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Southern Cross
Back in the land of ice and snow.
Cold as Hell
02/15/2012, McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Back in the land of ice and snow for another winter. It's good to back amoung all of my ice friends. Day 3 and it feels like I never left. The weather has been really nice and with little sea ice in front of the station we have been able to see some whales and penguins.

There is lots of activity on station right now. With a station population around 900 and the ship off load, (re-supply) things are a little crazy and looking like it will stay that way until mid March, which is unusual for the station . We are usually saying good bye to the summer folks about now. Soon enough it will be quiet and dark and it will be business as usual.

Missing the boat already,
W


02/18/2012 | susie aki
Ahhh! It is so good to see your blog up and running. I look forward to all the good things that you share with us. It makes me really feel and experience them through your words - almost! Yet, I can do it in the confines of my warm and toasty home. I pray that this will be a great winter down under us all. We love you and miss you here in Texas. Love ya, Mom PS Pictures are always welcomed.
02/26/2012 | Natasha
Good to hear you are there and safe. We hope you getting settled soon and know that we are thinking and prayer for you always.
Sailors are dreamers
09/09/2011, Galveston

Sailors are dreamers, doers, achievers, encouragers, and the hardest working people I know. Around the boat yard there are several of us rebuilding boats with actual hopes of going some where. There are those that sit on the broken boats or not so broken boats and say they are going somewhere, but you can tell they aren't going to make it anywhere, anytime soon. And then there are "us", the ones who are working on our boats non stop. Maybe not making great steps forward all the time but getting something done every day no matter how small. Everyday, never a break, never a holiday, relentlessly as if we are all possessed by some strange madness that makes us contort our bodies in to tight places, sand endlessly, grind and lay fiberglass, paint, stretch cable, climb into bilges, and cuss at engines. But we are the ones that are going to go somewhere. We are of the 1% of the 1% who actually are fallowing are dreams regardless of the sacrifice we have to make. We live frugally, we drive old beater trucks, all are cloths are stained with paint or 5200 or epoxy, we are tan and healthy, and the only thing we know how to talk about is boats and the places we plan to someday visit or the places we've been to. This talk also has a healing effect to our minds. Invigorating to the spirit. Working on a boat can be very overwhelming, with thousands of task to accomplish. Dealing with this day in and day out can bring you down, wear you out mentally and physically. Somehow the others since this. And we end up giving each other pep talks and lighting the fire anew. Sometimes its just a few words, sometimes it long drawn out story's (sailor really do like to tell yarns). It's kind of a tribal thing. We all work alone on our boats but we are a community, a brotherhood of toiling sailors. As one boat's crew gets close to completion and is making ready to set sail for their dream trip, we all get excited, we share in the triumph. It proves to all of us that dreams ready do come true and that all this endless work really isn't payment for some sins in our past, but is rewarded with a life on the sea of our dreams.

09/10/2011 | Andrea Mitchell
Hi Wally, got hooked in by your title - Sailors are dreamers - loved your post, especially the recognition of the hard work part of sailing! My partner and I have just finished another back breaking day getting the boat ready hopefully for a 'splash' next week, after being stored out on the hard for 3 months, soooo much to do.... (liked the bachelor recipes too :-) Good luck with Hokule'a - great name and she looks a lovely boat, kind regards, Andrea Mitchell Irish Melody
09/26/2011 | Natasha
Hi Wally, hope to see you today :)
The Bachelor sailors cook book
01/25/2011, Galveston Texas

The Bachelor sailors cook book

Ok, there isn't really a cook book. I just have learned to improvise. Without a proper Galley I am cooking on a camp stove. My menu usually consist of Ramon noodles and a grill cheese sandwich for dinner, ( or at least something very similar and just as complicated) . Yes, I am losing weight. Tonight I just couldn't stand the noodles again. So, this is my first installment of my sailing recipes for single men. Maybe I'll write a cook book?

I'll call this one...After a long day at work galosh.
Run down to everybody's favorite store...Wal-Mart and buy;

1 Smoked Garlic sausage
2 Medium potatoes
1 Yellow onion
1 Zucchini

Chop everything up real small, starting with the potatoes since they take the longest to cook. Add olive oil to a medium skillet, enough to cover the bottom. Put on medium heat. Add all ingredience as you cut them up. Add salt and pepper to taste. Make sure your Zucchini is in fact a zucchini , mine turned out ot be a cucumber. So I have a cucumber appetizer with an ice cold beer. Cook until potatoes are softish, and a little browned...And Whalah!! Who needs a wife.

The secret to this fine dinning experience is eating it in the cockpit, everything taste good when your eating out side on the water.

