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Virgin Islands

As planned I visited Joe and Faye aboard Mystic Charge in St. Thomas, USVI.
I don’t think that I’ll be invited again. The day I arrived brought the worse weather they had during their stay in the Islands. I landed amidst thunderstorm and winds gusting to 40 knots. Not much has changed during the next 5 days. Winds were very strong and still gusting up to 40 knots and seas outside of the anchorage according to the weather service 14-18 feet – not a weather for recreational sailing. So instead of sailing we did a lot of partying – Bloody Mary for breakfast, Pain Killer for lunch and Single Malt for dinner – life could have been worse.
My stay came to an end quickly as all vacations do adn I’m looking forward to the next trip.

Winter is here…

…and for some that means a lot of good sailing, for myself it means skiing. During the winter months I move to Park City, Utah and teach skiing at the Deer Valley Resort.

I’m getting ready to head out west on the 1st of December.

It’s possible that I will not spend entire winter in the snow, a friend of ours has a 65ft Tayana which is going to spend the winter in the BVI’s – I think we may join them for a few days if all the stars line up just right. For now – so long – will post more as my sailing picks up – Mark

"…shapely little hooker…"

I visited the Annapolis Boat Show this year – it was a good one. Just about anything your heart desires was there – from a 70′ Hinckley Sou’wester to a 13′ Melonseed Skiff. Contrary to the weather report the weather cooperated perfectly ,  we had a warm and a sunny day. There wasn’t that much I had to see but a new IP 370 and a Valiant 42 were on my short list. Since I’m not in the market for a new boat neither one represented what I may be buying one day, however both were good representation of capable cruising boat. IP very sophisticated with a lot to offer in a 38′ design and Valiant mean cruising machine. It was interesting to see how different those boats were and again how different they were from a Hylas 70 or a Hinckley. One thing that shocked us was that on Hylas 70 I guess about $3000000 boat, there were veneer panels screwed on with metal screws and neither panels or screws lined up, the workmanship definitely left a lot to be desired.

melonseed The other side of that coin was represented by the Melonseed Skiff – 13 feet 8 inches of great workmanship. Roger Crawford put his heart and soul into this reproduction of a nineteen century gun boat, that can be sailed or rowed. He has dedicated his life to boat building and Joe and Faye placed an order for – I think – the Melonseed number 425. She is going to be dark green with brown sail and a gold stripe. I’m looking forward to sailing it next year.

Robert Perry in his review of the Melonseed in Sailing magazine said:

“I’ll tell you what makes this boat special. It is as shapely a little hooker as you will find anywhere. From its hollow entry to its almost heart-shaped transom, this boat is a symphony of shapes. The sheerline is bold and sprung  with confidence. Freeboard is minimal. The sectional shape shows a firm turn to the bilge, ensuring excellent stability and a forgiving nature. The  barn-door-styled rudder and centerboard or daggerboard (you have the option)  make sailing off the beach a breeze.”

Joe is going to stow his little hooker on the bow of his Mystic Charge and I’ll post a picture of it as soon as it happens.

October 5-9 2008 – NY to Baltimore



All is well – I’m back home, calluses on my hands are healing nicely and I’m ready for another voyage. I think that’s going to be with Joe in the BVI aboard s/v Mystic Charge. I’ll have a more detailed account of the voyage on Pride of Baltimore II here.

Here is the guest crew that went with me Kathie, Jim, Jason, Mike and Greg.

Sail from NY to Baltimore

I found out today that I need to be in NY on Saturday to join Pride of Baltimore ( ) for a sail from New York to Baltimore. I’m pretty excited – as I didn’t think that it will happen – someone got sick and a spot opened up.

I’m going to drive up to Baltimore, leave my Truck there, take a Greyhound Bus to New York, sail down back to Baltimore then drive down to Annapolis to play at Annapolis Boat Show (  ).

I’ll post pictures and a story when I get back.

Boats boats boats

Here what we look for in a boat and some suggestion from

Mast less than 63ft

Draft 5ft

IMS Stability index over 120 deg

Stability Ratio over 2

CSV under 2


Morgan 382, 383 * USA Excellent Ted Brewer design for around $60K.

Gozzard 31, 36, 44 CAN Good design & construction. Totally committed quality company.

Pearson 35, 365, 422, 424, 520 * USA Fairly well built, not flashy but reasonably priced.
Passport 41, 415, 435, 44, 456, 470, 50 TAI Modem Perry cruising design. Good storage/tankage.

Tartan 3500, 37, 3700, 41, 4100, 4600, * USA Well proven several 37’s have circumnavigated. Some designs have centerboards.

Valiant 32, 37, 39, 40, 42, 47, 50 USA Major blister problems on Valiant 40 hull numbers 116 250. No problems with any of the excellent Texas built boats. Proven designs, strong company.

Cal 2 30, 34, 36, 39, 40, 2 46, 3 46, 48 * USA Bill Lapworth designs. Many 2-46’s have circumnavigated. Comfortable, reasonably priced but look very carefully at bulkhead attachment.
Caliber 28, 33, 35, 38, 40 USA Fairly well built. Michael McCreary designs. The 47 is not an attractive boat.

Cape Dory all models * USA All models are well designed & built.

Fast Passage 39 USA Some built in Canada, some by Tollycraft. WA. Excellent boat.

Island Packet 32, 35, 350, 37,38, 40, 420, 44, 45 USA Roomy & comfortable with good tankage & storage but some odd features. Continually improving. Good value, exc. company.

Malo 36, 38, 39, 45 SWE Quality offshore boats with good sailing performance. Attractive, reasonably priced. Strong company, good service.

Here is a new start

I’m planning on using this blog to keep track of our progress on the way to Cruising Life.

I’ll post my thoughts (scary) and ideas as well as useful links and articles I come across. Let see how well this is going to work.