This is primarily a sailing blog written by someone who loves small, simple boats. Here you will find stories about sailing and travel on a small budget.
My name is Barry. I started this blog as a way to connect with others who are passionate about cruising sailboats. I am on a voyage which began in earnest when I left Chadwick Bay Marina in Dunkirk, NY in October of 2010 on my 25 foot, 6 inch long sailboat Cavendysh, a Contessa 26, with the goal of sailing south for the winter.
Sailing is the one thing I keep gravitating back to in my life. I began sailing somewhere around age 5 on small boats. My formal education is in marine engineering, though I worked in other fields for most of my professional career. After 6 years working in a pharmaceutical plant I wanted to get back to the sea, and did so by sailing on the Amistad as engineer. Next, I tried working on private sailing yachts, but found that they took me farther from the type of sailing I was interested in.
I decided to try setting out for myself in a small boat. I chose the Contessa 26 initially because I wanted to live and travel as simply as possible. It seemed that the best way to travel simply was to go for the smallest boat that had the seaworthiness required to sail anywhere. I was only planning to live and travel on the boat for a year or so, but by the end of the first year I found that I wanted to continue the voyage in a way that was more sustainable. That meant that I needed enough space to carry tools for working on my boat and others (for income), and also to be able to invite guests.
So, I continued on the slightly larger Sirocco for the next year. We migrated up and down the east coast of the US. Life on board was much more comfortable (and dry!) than it had been on the Contessa, so I pushed farther out of the usual sailing seasons and off the beaten path. Late-season sailing in New England made me begin to think about voyaging even farther north–to places that would require cabin heat and more self-sufficiency.
I decided that I didn’t want to change the lovely Sirocco in ways that would make her more suitable for far-north voyaging. I wanted a flush cockpit among other things. That is what led me to the worn old Dreadnaught 32 that I found collecting water and growing mold in the back of a boatyard. She was unlovely and all her gear thoroughly worn out, but I thought to myself that here was a boat I could finally change to suit my needs without worry–any changes will be improvements!
I hope to share my experiences here and also onboard the boat with people who I meet along the way with the goal of introducing more people to the joys of simple voyaging under sail. This voyage started on a whim, but was born of a wanderlust with deep roots. Please contact me if you have any questions at all.