Friday, December 10, 2010


In honor of the Army-Navy game this weekend, please enjoy this video, produced by Third Herd, US Naval Academy Class of 2014.

Found at gCaptain's Maritime Blog.

End of the 2010 Sailing Season

Wow. Has it really almost been three weeks since my last post? Far too long.

Well I finally got to check out that Mercator and it doesn't look like its going to work out for me.

Pros: The hull was pretty solid with no evidence of blistering. The engine was pretty new and was functional. The price was also definitely a pro.

Cons: The inside was pretty badly torn up, the cabin needed some serious work, it would probably need complete new running and standing rigging as well as cabin top overhaul. It would be some serious work and even then, at the end of the day, its just too small. I was hopeful but alas....At least I know it'll be less painful in the long run to think with my head and not just fall in love with a project boat.

In other news, Surprise got moved last weekend and should be up on the hard as of this last Monday. I decided to move it Saturday since it was going to be crazy windy on Sunday. Had some help from two of my friends (both named Mike) which made it a little confusing whenever I had to direct one of them to do something but we got it tied up and safe in a reasonable amount of time.

So Surprise is out of the water and so ends my 2010 sailing season...At least there's always next year ...[sigh].

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dwindling Time and a Mercator 30

The official end of the season for me comes December 6, when we have Surprise hauled out for the season. We left her in last year so we're due for some bottom work this off-season. Not sure what this off-season's project is going to be yet but I'm sure I'll be finding out soon.

Unless I buy a fixer-upper boat myself in which case, I'll have plenty of off-season work, but not on Surprise. I'm planning to look at another boat this Sunday. I'm really going with no expectations because I'm finding that's the best way to look at boats. It helps keep my eyes open I think.

Its a Mercator 30 down here in Maryland. I'll let you guys know how she looks. There isn't much info out there about Mercators. It appears that only 38 or so of them were made which makes it incredibly difficult to find out much about them. From what I've read, they are supposed to be great offshore boats. I'll let you know what I find out!

If you're interested, here are some links to Mercator 30 info:
Mercator Review
Mercator Specs
Mercator Description
Mercator Owner's Group
Mercator Blog

Cat vs. Alligator - Who Do You Think Would Win?

When I think about a cat against an alligator, I'm really just waiting for the alligator to eat the cat.

via Conjuminando
Surprise, Surprise...

Makes me miss Steve Irwin.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Beatles

In honor of The Beatles coming to iTunes and the digital world, I present the following video (hopefully this works from my phone) for your viewing pleasure.

PS: This is my 100th post. No better band to share it with than The Beatles :-)

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Monday, November 8, 2010

2010: Moby Dick!

Why yes, it is from the same people who brought you Titantic II and Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. It comes out November 23rd and I hope you all are as excited as I am!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Zombies & My Novel

So the plan for my novel was to make it a political zombie thriller. Not sure if thats how it will turn out but you never know. Unlike what EVK4 SuperbBlog suggests, I don't think I will have them go sailing too soon into the story because that would make the book way too short. Why Zombies? you might ask... Personally, I have always been fasinated by the zombie genre and I guess I saw the movie "Dead Snow" too recently (its about Nazi/Snow Zombies-Awesome!). Anyhow, I'm pretty behind in the wordcount so I am gonna get to that. Hope everyone enjoyed their extra hour of sleep!


Friday, October 29, 2010

50K To Go...

So my posts for the next month will probably be few and far between as I am intending to do the National Novel Writing Month project.

The idea is to write approximately 175 pages (50K words is the actual goal) in a month. That probably won't leave me with much time for a whole lot of other writing so I thought I'd let you know.

I read about it from Captain JP and after perusing the site for a bit, I thought I'd give a try. You know, really ease into writing the great American novel and all that.

Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to write about...

Friday, October 22, 2010


I'm forcing myself to make an entry on Fridays if I've been too busy during the week to post so... yeah.

Boat Show was ok this year. Not nearly as much free stuff but some kick-ass boats! My friend and I went on an Oyster and all I can say is "Holy Shit". We went on the 72 or the 885 (it was massive) and oh was a floating mansion. Massive galley that is at least twice as big as the one in my apartment, at least 10 comfortable berths, 3 bathrooms and a huge lounge area with 2 desks. Also, biggest, and most extensive, electrical panel I've seen in my life.  Got to witness the boat show breakdown as well which was pretty cool.

Also, Girlfriend and I also had a fantastic sail this past Sunday. It was 65 degrees and sunny. Not a cloud in the sky! Wind was 5-15 setting out with gusts up 20 knots. 

