After days with my head in Mo’s bilge or the now typical 3 a.m. wake-and-worry, I sometimes need a pick-me-up, a reminder that this part of the process does, in fact, lead to the launching of a ship into that wild blue yonder, a thing for which both ship and sailor yern. In years, Read More

“Great literature is nothing more than an extended complaint,” said my good friend Dr. David R. Kelton. “Dante’s Inferno, Hamlet, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and all of quality in between, can be seen as but artfully woven epics upon the theme of ‘Oh, woe is me.’” This lesson came in response to my missive titled, “Dammit, I, Read More

To me, writing up the adventure is half the fun of having it. Sinking the land, being entirely, irretrievably at sea, is like breaking earth’s orbit and entering beautiful, untresspassed, limitless space. It’s not just freeing, it’s exhilarating, and those who have followed my previous passages know this transition tends to light the afterburner on my keyboard., Read More

Many thanks to the folks at Latitude 38 for their May 2017 feature of the Figure 8 Voyage. Moli is back at KKMI and is again in pieces. The life raft, the dinghy motor, and the autopilots have all been sent out for overhaul or repair; the fuel tank lids are off in preparation for a good scrub, and, Read More

Friday, March 31 The show manager, Jorgen, had been quite clear. “Your vessel will be accepted into the Pacific Boat Show marina before noon on Tuesday, but after that the basin will be closed.” A reasonable enough requirement as I had known about it since the previous January. But it was now the Friday before that, Read More

This isn’t my first rodeo. It’s my second. I should know better. The first rodeo was a 31-foot Far East Mariner built in 1972 that my wife and I purchased in the summer of 2001. I liked the boat because she liked the boat, whose interior spaces felt vast next to the 24-footer we’d, Read More

Nothing is quite so sobering as the realization that the Figure 8, this seemingly massive undertaking, this voyage that is a test of imagination (not to mention intellect, physical stamina, and funds), has already been done … and by one’s own boat! Moli is a rare bird. Her purposeful, stout beauty would be obvious, Read More

“Faye. Faye! Psst. Wrong envelope.” — When not cleaning coffee grounds from the floorboards during last summer’s 7,000-mile shakedown cruise in Moli, I kept myself occupied by shooting passage video. The exercise was an experiment intended to answer three questions: What is the minimum technology required for video capture at sea?

“I’m looking for a boat named Moli,” said a friend, Burt Richardson, as he stepped up to the KKMI front desk. “You bet,” said Emmy, “just head to the back of the yard, make a left at the water, and keep an eye out for the covered wagon.” — The first order of business on, Read More

A brewer like the It’s American Press doesn’t come along every day. For starters, it’s surprisingly beautiful–in the way that complexity is beautiful when rendered, reduced, refined; rethought and redrawn until what remains is the perfect balance of form and function. I know what you’re saying, “Hey, it’s just a coffee maker!” But, as, Read More

In the previous post, a critical boat system–coffee making–failed in such dramatic fashion (twice) that, months later, I am still cleaning grounds from between the floor boards. Once home this launched a search for the perfect boat brewer, whose requirements are: Be easy to use in rough weather.

Since the last refit report, I’ve moved Moli two miles up the channel to KKMI, a big, resourceful yard with a sense of humor and a small but practical chandlery that (bless it) requires no driving to get to. Here the first order of business has been to pull the mast so as to initiate the, Read More

Aboard Moli is a small hardbound book titled Rund Amerika, the story of my boat’s initial adventures with then owners, Clark Stede and Michelle Poncini. It’s in German. I can admire the photos, like the one above, but I can’t read a word. So, I was grateful to receive this week the below Yachting Monthly article from 1991, Read More

WARNING: for several months to come, many of these blogs will wander off into the badlands of boat refitting. My apologies if block-and-tackle-type discussions are not to everyone’s liking, but the work is a necessary prerequisite to minimizing excitement levels during the voyage itself, and writing about them, nearly so. With the Figure 8’s, Read More

I can’t take my eyes off the Vendee Globe, that solo, non-stop, around-the-world race whose fleet of rocket ships launched some 51 days ago. The first weeks of flying down the Atlantic were interesting enough (it’s been a year of record times), but only as the boats encountered the difficulties of the Southern Ocean, Read More

Once I got her home to San Francisco, the first job on Moli was a quick haul at KKMI in Richmond. While at anchor in Hanalei Bay the month before, I dove on the hull and found two lengthwise scratches in the new bottom paint so expertly sprayed into place by the guys at Homer, Read More

The September 25th discovery of abandoned vessel Wavesweeper left me with an interesting mystery whose many clues are outlined in the previous post. At the start of this investigation, I had thought to find a single failure that would lead, step-by-step, to the Wavesweeper disaster, a failure profound enough in itself to seal the boat’s fate. But the, Read More

On September 25th of this year and during a crossing from Hawaii to the mainland, Moli and I discovered an abandoned yacht named Wavesweeper at a position roughly 600 miles west of the Oregon and California border. Such a find can be soul-rattling, as I reported on this site that same afternoon. After the there-but-for-the-grace-of-god-go-I feeling subsides, one is, Read More

I saw it for the first time on October 2nd, the red trimaran with the golden stars. Moli and I entered under the bridge that day, ending our summer passages and exchanging the sweet, white-capped wilderness for a marina, flat as a parking lot and mad with weekenders. I noted the exotic red giant, Read More

As noted in my first post from sea, Moli and I departed Hanalei Bay for San Francisco in the company of another yacht, Solace, a Doug Peterson Baltic 42 out of San Diego. Aboard Solace were skipper Steve Harris, daughter Kelsey, and friend Kim Kirch, pictured below from their blog, where they are typically represented catching fish. Lots and lots, Read More

While researching the Figure 8 one evening, this a couple of years ago, I stumbled upon Wavetrain, a blog written by SAIL Cruising Editor, Charles Doane. Figure 8 course length and boat speed requirements were my focus at the time. Realizing I didn’t entirely grok the concept of theoretical hull speed, I was digging around for an explanation even, Read More

Drakes Bay. 4:30am. Up with the alarm. Sky to the east, black. Orion, The Dipper, shimmering. Though I can hear swell crashing on rocks to the south, MOLI, tucked inside the hook of the point, is still as a board. Aground? I check the meter. 18 feet. Because the peninsula eats the sea, I remember. Jutting, Read More

Sept 30 Hanalei Bay to San Francisco Day 20 Anchor Down, Drakes Bay, Point Reyes National Seashore POS: 37.59.77N by 122.58.51W Time: 0930 Miles since last noon: 138 Total miles of passage: 2889 Avg. Miles per Day: 144 I know, it’s not quite San Francisco. Drakes Bay is 25 miles north of the Golden, Read More