Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Christmas emails and letters are coming in and I am hearing from new Albin boat owners, old Albin boat owners and non boat owners.  Shatoosh, Pashmina and I had another good boating year logging in over 500 nm and totaling our adventures to over 8000nm. The highlight was having Joyce crew for me and our trip to the Gulf Islands, British Columbia.

Hira at the Olympia Capitol Christmas Tree and the
Foss Waterway Seaport.

I am wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous Holiday Season.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Another Faceless Blog Reader

Bruce writes me a lovely  email that he has been a FBR for a while.  He was tickled by the musing of Too Tall Tom, Too Wide Tom and my comments about the movie, All Is Lost. In looking at the Stats section in Google, this posting seemed to be a favorite of everyone.

Bruce has an interesting blog of his own. Thank you Bruce for giving us the opportunity to read your blog and see your face. Take a look......

Monday, November 18, 2013

Another New Puget Sound Book

If you have ever wondered how the names in Puget Sound came about, now is the time to read about your favorite places. Richard Blumenthal of Bellevue, Washington has just published his latest compilation of Maritime Place Names- Inland Washington Waters.

Put this one on your wish list. Go to: to purchase.

DreamSpeaker Guides Seasonal Offering

Anne and Laurence Yeadon-Jones are offering


Anne and Laurence

This is a wonderful opportunity to buy some Christmas gifts.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Sailing Movie, " All is Lost", is True to Its Name

I was excited to see a sailing movie, so my Boating Buddy, Too Tall Tom watched with enthusiasm in another city. This is the result, A Tale from Two Cities. From another city, Too Wide Tom chimes in with his 2 cents worth. This movie is Too Tall and Too Wide, so we are letting Robert Redford and his yacht sail into a sinking hole and stay there.....

Too Tall writes,
I really wanted the movie “All is Lost” to succeed.  I hoped it would not cut corners, be sloppy about sailing, create unrest in sailors, that the movie producers would hire knowledgeable consultants to keep the movie true to sailing.  But, alas, it was for naught, all was lost.

I talked to my blue water sailing friend, Hira, who sailed her Swan 36 from Hawaii to Tacoma,Washington her Albin 25 from Astoria, Oregon to Tacoma, Washington and has an additional  8,000 miles of fresh and brackish water under her keel.  She was even more livid at the movies gross mistakes than I was.

As we talked about the movie a couple of times on the phone I began to get more “enthused” about the movie.  OK, now I realize that what I saw was only a form of entertainment and should be accepted like professional wrestling  and that certain liberties have to be taken to create excitement in the audience.  The many reviews have gotten on board with this approach and applaud “man against the elements, creative survival, and man’s will to survive.”

I say the main character, as written, is incompetent and wonder how he got to that part of the ocean without falling to other disasters of his own making.  Let me start our list of things wrong in the film.  The excitement in the movie could have continued even if these problem areas were addressed.

The writers must have gotten a beginning list of things that could go wrong on a boat and slapped them together in a mismatched series of events.  I think the real life actor-sailor from the 40s and 50s,  Sterling Hayden, if alive and offered the part, would have turned the part down as being silly as it was written.  Even any of the old time movie actors who had even a basic  sailing background might have said no, thanks, but an actor usually takes the money and runs.  


1.  He never puts on a life jacket.  What part of a basic boating class did he miss?  Of course the ending would have to change if he had his PFD on.  This is where my frustration began to mount.

2.  He does not have a back up hand held, water resistant, VHF radio.  The movie could have him calling on it when the large ships pass him by …but, then he would be saved and no movie.

3.  He calls out “SOS” on voice.  SOS is only used with Morse Code and “Mayday” came into use in 1927 with voice. Mayday is international in use.  SOS is not.

4.  Most VHF radios have an automatic Emergency channel to continuously transmit a distress call when activated.

5.  Why would he lift 50 pound battery to the slippery topside?  Either leave them in  place and run short wires or place them in the cockpit. Take the radio to the battery, stupid.

6.  At what point did he discover he needed to go up the mast?  The antenna connection was not visible from the deck.  And there was no boat roll, the ocean was flat.

7.  What was the reason for showing his silver and turquoise ring?

8.  Why did he shave?

9.  He did not have a already prepared Abandon Ship bag filled with survival equipment.

10.  His life raft was stored up forward and had to be dragged through the cabin.  The bag seemed way too small for the size of the actual inflated raft.

11.  The fiber glass patch needed two more layers and some strong backing securely attached on the inside of the hull.

12.  The paint brush would have been stiff by the time he finished his work and not useable for the second application.

13.  When a hull is damaged  it usually happens behind cabinets and inaccessible areas, not right in plain sight.

14.  Where was his automatic bilge alarm?  And bilge pump?  And his manual bilge pump handle?

15.  He should have awakened like a shot with the first impact of the shipping container.  He gets up so slowly and not a lot of surprise to find  the floor is awash.  Come on, folks.