Enjoy
W

P.S. Save your leftovers, the next morning they are great with an egg! Maybe I'll call that the Preparing for a long day at work breakfast galosh.


01/25/2011 | Lisa
Hey there...its been a long time since I have seen any post , photo's , updates on your adventures. Looks like your making progress on that boat of yours. Congrats!! I think your Bachelor Cook book is a great idea....your dinner today was much better then a grill chees and ramen noodle. Yikes. I bet you will get very creative. hey...I bought a cannon Rebel TSi....and love it. Its not the most fancy...but its much fancier then I have had in 18 years...I love it. I am shooting lots of different things to play with it. I have taken some great shots of the lake. Its nice to be back in the hands of a good camera....
Hope all is well.....Were in WI now...The packers are going to Dallas for the Super Bowl. Makes me think of your family....esp mom:) Just wanted to say hello....keep those pictures coming. take care.
Lisa
01/25/2011 | Sabrina Walker
Love the recipe! Good to see you post! Hope to hear from you soon with details on you and your lovely boat. Love you bunches!
Happy New Year
12/31/2010, Galveston Texas

Happy New Year to all from the good ship and crew of Hokule'a. I hope this night finds you with family and friends or at least somewhere beautiful. I am spending the night on the boat sitting in the cockpit fishing by lantern light. Exciting !! Well, I may splurge at mid-night and fire off a flare or something. It's a balmy night with no wind and fog. The water's mirror texture only broken occasionally by a fish jumping. Peaceful.
Hokule'a is coming along nicely. I'm really just waiting to get the cushions built for the vee birth, then I will be moving on permanently. Hopefully then I can get more to the business of re-building the boat. I've made no big renovations since last posting but I have accomplished a lot of small projects that make life on the boat more comfortable. The next big project is going to be the head ( Bathroom ). I will be ripping all of the existing out and rebuilding with more cabinets and a different plumbing plan. My plan will give me much more room and a simpler, easier to maintain head.
Ah... the fireworks and flares are starting already! Good thing about being on the water (especially with a mirror finish) is that you always have a good seat for the fireworks show.

Happy New Year

W

P.S. Resolution: Get Hokule's sailing by April, Live life slower, and don't stress the little stuff, or the big stuff for that matter.

01/01/2011 | Natasha
Happy New Years Wally. Your a great brother and thank you for all the time you have spent with us in 2010, we hope to have even more in 2011! Your the best!!! Hope you and Pat do some fishing in the new year!!!!
12/16/2010

Painted vee birth and new molding/ trim.

Wow, So much to do!!!
12/16/2010, Galveston Texas

Totally overwhelmed ! So much to do. Everything I look at needs replacing, repairing, or some kind of attention. This really got to me. I walked away for a few weeks to do the holiday thing, the whole time I was away I thought of nothing but all I had to do and how I was going to do it. And where the money was going to come from to do it. Dreams aren't supposed to be this stressful! When I got back to the boat I sat down in the cockpit and had a little talk with Hokule'a...We decided it was best to start at one end and just work my way through the boat, one area at a time.

So, I've started at the bow, both inside the vee birth and on deck. The bow on deck I'm redesigning. Moving the fore stay forward about 6 inches, removing the electric windless, and glassing over the anchor locker. This is going to take some time only because I have to have a new chain plate machined and I have to wait for the weather to be able to do the fiberglass work. The windless I'm just getting rid of. I will replace it with a manual windless later. I have a real minimalist theology when it come to the boat. I want as little electrical hardware as possible and only equipment that I can repair on my own....with bubble gum and bailing wire if need be. Simple is good.

Down below in the vee birth I have ripped out about 2 miles of wire and a electrical panel. The shore power outlet was in the chain locker and all the 110volt wiring was tacked to the wall of the vee birth as well as the wiring for the windless. It's all gone now! I've installed the outlet and panel in a more traditional location, in the cockpit and the panel is now in the Nav station.

The vee birth now free of wire, I stripped out the old head liner and some of the molding. I've painted and made new molding. It's so much nicer in there now. Next I have to make a new cushion and build some cabinets.

As soon as I get the cushions made I can move on board. It feels so good to get something done. It gives me hope and the motivation to keep going. This is going to be a big project but as long as I take one project at a time I think the restoration of Nokule'a will be successful. Old boats got to love 'em.

Peace, love and elbow grease

W

P.S. Thanks to Pat (my brother) for the help and moral support.

12/17/2010 | Natasha
Glad u guys got some work done together. Wally I know she will be a beauty when you are done.
12/29/2010 | Tiffany
I love that your doing this blog. Even though some of it seemed like giberish I still enjoy reading about it, As for the over whelming side of things just have to ask yourself, "How do you eat an elephant? One bit at a time." One of my fav quote. Looks really great by the way.

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