List of posts in chronological order from the beginning!.


Hello World?

September 10th, 2012


I am an aspiring sailor and future cruiser. Like many others, I have a dream to be free from the tethers of land-life. No mortgage, car payments, no concrete and cars [reminds me of a Zac Brown Band song].

Mike’s Story

September 15th, 2012

Single-handed skipper Mike

I’d never even been on a sailboat before coming up with this “crazy dream” of living on one! No one I know has a sailboat, I don’t come from a long line of sailors [or even pirates for that matter…

Solitaire Spirit

September 28th, 2012


One of the (many) sailing books I’m currently reading is Solitaire Spirit by Les Powles. It was on the recommended list after I finished a previous book. I just started it and already in the foreword, it’s hit exactly on something that is very personal and dear to me. The foreword, written by Paul Gelder, […]

Pets on Board?

October 2nd, 2012
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I have a Jack Russell Terrier mix, Karma. She’s a small dog, so she obviously won’t take up too much space. I’ve had her on road trips before and she got a little

Celestial Navigation – Do you use a GPS or a Sextant?

October 4th, 2012
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I’ve always been enamored with the concept of navigation across the vast oceans using only a little handheld device and taking measurements from the sun and stars. As a kid, I was so curious how the old world explorers were able to do that and be accurate. That still amazes me, I guess!

Hamster Wheel – Daily Grind

October 11th, 2012


For quite some time now I’ve had this feeling that I need to be on the water. Once I finally realized my calling was to retire onto a liveaboard boat, I considered both motor and sailboats. Ultimately, I decided it had to be a sailboat…the peacefulness, serenity and reliance on nature finally sealed the idea for me.

I’m ready to get away from this!

October 22nd, 2012


Mornings like this, stuck in traffic, reminds me of just how ready I am to be finished with this. I long for a simpler life without the hassles and headaches of morning (and evening) traffic.

Sailors’ Superstitions

October 28th, 2012
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Obviously, since seafaring is probably one of the world’s oldest occupations and pastimes, there’s a ton of lore [both good and bad] out there. Here’s a few I’ve found that involve bad luck for sailors.

Back to full duty … finally

November 2nd, 2012

2 weeks post-op

Long story short, I was involved in a fight during the arrest of a man who had just raped a woman.

He didn’t want to go to jail, so I had to convince him otherwise.

Alternative Economic Culture

November 10th, 2012


Here’s another post that doesn’t have much to do with the actual “sailing” or “cruising” part of sailing or cruising, but rather something that I think has influenced the sailing / cruising culture. I read an article and listened to a podcast by Paul Mason, a BBC correspondent who interviewed Professor Manuel Castells, a noted world […]

Can I Claim That Beach?

November 19th, 2012
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I’ve read that once you rid yourself of day to day distractions (traffic, mortgages, work spaces, a million people cramping your personal space, etc., etc.) then you are better able to understand the world and how it works so much easier and intuitively.

Nautical Charts and Sailing Knots

November 28th, 2012

How to Read Nautical Chart and Sailing Knots

  It kind of felt like Christmas when I checked my mail today! I had ordered these books a few days ago to use them for research and training. One of them, How to Read a Nautical Chart: A Complete Guide to Understanding and Using Electronic and Paper Charts was mentioned on another sailing blog I […]

An Embarrassment of Mangoes

December 6th, 2012

An Embarrassment of Mangoes Book Cover

I just finished reading a great book, An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude by Anne Vanderhoof. The book was recommended to me by one of our blog readers. This is the true story of the author and her husband who took two years away from work and had the adventure of a lifetime cruising […]

Knots and Carabiners

December 8th, 2012

prusik knot

I had very intimate knowledge of the figure eight loop knot since we literally used it every time we attached ourselves to the climbing line. We’d tie a figure eight loop on the rope end the climber is to be attached to and then hook that into two opposing carabiners attached to the climbing harness.

White Christmas

December 25th, 2012

White Christmas

Well, we got snow today, making it a very white Christmas in Texas! Unfortunately, I had to work today, but that’s part of the careers I’ve chosen. When I was in the Air Force, there were very few Christmases when I wasn’t deployed overseas. And crime doesn’t stop on the holidays…so I work most of […]

Overhand Knot

January 28th, 2013
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Overhand Knot

Overhand Knot Category: Stopper knot How to tie:

Double Overhand Knot

February 3rd, 2013
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Double Overhand Knot

Double Overhand Knot Category: Stopper knot How to tie:

Figure Eight Knot

February 10th, 2013

Figure Eight Knot

Figure Eight Knot Category: Stopper knot How to tie:

Am I a dummy?

