About Me

My photo
Sacramento, California, United States
so salty pieces of coral from surfing Hawaii in the 60's and 70's getting reef pounded living in my body fall through my skin from time to time!

sailing to Oahu

Jimi Hendrix was playing on Oahu. I had never sailed. Surfed Mexico, California, Hawaii! Aw, how hard could it be to sail 90-110 miles from Kauai to Oahu? Piece of cake, right? Remember it was the 60's! This is so bad. We thought we were looking at Kaiena Point,Ohau, knowing we weren't going to make the concert! But at least we were in site of Oahu-wrong! Coy, who had never sailed before, me,who had never sailed before, jeff and Abbott etc. We were looking at the sleeping giant on Kauai! We had done three-sixty's in the night! We sailed on the only tri-marran I've ever sailed on ( except later ) in my life, missed the concert! It was at the Waikiki Shell Ampitheater ( Moon eclipsed . We finally made Nawilwili Harbor! The Skipper tried to give us his boat saying, " It's trying to kill me"! We watched him go stark raving mad not even realising that had we got caught in the channel current we were on our way to Japan! Remember it was the 60's and we were going to see Hendrix. I left out some of the good stuff but I will make up for it later!

Friday, January 29, 2010

What's In A Name?

      Joseph Israel Jacobson ( Fearsy ) took a liking to me.  Not an un-natural liking but more of a, brother in arms, afinity, a kindred spirit, united for and against a common foe!  His real name alone requires attention!  Any man familiar with, even a distant understanding of a book most holy,  comes to a revelation, a thought process, about a man whose parents named said son, so apropriately?  I think not!                                         Jewish Fearsy confided in me as all sailors throughout time share very personal private thoughts; in either quiet watches, seas gone to hell or a foriegn custom that one's self and one's mates must pass!   He, who had kicked me one time, became, at first, my savior, from the darkness of a life and dreams lost!  My family in Ohio, my hopes of wealth with gold found in California, waking up on " The Reefer" bound for China!  WITH PEOPLE'S LAUNDRY!  From San Franscisco!  Woe is me!                              So we look at Fearsy's first name, Joseph.  Since most Jews are still waiting for Messiah to give them back a physical, national Israel, Jews are unfamiliar with both the new and old testement.  It's a long story.  Joseph is a man with brothers.  His father is Jacob.  All jews have memorized this story.  I ask for what reason?  Is it to repair what was rent?  To shore up against a simple word?  Joseph was incarcerated.  Not by God and not by him!  But by Man.....  who set him free?                                                                            Fearsy's second name from his parents is Israel!                Think just for a minute.   What is Israel?  Well. I may answer this for a simple reason.  Sailing 1,000's of miles before and after the mast has led me to simple conclusions.  The Bible is a living word.  It matters not that the storms we were under, hail bombing our vessele, when all men cried out for mercy from forces beyond their understanding, waves larger than imagination and their imagination, just that!  Israel is the name Jacob was given.  He didn't earn it, did he? 
                     Fearsy-my friend.  Where are you?  I left our dead captain from the mosquito, that purchased my life.  You saved mine and I am going home to see my wife and children, who are children no more, but young adults who, still have a father, even if mother/wife thought I was dead for having had contact even with no letters written, has still a small hope that patience throughout these five years might bring back her true love/husband alive to justice.   Oh Jacob's son , Fearsy! 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Time for me to go sailing

         What pisses me off more than anything!  A child who says to his father, " You are the reason I am what I am"! Like: I should have been born in Hawaii!   And then this youngster says things like, because, because; and for the sake of the english language I will not use all the things that my father taught me, like grammmer, enunciation and simple courtisies, that somehow I took for granted!   I threw my son on cushions in the forepeak of a very small boat that had a slip in Berkley, Calif....  My daughter was life jacketed and my wife was along for the ride. It was a guys small boat that doubted it could sail! It was a small test.  Great little boat but.... Our boat was  near " The Sardine Can" at the time.  We used to walk and check out that marina and sail boats when the many people we had met allowed us to take their boat out!!,, since so few who can afford to own their boat, can't afford to sail!  Back to my brat son!   He wants to go to Hawaii.  Why knot?  I did and have!  This is where he is right.  It is time for me to hit the water running, again!  My son has a choice?  It is his to make. Hawaii or Sacramento?  What?  Before the mast or aft, his call.  I, personally, have given to my son and daughter what my father gave to me. Here it is, I think it is ...........title

