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April 24/2023:  The strange true story of Thomas Tangvald, a boy who was born at sea and was raised on a cruising sailboat, but then was orphaned in a terrible wreck in the Caribbean, has captured the imaginations of both sailors and non-sailors alike. I’ll be at the Spaulding Marine Center in Sausalito at 7pm...
“Lyrical, engaging, and true,” writes prize-winning historian W. Jeffrey Bolster of my biography of Thomas Tangvald, The Boy Who Fell to Shore, recently published by Latah Books. “Doane reconstructs the searing tragedy, apparent resilience, and ultimate vulnerability of a brilliant young man better suited to navigating the sea than life itself. It’s gripping—a thriller to...
March 21/2023:  After leaving Lunacy ensconced at Brunswick Landing Marina down in Georgia back in November, I did return to visit her the following month for several days. But I didn’t sail anywhere. I spent time instead working on a few boat jobs and also confabbed with an old sailing journalism associate, Tim Zimmerman, who...
Feb. 24/2023:  Elvis Francois, originally from the island of Dominica, was making repairs to his boat at St. Maarten back in December, when he somehow got swept out to sea. Twenty-four days later, in late January, after drifting across much of the Caribbean basin, he was rescued about 120 miles off the coast of Colombia,...
Feb. 17/2023:  Leave it to the most experienced performance sailors to come up with the most interesting boats when they get older and want to go cruising. Exhibit A in today’s brief is Oddity (see image up top), a custom plywood/epoxy 32-foot gaff-rigged barge of a thing masterminded by ex-round-the-world solo racer Pete Goss. A...
Feb. 10/2023: Got a hot text this morning from an old shipmate of mine, Geoff Hill, tipping me off that he’s been prominently featured in an official Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race viddy as the living incarnation of “the true Corinithian spirit of the race.” I can attest to this. I first met Geoff in 1992, when...
Feb. 7/2023:  Maybe this counts as progress. The new sailing flick that just dropped on Netflix—True Spirit, a dramatization of Jessica Watson’s 2009-10 solo non-stop circumnavigation—is not actually cringingly inaccurate as to the details and nuances of ocean sailing. They have, for example, done an excellent job of recreating Jessica’s boat, an S&S 34 she...
Feb. 2/2023:  I’ve been waiting since the 1990s, when I developed a crush of sorts on Isabelle Autissier, for a woman to win an around-the-world solo sailing race. A tantalizing prospect! This is the toughest, most extreme sport there is, but it is also that great rarity—a sport where women and men compete against each...
Jan. 25/2023:  You absolutely cannot make this stuff up! The true story of Thomas Tangvald—born and raised at sea, orphaned in a wreck and cast ashore at age 15—is finding traction with both sailors and land folk fascinated by “the freedom one finds in any life close to nature.” As previously mentioned, I have many...
Jan. 11/2023:  Now comes news over the past weekend that Charley Morgan, one of the great pioneers of fiberglass boatbuilding and design, left this world on Saturday, bound for whatever comes next. He was 93, and reportedly passed just a few hours after his wife Maurine died. Sailors of a certain age will remember Morgan...
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