Author Archives: Laysan

Good to go, or enough already

  Enough is not a word found on the Captain’s pre-departure checklist, but that was the agreed upon sentiment after a week at the dock running up all the systems on Laysan and provisioning for three months off the grid. … Continue reading

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Salish Sea Summary

Looking  out the window at ridiculously perfect weather with palm trees and rainbows, I’m still wondering why we’re not on the boat, but the realities of early retirement necessitate replenishment of the so-called cruising kitty, and that means work. Not … Continue reading

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The Apogee and the Good Samaritan

50:16.56’N 125:13.95W The apogee, or top of our curving route north. As we swing gently around the anchor in the Octopus Islands, the bow gradually points southward, influenced by the veering winds of the first cold front of the next … Continue reading

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A Cellular Holiday

Desolation Sound has provided a therapeutic cellular holiday,world data system reboot, and an opportunity to entirely miss all media coverage of the first political convention this summer. It was wonderful. I highly recommend it. Although, for Connor’s sake, we did … Continue reading

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Heading North: Legal Migrants

Not to be insensitive about the very real struggle facing migrants around the world, we too face the routine of determined progress heading north, toward promised lands. Each day now we rise, weigh anchor, and motor out into the straits … Continue reading

Posted in Laysan | 5 Comments

Sneaking the Pass

Deception Pass is a twisty 2 mile passage only 150 yards wide and 100 feet deep, yet moves the acres of water to flood the Skagit Bay and release it again into the ocean twice a day. This much water … Continue reading

Posted in Laysan | 6 Comments

Salish Sea 2016

Salish Sea 2016 Awake, alert, enthusiastic! After a Hawaiian winter working-season, where we dutifully served part time in the old offices, the lovely Kathleen and I arrived in Olympia to finish the pre-season checklist for Laysan. Recently hauled and bottom … Continue reading

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Walking the Pacific

Laysan sits idle at the dock in Olympia, after we packed and flew away to Hawaii for the winter. Journey interrupted. Reflecting now on the events of the last few months I am glad we could accomplish so much in … Continue reading

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Locked up, Crashed out, and a Deadbeat

The Ballard Locks are a one hundred year old marvel of urban marine engineering connecting Puget Sound with Lake Union in Seattle in one gurgling leap of twenty vertical feet. Free for the asking, each year thousands of boats large … Continue reading

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Lessons From the Crew

Hi Kathleen, John and Sarah, Looks like you are heading south again. Hope you’ve been having an amazing time. On the ferry from Port Angeles, I wrote the following notes, with the intention of developing a fuller blog post. However, … Continue reading

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Gearhead Summary

Hello there fellow gearheads and those various tech-curious types, Laysan now lies quietly at anchor in flat calm Reid Harbor on Stuart Island, slowly resolving her aches and pains after the three week crossing of the Pacific Ocean. I too, … Continue reading

Posted in Laysan | 7 Comments

They’ve Got Some Wind In the San Juan’s

Remember what I said about my dream of the Northwest, “quiet coves”, “mirrored waters”, perhaps I should have done a bit more research. This morning we experienced a gale that midway through the day was upgraded to a storm warning … Continue reading

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Safe Arrival

Laysan and crew arrived safe and well in Port Angeles, Washington at 5:00 pm on August 16, 2015. 20 days at sea! We are now “cruising” Port A for burgers and beer and looking forward to a quiet and complete … Continue reading

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Good news, bad news

All passages are intense learning experiences with many long periods of inactivity interspersed with sudden opportunities to interpret, formulate, and react. First the bad news: yesterday afternoon the second autopilot quit with an overload that threw the breaker and blew … Continue reading

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Electronic Mutiny

A captain’s concerns are many indeed, and crew satisfaction is a well honed fine art of diplomacy that stays at the top of the list. But I may have neglected one very important member lately, Commander, our faithful autopilot. Last … Continue reading

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All By the Numbers

As the nautical miles tick down, the numbers’ analysis is flying fast and furious. As I said earlier, our two primary conversation topics are food and math. In the early days, the focus was on calculating the fuel we had, … Continue reading

Posted in Laysan | 9 Comments

Between a Low and a Hard Place

Each morning before sunrise I see Orion reclining comfortably along the horizon to the east, seemingly bemused at our progress over the ocean. Then as the sliver of moon rises before the sun, Orion gradually gets up and goes off … Continue reading

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GoPro the Diver

The morning after the mysterious slowdown was spent wallowing in 8-10 foot beam seas, courtesy of the cold front passing through from the west. After a few 30 degree rolls, the unanimous decision was to launch the paravanes. The fish, … Continue reading

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Sea Treasures

The sea gave us a gift yesterday, a crystal blue sky with glassy flat azure water that reflected the suns rays into the depths. We gathered on the front deck and gazed down expecting to catch a glimpse of some … Continue reading

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Night Watch

Hello everyone; John here, at 0400 on the night watch. It’s not all hot chocolate, star gazing, and meaningful contemplation you know. Laysan has been gliding gracefully the last couple of days through the middle of the great Pacific high … Continue reading

Posted in Laysan | 3 Comments