A Productive Week Aboard Bear

Things have been busy on Bear this past week, as we splashed, knocked out jobs, and hung out with some friends. I took the boat out – by myself for the first time – to test the new Gates v-belt; it seems to be not slipping or stretching, which is a relief. Now, just about all the “must do” jobs are completed. Though, of course, I do have a long list of small jobs, including cleaning and organizing the boat, before I pick up my buddy Kerry in Annapolis tomorrow evening. He is my crew for the trip to Newport, and we hope to be leaving on Tuesday.
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Working On A Schedule (like footprints in the sand)

Over the last couple days, I have been making some good progress, finishing the anchor locker, sanitation hose, and a few other projects. I am hoping to get the bottom painted and a new transducer installed by the weekend, when the rain is supposed to begin. If all goes well, we will be splashing early next week. Getting in the water then is crucial to our dreaded schedule because I need to do several jobs that can only be completed and tested in the water.

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New YouTube Episode – The Sailing Capital: Newport, RI

In this episode, we explore Newport, RI, touted by some as The World Sailing Capital. Come along as we attend the Newport Folk Festival, view the Newport Mansions, have cocktails at the Castle Hill Inn, and scope out the Seaman’s Church Institute.

Click on the link below to go to the episode:

The World Sailing Capital: Newport, RI

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Getting After the Anchor Locker

I already had an idea that the wood divider in our anchor locker had some rot in it. But today I began to appreciate just how extensive that rot was. In the photo below, you can see the ply center board (vertically) of our anchor locker divider. Fortunately, the other two – top and bottom – are of some hardwood and, while not without rot themselves, are still essentially sound. Needless to say, I will be replacing them all.

I just picked this piece out of its place in the anchor locker; no force necessary.


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Back Aboard Bear

After leaving Peoria on Monday and spending a few days in Michigan hanging out with family and friends and doing some work, I made it to Bear this evening. At first glance, everything aboard looks good, but I will really inspect – along with clean – everything tomorrow and see for sure.

Bear about an hour after I arrived this evening.

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Check out our new t-shirt designs!

video still with t-shirt

Hello Return to Seasons Crew!  

We are excited to announce a new fundraising effort to help us continue to make sailing videos and purchase new equipment for this endeavor.  We have been working with a team of designers for the past few months to create sailing and cruising themed t-shirts, which we are calling Salty Sailor Apparel.  We are currently selling our designs through Amazon Merch but will be expanding in the near future so that we will be able to offer our designs on more apparel styles and additional merchandise, such as beer coozies, coasters, mugs, etc. Continue reading

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Catching Up with Caper, a Cabot 36 – Part II

This is part two of a two part series on Caper – a boat Margaret and I looked at before we bought Bear – and the people who have loved her. You can read part one here. And you can see our original evaluation of Caper and all the other boats we looked at here.

While we do not know much about what Paul did aboard Caper, we do know that he got to the Bahamas and poked around dozens of islands there in the two years after he purchased her. In that time, he also managed to replace the dreaded pink cushions, add a host of new electronics, and do some other work on Caper. No doubt, Paul had learned to take care of a cruising boat during his circ, if not long before. Living his dream once again, Paul surely enjoyed those two years on Caper, feeling like the luckiest man in the world at the helm of his perfect boat. At some point, however, Paul must have realized that something was not quite right. In the fall of 2016, he suddenly showed up on Caper at the Indiantown Marina, where Margaret and I had looked at the boat and Paul had bought her. He immediately had her hauled and turned the keys over to Dennis, who had sold him the boat, at Advantage Yacht Sales, saying he wanted to put her up for sale for only 25,000. By the time Dennis got the paperwork together, Paul had passed away.
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Catching Up with Caper, a Cabot 36

When we started this blog nearly five years ago, Margaret and I planned on buying a boat in three or four years. Quickly, we moved that time frame up and, before too long, began the search that resulted in us purchasing Bear. We chronicled that search in a series of posts that reviewed each boat we stepped aboard. Those early posts continue to get a lot of views – which always blows us away – through the long tail of Google, particularly the ones about boats that remained on the market. But none of those posts have been viewed as many times as the one on Caper, a Cabot 36 that we checked out in Indiantown, Florida. What’s more is that nearly a dozen folks have contacted us about Caper. Margaret and I have really enjoyed the way that Caper has momentarily popped back into our lives with these emails. And the stories that we have heard from people interested in Caper have given us added perspective on the cruising dreams that people harbor and the life of a capable, well-loved bluewater boat. Our experience with Caper came full circle after we left the Keys, when we stopped by Indiantown Marina to step aboard her once again as guests of her newest owners, Courtney and Jeremy. I will get to their story, but I wanted to share some of our earlier experiences with Caper first, so that you can better appreciate the boat through the eyes of those who have admired and sailed on her.
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The Florida Keys and Those Crazy Critters

Over New Year’s, Margaret and I spent a few days down in the Florida Keys, camping, snorkeling, and sampling as many bars as we could. While we were there, we managed to meet up with our friend Jonny, who is also known as one of Those Crazy Critters and probably by several dozen other monikers. I first met him when we had Bear on the hard in St. Mary’s, Georgia. As all yards seem to, St. Mary’s Boat Services brought together an interesting, varied group of folks. And one day Jonny came into the mix with his girlfriend on a twenty-two foot sailboat that they had bought sight unseen in South Carolina after answering a Craigslist ad from Chicago. Within a matter of hours, the two of them had ensconced themselves in the boatyard community and seemed like they had always been there.
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Our Adventures with Menhaden

As a kid, there were several summers when my buddy Steve and I were inveterate fishermen and crabbers, heading to the club docks with pole and trap whenever we were not out sailing. We’d fish for anything that we could catch – and we caught everything – with a few crab traps out as well. Our crab bait of choice was bunker, not yet having been indoctrinated into chicken necks as a nine or ten-year old. That experience with bunker – buying it out of the huge freezer at the bait and tackle shop, cutting it into thirds, and, as often as not, dissecting what was left – made me a lifelong fan of the fish, and I have become more and more obsessed – as I am with a lot of animals – with the lowly bunker.
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