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Old 23-03-2022, 07:35   #1
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Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

Last question I swear.

I am very new to sailing, and this is a pretty radical life change for me. I am trying to get a handle on how I want to document it (if at all). When I went full time in an rv traveling the country, I kept a blog. Mostly so people would not worry and constantly ask if I was safe, and where I was. I did maps, photos, trip reports, and started to not enjoy it. It took a lot of time, and I ended up not being present on my journey. Constantly thinking about how to share it with other people. However, I do occasionally enjoy going back and looking at some of the maps and photos.

Just curious what others experience and advice are. I don't want followers or a youtube channel. I do think I need some sort of record of what I am doing. I want to focus on the experiences, not the documenting of the experiences.

I see an add for SailBlogs as I write this.

Thanks for any feedback.
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Old 23-03-2022, 10:22   #2
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Re: Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

Different levels exist, I suppose.

You need a written notebook for navigational notes, usually a separate one for maintenance issues. Some people keep a radio log. (Ships log books.) I also keep a dive log. Various vendors sell specially formatted books. I prefer plain BenMeadows Field Books for that sort of thing. (Or Rite-in-the-rain, etc.)

For a while, I tried pre-printing various data forms to help remind me what to record, and kept them in 3-ring binders. Which was basically a "Day-Timer" diary-like endeavor. It became a bit of a hassle though, and a few quick notes for a day sail didn't really suit the format I'd use for a week-long trip. It did make for less time spent writing though. Sometimes. Other times, it created a lot of wasted paper with blank spaces.

When it strikes me, I may use those notes to write up an electronic journal or blog entry, with photos & sketches. But that is a purely optional recreational activity, and I don't feel the need to do it on any schedule.

One advantage of keeping a web site is that you can post your current "float plan" that you can keep updated. I don't have any public links to it. A couple people who might care know the URL. But the URL is posted in the "notes" field on the FCC Ships Station form and NOAA EPIRB registration form. So if my I ever set off an emergency signal, they can look up the current float plan. Meanwhile, nobody has to see it, and I can change it whenever I want. Even if it just says "Moored at home port, no trips planned."

If you have a satellite tracking device, that can also be a good place to leave a link to it. i.e. the "where am I" map.

Sometimes I watch those people trying to make money from their YouTube channels and the whole thing just looks exhausting and a little self-defeating.
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Old 23-03-2022, 10:28   #3
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Re: Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
Different levels exist, I suppose.

You need a written notebook for navigational notes, usually a separate one for maintenance issues. Some people keep a radio log. (Ships log books.) I also keep a dive log. Various vendors sell specially formatted books. I prefer plain BenMeadows Field Books for that sort of thing. (Or Rite-in-the-rain, etc.)

For a while, I tried pre-printing various data forms to help remind me what to record, and kept them in 3-ring binders. Which was basically a "Day-Timer" diary-like endeavor. It became a bit of a hassle though, and a few quick notes for a day sail didn't really suit the format I'd use for a week-long trip. It did make for less time spent writing though. Sometimes. Other times, it created a lot of wasted paper with blank spaces.

When it strikes me, I may use those notes to write up an electronic journal or blog entry, with photos & sketches. But that is a purely optional recreational activity, and I don't feel the need to do it on any schedule.

One advantage of keeping a web site is that you can post your current "float plan" that you can keep updated. I don't have any public links to it. A couple people who might care know the URL. But the URL is posted in the "notes" field on the FCC Ships Station form and NOAA EPIRB registration form. So if my I ever set off an emergency signal, they can look up the current float plan. Meanwhile, nobody has to see it, and I can change it whenever I want. Even if it just says "Moored at home port, no trips planned."

If you have a satellite tracking device, that can also be a good place to leave a link to it. i.e. the "where am I" map.

Sometimes I watch those people trying to make money from their YouTube channels and the whole thing just looks exhausting and a little self-defeating.
Sounds like solid advice, thank you very much. I'll grab some fresh log books when I do my first shopping run. When I get to the actual cruising phase, I will probably have a better idea of the best place to post float plans.