February 11th, 2013

Sailing for Dummies Book

I’m educating myself about sailing, cruising and all things nautical lately. This book I bought yesterday is just one more link in the chain that will hopefully help me become more knowledgeable and competent when it comes to sailing.

Ashley’s Stopper Knot

February 17th, 2013

Ashley's Stopper Knot

Category: Stopper knot How to tie:

The Ultimate Wave – Tahiti

February 20th, 2013

The Ultimate Wave - Tahiti

I just watched this documentary this morning and wanted to share. It primarily focuses on surfing, but there’s a lot of information and images of French Polynesia in general and specifically Tahiti. There’s information about wave science and great views of the island and the reefs, thriving with aquatic life. This is the kind of […]

Triple Overhand Knot

February 24th, 2013
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Triple Overhand Knot

Category: Stopper knot How to tie:

Keeping in Touch While Cruising

February 26th, 2013

Keeping in Contact

At first, I thought I’d set off cruising and once I’m beyond cell tower range in the United States I’d be “off the grid” as far as internet access goes. Thankfully I was wrong with that line of thought. I follow several sailing blogs and almost all mention fairly reliable internet access at popular cruising locations.

Constrictor Knot

March 3rd, 2013
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How to Tie a Constrictor Knot

Category: Binding How to tie:

Reef Knot [Square Knot]

March 10th, 2013
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Reef [Square] Knot

Category: Binding How to tie:

Figure Eight Loop

March 24th, 2013
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Figure Eight Loop

Category: Loop Applications: The figure eight loop was probably originally a climber knot that went to sea. It is preferred by some to the classic bowline because it’s easier to teach, remember and tie, especially when cold, wet and tired. How to tie:

Fisherman’s Knot

March 31st, 2013
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Fisherman's Knot

Category: Bend or Joining Applications: Use a fisherman’s knot to join cords of equal diameter and similar construction, when lengthening lashings. How to tie:

Double Fisherman’s Knot

April 7th, 2013
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Double Fisherman's Knot

Category: Bend or Joining Applications: Use a Double Fisherman’s Knot in wet or slippery cords. It is a bulkier version of a Fisherman’s Knot. When used it rope and placed under strain, it may prove impossible to untie. How to tie:

Sailing Lessons Scheduled

April 12th, 2013

ASA First Sail

This is something I’ve been longing for and yesterday I registered for the American Sailing Association ASA 101 class at a local yacht club.

Size Doesn’t Matter

April 15th, 2013
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Size Doesn't Matter

Another great thing about this transition are the feelings and experience by ridding myself of all that extra “stuff” that I don’t need, want or even use anymore. What a peaceful feeling!

It’s also a good reminder that when I ultimately move onto a boat in a couple years, there’ll be more downsizing…getting rid of even more stuff!

Figure Eight Bend

April 21st, 2013
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Figure Eight Bend

Category: Bend or Joining Applications: The figure eight bend is a comparatively strong and secure knot for ropes of similar size and construction. It is less liable to jam and kinder to the rope in which it’s tied than a fisherman’s knot. How to tie:

Ship’s Stash: Hiding in Plain View?

May 4th, 2013


In my job as a police officer, I routinely come across some very inventive ways that criminals have learned to conceal contraband. But it’s not just the bad guys hiding things…the good guys have some clever methods of hiding valuables in attempts to thwart

Pile Hitch

May 12th, 2013

Pile Hitch

Category: Hitch Applications: The Pile Hitch is a single fixed-loop knot that is easily tied and used for dropping over posts or bollards to act as a mooring hitch. The Pile Hitch offers a little more friction and is easily tied with a bight of line. How to tie:

Sailboat Sale!

June 3rd, 2013

Sailboat Sale

Can’t wait to make my own Sailboat Sale ad, when I will finally rid myself of the dirt on my shoes and replace it with water under my boat and wind in my sails!

The Endless Blue

July 14th, 2013
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Sometimes you have to bob together for a moment with the tide pushing you along, not toward the shore, but toward the sea where it’s dark and scary, and know and believe God will bring you back to the shore where it’s safe when it’s time.

