Sailing  route 2014      Timeline and Schedule     The pictures      KL3RK


Morning Dove

The Blog 2013/2014

What's been happening, Pictures and videos, planned activities.

Here are links to SV Morning Dove's current position. YoTreps is through the HAM radio Net when I send position reports, not real-time.
The second link is my Spot tracker which is real time but only a week of data and stops tracking at anchor.

YoTreps Link to current position

Spot Tracker

Morning Dove's position is tracked from position reports via my Armature Radio (Ham) call sign


Refresh your browser to ensure you get the latest update

December 22, 2014

I've been packing and getting ready to get back to the Dove and sailing the Sea of Cortez this winter then a 3 week passage to Hawaii. Leslie will join me in Tucson where Josh will drive us south to San Carlos. Expect a few days sanding, painting and minor repairs before we splash and head across to the Baja peninsula.

I'll post regular videos of our adventures once were back on the boat, so stay tuned.

Merry Christmas from Alaska...

October 20, 2014

Diana and I had a productive summer in Alaska. Built a new hangar at Birchwood, a Diana project I inherited, I'm not complaining, turned out great. Made time for fishing and flying north to the Fairbanks Eberhardt homestead. Flew south in September and spent a week working on the Dove, getting ready for sailing thus winter. All is well and I'll splash January 1st.

This week I'm getting firewood cut and split for the winter and the snow plow on the truck. I'll be gone sailing in the Sea of Cortez while Diana is home stoking the fire, guy has got do what a guy has to do...

My future and sailing has always been a tough sell at home, with Diana's patience it's been working. I had hoped to continue sailing to the South Pacific and beyond, however this would mean over a year away from home. I can't sell that prospect.

I've decided to sail Morning Dove from Mexico to Alaska next spring. I'll spend this winter exploring the Baja and about May 1st set sail for Hawaii, anticipate a three week passage. Should arrive in Kona by May 15th. June 1st if all goes well it's a 3 week passage North to Alaska and the Prince William Sound. 


July 25, 2014

Sailing on hold for the summer. Initially I had planned sailing to Hawaii in June, best laid plans are destine for change and I'm flexible. My sailing is only possible with Diana and our life in Alaska, If I'm needed I'm home. Summer projects require I'm in Alaska for the summer, o darn...

I'm spending my time fishing, flying and building a new hangar for Diana's C-185, I'm a part time iron worker.

I plan back to Morning Dove in October for 2 weeks, getting her ready for sailing the Sea of Cortez. I plan the winter sailing Mexico then across the Big Blue. Stay tuned.

May 25, 2014

2200 nautical miles in 25 days, we made it. Leslie and I departed Panama May 1st. Our goal, sail Morning Dove north west along Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras to San Carlos Mexico, where I'll store the boat for the summer and return home to Alaska.

Nautical Pilot charts indicated winds should be light and in our favor. It was not to be, day 1 no wind, light sea swell and 87'f sea temp made it hot, muggy and buggy as we motored around a sea of massive ships waiting to transit the canal. As the day ended the tropical thunder storms built then stomped on us through the night. Lightening so close there was no delay of the thunder clap, amazing we didn't get hit. These conditions continued for the next two weeks. Occasionally the wind gods would tease and off we'd sail for a few hours before they died or switched. Our last thunder storm battered us in Acapulco as we were side tied to a dock. Morning Dove's hull got scuffed but no damage. The battering was so violent a fender exploded and the 2x10 dock board splintered. After Acapulco the sea temp dropped to 84'f and we started catching fish, Dorado, Yellow fin, Amberjack and even hooked a 6' sailfish before it shredded the line and danced off with our pink squid lure clearly visible.

My sister Cathy and her husband Tom, drove down from Tucson, we spent two days sailing, swimming and fishing, before we put Morning Dove up for the summer. Cathy and Tom were our ride north and to airports home.

Videos of our passage to Mexico.


