Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sailing down from Donegal

A few of the fishing vessels in Killybegs

We got underway right from the Killybegs Sailing Club mooring, having raised our mainsail and mizzen in the harbour. The wind direction made for a perfect line right out of the harbour close hauled. As we unfurled the yankee and Alex raised the staysail, she soared out the channel.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Final days in Donegal

Killybegs, Donegal, Ireland

Last week we had the luck of a weather window and a high spring tide, a good combination of conditions to relaunch Aleria.  She had spent the winter in Killybegs at the Mooney yard.

Alex had spent many days servicing and replacing through hull fittings all winter. He found several worrying decay elements -- not surprising given her advancing age. Aleria is 40 years old this year. Although her hull was created in 1994, she wasn't finished and launched until 1996. The machine shop at the yard proved immensely helpful, building several new components, testing metals, advising on replacements and building special tools. Alex couldn't have done it without them.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Crossing Oceans in Company

From Yacht Club Cruising to Ocean Crossings

By Daria Blackwell


Humans are interesting creatures.  There are those who get a notion and immediately pursue it – risks and obstacles notwithstanding.  Matt Rutherford and all those who were first to attempt a feat fall into that category.  Take Saint Brendan, Leif Erikson, and Columbus – each having crossed the Atlantic to “discover” the Americas when there was nothing known or recorded about crossing oceans. That took a great deal of courage. Or density. Or destiny.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

How to leave the rat race behind and live on a boat



Your ticket to freedom

Some people just dream about sailing away all their lives. Others just do it. We did it at the age of 55, with a great deal of preparation. I wish we had done it much sooner. 


Stop buying stuff

  • All that stuff weighs you down. The more you have, the more stuck you get.
  • One exception: buy a small boat to get comfortable with sailing and learn what you really want in a boat to live aboard before you head off.