Friday, July 24, 2020

Last Post ... for a time.

Good gracious, I miss her already.
I have announced on my social media, but not here on the blog, that I am back on the road. It’s my opinion that the COVID-19 situation is only going to get worse for a while yet. It made sense for me to get a regular job now rather than wait until the world is in even more a panic. I didn’t want to be hung out as a freelancer or out on a small boat looking for work; or worse yet, looking for food. 

The Bubba the Pirate blog has always been exclusively about my boats and boat-related adventures so this will be the last post on the Bubba the Pirate blog for a while. I have three blogs because I’m an idiot and a glutton for punishment. The other two, however, have languished recently as most of my content has been boat related. Now that I’m on the road again, I’ll be back to telling road stories. To maintain my own imagined consistencies, I’ll be posting those stories on my writing blog here. There’s lots of stories there from the road and elsewhere.   

I just posted a “I’d rather be lucky than good” story there. Please check it out. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Sailing North

I’ve learned over the last thirteen years of boatwork that I shouldn’t talk about dates and deadlines. Despite all that, I thought I would share some brief thoughts about my near-term sailing plans. I’m trying to keep to a regular schedule with the blog, but I’ve had a few good days of boatwork which nearly made me late for my Thursday deadline. The boat will soon be back in the water. I’m not going to say how soon, but soon enough that I’m thinking about sailing; where, when and how. Two things are going to stipulate that I move north first. 

The First of June is the start of hurricane season. It will be a while after that day that sv Ruth Ann is back in the water. I have liability only insurance on the boat but anyone more fully insured is required to be north of Norfolk, VA or Cape Henry by June. Heading south would not make a lot of sense because of the season, but it will also be plenty hot for a boat with no air conditioning. My new weather philosophy will be if it’s too hot, go north; too cold, south.  

The other reason to head north is a “Sail-In” gathering. I’ve been hanging around an old fashioned discussion board on these interwebs for well over 15 years; -- small boats, long distances. As a matter of fact, I found Ruth Ann through that very site. You can see that story here. The second weekend of September several of us SailFar-ers are going to meet up in an anchorage south of Annapolis, MD. That is just far enough away that I am quite sure that I can make it. I’ve signed on. I’m doing something wrong if Ruth Ann is not sailing by November. 

Depending when I get Ruth Ann launched, I will have some time to wander the U.S. East Coast. The world is still a strange place right now, but the Chesapeake Bay area seems to be opening up. I have always wanted to gunkhole around the Bay. I could get there in four or five days. So if there were no hurricanes brewing in the Atlantic when I left, Ruth Ann and I would have plenty of time to make it there safely; even offshore. Heading north, offshore makes sense with the Gulfstream Current helping. Coming south, it would make sense to use the Intra Coastal Waterway(ICW). 

I might jump from Masonboro Inlet to the Chesapeake or go straight out the Cape Fear River to round both the Frying Pan Shoals and Cape Hatteras on the way. After a rest in Hampton or Norfolk, I’d jump offshore again to the Delaware River; likely taking a break at Cape May. After that I could jump again and head to Atlantic Highlands, NJ. This is the place where Alex and I were stuck for several days waiting on the weather to jump around the State of New Jersey going south. A significant place in my sailing history; the start of my first ocean sailing. That’s likely all I’d have time for. 

There are family and friends I could see along the way. And watching the calendar, I would head south
in time to make the SailFar Sail-In. If I had made it as far as Atlantic Highlands, then Ruth Ann and I would have to go offshore again to get around New Jersey. This time at Cape May, I would head up the Delaware River to get to the C&D Canal. Across the canal to the top of the Chesapeake, I could then sail southwest, down past Aberdeen and Baltimore, sneak under the Bay Bridge and then head for the Rode River anchorage and meet up with my fellow sailors. All of that might take two or three days; anchoring at night. 