April 28, 2014

We made it, The Panama Canal transit was the highlight of the last few weeks. Everyone enjoyed the San Blas Islands, fresh seafood and friendly locals. The ocean sail to Panama Canal was great, no one was sick. Only waited 3 days to get a slot. We used an agent, Roy Brovo and received superior service. Enjoy the 2 videos of San Blas and the Canal transit.


April 23, 2014

I know it’s been weeks since I’ve posted but I’m still here, so don’t write me off, not yet, I’ve had good reason. NO INTERNET…

After I posted my solo sail, Grenada to Bonaire, boat problems went south and I went diving. Raw water pump failed, ordered parts and while waiting dove the pristine waters of Bonaire for a week. Michael, from Alaska joined me and after 10 days and no parts, I cobbled together a water pump fix and off we sailed. I had planned to post a video but NO INTERNET… Here it is.

7 days 700 miles, Curacao, Aruba, San Blas. (Watch the short video of our passage) Arrived to this pristine archipelago with $200 and an ATM card. I should have read the guide closer… Do I need to say more, help. Covered the basic customs and cruising fees, with the help of Michael. It worked. Thanks Michael.

The Margarita girls arrived in San Blas, Diana, Mom, Deb x 2 and Leslie, we sailed the islands for a few days. Lobster, conch, crab, fish and fresh everything. Only thing missing, ice. Deb brought all the Margarita fixings but if you want ice, you better bring it…

 Sailed the Margarita girls open Ocean to Colon and the Panama Canal. 2 days, very memorable for all, no one got sick. Yarr. I was impressed…

Moments: Easter on Morning Dove, the Easter egg hunt, , lobster, conch,  Mom in 7’ seas.

We will transit the Panama Canal sometime in the next week. Stay tuned.


March 31, 2014

Arrived in Bonaire, 3 days 2 hours solo run from Grenada. Had a great downwind run in Trade Winds. I set the sails for a running reach and hardly trimmed for 3 days. It was surprising how fast the days and hours pass. There is a lot of time for reading, relaxing and napping, plus your busying keeping en eye on the boat and sailing. I enjoyed the sail.

New alternator failed. It was charging one minute then nothing. While charging the batteries and could smell electrical burning from the engine and alternator was very hot, I'm pissed...

Rounding the north head of Bonaire in the early morning darkness I started the Perkins for the 2 hour motor to Kralendijk. Lifted the hatch to check the engine and salt water spraying everywhere, the raw water pump blew. It was still working so limped into Bonaire, checked in with customs.

After checking my stores found spare parts so should be an easy fix, tomorrow, the engine will be too hot till then. So what to do in Bonaire, the top 3 dive location in the world, dive. Got set up with a local dive shop and enjoyed Bonaire underwater.

Pulled the alternator, not sure what I'll do but the second 30 amp alternator is working. Rebuilding the raw water pump turned out more difficult, bad shaft and by the time I noticed the problem too late to order till Monday, will be delayed leaving for Curacao.

Michael arrived Saturday night and will spend the next few days diving while we wait for parts. Life is tough...

March 23, 2014

Time to move on. 6am just starting up and getting ready to pull the anchor, headed to Bonaire. 377nm should about 2 1/2 days and it's all downwind running with the trade winds.

March 21, 2014

Had a great sail through the Grenadines. Trades were blowing 20k plus. Made anchoring tough. Picked up a mooring in Tobago Cays but in Union Island our first anchor set dragged and we almost hit another boat, second was find but a sleepless night with shifting winds and the anchor alarm going off.

Great sailing running 7 knots on a broad reach, along lush green Grenada with it's picturesque villages and cloud caped mountains.

March 15, 2014

It's been a stressful few days but I can see the light and it's not a train, at least I think so... Arrived at Morning Dove in Rodney Bay with a lot to due and only a day. New engine alternator to install, works perfectly. Now the new wind generator, D400, to install or at least get the mounting hardware I'll need and mount it next week, provision and get off the dock, it's too expensive here.

