Nearly Thoughtless Thursday: Hailing Port

When the sun came up this past Tuesday morning, Meander’s stern looked like this.


Before the sun went down Tuesday evening, it looked like this.


Boats that are documented (that is, nationally registered) in the United States must display their hailing port conspicuously somewhere on their hull.

And we found Meander in Fairport, VA. But that’s not where we left her.

Completing a process that began with the filing of a small form and the payment of a large fee,  Meander is once again in full compliance with applicable U.S. maritime regulations.

Glad that’s done.

Nearly Thoughtless Thursday: I Could Do It Too

For some time now, my wife Pamela has been following a blog called Zero to Cruising. Started by some visionary folks who, many years ago, were in the same boat we’re in now (figuratively, not literally), it’s one of several blogs and other creative endeavors that fueled her dream to buy and live on a sailboat.

And a few weeks ago, these folks shared a video about some other visionary folks—specifically, a family that has managed to capture, in beautiful world-wide sound and color, the quickening spirit of a life on the water.

Of course, I hate all these people.

But please don’t get me wrong. It’s only because I know I’m yet too small to be like any of them. And that’s one reason I’m genuinely thankful to be aboard Meander this Thanksgiving Day. Room to grow.

That is, if I’m up to it. I guess we’ll see.

Meanwhile, if you have thirteen minutes and forty-three seconds to spare, this glimpse from the deck of a cruising family’s sailboat might give you some insight into why Pam has been thinking about the cruising life all these years.

Nearly Thoughtless Thursday: A Movie for Cruisers

What movie released in the past twenty-five years would you imagine tops the list of perennial cruiser favorites?

I’ll give you a hint. It’s not The Perfect Storm. And it’s certainly not All Is Lost.

No, cruisers are a more lighthearted and optimistic bunch than that.

And after a few years of employing the scientific method known as “paying attention when other people are talking,” I have made the somewhat preliminary–some might say prematurte–determination that this honor belongs to 1992’s Captain Ron.

I’ve seen it twice now, and I almost get it.

Landlubbers, please note this movie should not be confused with a training video.

Sailors, what do you think? Has any movie character on land or sea worked his or her way farther into your hearts than Kurt Russell’s Captain Ron?

Nearly Thoughtless Thursday: The Most Important Locker

What is the most important storage space in your house? Is it the one with the family photos? The one with the warmer clothes stored up against the onslaught of the coming winter? The one with the decorations for Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or such other seasonal celebration as may be dictated by your culture and heritage?

Out here in the frontier of the municipal marina, a place so rough-and-tumble that you have to leave your lodgings to do your laundry, our priorities are dictated by one consideration: survival.

So you might well understand how we prize the locker with the cleaning supplies that keep everything looking ship shape (interesting turn of phrase–I wonder where it came from) and smoothly functioning. Or more critically still, to get us out of a jam when something breaks while underway, the locker full of spare engine parts. Or, when the ship hits the can, the one that holds the emergency flares and the spare life jackets.

And you might conclude, then, that one of these lockers is the most important storage space on a cruising sailboat.

You might conclude that. But you’d be wrong.

On a cruising sailboat, the most important locker is this one.


Any somewhat more accomplished cruisers out there with a somewhat more educated opinion? Please post a comment.