My ‘To Do’ List

August 22nd, 2013

Sailing To Do List

I’m happy to report that today is the day. I won’t actually hit the water (hope I don’t actually hit the water) until Saturday, since today is the classroom portion of the course.

ASA Basic Keelboat [Classroom]

August 23rd, 2013
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ASA Basic Keelboat - Classroom

Then he hit us with some complicated stuff on running rigging. Of course I sort of knew what running rigging was, but there were terms I’d never heard of to date. Topping lift, outhauls, Cunningham Downhaul, boom vang, shackles. We were only an hour in to the lesson and I was already feeling my saturation point coming on. 🙂

First Sail!

August 26th, 2013

Mike at the tiller

I’m hooked….what an experience! On the first sailing day, we made our way to the slip and familiarized ourselves with the J-22 we were using for our class. Got her all rigged up and motored out a ways, raised the sails and

Haul-out already….and no sailboat yet

September 10th, 2013


I was hoping it’d just be a simple sensor that needed replacing or something equally as easy [and inexpensive]. Nope, not with my luck. I went by there today and saw the entire top half of the engine off!

ASA-101 Certification

September 13th, 2013

ASA Logbook

Well, after two weekends of lessons and some studying the night before, I finally took the ASA-101 Certification test. The tests were graded on the spot, so thankfully I didn’t have to wait days or weeks for the results.

B.O.A.T. (or Bring Out Another Thousand)

October 1st, 2013

Now, I know what you might be thinking…25′? That’s not big enough to do some serious island cruising or ocean voyaging! And you’d be right..but it is a great size to hone my skills and enjoy some weekend sailing for a few years until retirement.

Maiden voyage

October 3rd, 2013

Took the boat out yesterday for about three hours on the lake. Had a great time getting to know the boat. I enjoyed some nice winds in the 9-10 mph range with gusts to 18. I only had one real issue and that happened when I tightened the boom vang. The topping lift came off. […]

Accumulated Sailing Log Stats

October 7th, 2013

I thought it’d be very cool to track every hour and mile of sailing completed, so starting when I took the ASA Sailing class, I’ve kept track of those stats (and other stats) with an app on my phone.

Water outside equals water inside

October 14th, 2013

It was raining pretty hard yesterday, so my plans to get a couple hours of sailing in were ‘dampened.’ But I decided it would be a good opportunity to get a good look from the inside to see where the boat was leaking.

V-berth demolition [with video]

October 18th, 2013
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I’m really a do-it-yourself kind of guy, so spending some time and elbow grease is something I don’t mind at all. I like projects. My project today was to remove the old, moldy, smelly carpet that lines the interior hull walls of the v-berth.

The Cure For Anything?

October 26th, 2013
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Sweat…I’m no stranger to sweat, and I can certainly appreciate the idea that working hard, or working out hard (thus producing sweat) can have curative properties. Oftentimes, I find myself feeling much better about how things are going when I get some good old-fashioned elbow grease going on a project.

Companionway step attachment

October 28th, 2013

Damaged screw holes in cabinet where companionway step attaches

One of the slightly annoying things I discovered recently after purchase, was that the companionway steps weren’t anchored very well. The bracket that attaches to the cabinet had been moved or damaged

Anchor Locker Woes

October 29th, 2013

Well, I’ve discovered what I believe to be the primary source of water intrusion when I started pulling the rotted plywood off that covers the locker on the interior side. Caution….a couple of the following photos are graphic and might upset those who have a queasy stomach…lol.

Doesn’t this look like fun?

October 30th, 2013

The wood shelf is fiberglassed right into the wall

I made my way into the main cabin. On the port side, there’s a shelf. When I removed the carpet from it, I discovered an area of rot in the plywood.

Scrubby McScrubber

October 31st, 2013

Scrubby McScrubber

When I started the interior demolition, it was fairly easy to remove the old carpet that lined the interior walls. But the foam underside of the carpet had been adhered to the walls, so that required much scrubbing and sanding.