Once the meetup was over, if I’d made it that far, I’ll have to be looking for some way to earn some money; the proverbial cruising kitty. Frankly, it’s likely to be cooler than I prefer in mid-September near Annapolis. I’ll be ready to head south; down the ICW.  Down the Chesapeake to Norfolk, VA, then into the Elizabeth River and the ICW through the rest of Virginia and the Carolinas. From Charleston, or Port Royal, I might jump offshore to cut the corner to Jacksonville. I would like to visit the backwaters of Georgia; Darien and Brunswick, but Georgia is becoming a less friendly place for cruising sailors like me – like Florida. But … I have contacts, and friends, in Florida. I’ll likely head there to make a little money and ride out the winter. There are three or four situations in Florida where I could walk right in and have a job again. That counts for something. I could save money even while living out of a marina or a mooring field. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Two Piles

Not so long ago, I saw some good advice in the Tiny Liveaboard Facebook Group. Someone suggested that in preparation for moving aboard a small boat one should make two piles. One pile of all the things that you don’t really need; things that you haven’t even touched for months. In the other pile place all the things that you feel you can’t live without. It is important to take time to carefully consider each item and which pile it belongs in. Most important of all, once you have everything carefully sorted -- throw away both piles.

I lived aboard a very small boat in the 1990s, and I should have known how little I could have brought with me. Still, I showed up in North Carolina after cleaning out my space in Dad’s basement – AND – having emptied a storage unit in Florida near my last boat project. I have a small trailer here full of stuff that I thought I couldn’t live without. Some of what I have is boat-worthy, but not much. I did actually find a couple kitchen items that I threw in a box years ago that have become quite useful in the campervan galley while I’m waiting to use them on the boat. But many of the things in my pile(not yet two piles) are things that I valued some time ago. I am a different man and a different sailor than I was then – and I’m working on a different boat.

Some decisions are easy and quick. I opened a box recently and couldn’t decide if it had been apartment stuff, truck stuff, or boat stuff. It had been years since I had laid eyes on any it. Just looking at the top layer, I knew none of it was needed in my life today. I also knew that handling each individual thing would be such a temptation to keep some of them. I closed the box, picked it up, and marched right to the dumpster. Such a satisfying clunk when it all hit the bottom.

My issue is books. I am a voracious reader and I’ve been collecting books for a long time. Some were resources to have on a boat. Others were books that I was looking forward to digesting when the pace of my life slowed; like “The Essays of E.B. White.” Many were just my favorites; favorite books, favorite authors, favorite topics. I just can’t take them all. I probably could not have taken them all on my last boat which had almost double the displacement as Ruth Ann.

Nevertheless, I have made some recent progress in lightening my load. I’m loath to confess that a few books went into the dumpster too. It was a shameful thing to do, but in this time we’re in, the schedule I’m on, and as isolated as I am right now – it was just a cold, hard fact of my life. Lots of goofy trinkets I’d been saving are gone. Duplicate items and things that I know now that I won’t need are gone. There are three tubs in the nose of my little trailer that I have yet to go through. At least two of them have more books! A great majority will be replaced by ebooks.

Then there are tools. I have a pretty good collection of tools for a vagabond. Many will be necessary to properly maintain my boat. As I work on her now, I’m sifting for which tools I really need and which I could do without. Some of the bigger things are going to be hard to stow. My sewing machine will not only allow me to fix my own sails and do my own canvaswork, but I should be able to make a little money doing the same for other boaters. A shop vac, even a small one, however, is not likely to make the cut (I currently have two).

Perhaps the biggest benefit to all this work minimizing doesn’t pertain to “things” at all but to my life. In making decisions about what things I might need, I’ve had to repeatedly consider exactly what my life is going to be like. How would I know what types of things I should keep if I hadn’t already considered, in detail, how I was going to live?

When I first started this plan to escape on a boat, it was mostly about bikinis and booze; chasing the former, encouraged by the latter. For a few years now it has become more about a quiet lifestyle; more like a personal retreat than a party. I’m looking for peace and a simpler life. I’m looking forward to days with nothing pressing when preparing coffee and a simple but delicious breakfast might take a few hours to accomplish. I am already very content and know my priorities and aspirations very well.

I am currently buried in boat stuff. Two weeks ago, I ordered a bunch of stuff for Ruth Ann. It’s all arrived now. I’m set for boatwork chores well into June. Barrier coat and bottom paint should go on the hull next week, if the weather cooperates. While the weather is not cooperating, I have been rewiring the boat working inside. I have solar panels, wire, brackets, fittings, lights and lithium batteries to install. By the time you read this I will have gone up the mast to remove the last shackle of the furler. While I’m up there I’ll measure the stemballs, a mast fitting, so that I can order them. I’m hoping that the mast will come down in the next week or so. That depends on the schedule of the boatyard. I am so close to getting all I need done that if the boatyard doesn’t have time, I will do as much as I can by climbing the mast. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 27, 2020

The Other Boat

Boatyard Neighbors at Sunset

An unusual thing happened that made me notice something else had settled. It was apparent that I was just perceiving what had already baked in; was already done.

