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It’s been a while since I last wrote. If that doesn”t sound like a journal entry… either way, it’s been a while. It’s easy to write when I have a new boat, sitting on the old owners ball, and can’t find a place to put the new boat. But that’s all over now. Selene has a home and is in the slow process of being made over. I could try to write about the work I’m doing on the boat, but some of it I’d rather not re-live. The work that goes good, I’d rather not write about that either. I’m to afraid of writing myself into a confident stupor before tackling the next project. I will say the boat has a lot of needs, also leaks. Thankfully the leaks are all above the water line.
So yeah, when life is status quo, and I’m chugging along on boat projects, I can’t find the nerve to write blog entries. Now that I’ve got you real curious about what happened to make me want to write one, I’ll tell yeah. I just bought another boat. One of the inflatable varitey. A classic old bright red inflatable zodiac. It’s about 10 feet long, wood slots for a floor, and rated up to 10hp. Even has an inflatable keel. I figured I needed a way to keep my little 4hp outboard in shape, so why not get a zodiac. After purchasing the soon to be named(?) tender I went and purchased a Carne Asada Burrito, Wet. It was my first since getting back into California, it was authentic, and ohh how I’ve missed them.
So no, I didn’t really come online to write about a personal christmas gift to self, not that self indulgent. I came on to write about my Zodiac purchase experience. Kind of like a review for West Marine. Except I didn’t buy the thing at West Marine, I bought it off craigslist from a Raiders Fan in Oakland. He opened the door looking fit to fill the bill for the pirate logo on his sweatshirt. A geniune Oakland resident, and genuine human being. As he steps out his front door… “oh, your in a wheelchair” few minutes later “what happened?”. Before I got hurt I don’t know if I would of ever have had the guts to be as up front with my thoughts as he was. Often times I run into people and can see it in there eyes. The questions are burning inside, but their mothers told them don’t be rude. Forget it, as far as I’m concerned ASK THE QUESTIONS! If it’s already on your mind, spit it out. I’m not out trying to change the world for people in wheelchairs. But when I roll up to your door in a wheelchair, in Oakland, in the middle of a rain storm, at night, hoping to buy a tender for my sailboat, it’s OK to be curious.
The greatest thing about a person speaking what’s on their mind, we can get down to solid human interaction faster, share a real laugh, tell a good story, or even pick up on some advice. See, I’m already getting all inspiratinal, not my intention. I simply wanted to share with you how cool it is when people are up front from the get go. Now I get to drive home, or back to my van, with a big smile on my face and a good old deflated tender behind me. I probably should be spending the money on more fiberglass epoxy for Selene’s decks, but that stuff stresses me out. This zodiac is just what I need for the next time a boat job goes south, something to take out for a little spin.
As I sat and waited for my burrito from the Mexican joint, I dreamt about pulling my tender up to a beach on the Sea of Cortez and gorging myself on all the wonderful foods of Mexico. My latest thought on cruising destinations, as you can tell, are Baja bound.

selene in her slip

she made it


Whelp, i did it… don’t really like the “I” part of that statement. There’s been way to many people involved. Thanks to the support from everyone, Selene is in her slip!

I’m exhausted. Didn’t sleep at all last night as I tossed and turned wondering wether or not my 1963 Pearson Triton was going to make it across the bay. The boat I just purchased and have never sailed on… which has loose rigging, old sails, and a cut off prop shaft. A boat which I now know and respect. Having just spent the past 6 hours motor sailing to Moss Landing from Monterey Marina.

I woke up at sunrise. Packed everything my mind thought would be useful. Got a car ride from Sally down to the boat ramp. Stood at the end of the ramp with Nora and asked a few fisherman for a ride to my sailboat, on the ball. Hitched a ride out to my sailboat from the second(!) fisherman I asked. Climbed on Selene. Climbed into the bowels of Selene. Drilled through the prop and shaft. Broke off the drill bit in the hole going through the prop/shaft. Wrapped the shaft with duck-tape, making sure the broken bit would stay in place, holding the prop and shaft. Hung the biggest jib aboard on the forestay. Rigged up some jib sheets. Miraculously got the outboard from the cabin sole, up into the cockpit, and hung on the stern bracket. Yelled at guy on the boat next to me for help untying from the ball. Started up the old 2 stroke. Chatted with the guy while the old 2 stroke yawned and stretched. Put her in gear and headed out into the bay.

Leaving Monterey Marina a small seal performed some acrobatics off the back of the boat. I figured he was sending me off… probably really just upset about missing out on the food that was growing under Selene.

It was the perfect day to be on the water. Clear skies, nice slow rolling waves, and light wind from the east. We motor sailed in a straight line all the way there. I write “We” meaning Nora, Myself, and Selene. It was an incredibly beautiful day. I’m still riding the high and rocking back and forth a bit as I lay in my van. So happy and thankful to have reached this point in my travels. Thank you all for the incredible support.

Get ready for lots of pictures as I begin tearing Selene apart and prepping her for the high seas!

Also, I should be getting on a consistent TUES, THURS, SAT, SUN schedule with the youtube video post.

See Ya!

nora at sea

labrador and her pearson triton

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.

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.

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