Departure Time12:15
LocationShilshole Bay
CrewDavid, Markus, Oliver and Beau
A sailboat with sails up with a faint rainbow behind it.

Oliver and I arrived early to prep the boat. The deck and hardware had gotten a bit green so we did a bit of scrubbing.

When David and Mark arrived we dropped the outboard in and warmed it up. Took two starts to idle from cold.

Once out in Shilshole Bay we started hunting for some wind but there wasn’t much to be found at first. A boat off West Point had full sail up as well as another off of Bainbridge directly across so we motored west to get out of Magnolia’s wind shadow.

There was some weather coming in from the north around the convergent zone and once it arrived we were off.

Mark was on the tiller and I was trimming the sails. We made a few tacks and made our way windward until the winds finally passed. The knot meters were still not functioning so no info on speed in the water. My guess is close to four knots.

We ended up on a beam reach heading south with a gentle wind coming from the east. David set up the stove and boiled some water while I cut up some bread and cheese and we all enjoyed a warm lunch in the middle of the bay.

After bobbing around a bit more we motored back in just before 15:00.

David and Mark left, Oliver and I spent some more time scrubbing. Then we buttoned Nirvana up and headed home.


59º North Sailing // One Humongous Iceberg // Svalbard-Iceland Part 3

I think I have just one thing on my bucket list and it’s going on a high latitude sailing expedition. 59º North and the operation behind it is the reason the internet exists.

We’ve sailed almost 1,000 miles south from Svalbard and yet the temperature and the weather remains much the same. Grey, overcast skies, light drizzle, patchy fog and cold. Feels like we’ve gone sideways. I said to Mia earlier that when you leave the Chesapeake in November to sail south, you get a d

Source: 59º North Sailing // One Humongous Iceberg // Svalbard-Iceland Part 3

PS: Enable your RSS feeds Andy!


I’d like to spend more time in these cold winter months on the boat. That means figuring out some heating.

I found this post on five different heating options.

Number five seemed like the best option: head South.


First Sail of the Year

We had our first sail of 2018 last week.

I did some maintenance to the main and headsail and still had to slide the battens in before hoisting the main halyard.

Winds were pretty light from the north. We were doing four knots in the water upwind and peaked just under five heading down.

A pod of three or four Orca whales showed up heading north past Bainbridge island. A stupid motorboat decided to cruise right on top of them and scared them below. They resurfaced further north. There was no keeping up with them. We also paid a quick visit to the sea lion that lives on the channel marker near the marina.

While returning to the marina I noticed the motor wasn’t spitting out the stream of water from the cooling system. I decided to keep the RPMs low and dock before checking it out. Turned out to be some strange fluke but I’ll have to keep my eye on it.

Launches and landings have become pretty uneventful now that I’ve unlocked the outboard to allow tiller steering.


Sail Maintenance

Nirvana’s sails have seen better days. Today I pulled down the headsail so I could patch up the sailcover.

Nirvana’s headsail on the kitchen table.

I think it’s seen just a little too much UV and the threads were starting to go.

I did what I could with the household Singer but couldn’t get everything finished before I broke all the needles.

To finish up the rest I used the Speedy Stitcher which managed to punch through the thicker parts of the sail.

It’s not beautiful but the sail cover won’t be flapping in the wind and I was able to give it a good scrub. This should last another season.

Next on the list is the outboard carbeurator.


So I’m buying the second half of my boat now. Here’s to owning a whole boat!

Now all of the things that need to be fixed are my complete responsibility.


Mainsail Tear

On the last sail I saw a tear in the leech of the mainsail I hadn’t noticed before.

It follows the top edge of one of the batten pockets. It looks like this batten pocket has been ripped and sewn back on. There was a temporary piece of nylon tape holding it together.

I ordered some Tear-Aid Type A for a temporary repair. I think I’ll be breaking out the sewing machine to put a proper dacron patch on there. I already get to put my recent reading to use!

I’m attempting to do things the hard way with Nirvana so maybe I can make a new mainsail following Karl Deardorff’s instruction. I just need to find some plans for a San Juan 7.7 mainsail.


Sailing Reading Material

I hope to be taking some multi-day cruising adventures so I’ve been diving into books.

Plain Sailing
by Dallas Murphy

If you’ve already had your first sail in a dinghy this book has been great in going past “the basics” when it comes to sail trim and points of sail.

I really enjoyed Plain Sailing and it has already built some confidence for the next sail.

Complete Rigger’s Apprentice
by Darril Gibson

Complete Rigger’s Apprentice goes deep into running and standing rigging on boats. Not only does it show how to tie many kinds of knots it also explains their histories and uses.

The diagrams can be hard to follow so a visit to the Animated Knots by Grog helps clear everything up.

Nirvana will need new standing rigging sooner than later and this helped lay some base knowledge even if a lot of it was for out-of-date techniques.

Canvaswork & Sail Repair
by Don Casey

A useful reference when it comes to maintaining sails and other parts of the boat covered in canvas.

I already have a tear to repair in the aging mainsail and a custom dodger might be in my future.


Achieving Nirvana

My name is now on the title of a Clark Boat’s San Juan 7.7 Bermuda rigged fractional sloop named Nirvana.

As a proud boat owner I now get to fix all the broken things on it. Maybe I’ll even sail it!

I hope this is the beginning of some grand adventures in the Salish Sea.