"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't
do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the
safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream."
The picture above shows where I'm going. A boat will take me there and this is my boat.
A 41.5’ Bob Perry (Seattle)-designed Passport, this boat was built in Portland in 1988 by a tugboat shipyard. The boat is all steel and that appeals to me in a big way. When you go aground (not if), steel gives you the chance of floating again. Of course, there are no guarantees in this going aground business. I have seen steel boats high and dry on the reefs of the Tuamotos in French Polynesia. Treacherous waters and desperate times. Keep in mind that the fiberglass boats that went around there are no longer in one piece. The steelers are—sort of.
The purchase went smoothly. I think I did my ‘due diligence’ diligently. I looked at the boat twice, both times with the listing broker, Joe Ashton of Multnomah Yacht Services in Portland, Oregon. I put an offer in and then went and looked at two other boats on my west coast list. After those two boats I felt better about my offer. The offer was accepted.
Then I went with the owner for a 2 hour motor up the Columbia River—or one of its many tributaries. We positioned the boat for the survey haul-out at Multnomah Yachts. The surveyor came by three days later and we lifted the boat for the dry land part of the survey. It was important to see the boat out of water. Electrolysis had worked its magic at the other marina and a dozen or so spots needed to be attended to because of that strangeness known as electricity. I was able to locate and photograph all of the thru-hulls—always much easier when looking from below. Thru-hulls are holes in your hull where needed salt water can enter—cooling water for the engine, for instance—and every thru-hull is potential for disaster if the hose clamps or ball valves fail. One wants to know where they are—exactly.
Today (March 10, 2009) I went to the marine title and transfer agent here in Portland and I signed the papers. This is my boat now and it will take me to the places of my dreams. What places are those?
Madagascar. Tierra del Fuego. Cartagena. Great Barrier. Skeleton Coast. And all the tropical islands of the world. I am a big dreamer, true. You are too.
Perhaps there are safer places in the world. Pirates dominate the news these days, but they don’t worry me. What is one to do when faced with gun-toting renegades? Start shooting or hand over your smokes, a used radio and $100 in cash? Answer is easy for me and I won’t lose any sleep over the whole issue. They certainly won’t want to take me captive. I can be miserable is a small room.
I am doing a few upgrades to the boat while I have the time and some money. A new navigation system; new headsail rollerfurler; some new pumps, new standing rigging and…well, the list does go on. I am hoping for a 2 month refit and prepared for 3 months. After that I am long gone.
An astute viewer will notice that there are no winches mounted. They are down belowdecks for now, awaiting some new topside refinements. They are not self-tailing but then, I have never used self-tailing anyway.
I reckon Portland to San Diego will be a first good shakedown sail. I can always put in at San Francisco if need be. Two or three weeks well offshore should enlighten me to the idiosyncrasies of this here boat.
Working on a new name. I am not superstitious so there will be no offerings to any gods and no booze spilt.
Just need a little luck and a fair tide.
Some short stories are on their own page.
Notes about Chile as well in the 'Where the Hell?' page.
"Only the Air-Spirits know
What lies beyond the hills,
Yet I urge my team farther on.
Drive on and on.
On and on."
Traditional Inuit hunter’s song - Central Arctic.
Knud Rasmussen’s memorial,
Last day of 2008
-28°C and dark.
Rasmussen would understand.
If you don't know who Rasmussen is, you won't.