The old Mercedes is out and about and starting a boat project

| September 18, 2016

After sitting quietly most of the summer, my friend Jeff needed to borrow a set of wheels for a week. He has intimately name the 1982 MB diesel the "old girl" and seems to appreciate her many quirks. Since it isn’t covered, there was a little dust, but she still looks pretty good to me. […]

Obit: I am going to miss sailing advice from Mark Handley

| September 12, 2016

Unfortunately when one faces cancer, the outcome isn’t always what we want. It is a terrible disease and one which we can only hope medical science will eventually cure … the sooner the better. I’ve corresponded with Judy and Mark Handley for many years via email and Winlink (email via Amateur Radio) and we have […]

Keeping an eye on tropical disturbances

| August 22, 2016

Archive: Birthday wishes to my wife Brenda – a day late!

| August 13, 2016

No I didn’t forget my wife’s birthday … I just didn’t post anything on the blog until my son Taylor requested a photo of “both of us when we were his age.” After sending him this one for his Facebook page, I figured that I might as well archive it here. We regularly sailed and […]

Flip-flops are becoming my preferred summertime footwear

| August 9, 2016

There was a day, when all I wore for casual footwear were boat shoes … but Sperry Topsiders in particular (also athletic shoes of course ). In recent years I’ve opted for simple slip on sandals around house, pool and at the dock or if you preferred flip-flops … or if you go WAY back – […]

Archive: Photos and researching Cape Horn steering gear issue

| July 30, 2016

Last trip to Encore I attempted to loosen up the Cape Horn self-steering gear and failed. Seems the paddle arm that is currently in the upright or vertical position is stuck or binding even after taking off the line preventing it from swinging down. I’ll admit, I’m unsure if there is a different locking mechanism […]

How to Make a Whipping in 60 Seconds

| July 26, 2016

Did you know that burned or melted ends could cause more problems? It may be a fast way for marine stores to cut new line when you purchase it. But if that hardened end catches on the outer core, it can chafe and break down delicate rope fibers. Follow these five easy steps to make […]

A naval architect and bagpipe accompanied ruckus music

| July 19, 2016

Maybe the term isn’t ruckus, but HARD “rockish” music …  I’m not sure at the moment??? Anyway, one of my Facebook friends Robert Perry, and designer of our first boat Brenich a Baba 30, shared an AC/DC music video probably influenced by his years growing up in Australia? The clip from the Bon Scott years […]

Hot enough to put up the ShadeTree awning

| July 17, 2016

After buzzing down to Florida last week to show the condo in Delray Beach, I spent a couple days “hurricane prepping” Encore for the tropical weather likely to show up in a month or so (could happen any day now). My good friend Mark gave me a “sweaty” hand in getting the sails stowed away […]

Monthly Maintenance: All Charged Up

| July 16, 2016

Use these tips for properly charging and monitoring AGM batteries to maximize their efficiency, output and lifespan. Source: Monthly Maintenance: All Charged Up

Phrases You Never Knew Came From Sailing

| June 27, 2016

Here are a few phrases that you may not have realized were born in the days of sailing ships posted on the American Sailing Association site. “A clean bill of health” According to dictionary.com this phrase derives from the days when the crew of ocean going ships might be a little less than hygienic, so […]

The Obscure But Ultimately Very Useful Halyard Knot

| June 19, 2016

Unknown to many sailors, the halyard knot is nonetheless an elegant compact knot that is particularly handy to know about if you need to bend a line on to some sort of shackle or clip (a halyard shackle being the eponymous example) on a more-or-less permanent basis, but are too lazy (or ignorant) to be […]

Video: Heavy rains in Australia wash away a marina

| June 7, 2016

This makes me a sick to my stomach as I’m thinking about our Encore sitting in a marina as hurricane and tropical storm season move closer to peak months.