Got the mounting fabricated for the wind generator, the yard was a great help. Wednesday I was wiped, Thursday morning we provisioned for the week and by noon were off for V-Fort on the south end of St Lucia, I'll work enroute, not.

Anchored up with daylight left I made quick work of mounting the wind generator. By 8pm we had 400 watts of additional power. The wiring I'll put in permanently later. 7am we were off sailing to Bequia. I expected an easy broad reach, instead there was no wind, rolling seas, rain squalls and it was hot and humid. At one point I rigged the whisker pole, to pole out the Genoa, a gust loaded up the mounting base and it sheared. The whisker pole loaded with tons of force crashed against the boat and rail, lucky nothing else broke and no injury. Next day drilled new mount and all is well.

Morning Dove is an electric boat and with that I'm not with comfortable 1 charging source. With all systems working now I have two engine alternators, one is 100amp. 400W wind generator, plus I have two AC systems, a Fisher Panda 4kw genset and a 2kw Honda generator, I'm happy I can always generate power.

Tomorrow were off to explore the Grenadines.



March 10, 2014

In SEA headed back to the boat, delayed 2 days with oversold flights, spring break and all. I'll be on Morning Dove Tuesday evening and plan to sail Thursday morning.

Major changes in my timeline.

    1. I was planning several islands in Venezuela but with piracy, safety for US citizens and my insurance not valid, there are just too many reasons not to go. Planning to depart Grenada March 23, I'll sail direct to Bonaire 350nm. Then Curacao, Aruba, Columbia and San Blas April 15. The month of May sailing along the coast northwest to Mexico.

    2. With projects at home I've decided to leave Morning Dove in Mexico for the summer and home through mid September. Winter 2014-15 exploring the Sea of Cortez and possible in the spring 2015 to the South Pacific.

March 8, 2014

Home Thursday after a week flying Iditarod. Good news, no misshapes other than a shredded ski cable. Diana and John will close out in Nome next week. I am headed back to Morning Dove, except the last two nights I've been bumped, the life of a non-rev...

Camera battery problems, so only got a few clips on the trail. Hopefully I'll get a replacement charger and can catch up on editing and posting.

By Wednesday Launce and I should sailing south to the Grenadines and Grenada. Launce will fly home for a time March 21st. While I have crew interested in joining Morning Dove, no one has committed.

If you would like to join the boat, I'm planning to depart Grenada March 23 for Isla Margarita, Bonaire, Aruba, San Blas April 15.

February 23, 2014

Back home in Alaska for two weeks and Iditarod. Morning Dove is in a slip in Rodney Bay Marina, St Lucia. Launce and Zoran are sightseeing and taking care of her. When I return will continue south to Grenada then West. Panama about April 17th.

I'm headed out to flying with the Iditarod Airforce till March 6th. This will be my 30th year on Iditarod and not my last.

February 18, 2014

Another great sail along Dominica's coast to Martinique. Many fishing villages and picturesque seaside towns and a huge city surrounding an ornate above ground cemetery, amazing site. I know the video won't show how amazing it was. Our relaxing was interrupted with a plugged forward head. It took a complete dismantling to find the outlet line crystallized and totally plugged. 3 hours but a new head, yuk.

Anchored in St Pierre just before sunset it was time to relax again and enjoy the Caribbean.

February 16, 2014

Dominica, British where English and Creole are spoken. Anchored and ashore we were greeted with the opening of Carnival. Parade, costumes, dancing in the streets a everyone drinking too much rum...

Toured the Mangrove swamps of Indian River, Banana plantation, Crib Indian territory, Emerald Pool and incredible rainforest. Another highlight of our sailing.

February 12, 2014

Sailed in to Deshaies harbor, Guadeloupe, 15:00 today. Had a good 7 hour sail from Montserrat with a great view of the devastation and Lehar mud flows off the east side of Montserrat. Great tour of the city of Plymouth, now abandon after the eruption in 1995. By contrast Guadeloupe is made up of two mountainous rainforest Islands and shaped like a butterfly. A day tour and the 14th we were headed to The Saints, still part of France they are totally opposites, here it's parched and dry with cactus. Road my bike, toured Fort Napoleon, go lost of video.