Hanging around a boatyard is being with my tribe. We have disparate opinions about politics, power vs. sail, and all sorts of things, but we can talk about boats for days. I was describing to my neighbor a trip I had taken down the U.S. East Coast, crewing on Eleanor, a Westsail 42. [The telling of that whole story starts here.] I had said that if money was no object and I could have any boat, I would likely choose a Westsail just like Eleanor; even though they haven’t been produced since the late 1980s.

This neighbor occasionally tries to convince his wife that they should have a sailboat rather than their curiously beautiful British workboat turned cruiser. Just then, he remembered having looked at a boat nearby that was like the one I described. He thought it could be had for cheap.

It turned out that he had seen a Tartan not a Westsail, but another beautiful, solidly-built boat about forty two feet long. It was a ketch just like Eleanor and had been featured in a magazine at one time. Apparently, it had been partially sunk but rescued by a skilled salvage crew. She had been saved, preserved, and now spends her days motoring a bit around Georgetown, SC. The story was, the salvager didn’t really know what to do with her and was getting bored. She might be headed to the scrapyard. Or … an ambitious sailor might be able to have her for the scrap value of the lead in her keel.

I saw pictures, recent ones. I received the phone number. I read the article.

Pic from the magazine, not current.
She is still beautiful; even after some trauma and benign neglect.

Not so long ago, a previous version of me would have spent the next few days sifting through the details, doing the math, and daydreaming big plans. I often did this without any real thought of trying to purchase some prospective boat. But other times I would sink into detailed planning, get emotionally involved, even discuss options with an owner, and end up heartbroken when I couldn’t pull it off.

I haven’t seen this boat in person and there are several red flags about her. Set aside that the used sailboat market is not so soft that someone else would not have grabbed a feasible project by now. I don’t know the story or the extent of the sinking. The sails are supposedly shot, but there might be another set. And a bigger boat is always more expensive; to maintain, to dock, to run. None of this, however, would have slowed me down before. Hell, I bought a boat in Miami that had no engine, from Michigan sight unseen, and subsequently sailed her over a hundred miles in the Atlantic to get her to a yard where I could work on her.

I was never really turned on for some reason, but the magazine article was chock full of other details that were not positive. The article was titled “The Geriatric Ketch” and was all about how the previous owners, an older couple, had set the boat up to assist them in continuing to sail in their autumn years. The boat bristled with gadgets and labor saving devices, like electric winches. There were modifications to the keel. Every sail was on a furler. I don’t even like furlers, but that might not have stopped the previous me. That me would have likely been obsessed with the idea that a beautiful, fixable forty two foot ketch could be had for round about $9000.00. It seemed strange, but even after all that neighborly boat talk, I was unfazed. I couldn't have cared less.

I had read the article on my phone from a lawn chair in the shadow of the boat that sits right behind my Ruth Ann. I’d been sanding all morning when I struck up a conversation with the neighbor. I set the phone down just as the sun climbed over the building behind us; splashing afternoon sun all over my boat. I’m working hard to bring her back to her glory and that work stood out in the bright contrasts. The port side of the hull was mostly smooth again. She was generally clean and finally looked like someone was taking care of her. No streaks of dirt from the rain. No moss in the shadows. No sun-eaten ropes hanging around. Halyards were coiled and stowed. They only bang the mast in the strongest wind. Her transom is clean waiting for a proper name and hail. The teak that I had stripped, sanded and oiled glistened darkly, relishing its renewal.

She had overheard our conversation about the other boat. Her trailboards quivered and her shoulders sagged against the jackstands that held her upright. I could sense that I had confused her. We have made so many promises to each other. But I felt nothing about that other boat. There was no swell of curiosity. I couldn’t even bring myself to play with the details just for the sake of playing. I didn’t look up her displacement, what kind of keel she had, or the price of scrap lead.

All I could do for Ruth Ann was get back to work. I picked up the sander, grabbed a fresh sanding disc and snapped on my ear muffs. She’ll know soon enough.

Ruth Ann is a bit small; storage is going to be a concern, but she’s mine. She is a great boat for places like the Bahamas, Chesapeake Bay, and Pamlico Sound. She can probably cross an ocean too, and she and I are going to work on that for the future. I know just what she needs and there isn’t that much. Ruth Ann and I are very close to setting off. There’s just no sense in starting over on another project; no matter how luxurious the possibilities are. And besides I can feel that I am committed. I wasn’t sure of that until now, but this is it. She and I are the plan.

