Sailing Life

10 Things I Wish My Friends Understood About Cruising on a Small Sailboat

10 Things I Wish My Friends Understood About Cruising on a Small Sailboat

December 19th, 2016

Cruising on a small sailboat isn't the glamorous vacation that some people think it is. It's dirty, hard work with no sleep. But totally worth it....more...

2015-2016 Caribbean Sailing Summary: Grenada, Grenadines, Dominica

2015-2016 Caribbean Sailing Summary: Grenada, Grenadines, Dominica

April 19th, 2016

Here's a summary of my much-anticipated return to sailing, taking a nice easy stroll through the southern Windward islands....more...

Sailing from Bequia to Dominica

Sailing from Bequia to Dominica

March 25th, 2016

It was a difficult decision to leave Bequia, but I had to take advantage of the weather and make a quick stop in Dominica, next year's major destination....more...

Five Biggest Pet Peeves Cruising in the Caribbean

Five Biggest Pet Peeves Cruising in the Caribbean

March 10th, 2016

I try to be carefree here in paradise but there are just some things...some things that, well, you know. And I know others agree with this list....more...

Living Aboard: Things That Go Bump in the Night

Living Aboard: Things That Go Bump in the Night

February 10th, 2016

That time I was trying to fall asleep but something kept telling me that the boat anchored right in front of me was about to hit me. And it did....more...

Questioning My Sanity Between Grenada and Carriacou

Questioning My Sanity Between Grenada and Carriacou

February 6th, 2016

It was just one of those "why am I doing this" days! I got my ass handed to me during this daysail but at least it ended on a high note....more...

Hip-Hoisting a Dinghy on a Small Sailboat

Hip-Hoisting a Dinghy on a Small Sailboat

January 21st, 2016

Small sailboats don't have many easy options for getting the dinghy out of the water at night - the hip hoist seems to be the only practical option....more...

Living Aboard: Cleaning the Dinghy Bottom

Living Aboard: Cleaning the Dinghy Bottom

January 19th, 2016

It seems the bottom of my dinghy has been harvesting an entire ecosystem the past few weeks. Time to clean that dinghy bottom!...more...

My First Month in Grenada?

My First Month in Grenada?

January 11th, 2016

I've been in Grenada for a month now but it sure doesn't feel like it...thanks to the ability to work from my boat. Technology ruins everything once again....more...

Living Aboard: Second Shakedown Shenanigans

Living Aboard: Second Shakedown Shenanigans

December 6th, 2015

After keeping the boat in storage for 2.5 years, why not choose 325 miles offshore for the shakedown cruise? How bad could it be? Oh, let me tell you......more...

Boatyard Déjà Vu

Boatyard Déjà Vu

November 27th, 2015

Boatyard Fever: like Cabin Fever, but while living aboard your boat in a boatyard. It's been five weeks and I can't take it any longer - I need to get wet!...more...

Six Things I Learned From My Freshman Cruising Season

Six Things I Learned From My Freshman Cruising Season

November 18th, 2015

My first voyage sailing offshore from North Carolina down to Antigua was a little rough - fortunately I kept notes to better myself, and hopefully you too....more...

The Sea Is Calling

The Sea Is Calling

September 17th, 2015

Time to get my medicine - as they say, "vitamin sea". I've been gone from my boat far too long, and this is what I've been going through thinking about it....more...

Living Aboard: Sleep Tight with a Swell Bridle

Living Aboard: Sleep Tight with a Swell Bridle

May 19th, 2015

If the wind and swell are out of different directions, chances are you're not sleeping at all! Use these swell bridle diagrams to align into the swells....more...

Return to Haiti, Part Three

Return to Haiti, Part Three

April 15th, 2015

A rundown of the Good Samaritan Foundation of Haiti's March-April 2015 "Cruise For A Cause" to Ile A Vache, Haiti....more...

Return to Haiti, Part Two

Return to Haiti, Part Two

March 30th, 2015

Work in Haiti got off to a bit of a rough start, all due to things out of our control. But we've finally reigned in everything, and ahead of schedule!...more...

Return to Haiti, Part One

Return to Haiti, Part One

March 22nd, 2015

I haven't returned to the small Haitian island of Ile A Vache for two years, yet the boys who guided me around the island then still remember my name....more...

Living Aboard: Life’s Detours

Living Aboard: Life's Detours

June 9th, 2013

For a long time I ignored how I would handle a family emergency while I was out cruising...and then that day came when I had to address it....more...

Living Aboard: Cops and Robbers

Living Aboard: Cops and Robbers

February 20th, 2013

My first encounter with the Dominican coast guard, and a possible brush with pirates near Haiti....more...

Bahamas Sea Turtle Research

Bahamas Sea Turtle Research

January 11th, 2013

I had the pleasure of "tagging" along with a couple who spends their retirement capturing, measuring, and tagging green sea turtles for a research center....more...

Living Aboard: Laundry Day

Living Aboard: Laundry Day

December 20th, 2012

Life on a sailboat...wake up, make coffee, work on the engine, do laundry, run into town... Here's a quick rundown of a day in Marsh Harbor....more...