February 8, 2014

Had a great downwind sail from Antigua. Initially set the Spinnaker but the winds soon exceeded it's limit. We doused and poled out 75% of our Genoa and were running 6-7+ knots surfing the waves in 25+ trades. 4 hours to St Kits. Had a hell of a time getting the dingy and motor in the water but managed not to damage anything. Bob and Robert were ashore to greet me and after clearing customs, it was find a slip, it was too rough to anchor. Bob and his son Robert are joining us for the next two weeks, so we spent the evening getting settles and setting plans. Saturday, relaxing and a tour of St Kits.


February 4, 2014

In Jolly Harbor, Antigua.

I am one month into sailing Morning Dove and living a dream. Where this adventure goes and finely ends up, I don’t even know, for me that’s part of the adventure.

If was not for the expertise of Sam, Peter, Leslie and Launce it would have been a difficult sail this past month. These friends and their desire to sail and put their trust in an unproven Captain helped get Morning Dove from Virginia to Antigua. Thanks…

I can honestly say I don’t miss the flying but I’m so busy there is no time, so I just don’t think about it…

We will depart Antigua for St Kits Friday Morning, my timeline has our planned stops. I hope family and friends find the time to join this adventure.

Stay tuned for more videos.

February 2, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday. In Antigua, arrived at 15:00, cleared customs, got Morning Dove anchored and were ashore for the evening.

It's been a great 10 days from St John. Anguilla was 23 hours up hill but worth it. Anguilla is a low slung island, brisk trades, friendly folks and cold beach beer. Boat chores and a relaxing 2 days, we were off to St Martin. What a contrast, St Martin is fast paced, only saw the Dutch side. Great history and scenery from the draw bridge to Simpson Lagoon to biking to  Philipsburg, I was non stop. Wednesday a short 30 mile sail to St Barts. To say is French is an understatement, from the village streets, cafes, mo-peds and Euro, thought I was there. I mo-ped the island and got some great video. Friday 1st light we were off to Barbuda, another uphill sail but more that worth it. We found the gem in the Caribbean. There is no private land, the Island is communally held. The beaches are pristine with velvet pink sand I can keep between my toes. Hope you enjoy the videos, I enjoyed living them. Missing Diana...


January 21, 2014

Back from San Juan... Anchored up in Cruz Bay, St John. We'll pick up some supplies in the morning and set off for Anguilla by noon. Looking at a 20 hour sail and it's more up wind. I'm back on the timeline and even a day ahead. More from Leeward Islands in a few days.


January 18, 2014

Jerry and friends departed for home. Great fun sailing this last week in the USVI. I was planning to head to the BVI's today but change in plans. I've been fighting battery issues, there just old and need replacing. It's too expensive here so were off to San Juan. Launce and I will spend the night in Isla de Culebra, Spanish Virgin Islands then Sunday to San Juan and Batteries Plus or Costco. More latter and the second video to follow.

January 11-18 2014

Cruising the US Virgin Islands


January 10, 2014

We made it, 7 days 18 hours from Bermuda to St Thomas, great trip and lots of action.


                           Bermuda to St Thomas Part 1                                                   Bermuda to St Thomas Part 1

December 28, 2013 

Well there is no turning back now and any doubts are pushed aside for the time being. It's time to get back to the Dove and get her provisioned and ready to sail south to St Thomas and beyond.

I'm in JFK waiting for my flight to Bermuda and looking to what lies ahead. Sitting here I can't help but look back and reflect on what lead me here and be thankful to Diana for letting me live a dream. I know it's especially hard for her. Learning to sail I fostered a dream of being at sea and the idea has stuck. For some reason being out of sight of land offers a challenge enjoy.