This might not sound like much of a revelation, especially to a landlubber, but it feels significant to me. The analogies to falling in love are obvious but too cute. I’ve been committed to this lifestyle but have never been committed to a particular boat [‘obviously’ some of you groan]. Surely part of it is that I’ve never been as close as I am today to actually being able to push off and start to wander.

In thirteen years, I’ve never been this close to my dream. I can feel it! For the resources I have and the plans I’ve made, Ruth Ann is just about perfect. We can work together to handle whatever isn’t. Depending on how the world turns out in the near future, Ruth Ann and I will be cruising the U.S. East Coast this summer. And if this pandemic situation relaxes enough, we’ll be in the Bahamas for sure next fall and winter. Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Haiti, Jamaica, even Colombia and Panama are all also within the realm of possibility. Stay tuned.

I’ll be ordering barrier coat and bottom paint by next week. The work continues.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Fortunate One

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

In the last post, I talked about gratitude. I am in a really privileged position. My life has changed very little with all the lockdowns and other pandemic precautions happening. North Carolina is under a stay-at-home order like most other states, but boat repair facilities are considered essential and are exempt. I am therefore riding on the coattails of the shop here at Cape Fear Boat Works. I can still get the supplies I need; though I’m paying to have most stuff shipped in so I can maintain my isolation. Trips to town are much rarer and I’m relying on my reasonably well-stocked pantry to get by.

My gratitude is leavened by the unknowns of the situation our world is in. I haven’t slept well the last couple nights. It may be all the pondering possibilities, but it might be the coffee too. I started my day today with green tea. The day started a little slow and I settled down. To reduce my own anxieties, I’ve decided that I can keep doing what I’m doing if our status quo goes all the way into August. If the country is still locked down past August and I can't sail anywhere, I might find some work and pause to save some money rather than just burning through my cash while waiting. If I am on the water, on the boat, toward the new year I’ll have to pause somewhere anyway to make a little money. Pausing to work occasionally while living on the boat was always the plan.

I’ve had some good productive days lately, but today I didn’t really want to do anything. After a slow start, and leaning heavily on my gratitude attitude, I did get to work and sanded for a few hours. Sanding over my head is hard work and a few hours is nearly as much as I would have accomplished on a good day.

The divots where I ground out the blisters on the port side of the hull are about 95% patched and filled. An order of peel ply got hung up in the postal system, and I couldn’t finish. So, I started sanding the patches and have a solid third of them sanded smooth. There are lots of projects, so with the delay on hull work, I expanded my focus. I re-bedded a couple blocks on the cabin top that were weeping a little in heavy rains.

The mainsail has full battens and was just rolled up and stowed below. I removed the battens and stretched it out on the lawn to check it out. I had not used the main at all on the trip up from Little River, SC, so I haven’t had a good look. It was purchased relatively recently and is in good condition; still stiff and crispy. I was happy to find that the hull number and a proper Bayfield logo were on the sail. Afterward, I folded the sail and rolled it up tight so it will stow better.

The Canadian company that supplied hatches and ports to the Bayfield Boat Yard is still in business. I ordered new gasket material for the portlights and now had time to work on the “windows.” The frames were removed, cleaned up, regasketed, and rebedded. While cleaning the portlight frames, I brushed my hand pretty well with a brass brush spinning in a drill motor, so I got to practice some first aid too. It’s doing fine and was really only like road rash from spilling off a bike or something.

One of the biggest projects was the head (that’s the bathroom to you landlubbers). I am a proponent of composting toilets and purchased a C-Head just like the one I had on the Westsail in Florida. With a composting toilet, there is no need for a holding tank and the odors associated with them. Ruth Ann’s old tank had to go. I could use the storage space it was taking up.

The downside was that the holding tank was not empty. I disconnected a hose that would have emptied the tank into the sea and filled a half dozen tall kitchen garbage bags with about a gallon of sawdust in each as an absorbent. The full bags were gently placed in the dumpster. Then I removed a bunch of hoses and the old toilet.

The holding tank, however, would not come out. The inner liner of the boat’s cabin was put it place after the tank – trapping it. I ended up cutting a tank-shaped hole and sliding it out of it’s hiding place (think of the Wiley Coyote-shaped hole he left after crashing through a wall).

