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Old 14-04-2010, 17:43   #1
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Cabin Boy's Big Adventure

For anyone interested in following the progress of a new, long distance cruiser, I've started blogging my cruise from the Big Bend area of Florida, down the Gulf of Mexico, through the Keys, and up the East Coast to New York...

* * *

About once a week, I look at a tool or a trick that seems totally cool and indispensable, and for that week, that tool seems to be the most important tool or trick for boat building.

Of course, none of these are 'the most important'. It would be hard to build a boat without many tools, including things as ordinary as a good paint brush. But I seem to be addicted to such facinations.

However, this week I realized what really is the most important factor for building a boat (or even for just owning one). That factor is a supportive, enthusiastic, and energetic partner...

Read complete blog post: Most Important Factor

Enjoy: John

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Old 17-04-2010, 16:27   #2
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Tarpon Springs

One of the great things about cruising in an 'interesting' boat is that it's easy to meet people. People are just naturally curious about an old fashioned boat like the Blue Moon.

Back in Cedar Key, as soon as I rowed ashore, I met three nice people who had admired the Blue Moon from the pier and wanted to know what kind of boat she was and where I was going. Of course, half the people look at me like I'm a bit nuts, when I tell them, but the other half looks wistful and you can tell they long to cast off, too...

Read blog post: Tarpon Springs

Enjoy: John

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Old 18-04-2010, 08:34   #3
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John,

I have read all the way through your blog and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Waiting for the next chapter.

I really admire what you have done and are planning.

All the best mate,

Simon
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Old 18-04-2010, 10:14   #4
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UnlikelyBoatBuilder: Jessica Watson

Today I'm anchored in Clearwater, Florida, having decided I didn't have time to make it into Tampa Bay before dark. Ever since threading the needle into Cedar Key in the pitch dark, I've been over cautious about getting to an anchorage before dark.

Today, I found the perfect anchorage, and then decided to try for something just a wee bit better... Oh bitter irony!

But I'm not emotionally ready to tell that story yet. Maybe later.

Read blog post: Jessica Watson

Enjoy: John

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Old 18-04-2010, 10:16   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kordie View Post
John,

I have read all the way through your blog and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Waiting for the next chapter.

I really admire what you have done and are planning.

All the best mate,

Simon
Thanks, Simon. I appreciate that.

-- John
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Old 18-04-2010, 12:05   #6
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
Going sailing today but will read your blog when I get back.
kind regards,
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Old 20-04-2010, 11:30   #7
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Jumping Dolphins, Batman!

The first night I anchored in the Manatee River, I anchored off Emerson Point Park. This is a huge anchorage that was almost empty when I was there. There was just one other boat, and she was at least a half-mile off.

It was a clear, calm night, with a million stars in the sky. My kerosene anchor light was lit and hanging in the mizzen shrouds. I'd just taken a last peek outside and was tucked up in my bunk with a good book -- "Three Men In A Boat"...

Read complete blog post: Jumping Dolphins, Batman!

Enjoy: John

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Old 21-04-2010, 16:36   #8
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Unlikely Boat Builder: Sidelights

While waiting for the antibiotics to work their magic on my poor battered shin, I have been working on my to-do list. Top on the list today was to mount sidelight boxes in the Blue Moon's shrouds.

Sidelights are the red and green running lights that sailboats must show at night. The Blue Moon came with tiny, electric sidelights, in the shape of a small plastic light that looked like it would be more in place on a kids bike than on a boat.

Even though these tiny lights were barely visible, they gulped enormous amounts of electricity from my solar-driven batteries. Taking another page from the Pardey's books, I long ago decided to use kerosene running lights.

Read complete blog post: Sidelights

Enjoy: John

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Old 24-04-2010, 11:36   #9
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Unlikely Boat Builder: On the ICW

Having completed some chores, like lashing my sidelight box into the rigging, it was definitely time to move on.

One problem: getting back up the Manatee River. When the wind has blown at all, it has blown straight down the river. Not only does this make it difficult to beat out of the river, it has made the anchorage darn uncomfortable at times...

Read complete blog post: On the ICW

Enjoy: John

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Old 24-04-2010, 12:13   #10
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John:
Your account brings back fond memories of my cruising the East and Gulf Coast ICW from Texas to Maine in the early eighties aboard my twin-keeled 23-ft English Westerly with my wife. The ICW has got to be one of only a handfull of "easy anchor every night" cruising routes in the world, so different than the West Coast. I wish I could do it again. Your fun memories will last you a lifetime. Enjoy and thanks for sharing!
John
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Old 24-04-2010, 12:42   #11
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John:
You also reminded me of my project to build my 8-ft Eastport Pram (from plans, kits are also available). Building that baby took me 9-months of evenings and weekends but was big fun, I learned alot and she has given me much pride of ownership. Plus she's a near perfect sailing tender for the two of us. "Creating" something gives much more personal value than just writing a check!
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:16   #12
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UnlikelyBoatbuilder: The Boss

Yesterday, it was finally time to leave Sarasota Bay and head south. Unfortunately, a southerly wind was blowing like stink, as they say. No matter, I thought, I'll just motor. That is why sailboats have reliable engines, and I finally have a reliable engine.

So I left my sail tied to the boom, powered up my engine, and headed south. The engine was reliable, and ran 100% better than before. As I've already said, before the rebuild, the engine had been unable to push the boat into any sort of strong headwind. It could now push us along at 3 knots against a 15 knot wind.

The engine was loyal. It was game. It ran and ran all day. But by the end of the day, I knew the strain had been unfair. It was too much for the little one cylinder 4 stroke. If I wanted it to last the rest of the journey, I was going to have to be fair with it...

Read complete blog post: The Boss

Enjoy: John
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Old 02-05-2010, 13:26   #13
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:08   #14
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Remember that a calender can be your worst enemy. Better to leave when conditions are better & save your engine, boat and crew from wear and tear. Safe travels.
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Old 21-05-2010, 12:22   #15
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UnlikelyBoatBuilder: Planning is Everything

One interesting thing about cruising is that, on the one hand, you need to plan ahead, and on the other, you need to realize that hardly anything works out the way you planned it.

Gary Player used to say, "The harder I practice, the luckier I get." But I say, "The more I plan, the better I am at improvising."

Read complete blog post: Planning is Everything

Enjoy: John


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