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald Gordon Lightfoot

Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald

Music and lyrics ©1976 by Gordon Lightfoot

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

of the big lake they called "Gitche Gumee."

The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead

when the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more

than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty,

that good ship and true was a bone to be chewed

when the "Gales of November" came early.

The ship was the pride of the American side

coming back from some mill in Wisconsin.

As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most

with a crew and good captain well seasoned,

concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms

when they left fully loaded for Cleveland.

And later that night when the ship's bell rang,

could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound

and a wave broke over the railing.

And ev'ry man knew, as the captain did too

'twas the witch of November come stealin'.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait

when the Gales of November came slashin'.

When afternoon came it was freezin' rain

in the face of a hurricane west wind.

When suppertime came the old cook came on deck sayin'.

"Fellas, it's too rough t'feed ya."

At seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in; he said,

"Fellas, it's bin good t'know ya!"

The captain wired in he had water comin' in

and the good ship and crew was in peril.

And later that night when 'is lights went outta sight

came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does any one know where the love of God goes

when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay

if they'd put fifteen more miles behind 'er.

They might have split up or they might have capsized;

they may have broke deep and took water.

And all that remains is the faces and the names

of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings

in the rooms of her ice-water mansion.

Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams;

the islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario

takes in what Lake Erie can send her,

And the iron boats go as the mariners all know

with the Gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,

in the "Maritime Sailors' Cathedral."

The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times

for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

of the big lake they call "Gitche Gumee."

"Superior," they said, "never gives up her dead

when the gales of November come early!"

Song: Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald

Sabattical, Oahu to Kauai, Hawaii

         What a nice sail it should have been.  In the telling of this, I feel that you will agree.  It was a wonderful sail as they all are, when looked upon a certain way.  It was a short journey when viewed  telescopically bassactwards into forward.  I may ask if you know Micro Bobby Pilau?  You might answer, " I have heard of him" !  There is a Columbia "40", vessel  called " Alice C ".berthed at Kehei Lagoon and I would ask you if you had heard of his owner/ skipper, Ron? And, once again, you would acknowledge!    I, on a rare occassion might ask you if you had ever heard of  me and you would simply say yes !  Quietly !  ........ In all seriousness, egos are special on boats!  Micronesian Bobby made a small mistake on a fishing boat that he was skippering.  He allowed one of his crew to leave his electric shaver next to the compass on the fishing boat he was skipper of.  He missed his navigational point of reference by a couple of miles. Magnetic interference!  It doesn't mean he doesn't understand the ocean and sky! He bit the bullet and did get fired!  Doesn't mean he isn't a sailor!  The owner of Sabbatical picked Jeff to be navigator for this particular journey. It was hard to believe this sailboat left Oahu bound for Hanalei, Kauai with three skippers aboard that had nothing to do with the owner, wife or navigator.  My sister and her boyfriend, Ron, worked for NorthWest Orient , an airline, out of Hawaii at the time.  Micro Bobby and me were free.  Navigator Jeff is paid by Owner,Tony and wife, Nancy, who sailed with us on our way to Japan! The only reason I bring Nippon into the equation is because Ron, Rob and Bob, knew we missed the Kiluea Lighthouse and were on our way to Japan. Jeff, our navigator didn't have a clew!!                                                                                                                                      I , to this day, have many questions  that require answers?  How can one miss an island that is 98 miles away would be one?  Well. that will be part of this story.  What is deviation or variation?  What is a compass rose?  What does the east is the least and the west is the best mean? 