The peel ply and some epoxy filler has arrived. I can get back to work on the hull. The port side is nearly done, but I have the starboard side to do next. I also ordered a colossal supply of 5” hook and loop-backed, 80-grit sanding discs. Two of the portlights are regasketed and rebedded, but Ruth Ann has four more.

The Tank is out!!
The work continues.

My Patreon page did go live on April 1. It was important to me to accomplish that when I had said I would. Nevertheless, in our current situation, I am not going to promote it. We’ll get to that when things are back to normal; or whatever is close to normal again. The page is operational and linked on the upper right of this page. I’m just not emphasizing it for now. Patreon is a way for people to support the creative projects that they enjoy. You are very welcome to support my adventures and the Bubba the Pirate Blog. And my content will greatly improve when I’m bragging about sailing rather than droning on about boat projects. For now, please consider supporting your favorite musicians and artists. They are really hurting and their livelihoods are nearly completely interrupted by pandemic precautions.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Isolation, Boatwork, and Gratitude

I can’t really believe that this is 2020; and here it is almost April already. It’s getting weird out there too. Last year was a tough year for several reasons; for me and for my family. It was also a much more social year than I've had in a while. I am isolated today, like most everyone else, but I have been in partial social isolation for 13 years. I left my last ‘career’ job in 2007. After that I was driving a truck; plying the highways ostensibly to make money for a boat project and to escape normal life. Most of that time it was just me and the truck. I went from a world filled with a couple hundred emails a day, constant phone calls and meetings to one where I might talk to someone at a truckstop or on a loading dock once or twice a day. Perhaps I was practicing for today’s pandemic world.

Right now for me, social isolation means a lot of boatwork. I’m stocked up and hunkered down at a remote boatyard in North Carolina. My pantry is relatively full and I have lots of supplies to keep working on the boat. Since my last post, I have lightly sanded the entire hull below the waterline, ground out a couple hundred blisters, installed four of six new thruhulls, stripped varnish, sanded and oiled more than half of the teak, and started engineering the removal of the holding tank.

I feel pretty safe where I am. I feel good about getting a bunch of work done. Most of all, however, I am feeling a wave of gratitude. I am very lucky to be where I am, doing what I’m doing. I haven’t decided how to write about the situation, but I don’t have to work right now. I am able to devote my time to working on Ruth Ann, my Bayfield 29. I am not suddenly wealthy, but I able to get by for now, carefully. Lately, the weather is the only thing that occasionally gets in my way.

It is a new world for me to only have boatwork to do. I have an off day every once in a while when I feel like I haven’t accomplished much. Mostly, however, the gratitude that I am feeling is what drives me; it’s the wind in my sails.

The pandemic and all the news around it put me, like everyone else, in a strange place. For a few days I was obsessively checking the news. Not a panic really but I let the tsunami of news and information overtake my time. That reaction has passed and I feel focused again. I checked in with my family and some friends. The tsunami of my gratitude is what I’ll concentrate on from here on out. There are so many people who have supported my vision. Some simply listened to my crazy plans; others supported me in more tangible ways. I am very lucky just now, right here.

Thank you; all of you. Be well. Be safe and healthy.

BTW, this entire blog post, including some image editing, was done on my Raspberry Pi 4; perhaps bound to be my computer onboard; compact and powerful.

My Patreon account will be live by April First. Patreon is a website that helps people support their favorite creatives; writers, artists, musicians, etc. I am not working right now; just working on my boat, Ruth Ann. If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to support it, Patreon is an easy way to do such a thing, even a couple dollars a month is possible, amazingly helpful, and greatly appreciated.

Writing is my main thing. I will be posting to the blog at least twice a month. There will be some exclusive content for Patrons and early access to blogs. My book, YouTube updates, and a podcast will be coming, but I need to concentrate on getting Ruth Ann back in the water. I don't want to get too many irons in the fire until she floats again.

The sailing memoir book will trace my journey from a little Sunfish sailboat at scout camp, to being on the cusp of an extended cruise on the U. S. East Coast, in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and Central America. Look for it later this year.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Hey, Wait A Minute!!

That's me part way down.

My last term at Michigan State University was a summer term, and I lived in a house with six other guys. It was a great house and a good bunch of roommates. A girl I spent some time with in the hot tub after a party there became my first wife. I often played guitar on the back deck with a guy who had chosen med school over touring with Amy Grant. I had an oddly curved tan line – white belly, tanned chest – from those sunny afternoons with a guitar in my lap.

