October 28, 2008

unflappable speaker

In the past year, many components of the boat have broken and required maintenance. This speaker, however, this low-end indoor speaker remains unperturbed by the maritime environment.
This speaker is all heart

October 22, 2008

dispensing local knowledge

Micah has an expansive knowledge base and is familiar with the sound of others graciously deferring to his expertise. In this 1 minute impromptu clip Micah asserts authority on the following subjects:

1. Directional traffic of commercial barges in Puget Sound shipping lanes.
2. The majestic nature of Mt. Ranier
3. The height (ft.) of Mt. Ranier
4. The height (ft.) of Mt. Ranier in comparison to Mt. Shasta
5. The reason for human error in thinking the mountains are of equal height (sea-level bias)
6. The distance (miles) from Seattle to Mt. Ranier (as the crow flies)
7. The time (hrs.) driving from Seattle to Mt. Ranier (along curved roads or 'rat-holes')

Barker negotiates both time and space.

Claire and Joel deftly ride 2-3 foot swells

a query

As Zach and I were puttering out of a Canadian harbor, we passed this behemoth tanker. It was an Arabic tanker, covered with Arabic writing and Muslim icons. It struck me that I had never seen that in America. I may be out of my mind, but has anyone seen a clearly marked Arabian tanker in an American Harbor since 9/11?

I know we are receiving Middle Eastern resources, but are they arriving in vessels decorated with Arabian designs and the word Iran? I wonder if this is an overlooked fine print rule that came with the Homeland Security Act. Yes to oil but from now on deliver it in unmarked packages.

Dan Dan the Drummer Man

Dan plays drums for a bunch of Seattle bands. He once toured with Iron and Wine and opened for The Shins. But all that stuff means nothing to him, he's in it for the music. He's in it for the beat.
I think this clip captures that.


Part of being a good cruising skipper is finding out where we will drop anchor for the evening. I often overlook this part, then scramble at the last minute.

a full cockpit

The 'more the merrier' rule certainly applies aboard Alize. We have 12 lifejackets on board so according to Coast Guard Regs, that sets the upper limit on passengers - although the only guy wearing a PFD in this shot is the toddler. That is because of the other axiom which applies on the Alize, 'kids don't float.'

4 guys in a boat listening to Led Zeppelin

I feel like I gave the punchline away with the title.

couple's sail for free

Joel Barker and Claire enjoying an Autumn sail. We spent the day leisurely discussing the merits/legitimacy of David Foster Wallace's recent suicide. I think we decided it was illegitimate and distasteful, but perhaps inevitable considering all the hints he has been dropping ever since 'Infinite Jest.'

October 14, 2008

good winds in August

man...say what you will about the rain in August, but there was plenty of wind, nobody would deny that...

Echo Bay, Sucia Island

There are bays on Sucia Island that are warm enough to swim in a bathing suit alone. My father and I just returned from one of them - then the sky did this.


My friend Dan works at a flag store in Seattle. He told me I could buy an American Naval Ensign flag 'at cost'. So we went down there and he picked this one out for me. It is 2 foot by 3 foot. I was a bit apprehensive, that's a lot of flag. But now I'm into it, I'm into it big time.

Crew rotations

After each week, one crew member would go home in the car that the next crew member had drove up to whatever port we were docked in. Zach is showing Prado how to use a dentists toothpick to open the lockbox in case he is harassed by border patrol.

Dungeness on a Hawaiin sling

Noble harvest is all about giving God's creatures a fighting chance. Sportfishing with a bunch of schmucks in Cabo? Gimme a break; that's like phoning it in.

But spearfishing in the Pacific Northwest...well, I'm biased, but that just strikes me as a noble harvest.
Your face numbs right away and unless you have tanks and you can sink below 20 feet, I assure you the visibility will be poor. There are heavy currents and 90% of the creatures you want to eat will see you first and split. But not the crabs, they are different, everyone knows that - they walk sideways.


The boat came with a weather weary wooden tiller. It snapped on a heavy weather day last Winter. First, I repaired it with a metal plate and screws. Then I had a moment of clarity. Tillers should be solid and with no history of structural damage; you shouldn't cut corners with wooden tillers. This new tiller is Mahogany and curves just so slightly. Some folks convert their helm to a wheel. I'll never be do that. I am a tiller man. Tiller for life.

October 5, 2008

Two cruise ships passing the stern

The meat of the 2008 summer, the augusts and julys of the year were a bit of a bust weather wise. Its a good idea not to pin your heart on the weather when you live in Seattle, but gimme a break, July and August were heartbreakers. And then came September. September was a gem. Seems like the whole month was in the upper 70's without a lick of rain. Of course, now its October and pissing vinegar and will be till next September. But the point is, when the sun breaks, you owe it to yourself to make the most of it.