Here you will find tales of voyages past and present on our trusty Pacific Seacraft Dana 24, "Sockdolager," from Port Townsend, Washington, USA. In 2009 we sailed north from Puget Sound up the west coast of Vancouver Island to the Queen Charlotte Islands (now called Haida Gwaii.) In 2010 we went back to the west coast of Vancouver Island. In July 2011 we left the Northwest, and in March 2012 we crossed the Pacific to French Polynesia, then on to the Cooks, Niue and Tonga. We spent several months in New Zealand, and in May 2013 loaded the boat (and ourselves) on a container ship for San Francisco. In June and July 2013 we sailed north along the California, Oregon and Washington coasts, and in August we arrived home. In October 2016 Sockdolager found new owners, and we are now enjoying Raven, a unique wooden 29' powerboat. Plans are to head north. We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures as much as we enjoy having them. (And there will be more.)



Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bluebird Days

Pacific Crossing, Day 10: Blue skies, puffy little trade wind clouds, bathtub-warm water, a diminishing swell and the last wisps of breeze in this corner of the Pacific make up a classic tropical day. We're making only 3 to 3.5 knots but it's so pleasant we don't mind. (You can click on the link to the left for our position.) Last night on the Net we were surprised at the number of boats reporting being becalmed. Hope they're moving again.

Happy Spring! We get about a week of it and then it's... happy autumn! Barefoot as we are, this will be Sockdolager's year of no summer, until next December 21. Weird, huh? Getting used to Southern Hemisphere seasons and weather will be interesting.

This soft air feels like a caress, and if we get becalmed there'll be a swim call in the offing. Jim did some laundry yesterday, in salt water. It takes forever to dry. Think we'll wait for a rain squall for the next batch. A bit of rain fell last night, though not enough to catch for water. But we're doing well on water consumption and should have enough, even if we don't catch any. And in this bright sun the solar panel is charging up the batteries again!

As we hitch a ride on the North Equatorial Current, I'm grateful to have been able to carve out this period of time in life, with Jim, to sail over the horizon and live, while still connected to a community of friends and family via this blog and email, in a mental as well as physical landscape of our own choosing. In mid-Pacific one is outside the Twitterverse, woot! The good news is we're not being harangued with consumer ads or political rhetoric telling us what to think. The bad news is we have to think for ourselves. (Wait, how could that be bad?)

Having both killed our televisions years ago to resort to more conversations with good books (and later on, with each other,) we didn't notice a major unplugging feeling from the daily info blizzard when we left last July to go sailing. The metaphor comes to mind, that back on land this selective connectivity allowed more wiggling of mental toes in sunlight, water, or in front of the fire, which refreshed the mind and avoided a daily swallow of that toxic sludge passing far too often for media coverage, ricocheting around the airwaves.

There is a balance to be had, between seeking out the world's beauty and splendor, and fighting against its base and banal destruction. You must save something for yourself in these times, something having to do with recognizing and protecting your own quiet, sacred dreams, songs, images, books, places and names. Humble or huge, dreams belong more than ever in our lives, like water in the cool, shimmering pools inside us. In the exhausting tenor of these times, dreams appear to be endangered.

These are highly verbal times, with a lot of institutional manipulation of language for the purpose of manipulating people in unprecedented ways. Danger lies in having too little nonverbal time, in whose corners lay dusty symbols, oblique meanings, flashes of intuition, and original thought. Maybe even common ground with others unlike us. Danger lies in living by choice a life of default; a series of small grinding moments that blend into one another one by one, weaving something we didn't intend to make, or vaguely waiting for someone to Drop the Big One. Danger lies in not dreaming, or working to make a dream come true.

A dream is an ocean to explore. An ocean is a symbol of freedom, and a voyage. Symbols open the mind to deeper meanings. Meaning is the ship we sail on.

Sent via Ham radio

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