No judgement on the youtubers, there were some when I was rving that I found helpful. It is just not where I personally want to spend my energy.
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Old 23-03-2022, 11:12   #4
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Re: Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

Very often answers to boating questions end up with "It depends."


That's true here, too.


I've always kept a log book for just my day trips and other cruises since we bought our first boat in 1983. Still do.


But when I embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime trip from San Francisco to British Columbia in 2016, I, too, had a larger "audience" who wanted to know what we were up to and where we were. So I got an email distribution list going, which grew as the trip progressed. Every few days I'd write up details of our experiences, and send out the email.


When we finally arrived safely, I turned the emails into a blog with pictures and charts of the route and stops (tracks from our GPS).


It was a one time thing, but I'm glad I did it. I've seen a lot of questions on this and other boating forums about sailing off the coast of Washington & Oregon, as well as sailing north of SF. I reply with a link to my blog.


I also enjoy reading it myself from time to time.


I don't blog about my local trips here in the Gulf Islands and the San Juans, but do keep my daily handwritten log book.


Your boat, your choice.
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Old 23-03-2022, 11:25   #5
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Re: Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Very often answers to boating questions end up with "It depends."


That's true here, too.


.......


Your boat, your choice.
Good answers all around, thanks. I more or less have an idea of how I want to approach it, but figured I would ask for perspective in case I was not considering something imortant.
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Old 23-03-2022, 14:15   #6
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Re: Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

Go to Predictwind.com they have the software to do what you want.
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Old 23-03-2022, 14:18   #7
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Re: Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

I did a blog on my first trip to the Bahamas, but as others have noted, it can become a time eater. I think if I were a better videographer, that would be the way to go - because of less writing and editing. Since that first blog, I've just taken photos and sent emails. On my big post-retirement trip next year, I'll probably do some sort of blog, though.
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Old 23-03-2022, 14:28   #8
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Re: Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by patagoniadave View Post
Good answers all around, thanks. I more or less have an idea of how I want to approach it, but figured I would ask for perspective in case I was not considering something imortant.
I have kept a “diary” for all of the time I have been on the boat, whether it be at sea, at anchor, or sitting at the dock. I have owned my boat for 14 years now and have several notebooks filled with notes.
It serves as a boat log, trip log, maintenance log, and everything in between.
I sit down at the end of every day and take notes of everything that occurred during the day and then when I am at home I transcribe my notes into a Word document. Since it is in Word format I can search it for various maintenance tasks to see when they were last completed.
I can always cut and paste individual trips out and make a PDF of them to send to friends and family.
I enjoy looking back on all of the times I have spent on Finlandia, but as someone else said “your boat, your choice”.

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Old 23-03-2022, 14:46   #9
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Re: Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

I’ve turned our sailing adventure into stories on Medium.com. Its a worldwide writers/readers website and for 5 bucks a month I can read and write as much as I want. I generally write about a segment of a trip; for example; Our recent sail from Puerto Vallarta to Barra de Navidad will be broken up into 5 or 6 separate stories. This format allows for me to embellish the story making it more of an adventure story vs just documenting a trip. Its fun! People can comment, clap, follow along. Sailing stories are meant to be shared. We are very lucky to be out there and lots of people around the world are intrigued by what we do.
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Old 24-03-2022, 03:39   #10
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Re: Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

I'm one of those doing the YouTube thing, and I had a Thread earlier about how the videos have become my "home movies." Essentially I started with the idea of just making them and posting them for friends and family and it just kinda kept going. I don't expect to ever make any money as I just can't see it ever being popular enough.

I don't spend a lot of time doing it. I film things that I think are interesting when I have a chance, sometimes I forget. I've kinda morphed it into a vlog about our budget, since people are interested in knowing what it costs, so I have started trying to wrap up each one with a segment on what we've spent.

