You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2010.

There’s people that like to think they’re really good at coming up with a plan and then executing said plan. These people are completely disillusioned. The perfectly executed plan is make believe, satisfaction for the control freak. There will always be some unforeseen angle or circumstance that requires a small adjustment in the plan. “But the paper said it would be sunny today?”

If your like me, before beginning a plan, you’ve already accepted that the plan will be broken. The plan is another way of saying I’m going to start in this general direction, at some point i’ll probably be doing a complete one-eighty, but I will end up somewhere different.

So yeah, my boat is still sitting on a ball in Monterey Bay. There have been numerous plans, and even a few quickly muted attempts at moving the boat. I’m beginning to realize the problem thus far has been letting other people in on the plan. I think as a general rule, I scare people. At least when it comes to things like… “do you want to help me move my sailboat?”. People soon realize that my will to get this boat going is a bit on the dangerous, or even nutty, side. Ever since I was a kid I’ve found myself scaring off would be thrill seekers, usually soon after I’ve shared the plan. Even more scary, I’m now sharing these plans from the seat of a wheelchair.

Ah, who knows, maybe I’m just not suppose to have this boat. Maybe my plan is being altered and I’ve become the control freak. It’s frustrating to say the least. It seems every-time I think the boat is going to be moved, it doesn’t happen.

You know what I really think… I need to stop bitching, go hop on the boat, and move it myself. I don’t know why I’m so hung up on having somebody else with me. I think maybe too much talking with the previous owner has put this idea in my head. I bought this boat to sail solo around the world. Why would I not solo it across monterey bay? Well, I’ve never been on this boat or in this bay. Plus I haven’t equipped her yet. But, I have to start somewhere.

Yeah, somehow I got steered wrong. However, I am starting to think more clear as of late. The clear headed conclusion is…. wait for the weather window, crew or no crew, hop on the boat and get her into a slip.

There’s a storm brewing in the bay right now, as soon as it passes I’m getting my boat.

Nora’s sore is looking fantastic. Thanks for the prayers. It definitely didn’t heal as planned, but the dog is well on her way to squirrel chasing again.

Nick Jaffe of bigoceans.com wrote a blog entry last week introducing his followers to my story. The number of people visiting my website has doubled since this kind mention. Much gratitude for the generous support of this way more experienced, fellow sailor.
Thanks Nick!

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golden gate sea gull

golden gate sea gull


My engine!

Even typing hurts my arm and I’m way to tired to think. Both great reasons to pump out a blog entry. I found the outboard engine I need under the Golden Gate bridge. Two hundred bucks and the man threw in a tank full of gas. He was an old sailor with the vocabulary to match. The engine ran like a champ today as Dale and I putted out to Selene. She needed a little love before her big day. Tomorrow she sails to Moss Landing, with the help of her new(actually very old) 4hp Evinrude.

For todays lovin, Selene has Dale to thank. The man crawled and weaved his way around her like a yoga master. He drilled through the cup-link and shaft, pinning the cup-link to the shaft, then pinched his way into the transom and secured the outboard bracket. Her old engine was cut out, leaving a severed shaft that needed to be pinned before tomorrow’s journey. I sat and watched, offering light hearted jokes as Dale slaved away on my boat. Remember he’s the guy who sold me the boat, explaining(prior to sale) that all this needed to be done before she could move. Now he’s the one doing it. I am so grateful for the people I have met here and realize every moment that my boat would not be possible without them.

Tomorrow Dale and I will be sailing Selene from Monterey Marina to Moss Landing, a little less than 15 nautical miles. If everything goes smoothly, Selene will be berthed in her new slip before the day is over. If everything fails, at least i’ll be out there for just a bit. Being on the boat today I was reminded why I began this journey. Nothing connects with my soul more than sitting in the open ocean, or even a bay like today.

So much has happened the past few days I should have more to share. I had the pleasure of driving up to San Francisco, in the van Sally is letting me borrow. I have an outboard engine for the boat! Moss Landing harbor cashed my check, I’m in! Nora, poor nora, added a giant new skin ulcer to her inventory of troubles. The cast for her first cut wore the skin raw on her leg, down to the last layers. She’ll be back at the vet tomorrow(thanks to Sally) for re-bandanging and I’m so anxious for a good report. It’s amazing how much one can worry for an animal and right now the dog is breaking my heart. Please pray for the pup, she needs some healing.

