Rounding Cape Horn Again

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Bill is one of those friends always up for an adventure. After a fine dinner with him last night, I was reminded of a story from a few months ago… It’s 27 degrees outside, and although I yearn to go sailing, it doesn’t seem like the wisest idea. But maybe I should reconsider. After all, on at least one of the occasions Bill and I rounded Cape Horn together, the waterfalls were frozen; so it must have been pretty cold then, too. That day, like many others, we were driven by unknowable forces to leave the couch, break away from our electronics and experience the raw elements.  Read the rest across the jump at Three Sheets NW.


Dark Times

columbia-jetty-1Because I can’t say it better myself, I give you the words of E.B. White:

As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.

Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society—things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.

Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.

To the Guy from Bend

The Adventuress under sail.

I apologize to the guy from Bend whom I didn’t talk to as long as I would have liked. And to the guy with the rowing boat from Morro Bay who I couldn’t find later. And for missing the capsize demo. And for skipping the great sail by. And I could go on.  Continue reading “To the Guy from Bend”

Meet Row Bird (and her Captain)

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If you see a small boat anchored with a sleeping bag hoisted up the mast, it’s probably me and Row Bird. Starting on September 5th, we’re going on our fall cruise, departing from Brownsville and heading up to the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend. Along the way we’re hoping to meet as many readers as possible, swap stories, share trade goods, and we promise not to embarrass you. Drop me a line or find us on the water!

Sew What: Learning to Love Sewing Machines


I used to squirm when people asked about the stitching on my little sailboat.  “Did you make that?” they’d ask, looking at the sails.

Yes, there’s a lot of canvas, cloth, leather, and Dacron sewing work on Row Bird, but I wasn’t entirely responsible for it.

“Well,” I’d always say, “if the stitches are straight, my friend Andy sewed it; if they’re crooked, I did.”

Read the rest of the article here…