Friday, March 27, 2015

SAILING THE LOOP:  Equipment

                 YOUR PERSONAL GPS                 
                 You might find your life's destination better if you remember                           
IT WAS PROFESSIONALS WHO BUILT THE TITANIC, IT WAS AN AMATEUR WHO BUILT NOAH'S ARK.
   
 The charm of single handed cruising is not solitude but independence       

An Oday Mariner anchored peacefully in some bay.  That's the dream!  But, there is so much more to making the dream a reality.



 The list of tools, equipment and supplies required for an 8 month, 6,000 mile cruise  seems to be endless, and expensive.  Excepting the cost of fuel, the trip its self will not be that costly.

Have thy tools ready, God will find thee work.   

This gimbal De Haan Berth Lamp is a jewel!  And, it was priced accordingly.  All brass, manufactured in Holland since sailing days, it will not only light my cabin but it will raise the temperature of the enclosed cabin by 20 degrees on a cold night.  Priced in the neighborhood of $200 everywhere, I got it on Amazon for $140.  I also have a De Haan Trawler Lantern, Jr. which I will use in the cockpit.

This is a tiller extension.  I love it.  It will allow me to relax in the seat while steering the boat.  It extends from 19 to 32 inches.  It comes right out of the tiller when not needed.  I will design my galley to store this extension.  
Amazon saved me about $40.

Other gear I  have already bought include a chart plotter, priced near $500 everywhere, bought from a limited number on Amazon for $365.  A Tiller Tamer, a steering device that allows the boat to steer itself, freeing me to make coffee or read the charts, came from Amazon.  Another piece of gear that I saved big on at Amazon was a Hawkeye Depth Sounder.  Although my boat has a very shallow depth, 12 inches, at times shallow water will be a potential problem.  Set for three feet, an alarm will sound if the water is less than that depth.  The list goes on.

I even bought clothes to wear.  I love wearing jeans but they would be uncomfortable to sit in them for hours at a time.  Sam's had some great pants and I bought four pair.  I also bought matching shirts.  These are designed to be very easy wash-n-wear, a consideration.

My biggest expenses, yet to come, are railings, life lines and an out board motor.  Expensive but exciting!  And, of course, lots of charts.

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men.  No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.                      

This is a U. S. Navy destroyer, the USS John Pierce DD753.  Destroyers are named after naval heroes.

My hero also is Jon Pierce, my grand son.  He is a tech genius.  I asked him last fall if he would wire up my gear on the boat and he said he would.

I served for awhile aboard a destroyer escort, the USS Hemminger DE746

                                    Humor can be one our best survival tools                                      


Am I the only "nut" in our family who does far out things?  Absolutely not!  This is a picture of my youngest son, Todd Christian, taken in South America where he was doing missionary work.  Todd and his wife Amy rides bikes thousands of miles each year.



"They that go down to the sea in ships; and occupy their business in great waters;  these men see the works of the Lord;  and His wonders in the deep"


GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS

GOD BLESS THE USA



Thursday, March 26, 2015

SAILING THE LOOP:  The Right Boat

The Good Life    The Good Life    The Good Life    The Good Life    The Good Life

                             YOUR PERSONAL GPS                                
                    You might reach your life's destination better if you remember              
TODAY!  TODAY YOU ARE THE OLDEST YOU HAVE  EVER BEEN AND TODAY             YOU ARE THE YOUNGEST YOU WILL EVER BE

                     Some people are old at 18 and some people are young at 90               



This is a new model of my Oday Mariner.  It is the same size as my boat, the Christy Anne, but the cabin arrangement is somewhat different.  This boat also has bow and stern railings and show the post in the middle for a life line.  I will add these safety rails and life line to my boat and also add netting from the cockpit forward.  Except for one crossing of the Gulf of Mexico, the entire loop is made within sight of land.  This boat will be smaller than the average but it will be large enough to make the trip safely.

                                       I haven't been everywhere but it is on my list                              


This is the fleet tug, USS YUMA.  She was my home when I was still just a teenager.  As the ship's radioman I sailed throughout the Pacific from 1949 til 1951. This relatively small ship, 207 x 35 feet, safely sailed in four typhoons. We sailed right through one in the East and South China Seas on the way from Japan to the Philippines. I know dangerous seas.

