Monthly: December 2010

30 Dec


Sailing For Aidric Hunt


Received the following press release and thought we’d help spread the word.—Eds

Sailing For Aidric Hunt

26 December 2010: Clarity Sailing Adventures will be dedicating their entry into the 2011 Everglades Challenge Race this March 5th to helping raise funds and awareness for The Aidric Hunt Assistance Fund.

Mike and Susan Barnett of Clarity Sailing Adventures humbly announce that they will be dedicating their entry into the 2011 Everglades Challenge Race this March 5th to helping raise funds and awareness for Aidric Hunt, whose mother was tragically murdered in a case of domestic violence, along with honoring the memory of his mother, Larsen.

Aidric Hunt is a 5 year old child with Autism, and he needs special care. His mother Larsen, a 25 year old Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit nurse, was doing a wonderful job of caring and nurturing him, but she was taken away forever on October 26th 2010. Aidric has a wonderful family support unit, but they need all of our help with the special care he requires. To this end, they have established the Aidric Hunt Assistance Fund ( ), which will help not only Aidric, but other Autistic children and their mothers, especially single mothers, with all the challenges they will face in life.

The Everglades Challenge is an unsupported, expedition style adventure race for kayaks, canoes, and small sailboats. It starts at Ft. Desoto Park in Clearwater, Florida, and ends on Key Largo. There are 3 checkpoints on the way to the finish, and the distance is roughly 300 nautical miles depending on your course selection. There is a time limit of 8 days or less.

There will be a specially designated sail available for signing at various fundraisers leading up to the Challenge (a $10.00 minimum donation will be recommended), along with “Sail A Thon” pledge forms, where you can sign up to donate a suggested minimum of $.10 per mile sailed. After the Challenge, the sail will be presented to Aidric and his family as a permanent memento of our sail, and, more importantly, of all the people out there who care. An online map of the race will be available, with near-real-time tracking of the competitors. More information about the Everglades Challenge can be found at and more about Clarity Sailing Adventures can be found at

If you wish to pledge a donation via email, please contact us at

Clarity Sailing Adventures will also be seeking sponsorship for certain items to be used during the Challenge, such as drysuits, entry fee, the sail to be donated to Aidric, and other items. Please be aware that any money donated will go directly to the Aidric Hunt Assistance Fund, unless specifically noted that the donation is to be used to help fund our entry in the 2011 Everglades Challenge. If you would like to assist in sponsoring Clarity Sailing Adventures’ entry, please contact Mike Barnett at

We are honored to be able to help, and we hope that many of our fellow sailors, along with non-sailors, will join with us to make Aidric’s life, along with many other lives, happy and healthy.


Mike Barnett

Filed Under: Uncategorized

20 Dec


Jack Tar Magazine’s 2011 Calendar


Last Minute Shopping Directive

Cover Photo, the Crew of the F/V Princess sporting some nice salmon and not a lot more!
l to r Mariah, Captain Heather & Sally

courtesy Jack Tar Magazine

Surely anyone who either consistently or intermittently reads this web log can help the Jack Tar Magazine stay afloat by purchasing the 2011 Calendar. Chances are good that there are at least one or two in your circle of family and friends who’ll find this a very welcome gift. And you’ll support a worthy organization. The stated aim of the organization: We strengthen community among sailors through interactive, informative and entertaining media, with a focus on the progressive side of modern maritime culture and it’s roots in traditional seamanship.
And they do just that. So, don’t equivocate, don’t hesitate, don’t procrastinate, order the calendar now.

and keep an eye out for the latest print version to become available early 2011.

Follow on facebook here…

Kim Carver, editor, goes on to explain her vision and mission: There are huge gaps in how information is being shared between the maritime subcultures today. Heavy industrial offshore and Lakes operations have trade magazines that focus on new technology or environmental legislation affecting their industry. Commercial fishermen, research vessel crew, tour operators and sail training crew have few, if any, forums where they share information. Wooden boat builders, cruisers, and racers have magazines and online forums that include technical articles and product information, but scarce offerings when it comes to well written sea stories, interesting art and photography, and thoughtful reflections about life on the water today.