It takes me an afternoon or evening to do the editing on a program called Filmora that cost me $50, so I'm definitely not spending a lot of time on that. It's been a good learning experience, which at my age is always a good thing - got to keep the mind active ya know !

I've even branched out and now I have Instagram, so I feel good about trying to keep up with the modern world. Although my kids would surely disagree with that notion.

So I would say give some thought to making a view videos for yourself at least. A log or diary is great, but being able to see and hear what you did is really nice too.

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Old 24-03-2022, 04:49   #11
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Re: Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

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Originally Posted by OldManMirage View Post

So I would say give some thought to making a view videos for yourself at least. A log or diary is great, but being able to see and hear what you did is really nice too.

I see the value in that. Also, sometimes I just get tired of typing \ writing. I have a friend who posts tic toc videos, and I asked her if it would work for a video diary, she thought it might. Someone else recommend Instagram. Either would be set to private, maybe shared with a couple friends.

Do you do the filming with your phone, or a GoPro? I see this as a great way to drop a phone in the ocean.

Thanks for the reply!
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Old 24-03-2022, 05:33   #12
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Re: Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

I keep a list of maintenance/replacement projects prospective and completed. I know many who log everything, I spent a carrier logging, documenting, Every minute the unit I was in command of did during our tour of duty. Most everything documented was unnecessary busy work, but I do keep an offshore log.
I really only post here and on a boat specific page with other owners of the same vessel, I post my upgrade projects there and ask/give model specific advice. I used to post on social media but I stoped because I did not like some of the feedback. I blocked, unfollowed, deleted my way to a much smaller “friend” group and now I never post.
I take mostly take pictures they document them selves, I delete content that serves no purpose routinely.
For me less is way more, I do document offshore, on my vessel or others, I find it helps keep track of days. It is from my perspective so it’s more of a diary.
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Old 24-03-2022, 06:08   #13
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Re: Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

I don't keep logs. I don't see the point. I'm not going to go back to them. Nobody is going to read them. I don't need to know statistics of a run I made 5 years ago. I know when I changed my oil. I don't need a maintenance log. I inspect things and replace them when they look worn or fail.

I see no point in spending multiple hours over a given year expending time and effort into something that will take up space, never get used and eventually thrown out.

Too much Star Trek and "Captain's Log, star date <blah, blah, blah>......."
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Old 24-03-2022, 06:31   #14
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Re: Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

I started keeping a blog shortly after we started sailing. It documents our refit, our full-time cruising, and our current winter break. I do it solely for me to have as a visual diary of sorts, and Mr. cthoops and I enjoy looking at old posts to see how far we’ve come, to remind ourselves how we fixed a certain thing, etc.

I enjoy writing so I enjoy doing it, but if I don’t feel like posting for awhile (or don’t really have anything to post about) then I don’t. I’m not getting paid and I don’t do it for the clicks, so there’s no pressure to post. My friends and family enjoy following along and other people have found it, some of whom we’ve met in person, so that’s been fun.

Bottom line, if you think you’d like to do it again, then go for it. You can always stop whenever you’d like unless you’re trying to make it your job.
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Old 24-03-2022, 06:47   #15
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Re: Blogs logs and diaries. Advice and regrets?

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Originally Posted by Cthoops View Post
I started keeping a blog shortly after we started sailing. It documents our refit, our full-time cruising, and our current winter break. I do it solely for me to have as a visual diary of sorts, and Mr. cthoops and I enjoy looking at old posts to see how far we’ve come, to remind ourselves how we fixed a certain thing, etc.

I enjoy writing so I enjoy doing it, but if I don’t feel like posting for awhile (or don’t really have anything to post about) then I don’t. I’m not getting paid and I don’t do it for the clicks, so there’s no pressure to post. My friends and family enjoy following along and other people have found it, some of whom we’ve met in person, so that’s been fun.

Bottom line, if you think you’d like to do it again, then go for it. You can always stop whenever you’d like unless you’re trying to make it your job.
What software do you use for your blog?
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