16.  Where was his self steering vane on the aft of his boat?  Don’t tell me he has been steering by hand for thousand of miles?

17.  You don’t attempt to put storm sails on at the height of a storm.

18.  Why wasn’t the sails ripped out of his hands?  No wind during a storm?

19.  Why did the steel shrouds not need cutting after the mast broke off.  Only one fiber line? Come on, he would need bolt cutters and the deck would have been a jungle of wire.

20.  The turn turtle would have been more violent and wet.

21.  His misuse of the companion way boards was awful.  He was adding for trouble.

22.  The solar still produced too much water.  They are very  inefficient.

23.. His setting fire to everything was just plain awful.  I was fuming by then.  Please don’t tell me he went for broke and set fire on purpose.

24.  He should have tied off on the shipping container.  It was more stable and safe than his life raft.  It would not catch fire, also.

25.  Salvage some of the tennis shoes to burn later.

26.  Many sailors would be talking to themselves or muttering copious amounts of cuss words.

27.  His VHF radio was installed down low on a shelf ready to get wet.

28.  Why go back for the sea anchor?

29.  Why bash into the shipping container with the bow?  Better to have come along side gently and tied off with fenders.

30.  How did the fresh waster container, already full of fresh water, suddenly become fouled?

31.  Why did he give up fishing when one fish was lost?

32.  He could have retrieved all his canned goods from the sailboat which contained liquid, canned peaches, beer, etc.

33.  His turning the raft over was way too easy.

34.  In that humidity his straw hat might have been limp and floppy..

35.  His sextant in a box and never used.

36.  EPIRB is where?

37.  His use of the hand held flare was unsafe at best.

38.  Missing top of mast wind vane

39.  Tie to and stay with the shipping container.

40.  He uses the safety harness sometimes.

41.  Has gel battery and is good

42.  Only three flares?  Most sailors have a supply of out of date but perfectly usable flares.

43.  Placed the open knife on the bottom of life raft.

Never light a fire in the middle of your life raft, as it will catch fire,collapse and you will be treading water without a life jacket. Then and only then can you truly say with confidence, "All is Lost.". Thank you gentleman for your comments and may our next sailing movie be better.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Small Craft Warning and a North Wind

28 October 2013 Monday The Blog Counter slid past the 50,000 mark.

My friend Linda brought her California house guest, Sheila to Shatoosh for a lunch cruise. The small craft warnings kept us tied to the dock all afternoon, but a good time was had. Linda brought her usual treat of Pizza, salad and cookies.

Ah, sun in the cockpit

Pashmina secured on the cabin top.

The sun was warm, Shatoosh rocking in her slip, made for a new experience. Rarely are we tied to the dock, but with guests I chose to stay in rather that risk windy docking scenarios. Instead, we sat and shared stories of living in Ashrams, meditating and being grateful for our good fortune.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tacoma Women's Sailing Association Fun Sail

20 October 2013
The three Tacoma Yacht Club sailboats braved the chilly fall weather to have a fun sail today. Hira, with an old TWSA crew, Georgia, joined in on board Shatoosh with Pashmina on the cabin top to watch the sail -in and a chance to take some photos. This was my first TWSA boating event since re-joining the club last year.
The weather was gray-gray with a low ceiling, but no rain. The winds were light-light, but all the boats glided  nicely with well trimmed sails. We should expect this, as TWSA is the oldest women's sailing association in the USA and one thing they do best is teach sailing and racing.

The Catalina 47, Tusan Takk, with a large crew

The Erickson 27, Blue Tango

The Columbia 26 Second Wind

After docking we all gathered on board the Tusan Takk and shared the warm, large salon and all the goodies that were brought by the happy boaters. What a wonderful time the ladies and the 2 gentlemen had.  I must attend more "get togethers" as TWSA is lots of fun.

I took Georgia to the launching ramps at the ferry landing and I skooted back to my Foss slip just as the harbor lights were turning on. Five inbound ships were anchored or docked in the outer rim of the bay and I marveled looking at the emergency life boats. I just watched Captain Phillips, the movie and thought it would be a rough jettison as those boats hit the water.

Take a look at TWSA:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Book Signing Party at the Tides Tavern Gig Harbor WA

The newly published Puget Sound Boating Guide, by Anne and Laurence Yeadon-Jones from Vancouver BC, Canada made its debut in Gig Harbor last evening with an enthusiastic group of boaters. Anne and Laurence have been on a whirlwind tour showing off their new publication. Even if you are not a boater you might be interested in visiting the over 100 destinations by car and see the variety of interesting locations that Puget Sound holds within its shores. If you missed the party, you may purchase the book at their website,

The Vanbergs of Gig Harbor join us

Which Twin has the Toni?