VIDEO: How to Make a Soft Shackle >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

| June 1, 2016

Soft shackles made from Dyneema are lighter and stronger than stainless steel, they are also kinder to your boat and your hands. Yachting Monthly demonstra Source: VIDEO: How to Make a Soft Shackle >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

TechFriday archive: Using your tablet or iPad on the boat

| May 27, 2016

Top ways to use your tablet or iPad on board your boat — Matthew Sheahan 12/15/2015 How are sailors using their iPad or tablet on board? Matthew Sheahan talks to cruising sailors, racers and industry professionals Photo: Tor Johnson

Archive: Flag flying protocol for cruising on boats

| May 20, 2016

Read and email from an ActiveCaptain.com the other day and wanted to archive it as information/discussion when talking about "flag flying" protocol.   >>> The Flag Advisor – 1 >>> Nearly every cruising boat on the water flies one or more flags. But get into a discussion about flag etiquette and rules, and no one […]

Found it! The Vane for the Cape Horn Self-Steering gear

| May 9, 2016

  It is hard to believe I found the vane parts after almost fabricating my own or contemplating ordering a new $160 (plus shipping, I think?) part for the Cape Horn self-steering gear. While going through my bins of spares and the chart table, the clean-up process had me pulling out an outdated chartbook when […]

Temporary LED galley light after removing old fixtures

| May 7, 2016

During our last trip to down to our sailboat Encore, Brenda and I removed the final three tarnished boat lights that were in the galley and over the chart table. The previous lights that we already replace turned out looking good and working out after she gave them the faux verdigris look with paint (a […]

Archive link to Volvo Shaft Seal to add to Encore maintenance

| April 24, 2016

General Propeller Co. link

Anchoring a Boat: The Ultimate Guide — Fatty Goodlander

| April 14, 2016

Although Fatty Goodlander’s book "Creative Anchoring: Everything About Anchors and Anchoring" is a more in-depth guide to anchoring your small boat, a 2014 AllAtSea.net article by the same author is shorter and very good advice. I’ve read it before, but it is worth archiving on my personal blog just in case the link disappears. Anchoring […]

Replacing parts on Encore and a couple spring break photos

| April 3, 2016

While out sailing with the family on Encore over Easter week, we suffered a halyard block failure — see photo in previous post. There wasn’t a direct replacement in my spare parts bin (shame on me), but Drew and I zipped over to Marine Connection  and found an acceptable "used" halyard block. The replacement is […]

Catch up post: Evening thunderstorms aboard Encore

| April 2, 2016

We had a few wicked thunderstorms last week while in Florida and enjoyed watching this one “from a distance” in the cockpit of Encore (also a very short clip of Katelyn and Drew heading off to explore distant shores in the Zodiac – below the break). *Video: thunderstorm while aboard encore – march 2016

Donna Lange Makes Landfall

| March 31, 2016

Solo ’round-the-world sailor Donna Lange is safely at anchor west of the Panama Canal after lousy weather stymied her non-stop circumnavigation via the Cape Horn. She detoured after suffering damage and lose of her electronics and will head for a Rhode Island completion after passing through the canal. Her initial plan was to be the […]

March 30th is #ManateeAppreciationDay

| March 30, 2016

According to posts on Twitter and tweets and shares among friends … today is #ManateeAppreciationDay. My interest in learning about Manatees goes back to the the late 1970s when a small group of us college guys in Ohio  decided to join the "Save the Manatee" campaign. We selfishly used it as a rally to travel […]

Enjoying time aboard Encore with Katelyn and Drew

| March 28, 2016

A bit delayed in posting to the blog, but we’ve been a bit distracted. Brenda and I met my daughter Katelyn and her husband Drew for a few days on the boat to enjoy some time together. Way too much time goes by between visits for my taste. The weather was nice with a few […]

Reefing tips from SailingTotem blog

| March 19, 2016

When do you reef? How should you reef? What are some excellent ways to screw it up? A few thoughts from Jamie (filtered through fun with salty sayings and his fondness for puns). Many witty phrases… Source: Reefing, by and large

Wrapped up the Encore weekend with a little brightwork

| March 15, 2016

It was a pleasant weekend to keep Encore company and do a few nautical chores. High priority was getting the sails back on and the new hatches in place. It also felt good sand and add a couple coats of Cetol to the teak handrails. I let it go too long to bring it back […]

Two hatches repaired and reinstalled on Encore

| March 12, 2016

In January a couple hatches were removed from Encore, our older Westerly Corsair II sailboat, in order to be sent to Select Plastics for repair. The project wasn't painless as both the time it took and cost (shipping too) were pretty expensive. Unfortunately, repairing them on my own was not successful and noting the number […]

Mounting a backup anchor on the stern rail

| March 11, 2016

If we upgrade our current Bruce anchor, this Mantus bracket would be ideal to keep the spare ready to deploy on the stern rail. Archiving this “currently $120” bracket for that purpose. I wonder how well it would hold a Bruce?

