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26 February 2014


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William R. Cumming

Thanks for this post!

Alba Etie

This is a timely post . Our Dad past peaceably -pain free , in home hospice Conroe ,Texas , Feb 25 . Our Dad , Bookie , was a great outdoors enthusiast ,hunting & fishing. We did learn to read the tidal currents , winds , and general environment to enjoy both of these sports. Later we expanded to canoeing & bird watching . We were learning about whooping cranes & brown pelicans being endangered long before it became 'a thing ' . Hunters and fisherman , and it seems sailors have innate situational awareness that Small Craft Advisors spoke in response to the query from Panay.In fact before we had satellite weather reports , or GPS - Bookie would know , and taught us - when it was safe to launch that fourteen foot Falcon runabout in the Galveston surf for that dead reckoning run from the North Jetties to the first oil platforms some twenty miles out in the Gulf of Mexico . We caught a lot of kingfish ,cobia , & snappers at that rig . Yesterday I was sitting on the back stoop watching the cardinals & red wings blackbirds , grateful for having had Bookie as our Dad .


As an aside, TTG,it has been speculated (and you could prove it by me) that one of the reasons for the unprecedented popularity of Breaking Bad was its location and zeitgeist...far from the DC mentality or either of the coasts.

It had a uniquely different feel about it. Away from a given cultural influence.

Speaking of 'getting away' and the would-be lost souls of DC...

nick b

The Everglades Challenge is new to me. I have followed friends and colleagues before on the Newport Bermuda race, but this sounds far more interesting. Do some people really kayak 300mi in eight days? That's very impressive.

I would echo many of the things that Alba Etie said about fisherman, hunters and sailors. Part of the experience (the best part, I think) is finding your place within your surroundings by understanding its rhythms. Whether that be reading the water, or knowing that the fish bite will cease because bald eagles have come to share your space. I spend a good bit of time fishing, and I have my favorite spots. It's in these places where, after passing many hours you begin to feel a sense of your own connection to it, and for the short time all things suddenly make sense. It is at these times I feel closest to God.

I have fished the everglades and the gulf coast of Fl before. It's an amazing place. As a younger man, one night on a small key in the southern gulf coast of Fl, I was amazed to look in the night sky and actually see with my naked eye M42, the Orion nebula, in Orion's sword. It was like magic to me, as light pollution wipes out any chance of that where I lived. I can only imagine eight days at days at sea, in a small craft travelling near where water, land and sky meet could be a mystical experience. I hope for those folks blessed enough to have the time to do this, that at least part of their voyage is spent in the state of connection with where they are. Though sometimes at sea, it's just about staying alive. I hope there more of the former and none of the latter.

I will watch! And as the snow falls, be jealous.



Very timely post. I was enjoying some Anthromporhic time at the Dali museum it St. Pete yesterday. It looks like the racers should have some good weather for the start. At least I hope so since I'll be fishing the bay Friday. Some very good advice on sailing from Fred (no relation - though I did serve on the Scamp) in the Philippines.

nick b


Going for grouper on Friday?

Charles I

Thanks, I've followed it with some interest and bemusement since you first cited it here. I live right on the water - 10 feet away - and have been a lifelong canoeist and one-time sailor. I still go fishing every day about 7 months a year, but the older I get the more content I am just to sit there and watch it all go by. Thanks for lengthening the view.


Nick b, snapper and jacks as we're inshore in Sarasota. If nothing else it's a day on the water.

nick b

Still good eating! Wishing you smooth seas and tight lines.

dilbert dogbert

Duckworks calendar is a good place to look for small boat activities: http://www.my.calendars.net/duckworks/d01/11/2014?display=Y&style=C&positioning=S

The Col. and others can get a lot of boatbuilding information from Duckworks and the Duckworks Forum. Duckworks is a great place to buy reasonably priced equipment for building boats.

I have been building and sailing small boats since 1967. I have been racing and cruising around San Francisco Bay Area and in the San Juan Islands. Racing is a good way to get to know your boat in a safe environment.


PL, Matt Layden's designs are perfect for this challenge. Sea worthy and small enough to manhandle around.

The Twisted Genius

The Duckworks magazine is a daily read for me, great stories, great tips and great bargains on nautical stuff.

The Twisted Genius

Yes, Matt Layden's Enigma and Paradox are brilliant designs. I see he sailed Paradox from Connecticut down the Intracostal Waterway to the Bahamas. That's pretty amazing for a 14 foot sailboat. He did the Everglades Challenge easily.


The Twisted Genius


So you were on the USS Scamp with the 7th Fleet. I gather you're quite familiar with Subic Bay and Olongapo. I spent a month there on the USS Cleveland in 1978. "First wave, mount the hogs!"

Charles I

Condolences. R.I.P


Sadly the Scamp was based out of New London when I served aboard her. Never made Subic. Lots of time in the North Atlantic and the Med.



My sympathies, of course. pl

The Twisted Genius

Alba Etie,

I just realized that your father passed this week. My sympathies, as well. I am grateful that you found this post comforting.


My condolences Alba Etie.

nick b


I apologize for not saying so when I first posted. Please accept my condolences too. I like this poem, it's the only one I ever took the time to memorize. Maybe it is fitting?

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie,
Glad I did live, and gladly die,
and I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to me
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

nick b


If you ever find yourself on Martha's Vineyard, you should check out Gannon and Benjamin on the Vineyard Haven harbor. I believe all they do is make and fix small wooden boats by hand. It's a cool place to visit. I think there was a book written about them too, though the name escapes me. The 'bunch of grapes' book store in Vineyard Haven would have it for sure.



My condolences too.

David Habakkuk


Condolences. But -- without wanting to appear brutal -- to die peaceably, and free of pain, is a blessing. Commonly, it is a blessing alike for the person who has reached the end of his or her life, and for those left behind. The devastation which a protracted and painful death can leave on the survivors can be immense. In that respect, modern medicine can cause havoc.

As to your description of your father, it brings up odd British ambivalences. It is difficult to explain, but the British are never quite sure. On the one hand, there is in America the world of opportunity for ordinary people, which is I think part of what you are depicting, in your description of your father.

On the other hand, there is the disregard of limits and of caution, which have characterised the American elites since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Alas, we also have forgotten the importance of these things. So I am not trying to be sanctimonious!

The Twisted Genius

nick b,

We have a place here called the Alexandria Seaport Foundation that builds small wooden boats while apprenticing at risk youths from the D.C. area. My office, for several years, was less than a two minute walk from their Potomac River boathouse. It was a welcome break.


nick b


"Doing big things with small boats" how very cool!

Any insight you can provide me to better follow this event? I have been unable to get the tracking map link to work for me (could easily be my computer is the issue). I have enjoyed reading some of the threads on the Water tribe forum, but Is there a dedicated thread that I am missing that focuses specifically on everyone's progress? Thanks.

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