My professional lives has taken me across the world’s oceans where I could only look below me and watch the world pass. I've stood on the beaches from California, Alaska, Thailand, the cliffs of Dover, Australia and Cape Town. I would look out from shore and dream of sailing my own boat to distance lands. I always thought it was an impossible dream but in my stubborn way I never gave up. To actually be at the beginning, WOW.

 Who knows what lies over the horizon for me and Morning Dove.

 To quote Norman Vaughan "Dream big and dare to fail"

 Thank you everyone for your support.


December 25, 2013

I'm headed to Bermuda tomorrow night, Leslie and Launce will join me for the 800nm sail south to St Thomas. Weather is looking good, no storms forecasted. Looks like will start off January 2nd with light winds from the north and as we sail south into the trade winds are forecasted light. I'll have a better feel for the winds on Monday and Wednesday.

November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. Finely got 3 videos crunched and uploaded, 2 of our passage to Bermuda and a 3rd in Bermuda, putting Morning Dove up for the holidays. I will return to Bermuda December 28th. Leslie and Launce will join me for the passage to the Caribbean.


          SV Morning Dove Sailing to Bermuda Part 1                             SV Morning Dove Sailing to Bermuda Part 2


               SV Morning Dove in Bermuda Part 3                                      The route

November 24, 2013

SV Morning Dove

East Coast to Bermuda November 2013 

We are here, finely time to sail south and my plan to get Morning Dove off the East Coast before the Nor-Easters start has failed. Weather forecast has the first storm of the season heading this way and expected through the Chesapeake the 17th. No time to delay because there is another behind it, sooner we get sailing the better.

At noon on November 15th we cast off. Eight hours sailing and motoring to get out to the entrance of Chesapeake Bay. We were in the Atlantic by 8pm with light winds on the nose; the Iron Jenny drove us through the night and into the next day. Our goal, cover as many miles before the Nor-Easter ran us down.

Midnight our second day the wind shifted coming from the SW 25-30k. Sailing 6-7 knots in 4’ seas, life was good. 3am the squalls began, one after another. They ran us down with torrential rain and 30-35k gusty winds. The seas began to build to 8’ feet in a confused sea that not only slowed us down by crashing into breaking waves. Moving around the boat became dangerous, even a good hand hold became tenuous as the boat healed to 40°

The Cold Front finely caught us 4am on day 4. The main squall line hit us with 35-40 knots with gust as high as 47knots and that’s knots, 54mph! It’s a surreal experience with the boat heaving and rolling in a pitch black night, the wind driven rain is a constant staccato, lightning gives an instant glimpse of the melee around us and the thunder crashes in the darkness again and all you can do sit and watch. The sails are reefed everything Is secure; sort of, occasionally something crashes to the deck, you ride it out and marvel in natures show.

By morning the wind dropped to 30-35k and shifted coming out of the north. With good sailing wind on our back we were able to pole out the Genoa and make 7 knots. The only problem the seas had seen winds from the SW, now the N so the seas were confused, combined with a swell from a major tropical storm 500 miles to the east the seas built to over 10’. It was a crazy downwind sail for the next 12 hours. The autopilot couldn’t keep up so we hand steered.

Evening day 5, the worst had passed but the seas are big and every few minutes the boat heals 40°. I decided it was time to cook a hot meal, Sam didn’t think it was safe but I gave it a try, big mistake. Standing in front of the strove with a pot of water for spaghetti, the boat healed hard enough for the stove to hit its gimbaled limits. With scalding water coming my way I let go and backwards over a stool I flew across the cabin slamming my lower back to the deck and the back of my head against the nav table. The pain was instant and I could see all my sailing plans ending on this first passage. I knew something must be broken, It hurt. I laid there covered in garlic powder, I was making spaghetti. The pain in my back was debilitating, writhing in pain I handed Sam the rest of the garlic powder and slowly rolled over eased up and lay on the bunk.