Surprisingly, this was our first sail together just the two of us and what a pleasant sail it was! Girlfriend and I switched helm and trimming duties a few times and we beat a couple of other boats out on the Magothy.

As we were coming back in and the wind was a steady 17 knots and I saw another puff about 3 boat lengths ahead, I decided to furl the headsail. Reef early Reef often right? Well...once I saw that most everyone else still had their headsails up, I unfurled the jib and we still beat the other boat that was gaining on us. Surprisingly, we pointed quite a bit higher which was a nice change. I'm so used to being outpointed on Wednesday nights it was nice to be ahead and pointing better. I've been thinking about doing the Wednesday night races on the Magothy instead of in Round Bay; maybe I'll give it a bit more thought. Take Surprise out, put her through the paces, get a solid Wedneday Night Series crew and we might just FLY LIKE A G6!!!

Might I add that my docking skills were top notch, even in the 4-7 knots we had as we pulled up to our slip. Kinda bummed out the guy across the dock who was waiting for me to finish docking before he left. Looked like was waiting for me to screw up but maybe he was waiting to lend a hand... Either way I rocked it so no need.

Sadly no sailing this weekend as I'll be heading up to landlocked PA for a weekend retreat at a ski lodge with some college friends and I'm already in the mood if you can't tell.

Author's Note: A G6 is slang for a Gulfstream 650, a very expensive private jet

Friday, October 15, 2010

Decisions, Decisions...

So I've been feeling a bit confused lately...

The Irwin 35 I went to look at last weekend was in pretty bad shape on the inside. There was so much water damage on the inside that I didn't bother taking pictures. It would take a minimum of 25K just to get the boat up to ok, excluding the sale price which, after the guy saw his boat, I'm sure would come down anyway. It seemed pretty obvious that guy hadn't been down to his boat in probably close to a year; if not longer.

I don't want to put all my savings into a boat that is iffy in the "will it float?" category. If I'm going to take the leap and go for it; I'd love for it to be a Valiant. The Rob Perry design and solid construction really have me won over. I basked in the glory of another one of those beauties at the boat show the following day and all it did was remind me what I'm shooting for. The guys who were showing the boat were a bit more snotty than the guy last year but that doesn't stop the boat from being gorgeous.

I know that the smart thing to do would be to buy a house that would only appreciate in value over the years (unlike a boat), eventually sell the house and buy one helluva boat. Try and get a job on a yacht and get my sea time in for my Captain's license in the mean time I suppose...It just really sets me back in the ability to just loose the dock lines and go.

Decisions, decisions...

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Great Pumpkin (Beer)

With the approach of fall, the start of the Annapolis Boat Show, Pumpkin lattes showing up and my endless quest for The Great Pumpkin (beer), one that is just right, I was feeling kinda like a "Bonfire".

"You don't believe the story of the Great Pumpkin? I thought little girls always believed everything that was told to them. I thought little girls were innocent and trusting." - Linus
"Welcome to the 20th Century" - Sally Brown

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Aurora - Pearson 323

So Girlfriend and I drove down to VA on Sunday to take a look at a 32’ Pearson. It had been advertised as an offshore-capable vessel with many cruising amenities (not that the extras made me look at the boat but they don’t hurt either). After it took us several hours longer than we expected to get there, we got to the pier where the boat was.

Boy was it in rough shape. The pier itself was either not entirely finished or partially destroyed and every boat there was the worse for wear; a few were floating cess pools of rain water someone had tied to the dock.  

I was nervous.

Very nervous.

I really didn’t want to have driven all that way for a quick look-over of a shitty boat that barely floats.

Luckily, the Pearson itself didn’t look too bad from the outside (with the exception of the heavily barnacle-crusted bottom I could see).  Rigging was ok but old, deck was solid with no soft spots, a little crazing but not much.

The pictures from the website of the cabin were not overly misleading either except that it was a lot dirtier and grimier than I had expected (the pictures don't really show that I suppose).  

Also, they left the boat’s documents out so…. I took a look at them. They are asking 19K and the estimate they got a few years ago puts the boat at about 22K. Ok. Not too bad. However, the previous owner bought the boat for 10K in 2003, not including the survey and it was a lot younger, and cleaner then. Hmmmm….

All in all, not a bad boat but I don’t think I really see Girlfriend and I living comfortably with the small galley, and lack of cabin doubleberth. Its all good though cause I’m looking at another boat in two weekends, right during the Annapolis Boat Show weekend. I’m going back to look at its interior because I liked the look of her outsides during a previous visit.

