portland Sail & Oar League

sail oar leauge Attention seafarers, dreamers, and fools who love small craft and actually use them. The Portland Sail & Oar League is a randomly gathered network of nautical explorers who boat at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. We sail, row, camp, fix boats, talk dirt, run aground, and have fun regardless of the weather. You may already be a member.  Continue reading

Writing Elsewhere

bill sailsI penned an article for big boaters to consider the virtues of small boat camp-cruising on the Cascadia Marine Trail.

I also wrote my first article for Small Boats Monthly, a subscription-based, on-line journal from Woodenboat.

And there’s a funny story about building a boat in a basement that I had published in the last issue of Small Craft Advisor.

As for other people’s writing, there are several blogs about a life well considered that I recommend you check out: Sauvie Island Journal details observations from a houseboat and small boats right at the intersection of my two local rivers. Then there’s From Pine to Palm, which is all over the place, but has a boat undercurrent solidly grounding it. Last is Wayward Spark, about modern day, back-to-the-landers who seem to balance their iphones easily with beekeeping here in Oregon.