Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Bloggers do it for nothing.

Well, almost all of us do it for nothing.  I certainly do it for nothing anyway.

Well that's not exactly true.  I blog because I get enjoyment from telling stories and from helping others solve problems.

But every so often, something great just falls out of the sky...  in the blogosphere, there is a way that bloggers recognize other bloggers: the Liebster Award.  Like those coupons in the newspaper, it has no cash value (rats!).  But it is a huge honor to receive, because it is bestowed by those who know the business best: your fellow bloggers.

Aside from the awarding of honor to a fellow blogger, one of the purposes of the Liebster Award is to bring recognition to bloggers with small followings - bloggers who have a following less than that which they might deserve.  We certainly fit into that category here.  Well, the "small following" part anyway.

Like most things on the InterTubes, the meme of the Liebster Award has morphed as it was passed from blogger to blogger, thus there are any number of rules associated with it.  This is the set I like and choose to follow.  Except for that nagging and presumably arbitrary "11" part.

Thank you Brian, of Dock Six Chronicles for nominating Small Boat Projects for the Liebster!  But I cannot in good conscience take credit for the award.  This is a community blog - it exists only because of its contributors (over there on the right).  The Liebster belongs to them, not to me.  Because of that, my response is going to be a little unconventional - it will come in two parts.  First, I will answer the questions posed by Brian myself, because I cannot imagine any way to get 35 (if I counted right) folks to agree on answers:

What cruising destinations are on your sailing bucket list?
  • BVIs
  • Bahamas
  • Barkley Sound
  • Obviously (or perhaps not...) the first two would involve bareboat charters.

What piece of gear onboard did you purchase in the belief it would be essential, yet has hardly been used?
  • A Happy Hooker.  Eolian's bow is a long way above the water.  Hooking the ring on a mooring buoy and then lifting that really heavy chain up high enough to thread a line thru is a task that takes both of us.  After pulling the bronze end off of our boat hook at Fort Flagler State Park, we bought a Happy Hooker thinking that would make it much easier.  But we have not taken a buoy since that event.  Frankly, anchoring is just easier.
What was your longest passage?
  • Define "passage". If you mean the longest distance over which the boat was in continuous motion,
What has been your scariest, "I'm gonna die!"  moment?
  • We were at the south end of the Strait of Georgia, coming up on a lee shore at Silva Bay in a howling downwind gale.  Jane went forward to douse the sails, but just as she got to the mast, the staysail jibed and its boom knocked her over.  From where I was at the helm, I couldn't see her - my heart was in my mouth because I feared she had been knocked overboard.  Then she stood up, holding her head.

    Things like this don't happen on a calm sunny day - they almost always happen at the worst possible moment.  If she had gone overboard, even on her tether, I would have been faced with a man overboard incident while roaring down on a lee shore with the sails still up, singlehanded.  Oh yeah, and the water was lethally cold.

    Yeah, it scared the daylights out of me.
What tools do you keep aboard?
  • All of 'em.  No, really.  It's a fetish that Jane has to live with, but we have enough tools aboard Eolian to handle just about any eventuality, short of a complete engine rebuild, maybe.  He who dies with the most tools, wins, right?  And besides it is a two-way street: I have to live with Jane's shoes.
What has been your most satisfying sailing accomplishment?
  • I think I would award this to out trip to Desolation Sound.  We were off the dock (off any dock) for more than 30 days, a simulated trip to the Marquesas, but without the warm water.  The only thing we ran out of was stowage for garbage.
How has your sailing life changed you?
  • We have been sailing since 1972... it is difficult to remember a time before sail. Surely there were changes as a result - was there a time when we did not worry when the winds went above 25 kt?  Certainly there must have been.
Are you sailing your perfect boat?  if not, what would you change?
  • For us, Eolian is the perfect boat. She is the fourth boat we have owned, each successively longer (of course), and the ballast in each outweighing the entire previous boat. For the kind of cruising we do, I cannot imagine a boat better suited to us.
Link your most popular blog post.
  • As you might expect, this changes over time; the current favorite is this one.
Link your personal favourite blog post.
  • To date, there have been 510 posts on this blog, nearly all of 'em by our contributors.  No way am I going to show favortism by singling out one of our authors.  But so that the question doesn't go unanswered, I'll link to one of my favorite posts on a blog that I do write: here.
Now for the second part...

OK all you contributors, here is your challenge.  Please supply at least one nominee, and at least one question that that nominee will have to answer.  You can do this in a comment, or via email (to smallboatprojects at gmail dot com) if you do not want your response to be made public.  I will compile the nominees and pick the top 3-5 (11?) of them, and I will compile the question list from those you supply.  Then I will make a second post with the Liebster response.

OK - it's your turn... you're up.

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