Part One


Blogs and Mags






November 30, 2014

Mammoth Lakes, California 37.65N 118.97E

It's been two months since Jim and I left Tenaya propped up on stilts in a concrete yard in Istanbul. Sometimes we miss her but mostly we're excited to be in the mountains again. With hiking and the promise of skiing, we hadn't been thinking about sailing...

...Until Ellen Massey Leonard of Gone Floatabout nominated us for a Liebster Award. Thank you Ellen!

A Liebster Award is given by bloggers to bloggers. It's a way of letting their readers know about those they follow, and for readers to discover new blogs. Each nominee is asked some questions which they answer on their own blog or website.

Here are the questions from Gone Floatabout and our responses:

1. What has been your favorite moment on (or in) the water so far?

Katie: Everytime I see dolphins! I was hanging onto a line on the bow of a speeding RIB in Niue with my my cheeks flappering so much I couldn't keep my snorkel in my mouth while dozens of dolphins swam and porpoised with us. The water was incredibly clear and I watched as some swam 30 meters below while others came within a meter of my jubilant being. So many times on passages they've come bounding over. They always make me smile.

Jim: When we were surrounded by steep, green mountains in the isolated waters of Fiordland, NZ and dolphins came to swim at our bow. Several times.


2. What brought you to sailing in the first place?

Katie: I did a live-aboard kayaking trip in British Columbia with a friend and loved spending each night in a different anchorage, not seeing any other boats, and being surrounded only by nature. I went home and said to Jim, "I could live on a boat." He was thrilled! He'd been wanting to sail for years.

Jim: I went on a sailboat for the first time in Zihuatanejo in 1969. It was the only boat in the bay. My girlfriend and I made plans to return to California, get a boat, and sail back to Mexico.

3. What is your biggest passion outside of sailing?

Katie: For many years it was skiing and snowboarding. Now it's meeting people in the places we park the boat. Like Robin. She lives in a kastom village on Tanna, Vanuatu, and painted my face with hers.

Jim: Before we took off on Tenaya it was doing anything in the backcountry. Now it's photography.

4. What is your favorite book, and why?

Katie: This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson. It's a historical novel about Darwin's trip with Fitzroy aboard the Beagle. The whole leaving on a boat thing resounded with me, of course, but I found it interesting how Darwin had to sort out his religious beliefs and the science he was a part of. My other favorite book is Lamb by Christopher Moore. It's a humorous look at what Jesus' life might have been like. Oh, and one more - High Endeavours by Miles Clark which highlights the lives and adventures of Miles and Beryl Smeeton. She did some crazy things!

Jim: Guns, Germs and Steel - Diamond; A Walk in the Woods - Bryson; A Brief History of Time - Hawking; A Moveable Feast - Hemingway; Capitalism and Freedom - Friedman; Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! - Feynman; Grapes of Wrath - Steinbeck; Candide - Voltaire; Dharma Bums - Kerouac; Saughterhouse Five - Vonnegut. Sorry, this was the best I could do and there are too many to list why. You'll know if you read them.

5. What has been your most difficult moment out on (or in) the water?

Jim and Katie: The time Tenaya almost went aground on Dominica. We were on a mooring at Roseau and found ourselves drifting dangerously close to Hands Across the Sea. Harriet had casually moved behind wheel of their new catamaran and TL was at the bow. Jim and I didn't realize it until Desmond, Sea Cat's boatboy, came out and tugged on the mooring line. Up it came with no shackle at the end. He said he'd get a diver on another cat in the anchorage to reattach it.

We took the opportunity to get fuel. The sea was a little rough, as usual. We decided to dock against the end of the pier and positioned our visiting daughter midships and her boyfriend at the bow, both with lines attached and ready to throw around points on the pier. I was at the stern and I would attach my line first. Just as we neared, Eric had a question. I laid my line over the lifeline and went to help. When I returned the line had slipped overboard. Sure enough, when Jim pushed the throttle, nothing happened. We tied to the pier, I grabbed a knife and jumped in. Tenaya's hull bucked furiously between slamming the pier and jerking at the end of the lines. I tried to hold onto the line caught in the prop but feared I'd be smashed so went to the outside and held onto the prop. Fortunately the rope-cutter had done most of the work and I was able to cut it off during my second try.

Looking back through the pages about our time at Dominica that second year, I see I didn't even mention the ordeal. Now, nearly 40,000 miles and 5 years later, it stands out as one of our scariest moments.








Tenaya Travels nominates the following blogs for a Liebster Award:


Nine of Cups -

Marcie and David have one of the most informative websites we've found and we've been following it since we started sailing in 2006. We often refer to it when planning passages to new places.

Paikea Mist

We met Gloria and Michael in New Zealand and follow their well-written blog with beautiful photos. As we're behind them now, we look to them for ideas of where to go.

Aisling 1

We were moored next to Bonnie and Rick in Almerimar, Spain in 2007 and have followed their blog ever since. When we left the Med, they stayed, so it's mostly because of their stories and photos of all the places we missed that we're back!

Worrall Wind

Russ and Roz crossed the Pacific the same year we did but our paths didn't cross until we met at a campground in New Zealand. They've since sold their boat but continue to travel to incredible places with the focus being on meeting the locals and helping out. Roz's beautiful photos and wonderful stories might make you want to leave your boat parked somewhere and take off on a train, plane or canal boat.

Roads Less Traveled

Another site where sailing fueled the love of travel. Now Emily and Mark travel the US in their RV and continue to produce a magnificent blog with helpful information (including sailing and anchorages in Mexico), engaging stories and absolutely gorgeous photos. If Jim and I ever give up sailing to fit out a Sprinter and travel on land, this blog will be the reason.


Our questions to the nominees are:

1. What motivates you to travel?

2. Where are you now and where are you going next?

3. What resources do you use to learn about and plan trips to new places?

4. If three inanimate objects would appear when you want them and disappear when you were finished with them while you are out traveling, what would they be?

5. What did you start out with that you decided you didn't want, and what did you acquire later in your travels that became invaluable?



Sometimes I write articles for Blue Water Sailing magazine. That's how I met Ellen at Gone Floatabout, she does too.

My story about our time in Papua New Guinea has been published in BWS's December issue.

PNG Discovered - A Voyage Through Papua New Guinea

Blue Water Sailing is available online via Zinio. We love downloading these and other magazines each month when we're far from our mailbox. Blue Water Sailing / Zinio


Jim and I spent two days loading the contents of our 10'x20' storage locker near San Francisco into a UHaul, a day driving to Mammoth and two more days carrying everything inside. What ever made us think we needed to keep all that stuff? Boxes of books, extra lamps, dishes, glasses, picture frames, linens and camping, climbing, ski and snowboarding gear went to the Cast-Off. Hidden among it all we found some treasures we hadn't thought of in years that made us smile. We kept those.

Although I dream of living in a tiny house, it's just not going to happen. Yet. Even as I was taking loads to the second hand store, Jim was buying new stuff - a little drone, a big screen TV, another tripod...

We are already getting used to the space and comforts of living on land. Our condo certainly reflects our travels - molas, masks, rugs and baskets - and looks nothing like most homes. We decided the sectional couch our last tenants left is worth keeping and is more comfortable sqeezed together than its intended L shape. It's like being in Tenaya's cockpit and that makes us happy.



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