A Foray into the Fast Unknown

Ganymede: a heavy, full-keel, gaff-rigged cutter. It has probably become obvious to the alert reader that I’m partial to full-keel, ...

A Synthetic Rigging Upgrade: Vectran to Dyneema

Ganymede sailing hard with synthetic rigging. Masthead with soft attachments and the Lashing Tang When we first rigged Ganymede’s light-pole ...

Refit and Relaunch

Picking Ganymede up with an hydraulic trailer Launching by trailer at a public launch ramp in Bristol The surest way ...

Believe in the Method

The beginning of the method And if I haven’t had time to update this blog lately, dear Reader: be comforted! ...

Winterin’

For the enthusiastic boater, that last little bit of autumn when the daytime temperature still gets above fifty degrees is ...
Greenland Fjord

Returning to Normal?

The Arctic is not most people's "normal" I wondered, as Polar Sun rolled downwind across the Beaufort Sea along the ...

The Final Push is Half the Battle.

Gjoa Haven, on King WIllian Island, Nunavut. It was as if the world had run out of interesting, that week ...

A Farewell to Ice

Hanging out in Pasley Bay We weren’t expecting to get out of Pasley Bay on our last day there, and ...

Foolish, Careless, or Unlucky?

Pack ice approaching Pasley Bay. “Well,” we thought. “Here we are again!” I’m talking, of course, about the south arm ...

Farthest North

Beechey Island, at 74 1/2 degrees North latitude. It was cold as Polar Sun motored at length into the spacious ...

Managed Expectations

Crossing Baffin Bay from Greenland to Baffin Island. The tricky thing about expectations is that no matter how well you ...

The Treasures of the Snow

The Icefjord I'm about to talk about. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time in Aasiaat. To begin with, ...

Into the Arctic

Nuuk is very lovely when the weather's good... Nothing I had ever read or heard had led me to believe ...

Late Nights and Big Crossings

Red Bay, Labrador It was supposed to be an easy run from Flowers Cove, Newfoundland, to Chateau Bay, Labrador: gentle ...

Leaving with Regret

Cruising Newfoundland with the family some years back. There have been, in the nearly thirty years that I’ve been cruising, ...

Sailing for Greenland

Polar Sun, a Stevens 47, enroute to Greenland For nearly a year before this trip began, neither Mark nor I ...

When Time is Short

Breadboat on a trailer A test-row on Psammead. When only a few weeks were left before my departure for a ...

Preparing for the Unknown

Ganymede's cabin getting stowed and sorted for a voyage to the tropics. Once there, all you need is bare feet ...

Winter’s Final Bite

The final blow to the canopy, after the snow receded. I mentioned, a few posts back, the ill-fated bow shed ...

Invention’s Other Mother

Adapting a bracket for the windvane while at anchor One of the reasons that the old saw about necessity being ...

Catching up Some More

Ganymede uncovered in winter In a huge departure from my normal practice of letting everyone forget I even have a ...

Catching Up

A half dozen or so blog posts back, before getting distracted by the tiny schooner Pshrimp, I hinted at a ...

All You Can Really Want

View from Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire For about a week after the first failed launch of Pshrimp that I ...

The “P” is Psilent

Emily paints Pshrimp's name on It happens, from time to time, that an alert reader or acquaintance will express wonder ...

A Paper Trail for a Plywood Boat

Spring, where we live, always comes in fits and starts. Last month I wore shorts to work; two days later ...

A Season for Not Much

February in New England When King Solomon famously said that there is a season for everything, he obviously had not ...

A Man’s Home is His Boatyard

A tiny schooner, a canopy, and a dinghy. Of all the advantages of owning a decent-sized property rather than renting ...

Feeling Technical

When I pitched the idea of a series of boatbuilding articles to Cruising World magazine fourteen years ago, I sent ...

Casting Bread on the Waters

What goes around comes around, they say. I little imagined, when I gave away my first cruising boat more than ...

Post in the Time of Pandemic

I had hoped, while writing the last blog post, that by the time I wrote this next one the whole ...