This is where Jack Tar picks up the slack; our audience includes everyone who recognizes the great, and sometimes not-so-great aspects of the seafaring life. We educate new mariners on how to succeed in the maritime industry, while promoting the study of traditional seamanship skills. We provide venues to discuss important issues: whether it’s about safety at sea, USCG compliance topics, relationships between operators and crew, or personal subjects that only a mariner might understand. We serve as an outlet for the creative and talented souls living and working on the water. We offer common ground where both fishermen and fisheries scientists may stand in support of dedicating their lives to the management of important natural resources. We are about bringing people together, and sharing our dedication to a safe, prosperous, and enjoyable future at sea.

There is an excellent quote on the back cover of this year’s September issue of Maine, the magazine; “Seafarers, and the maritime community are the people that teach me about what it means to love thy neighbor, how to be hospitable, and how to welcome a stranger.” – Rev. Dr. Nash Garabedian

That is the spirit in which Jack Tar Magazine was borne, and that is the attitude with which we bring culture and information to other mariners and the world. Please help us to narrow the gaps in communication. You are helping people on different sides of the issues understand each other better. You are helping educate young people regarding their options in the industry. You are allowing a new generation of Cousteaus, Heyerdahls, Conrads and Chichesters to emerge and renew centuries of public fascination with a subculture that is too quickly forgetting seamanship survival skills and the romance of going to sea.

Filed Under: Uncategorized

15 Dec


SCAMPs Underway


In addition to our recently completed prototype SCAMP (sail #1), builder Mike Monies is well along with construction of two SCAMPs (sail #s 4 and 5) from plans, and builder Dan Phy’s SCAMP kit (sail #6) is planked already after 11 days at the Northwest Maritime Center.

Both builders are planning fast builds; Mike so that he and Andrew Linn can compete in the upcoming Everglades Challenge, and Dan so that he can attend several trailersailor cruises and gatherings this winter and spring.  To follow both builds check out our message board’s SCAMP forum.

Plans have also shipped recently across the country, to Canada, Australia, the UK and Switzerland, so look for more SCAMP builds to crop up soon. —Eds

Sail #6 from a few days ago.

Sail #s 4 and 5 from a few days ago

Filed Under: Uncategorized

13 Dec


MINGMING & the Art of Minimal Ocean Sailing


the cover of Roger’s latest offering

Mingming‘s voyages


2000 miles under patched up battens, 2007

Whales through the Porthole

Piloting Pilot Whales west of Ireland 2007

Pilot Whales West of Ireland 2007


Jester Azores Fleet, Plymouth 2008

Leaving Plymouth for the Azores, Jester astern

Azores Arrival (Photo Tony Head)

Leaving the Azores for Plymouth, 2008


Sailing North to the sun, 2009

Inside Mingming

Approaching southern Jan Mayen

Arctic ice

and again,ice

Yet more…ice

Coast of Jan Mayen 2009

Snaefell Glacier, West Iceland

Off north-west Iceland

Leaving Adalvik, NW Iceland

all photos and captions Roger Taylor

“There are, according to the tetrahedral view of the earth, four oceans; but of these three only are generally necessary to navigation, for the Arctic Ocean is only used by Polar bears and Polar explorers, and in any case not navigable.”

So mused the intrepid Irish circumnavigator Conor O’Brien in the opening sentence of his account of his sail around the globe ‘Three Oceans’, published in 1928. 82 years on, I think Roger Taylor would take exception to that, though certainly not to it’s author, whose adventurous spirit mirrors his own.

MINGMING & the Art of Minimal Ocean Sailing‘ is Roger’s second book. His first, ‘Voyages of a Simple Sailor‘, tells of the events which have led him to his current philosophy and practice of ocean cruising. This new book deals with the implementation and execution of his ideas, and the results of his experiments in real tests, his cruises. He is building on the innovations and experience of his mentors, Blondie Hasler and Mike Ritchie, pioneers of small boat singlehanded ocean cruising. He also brings to his projects a wealth of hard won personal experience gained through a lifetime of sailing. But I don’t want to give a false impression. These are not clinical trials. Roger’s cruises are his passion. Though he only goes to sea once a year for six to eight weeks, leaving behind his duties as head of an investment management company, his entire year revolves around the planning and preparation for this escape to the solitude and grandeur of oceanic wilderness. It’s remarkable that Roger conducts his forays into the Atlantic, the North Sea and the Arctic Ocean in a little 20’7″ Corribee MkII, Mingming. Not only is she small, she’s also junk rigged and has twin bilge keels, which according to some sailing pundits should make her next to unsailable. Roger’s adventures prove otherwise, and I’d hazard a guess that at times he regards her as a living being. She’s been heavily modified to allow singlehanded sailing from the warmth and safety of her cabin. Here’s Roger on first the planning for his 2007 cruise, then his preparations and modifications to Mingming:

