Day 1 Noon Position: 35.40.61N, 124.45.32W Course: SW Speed: 7 knots Wind: 18 – 24 NW Sail: Single reefed jib; double reefed main. Bar: 1018 Sea: NW 6 Sky: Full Cloud Temp: 63 Miles since departure: 145 The Figure 8 Voyage has begun. MO and I departed Horseshoe Cove at 1pm yesterday and sailed, Read More

It’s a strange feeling being the wife of an adventurer. Strange because in the preparation stage you’ve been beside your husband. Beside him during those first tentative and curious conversations about an idea that seemed utterly insane and completely amazing. Beside him during the endless discussions about this boat or that boat when trying, Read More

A message from John Woodworth read, “Day before departure and I see Moli is missing her prop.” Indeed, Mo is again on the hard at KKMI Boatyard where, on Thursday, I extracted her propeller, shaft, and thrust bearing two days before she was to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge. New Figure 8 departure, Read More

Nope. Not expired. Neither the sailor nor the project. Rather, a long absence from this site indicates that both have been, as can be imagined, busy. The former is readying self and boat for an extended voyage while the latter, said voyage, keeps creating previously unimagined urgencies that translate into yet more items on, Read More

“What are the chances you won’t be ready?” asked my wife one evening. It’s not crunch time yet, but it’s getting close. My first-of-October departure is now less than four months out, and though many, many items have been crossed off the expansive (to be kind) list, the items undone still trail to the floor., Read More

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