Thursday, September 15, 2011


Finally got internet coverage after weeks of being away from it all in the arctic. It's been an amazing trip, covering about 4,000 miles sailing the coasts of Newfoundland, Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Greenland aboard the expedition vessel Wanderbird. We made it all the way to 69 degrees north in Disko Bay, which is pretty extreme considering that far south would be Antarctica. Right now I'm in the beautiful little community of Shelbourne, Nova Scotia taking care of engine problems before working my way back home to Washington.

From there it'll be a delivery or two on the west coast before spending the winter most likely sailing in Australia. When I get some time I'll post a longer column filling you all in on the adventure with some pictures!

Fair Winds,


Friday, July 8, 2011

Next Adventure

Hi Everybody,

I got back in late June from an amazing delivery from Hawaii to Point Roberts, Washington.

After a brief visit with old friends in Hawaii we left Ko Olina headed for the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the 5th of June.

The boat we sailed was a Catalina 47 named Tilikum, a comfortable boat that could also go quite fast for a cruising design. She wouldn't exactly be my choice for extreme offshore sailing but she was more than adequate for the passage to the mainland. For a 47 foot boat, she was relatively light and had a long waterline that allowed her to sail quite fast. Even better, she had refrigeration onboard so we were able to eat fresh food all the way across!

My companions on board were a great bunch of people to sail across the Pacific with. Captaining the vessel was my good mate Brian Caldwell, with whom I've made many trips across the oceans with. Tod, our crew member from Portland Oregon was on his first offshore passage, but he did great and was fantastic company. And the final crew member was Jen Edney, a very skilled photographer from Nebraska who did the photography for Zac Sunderland's around the world trip.

For the first week, the weather was perfect, sunny and warm with calm seas and a steady breeze. Tilikum logged 150 to 180 mile days and we shot north like a rocket, reaching in perfect weather. At about 30 degrees north we started seeing garbage from the North Pacific Gyre, and one day collected a huge glass ball that had probably been floating around the Pacific for thirty years or more.

After a week at sea, the weather turned foggy and cold, and it was to stay that way for the rest of the trip. For ten days, we had nothing but fog all the way to the entrance to the Straits. It was quite eerie sailing through fog for so long with only being able to see a few hundred feet. We were very glad to have an AIS aboard to warn us every time a ship was close. Otherwise, we would see the ship when it was way too close to take evasive action.

We got in to Washington after just 16 days, amazing time for a cruising boat, and stopped briefly in my home Port of Port Angeles before continuing on to Point Roberts. The three weeks since then have gone by in a blur catching up with friends and family, hitting up some of the great festivals that go on this time of year, hiking in the mountains, and getting ready for my next adventure, which is crewing on a boat up to Greenland.

Tomorrow morning I'm flying out to Deer Lake Newfoundland, where I'll be working my way up to Saint Anthony. From there, I'll be crewing on a boat up the Labrador Coast to Greenland and back down to Maine. Should be one hell of an adventure!

Fair Winds,


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hawaii Passage #4

Hey Everybody,

It's been way too long since my last post so I'll try and fill you in on the latest. Since I've returned from Central America I've been busy with sailing, writing,working on sponsorship, catching up with mates and generally having a good time being back in the states. To help train for the extreme physical difficulties I will no doubt experience on the world voyage, I've put my boat building skills to use rebuilding a 13 foot pocket cruiser into a heavy weather rowboat that I'll use in the Inside Passage.

A few weeks ago, I met up with my good friend Brian Caldwell and we caught up on our travels and sailing adventures we've had since our delivery last fall.

On June 1st, I'm flying to Hawaii to deliver a Catalina 47 to Washington---my fourth passage between Hawaii and the mainland. After that it's one of two things for the summer, either off to the East Coast to crew on a vessel between the Maine Coast and Greenland or, if that doesn't come through, venturing up the Inside Passage and around Vancouver Island. Either will be exciting, challenging, and a hell of an adventure.