The winter evenings gripped tighter, darker, colder, but I cared little. I had work to do. I may well have been intending to simply set off and see what happened, but this did not in any way presuppose some sort of lax approach to the problem. True freedom of the seas, especially for the sailor of a tiny, engineless yacht, can only be derived from the most rigorous preparation. More than fifty years of sailing had honed my wariness to razor sharpness. Having concieved the general shape of my intended journy, I now had to drill down into the smallest navigational details. Every aspect of the potential routes had to be explored. I had to think through every possible adverse situation to insure that, in the worst case, I would not be putting myself and Mingming at risk.”

And later on, three major modifications to Mingming: Tuning his self steering to allow for infinitely fine adjustments…without having to go on deck, adding protection from spray and weather around the main hatch, and giving her a proper bowsprit.

My winter preparations for the voyage north were therefore of a dual nature. Contemplation was supported by carpentry. The kitchen worktops, ideal for heavy duty clamping requirements, particularly when it was too cold to work in my garage workshop, were littered with weird works in progress and their constituent parts, along with the saws, files, chisels, glues, screws and so on used to construct them. In the lounge and by the bedside the piles of charts and pilot books and almanacs grew steadily higher. To sail properly, and by that I mean to go to sea unequivocally and without compromise for a month or two each year is a year round business. The preparatory ten months are as integral to the project as the weeks afloat. They are almost as satisfying, too. The more time and effort that go into creating a successful modification, and indeed a successful cruise, the greater the pleasure of experiencing that success during the weeks at sea.”

One has to wonder where the time was found to write this book.

Roger goes on to recount three voyages taking place in ’07, ’08 and ’09, two tales of northing and one southern cruise to the Azores. His straightforward accounts of sailing are interspersed with musings on the nature of his projects, and they pull you along with him and Mingming quite skilfully. This is not, in my estimation, your run of the mill cruising yarn ( and I’ve read lots ). In the interest of brevity here, and so as not to spoil any surprises, I’ll leave the rest for you to discover.
The scale of what Roger Taylor is achieving with these cruises brings to mind Joshua Slocum and Webb Chiles, to name a couple. Like those intrepid sailors, he is pushing at the edge of the possible.
Inevitably, I questioned Roger on his influences. Here’s his reply:





My real guiding light, for all his faults (see the article on my website for that) is Bill Tilman. He was of course sailing big fully crewed craft, so with him it’s not about technique but attitude.

And of course Moitessier, whom I met in NZ in the 70s.”

I asked Roger to expand on his meeting with Moitessier. His response :

“Nothing to tell, really. He had Joshua on the hard for a while at Opua in the Bay of Islands, where I kept Roc after her Tasman crossings. This was mid-70s, so he hadn’t quite established his legendary status. He was just a fairly well known French sailor. We just had a nodding acquaintance. Can’t even remember exactly what he looked like, apart from a shock of hair. I look back now and think what a missed opportunity it was. If I knew then what I know now I’d have made a much greater effort to get to know him – and I’d have been down there with a camera looking for photo opportunities!

Too late now…”

I hope you’ll enjoy Roger and Mingming‘s adventures as much as I do, and please visit his website.

You can order the book directly from Roger here, or from my Amazon bookstore, too the right.

A great last minute gift idea.

I’ve never met Roger Taylor in person, but we have had many exchanges (see my earlier posts) and some dealings over the years, and I count him a friend. I’m sure that he’s a quiet, retiring type in a crowd, but he opens up deeply when writing. And, I recently persuaded him to join facebook, look for him there.

Filed Under: Uncategorized