Damn it, we got three guys aboard the boat who can not only drive a proper heading but can read a  chart!  But no!!!   -What would you do?   It was really fun to hang out with people I don't normally sail with.  Ron threw/ after sealing - an empty bottle of Crown Royal, wax sealed, " messager in a bottle", giving our location, latitude and longitude, seriously/humorous, like we were long lost at sea.  My sister woke me up in my berth after me drinking that bottle of alcohol with Ron and announcing our purpose was  to the sail the  universe!  She loved, as I do that sail.  I think everyone aboard had the most fun.  How many people that any sailors know can actually say, " Shit, We missed an island"!!   Not many!  I honestly can say I have missed a few!  But not by much!  Ha!  RB  " Good from far, but far from good!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Missing

        I can remember my friends and enemies.  I can sea so far. And yet! aLive and death, the ebb and flow of a current running one way and then another.  I grab on and you let go.  Samaurai, a passenger named Glen came aboard Guinevere.  How he arrived , is up to him.  The locals captured fish off a dock, rolling their monofiliment string over a polluted thing, a plastic orifice, and yet they caught fish, to eat.  The sailing Glen, was not Guinevere's friend!  He had a loft for sails repaired in Cairns.  Off the light, introducing the passage, where Captain James Cook found an entry( by the providence of God) and fortunately could not find his way back!  The one and only Kiwi I abhor is Glen.  He is slick and hard to understand,  Royal Gage, with me driving, captured a wahoo (ono in Hawaiian). Rain, pouring down, leads to Australia not in sight!  The " Great Barrier Reef" closing out from a backside view!  Thank you, Lono!  Because I have surfed Hanalei our ship didn't founder that day!  It is no idle brag that I dedicated my life to riding the waves of the oceans!!! 
While Royal was preparing and I was seeing; Glen was complaining!  A baby crying that his pants were wet and it is your fault!  What to do?  " Hard to port", I screamed, as our other choice was to run aground being pushed by a very beautiful surfable wave onto the "Reef"! Royal ducked as the boom regained  it's correct placement relavent to the helm change( hard over).  Shortly after we, Das Boat, acquired the entrance of Grafton Passage and consumed the perfect food that Royal had gathered from the fathomless bounty that Neptune and Davy provide for those who dare to say, " Not All Kiwi's Are Kool"! We all laughed. I have only met one who is not, his name is Glen!  Oh shizzer!  I know of another.  His name is Eric.  Eric decided to drive at night in the fog into a little known area, Coo's Bay side of  California's coastline.  What a nice community Eric discovered (just a pubic hair north of SF's entry) after driving at night and deciding that a compass heading he was to follow wasn't important.  Upon himself, without waking up the idiot( which was me) he decided he is " Navigator"!!!! We were inches away from singing Mr. Rodgers song!  I'll write about this in another place.  My point is I married a " Kiwi "!  There are two kiwi's I don't like.  Hopefully, there won't be three!  By the by, the ono was ono! Wahoooooooooooooooooo!   AArrrggghh Mate

Sunday, January 3, 2010

a portion ( log ) serious ship of war before WW11

This ship certainly seemed to be a "prize winner " in the

eyes of the world, for we were commissioned to take the San

Francisco Naval Eeserves to Santa Cruz to take part in a

Water Carnival at that place.

One peculiar tiling that occasioned a great deal of remark

was the fact that it invariably took the " Olympia " two days

to make the trip between Mare Island and 'Frisco, a distance of

thirty miles.

On the 12th of June we anchored off Washington Street

wharf and the tugs '' Gov. Markham " and " Irwin " brought

the reserves on board. They were mustered on the superstruc-

l as they filed over the gangway it

seemed to our poor, bewildered minds, as though every man

of them was a petty officer of some description.

