Living the Dream

"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then we leap in the dark to our success." – Thoreau

 "Planning is an unnatural process; the nicest thing about not planning is that failure will come as a complete surprise rather than being preceded by a period of worry and doubt" – Sir John Harvey-Jones

"Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him." –  Aldous Huxley

"One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to leave sight of the shore" Andre Gide

The ultimate dream for many cruising sailors is to go off on a long adventure. As part of my preparation I have taken Randy Harman's advice and planned and researched like a good navigator should. In fact this blog is itself the home of my research – collected together over many years. I have carried out a lot of research into boat types and reputations; equipment; navigation; weather and so on, and I have read the excellent advice from the many who have gone before.

Here are some links to some of the web sites which tell the tale of those who have done it already.

Breaking those Shoreside Bonds by Don Casey
First, The Decision
by Sue & Larry
The Cruising Life How to get Started part1:
by Sue & Larry
The Cruising Life How to get Started part2:
by Sue & Larry
What does it really cost to cruise? by Sue & Larry
Making the decision
by Randy Harman
How long will it take?
by Randy Harman
Captains & Admirals
by Randy Harman

..and many more articles and advice from people who are actually doing it!…

..I include this link in a tribute to Scott and Jean Adam who were murdered in Feb 2011, while the USS Enterprise tried to negotiate with pirates who had boarded their yacht and taken them and their two friends hostage. All of them were killed. Scott Underwood Adam and Jean Savage Adam both had 100 ton U.S.C.G. master's captain's license. Scott also held a 200 ton Yachtmaster certification from the R.Y.A. They had traveled over 50,000 nm. 

I have also linked to some sites that may be of use if you are planning your adventure right now.
Mailasail If you are looking for a comprehensive satellite phone service then MailaSail is the top UK based provider. If you also want to use SSB as a backup or instead of a satellite phone then try SailMail – they also do Iridium and Inmarsat but they have good worldwide SSB Pactor Stations. SSB shortwave radio email systems offer a low cost alternative to mobile and satellite phone systems and offers near global coverage. Most SSB email system work on an annual subscription, so there are no line-time or number of bits transfer charges as with mobile phone or satellite systems.


"…The imagination is always restless and suggests a variety of thoughts, and the will, reason being laid aside, is ready for every extravagant project; and in this State, he that goes farthest out of the way, is thought fittest to lead, and is sure of most followers: And when Fashion hath once Established, what Folly or craft began, Custom makes it Sacred, and ’twill be thought impudence or madness, to contradict or question it. He that will impartially survey the Nations of the World, will find so much of the Governments, Religion, and Manners brought in and continued amongst them by these means, that they will have but little Reverence for the Practices which are in use and credit amongst Men…."


The Globetrotters
Planning a trip
Eric Forsyth Seven Seas Cruising Association
Bill, Alex and Jeff About sailing
Dave Flater Ocean Pro
Jack Ganssle 1990 Blue Water Rallies
Jack Ganssle 1992 Global Cruising
Geoff Schultz Cruising Guides
Katriana The Cruising Life
Lois & Gunter Hofmann Yacht Site Ring
Around alone – Nick Jaffe  
…Personal Sites Crew Lists
…many more here  

Island Packet Owners – Living the Dream

Kenneth Grahame – 1926

WIND IN THE WILLOWS "…Believe me my young friend (said the water rat solemnly), there is nothing absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats. Simply messing. Nothing seems to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't. Whether you arrive at your destination, or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get away at all. you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular…"


Around the World Rallies:

Blue Water Round the World Cruising Rally

Atlantic Rallies:

ARC ARC Europe Rally Portugal Biscay triangle

Rally Antigua

Pacific Rallies:

Pacific Circuit Rally

Indian Ocean & Indonesia:

Sail Indonesia Oz Med Phuket to Langkawi Yacht Rally


Med-Red Rally Aegean Yacht Rally

Red Sea:

Red Sea Rally Med-Red Rally

General Information Rally Organisers

The site hosts a number of podcasts with interviews from a number of leading names in the world of sailing – people like Nick Maloney


Winlink 2000 provides a full-featured radio digital message transfer system worldwide. Email transfer with attachments, position reporting, graphic or text-based weather bulletins are available to the Amateur radio community by linking HF/SSB radio to the Internet. Winlink 2000 is available to any properly licensed Amateur radio operator & uses the client software Airmail developed by Jim Corenman.


The AussieWinlink website is of particular interest to those cruising the South Pacific and Indian oceans and the many archipelagos to Australia’s north. A fellow sailor and keen radio amateur, (Tony VK1VM/KN4VM), after successful lobbying the Australian authorities, opened the door to the establishment of Winlink stations on the Australian continent. There are now four stations with one each based in Sydney (NSW); Melbourne (Vic); Adelaide (SA) and Perth (WA). These new stations together with those that were already in New Zealand significantly improved the reliability of worldwide Winlink communications. The site also has cruising stories and information about installing radio systems onboard. Attempts are being made to re-establish a station in Australia’s Northern Territory. For those that need the information, station details and operating frequencies may be found on and on

Single-Handed Sailing Society (SSS) – based in San Francisco Bay area

The Singlehanded Sailing Society provides a forum where sailors and others interested in the sport of singlehanded sailing can share their ideas and experiences. Races provide an organized arena in which ideas, equipment, designs, and vessels specifically created, built, modified, or equipped for long distance singlehanded racing may be tested and evaluated through friendly sportsmanlike competition. The development of personal skill in singlehanded sailing is encouraged through sailing events and seminars.

Yotreps Yacht Reporting YOTREPS can handle position reports from boats anywhere in the world. Offshore passages can be plotted on the web and, with YOTREPS free software, a plot of their positions, courses, speed and wind vectors can be seen by people shore side.Daily position and weather observations received are used in a long term analysis of trends in ocean cruising weather and are vital information for forecasters and search and rescue coordinators.

YOTREPS position and weather reports are shared with international marine forecasters who use them as a check on predictions and so help to improve their accuracy. Reports are distributed to Search and Rescue coordinators so that in an emergency they not only have a better picture of speeds, courses and conditions experienced by boats in difficulties, but can also locate others in the area that may be able to offer assistance. Reports contribute to a growing data base of offshore weather observations. These are used to provide the most up to date monthly analysis of conditions experienced on the more popular cruising routes.

Finally, a quote from Sterling Hayden's Book, Wanderer

…"To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… cruising it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?"….


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