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03 March 2016


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Bill H

Yes, "old coot" is a compliment. I had a grocery clerk contradict me the other day, assuring me that I was not old with the thought that she was being kind. I assured her that I worked hard to get here and thoroughly enjoy being old. (Slightly older than your "Jarhead.")

I spent quite a few years sailing a Lightening class sailboat around some of those waters, and would love to do the Challenge. Unfortunately, Parkinson's Disease makes sailing in a millpond a bit of a challenge so I have moved on to other things. Part of life is learning to enjoy what you do while you can do it and then find out what else you can enjoy doing.



Sir, to call you an "old coot" would be most disrespectful...

What was your rank when you left the military?

I've always addressed our host by rank.

(This is not yours truly kissing ass but my part in honoring you Veterans.)

So have I when posting Brig. Ali.

(I've only neglected addressing him by his army rank once recently by mistake - butter fingers.)

After all, many of you here are several decades my senior - my Ol' Man's age - if he were still on this earthly Terran.

Some are destined to leave this world like Achilles & Alexander - the Fates have deemed it so, achieving Ever-lasting Immortality in the hearts of many.

Others like you however shall simply "fade away" (in Bliss) like the "American Caesar (Douglas McArthur)...



" I have to obtain a release from SWMBO..."
It sounds like we need to coordinate a team from SST, kind of like the guys in "The Great Escape".

The Twisted Genius

No team necessary, Fred. I am a willing hostage of a loving embrace. I will go only with her blessing, knowing that the blessing will still be accompanied by worry and apprehension.

The Twisted Genius


I get your point. I always refer to Brigadier Ali as Brigadier Ali and to Colonel Lang as Colonel Lang on SST. Sitting across the table, it's Pat. That's a function of habit. BTW, I retired as a lieutenant colonel of Infantry.


TTG, have you thought about skin on frame construction? I've been looking at building a small boat and have narrowed it down to this one: http://gentrycustomboats.com/Annabelle.html

They're very light, and apparently go together pretty quickly. We've been reading the "Swallows and Amazons" series by Arthur Ransome with my daughter and she is eager to be "ships boy" before graduating to "able seaman" and "mate"

Medicine Man

I usually call our host here "Col. Lang" because I don't feel I know him well enough to call him Pat (or Patrick because I'm not a Catholic School Nun) and insistently calling him "Mr. Lang" would seem a bit disrespectful given that he's actually earned a title.



Could you ask "Jarhead" what TBS class he was in?

The Twisted Genius


When I was young, a friend of mine and I built a pair of skin on frame kayaks from plans in Popular Mechanics. We scrounged the wood and canvas and waterproofed them with house paint. We had a ball with them. That Annabelle design looks sweet and she's a lot of boat that can be carried on a car roof. Good luck with that one.

I became aware of the "Swallows and Amazons" series while looking at a CLC design in the works. Someone noticed it looked like a boat from the series. I found there was a movie based on the series.

The CLC Nanoship camp-cruising design

Swallows and Amazons trailer



Lt.colonels and colonels are all addressed as "colonel." it is in the 3rd person that the distinction is made between them. pl

The Twisted Genius


I don't know him, but here's a part of a bio from the Water Tribe site. I assume he's a 30 year man so TBS around 1963 when he was 20 years old sounds about right?

"Bill Fite (aka Jarhead) is 73 years old and lives in Tampa, FL. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1993 with a background in infantry and special operations, and is one of only a few US Marines to have the distinction of completing the British Royal Marines’ Commando Course and commanding a British Royal Marine rifle company."

Bill Herschel

Watched the beginning and skipped ahead (will watch in its entirety later). Mangrove swamps? I guess the burmese pythons don't mistake the boats for alligators.

I was impressed with Standup Guy. I was going to write that a Frenchman would do it on a windsurfer.

Which reminds me of a somewhat irrelevant quote from Olivier de Kersauson, when he was asked if he would sail around Cape Horn again single-handed, "If you stick your finger in the Devil's asshole and he doesn't turn around, you don't do it again."



Perhaps, with her own boat, SWMBO might enjoy sailing.

The Twisted Genius


I think there's a windsurfer in the line up this year. There's also a new design built for expeditions like this that can be used as a sit on kayak, windsurfer or stand up paddle board. Should be interesting.


I chose to go to winter Ranger School just to miss the snakes and gators. Luckily there were no pythons back then. I do remember the cypress knees in the Florida swamps. We called them dammit stumps, because we were always bashing our legs on them.

I love that quote. It gave me a good laugh. It's also about an accurate assessment of getting away with surviving some crazy-assed adventure. I was doing Zen rock climbing before it was called that. We just couldn't afford ropes and pitons. Hell, we couldn't afford chalk dust.

The Twisted Genius


She just barely swims and is prone to motion sickness. She was always afraid that I would want us to live on a boat when I retired. She was thrilled when we bought a house on dry land. Although she grew up near Saratoga, NY, she didn't see the sea until we drove to San Francisco on our way to Hawaii.


For anyone (especially those of us over 65) interested in this kind of boating I highly recommend a subscription to Messing About in Boats.



That's the best kind of relationship to have. It would be fun to try and figure out just what kind of team we could get together though. I think there would be lots of competition for the head scrounger role.


I'm very attached to my classic 1936 Vertue class yacht which can take me anywhere in the world if i have a mind to go. I've built a sport boat with my son (i550) and when I finish my current project (a Two seat aircraft) I plan on building a Barnegat Sneakbox.


I like that Nanoship, and I think I saw Scamp by John Welsford on this thread last year, a boat so ugly it is adorable. I'd like to do a stitch and glue boat like Nanoship or Scamp or Navigator but know that my daughter will be too old to hang with her old man by the time I finish a boat like that. Too many projects, not enough time.

The Twisted Genius

Damn, Walrus! The only thing in that fleet I could ever hope owning/building is the Sneakbox. Happy adventures.


Ah, sir, we are in accord.

The Twisted Genius


Is this Lake Eyre Yacht Club anywhere near you? One of the photos shows what looks like an i550.



My SWMBO has motion sickness problems as well,

But the funny thing is, the size of the boat matters, dinghy's, canoes, etc are fine,

even in choppy water if she's in charge,

Boats you can stand up on, especially if they are rolling, no good, unless,

One night sleeping onboard, seemed to "fix" the problem.

We would start out sailing trips by sleeping at the dock, with me getting up at the outgoing tide, putting the kettle on, casting off the lines and heading out,

She would wake to seabirds calling, fresh coffee and the boat underway to some place we hadn't been before.

Doug Colwell

"Willing hostage of a loving embrace". My kind of poet. I salute you.


The Lake Eyre yacht club is about 600 miles from here. It operates when a hurricane dumps enough water about a five hundred miles North to fill the lake. The boat in the foreground looks a little like an i550 but without a keel.

My son saw the youtube video shown below and said "Dad, lets build one!" a friend has a big warehouse and we rented a corner, got the plans on a memory stick and bought a stack of weatherproof (not marine, same adhesive but not as good quality veneers) ply.

Fifty five gallons of West System epoxy later, we had our boat. The rig was carbon and the spinnaker the biggest we could fit. It went like a little rocket and reminded me of the dighies I used to race Forty years ago.

This Easter think I am sailing (?) a 72 foot luxury stink boat from Sydney to Brisbane with its new owner.

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