My head was bleeding but not too bad just an abrasion. I got a good lump and a sore neck but it was enough of a glancing blow nothing worse. My back was bad, after an hour I could move but l hurt. Standing first watch that night was painful. It’s been 5 days, my neck is a little stiff, the lump has gone down and my back is very tender but I think I’ll recover. I was lucky. Lesson learned…

Midnight the 5 day winds shifted NE and the seas eased a bit but still up to 8’. On a Broad Reach the Autopilot was able to steer a direct track towards Bermuda. By morning we were closing on day 6 and Bermuda.

It’s a great sight as you see the hills and island grow, and then pick out the entrance channel. Bermuda Radio clears us in to St Georges Harbor and Customs. By 2pm were tied. 6 days 2 hours, 660 Nautical Miles and my first passage with Morning Dove.

The adventure continues, I just hope I survive myself in the process. You’re never too old to learn…


October 27, 2013

SV Morning Dove, Shakedown Sail:

Yankee Point October 19. Morning Dove was in the water, the mast were up. I  spent two days getting the electrics hooked up and the new Ray Marine Chart Plotter, Radar and AIS hooked up and running. It's all plug and play and there wasn't a hitch, everything worked great. Launce Barber arrived Tue night and first thing Wed morning we were off on a two day shake down sail. Check out the video.

I'm on track Nov 15, 5-6 days sail to Bermuda with Sam Maxwell and Peter Wallace, stay tuned.


                      Morning Dove Shakedown sail


October 1, 2013

After setting a timeline some months ago, there was always a chance Murphy’s Law would delay or change these plans. So far through one of my last unknowns, Atlas schedule for October and November is set. I’m off October 17th for 10 days and will finish hooking up the rigging and electronics. Hopefully will splash Morning Dove October 20th and a short shakedown sail.

November 12th will mark my last day as a professional pilot and transition to the sailing life. I’ll head to Morning Dove, weather and tides permitting, it looks like Sam Maxwell and I will hopefully depart November 15th for Bermuda, some 650nm. Averaging 120nm a day should be a five day sail. The biggest challenge will be November weather. Hurricane season is over and winter weather can start early into the Chesapeake Bay. I want to get Morning Dove to Bermuda where the weather is more reasonable for heading to St Thomas in January.

Leslie Washburn and Launce Barber are planning the 800nm trip south to the Virgin Islands Jan 1st.

January to March timeline through the Caribbean looks pretty good. I hope family and friends will lock in their plans and join me and Morning Dove for a week or more.

More when I head to the boat October 17th.


September 15, 2013

Back in Anchorage yesterday morning after a week working on Morning Dove. The boat yard had removed Morning Dove's mast the previous week with the rigging going to Southern Bay Rigging for replacement. The standing rig was original and with my plans for blue water sailing the last needed is not to trust what holds everything together.

Even though the mast are in good shape they needed a work over to keep them that way, there was a little corrosion and a lot of ware and tear plus unused stuff to remove. Took 2 days to sand and prep the mast and a day for painting. End result, like new. Removed 5 old unused antennas, Loran, weather fax, seeme, VHF array, and Navistar. all from old removed equipment. Then I had to remove old the old wiring to make room for the new. Installed a new Raymarine HD radar, deck lights on the spreaders and reran new running rigging for controlling the sails. It was a good week and accomplished everything I had planned. Next week the yard will re-step the mast, pin and tune the rig.

Every day was a struggle though, weather cooperated except it was HOT and humid, kicked my butt, stayed hydrated and kept plenty of sunscreen on, I faired ok.

I'll have my October schedule by September 27th and will set a date for another week hooking up the mast wiring and finish the electronics upgrade and with will splash Morning Dove and get her ready to sail to Bermuda in November.

The short video shows the mast painted and ready to step. After I shot the last seen the sun went down then lightning filled the sky and thunderstorms raged for 2 hours. By 10pm it was quite and cool, first comfortable night sleeping.


September 1, 2013

Happy Labor Day.