Nothing to Blog About

For the last, oh, more than a year now, the realization has been growing that it’s been a long time ...

A Seafaring State of Mind

Life—at least mine—seems to come in phases. There are seasons when it feels like all I do is grind itchy ...

A Navigation Experiment

After spending only half the winter grinding fiberglass in the boat shop I mentioned in my last post, my full-time ...

Always Just a Little More

And if I haven’t blogged all winter, it’s mostly because, unlike last winter when I had plenty of time to ...
Coracle in the Kickemuit: center of excellence

Will There Be A Mad Cow?

My wife Danielle and I have been married for quite some time. How long exactly I can’t say—no doubt my ...

A Sailing Bonanza

Every once in a while, the changing tides of life and work leave me not with a mountain of things ...

Ready for Summer in Time for Fall

With the coming of summer, and having the dinghy project wrapped up, I was finally free to turn to a ...

Working Outside Again

Of all the benefits of warm weather, being able to work outside is one of the finest—having the dinghy twenty ...

A Little Breather….Cloth

While I was willing, as the last blog post illustrates, to paint in almost all conditions in order to get ...

The Most Pessimistic Painter

There was a delay of some weeks in working further on the dinghy, since Ganymede needed to be finished and ...

No Regard For Tradition

With the buffing to shiny of the dinghy plug, which is where the last blog post left her, things could ...

A Red-Letter Occasion?

It is telling, perhaps, of how uninteresting sanding is, that every time you get to move from one grit to ...

A Sandwich of Affliction

There seem to be three choices open to the person who finds he keeps needing to do something completely repugnant ...

Late to Supper

Given the severity of the last several winters, I had never imagined that it would be possible to do fiberglass ...
An impromptu post-curing oven.

A Whole Lotta Boat Building

It was pretty agonizing, trying to decide whether to make any modifications to Ganymede's cockpit geometry. I mean, since I'm ...
Children in the boatyard

Interesting Times?

It's the dead of winter again, and with all my rigging projects wrapped up till spring comissioning time, I have ...

Never Say Never

Some years ago, when nearing the completion of our home-finished boat, I testified in a magazine article that once I ...

Too Hot to Think

I'd like to say (and think) that the reason I haven't written a blog post all summer is because I ...

A Good Job to Have

When I became captain  of an 80-foot sailing schooner roughly one year ago, I really didn't want too much more ...

Plumbing Implausible

A couple of blog postings ago I promised you, my readers, details on Ganymede's new plumbing setup. This will probably ...
Sailboat Rigging: Toggle in use.

Taking Time to Tinker

One of the things I almost regretted giving up when we went cruising was a workshop—a place to fiddle about ...
2016 Winter in Bristol

In short, what winter ought to be like.

After the dreadful hue and cry of the past three winters, each marked by some extraordinary extreme—whether violent gales, or ...
Carbon fiber gaff jaws

Activity is a Virtue

I had reproached myself on more than one occasion last winter for leaving Ganymede in the water rather than hauling ...
Making the best of that pesky sheet

Keep On Sailing

Ever since our move ashore, the care and upkeep of Ganymede has been necessarily pushed to the back burner. It ...

The Zartman Nautical Depository

One of the best parts of preparing for a cruise on Ganymede (and on Capella before her), was the day ...

In For a Penny, In For a Pound

One of the advantages of living and working in a boatbuilding town is that you’re surrounded by boatbuilders, and boatbuilding ...
A porthole's perspective of the anchorage at sunset.

Captains Outrageous

Sailing season has returned to New England again, and is quickly going into full swing. There’s nothing like the strong ...
Regalvanized Anchor

Improving, Maintaining, Re-inventing

It seems pretty cliché to say that winter seemed long—no doubt every winter in every generation has seemed long, especially ...
Snowy Splicing Days

Throwing Caution to the Winds

It is, by all appearances, the dead of winter. There’s piles of snow all around—not as big as when we ...
Ganymede Under Full Sail

Precautionary Maintenance and General Purging

There are few things more satisfying to my seafaring soul than periodically emptying the boat of EVERYTHING and giving her ...
Salty Sailor

Abednego Marine

One of the pitfalls of reading too many books in your youth is that you’ll go into situations with preconceived ...
Halyard Toggle Shackle

The Day of Small Beginnings

One of the hardest things about setting out cruising five years ago was closing down the business I had created, ...
Ganymede sailing in Narragansett Bay

Civilized Yachting, or, The Benefits of Dry Saltines

One would think that having a job where you spent twelve hours a day sailing would leave you ready to ...
Kids Climb High

The Genie of the Lamps

Even though it’s happening more and more often, it doesn’t fail to astonish me whenever I get an email from ...

