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.)



Friday, December 20, 2013

Home for the Holidays

Christmas 2013 at home.

A Poem for Christmas in Port Townsend

Light blue, a wet wind
hustles heavy clouds in from the Pacific.
The sun cracks a smile,
            washes our house in gold,
            yellow for the neighbors,
            a rainbow for everyone.

Tumbling merrily, a vagabond cloud
brushes waving cedars on the ridge.
It looks like rain,
            it looks like sun,
            it looks like Spring,
            like everything all at once.

White-winged, a common gull
perches on a red brick chimney atop a black roof.
The clouds sweep by,
            leap riverlike from North Beach
            to cross the Strait
            all the way to Victoria.

Smiling sleepily, you yawn
ask from the kitchen, “Where’s the sugar?”
Pour milk over Cheerios,
            pour me another cup of coffee,
            pour your love over me,
            all through the days and nights.

Awash in light this morning,
pouring over that gull, our house, this town,
Life cracks a smile,
            gives us this Christmas,
            gives us this home,
            gives us each other.


All this color, this Christmas, this time.

Christmas 2012 in North Cove, Kawau Island NZ.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sockdolager in the Movies, Part 3!

Click HERE or on the image above to see the video.

Part 3 of the 3-part video series by OffCenterHarbor.com, called “Outfitting a Small Cruiser for Voyaging,” is now available. This part takes you belowdecks for a tour of the cabin. We hope you enjoy it, and the ten other videos (including Parts 1 and 2 if you missed them) that you can get access to for free, by filling in the form on the landing page. Off Center Harbor also made a film about our friend and shipwright Leif Knutson, whose own video-tour of Raven, the boat he built, is a real jaw-dropper.

Sockdolager underway on a fall cruise in Puget Sound
Warm weather has departed these latitudes, and barefoot days have long been replaced by something we’ve both missed: the change of seasons and winter’s chill. But really, winter’s okay. For now.  

A favorite memory.
Sockdolager is snug in her winter berth, we're back in our cottage, the Christmas tree is up, and the utter joy of a hot shower every day is still waaaay too intense for landlubbers to understand. We look forward to a winter cruise, which will be fun because so few boats are out and we’ll have our pick of the best spots to anchor.


Our cruising friends in New Zealand and Australia are wearing jandals and shorts and enjoying a fine summer, so maybe it’s time to get nostalgic with a few items in a “best of” series. We will start with New Zealand, but will occasionally be plucking images from the many thousands of photos we took over the past two years. Here's the best beach we found on the whole trip. (Surprise, it’s not tropical.)

Wharariki Beach, near Cape Farewell west of Nelson, NZ. It faces west into the Tasman Sea.
Our road trip gave us some terrific images. Going straight to the good stuff, here is the best chocolate stash we’ve ever seen. I mean, you’d never have to go to the grocery store again if you could figure out how to store this baby in the garage.

Best tower of chocolate. Dunedin, NZ.
Best road signs include one that we really should consider adopting here in the US.


And the fire department’s no slouch with their messages, either.


These bits of punctuation are strategically placed around the country. Come on, ya drivers, let’s show a little more enthusiasm out there!


There are also a lot of warnings about wind socks. If one got loose and wrapped around your windshield it could be very bad.


Best license plate on a campervan ever. No ambiguity here.


Best match ever, of a paint job on a campervan with the look of its six young sleeping occupants.


Best literary town name, though it might have been better as “Middle Earth.” For locals, the painted thing on the road says "50." But if you're not used to driving in NZ it says, "SO," leaving you to fill in, "are we on the right side of the road?"

Middlemarch. We looked for George Eliot and Mrs. Dollop, but it was mostly a wide spot in the road.
Best. Phone booth. Ever. On Stewart Island. 


As everyone knows, the ozone hole over the Antarctic has had issues, and the intensity of sun in NZ can be even more than in the tropics. Dark glasses in summer are a must. NZ has six gazillion sheep. Do the math.


Finally, after a search over ten thousand miles, Jim found the best caption for his portrait.


We’ve saved the best for last. The rainbows in Milford Sound don’t all just hang in the sky, some of them slide down waterfalls. Literally, shimmering curtains of color fall one after the other down to the water. Now that’s a rainbow.


No matter where you are, we hope you're enjoying the holiday season.