A Year to Remember

Almost year ago today, I had just come back from the Inside Passage. I learned a lot about myself and life. Staring at the strange scenes of masked humans in front of my house today, I can’t help but feel lucky to have been…

Adding Cellular Internet Enhancement to Our Boat

For a long time now we’ve avoided adding fancy electronic networking to our boat to build out a wifi network. One of the best things about sailing is disconnecting from the outside world – sailing and anchoring in remote…

San Juans Cellular Map for Boaters

Over the last year I’ve started recording cellular signal strength and download speeds in the anchorages we’re in. While previously we were happy to have some time away from the Internet, recently it’s become more important…

Correcting Add East—An Overview of Compass Conversions

A true direction is the bearing of a target from your location measured relative to true north (000 T). True north is the direction on the horizon that is directly below the pole of the sky that all stars rotate about. It is…

Solstice 2020 on the Columbia River

Inspired by the memory of ideal conditions, I summoned the members of the Portland Sail & Oar League for a summer solstice messabout on the Columbia River. “I’m itching to get out on the river and enjoy the longest day…

A Mark Rounding Gone Bad

Twelve Thunderbirds showed up Wednesday July 8th, a sunny evening with a steady breeze, to join the joy and exhilaration of one design racing on Port Townsend Bay. Is there more fun to be had in this Victorian seaport arts…

A Glutton For Punishment: Rounding Indian and Marrowstone Islands

My second attempt (actually my third, but #2 was un-noteworthy due to early becalming and retreat) to circumnavigate Indian and Marrowstone Islands entirely under sail with Sampaguita, my Pacific Seacraft 1985 Flicka 20, was…

How to Grow an Herb Garden on a Boat

We’ve been meaning to try growing herbs on our sailboat for a while now, and with the coronavirus pandemic sending us into full-on social distancing mode in March, this year was the perfect opportunity. We knew we might not…

Marlinspike Baby Steps: Tying New Turks Heads

Our boat has lots of marlinspike–wonderful ropework done (we think) by the US Coast Survey crew over the years that the Gyrfalcon was a government boat. Sections have disappeared or are cracking off, and need replacing. My…

Introduction to Vessel Running Lights (Navigation Lights)

Navigation lights help identify vessel type and its direction of motion.  The required lights are specified in the Navigation Rules, Part C, Rules 20 to 31.  Power vessels in Rule 23 and sailing vessels in Rule 25 are the…