Tomorrow is a huge day, thanks everyone for the support!

Oh Yeah! My arm. Selene gave me my first little nudge today. Climbing from the cabin up to the deck the companionway step slipped. Barely caught myself before landing in the bilge and my shoulder paid the price. Got to love a tough old boat that likes to push back a little.

cat mask

cat mask


Sally’s internet wasn’t reaching the van today so I came inside her house to upload one of my world famous youtube videos. I’m allergic to cats, or at least multitudes of cats, and inside Sally’s house there’s a small civilization of feline’s. So I sit online with my face mask working to share the travel experience. Hoping the sailboat donations will continue to trickle in or my photos make it into some gallery.
I’m tired and I haven’t been doing anything but hanging in Sally’s driveway. It’s my brain that’s taking all my energy, constantly mauling over all the attention my sailboat needs.
We’re in the kitchen watching weeds.
The boat is still sitting on the old owners ball. I have a slip about 15 miles north, with no way of getting the boat there. At first Dale and I had planned to sail the boat to its slip. But, smart people wouldn’t sail a boat with 50 year old rigging and no engine for backup in a northern california October. So now I’m waiting for an engine, an outboard. In the meantime I’ll continue to hang in my van and eat whatever dried food I can scrounge. Stressing until Selene is finally tied to a dock and ready to be stripped.
I’m anxious for the next half year. I’ll be living out of a broken van. Feeding on peanut butter and cans of soup. All in an effort to get Selene in live-aboard condition. Then I can begin looking at the real expense, getting Selene in cruising condition.
You wanna know what’s crazy about this? besides all this. I couldn’t be happier with where I’m at in life. I don’t wake up every morning at 9 and head to work. There’s probably not another soul out there living comparably and for some strange crazy reason this satisfies me. I’ll be honest, there are moments when I do think how comfortable life would be, living the status quo. Then as soon as my mind transports to the living comfort of status quo I’m instantly reminded why I love being here.
And, as a bonus, I’ve made a life long friend in Sally. It’s been a while since I laughed this hard in someone else’s company. Plus, she has lot’s of things that need to be painted. I do like painting, and this time it will be for money!
Someday you should try writing a blog entry while breathing through a mask. Oxygen makes sense.

Wednesday I opened an email from Monterey Boat Works, the Marina I was trying to get Selene into. The email stated they were unable to recognize me as a customer due to my poor credit scores. Ever since grade school scores have been bumming me out.

Right now Selene is tied to her old owners mooring ball, he needs her off asap or risks getting in trouble with the county(losing his moorage). Dale has been a huge help in this transaction. The email denying my slip options in Monterey was depressing. It was good to finally fall asleep Wednesday night and forget the day.

I wake up Thursday morning ready to get serious again about finding a slip. Monterey Boat Works wasn’t interested in my plea for favor on my poor credit situation. So I meet with Dale, get some ideas, and head for Moss Landing. Another Marina, hopefully one that doesn’t run credit checks.

Cruising down Highway 1, an incredibly beautiful and soothing drive, my van stops running. It’s not the gas, it’s not the oil, it’s not the electronics. It’s the engine. Loud, stomach pounding, knocking noises as the engine quickly dies out with each start. Stranded on the side of some farm road I get out of the car and pop the hood. Maybe some medicine wagon will see me stranded on the side of the road and offer a miraculous potion that cures engine woes. This doesn’t happen.

Instead, a PT Cruiser labeled TomBoy Tools pulls along side me. There’s a lady driving and offers help. I’ve never met the lady before, this is California, and she stopped to offer help, miraculous. I ask for a cell phone to call Dale or maybe a tow truck. She doesn’t have one, but none cell phone carrying people are my kind of people. I knew we’d be getting along. Doesn’t have cell phone, but does have a an AAA Card and driveway for the van. So I get a tow to her house and call up Dale, the boats old owner.

