• On September 1st, Maine Sail suffered a major hemorrhagic stroke. One of the most generous members of our sailing community, he has helped thousands. Now it's our turn. Click here to learn more

On the Distant Dream?

Feb 19, 2008
204
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
I don't think wanderlust is a new phenomenon.

The entire first chapter of Moby Dick is a love letter to the sea, and an essay on why people are drawn to it.
Odysseus lashed himself to the mast to escape the siren's song.

I understand what you are saying, that you should enjoy the adventure of sailing across the pond in a dinghy before you set out to sail the globe in a 50' yacht.

But practical men don't buy sailboats, sailboats are for dreamers.

and who dreams of their own back yard?
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
But practical men don't buy sailboats, sailboats are for dreamers.
To the degree that “impulse” buying is motivating, I agree that practical men would not buy a sailboat. But otherwise, buying sailboat is a very practical purchase if you and the family use it. How much? At least as much in expense terms as it would cost to charter. (It’s just the familiar buy versus rent equation.) For example, a 37-ft charter out of Long Beach costs $850 Friday to Sunday. If I take my boat out one weekend a month and do nothing else with it, I just break even, or nearly, with a charter cost due to the price of my slip, insurance, and boat taxes, etc. So, let’s say then 12 weekend-equivlants per year is a fair metric. If an owner cannot use it at least that much, then it might be an “impractical” purchase from a cost perspective.

Most people will not use their boat that much over the long haul although they probably think that they will going in. There’s the “Dreamer” part. For example, about the most we’ve done here coastal off CA is 42 nights on the hook in a year (before my trip to Port San Luis in 2019 where I spent 3 nearly consecutive weeks on the hook out of 6), but have averaged about 40 slip-departures per year for several years, about 20, which includes day trips with some racing. So, that is just above a 3x12=36 days of weekend-equivalents use. This does not count “in-slip” types of usages. It’s close on those numbers, but I consider my yacht a practical purchase.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes: 31seahorse
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Hello SBO Members,

In my earlier post in this discussion I mentioned a writer and a series of books related to Southwest Florida during the Civil War. Please pardon my loss of memory of the author's name and the book series at the time of that post. I have since recovered my faculties.

The author is Robert N. Macomber, who has recently been named the 2020 Florida Writer of the Year. The series of books is called the "Honor Series" and describes the exploits of Peter Wake, USN. The books are generally easy to read and describe sailing action along the Southwest coast of Florida and other locations.

My only reasons for mentioning the above information is this: He was a founding member of the CMCS club that I referenced in my post; I met Mr. Macomber at a book signing event and at a club meeting; and You might find these books interesting reading while at anchor or while huddled in your home during the approaching winter.

Respectfully, 31seahorse
Hi all.
I just finished book #1 of Macomber’s series, At the Edge of Honor. Took a little while to receive it, but only a couple of days to read it. Got out my old chart book of the Gulf coast of FL and the Keys to better follow the sailing routes and venues. Have been to some of the places mentioned in Pine Island Sound (e.g., anchored off Useppa Island) as well as through the passes. I’ve already ordered book #2, Point of Honor, so I obviously enjoyed #1. I see the Honor series similar in format to the O’Brien series, but easier to read. (No cockney English or Irish/British syntax) Good writing; good story. We’ll see how #2 pans out.
KG
 
Last edited:
Aug 2, 2005
1,126
Pearson 33-2 & Typhoon 18 Seneca Lake
Hello Kings Gambit,

I agree the books are easy reading and knowing some of the places mentioned was very interesting for me too. The Charlotte Harbor area, Peace River, Useppa Island and Pine Island (as you mentioned), and others were our sailing waters from 2006 until 2016. An adventurous time we won't forget! I'm glad you enjoyed the book and look forward to others. I have already given mine away to another reader or I would offer them to you. 31seahorse
 
  • Like
Likes: Kings Gambit
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Hi all.
I just finished book #1 of Macomber’s series, At the Edge of Honor. Took a little while to receive it, but only a couple of days to read it. Got out my old chart book of the Gulf coast of FL and the Keys to better follow the sailing routes and venues. Have been to some of the places mentioned in Pine Island Sound (e.g., anchored off Useppa Island) as well as through the passes. I’ve already ordered book #2, Point of Honor, so I obviously enjoyed #1. I see the Honor series similar in format to the O’Brien series, but easier to read. (No cockney English or Irish/British syntax) Good writing; good story. We’ll see how #2 pans out.
KG
Santa, working through the USPS, delivered book #2 early last evening! Already into it! Opens in the setting of the Dry Tortugas with an apt description of the environs, including one of Fort Jefferson—the place where J.W. Booth was incarcerated. We “sailed” there from Tierra Verde, FL in May of 2011, and back. Anchored five nights in the anchorage at Garden Key plus visited Loggerhead Key (went ashore), site of the first dedicated marine biology laboratory in the United States (today a ruin) and under the direction of Alfred G. Mayor, now recognized as the “Seafaring Scientist” with the publication in 2006 of his biography with that title. Mayor skippered the lab’s research vessel, the schooner Physalia, which is how he initially transported visiting researchers to and from the lab. Physalia is the genus nomen for the Portuguese Man-O-War, which was among the creatures he studied, although he focused on the medusae of jellyfishes.
 
Last edited:
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Book #2 ended with a combined naval and army action near, and inland of, the Cedar Keys of FL. Interesting to read about having to operate in the very thin, 1 fm, waters in that area of Florida’s Gulf coast. Gives riveting accounts of near-daily summer T-storms, the heat and humidity of summer, swarms of mosquitoes ashore, and the effects of the Yellow Jack on sailors, soldiers, and local folks. Not to mention facing a Confederate army regiment, at least the remnants of one, in those conditions:yikes:. Book No. 3 will arrive today or Monday, Honorable Mention!
 
Last edited:
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Honorable Mention saw the end of the War between the States with the principal, Wake, being assigned command of a steamer gun boat, actually a tug, with a couple of interesting missions along the east coast of FL, Cuba, and around Puerto Rico. Of course, one issue with steamers was having coaling stations in strategic locations. One apparently was at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas, etc. At the war’s end Wake was given a commission and stationed in Pensacola. The fourth, A Dishonorable Few, was set in the post-war navy undergoing reductions where sea billets were few and politically acquired. Also, the “awaiting orders” status was at half pay, so only a few could hold out long enough to await assignment. Wake was assigned a sea billet as XO to a drug-addicted, incompetent captain of a new Navy gun boat sent to chase down post-war pirates operating between Nicaragua and Columbia. Interesting saga, but set entirely on steamers. Looks like the sailing settings may be disappearing from the series. I did order book #5, however, An Affair of Honor. So, we’ll see. Good reads though.
 
Last edited:
Jan 1, 2006
6,098
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I just ordered At the Edge of Honor from Kindle. I had to wade through Debbie Macomber's avalanche of romantic books to get there.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
I had to wade through Debbie Macomber's avalanche of romantic books to get there.
That red herring threw me off as well initially! I nearly ordered one of those! Of the four I’ve read, At the Edge of Honor and Point of Honor in which sloops and schooners are featured is best for sailing interests. The series tracks the naval career of Wake from volunteer officer in the war stationed out of Key West commanding a sloop of war, then a schooner, and lastly an armed steam tug, to a commissioned officer after the war stationed out of Pensacola, but one of low seniority not having graduated from the Academy. Thus, no command assignments yet in the post war stories. The situation changes with each new book. Enjoy!
 
Last edited: