Back around 2009 former Sailnet Moderator CruisingDad introduced this thread so that everyone knew who the moderators are. It has gotten updated from time to time but here is who we currently are......
Who am I? Well, I am an architect (buildings) with my own practice in Annapolis, Maryland. I have a masters degree in Architectural Structures which is an architectural degree that is more heavily engineering biased than the average garden variety architectural degree.
A maintenance Day on 'Synergy'
I have some informal training as a yacht designer and have designed and built a few boats, and worked for naval architects and yacht designers at different times in my life, BUT I do not consider myself a professional yacht designer. I have also worked in boat yards and as a consultant to boatyard owners, designing repairs and alterations to yachts. My mother had two companies that built and imported boats from Taiwan, which gave me a lot of insights into the boat building industry.
I first started sailing in 1961 and more or less have sailed ever since. In 1963 or 1964, a family friend went sailing with my dad and I and wanted to take a picture of our boat under sail. The picture below is one of his that was taken that day, with my Dad steering and me trimming the genoa.
[IMG]https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...cb7deeb2_b.jpgWindrift 1963-64_001 by jeff_halp, on Flickr[/IMG]
When we put our friend on the fuel barge to take the pictures, my dad let me bring the boat into the dock for the very first time. Our friend snapped this picture of me during that maneuver looking at the closing gap between the boat and the dock. I was probably somewhere between 12 and 14.
[IMG]https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...4322193f_b.jpgJeff Sailing as a 12 year old by jeff_halp, on Flickr[/IMG]
I enjoy most types of sailing. I currently sail on the Chesapeake Bay but have sailed on much of the U.S. Atlantic coast. In a given year, I typically will daysail, race (both my own boat and other people’s boats), and cruise (both my own boat and other people’s boats) and can be out on the water as many as 100 days a year. I do a lot of single-handing. While I have cruised offshore, I strongly prefer coastal cruising. While I have raced dinghies and very high performance boats, I prefer racing 22 to 40 foot keelboats. I have owned wooden boats and enjoy sailing on traditional watercraft. These days I prefer to own modern performance cruisers.
'Synergy' Hardening up onto a close reach.
In a general sense, I have a preferences for boats that perform well, and that offer excellent sailing capabilities (performance, ease of handling, comfort, and seaworthiness) across a wide range of conditions. I pick a boat based on how she sails with all the rest being negotiable. I really am not a fan of ‘heavy weight offshore boats’. (Duh!)
I currently own a Farr 38 (Farr 11.6) which I daysail, race and cruise single-hand. The Farr 11.6's are hard to classify boats and not exactly your normal off-the-rack cruising boat or racing boat. They were built as fast offshore cruisers but have had a very successful racing record. They also have a remarkable record as short-handed offshore cruisers. My boat was single-handed into the States from Cape Town, South Africa.
Synergy beating out of Maryland Yacht Club after a SailNet rendezvous.
I have owned over a dozen boats with family members owning over a dozen more. I race on a variety of boats over the course of the year and sometimes help out with deliveries, or help a new owner ‘sort out’ a boat that is new to them. I also like sailing up to boats from astern and observing their sailing abilities, meaning relative speed, stability, leeway, and motion. All of that combined gives me a relative sense of how boats are built and how they sail.
Synergy hardening up onto a beat in building breeze.
Many of my friends are yacht designers, sailmakers, and marine surveyors who also give me an inside track when I am researching a topic.
And since I posted this in April 2009, I have gotten married to my lovely wife Barbara, who makes me smile, makes me laugh, and makes me think, but not ncessarily all at the same time.
My lovely bride, Barbara and I
That is who I am. Now how I ended up as a moderator on SailNet is another story but for another day......
Donna pointed out that newest of the photos above is from June of 2010 so here are some more recent photos taken in September 2018:
https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1926/...ff3076d3_o.jpgJeff Sailing-3 September 2018 by jeff_halp
This is me sailing while doing my best Young (Dr.)Frankenstein imitation.
And then a short distance further.
https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1920/...9e41b10a_o.jpgJeff Sailing September 2018 by jeff_halp,
This was taken this year (2019) racing on Skybird, a Tartan 101 with wind in my hair, a smile on my face, and a song in my heart:
[IMG]https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...be31f81c_z.jpgJeff Sailing on Skybird 2019 by jeff_halp, on Flickr[/IMG]
I confess I always feel like something of an imposter when I'm lined up alongside the others but here you go.
