Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gone Cruising

I've made a bold decision to take a hiatus from the life of big money, big boats, and many crew. I've signed off as bosun from S/Y Athena, and signed on as captain of a 38' yacht named Echo. I've saved up enough money to finally go out and live one of my dreams, to sail my own yacht across the  vast Pacific Ocean.

I bought Echo, a 1957 38' Stephens Brothers Farallon Clipper. She's an absolute classic, one of 19 ever built, with a strong pedigree in both racing and bluewater crossings. She's mahogany planking on oak frames, and a real testament to her builders. Her varnished topsides and fine lines make her a nice piece of eye candy for any discriminating yacht enthusiast. Just have a look, she's absolutely gorgeous.

While she is more than capable of tackling the oceans ahead of her, she is not set up for bluewater cruising. She needs lots of gear to make the trip, and I am in the process of outfitting her now in San Francisco. Solar panels, autopilots, storm sails, new standing rigging, lots of electrical, carpentry work, and a whole lot of varnish are in my near future. I got what I wanted, a beautiful classic, and up ahead comes all of the work associated with owning and sailing one. It's all worth it though. An old captain of mine once said to me, "Life is too short for ugly boats." Then again, when I told him I wanted to buy a wooden boat he said to me, "My best advice? Lie down until the feeling goes away." Fred always has a way with words.

The itinerary is a very loose one, but I have a rough idea. Over the course of 10-12 months I'll be taking her across the Pacific Ocean, starting in San Francisco and ending on the coast of Australia. It will be a voyage of adventure, discovery, and of course, yacht maintenance. I plan to visit the places that are only accesible by boat, the types of places with no airports, no supply ships, and no tourists venture. Every little island along the way is a potential stop. I only know what countries and island groups I wish to visit, otherwise I'll just be going where the wind takes me.

First I need to sand, paint, wire up, and seal up Echo, then it's off to sea.


  1. Best Wishes, Rob for a safe, exciting sailing adventure. Echo is such a beauty. Be safe and looking forward to following your story as the journey progresses.
    Sincere regards,
    Susan Jones

  2. Generator???????? You need one!

    1. Anonymous? Like I don't know who that is! I don't think so Eun, I'm cranking out 22 amps an hour with my solar panels!