Your life might be better if instead of trying to make your life perfect, you gave yourself the freedom to make it an an adventure


This is a picture of a man by the name of Buzz. Having no boating experience at all, he bought a new 15 foot sailboat, removed the mast, added two small two Horse Power outboards and motored around the loop. My boat is twenty foot long and I plan to buy a new Honda 9.9 outboard. I'll also remove my mast.  It is important to make 8 to 10 miles an hour.  Even if one could sail it would be too slow.


This is an old steam powered stern wheeler near my childhood home. I remember them quite well being daily on the river from earliest spring through the latest fall. We would swim out behind the boat and "ride" the huge waves these boats made.


Although it will be a mostly "camping" experience, my boat is adequate for the loop and so am I.


GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS

GOD BLESS AND KEEP OUR TROOPS AROUND THE WORLD

GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

SAILING THE GREAT LOOP:  AGLCA 

The Good Life    The Good Life    The Good Life    The Good Life    The Good Life    The Good Life

                              YOUR PERSONAL GPS                                
   You might find your life's destination better if you remember  
SAILING IS THE CLOSEST YOU CAN GET TO NATURE--IT'S
ADRENALINE, FEAR AND A CONSTANT CHALLENGE, AN
ADVENTURE INTO THE UNKNOWN.  Daria Werbowy

                        My life is an ongoing, ever changing adventure - D. J. Mectlake                          

       America's Great Loop Cruisers Association, (AGLCA), began with a simple plan.  Form an organization, distribute a newsletter, mine the minds of members, include their stories and sell looper related books.

Members range from experienced loopers to boaters in the midst of looping, those planning on one day cruising the loop and those simply exhilarated by learning of the journey.

I am AGLCA member 16,225.

                                       It's not how old you are but how you are old - Jules Renard                       


AGLCA members are young or simply young-at-heart.  Some are still working, some are retired. Some are working here and there as they make their way around the loop.  People may travel full time and some may just travel every-so-often.  Some sail by powerboat, others by sailboat, trawler, rowboat or even personal water craft.  Most take a year but it has been done in 54 days in a pontoon boat.  I plan to be sailing for eight months coming home for our annual month in Myrtle Beach, again at Christmas, staying home until the end of February as the weather warms up down south, then, meeting Julie in Williamsburg Virginia for a few days and getting home in June.

                                Life is either a great adventure or it is nothing - Helen Keller                          


Members identify themselves by flying a burgee on their bow jack staff.  I have already purchased mine.  Those who are sailing the loop for the first time fly a white burgee.  Those who have completed the loop are awarded the MasterLOOPerate award and fly a gold burgee.  Those who have completed the loop more than once, and many have--once nine times--fly a platinum burgee.

We know that without food we would die.  Without fellowship life is not worth living - Helen Keller

       

Socially, sailing the loop is about like hiking the Appalachian Trail, which I did at age 65.  Unlike the wilderness canoe expeditions where one might go for weeks without seeing another soul, sailors of the loop identify themselves by their burgees and gather regularly for what they refer to as "docktails".  

Sailing the loop becomes an endless series of fellowships from people of all ages, in all situations in life.

                                   Wrinkles simply indicate where smiles have been - Mark Twain                     


The association conducts on going loop related seminars on all aspects of the loop.  There are fall and spring rendezvous, the next in Norfolk, Virginia.  A lot of sailors time their cruise to be in Norfolk at the time of the rendezvous.  

The association also emails a daily forum from those who are on the loop, those who have done the loop and those planning to do the loop.  I enjoy seeing where people are right now.

Although I am not planning upon leaving until mid July, I am daily busy preparing to go.

WALT WRITING HIS FIRST BLOG


MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS

MAY GOD BLESS AND KEEP THE UNITED STATES

Sunday, March 15, 2015

SAILING THE LOOP:  Being physically strong

The Good Life     The Good Life     The Good Life    The Good Life    The Good Life   The Good Life 

                                               YOUR PERSONAL GPS
                                    You might fine your destination better if you remember
I BELIEVE THE GOOD LORD GAVE US A FINITE NUMBER OF HEART BEATS.  I'M DAMNED IF I'M GOING TO WASTE MINE RUNNING UP AND DOWN A STREET  Neil Armstrong

                    LIVE YOUR LIFE AND FORGET YOUR AGE  Norman Vincent Peale                   
 
Six thousand miles in a small sail boat is nothing to take lightly.  I do not!  I know that I must be in good physical shape.  I plan to be in my very best shape before I shove off.  I have already started to lose weight. So far I have lost nine pounds and two inches around the waist.  Now that the weather is a bit more mild, I will start to walk tomorrow.

YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO SET ANOTHER GOAL OR TO DREAM A NEW DREAM
C. S. Lewis

When I turned 70 I told my doctor that I had active plans for the next 25 years and that I would then need an additional 5 years to wind things down.  I asked if he could handle that.  He started to see me every three months increasing my lab work to the same schedule.  A couple exams ago he said that for my age I was "In good shape, had a keen mind, had places to go and things to do".  He opined that it didn't get any better than that.

I'M PUSHING SIXTY.  THAT'S ENOUGH EXERCISE FOR ME....................Mark Twain

This is Old Town Creek. This is where I started my life.  I cannot remember learning to swim. My earliest memories are being on the river. At five years of age I could row a john boat while Mom ran her trot lines.  I was in the Sea Scouts.  I joined the Navy when I was barely 17.  I sailed the Pacific for years in a small sea going tug.  I've sailed across the Atlantic six times.

MY IDEA OF EXERCISE IS A GOOD BRISK SIT.  Phyliss Diller

I have been down the Ohio River three times since I retired at age 60.  I once spent six weeks in the Oday Mariner sail boat I plan to use on this trip.  I have studied the trip diligently.  I have read of others who have made the trip.  My age and physical condition not withstanding, I believe I am fully qualified to sail the Great Loop.

And as I always say when I start an adventure like this, "If it gets to be more work than fun, I'll just go home".  I started out to hike the 2000 mile Appalachian Trail but only hiked 600 miles of it. I hiked across Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and part of Virginia.  I have no friend or relative who has done more.    

MAY GOD BLESS
YOU AND YOURS

MAY GOD BLESS
THE USA


Saturday, March 14, 2015

         GOING ON AN ADVENTURE:  Sailing the Great Loop

    The Good Life   The Good Life   The Good Life   The Good Life   The Good Life   The Good Life 

                                               YOUR PERSONAL GPS
                              You might reach your destination better if you remember
 Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a ride!"  Mark Twain

                                         Not all who wander are lost.  TRR Tolkien
   
                                                                                          
         In a previous blog I wrote about "some day" sailing the Great Loop.  I am now in the planning stage of making that "some day" the middle of July or the first of August of this year.  

Do not go where the path may lead.  Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Great Loop is the continuous waterway that encompasses the eastern portion of the United States including the Great Lakes, the inland rivers of America's heartland, the southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the inter coastal waterways around Florida then to New York City, up the Hudson River to the Erie Canal and back to the Great Lakes.

              A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are built for.  John A Shedd

 America's Great Loop Cruisers Association (AGLCA) is an organization of people who share a sense of adventure and a curiosity about America's Great Loop.  I recently joined this organization as member number 16,225.  

                       Adventure without risk is just Disney Land.  Douglas Coupland 

Although I have not blogged for quite some time, there are still thousands of people from 86 countries still reading my blog.  I thought I would blog while doing the loop and would start at this time describing what the loop is and how I am preparing to sail it.

            Only those who go too far can possibly find out how far one can go.  T. S. Elliot

I plan to depart from Cleveland the middle of July, leave the boat in a marina the last of September and return home for our 26th year to spend October in Myrtle Beach, return to the boat, come home again for Christmas staying home until the end of February, return to the boat, have Julie come to meet me in Williamsburg, Virginia and get back to Cleveland in June 2016.

May God Bless you and yours!

May He continue to bless America