Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This is no longer a sailing blog.

Blogging with a theme is restricting. As much as I love sailing, I just can't get motivated to write about it all the damn time. So I'm changing back to a log of my random thoughts. If sailing happens to come up, so be it.

But I will finish my sailing posts with a brief description of the Welsh Miner's Lantern (right) that I got for the boat.

My twin T-105 six-volt golf cart batteries onboard are over seven years old and I'm very conscious of over-taxing them so I've now installed two faux antique oil lanterns in my sailboat's cabin.

The Vermont Lantern Company has the best prices I've found on the internet.

The glow from natural light flickering shadows against stained teak and oak inside a sailboat's cabin on a rainy night feels like few other outdoor experiences; you're dry and warm despite the weather, and the little flames calm you and make you feel safe and at home.

I'm not much for poetry, but there's nothing like reciting Alfred Noyes under an orange flame while the rain and weather beat overhead.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Screw Jimmy Buffet: Sailing in 15-20 Knots is for Classical Music

When the wind really kicks up, the relaxing champagne-sailing music goes by the wayside. Nothing gets my blood moving for fast sailing like classical. Check out the video from this last weekend and you'll no doubt put a new CD on your boat.

Sailing! from Jim Webb on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Weekend Trip Across the Chesapeake

This weekend I took two friends on an overnight sailing trip. We sailed from my marina on the Magothy River to a creek on the lower Chester River.

Saturday was 20 knots of westerly wind with big waves, putting my boat up to hull speed at over eight knots! Luckily, my photographer friend Jim was with me. Check out his photo set of our trip here.

Also, Flickr has an option to load GPS waypoints along your path connected to various photos. Check out the map here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

This is a Photo of my Grandad

Since my grandfather was in the Navy for 30 years, fought in three wars, and was the inspiration for my interest in all things nautical, I've decided to put a framed photo of him in my new sailboat.

My mother laid a bunch of black-and-whites on her kitchen table for me to choose from. The one I picked (right) is a posed photo of him in Navy uniform carefully holding a mostly smoked cigarette, possibly dating from the early 1940s.

Is this an official Navy photograph? And if so, did they encourage him to pose with this lit cigarette?? I definitely don't think this is a casual photo taken in a bar; there's no background.

I'm going to place this onboard where I can see it from the helm.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Best Sailor's Beer: Miller Lite 12 oz Cans

I've put many beers through the test and Miller Lite 12 oz cans come out on top. And I don't take this pronouncement lightly.

First, cans are preferable to bottles on a heeling, pitching and rolling sailboat. When shopping for a good sailing beer, avoid any labels which actually include pictures of sailboats (usually on microbrews). A glass bottle --- other than rum or whiskey of course --- on a sailboat is more lubberly than calling a line a rope, for god's sake. I'd rather take a dozen bananas while leaving on Friday than carry one six pack of Full Sail Lager. Glass will end up shattered on a boat and in someone's foot, so save your money. And other than safety, empty cans can be twisted and crushed and take up less space than bottles as trash.

So why light beer? Well, when you're out in the sun for 12 hours, the last thing you want is lots of calorie-rich, alcoholic liquid.

But with so many light beers to choose from, why Miller? Because Miller Lite has flavor, doesn't get you too drunk and tastes twice as good as Coors Light and --- gag --- Bud Light. Among low quality taste, Miller is best.

And a 12 ounce can is the only choice. On a hot day I pour out every last half inch of dishwater-warm beer anyway. If you get the 16 oz tallboy, you'll surely pour out a solid 1.5 inches. What a waste!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Finally finished painting my new boat.

For the past several weeks I've been fixing up and painting my new sailboat, a 1973 Cal 27' pop top.

I'm a horrible painter but figured that by using dark green $325/gallon paint, it would make up for my lack of skill. Boy, was I wrong.

The primer ($138/gallon) was thick as mud and took me 45 minutes to hand stir. The label said I "may" not need thinner. Huge mistake, because it rolled on like cold tar.

And I fucking HATE sanding and prepping, which tore me apart --- like hitting the gym for three hours daily. The result is a finish that is the texture of orange peel.

Oh well.

People make excuses why they can't follow their dreams and get a sailboat, then they eventually end up settling for playing golf as lazy old men. Fuck all that. My sailboat is NOT a "hole in the water into which I pour money". Every cent I've put into this boat builds my passion and knowledge. If you're not willing to spend your money on things you love, why do you work? Money is like manure: it's useless unless you spread it around.

Below is a log of the pictures from the first day I started.

September 11th

This is how the boat looked when it was pulled out of the water on September 11th. It was a dull light green with scraps of old blue paint tape that had been there for years. Also, someone had painted the wooden rub rail and the varnish dripped all over the hull. The bottom was full of blisters, but nothing to worry about.

September 14th

This is after hours upon hours of sanding down the original paint.

September 16th

Here's where I put the primer on too thick. Notice the lines and globs all over the place. Oops.

October 1st

This is the final version. My wife painted the bottom black and I put on FIVE coats of Jade Mist Green AWL-GRIP paint. Hopefully it will last. I'll probably put a white or red boot stripe at the water line next time I pull it out (don't feel like dealing with it now).

As you can see, my real name is not Lonnie Bruner. It's the name of my boat.

Here are some more pictures of the rest of the boat.

The wet locker full of foul weather gear:

I just installed that fire extinguisher:

The main salon:

Port Settee berth:

4-stroke, 8 horsepower Honda:

Faux antique oil lantern:

The head:

My galley:

The deck:

The cockpit. Notice how the winch and blocks are re-inforced with a slab of teak:

Anchor. I love how there's a windlass:

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