I’m hopeful for this upcoming one but not tied to it if for some reason its not what I want.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

More Buried Treasure

There were some photographers at the the Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day and I just found thier pictures from that night. Enjoy!

The two pictures above were taken seconds apart but I definitely look more punched-in-the-face-by-the-Grog in one than the other.
This is BlackJack, our waiter. We've had him a few times and while I think he's pretty cool, I suspect that he's perpetually drunk; which I suppose is to be expected at a pirate tavern...

 This guy is one of the guys dueling in my earlier pictures.

...and a great time will be had again in the near future. Of this, I am quite sure.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Close But No Cigar

 I went out sailing with my Dad last night on the last "Summer" evening for 2010 and boy was it gorgeous out! Winds were 8-10 with gusts up to 13 knots just as the sun was setting. Perfect wind direction too. 1 gybe total: out and back. No tacks. Hard to beat that. 

Just as we were coming in, so was a pretty hefty thunderstorm. A lot of visible lightning. 

We came in early enough but we were still out a bit longer than expected so we didn't get to smoke the cigars I brought for the occasion which was a bummer. We'll just have to save them for next time...

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Duel You Say?

Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day went well. Got some free pirate swag (t-shirt, gold coins, eye-patches, and mints), a lot of grog was had and a duel broke out!

All things considered, a damn fine day was had by all!
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Day of Pirates

Today is Talk-Like-A-Pirate day and after spending my morning watching my sister's indoor field hockey tryouts, I will be swaggering on down to Silver Spring, MD; the home of one of my favorite bars

Yes, I did have to make reservations at the Piratz Tavern for Talk-Like-A-Pirate day but that is no matter because they will be having the Heavy Seas brewery guys there giving out free samples of their beer and additional swag.


If you want to find out how it all got started, I suggest that you take out your spyglass and point (and click) it the general direction of this webpage here.



Thursday, September 16, 2010

How to Buy a Boat - Part 1

Did you know there is a lot to know about boat buying?

SPOILER ALERT: Turns out there is.

That’s what I’ve been doing lately. A lot of reading up on things to look out for, things to check for, ask about…etc. That and a lot of looking at sailboats.

Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve discovered while searching through a lot of boats:

  1. The boats you want are out of your price range.
  2. The boats you can afford are too small for what you need.
  3. ...Or are in really poor shape.
  4. If you find the boat you want, in good shape for close enough to your budget as is to be expected, it will be too far away. The overall cost of checking out the boat and bringing it to your location would be too much to be an economically sound decision (darn you California and your moderately priced sailboats!)
I’m still making these rules up as I go so feel free to add anything you feel I’m missing.

Lately, I’ve actually started making appointments to see the boats I’ve been drooling over/eyeing skeptically. I’ve only seen one boat so far that I found on craigslist; it’s a Willard 30 Cutter rig. It’s been out of the water for a bit and is in rough shape but the price sounded enticing enough. Apparently there were only 30 of these made which has me feeling like its rare boat and I’m getting a good deal but at the same time, there may be some problems that a boat builder wouldn’t have been able to work out after only 30 boats.

I’ve been leaning towards the odds that the boat has problems since I emailed the owner a few days ago, asking some questions about the boat (does it float, what maintenance has been done on it…etc) just trying to get a better feel for the boat and see if its worth getting a surveyor for, but have yet to get a response. I sent a follow-up email but I’m not holding my breath. The interior of the boat was packed with stuff so maybe the guy has been using it as a storage unit and is rethinking selling. I dunno...

Anyway, I’m going to look at an Irwin 35 this weekend and a Pearson the following week. I plan to use the boat as a liveaboard for a year or two before setting off and doing some cruising and a circumnavigation with Girlfriend so I want a boat that will function well in both situations. I’m not entirely convinced about an Irwin’s bluewater  capabilities but I’m looking into it and I’ll get a better idea after this weekend when I get to see the boat up on the hard.

At least after reading up on the subject, I know what to look for and to avoid in terms of a bluewater boat. The section that all the books seem to be missing is where to find these boats for a deal. [sigh]…Alas.

If anyone else is interested, I’ve put up my reading list below. I’m still working my way through them but mostly the parts about what to do AFTER you have a boat. I’ve devoured the parts about how to pick and chose a boat. 

Twenty Affordable Sailboats To Take You Anywhere
Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat: A Guide to Essential Features, Handling, and Gear
How to Sail Around the World : Advice and Ideas for Voyaging Under Sail
Self-Sufficient Sailor
The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat