Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness


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Worst Weather Challenges and other stories

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Recently, I’ve been writing a series of features for Ocean Navigator magazine. My series covers the toughest passages we’ve dealt with in our 50,000 miles of offshore sailing and it’s been a fun way to look back on many years of voyaging.

The first part of the series came out in the September/October edition of the magazine and is up online as well: Worst Weather Challenges. The second one is out in print in the current issue and covers our worst underway breakages. It also just came out online: Worst Breakdowns.

This current Ocean Navigator edition also has another piece I wrote, about a fascinating historical reconstruction going on in Maine – of the colonial ship Virginia, the first English ship built in North America. Last but not least, one of Seth’s and my photos is the cover image for the issue! (See left.) The catamaran pictured is the sleek and fast 57-foot Gunboat Vandal whose crew we met last year in the South Pacific on their way to New Zealand.


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The Sea Gypsy’s Conundrum and other stories

Celeste in Kenai Fjords

When it arrived in my mailbox a couple weeks ago, I was excited to see that the most recent issue of Cruising World magazine features an article I wrote after surveying a bunch of fellow sailors: The Sea Gypsy’s Conundrum. One of the big organizational hassles for offshore sailors is what to do about a permanent address and about receiving mail while voyaging.

01 Post Office boxes

Mail is actually the easier half of this equation, as much of it can be dealt with online nowadays, but the permanent address issue – required for tax filing, applications for foreign visas, and renewals of passports, bank cards, driver’s licenses, even boat documentation – is a little harder. So I sent out my survey questions to a bunch of sailors and got about two dozen responses, all of them super informative and interesting. A big thank you to all of you who contributed! Continue reading


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Another double-page spread!

One of our photographs, “South Pacific Starry Night” is the double-page spread in SAIL magazine this month! I can’t publish the photo here, but here’s another one we took that same evening with a lovely palm tree growing considerately in the foreground 🙂

We had a lot of fun that evening playing around with settings on our camera and just star-gazing.

Can anyone find the Southern Cross amidst the Milky Way?? Bonus points…

Milky Way over Palm


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An historic ship reconstruction

I recently wrote a short “Yard News” item for Classic Boat magazine, that’s out in the July issue. It briefly covers an interesting project that’s been going on in Maine for the past few years: a reconstruction of a 17th century colonial ship, the Virginia. Seth’s dad has been part of the volunteer crew building the ship; the reconstruction has been an almost entirely volunteer endeavor. It’s also being undertaken in as historically accurate a manner as possible, except for what’s required to make her Coast Guard certified to take on passengers when she eventually launches. There’s lots of information about the project, including how to get involved if you live near Bath, Maine, on the Maine’s First Ship website.

It’s been good fun to visit the Virginia on our trips to Maine the past couple of years – it’s so impressive to see what the crew is getting done and the attention to detail with which they’re doing it. Here are a couple of photos:


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Photo publication news

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Seth’s photo of me on the cover of Ocean Navigator!

Good news on the publication front: two of Seth’s images were out recently, one as a cover shot (!) and one as a double-page spread, accompanied by a short article I wrote. The cover image is above – of me tending the spinnaker at the end of a good day’s sailing across Shelikof Strait, which separates Kodiak Island and the Alaska Peninsula. As you can see, it graces last month’s cover of Ocean Navigator magazine 🙂

The double-page spread was an “under-over” (half underwater) shot of me snorkeling below CELESTE, an image we worked hard to get over the course of our last season’s sailing. My article tells the story of getting the image. It was in the January-February issue of Cruising World magazine. Here’s the PDF of it!


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Series in Water Craft magazine

WaterCraft Dinghy1I’m excited to have a new series of articles in Water Craft magazine. Water Craft is a British publication that comes out every two months and has some really high quality writing and photography. My series is called “Adventures with Dinghy” and chronicles just that – good explorations we’ve had around the world in our little rowboat. Some of the most fun we both have on our voyages is to jump in the dinghy once we’ve reached an anchorage and explore at an even slower(!) pace and even closer to the water, whether we’re heading up a river overhung with enormous mangroves, dodging sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, checking out a dive site in a coral lagoon, or tempting fate with the grizzly bears fishing in an Alaskan estuary.

The first of my series is out in the current issue of Water Craft – it tells the story of exploring a strange wreck in the Bahamas. Next up will be dolphins in New Zealand!


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Passage to San Francisco – feature article in Ocean Navigator

Passage to SF-2More publication news – my Ocean Voyaging feature article about the passage south to San Francisco appeared in the January/February issue of Ocean Navigator magazine and it’s up online now too!

This passage –  down the northwest coast – is very talked of, even a little feared, in the sailing community, and for good reason. It’s a rock-strewn, lee shore with few places to shelter, and it’s subject to volatile and not very pleasant weather. For many Pacific Northwest sailors, it’s the first real ocean passage, too – one leaves behind the protected waterways of Puget Sound and the Inside Passage in favor of the big ocean swells. Finally, if it’s left too late in the year, this passage can deliver some really nasty conditions, so the maxim among West Coast sailors is to round Cape Flattery (the NW tip of Washington State) and be off southward before October 1st.

My Ocean Navigator feature covers the major concerns and strategies regarding this passage and relates our own experience with it.  You can read the piece here.

I also wrote a blog post about it around when we actually did the passage, which is a lot less extensive, but which you can read here. Hope you enjoy!