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124 F'n Saint

About sugarbird

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    Some of this and some of that

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  1. In the late 70's and early 80's we were routinely doing longish offshore passages several times a year. You used everything available. Maintained a detailed log and Dead Reckoning plot, RDF, and sun sights, and you'd wind up with a circle on a paper chart, that you felt pretty comfortable you were probably somewhere inside. Had a nice Plath sextant, used a Zenith Transoceanic shortwave receiver to pick up the time signal and set the chronometer. Bought the Tamaya NC-77 when it first came out, and that made working up positions easier, but didn't improve the accuracy (except for math errors), w
  2. I have to laugh about questions like this, as the best answer is almost always "it depends" IMHO. Where do you sail? Lotsa shoals and shallow waters and/or unmarked hazards? Heavy currents? How do you sail? Balls to the wall or easy does it? Single/short-handing, or multiple experienced crew aboard? Fair weather daysails in known waters, or long passages with arrivals potentially in less than ideal conditions? Of course "What's your budget?" plays a big role too, as does personal preferences. I love smartphones with nav apps, but I've come to believe that a medium sized, daylight readable, wat
  3. On a springtime passage from the Abacos to LIS, out in the middle somewhere, lovely sunset, nice breeze and smooth seas. Everybody's in a good mood, just finished a big spaghetti dinner, and I graciously agreed to wash the dishes. There was a slug of sauce left in the big frypan, and the fridge was on the blink, so I handed the pan up to the fellow on watch and said, "Hey Jim, toss this over will you?" He took the pan and said, "Throw it over?" I said, "Yeah," whereupon he promptly threw the pan into the drink. I paused open-mouthed for a second or two, then screamed "WTF?!" He gave me a reall
  4. My three kids grew up around the water and aboard boats, and it stuck to each of them to a greater or lesser degree, but they all have a connection to the sea that they are now passing on to their own kids. The photo is from about 1980, somewhere in the Caribbean. My daughter seemed to think that I spent so much time at the chart table noodling with charts, it must be fun!
  5. Good luck! Along with the tips provided above, suggest you invest in a needle gun and a pair of good over the ear noise cancelling headphones.
  6. Lots of folks have cruised happily in the Caribbean for years with teak decks - they learn to live with the baggage that comes with them, and love the look. When in good shape, they're probably the nicest deck underfoot in crappy weather. Would I choose to do it? NFW. The UV in the Caribbean is dramatically stronger than in the Med, and it's year round. The maintenance involved, and not being able to walk on deck without shoes most of the day sucks. Let them "go gray" or bust your hump and keep them honey gold? Reseeming with thiokol is an awful job IMHO. Once the crew head bungs start popping
  7. Yeah, winter is coming... although it hasn't quite arrived here yet
  8. Gee, it sure seems inevitable that a bust will at some point follow the boom, and there certainly seem to be a lot of negatives floating around (excuse the pun). Forecasting the timing, and depth of a contraction is harder. Hyper inflation, supply chain crash, climate driven global reset, and a Mad Max style future, etc. are all possibilities I suppose, but homo sapiens are a creative and adaptive species. But betting on a near term correction that will leave one sitting in a position to snatch up a quality yacht at a bargain price, while personally being untouched by a downturn to me smacks o
  9. An illustration showing the difference between an engineer and and operator...
  10. I know, I know, you're careful, and it would never happen to you.
  11. We've found the LUCI lights to be the epitome of "no fuss, no muss," are crazy stowable, unbreakable, no fuel, no smell, no fire hazard, no wires, and long lasting - the first one we bought ten years ago is still functional. And no, I don't have a financial interest in the company. If you find it's a little brighter/too wide a light than you'd like you can stick it inside a small basket and hang it upside down from the boom or whatever.
  12. IMHO a good deal of the confusion about "Bluewater Sailing" is caused by the wide variation in how much risk one is willing to accept - as well as no universally accepted definition of what bluewater sailing actually is. Lotsa folks are out there doing major ocean crossings in small keelboats with spade rudders (and minimalist creature comforts). This gent has some strong opinions that will resonate with a good number of folks, but there are others who dream of foiling across the Atlantic, and just punching out the EPIRB if they're unlucky enough to hit a submerged container at 25+ knots.
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