My parents had moved to Houghton in Michigan’s Upper Penninsula and at some point most of my housemates and I organized a road trip up there. We used my parent’s house as a base camp to do all kinds of things including some rock climbing. I had never done any serious rock climbing before then, but the guys who had were keen to show me the ropes; and the webbing. We did some rappelling down the cliff at Douglass-Houghton Falls; more than a hundred feet down.

As a part of my introduction to rappelling, the guys handed me twenty feet or so of nylon webbing. Standing there ten feet from the cliff’s edge, I was guided through tying a harness around my waist and thighs. “Go around your waist, then around this thigh, tie it like this here, and then around there …” they instructed.

So it came my turn and I stood at the edge, the rope lay slack on the ground between me and the tree it was  tied to. I could see a hundred feet down between my ankles. I had to let my weight lean over the edge to take up the slack. None of what they had taught me would work if I didn’t take up that slack. The harness itself wouldn’t truly be tightened up around me, if that slack wasn’t taken up.

Hey, wait a minute! My brain screamed. I tied that harness; the harness my life was now going to depend on. I’ve never tied a harness like this before. What makes me qualified to tie a harness!?!

I’ve  had a similar thought recently. I am replacing the stainless steel wire rigging on my boat, the Ruth Ann, with synthetic rope; Dyneema specifically. What this means, however, is that I am splicing a bunch of rope in a very specific way; a way that I have not done before. That rope and my splices will be the very thing that holds my mast up and enables me to sail the sea.

“Hey, wait a minute!”

To further complicate my thoughts, new information has come to light. After completing eight of the nine deadeyes I needed, I ran across a blog post by the guy who originated the system I’m building. His post included a video that did not show up in my previous research. There I discovered one detail that I was doing incorrectly.

Now that one detail mostly made it more difficult for me to make them. It is likely that the deadeyes I had already made would probably have worked fine. By making the construction more difficult, however, the deadeyes are less smooth, less elegant. Dyneema is a twelve strand hollow braided line and is quite slippery. It doesn’t like traditional knots, and is therefore spliced in a unique way. Elegant and smooth, in this context, also means strength.

I made the last deadeye using this new information. It went together way better than my previous grommets. It was elegant and smooth. I looked at the previous eight with a newly jaundiced eye. I stared at them, molested them, twisted and pulled them. They seemed all right, seemed strong. In the end, I just couldn’t brook the thought of trusting them now that I knew they weren’t top notch; not 100% true to method. I removed the thimbles and threw away the grommets. It can only be chalked up as $100 worth of deadeye training.

I ordered some more dyneema; enough to build eight more good deadeyes; elegant and smooth. I’ll feel better banging to weather out at sea knowing that the deadeyes I made, that are holding up my mast as we crash through the waves – those deadeyes are as well built as I could make them.

In addition, I’ve discovered that Ruth Ann has lots of blisters below her waterline. For you landlubbers, blisters are shallow bubbles, just like a blister, on the skin of a boat’s hull. They are caused by tiny amounts of uncatalyzed resin left from the manufacturing process. That resin reacts with moisture to produce a gas which causes bumps on the hull. I am sanding and grinding a lot these days. Once the blisters are
all ground out, they’ll be patched with some glass cloth and epoxy resin. For the record, I'm grinding out the blister on the hull's surface. There are no additional holes in the boat. All the work on the hull though means the mast won’t be coming down real soon; a couple weeks anyway. I have some time to work out my elegant deadeye making process.

I’ve revised the Patreon statement below. Thanks for reading my blogs.

My Patreon account will be live by April First. Patreon is a website that helps people support their favorite creatives; writers, artists, musicians, etc. I am not working right now; just working on my boat, Ruth Ann. If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to support it, Patreon is an easy way to do such a thing, even a couple dollars a month is possible, amazingly helpful, and greatly appreciated.

Writing is my main thing. I will be posting to the blog at least twice a month. There will be some exclusive content for Patrons and early access to blogs. My book, YouTube updates, and a podcast will be coming, but I need to concentrate on getting Ruth Ann back in the water. I don't want to get too many irons in the fire until she floats again.

The sailing memoir book will trace my journey from a little Sunfish sailboat at scout camp, to being on the cusp of an extended cruise on the U. S. East Coast, in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and Central America. Look for it later this year.

Last Post ... for a time.

Good gracious, I miss her already. I have announced on my social media, but not here on the blog, that I am back on the road. It’s my opinio...