It Can’t Be All Work and No Play

November 2nd, 2013

Went out for a quick sail today and had a great time! I’ve been doing a lot of work lately on my days off on the v-berth and cabin. While I like the project and the actual work, I certainly don’t want this to be a work boat; it has to be a fun-boat, too! 🙂

Let There Be Light

November 8th, 2013

LED lights inside new fixture

All the lights inside the boat were the original 1978 fixtures that are now brittle, cracking and mostly missing the covers. The incandescent bulbs were also getting pretty hot when left on for any amount of time.

My Greatest Frustration

November 17th, 2013

Fouled spark plug

Well….problems is what it gave me that day…and for several days now it has been my greatest frustration. I got the motor started and it ran fairly smoothly for about five minutes before it began sputtering and finally died. I tried starting it again and got nowhere.

Sea Legs?

November 17th, 2013
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Karma’s first visit to the boat yesterday. The floating dock had her confused and nervous for a few minutes, but she finally prevailed and obtained her sea legs!

Another Sailor in the Family?

November 20th, 2013

At ease....

We had a couple of good gusts that were in the 18-20 mph range. Those times the gusts came, we were close hauled and heeled over, only about 15 degrees, but it got Andrew pretty excited about sailing. He said he didn’t like the heel, but the huge smile on his face told the truth!


December 24th, 2013

For the foreseeable future this will be a singlehanded sailing blog. Sometimes, changes are necessary in life and what may seem like negative changes can ultimately end up being the best possible outcome.

First Solo Sail

January 26th, 2014

Single-handed skipper Mike

Today was a little different feeling, though, since I knew I was really all by myself. I’m really glad I decided to go out! It was very cathartic…a kind of soul-cleansing, if you will, considering the changes that occurred last year.

Some ‘off-season’ work

January 30th, 2014

Ice Storm Damage

We had a huge ice storm last month that completely covered the entire northern portion of Texas. Thankfully, the marina where my boat is didn’t sustain any damage, but a neighboring marina had roofs collapse and submerged fingers actually pulled some boats into the water.

Furling Jib Installed

July 14th, 2014

Roller Furling Jib

After unfurling the jib for the first time, I discovered the sail is in very good condition, with only a few very minor pinholes. As expected, there was some rust staining on the sail, but other than that the sail and the furling equipment is in great condition.

Water level blues

July 19th, 2014

New view from bow of sailboat

This low level made it difficult to get out of the marina where my slip is located, so I had to move the boat to a different marina.

I liked the marina where I was previously.

Here we go again

July 23rd, 2014

Outboard motor

Some days better than others, but ultimately it’s been such a downer. I was commenting to my girlfriend the other day about how much of a joy-stealer it is when I’m on my way to the marina and the whole way out I’m wondering if my motor will start

Oh, what a relief it is…

August 1st, 2014

New Tohatsu outboard!

With all the problems I’ve experienced with the 36 year old outboard motor on my boat ever since I bought the boat, it’s been somewhat of a downer with every trip to the boat. Worries clouded my head with every mile I drove there, wondering if my motor would start…and if it did,

Wishing for wind, not wasps

August 16th, 2014

Mud Dauber

While all this was happening, I decided to do some cleaning up in the cabin and was buzzed several times by a mud dauber wasp. Although these wasps look VERY menacing, I know from experience they’re not aggressive at all and usually won’t bother me, I didn’t want it on the boat.

Tracking Engine Hours

August 31st, 2014
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Installed hour meter

This will certainly help remind me when scheduled maintenance intervals have been reached. I keep a spreadsheet that logs all engine hours, but I figured this would be a good method to see at-a-glance the engine hours every time I start it.

Great Day for a Sail

September 3rd, 2014


While sailing downwind for a bit, I actually did something I’ve never done before. I pulled my jib off on the port side and the main off on the starboard so I was running wing-on-wing sailset. It was fun for about 10 minutes, until the ‘almost’ inevitable happened…the accidental jibe.

Well, I thought it was too windy

September 10th, 2014

If only the wind had been straight on the bow… It was coming in slightly off the port side so I was being pushed at an angle, not straight out. Before I could get the tiller and the motor in sync my starboard quarter was rubbing the slip side.

And the boat work continues

September 23rd, 2014

I had previously read somewhere that it’s not a good idea to use twist-on wire connectors, so I used butt splice connectors to connect the charger to the wires I previously ran to the battery.

A minor accomplishment

October 2nd, 2014

A few days ago I achieved a minor landmark in my sailing career. I passed over the 100th nautical mile I’ve ever sailed.

V-berth and anchor locker re-construction

October 6th, 2014

Plywood cut and pieced together for installation.

First step was for me to rebuild the area in the v-berth that is under the anchor locker. The boat was built with plywood surrounding the underside of the anchor locker, which was formed with fiberglass.

Well that was a fun sail

December 12th, 2014

Single-handed sailor

First thing I did when I opened the boat today was check the bilge. Not bad with only about 2 inches of water considering we’ve had some pretty good rain over the past several weeks. I did notice, however, that my ever-elusive v-berth leak is not completely gone.

Fashionable Boat Dog

January 28th, 2015

The thing is….she can’t swim.

I learned that shortly after I adopted her. I was kayaking and when I left the shore she tried following me, but promptly began sinking.

One Step Closer

February 2nd, 2015

Just made a move that sets us one step closer to realizing the dream of living that lifestyle that so many of us desire.

At least I was moving

March 4th, 2015

Went out to the boat yesterday to check on things and get some sailing in. We had quite a bit of rain/ice/snow over the last week, but thankfully there wasn’t too much water intrusion into the boat.

OK, This One Has Me Stumped

April 28th, 2015

Old bilge pump, still attached to hose.

So I flip the switch to activate the bilge pump. I hear it running, but there’s no water coming out the port side discharge hole.

A boat by any other name…

May 18th, 2015

Even though this is a temporary boat I don’t want any cheesy boat names like Breaking Wind or Off Da Hook adorning the stern. Those are kinda funny and no offense to those whose boats have those names…but that’s just not my style.

Friday Afternoon Sailing Video

July 4th, 2015
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Just a little video compilation of my afternoon sailing outing.  

A Few Updates

July 5th, 2015

after some investigative troubleshooting, I discovered it wasn’t actually the pump that was the problem. Rather, it was a battery problem.

I could have sailed, but….

July 18th, 2015
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Anchor locker / v-berth reconstruction.

….there was work to be done. Boat work. Boat projects. The thing that ALL boat owners know all too well.

Sails Inventory

July 25th, 2015
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Scott's quick math skills!

I needed to repair the ripped main and then clean it and the foresails. I figured I might as well measure the sails while I had them off the boat also. It’s much easier to measure them laid out in the backyard instead of trying to do so on the boat!

Anchor Cleat Installed

August 27th, 2015
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Anchor cleat completely installed. I covered the screw heads with the butyl tape and formed the butyl tape around the base of the cleat to help seal it.

I started with drilling the holes for the anchor cleat then test-fitting it to ensure everything lined up. I put butyl tape down over the holes then placed the cleat down. To ensure no water intrusion at all, I put some butyl tape

I should have reefed

September 15th, 2015
1 Comment »

I got everything rigged up and was able to ‘back’ out of my slip unassisted by the outboard motor… I just let the wind push me out. I motored out into the lake and with the south wind, I set up on a beautiful point of sail somewhere between a beam reach and a broad reach on a port tack.

Reconstruction Time

September 29th, 2015
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Repair joint between old shelf and new. Port quarter-beth.

After basically tearing the interior of my boat apart a couple years ago and then just letting it stay that way while I enjoyed the fun part of boat ownership (sailing it!), the reconstruction has commenced!

Doing that which I cannot do

October 13th, 2015

There’s so much that I’ve yet to try, risk and achieve. Things that I’ll ultimately need to have at least a working knowledge of, but even better to have mastery of.

The blog formerly known as Siochana

December 16th, 2015
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It’s taken quite some time to make the final decision to change my blog name. While I identified very much with the name Siochana,

Merry Christmas!

December 25th, 2015
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Merry Christmas from the McGuire family!

Eagle Mountain Sailing Video

December 29th, 2015

Under Sail

December 31st, 2015
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The winds were about 12-15 mph sustained with gusts to around 20 mph. I used a full main and the 155% genoa

Where have I been?

January 4th, 2016

I guess I’ve got a pretty good portion of the globe covered so far. But I’m not done yet!

Stopped in My Tracks

February 1st, 2016

One thing I also like about it is that once I’m finished sailing, the app has a function that allows me to export the statistics directly to my Google Sheets Sailing Log…..

The best sailboat is the one you already have

February 10th, 2016

When I got my head out of the clouds and cleared up from the allure of getting a new-to-me boat, I knew there’s not really a whole lot left to do on my refit…..

