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Old 29-05-2010, 11:09   #16
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They say you know when your vacation is long enough when you start thinking about work, again. My break away from the Blue Moon voyage must be almost up, because I am definitely thinking about her!

My new engine is on order and should be delivered on or about June 7th. It wasn't easy to choose one. Here's what I was hoping to get:

* at least 15 hp
* 25" shaft
* as high a gear ratio as possible (3:1)
* as big a prop as possible
* as light as possible
* as reliable as possible
* as fuel efficient as possible
* easy to find repair people (on east coast of US)

Dealers call this a 'sailboat' motor, or a 'high thrust' motor. It's designed not for speed, but for power. And since the Blue Moon displaces about 8,000 lbs, power is what's needed.

Unfortunately, no one makes an outboard that meets all these criteria....

Read complete blog post: Missing Her

Enjoy: John

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Old 13-06-2010, 18:13   #17
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On The Road Again

Sometimes I can be such a New Yorker. For example, here I am, living the dream, sailing on a beautiful boat that constantly attracts interest and questions, learning new things every day about sailing and cruising (and myself). And yet this little nagging voice in the back of my head keeps asking "What are you doing out here? What are you trying to accomplish?"

Read complete blog post: On the Road Again

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Old 14-06-2010, 21:39   #18
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Enemy #1

They call Florida "The Sunshine State", but for a small boat sailor in Florida in June, a better motto might be "The Too-Much Sunshine State".

When I set sail from Steinhatchee in April, I was wearing my Irish wool sweater on deck to keep warm, and zipping myself into a sleeping bag at night. The sun was a pleasant companion who's warming rays were always appreciated.

Two months later, I'm doing everything possible to fend the sun's rays off.

Read complete blog post: Enemy #1

Enjoy: John

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Old 14-06-2010, 21:57   #19
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Great blog. Very enjoyable and thanks for the update. It sounds like you are having a blast and that is great.

It will be interesting to see if the winds turn north now that you are headed that way. That's usually what happens to me - LOL...
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Old 14-06-2010, 22:06   #20
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Great Read

Thank you for taking the time to post and letting my enjoy your adventure.
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Old 17-06-2010, 22:08   #21
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Natural Florida

Since my mom and brother live in Florida year round, I get to see plenty of 'developed' Florida. But one of the best parts of this voyage has been the discovery of 'natural' Florida, which there is still quite a lot of. Practically every day I've sailed through long stretches of coast which seem pristine, and I've been using the "Skipper Bob" anchorage guide to find out-of-the-way gunk holes in the most natural settings possible.

Read complete blog post: Natural Florida

Enjoy: John

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Old 19-06-2010, 21:04   #22
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Beautiful St. Augustine

If I had to pick my favorite city in Florida, St. Augustine would win hands down. Helena and I made a short visit here a few years ago, and we both loved it. This time, I had the pleasure of landing in it from the sea side.

I anchored off the Municipal Marina, which is located right downtown, at the foot of the main street. I arrived just in time to sit out the daily thunderstorm, which have started to become a real issue... They come like clockwork every afternoon around 5, and you really need to have an anchor down in a sheltered place before they strike...

Read blog post: Beautiful St. Augustine

Enjoy: John

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Old 22-06-2010, 18:44   #23
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Improved Out Of Existence

One of my goals on the Blue Moon is to get really good at this sailing/cruising business. I've sailed practically my whole life, first with my Uncle Marty (who's sailing the Newport-Bermuda race, right this minute), then with my father, and finally on my own boats, but sailing over 700 miles in a small boat has given me a whole new outlook.

Oddly enough, practically every improvement I've made in how I'm doing things has involved eliminating things. I call this process improving things out of existence...

Read blog post: Improved out of Existence

Enjoy: John
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Old 28-06-2010, 19:39   #24
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Bronze Casting for Boat Builders demonstration

This Sunday, Helena and I drove up to Mystic, CT for the annual Wooden Boat Show. One day really isn't enough for this great show. Next year, we plan to sail the Blue Moon down the Sound to Mystic so we can anchor off the show (as several other boats did this year) and spend 2 or 3 days there.

But working guys and gals have to be happy with what they can get, so we made the most of the time there.

One thing I wanted to see was Sam Johnson's demonstration of bronze casting. This is something I have been interested in for a while, so I was super keen on seeing this, and Sam did not disappoint...

Read complete blog post: Bronze Casting

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Old 11-08-2010, 13:49   #25
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Sail-Tie Envy

I am a volunteer crew member on the Christine -- the oldest Oyster Sloop in America. This 50' gaffer is commanded by Captain Pete, who likes everything ship-shape and Bristol fashion.



A chilly-but-game Girl Scout troop enjoying a spring sail on the Christine
photo jalmberg

This summer, the Christine was sporting a brand-new set of sail ties, and as soon as I laid eyes on them, I realized that I'd been making due on the Blue Moon with an sad collection of old scraps: odd lengths of frayed rope, a couple of ragged bungee cords that had long lost their spring, and a knotted strip of cloth that must have been salvaged by a previous owner from a drowned kite.

In contrast, the Christine's new sail ties looked like they'd been hand-crafted by a master rigger. Sail-tie envy burned in my breast. I had to have a set, just like them!

Read complete blog post: Sail Tie Envy

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Old 22-09-2010, 08:33   #26
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Building Blind

Here's something I've discovered: It's very difficult to build something for a boat that is a thousand miles away.

Specifically, I needed to laminate up a wedge to put between my outboard motor bracket and my steeply raked transom, so my new outboard wouldn't be tilted so far from vertical (which is both inefficient and not good for oil flow.)

This was my first lamination job, so I had no idea what I was getting into...

Read complete blog post: Building Blind

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Old 03-10-2010, 20:54   #27
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I Am Captain

Way back in April (April!?!?), at the very beginning of my intermittent 2000 mile voyage on the Blue Moon, I complained about being relegated to crew member:

There were many reasons why I felt like an overworked galley slave, including the fact that I was in over my head and had no idea what I was doing, and so I had to work twice as hard as I should have.

But the biggest reason of all was that I was a slave to the tiller...

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The Unlikely Boat Builder: I Am Captain
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:56   #28
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Cumberland Island

One of the first places I stopped in Georgia was also one of the nicest.

Cumberland Island is a large barrier island off the coast of GA, about a day's sail north of the Florida border. I wasn't planning on stopping there, but as I was cruising up Cumberland Sound, the current was so strong against me that I decided to pull in to wait for the turn of the tide...

Complete blog post: Cumberland Island

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Old 12-10-2010, 08:11   #29
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Bowsprit

On 29 September, I was anchored in Cattlepen Creek. I can't quite figure out how this creek got it's name, because it was just a narrow cut of open water in the middle of the vast Georgia marsh. If there were any cattle around, they were up to their necks in mud.

During the night, the remnants of a tropical storm blew over the anchorage. Not much wind, but torrential rain. I woke up with a tropical stream dripping onto my forehead, and for a few minutes I was dashing around my little cabin, dogging down all 8 port lights, stopping leaks, and mopping up drips. I put my head out into the deluge to see if the anchor was holding, but between lightning strikes, it was black as pitch. I was all alone out there...

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Old 15-10-2010, 20:09   #30
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Southport Wooden Boat Show

Sometimes it pays to be lucky...

Last weekend, I sailed into the harbor in Southport, NC, straight into the middle of their 1st Annual Wooden Boat Show. Naturally, I stayed to participate!

Read blog post: Wooden Boat Show

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