Picture: We've learned the secret to a good blog post is a good picture! Here we see "the dream" perfectly captured. Everybody's happy off St. Barts.
I hate to say this, but now that I am back in SF I have realized there are a lot of bad sailing blogs out there. Come on sailors, us working folk need some good reading material to help pass the days! Sadly, this is especially true of some good friends of ours still out there (Marc on Imagine, this blog is directed at you)! :)
TOP 10 BLOGGING TIPS:
10) Don't have kids. In Marc's defense, this was his excuse for having such a pitiful blog. He said he "couldn't wait to see what our blog would look like once we had kids. Especially three of them." Point taken.
9) Use Sailblogs.com. Although it costs a little money, we would gladly pay the annual $110 fee to use Sailblogs again. We found the site easy to use (even with slow internet speeds) and easy to integrate with youtube, SPOT and photo sharing sites. And the Google Earth map is amazing. Nothing will make your blog better than Sailblogs.com.
8) Take Good Pictures. Let's face it, most of you don't read all the text (I'm not talking about you Mom). What most of you like is the pictures. In fact, I bet you are not even reading this.
7) Well, since you are not reading I can skip number 7 because I didn't really have 10 tips anyway.
6) Canon Cameras: When it comes to cameras, I believe that Canon makes some of the best out there. We used a Canon Digital Rebel XT for our important shots and a small Canon Powershot 870IS for daily pictures and video. We did not have a dedicated video camera and I would actually recommend against bringing one. You'll find you don't have it with you when you need it, and when you do it's too heavy and obtrusive to carry. Although I like the new Canon Powershot SX200, I also have my eye on a new Panasonic ZS3 that takes HD video and 12x optical zoom. But a camera is important - put it in your pocket and take HD video!
5) Underwater Housing: If you want to create a good sailing blog, then a good underwater housing for your camera is also important. It obviously helps with taking pictures underwater (which is great when you are swimming with sharks, sting rays and whales!), but it also helps protect your camera, making it truly splash-proof and it even floats! This is one investment that's better than any insurance you could buy at the camera store.
4) Wifi Antenna: You'll need the internet to post your blogs, so be sure to get a good wifi antenna booster. Although most city anchorages have wifi these days, the wifi booster extended the range and power of the signal. We would have been desperate without one and we liked the ALFA 802.11 b/g card the best. Easy, cheap and no installation required (and it worked with our Mac).
3) Buy a Mac: Your computer is important on a boat, which is why we bucked the general boating convention and opted for a Apple Macbook Pro instead. What it lacked in navigation software (MacEnc wasn't bad), it more than made up for in photo management and video editing software (which came included!). It also became our TV and DVD player as more and more boaters are trading in the traditional TV for computers with video files instead of DVDs.
2) SPOT Messenger: My Dad bought us our SPOT messenger which was good because we probably would not have had one otherwise. It's a great safety device (almost a small EPIRB) and it updated our exact location 24 hours a day to our blog with little effort on our part required. If you have a sailing blog, I would call this a must have device.
1) Add Video: We had so many people write us about our videos. Without visiting us, these readers got a feeling of what we were like and what living on a boat was like. Personality is hard to capture in writing but video makes it all so real. And the best part is that you will have the videos to keep forever. It was worth the effort and certainly made our blog more popular with readers.
So while I am hardly an expert and there are better blogs out there than ours, we did get over 1,200 unique readers per week and over 155,000 page views! So if we can do this, you could easily do better! So get out there and start blogging!
Lastly, for our disappointed readers, here are the Top 10 Sailing Blogs that I would recommend to keep you busy:
0) A new addition: Field Trip, a boat we helped inspire with a killer blog!
1) Tristan and Mindy from LA, dodging hurricanes in the South Pac.
2) Roger heading to Indonesia on his Catalina Morgan 44.
3) Team Zen have my dream boat and a great blog too!
4) Follow our Friends on Follow You, Follow Me.
5) Pegasus going around with children on their Atlantic Cat.
6) Stray Kitty also Circ'ing with kiddies on their PDQ 44.
7) Bumfuzzle: although done with their trip, still a great read.
8) You can't forget Jessica Watson and Abby Sudderland's youngest around attempt.
9) Check out Pegasus, just leaving the UK!
10) And I can't forget Imagine, all joking aside we love these guys.
Picture: My view of the Maverick's Surf Competition. See the little speck on the bottom of the 50 foot wave? That's a surfer that feels no fear. Click here to see the slide show.
Although not completely sailing related, this blog still has something to do with the Pacific Ocean. Today I went down to Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, to watch the Maverick's Surf Competition.
The weather was perfect - the waves were perfect - and the drop ins, well, they were not all perfect. It was supposedly the biggest day ever for the contest with the waves over 50 feet in height.
As a pure "paddle-in" competition, Mavericks is probably the most dangerous, deadly and diabolical surf competition in the world. And with by far the biggest monetary award in surfing ($50k 1st prize), this competition trades death for fame.
It doesn't get any bigger or better than this. Even if you don't surf, you'll enjoy these pictures and articles. Click here to see more of my shots... And click here to read more and see the professionals shots...
Picture: One of our top 30 pics - a fire dancer caught in action in Ta'haa, French Polynesia.
Many of these pictures you have seen before in our posts, but never together like this. What follows below are the top 30 pictures from our entire trip and a brief description below each. Which is your favorite?
Click here to see the slideshow.