Well, at least it looks a little better…

February 25th, 2016
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Here’s a quick video of my progress installing the interior hull liner on the Hunter 25.

You’ll notice some imperfections in the liner, specifically on the starboard berth top portion. I couldn’t get it to lay exactly against the hull because (I’m guessing) the curvature, both vertical and horizontal, of the hull…..

Nerd, geek, techie; Whatever you call it

February 29th, 2016
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Sailing Log by Year

I’ve been called a nerd, geek, and techie just to name a few. It’s interesting, though, because I abhor mathematics. I never was very good at the formulas and…..

Broken Dock Lines!

March 11th, 2016

So a couple of my dock lines broke in the super high winds [~70 mph!] this week. I got…..

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship

March 19th, 2016
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Look what came in the mail today! Been wanting this for a while.

Slight Mishap

May 5th, 2016

Tiller Tamer installed

The mishap occurred about twenty minutes before I became aware of it. I pointed into the wind, hoisted the mainsail and the jib. As soon as I fell off the wind a bit and the jib caught air I realized my mistake.. Twenty minutes before, while at the dock, I had rigged…..

A milestone….or hourstone?

June 19th, 2016
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I turned the boat into the wind and set the tiller tamer to hold course. As I stood up, I noticed I was slightly off the wind, so I moved the tiller ever-so-slightly. I heard a small “pop” and watched as the line holding the tiller fell away into the cockpit.

That time I owned two boats…

July 1st, 2016

Hunter25 and Catalina 25

When he finished, his friend commented, “Now that you bought the Catalina, are you going to sell the Hunter, or just start up your own fleet of sailboats?”

Catalina 25 Tall Rig

July 3rd, 2016

Jazzmin when the prior owner bought her.

She is well suited to her purpose in terms of design and build quality although some owners have sailed their Catalina 25s through the Caribbean, to South America, and even to Hawaii.

I have….and I still do.

July 5th, 2016
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I’ve talked a little and I’ve dreamed a lot about sailing around the world.

Tiller Repair [part 1]

July 11th, 2016
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Broken tiller handle on Catalina 25.

I can either repair it [whilst also increasing my knowledge of sailboat maintenance and repairs] or simply buy a new one [and learn nothing].

Tiller Repair [part 2]

July 16th, 2016

I didn't want the C-clamps to damage the tiller, so I used the paint stirrers as a buffer between the clamp and tiller to reduce the likelihood of damage.

I mixed up the epoxy, spread the split apart a little more than it was already and put the epoxy within the split. I put it as far down into the split as I could. I then clamped the tiller end shut with the C-clamps.

A boat I don’t know on a lake I’m not familiar with

July 30th, 2016

….and then I sat there for several minutes….wondering if I was even going to go out. The wind had picked up to about 12 or 13 mph and for the first time in a long time I was apprehensive about going out sailing. What if something happened out there……I’m in a boat I don’t know on a lake I don’t know….

Sailboat jewelry? No, not that kind of pendant.

August 2nd, 2016
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A pendant is a line or wire attached to the tack hook or shackle where you normally attach the tack of the headsail. This allows you to raise the foot/tack of the headsail off the deck.

Tightening the boom end tang

August 11th, 2016
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Removed boom end cast

Removal and maintenance on the boom end tang on a Catalina 25 sailboat.

A headsail downhaul line

August 13th, 2016
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There’s many times I go out sailing single-handed and because of that I continually seek to improve the safety of how I do things. My latest project was to install a downhaul line for the headseail.

Can A Clinometer Be Sexy?

August 19th, 2016
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There I was, relaxing onboard my boat with the soft sound of reggae music coming from the stereo. I take in the view of everything around me. My eyes focus the clinometer….

The second best day…

August 26th, 2016

Hunter 25 before/after

I met the prospective buyer at the marina a couple days after he first contacted me. He looked her over and made his offer on the spot. It was practically an asking-price offer, so it didn’t take long for me to agree….

With a boat, there’s always a list

September 2nd, 2016
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I’m a “list person”. I love lists, especially checklists, so I can check things off as ‘done’. I’ve been known to create a list with check-boxes after I’ve done something, just so I’ll have a completed checklist.

