An Annapolis Tradition

This past weekend we made a sacred annapolitan right of passage with our first day trip to Cantler’s Riverside Inn (by boat of course). Cantler’s is the quintessential Annapolis dining experience. Fresh, local, steamed crabs, crab cake sandwiches and raw oysters were what we were after.

We left Back Creek and Eastport MD, heading North across the mouth of the Severn River toward Whitehall Creek. We had a beautiful southerly breeze that kept the forecast thunderstorms well out of our way and provided a fantastic downwind run. I guess the word is out that we have a good time, because we were joined by Jess and Judy for this momentous occasion!

The Captain and Admiral Hard at work

Yay! We made it to Cantlers!

“Man the Launch!”

Beautiful Ladies on the Bow

Excellent Anchorage

Medium local crabs $55 a dozen

“Oh the places you will go.”

Many thanks to Jessica for taking such fantastic pictures! You can find Jessica Gray Schipp and her work at

After this trip, I have completely had it with my outboard. It has never run very well and that time has come to retire her. I need something reliable and powerful. Anyone want to buy a 1987 Johnson Sailmaster 9.9 that needs a tuneup! No serious offer refused!


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With progress like this, we might actually do it!

Things aboard High Life are starting to come together quickly.  The flurry of activity has been exciting, as this trip represents the culmination of so much obsession.

I needed to apply for a new passport since mine was issued in 2001. I decided I would get both a passport and passport card, as redundancy could only help. It would sure suck to have either lost/stolen/confiscated.

Since, I was on an “appropriate paperwork” kick I decided to inquire on insurance for High Life abroad. A cruisersforum discussion was very helpful in regard to what I should look out for. I requested information from IMIS and got a prompt response and excellent customer service.  Unfortunately none of the options seemed right for a boat like High Life. I called BoatUS with whom I am currently insured and was surprised to find that covering my boat for the entire Bahamas (Progressive would only cover 125nm from the coast) would only increase my yearly payment by $200 and since my trip would be shorter than a year that price would come down even further! What a deal!

I had been going back and forth about how to manage my fresh water tankage, having considered Plastimo “Bag Style” tanks as well as rigid plastic tanks. I came to the simply and obvious conclusion that both these systems would require filling. This would mean (most times) that I would have to fill 5 gallon jugs and then pour them into the subsequent tank. After watching a youtube video about the folkboat Lorraine (they took down the link to the full video) I decided, why not just use the same jugs I’m going to have to carry around anyway as the tankage. When the water runs out, Ill just replace the tank with another. Check out the incomplete system so far:

The guy I got my dinghy from, emailed me the other day to let me know that he was going to sell his composting head and at less than half of the new cost. Check out the setup here. Hopefully I can have it in and functional sooner rather than later, for testing and acclimation purposes.

I replaced the bulky solar vent fan (that wasnt working) for a flush removable deck plate:

I had been planning on purchasing a compact 12v “Cooler Style” refrigerator/freezer but at about $500 it was looking like an excessive investment. When would I have the need for frozen food in such a fresh food paradise as the Bahamas? After all the only thing I was really looking forward to is cheap access to ice. So I figured, why not just get my own countertop ice-maker. I found one from for $115 delivered. The plan is to test it out tonight. And we all know…

What good is an ice-maker if it kills the battery in the process? It was time for an electrical system upgrade since 15w was not going to cut it.  I ordered a 100w solar panel from amazon delivered for $200. This prompted me to consider my house battery capacity, and of course more is always better. I decided the most economical way to significanly increase the capacity was to install 2 6v golf cart batteries wired in series. The local BatteriesPlus had them in stock for $125 a piece! A similar setup from West Marine would run $800.

What good would all this work be for if I didn’t actually know how to get where I was going? I needed charts and a cruising guide. I settled on Dozier’ s Waterway Guide to the “Atlantic ICW 2013 Norfolk to Jacksonville”. I’ve started reading through it and foresee it being an invaluable guide.

Now that I have a travel guide, it was time to avoid getting fined by “the man”. So I renewed my VA Boat Registration, realizing I was a few months late…. woops.

Last but not least, I sat down with my bosses at work and finalized when I would be gone. I have told them my last day at work would be      … drumroll please…..


I am fortunate enough to work for an establishment that is allowing me to take off for an extended period of time, with the understanding that when I return, there is a VERY GOOD opportunity to get right back to work. Thanks Adams Ribs Eastport!

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Like Father Like Son

For my 50th post I wanted to give a shout out to two of the most influential people on making my dream of sailing a reality.

My great friend Jessica (who just got her masters! Congrats Jess!) was there before the boat, during the obsessive research time. I talked incessantly about boats, sailing and biodiesel. Luckly for both of us she starting dating a a sailor. He and I had gone to High School together but had never really hung out. Brad (Jr.) raced with his dad Brad (Sr.) aboard their J/105 BladeRunner out of Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Deltaville Va.

It wasnt long before I was asked to join them for a sail. It was a cold, wet, windy day, and I was in heaven.


I was hooked and they were happy to have me as part of the team.


Jr. quickly became a great friend. He loves great food and strong drink just as a good sailor should. He was happy to show me the ropes which was quite the trial by fire, as Bladerunner was a competitive, successful boat.

Sr. has grown to be a friend and mentor. He is extremely generous and always a blast to be around. In one second he could be ripping me a new one for screwing up a tack and minutes later graciously handing out rum drinks to celebrate a great day racing.

Here we are leading the pack up the Rappahannock River toward Urbanna Va.

I really cannot begin to thank these two great guys enough. They continue to make me feel a part of their team and family. I owe my sailing knowledge and the majority of my experience to them. Thank you for bringing me in and showing me one hell of a good time.


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Mom’s Deviled Eggs

I have an unhealthy affinity for Deviled Eggs and because Sabrina is fantastic she made them for us! Here’s how she did it:

Hard boil some eggs. Apparently this is more complicated than I realized so Ill explain how I do it (which usually works well to make the shell easy to remove). 

Put eggs in an empty pot. Fill the pot with water so the eggs are covered by about an inch. Add one capful of apple cider vinegar (maybe any type of vinegar will work, I just always use ACV). Boil water. Once boiling reduce heat to medium and start a timer for 10 minutes. DING! Pour out hot water and add cold tap water so as to cover the eggs by about 1 inch. Let eggs cool a few minutes and then gently crack (?) and remove shells.

Cut Hard Boiled Eggs longways and remove yolks.


In a bowl combine:

For 7 Eggs: Yolks, 2 Tablespoons of Mayonaise, 1 Tablespoon Mustard, 1 Tablespoon of Relish Juice, 1 Capful of Apple Cider Vinegar, Pinchs of Salt, Pepper and Sugar

With a small butter knife fill the yolk mixture into the egg white halves.


Sprinkle with Paprika. 



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