Multiplied Exponentially

Going to captain’s license school is kind of like getting a college degree in English: it’s absolutely useless for any ...
Headlamps

Chimney Chronicles

For the nearly five years that we’ve been living full-time aboard Ganymede, our lighting situation has been a never-ending saga ...
Newport Harbor Anchorage

The Root of all Evil

Inevitably, the arrival of spring in Newport heralds the arrival of boats—boats by the hundred, flocking to the sailing capital ...
Schooner Mystic Whaler

Why is a Schooner?

For as long as I can remember there has been a story of how the particular sort of boat known ...
Timeless Navigation Equipment

Seamanship Undefined

There’s a lot of talk, in online forums, on blogs, and in magazines, about what exactly constitutes ‘Good Seamanship’. For ...
Easton's Beach

Spring into Action

We had begun to despair, some of us, that spring would ever arrive. As the season advanced into what should ...
The Perfect Cruising Boat

The Perfect Cruising Boat

Every so often, an aspiring seafarer will log into an internet sailing forum and ask, “Exactly what is the perfect ...
Mold Waxing

Building Boats Again

What do sailors do when they come ashore? Build boats, of course. When Ganymede launched, three years after construction began, ...

No Metric Equivalent

I saw one time, at a museum in Virginia, a curious watch with only ten hours marked on the dial ...

Now What? How to Become Landlubbers Again

The worst thing for me about taking a break from cruising is having to find a job. Not the job ...

Not A Day Too Soon

As we had struggled up the St Lawrence River and down the canal systems toward the Hudson river, discussion of ...
One lock upstream of the Hudson River, northbound boats have a choice.

All in a Rush in New York

They say that one can get used to almost anything, if done often enough. I wasn’t so sure of that ...

Another Place on the List

Our last day in Canadian waters began with a bang; a series of bangs actually, as the first grey light ...
Mast Tabernacle

Over The Hump

“No worries,” I had been telling everyone for the last month—everyone who had pointed out that to go through the ...
Quebec Yacht Club

Almost There: Home Stretch on the Unrelenting River

The charts we bought in Newfoundland for the St Lawrence River have a neat feature: a letter inside a little ...
Rimouski and Quebec Flags

Hope Deferred, and Hope Again

Matane, Quebec, is on the south shore of the St Lawrence River just at the edge of where it narrows ...
Dewdrops at Dawn.

Aurora Borealis Cruising

I’ve never been good at reading tide tables—not because I can’t muddle out an answer from them, but because my ...

Looking Back

It seems a shame to break the flow of narrative as succesive blog postings take you with us from faraway ...

The Race Begins at the End of the Road

Natashquan, Quebec, was until very recently the literal end of the road. Though it now goes a few miles further ...
Washicouti Bay

Milestones and Obstacles

There was ice on Ganymede’s decks the morning we left Harrington Harbor. No surprise—it had been chilly enough to have ...
La Tabatiere

Living History in La Tabatiere

La Tabatiere, which evidently comes from a French word meaning “The Tabatiere,” is the hub of the outport settlements between ...
mossy ground cover

The Windy Wilds of Quebec

Our first stop in the province of Quebec, at a little place called La Falaise, was all among rocky islands ...
Petit Rigolet

The Last of Everything

“Dig out some more rice while you’re down there,” I called, upending the last little bit out of the ready ...

