Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Desolation Sound

Well I'm of in the next few days for some more solo sailing by taking the family boat (a Truant 33) up to Desolation Sound. I am quite tempted to sail beyond there but that depends on whether or not I will need to rush back for sponsorship commitments. Desolation sound is about halfway up the inside of Vancouver Island and is one of the most beautiful areas around to sail. In many ways it reminds me of my time up in Southeast Alaska with the mountains coming right down to the water. Here is a map and a few pics off the Internet to give you an idea what Desolation Sound looks like.

As always when sailing at 50 Degrees North in the spring, I should be in for some exciting conditions. The prevailing winds up the Strait of Georgia will be right on the nose, so the trip up there will likely be mostly upwind.

Fair winds,


Monday, March 15, 2010


Just got back from an orchestra competition in Oregon and am off sailing for a few days. Yes there will be plenty of sailing pictures that we are scrapping together I just wanted to get something up online.

I'm talking to some companies that are very interested in a serious partnership so I will let you all know what happens.



Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Recently, I have had to use every bit of time I've got to work on the thousands of tasks involved with a round the world sailing campaign, and with so much to do and so little time it has made it quite easy to avoid certain tasks which are not at the top of the priority list. Over the past few days that has been completing the online work and getting some decent pictures taken, both of which I am now working on.

I have long been aware of the fact that to get the sponsorship necessary for the voyage I will have to sell my soul. After I was called by a major news station one of my mates warned me that before long I will find myself on some TV commercial holding up a tube of toothpaste and saying "That's why I use Crest", a dreadful thought to say the least. Thus far that hasn't been necessary, but we shall see what the future holds.

I always associated having my picture taken with corny school pictures or family portraits where you are seated on a stool in front of some fake background and must pretend to be happy in front of some dreadful machine. Just the thought still sends shivers down my spine. However, when you decide to sail around the world, it is only natural for people to want to know what you look like and I could avoid a proper photo shoot no longer.

I rugged up in the proper attire, keeping in mind that real men wear pink, and with some help we took about 5 million pictures from which we were able to select a few to put up on the site. I will attach a couple of them so you can take a look.

On one of my first big trips I traveled with my family throughout South America and was able to check out some incredible places like Macchu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and Patagonia at the incredibly impressionable age of 11. It was on that trip that I got to travel to the "end of the world" and be within perhaps 100 miles of Cape Horn. What I'm getting at is that we traveled through parts of Chile that have been devastated by the earthquake and I can only imagine how terrible the circumstances must be down there. Although Chile is better off than many of the surrounding countries, it is still a whole lot worse off than many of us and they deserve any help we can give them. As always with this kind of situation, every bit helps. Here are a few ways you can help.

Save The Children -- Save The Children is sending an emergency assessment team to Chile, and is asking for contributions to its Children's Emergency Fund to aid these efforts.

World Vision -- The international development, relief and advocacy organization has already sent its first relief flight, from Bolivia, with supplies like tarps, blankets, plastic sheeting, and collapsible water containers for survivors. Support these efforts with earmarked gifts to families that need them.

AmeriCares -- Vice President of Emergency Response, Christoph Gorder, says AmeriCares is sending medical supplies and humanitarian aid to Chile. Make a direct contribution to AmeriCares' Chilean earthquake fund.

Habitat for Humanity -- Habitat for Humanity has a continual presence in Chile, where the group has constructed more than 1,300 homes. Habitat will be essential in reconstruction efforts, especially in hard-hit rural areas.

International Medical Corps -- IMC has a presence in dozens of countries around the globe, providing immediate medical care to those affected by natural disasters. Contribute to its emergency response fund.

ShelterBox -- International disaster relief agency ShelterBox has mobilized a team to bring aid to Concepcion, Chile's second largest city, which saw the worse damage.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Welcome to the New Blog

In this world there are two kinds of people: those who do well on tests and those who don't. Typically, I would be categorized with the latter group, so I am very pleased to announce I passed all four sections of the masters captains license test and am only a whole lot of paperwork and bureaucracy away from being an official captain.

For those of you wishing to follow in my footsteps in getting a captains license I would recommend quitting your job and social life and preparing yourself for weeks and months of study without letup. Now understand, I'm not complaining as much as trying to give you a picture as to how it really goes. There are four parts that you are tested on when you get your captains license: navigation, nav. general, rules of the road and deck general. Having sailed my entire life, most of this was long known info with the exception being the rules of the road.

The rules wouldn't be so bad except they are written in such a dry and uninteresting way that they are almost impossible to learn. For example, you must memorize dozens of light sequences in which you see red, green, yellow and white dots against a black background and know exactly what type of vessel that is, their size, and what they are doing.

I just told myself while memorizing all this stuff that it will help me immensely when I'm out there on the deep blue dodging ships. In the end I was convinced that I would not do well on the rules test, but must have known them better than I thought because by some bizarre twist of fate I managed to get 100%. Quite a pleasant surprise to say the least.

I have received an abundance of delightful emails explaining in vivid detail what my past blog was lacking, so you may be glad to know that establishing this blog is step one of moving to the new website/blog setup.

For those of you who have just started following my progress I will give you the cold hard facts. I am 17 years old and have dreamt of sailing solo around the world since I was six. The past three years have been spent preparing mentally, physically and financially (cough) for the ultimate expedition of circumnavigating nonstop against the prevailing winds and currents.

I live in Port Angeles, Washington and if all goes well plan on departing for the circumnavigation some time this summer from Port Townsend. My entire life has been spent sailing in the often challenging waters of the pacific northwest, and my offshore experience includes sailing both ways between California and Hawaii with the first person to circumnavigate under 21, Brian Caldwell. Of course, I am also getting my captains license and am training every day for the rigors of the voyage, and will sail thousands of solo miles before departure.

Sailing east to west nonstop around the globe is a much more challenging undertaking than the usual route because it means fighting for every mile against not only the most formidable body of water on the planet, the southern ocean, but the spin of the globe itself. It will be less pleasant because sailing to windward is harder on the boat and sailor. The route will also mean sailing a greater distance because you must tack back and forth when sailing upwind, thus often requiring 15 miles of sailing for every 10 miles made good. It is considered the most challenging solo voyage one can undertake and to date only five people have successfully completed the accomplishment. I can hardly wait.

Now if you will excuse me, there is sailing to be done.