First comes Val, the neighborhood mechanic. He checks the car, says it’s real bad, something with the engines timing. The conversation switches from my car to Sally’s car. Sally’s the lady whose driveway I’m now in. Sally’s talking about smog stories. Val and Fred start sharing their experiences. Fred’s convinced there’s a Mercedes with hemorrhoids behind the smog shop down the street. The smog shop passes every car it checks. Fred says every time that a car pulls up for smog, they stick the diagnostics up the tail pipes of the brand new Mercedes sitting behind the shop. Bingo, your old piece of junk passes.

Anyways, back to my car. Dale makes it just after dark. Listens to the engine a few times and agrees with Val. The knocking noise means somethings broken in the engine. My $1500 dollar van has suddenly become a very tiny apartment parked in front of Sally’s house. And remember, I still have no slip for Selene.

Sally happens to be the neighborhood cat lady, lots of cats. Nora, who had no idea the situation was ever bad, is now suddenly in dog heaven. Sally was the hero of my day, without her I’d probably still be stranded. Dale called her an Angel, he’s probably right. And go figure, she has an accessible, steaming hot, shower off the side of her house.

So today I wake up in my broken van out front of Cat Womens house. Nora chases the cats for a while and I get a hot shower. Later we stroll down to moss landing, about a mile from Sally’s. I talk with the Harbor Guys, they’re cool. They have slips available, they don’t run credit checks, and can get me in whenever I’m ready. Now I just have to come up with the slip fees and deposit, much cheaper than Monterey Bay Boat Works. Still lots of money for a guy who just bought a boat and broke a van.

At least today it’s all looking very possible, yesterday it wasn’t.

Saw Selene move for the first time today. She went for a jog through the harbor and sat in her possibly future slip. All thanks to her old owner Dale. Today was a trial to check her fitting in the slip, and she fits, goodness. Her job’s done, now I get to work on sizing up my finances to fit the marina’s fees. The most exciting part about today was being with Selene. She’s much heavier than my old Coronado 25′ which is exactly what I want for crossing oceans. Selene is a beauty and each time I get to be around her I grow to realize why she’s my boat.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m not just a glutton for things that wear me down. Living out of a car for a year was not physically energizing. Picking up smoking again is not healthy. Buying a boat in need of tons of money and work is beyond overwhelming to the mind. But, I did start out last year in a car and camp around the entire country. My state count is now somewhere in the low 40’s. Leaving Oregon, well I didn’t even now if I was going to make it out of Oregon.

Now I seem to find myself again at point 0 to some extent. At times I think why did I ever give up the road to buy the boat. I had finally found myself comfortable on the road. Now, I’ve given up this comfort to transfer to the boat. Being a car camper is going to be a huge help in buying time to work on the boat. However, I have to figure out how to live out of a car, work on a boat, and start selling some photography, all together. That’s what’s on my mind the most lately. So much so that it’s hard to get excited about someday getting to sail on the boat. Just like leaving Oregon last year, these first few steps are going to carry the biggest burden. After a while the groove will set. Soon it will all be smooth sailing.

After all I did set out on the road trip to find my boat. Now I set off on the boat work to begin sailing the globe. I always figured the boat work phase would be the hardest part of this adventure. And, being that the road trip was so much more (both fulfilling and trying) than I could of ever imagined. It numbs my mind to think what this next adventure phase will involve.

28.5' Pearson Triton Sailboat

Meet Selene


The boat is a 28.5′ Pearson Sloop. Currently she sits on a mooring ball in Monterey Bay California. Today I’ll be test fitting for a slip in a private marina here in Monterey. This means I’ll be riding my boat for a few hundred yards today. I’ll have the video camera…. but, this is kind of the final scene of the entire driving series of videos so you’ll have to wait a few months before getting to see my first ride on Selene. Hope everyone is enjoying the current New Hampshire videos posting on my youtube channel. Notice how I’m getting a little better at this self promotion thing? That’s because I have a boat now and I’m going to need all the sponsorship help I can get!

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CONTACT ME

jordansname@gmail.com

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