A beautiful Sparkman Stephens Design

Dreamspeaker and Tink wait for their owners to return

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hira and Her Twin, Jean Swing Through Commencement Bay

Friday the weather was picture perfect for an afternoon cruise across the bay. We had a nice waterfront lunch with friends and then headed down the Foss Waterway to Shatoosh's new berth J20 at the Foss Harbor Marina. Jean got to see Pashmina sitting nicely on her winter berth on the cabin top.

Jean took the helm and was happy as a clam.

Browns Point Light House

Mt Rainier

I get excited whenever I see this beautiful mountain.

The Glass Museum from the Foss Waterway.

A nice quiet afternoon on the Tacoma Waterfront. Perfect.
9.9 nmiles

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Sun Break

Yesterday was gorgeous in the afternoon. A half day is better than no day of sun. One of my dock buddies helped me load Pashmina on the cabin hardtop for her winter home. There are 3 things wrong with my new lift; one is the upright pole too short, and the second thing is the lifting arm is also too short and the third is since the entire pole rotates 180 degrees to get the dinghy on top, that also means the winch rotates as well. This places the winch is an awkward place to lower the boat down. Night before last I awoke at 0130 hrs with a solution to the problems. More on this subject on another posting.

My crew person, Linda returned from several road trips, so I called her and she arrived with pizza in hand, just in time for a dinner, sunset cruise. Boy, the mountain was out crystal clear with the sun glowing on her in strawberry fashion, the city lights came on, The Glass Museum and the mega Yachts in the Foss Waterway is making Tacoma quite a fashionable destination.

Back and forth to my car and boat yesterday I ran across some other unique creatures that caught my eye.
Rent a goat to clear out blackberry bushes

A 8 foot creature scary as heck
Getting a jump on his Halloween outfit.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Band of Girls on Blake Island---An Army Reunion

In July 1966, I was a 2nd Lt and recently graduated from Physical Therapy School, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. The Viet Nam War was already well underway and my first assignment was Madigan Army Medical Center, Fort Lewis(Tacoma) Washington.  My sponsor was Captain Mary Huston and my immediate supervisor was Captain Ann Ward Jenkins. I was 23 years old, Mary and Ann were much older I thought. They taught me many things as they were both wonderful Therapists and we had lots of fun climbing mountains, skiing, fishing, clamming, and all things "northwest". Later on I was stationed with Mary 2 other times and Ann and were in hospitals in Japan and saw each other often. Over the years, we get together and since we are all getting older, older, we thought it would be good to have a little get together on Blake Island. Ann had never been and it had been years since Mary had been. Mary and her friend, Lois were coming over from the Olympic Peninsula in their RV.

We had a plan,  Ann and I would travel on Friday from Tacoma to Blake Island via Colvos Passage and take Vashon Island to starboard. On Saturday, we would pick up Mary and Lois at a launching ramp in a community called Manchester, 2nm  away and bring them to Blake. We would attend the big Salmon Bake and program. We could have time to visit and then take them back to the launching ramp in the afternoon.

As usually, there was stormy weather taking place, but it was supposed to clear. Ann and I departed with rain, light fog, no wind and flat seas. The farther we got towards Vashon the worse the fog became.
Friday route

This funny route depicts our route waiting for the Vashon
Ferry to cross from Pt Defiance and back.

The Tellaquah Ferry heads for Pt Defiance, Tacoma

Colvos Passage Fog

No Fog on Blake
Ann is happy

Driftwood on the Eastern Shore

Olympic Mtns in Background

Mary, Lois and Ann

Old Soldiers
 All of us Retired

Wood Carver

Looking older than us

Mask Representing the Spirit World

Dancer with his 45 # Head Mask

Dancer with his 60# Head Mask

Our Lunch is Cooking

After lunch we cruise along the west shore to see the
Campsites and buoys.

Swedie and Albin 25 joins us at the dock.
I have run across her numerous times since I have been in WA.

We pull in close to shore at Pt. Robinson Lighthouse on Maury island.
Maury Island is really attached to Vashon by a narrow spit.

Sunday Ann and I wait out the fog and depart at noon
following Captain Vancouver's route to Browns Point
and back to my marina
Captain Vancouver has his famous venison meal with the Puyallup Indian
Tribe at Browns Pt. Today there were only fishermen and picnickers.
Our Round trip was 50+nm. We circumnavigated Vashon and Blake Islands
Our Band of Girl Soldiers had a memorable time and we are really glad we squeezed this in at the end of summer, before we all go our separate ways. Thanks Mary, Ann, Lois for such a fun trip.