I'm enroute to Miami for my last recurrent training before I retire in November. It hasn't sunk in yet and I really try not to think about it... After over 45 years as a professional pilot, beginning as a lowly flight instructor, I'm closing out my aviation career in 3 months. As Captain of Boeing 747-400 and -8, I count my self lucky finishing out my career flying the latest and greatest Boeing has to offer. Now It's on to wings of a different kind, sails.

September 7th I'll make my way back to Morning Dove in Lancaster VA. The yard pulled the masts and rigging last Friday. The rigging is at the riggers getting fabricated new. I'll sand, prime and paint the masts. Install a new Raymarine radar on the mizzen and hopefully re-step the mast by September 12th. It won't take much to mess up my timeline but will see...

August 23, 2013

Thanks to the observant viewer who noticed in the video, Seward on Morning Dove's stern was misspelled. It will be fixed. The mast were un-stepped today and the rigging is being fabricated. September 7th, back to Lancaster for more work.


August 20, 2013

Back from working on Morning Dove. Spent 2 days disconnecting all the electrics in both mast in preparation for un-stepping next week. I'll be back on the 7th of September to sand and repaint the mast, install new standing rigging and new Ray Marine electronics. Here is a short video of Morning Dove during the work September 18th.

     Morning Dove, getting ready to replace standing rigging                      New 18" radar for the Mizzen mast


August 13, 2013

I leave tomorrow afternoon, 8-14,  for Richmond then drive to Lancaster. Should be there Thursday afternoon. I'll be working on the boat, Friday and Saturday, back to Alaska Sunday. I'll be getting ready to un-step the mast and replace the standing rigging September 7-12, if all works out, plus there is just a lot of stuff to be done... I'll get some video this trip and post it when I return.

July 28, 2013

I have my Atlas schedule for August and September, now I can plan ahead for getting Morning Dove ready to sail South in November.

Yankee Point Marina, Lancaster VA. Morning Dove is on the hard. Planning 15-18 of August, some engine and electronics work to do, plus I need to start disconnecting mast wiring and electronics. September 7-12 I plan to unstep the mast, paint, install LED lights, rewire and replace all the standing rigging. This is a major undertaking but absolutely necessary since the rigging on Morning Dove is original. I'm on track for sailing to Bermuda in November after my last trip with Atlas and retiring.

For those that are following my plans and are interested in joining Morning Dove, if you are with driving range of Lancaster this would be a good time to meet and see Morning Dove. Not that I need any help specifically but and extra pair of hands is always welcome.

July 2013

July was a planning month. Diana and I had the same days off and I had committed not to spend time on the boat when we can be together enjoying Alaska's summer. My sailing come after I retire. Plus we flew out first trip together as crew on the Boeing 747-400 and we had a great trip.

This doesn't mean nothing was accomplish with Morning Dove, just the opposite.

One of my goals before slipping the dock lines next year is communications. I can't afford satellite communications and one of the most reliable forms of long distance communications is SSB, single side band high frequency. These radios allow for long range communications but there use is limited. Amateur Radio dramatically increases the functionality, however to operate on these amateur radio nets you must have an armature license "Ham"

KL3RK I earned my General class Amateur radio license this week and for me another step in putting this dream together and developing the recourses I need.

Replacing the standing rigging is set for September. Yankee Point will drop the mast and I plan to remove the rigging and have new rigging fabricated and reinstall the mast.


June 1 2013

Back to the boat for a few days of cleaning, organizing and learning. I removed the previous home port decal from the boats stern and adding "Seward Alaska". Spent more time cleaning, organizing and learning Morning Dove's systems. Two days and a lot or reading and planning. Still need to replace the standing rigging and electronics upgrade.

West Marine a new solar vent and some galley supplies, dinnerware and the like. Home Depot for tools and an installation complete. Hopefully I'll get back in July...

May 7 2013

Yankee Point Marina, Diana and I closed today on Morning Dove, she is officially ours. I handed over a check and we sign the USCG document change and all the necessary sales stuff and the Broker gave us the keys and a hand shake for good luck.

They say the two happiest days of yacht ownership is the day you buy the boat and the day you sell it.

 we bought a boat!

