Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Great Marine Sequester

You would think, living on a boat, that the time of Quarantine wouldn't really be all that big a thing.  I mean, we're used to the small space, used to being off the dock and away, surrounded by water and our own thoughts, for days or weeks at a time.  We're self sufficient, can generate our own electricity, we can fish, we're both great cooks.  I mean, the peace and quiet alone is worth the hassles, right?

But here's the thing:  This isn't normal circumstances.  If we're feeling a bit boat-bound we can't just pop down to the local pub for a drink and a dinner.  We're having to limit our shopping to stay safe, and we're loading the larder with far more than the market shopping we usually do, and that's changing what we cook and how we cook.  It's an odd time.
Social Distancing anyone?
You would think we'd just load up the stores and head out, spend a few weeks cruising or on the hook, and get shed of crowds and the possibility of infection, but a couple of things have given us pause:  First of all, what if one of us comes down sick?  Or both?  How would we manage getting to a port?   How much help could we count on on the water?  Second, if we had a breakdown, in normal times, I'd just call up marine towing and get dragged back in, but is that still working?  Is it still working everywhere

You see the dilemma. 

So we determined, for the moment at least, to stay in dock (and largely on the boat) and shelter in place rather as if we WERE out on the hook.  It gives us, at least, the opportunity to take walks and go ashore and stretch a bit.  We've also taken here among the liveaboards to having "cockpit parties", otherwise known as you stay in your cockpit and we stay in ours a discrete distance apart and have a libation in the afternoons while conducting rather overloud conversations from boat to boat.

Well, at least it's social contact without. . .well. . .social contact.

This enforced pause has given us the chance to do a bit of maintenance on the boat and complete a few projects, but I do confess to finding the whole situation enervating.  Maybe in a few days we'll restock the larder and just putt up the bend and anchor out for a bit just for the change of scenery.

Magellan, as usual, has the right idea.
When all this is done, I sincerely hope things DON'T go back to normal.  That "normal" is what got us into this mess in the first place, with the greed and toxicity of our culture poisoning everything it touched.  As I sit here in the Middle River, the water is as clean as I've ever seen it.  The air is sweet,  the Ospreys have just come back for the season and are filling the air with their familiar shrieks.  I hope when this is over that we remember just how important life is, and how important this world is.

nuff said.

Be safe


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Some Free Reading Material for Your Quarantine Needs

Since a lot of us are hiding out from the Virus in our homes and boats, I've conned Wild Shore Press into putting a lot of the electronic copies of my books out for free this weekend.  If you go over to my Amazon Author Page or Wild Shore Press after 8AM PDT this coming Friday (March 27) you can pick up most of my books for free until Sunday and the rest are on discount (which was already in process).

If you do snag a copy and like it, though, I'd really appreciate  you leaving a positive review on Amazon.  I'm trying to get all the titles up for free for the duration of this mess, so stay tuned.  For right now, "An Alien's Guide to Sears and Roebuck", "In the Shade" , "The Ganymeade Protocol" and our composting toilet book are going up for free and "Zarabeth's World" on a discount... .at least I think that's what we did.  Discount may not show up until you get to the shopping cart, btw.


Monday, March 9, 2020


Spring has come early to the Chesapeake. . . really early in fact.  Not that we're complaining, mind you.  The trees are already in bud weeks earlier than usual, and cold weather has disappeared from the long term forecast.

One of the great joys of living aboard (or of any kind of cruising for that matter) is the opportunity to get off the dock and explore.  So we've been taking sojourns to one of our favorite places here on the upper Bay:  Marshy Point Nature Center.  The place is accessible by bus, car, or boat, has several miles of really nice, marked hiking trails, and a wonderful educational center with some really fun and interesting programs open to the public, that and a cool osprey-cam on a nest out in the middle of a platform in dundee creek (at

So on a pretty, warmish morning in our all too early spring, we went hiking.  The Vernal Pond is full of peepers at the moment, the cacophony of frogs and toads and other critters can be deafening in the early mornings.

It's amazing the racket a bunch of little frogs can make.
Green is breaking out all over.  The lycopodium, a type of club moss and one of the only explosive plants of which I'm familiar (look it up), are starting to cover the wet forest floor.
Lycopodium is one of the first real signs that warmer weather is just around the corner. 
Take the opportunity to get out and off the boat for a bit after the winter's chill and stretch your legs.  Its a good way to limber up, get some exercise, and avoiding crowds right now with the Coronavirus spreading is probably a good thing.
This is one time of year that "take a hike" isn't insulting someone.
We're deep into spring prep here aboard Constellation, chasing down an irritating little fuel leak on our old Atomic 4 engine, figuring out how to store the dockside amenities that we've used all winter, and, in general, planning on destinations.  In the coming weeks we'll be doing a haul and hang to pull out our old Blackwater system (I despise the things) and replace it with a composting head, tuning our standing rigging, and making ready for sea.

So it's spring?  Where will you go?  We can't wait to be back out on the water.  See you out there.


Thursday, March 5, 2020

Sale on the new novel

Wild Shore Press will be running a sale on electronic copies of my new novel over this weekend (Mar 7-8).  They're running a $.99 promotion on a lot of new works and mine is included.  Kindly rush right out in a downloading frenzy.  Interested?  Click HERE.

I have to admit, I'm really proud of this one.