The End of Newfoundland

The very top of the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, at almost 52 degrees of North latitude, is a chilly place ...
St. Anthony's whale watching trail

Quirpon is pronounced “Cahr-poon”

St Anthony, Newfoundland, was not an unpleasant place to spend a week. There were two decent grocery stores, a public ...
Spotty Point Trail

Turkey Necks in Fleur-de-Lys

La Scie, just on the north side of Cape John, is the first of the old French fishing ports encountered ...
Exploits

Where North is Down

We were talking about Labrador, a local and I, and I asked him whether a place was further up along ...
Twillingate water tower.

Noseworthy for Mayor

At first, Twilingate appeared to brim with promise. Negociating the approach channel we saw the back of a Foodland supermarket ...
Fogo Settlement

Fogo Finally

Blown Away in Lumsden It blew near-gale or gale force four out of the five days we were at Lumsden ...
Lumsden Wharf

Lumsden Days

Berry Bounties Ganymede likes what every sailboat does; give her a wind just forward of the beam, a little more ...
Ireland's Eye, Newfoundland

Are We in Narnia?

The north coast of Newfoundland is indented by three or four deep bays, each full of islands, fjords, tickles and ...
Atlantic Vista

What a Perlican Isn’t

Puzzled in Old Perlican It was our first stop after leaving St John’s—a small, crowded harbor, very busy, and full ...
St. John's Harbor

Turning the Corner

One feels like a chump, almost, motoring through a calm with storm canvas up, but it had seemed prudent, given ...
Fermeuse Boatyard

Current Collision at Cape Race

We had been sailing through heavy fog for two days as we approached Trepassey harbor, helped along for the last ...

Time to See the Sea

To the very end, I think, we did our utmost toward the big transatlantic plan. Rushing through Nova Scotia and ...
St. Pierre cemetery

A Little Slice of France

Summer, it seems, has arrived at last here in the middle north, and we got a beautiful weather window to ...
Bras D'or tides

The Bras D’or Lakes lead us to Dragon Boats in Sydney

We had arrived in Canso with a slight feeling of urgency. Originally we had hoped to be sailing across the ...

Tickled in Canso Bay, NS

In winter I get up at night And dress by yellow candlelight. In summer, quite the other way, I have ...

Halifax to Weather

At the tail end of the weather forecast on the VHF radio, the only sort we can pick up on ...
portable water tanks

Lunenburg Hospitality

Lunenburg proved everything we could wish in the way of amenities. Two grocery stores, a big hardware store, laundromat, library, ...
Nova Scotia sun hat

From Shelburne, NS to the Caribbean?

Shelburne, NS is a good harbor, in spite of a local Katabatic-sort of wind effect, where every afternoon we were ...
Grilling in the fog

Sailing around Cape Sable

The wind finally laid down in Provincetown, though not until it had gotten really ugly, with Ganymede bucketing in three-foot ...
Watching the Cape Cod Canal go by

Passage to Provincetown

When I am in my ship, I see The other ships go sailing by. A sailor leans and calls to ...
linseed oil

Ready or not?

“Ready to go yet?” I heard the question over and over today. Fair enough—we’ve been ‘getting ready to cruise’ ever ...
Ganymede's bulwark planking

Cruising Provisions and Preparatory Projects

I’d like to say that we’ve accomplished much in the week and a half since Ganymede relaunched and we returned ...
Ganymede's lettering and fresh paint

Ganymede’s Haulout

Just Like Old Times After spending two days working on Ganymede’s outboard engine, trying to get gasoline through the fuel ...
kids with knives

Ganymede out of her Winter Coccoon

And if the morning begins inauspiciously, should you still carry on with the plan? That was the big question Saturday, ...
Ganymede's Kitchen Sink

Ganymede’s Non-systems

Six Simple Alternatives to Common Cruising Clutter As we prepare Ganymede to head off on the next and biggest leg ...
hand colored charts

Ganymede’s winter turns to spring

It has been the longest, coldest winter Ganymede has ever seen—rightly so, since it’s our first in these northern parts, ...
cling-wrap on charts and cruising guides

Welcome to the Zartman cruising blog

Welcome to Zartman Cruising, the blog with which we hope more fully to chronicle our family’s sailing adventures, with all ...
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