s/v Gypsy Wind

We are preparing our 40 year old Tartan "TOCK" 41 for an extended cruise. The plan is to leave So. California for Mexico and the Sea of Cortez, first. Eventually, we would like to sail east, to Florida and cruise there, the Bahamas, and do the ICW.

28 September 2011 | Cali.
30 August 2011 | Isthmus Harbor, Catalina Island
19 August 2011 | Marina Del Rey
11 August 2011 | Marina Del Rey, Calif
04 August 2011
27 July 2011
20 July 2011
13 July 2011 | So. Florida
06 July 2011 | Catalina Island
06 July 2011 | Isthmus, Two Harbors, Catalina Island
29 June 2011 | Aboard s/v Gypsy Wind
29 June 2011
29 June 2011 | Catalina Island
27 June 2011 | My Office, West Los Angeles


24 July 2012 | Somewhere's Out There...
Here's a photo of the Ship's Navigator (me) working to fix the ship's position...ok, not really--we already did that by looking at the GPS. But, a little practice with the sextant isn't a bad idea.

Gypsy Wind, while making her slow poke 5 or 6 knots, is a perfect candidate for noon sights. When the sun and horizon are visible, this is the easiest way to get a fix. With about 15 minutes work with the sextant, knowledge of the exact time (thanks to the fancy Casio wristwatch that gives UT'C signals), a few minutes with a pencil and notebook, a consultation with the Nautical Almanac, and I am ready to plot our position on the chart.

Or, I could just look at the GPS. #$%^&!


12 July 2012 | Pirates Reef, Roatan, Honduras
Roatan, as well as the rest of the Bay Islands in Honduras is certainly on the list of places to go aboard Gypsy Wind. We have been fortunate enough through our SCUBA diving activities that we have traveled there numerous times (one of the dive resorts even has us as part of their frequent traveler club!). Here is a photo of one of my favorite reef fish from the area. I took this shot on our last trip down there, in late March, 2012.

Murray's Control Lines

09 July 2012 | Enroute, Catalina Island to Marina Del Rey
This is a shot of our Monitor Wind Vane's control lines. I still really don't understand how this contraption does what it does, but it does it so well, I am completely in awe when we use it. Recall, he is known as Murray aboard Gypsy Wind--Murray the Monitor.

We engaged Murray when we left the Island after a week's cruise there in 15 knots just forward of the beam, and 32 miles later, unhooked it almost at the mouth of the harbor! Gotta love Murray the Monitor Wind Vane! Barbie and I toasted Murray with a glass of wine at lunch--he doesn't drink--with neither of us giving a care about having to steer.

How cool is THAT?!

Sailing, SCUBA, and an Island

20 June 2012 | To Be Determined...
I wish it was me, but its mostly Leonard...
With apologies to Leonard Wibberley, whose sailing books I read as a young man and then once again as a much older one. His wit, words and wisdom have served to inspire during the period in-between...I adapt here from some of his work:

Dreams are potent forces. They are the reason that men, and not cows, rule the world. Men dream, where cows spend all their time in contemplation.

I am outfitting my ship. She is ample in girth, and equipped for cruising. She is ketch rigged, and sails with a small crew, easily. Soon I will put stores aboard her and set out to find a certain island--one with dark cliffs and vines that bloom above and also below the water of a quiet lagoon, and the sea birds that live there cry as they rise into the air, startled by the splash of her anchor.

I do not know either the latitude or longitude of this island, or even its name. But, I know the island well and will recognize it immediately on sighting, as it has been clear in my dreams, often.

So this, then, is a beginning...

Are We There Yet?

30 May 2012 | Marina Del Rey, CA
Prepping for a cruise has a built-in pitfall which we must overcome...that is, we must decide when all the prep work should cease, and the sailing, begins. Sometimes, its important to realize that the boat, in reality, will NEVER be done, and that maintenance and installations are PART of cruising, and that these things never really are finished. So, I have three things on my list left to attend to...and they're going to have to wait until later in the summer...communications system (SSB, or Satphone), solar panels, and an asymetrical chute. Now, its time to go sailing.

After all, Capt. Ron said it best..."if its gonna happen, its gonna happen out there!"

Where's the Juice?

09 May 2012 | Marina Del Rey, CA
Check out this shot of my ammeter. This is the draw while the Engle fridge/cooler thingy is running. I am not kidding. The meter can't even measure the small amount of power draw! WOW!
Vessel Name: Gypsy Wind
Vessel Make/Model: Tartan TOCK 41'
Hailing Port: Marina del Rey, California
Crew: Mike and Barbie, and Tilley the Not Quite a Shih-Tzu
We have been weekend and coastal sailors since childhood. We have been around sailboats for over 40 years, including over 30 years as owners. After all this time we still love this wonderful sailing lifestyle. [...]
Extra: I have been in the insurance business for more than three decades. Both my wife Barbie and I are PADI SCUBA Instructors, and we enjoy teaching people to dive and leading SCUBA trips to exotic "bucket list" locations.

Gypsy Wind's Crew

Who: Mike and Barbie, and Tilley the Not Quite a Shih-Tzu
Port: Marina del Rey, California