Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day zero

Its Wednesday, August 31st.  Its my younger brother's birthday - happy birthday Dan!  Its also my last day at Shilshole Marina as I'm leaving tomorrow for my trip south.

I've been asked what my agenda is, when I expect to be where, what's my timeline, and so on.  I'm keeping this trip pretty loose.  I intend to head out to Neah Bay and then turn south toward San Francisco.  Sailors have headings, not destinations.  My current loose plan is to head to San Francisco, spend a little while there and then slowly make my way down the coast to San Diego.  I have a course back in Port Townsend October 30th/31st so I will probably come back for that.  Then I'll head back to the boat and take her into Mexico.  I'd like to stay around Mexico for a while, eventually leaving to return back to Seattle mid summer 2012.  I'll either come back via Hawaii or up the coast.

That's just one of the many possible outcomes.  Its a heading, a general idea of what might happen.  There are lots and lots of entirely satisfactory outcomes which don't follow that loose outline.

So this trip is just casual, a loosely organized plan.  On the other hand, I have retired, sold my house, given away most of my belongs and put some others in storage.  Those aren't really the actions of someone just dabbling in the sailing thing, wondering what it would be like.  Cruising greatly appeals to me.  But its time to see if the actuality of Cruising meets my expectations.  One of the books I read (and there were lots and lots of books) suggested that it takes a year of cruising to really know if you're suited to it.  There will be ups and downs along the way, but the thinking is that a year is long enough to know if its something you want to do for another chunk of time.  If I finish this first year and like it, there are so many places to see!  The South Pacific would be awesome, I would love to go there!  But one step at a time.  My next step is to get up tomorrow morning, drop my car off at a friends house, come back to the boat and cast off my lines and head out to Port Townsend on my way to Neah Bay.

This trip is probably just an out and back.  When asked recently where I was sailing to, I thought for a bit and replied "Seattle."  The answer could just as easily been Port Townsend.  Or Neah Bay.  Or San Francisco.  Cabo San Lucas?  Maybe where I'm sailing to tomorrow is the Marquesis?  Australia?  Who knows where these little steps will lead?

Anyway.  Time for bed.  I  have things to do tomorrow.

How to read this blog

A little while ago I discovered a few different ways to read blogs hosted on google's blogspot, like this one.

If you are one of those readers who checks the blog every day looking for new postings, that's excellent!  This blog has had quiet spells where nothing is posted for quite some time.  It can be frustrating to keep checking the blog only to see nothing new, then try again the next day - again nothing new, etc.  It gets frustrating.

There are two alternative ways to read the blog.  The first is to provide your email address in the "Follow by Email" box on the right of the blog.  This is a mechanism that is hosted by Google.  Once you've provided your email, you will receive an email in the evening on days where I have added a new post to the blog.  The email is formatted to contain the entire post, along with a link at the bottom of the message which lets you know how to unsubscribe to the service.  I normally don't trust giving my email address to other web sites as I hate to receive spam.  But I trust this service.  Its a pretty convenient way to follow the blog.

The third way to read the blog is through an RSS feed.  There are lots of RSS readers out there.  One example is on the Mac, can read RSS feeds.  I'm sure there are lots of other mail apps which can read the feeds, but this is the one I know.  In Mac's Mail app, you can add an RSS feed from the File menu.  Go to 'Add RSS Feeds' and when the window comes up, select the 'Specify the URL for the feed' option, and then provide the RSS address:
The title for the RSS feed will show how many unread articles there are, so if you've read them all, when I post a new article there will be a little number '1' there showing one unread article.

RSS feeds and the email notification are ways to read the blog without having to keep checking this site manually.

Although I hope the blog will be more active in the coming months - as I'm leaving Seattle tomorrow for my Shaking Up Trip.  The first step is to head back to Neah Bay.  More on this later.