I spent the next two days getting all the extra stuff that come with Morning Dove out of a storage locker, loaded and stored aboard. Morning Dove not only came fully equipped there is also a 10' Rib dingy, 2 outboards, life raft, 3 anchors and enough extra running rigging to rig 2 sailboats. Plus boxes of spares, nuts, bolts, oils and the list never ends. I quickly surmised the owned was a pack rat, he kept everything. I mean this in a nice way. When your sailing you keep anything that might be useful but I had to pitch a third of the storage stuff, just no room on Morning Dove and most was redundant. As it is I'll pitch another third after I figure out what I really need when I re-rig later this summer.

Once I had the storage locker cleaned and mostly stored I set about learning my new home away from home and her systems.  Modern boats are no different than aircraft. There complicated and it takes time to learn and become proficient and learn. It will take me all summer and the next five years to learn Morning Dove, I just hope she is kind to me in the process.


April 10 2013

Two days ago Diana and I met in Charlotte NC. Diana was visiting her Aunt and Cousin. Our plan, fly to Richmond VA, rent a car and drive to Yankee Point Marina in Lancaster VA.

Morning Dove is in the water and we met with the Broker and owners for a sea trial. We sailed into the Chesapeake for 2 hours. Raised the sails, trimmed for a light breeze and sailed a fantastically responsive Maramu ketch, can't wait to get her in the open ocean. All systems preformed well. The Engine a reliable Perkins rumbled on, the Onan genset could hardly be heard, all radios and systems worked. This was out acceptance sail and all was well and we finalized our purchase.

A lot of work is yet to be done. Even though all is working with Morning Dove new upgrades are needed to make her ready to sail the open ocean safely. The standing rig is original and needs replacing. Avionics are adequate but I want a newer Ray Marine with ASI, a system that see other ships, safety is paramount. The life raft needs recertifying. Documentation, radio license, EPIRB need registering.

Morning Dove will be hauled out for the summer, too much to be done in Alaska during the summer and I promised Diana I would hold off on sailing till the fall. I will make a few trips to Morning Dove to get her ready to sail but this sailor is on dry land for a while.


March 2013

After over five years of searching my offer to purchase Morning Dove was excepted, I found the right boat. Morning Dove a 46" AMEL Maramu Ketch.

Taking the first step is not without trepidation. I'll soon be embarking on the challenge of a lifetime and fulfilling a dream of sailing the worlds oceans and maybe even sailing around the world.

I first sailed on SF Bay and my love of sailing developed as I've sailed in Hawaii, San Juan Islands, Mexico and the Caribbean over the years. Sailing clubs offer me what I could afford, a way to learn and explore the art of sailing until I could afford my own sailboat. That time is finely here!

This adventure is not a solo campaign. I do enjoy spending time alone and I've always enjoyed flying out fishing and camping by myself. I'm sure there will be times I'll sail solo and look forward to it. However I hope family and friends will share in this adventure and join me.

Diana will spend time on the boat but sailing is not Diana's interest. I am grateful Diana has allowed me to sail for the next few years in fulfillment of a dream and I do promise to come home when I'm done.

 Most retirees are thinking if a rocking chair, leisurely fishing their favorite lake or commanding a land yacht down the highway. Not this soon to be retiree. Turning 65 in November I'm still committed to treating life as an adventure and setting new goals. After a tour in the US Navy, adventure and wanting something more motivated me move to Alaska in 1974. I flew the bush for several years, construction on the Trans Alaska Pipeline. I continued to develop an aviation career, 19 years with Mark Air, 4 with World Airways and then last 14 with Atlas Air Cargo, Boeing 747-400 Captain. Alaska has been my backyard and Diana and I have flown our aircraft to all corners of Alaska as well as what we Alaskan's refer to as the lower 48 and on to Mexico and the Bahamas. Adventure and setting new goals gave Diana and I the motivation to explore Alaska further and complete The Iditarod Sled Dog Race, twice for me and 10 times for Diana.