All the best,


Friday, January 28, 2011

Tramping Around Central America

I´m getting ready to fly back to society tomorrow after spending the past month or so exploring Central America. I´m excited to be heading home but it will mean transitioning from the traveling lifestyle to once again focusing on sponsorship and preparing for my world voyage.

Having already visited Costa Rica, I wanted to get a little off the beaten track and headed north to Nicaragua. Nicaragua is an incredibly poor country, but I found it to be the most unspoiled and beautiful of the three Central American countries I´ve visited.

After a long night at a bus station in the ugly, unsafe Costa Rican city of Liberia, I crossed the border into Nicaragua. A couple buses later, I took an ancient wooden boat that looked as if it would fall apart any moment to the Island of Ometepe on Lake Nicaragua.

The Lake is the largest in all of Latin America and was for the longest time chock full of freshwater bull sharks that swam up the San Juan river and found the lake to their liking. The Nicaraguan´s were understandably afraid of the water until they found a solution in the form of catching all the sharks and sending them off to Japan and god knows where else to be eaten. Now few sharks swim in the lake.

Ometepe is a huge island that was formed by two volcanoes connected by a narrow isthmus. It is covered in jungle and is an incredibly beautiful place. I spent five days here hiking, kayaking and exploring before returning to the mainland and exploring the colonial city of Granada and the ocean beaches at San Juan del Sur. There I went out at night to see turtles laying their eggs and babies hatching and that was quite incredible.

Back in Costa Rica a few days later, I headed for Corcovado national park with my Israeli friend Omer and we spent three days trekking through some of the last pristine rainforest in the country. National geographic called Corcovado the most biologically intense place on the planet, and everywhere we went there were all kinds of tropical animals. We traversed the entire Osa peninsula and crossed rivers up to our neck full of poisonous snakes and according to the rangers, crocodiles and bull sharks. Fortunately, all I saw was a small caiman.

All in all, I had a brilliant time exploring Central America and sailing there from the Bahamas. It was the longest solo sail to date and I feel more confident than ever with my sailing skills and with getting ready for my circumnavigation. Now I'm back in society and getting ready for once again focusing on sponsorship...



Monday, January 10, 2011

The Big Ditch

We made it through the canal and finished this trip in Balboa! The Panama Canal really deserves its reputation as one of the modern wonders of the world, but for sailors it is just a really convinent way to get between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. And quite pleasant, considering the alternatives are Cape Horn and the icy Northwest Passage. The canal itself is really a lot of concrete, it`s the dream of connecting the oceans and the sacrafices it took to build it that take your breath away.

Getting anything done in Central America generally costs twice as much and takes twice as long as was originally expected, and now was no exception. I ended spending several weeks in Colon waiting for the chance to go through and dealing with endless delays. Fortunately, my family decided to join me for this bit of the trip and we did a bit of exploring in Panama. As an 18 year old, the very thought of traveling anywhere, especially internationally, with my family sends terror into my very being, but the Canal was too great an opportunity for them to pass up. So we did some exploring while waiting for our go at thte canal.

And it was wet. So wet that flooding had closed the canal for the first time in decades due to the level of the water in Lake Gatun, and roads and homes were deystroyed all over the country. My 15 year old brother and I took a 28 mile trek in the jungle and it was the wettest, muddiest, least pleasant hike of my life. It was wet as it only can get in the Panamanian rainforst, a Bear Grylls would be crying right now type of experience. We made it almost all the way through to the end of the trail, but were unable to cross a swollen river and had to hike all the way back. We later learned that an expereinced jungle guide had died trying to do the same thing three days earlier.

But, in the end we survived and made it back to the canal for our sucessful transit. Our trip through went well and we were tied to another sailboat which made it quite easy for us. Now Im doing a bit of tramping around Central America before my return to society.

The canal down, now just Cape Horn to go!