Sine Metu ~ Without Fear

The dream is taking shape! A two year, singlehanded voyage of the Pacific. In the spirit of Joshua Slocum and Henry David Thoreau, two of my childhood heroes, I am rebuilding a 1963 Columbia sailboat to pause, unplug and witness life as I slowly cruise a slightly larger pond than Walden and dance with the sea.

The name of the sailboat is Sine Metu, which is Latin for without fear.


• Option A – Depart November, 2012.
Sail from California, south to Mexico for a couple of months and wait for the Trade Winds to build up and make the 25-day jump to the Marquesas. Then take a year cruising the South Pacific as I work my way to New Zealand. After a few months, I would start the cruise back via Australia, Asia, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
• Option B – Depart April, 2013.
Sail north from San Diego up to San Francisco, then heading out to sea as if going to Hawaii. Then, after about 1,000 miles (8 to 10 days) I would make the tack towards Alaska and make my way down the coast of the Pacific Northwest all the way south to San Diego by October, 2013. Then, I would shift over to Option A’s course.

Obviously, all of this depends on what funds will be available, and/or whether or not I have work. Right now, I am making fairly good living as a temporary Contract Field Trainer. And after being unemployed for 1,111 days (yeah, you read that right!) between January, 2008, until January, 2011, I know what it means to loose everything, to go hungry and to loose hope…

Anyway, to afford all of this time off, in addition to savings, I will write as I go. I’ve been writing professionally now for two years with a little success in Social Media; writing content for websites, press kits and ghostwriting articles (it appears as though my lifelong hobby has grown up and has turned into an income producing, part-time job). And my temporary job is keeping me pretty busy for the next six months or so, so it will keep me funded as I rebuild this soon to be 50 year old sailboat and build up my nest egg for this seaborne sabbatical.

“Leap and the net will appear.” ~ John Burroughs

Update — January, 2013

Well, I’m sitting in a Starbucks in Grand Junction, Colorado, as I write this so you know I haven’t departed yet. It is 24°f and everything was covered in frost on this chilly morning. It is 6:22 AM and still dark outside. I’m telling you this because this dream hasn’t been avoided nor cancelled, simply delayed as the project I’m on has been extended. Some people call them Freedom Chips, but I like to call it saving for the dream. And yes, we are talking about money.

So far, my budget has climbed to the point that I will finally be able to drop the mast and re-rig it. As I have to replace the frayed stainless steel rigging anyway, I have decided to go with Colligo Marine’s Dyneema Dux system as it will reduce weight aloft, last well beyond my planned voyage, can be fixed while sailing if need be, and a whole lot stronger than stainless steel (roughly, SWL of 5,000 pounds verse 16,000 pounds). When I drop the mast I also have to re-wire it for VHF, navigation lights (currently thinking of adding a Tri-Color masthead light with anchor, photosensor (to automatically turn on at night) and strobe capabilities), and wind instruments. I will write more once I come to a decision as to what those will be.


This delay is making me a little manic though. I dream about my food lockers and that I need a double sink; about how comfortable my berth is at night when it’s raining outside (dreaming about sleeping?) and how great it will be once the Hydrovane is installed and steering the boat. In short, this voyage is already being played out in my mind daily and I love it!

Hopefully I will be able to find a home for this nesting dinghy on top of the cabin under the boom. It is a little too big, so I might end up selling it and getting a roll up inflatable instead — on a small boat, think small. For now, it makes a great foredeck hatch cover!