World-famous Gipsy Moth IV yacht headed to Jersey Boat Show

| March 10, 2016

The restored Gipsy Moth IV will be in attendance at next month’s Jersey Boat Show to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its historic round-the-world sail. Source: World-famous Gipsy Moth IV yacht headed to Jersey Boat Show – YBW

Denatured alcohol rather than oil for sharpening stones

| March 4, 2016

One of my favorite YouTube channels is the Tips from a Shipwright with Louis Sauzedde. His helpful tool tips and how-to techniques are always worth listening to … even if I’m no where near the level of woodworker as are most wood boatbuilding advocates. If you sharpen any tool, the advice from Louis in how […]

Sailing into volcanic ash and pumice on the water

| February 28, 2016

Under water volcanos spewing up floating rocks and pumice is something that I have not read or heard much about. It is both interesting and dangerous for those who are voyaging and cruising. In August of 2006, a small yacht called the Maiken encountered a bizarre shadow on the ocean. Upon closer inspection they discovered […]

Impulse buy–4 port 48W 12 volt USB charger

| February 27, 2016

Read an independent review about this IXCC 4-port IXCC USB charger with what it claims as “plenty of power” … although one descriptions says 48W and the other 36W (both claim 9.6 amp) … we’ll see. The Amazon reviews were a very high 4-1/2 stars and since our new “older” car doesn’t have an abundance […]

Escaping for a minute while writing lunchtime Python scripts

| February 25, 2016

The American Pi blog was due for an update (including on MyDesultoryBlog.com too!) and thought escaping for a minute to gaze into water and sky of the right color for this dreary February afternoon was a good idea. Why am I still in Cincinnati again?

Great idea for storing your flip-flops when sailing

| February 24, 2016

I’m always looking for better ways to store things on the boat … Kelley Gudahl shared a few things they do on her Sailing Chance blog … so figured I would archive them. First the flip-flop storage idea really caught my eye since we always have them sliding around the cockpit floor. There’s not that […]

Donna Lange struggling with heavy weather nearing Cape Horn

| February 15, 2016

One of my long time sailing acquaintances is Donna Lange who has been sailing her small boat Inspired Insanity around the world for a second time. Earlier I posted her progress, but this past weekend while closing in on the treacherous Cape Horn, she was knocked down twice and is struggling to move north to […]

Love this Slick TRIP Kickstarter backpack project

| February 7, 2016

I’d be jumping onboard for this Slick Kickstarter Backpack project if the $249 for the TRIP version didn’t frighten me away. Sure looks like the perfect traveling companion for my many trips — both for weekly work trips and those trips to the boat. It looks like they intend to keep the quality high … […]

Archive: Motor mount adjustment tools need for Encore

| February 4, 2016

While working on aligning the Volvo diesel on Encore last week, I realized that my tool bag didn’t have the correct wrenches to adjust the motor mounts. I’m archiving the correct tools  for the future. To adjust the Volvo alignment requires a feeler gauge and TWO 15/16” open ended wrenches – one needs to be […]

Where there is more wind aloft, sail like these ladies!

| February 2, 2016

I really wanted to title this “blonds have more fun” but unfortunately the members of this fine crew are brunette. On the other hand, the skipper may be detecting a little more wind aloft??? 🙂

A little varnishing before the NFL playoff games

| January 24, 2016

Really, I did plan for a full Sunday afternoon and evening of football watching with my friends Mark and Dar, but couldn't resist the warm sunshine to add a little Cetol (marine varnish product) to the shaded trim around the companionway. Hopefully I won't be too late to miss anything worthwhile in the NFL playoff […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.