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June 2008
Dear Friends:

I feel half like that little kid who can barely wait, half like a one-armed paper hanger as departure date draws closer. It has been almost four years since we set off on a long ocean passage and by the time you read this we will be at sea – bound south and west, charts for a lot of potential destinations on board, provisions for four or five months and books to fill every spare space. Both of us are really looking forward to departure date, to being at-sea away from traffic, freeways, calendars, telephones, computers, and internet access1. At the same time, as I do my final provisioning, I definitely feel stressed and in complete sympathy with voyagers who are trying to break away for the very first time. There are friends and family we want to spend extra time with, banking and accounting that has to be finished, shopping lists that seem to grow instead of diminishing, car insurance and cell phones to cancel.

We always enjoy meeting up with Bob Darr. During this years visit to Spaulding Wooden Boat Center in Sausalito, we brought along the last of the patterns we used to build Taleisin, the production boards for ¼ inch clench rings and 3/8 inch clench rings which can be used to with ¼, 3/8 or 5/16 inch copper or bronze rod to make long bolts or rivets. To see the rest of the patterns click here.

The past two months have been full to the brim as we introduced our new edition of Storm Tactics Handbook and presented half a dozen seminars in four cities. Then came the last editing bits for our new DVD. In between times we un-wrapped Taleisin and checked her from stem to stern, from masthead to the bottom of the keel, in preparation for this voyage.  As many of you know, we have had her out in the ocean during the past few years, sailing from the waters of British Columbia and down along the coast to southern California. But each of those passages was only of a few days duration and we knew we could get almost anything we might need at the next port we visited. Not so as we head into toward Pacific Island destinations, so every locker will be full to the brim, from boat maintenance gear to food, to medical supplies. Just as a brush up I looked through the provisioning chapter in my own book, Care and Feeding of Sailing Crew to remind myself of quantities and special items to remember.

This is our California country cottage and transport for seminars. Tomorrow we take Brownie Lite north to where she lives during our voyages, right in the middle of a vineyard in Paso Robles.

 

Though the stores of Southern California offer a huge variety of choices, I missed certain things about provisioning in less developed places. Not only is it hard to find green, vine fresh tomatoes, it took me several tries before I finally located a source for truly farm fresh, never been washed, never been refrigerated eggs. Finally, I went to the farmers market, which is held at Oxnard Harbor each Sunday. There I found a father and daughter selling farm fresh eggs. It’s the daughter’s 4H project. She lives on a farm about 25 miles from here and was delighted when I said I wanted the 8 dozen eggs unwashed. Larry was delighted that her farm is located in the small town that hosts our very favorite gourmet restaurant – now we have an excuse to spend the last night of our Southern Californian sojourn picking up our eggs (laid that day) then sharing a pre-departure dinner at Hozy’s with my family.

We remember the days when California’s harbors were so polluted that nothing lived in them, the Brown pelican, sea otters and sea lions were close to being listed as threatened species. Things sure have changed and as usual, every change presents different conundrums as this photo taken during our visit to Moss Landing shows.

Today we re-launched Taleisin after one of the easiest haul-outs we’ve had in years. We sculled out of the canal where we had been staying the past few months early on Friday morning. Once we were clear of the narrows, we set our staysail and main to short tack to Anchor’s Way Boatyard in Ventura’s main harbor. Taleisin only needed her bottom and waterline scrubbed, sanded and anti-fouled, her transom sanded and varnished and her thru-hulls inspected and greased. Andy, the boatyard owner and his merry crew handled the boat tenderly. Now she is having all the sanding dust hosed off, and in an hour I head off to meet my sister at Costco. We have decided not to go back into the canals as we can actually see the breakwaters from where the marina berth in front of the boatyard. I can hear the surf, smell the sea and soon we will be “out there!” I can hardly wait.

As soon as we reached the shipyard I could smell the ocean, see the ocean and my wanderlust came out in full.

Our next newsletter may not be available for a longer than normal period. So we’ve put a longer than normal cruising tip online to make up for this. We’ll write the next time we have access to email – it could be a while.

Two days after this photo was taken, Taleisin had fresh antifouling paint and a shinny varnished transom.

Hope you are having some fine sailing,

Sincerely,
Lin and Larry


1 We still really enjoy sailing without radio access once we are out of range of cell phones. There is nothing like the feeling of complete disconnect, of being in the center of an ocean, hundreds of miles away from any other people, knowing no one knows exactly where we are, no one really cares and the world will get along quite well without us. Gives us a chance to truly think and re-plan the next stages of our lives. When we want to invite the outside world on-board we enjoy listening to shortwave broadcasts from several different countries then comparing their often very different versions of the latest news.

If you have a favorite Pardey book or DVD, let other sailors know by adding a review on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, borders.com or your favorite book site. Thanks to all who have already done so!






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