The first time I dropped anchor

September 7th, 2016
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First time on the hook

I intended to do some sailing until I arrived and to my disappointment I saw the flags hanging lifeless from the marina flagpoles. Oh well, another boat work day, I guess. Work days are good, but sailing days are better.

Whittling away at “the list”

September 9th, 2016

A co-worker commented about how long my to-do list was for my boat. Thankfully, most of my list is purely cosmetic or upgrades for the sake of convenience. I’ve been…

Scraping my dirty bottom

September 23rd, 2016

Dirty bottom

I descended into the murky lake water and was immediately greeted by the sight of a slimy green growth all over the underside of my boat’s hull. No wonder it was slower than a herd of turtles. I’ve never done any type of diving like this, so it was initially a bit uncomfortable. Not uncomfortable like having your shoes on the wrong feet, but more like some type of cognitive dissonance since it’s unnatural for humans to breathe underwater.

It took a long, long time…

December 30th, 2016

Kesha's first sailboat outing

She’s never been out on the boat before, and I want to make sure that when I take her sailing for the first time it’s nice and easy. I’m thinking 80 degrees with 8-10 mph winds would be the perfect scenario. That was not the weather we had this date…

2016 Year in Photos

December 31st, 2016

Sunset sailing on Joe Pool Lake

See the most popular photos of 2016 in this year-in-review photo gallery.

I might have to bludgeon this gudgeon

January 7th, 2017

So I got the larger washers, but when I tried to get that blob of stuff off, it was extremely difficult. I’m assuming it’s some type of epoxy or 1979 version of lock-tite.

How I did a two-person job by myself

February 15th, 2017

I made my way down below and then to the stern inside the boat. I was relieved to see the bolts still sticking through the transom. Very gingerly, I held the bolts and slipped the backing plate over all three. 

One small step

June 13th, 2017

First time at mast top!

As I began climbing up the mast ladder, I was exhilarated. At the same time, in the back of my mind was nestled the fact that the mast ladder was raised and supported by a who-knows-how-old halyard on a boat that had been abandoned and left to rot in the Texas weather for at least the last five years!


June 14th, 2017
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Some good Wednesday night sailing tonight! Boat: O’Day 28, Starlight Express

​HMR 2017 Training Session #1

August 24th, 2017

We practiced our man overboard drills. We practiced the figure 8 method a few times and the heave-to method several times. To practice the drills, Forest would throw overboard two half-gallon milk jugs tied together with a cord.

Hatch board hell

August 31st, 2017

When I bought the boat, the companionway was (and currently is) covered by one piece of painted plywood. It looks terrible, it’s heavy, and it’s difficult to store while underway. It’s hatch board hell. 

… And it happened again!

September 7th, 2017

We tacked around a couple times and then “Crack….!!!” I heard the tiller break! I could tell it broke at the very back, under the metal brackets. 

2017 Harvest Moon Regatta Preparations

September 29th, 2017
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2017 HMR Crew Meeting

After a frenzy of online purchases, I finally gathered the necessary safety equipment. Offshore Automatic Inflatable Life Jacket, crotch strap for life jacket [this thing feels like it’ll hurt if I actually end up using it!]…

Harvest Moon Regatta 2017

November 6th, 2017
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We only had one issue that really concerned us during the overnight race. Our port jibsheet snapped! It sounded like a gun being fired. But we were able to use our way-too-long main reefing line as a makeshift jibsheet. It served a double-ended purpose for the remainder of the race.

I can finally steer the boat again!

November 17th, 2017

New tiller installed

I’ve had the boat out a couple times since installing the new tiller. You know how when you were a kid and got brand new shoes and thought you could run faster? Well, I think my boat may be faster now! Haha.

Hatch Board Heaven

November 29th, 2017
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As you might recall from my Hatch Board Hell post, my hatch boards were seriously a wreck. I’m happy to report that after some serious work, my friend from work has helped me transition out of the depths of hatch board hell. Take a look at these beauties!

My sails are full…

January 15th, 2018

Sails are full

…when sails are working their hardest and accomplishing the most, they are full and quiet. When the sails are struggling and not efficient, they’re very noisy. It parallels some aspects of our lives. When we’re content and working hard to accomplish a goal, we are usually quiet and oriented, not expending energy on distractions or making noise. Likewise, when we’re struggling with something or unable to maintain a proper course, we need adjustment just as one would adjust a sail.

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