The balance of the day was spent in portioning quarters

for the dry-land sailors, about to take this perilous trip on the

mighty deep. They were assigned to the starboard, and the

regulars to the port side of the gun-deck, for sleeping quarters.

But that night the fun (?) began. They paid no attention

to " pipe-down " or the master-at- arms' order to "turn in," but

kept up a continual chatter which, interspersed with the

tramping of the more restless ones pacing overhead and

thinking of mothers and mothers-in-law they were leaving

behind, conduced toward making it a sleepless night for

the regulars. Well, everything, thank goodness, has an

end, and about twelve o'clock or thereabout, they were

induced to " turn in " and invite (and incidentally allow

the others to enjoy), the peace giving sleep which visits the

pillows of the innocent and just. But then you see, there

was so much to tell and such a lot of advice to be given

before morning, that only when their fund of information for

each other had been exhausted did they consider themselves (or

anyone else) entitled to sleep.

And it was just as hard to get them out at " reveille."

After "morning coffee " they " turned to " in patent leathers,

russets and tennis shoes, scrubbing down decks, and were soon

making an onslaught on the paint work and decks which

caused the very "holystones" to shudder and the dirt to disappear

as if by magic. They were workers, and in a short time made

the ship glisten and shine as she had never glistened or shone


associations, so they went hand in hand for a good time.

There was one young man who had the asthma so bad that he

couldn't talk. He was sent to the "sick bay" for medical

advice and received it like a child would a dose of castor-oil,

for the doctor advised him to go ashore and take good care

of himself. Poor fellow, he begged and protested, but never-

theless had to go. You could see the tears of disappointment

coursing down his cheeks, but he was not to be to baffled, and,

nothing daunted, purchased a ticket for Santa Cruz and got

there before us. He came along-side in a small boat when we

arrived, and coming on board mingled with the crew, successful-

ly avoiding any chances of being sent ashore again.

On the thirteenth we left for Santa Cruz, and King Nep-

tune welcomed his visitors with a stiff' breeze and a heavy sea,

to which many of them paid tribute by presenting the finny

inhabitants of the Sea King's domain with their breakfasts.

We arrived at about six o'clock in the evening of the same

day, and glad and thankful were these embryo sailors when

they heard the ponderous anchor fall and the music of the

cable rattling through the hawsehole.

They began to feel well and strong again as the scent of

the hay fields came to their nostrils, and challenged our boys

to a boat-race. We did not know what we were up against,

but for the sake of excitement accommodated them.

The distance to be pulled was about two miles from the

dock, out to and around the ship. One of the officers, Ensign

Dieffenbach, started the boats off and our crew stopped several

times to give the lads a chance, but as it was getting late and

their names were on the liberty list, they had to make short

work of it, so pulled over the course, around the ship, tossed

oars and came on board. The reserves came back later in the


A party for parade was landed, including regulars and

reserves, and according to press reports, all came off with flying


The carnival was very beautiful and picturesque. There

were fireworks, myriads of colored electric lights in various

artistic groups and designs, and hundreds of small boats dart-

ing about hither and thither, their numerous lights and

Chinese lanterns flashing on the sight with kaleidoscopic

variety. It gave one an impression of Venice at eventide.

Our stay at this delightful place was somewhat limited, as

it appeared as if we were continually in demand at the Navy

Yard, so on the 16th we steamed back to 'Frisco where we

arrived at about five P.M.

A few of the more venturesome and hardy of the reserve

went back with us, but the greater percentage of them preferred

the dangers of a trip by rail to the agonies of one by sea>

dreading the fearful mid de met'.

After leaving the ship the reserves sent several pieces to

the press giving their opinions of her sea-going qualities, and

offering several suggestions for the improvement of the Vessel

They represented almost every profession from Western as well as criticising the manners and, in particular, question-

Union messenger boy to Court stenographer, but their ing the honesty of one of the crew. It waa our gallant ship's

difference of standing made no material difference in their ' cook, " Nebraska Bijl," that was so unceremoniously written up

Blog Archive