Here you will find tales of voyages past and present on our trusty Pacific Seacraft Dana 24, "Sockdolager," and more recently, our Bigfoot29 powerboat, "Raven," 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, sailed to Mexico, 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. We are currently cruising in the Pacific Northwest, and hope you enjoy reading about our adventures as much as we enjoy having them. (And there will be more.)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

New! Site Index!

To help new readers navigate this blog, and to make it easier for longtime readers to find information, we've added a Site Index on the left side of this page, featuring click-through links to blog posts organized by topic and year. Not all blog posts are indexed, but reader favorites and those with topics of interest are. Because many blog posts cover multiple topics, several links may take you to the same post.  

Currently this index covers the voyage from Port Townsend to New Zealand and back, from mid-2011 through our homecoming. We will expand it to include 2009-2011. 

Part one includes passages, meaning posts written at sea or about a particular passage.
Part two contains posts about places: islands, cities, ports of call.
Part three is humor posts, but much of the humor writing is embedded in larger posts.
Part four is seamanship. 
Part five is health topics. 
Part six is about wildlife.

We hope this index helps you to navigate the blog with ease.


  1. Hi Folks,
    I was just in Port Townsend, looking at boats. I live in Bellingham. I came here 1-1/2 years ago to learn to sail. Before that I lived in Eureka, Ca. I left my favorite hat on a boat in PT, so I am coming back. I looked at a very expensive and beautiful Cape George Cutter in PT. I dont know if it makes sense to buy her, in the price range she is in, for my first boat, when I could get a nice Dana for a lot less.
    The boat I am most in love with is a Bristol Channel Cutter, but only one is on the West Coast, and she is not the right one, for various reasons, mainly price and condition.
    On the other hand, I know that the Dana is going to be easier to own and to use in most ways; lower cost, easier to maintain, probably easier to re-sell, easier to learn to sail, and stout, and so on.
    There are at least 3 Danas in our little marina here in Bham. And four bigger Seacrafts, 34 or 37's. So clearly they are popular. I am always thinking about a boat's resale-ability, so I will not be stuck with her when I am ready to trade her in for that next boat, or when I need to downsize.
    I was going to first use the boat I find to sail here around in the Sound, then up to the Inside Passage, and I will probably need to consider a full cockpit enclosure with the dodger-bimini mess, just to not totally freeze. but that is so ugly, and seems like you are in a baggie, so i want to take it off when ever possible, plus it probably makes the boat act weird from windage. But I am not super hardy for cold, either.
    When you go out sailing here, do you use an enclosure? How do you feel about using them?
    I ride my bike all the time in the rain all year round, and at 20 MPH, is the wind hitting me equivalent to the breeze chill factor on the water in a similar wind?
    I figure if I can do that, I can sail with the enclosure down. But when I ride the bike, I am only out there for a half hour or less, then I am at the coffee shop. Take Care, Sam

    1. Hi Sam,
      They're all great boats, but the Dana was our choice for all the reasons you mention. Before I sold my previous Dana there were three parties who'd asked me to notify them if I ever thought about selling it. The first one in line accepted within ten minutes of being asked. That Dana had taken me up and down the Inside Passage, and cruised for 5 years in Prince William Sound and Kenai Fiords without a cockpit enclosure. I had a dodger and a boom tent and a nice heater below.

      Though we love being warm and dry, we are not big fans of those permanent canvas-and-plastic window cockpit enclosures because they reduce your ability to see hazards. Case in point: friends on a 37-footer who had crossed the Pacific and were very experienced sailors pulled out of a marina in Ketchikan directly into the path of an oncoming cruise ship. They had looked around but somehow missed seeing it because one of the canvas bits in their enclosure blocked it. Five blasts from the cruise ship alerted them just in time, but it was close. It only takes one mistake.

      If your dodger has those stainless side rails on it (see our Fiddly Bits page) then you can tie a simple quick-deployed awning to it for staying out of the rain. Cheap thrills! If the wind pipes up you can roll it back up, but frankly, we kept that little square overhead in 30 knots and it did fine.

      Turning a sailboat into the equivalent of a motorsailer with an inside helm is a compromise, and each owner has to weigh the pros and cons. A full set of awnings at anchor is great, but sailing with that equivalent, it might be easy to lose touch with wind and weather changes. Then again, friends who had full cockpit enclosures on the Pacific crossing were a lot more comfortable than we were.
      -Karen and Jim