Living Aboard: That Damn Engine

Living Aboard: That Damn Engine

December 2nd, 2012

In previous posts I shared some problems with my fuel system and my temporary fix. Now it's completely shot and I'm contemplating if I even need an engine....more...

Living Aboard: Whatever The Weather Says

Living Aboard: Whatever The Weather Says

November 20th, 2012

Still haven't moved more than ten miles from where I was almost two weeks ago. I knew that my schedule would be dictated by the tides and the weather....more...

Sailing South: Bahamas Bound, Take One

Sailing South: Bahamas Bound, Take One

October 26th, 2012

After one year of preparation, we're off. The water, fuel, and propane tanks are topped off and I have enough food to last months....more...

Preparing for Cruising: Just Go!

Preparing for Cruising: Just Go!

September 27th, 2012

It appeared to be just a myth when I bought my boat. I was warned that I shouldn't fall into the trap of just tinkering on the boat the rest of my life....more...

Preparing for Cruising: Progress Report

Preparing for Cruising: Progress Report

September 18th, 2012

We've been through this before...I get focused on boat projects and no one hears from me for weeks. This is what I've done since my last update....more...

Preparing for Cruising: August Already?

Preparing for Cruising: August Already?

August 1st, 2012

Well, I think next month is it...when I'll be back in the water and headed south. Like really far south. For those who have been wondering where I've been, here's an update....more...

Preparing for Cruising: Day One

Preparing for Cruising: Day One

July 14th, 2012

Day one as in, my first day as a civilian. This was my last week as an active duty Air Force officer. Now on to the boatyard working on my sailboat!...more...

Life On The Hard, Week One

Life On The Hard, Week One

June 25th, 2012

Well it's been one week since Saoirse came out of the water for some final projects before taking me around South America.  Living in a boatyard is definitely...different....more...

Life in a Boatyard: Fish Out Of Water

Life in a Boatyard: Fish Out Of Water

June 21st, 2012

I think it's safe to say that hardly any boat owners look forward to taking their boat out of the water. Especially liveaboards, who make their home aboard. I'll be "on the hard" for potentially a couple of months while I do some work on my vessel, getting her ready for my long cruise....more...

Living Aboard: Like, Where Do You Keep Your Shoes?

Living Aboard: Like, Where Do You Keep Your Shoes?

May 20th, 2012

People (mostly women) often wonder where I could possibly keep all of my clothes on a small 27' sailboat. The answer always seems to surprise them....more...

Adventures in the Galley: The Sailing Tortilleria

Adventures in the Galley: The Sailing Tortilleria

May 6th, 2012

The only way to always have fresh bread and tortillas while cruising is to make them yourself - here I attempt to make flour tortillas from scratch in a galley barely big enough for one, using only flour, water, oil, and salt....more...

Preparing for Cruising: Provisioning Practice

Preparing for Cruising: Provisioning Practice

April 23rd, 2012

Can a guy who loved drinking beer and dining out sustain himself on flour, beans, rice, pasta, and canned vegetables for an indefinite amount of time? Time to start figuring it out!...more...

Preparing for Cruising: Final Destination

Preparing for Cruising: Final Destination

March 28th, 2012

It's a question I get every day: "Where are you sailing?" I do need some direction in mind to know where to point my bow once I leave North Carolina, and I've had plenty of time to ponder it in the last few months. I think I have it figured out....more...

Preparing for Cruising: Eyes on the Prize!

Preparing for Cruising: Eyes on the Prize!

February 11th, 2012

My whole reason for ditching life "on the hard" one year before setting out on my "Big Trip" was to work on projects and get Saoirse ready just as much as getting myself ready. But right now my checklist doesn't have very many checks next to anything....more...

Sailboat Diesel Engine Woes

Sailboat Diesel Engine Woes

January 16th, 2012

My first experience with diesel engine problems - it won't start! Fortunately I had some help finding this very easy fix. Bleeding the air out of the lines....more...

Water In My Algae Tank

Water In My Algae Tank

January 4th, 2012

Cleaning my fresh water tank was my final big project to finish before S/V Saoirse would feel more like a "home". You wouldn't believe how dirty it was....more...

The Science of Nature

The Science of Nature

November 28th, 2011

My thoughts on a recent magazine article I read titled, "This is your brain on nature." Side effects: overall great health. I couldn't agree more....more...

Sailboat Refrigeration for Dummies

Sailboat Refrigeration for Dummies

November 14th, 2011

One of the problems with sailboat refrigeration systems is efficiency. Excessive heat transfer requires more energy to keep it cold, and energy is precious....more...

Rechristening a Sailboat With Adequate Superstition

Rechristening a Sailboat With Adequate Superstition

October 10th, 2011

First order of business is to figure out the sailboat renaming ritual - there are some superstitions with renaming a boat, so I had to do it properly....more...

Buying a Sailboat: So It Begins…

Buying a Sailboat: So It Begins…

September 25th, 2011

I just bought a sailboat! Which projects need to be done first? Where do I start? I think I'll start with this six-pack of beer. I'm in over my head....more...

Buying a Sailboat: The Survey

Buying a Sailboat: The Survey

August 14th, 2011

I'm buying a sailboat! I've wanted one for twenty years and it's about time! I found one I like but before I hand over the money it needs a proper survey....more...

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