I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. My mother, English, my father Australian of Irish American stock. Great great great Grandfather was a sailor from Boston Mass, probably a whaler, who washed up in Sydney early in the 19th century. My earliest ancestor in Australia was an Irish convict who was transported to NSW in the late 18th century.
Lived most of my life in the harbourside suburbs of Drummoyne and Balmain and spent large chunks of my early years on or about the water, but not sailing. To be honest I was more interested in exploring the waterways of Port Jackson, Broken Bay and Port Hacking than I was in the choice of propulsion system.
In my mid twenties I discovered sail. First on an old skiff that I bought for next to nothing and on which I muddled about Sydney Harbour, seemingly spending as much time capsized as upright. Later I replaced that with a hulk of a 22' timber sloop that was still a work in progress when I sold her and bought a 28' Northerner sloop. The Northerner was an Australian production sloop of the 60s, modelled on the Herreschoff 28. She was a good boat but a financial calamity saw me unable to afford her upkeep and she went to a new home.
I was without a boat for many years after that, but eventually we bought Raven a steel Van de Stadt 34 sloop and later still Kukka, a Malo 39 Classic. The Wombet and I spend as much time as we can manage around Sydney Harbour and locales north and south of Sydney. We derive as much pleasure from a quiet weekend spent at anchor as we do sailing. Our preference for a sail is to head ouside the harbour, away from the madding crowds.
I've not done a lot of offshore stuff. Crewed across the top of Australia many years ago but that's about as far offshore as I've been. I must admit I do love being out of sight of land for days on end but I've never experienced any really bad weather , just a few tropical squalls, so I've only really seen the good.
Meet the Mods
I suppose since I’m still a moderator after five years, the others decided to keep me around so I should update my post.
Let me clear up a few things first: 1) My initials are D and R. I am not a doctor and 2) I am a female. Really. Sorry to those who spent time in the chat with me thinking they were talking to a man.
I started boating around 1999-ish. I was already kayaking (touring) and at some point I made up my mind to learn how to operate larger boats. No lightning hit, no AH HA moment flashed, I just drifted into the thought. I didn’t know whether it would be power boats or sailboats. A guy I knew took me offshore on his powerboat so I could see what that was like. Meh. It was fun, but my world wasn’t rocked. I wasn’t as interested in the boat as I was the ocean around me. When we returned to his dock he spent a good bit of time adjusting his dock lines to account for the tide. Now THAT intrigued me.
My next step was to take a United States Power and Sail Squadron (USPSS) boating course. I loved all nine weeks of it. The instructors were engaging and helpful. There was a group of USPSS members sitting in the back of the auditorium and they were introduced as the sailors. The instructor’s tone implied that they inhabited a culture all their own. I wanted to be them.
Near that time I also thought about joining the reserves. I was interested in either the Navy or the U.S. Coast Guard. Unfortunately, I discovered that I was too old. That’s when I discovered the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Auxiliary is the volunteer part of Team Coast Guard. Cool. I had a history of volunteering: ten years with American Red Cross Disaster Services, ten years with a land SAR team (I started their swift water rescue unit), various other organizations. The Auxiliary seemed like a natural fit so I joined. Since 2000 I’ve been an Auxiliary boating safety instructor, member training instructor, and coxswain.
When I started kayaking, took scuba lessons, water and ice rescue training and then sailing lessons my parents wondered what motivated me. But I started swimming before I could walk so the water is what I love.
Today I volunteer with other boating organizations such as the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) where I am their Rock Hall, MD Cruising Station and through one of the sail clubs we belong to, I am a delegate and board member of the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Clubs Association (CBYCA). Update: John and I now belong to Cruising Association based in the UK and are full members of Ocean Cruising Club.
My first sailboat was a 1972 Venture 2-22 with a barely working Tohatsu outboard. I found the boat for sale on the front lawn of an RV dealership near my home. I asked an experienced Auxiliary member to look at it and see if it would at least float. He crawled in and around it, gave the thumbs up, I wrote the check, and I hauled it home. I had never towed anything in my life so thank goodness I live in the country.
I bought how to books which was the start of my sailing library. My father helped with the woodworking as he was a carpenter and had a garage full of tools, oils, varnishes, and wood scraps. I spent many a summer evening after work and weekends listening to jazz while I scrubbed, scraped, removed, painted, fiberglassed, and generally gutted the boat from the inside out. Big materials fail: while the mahogany rudder my father copied from the original looked awesome, it’s HEAVY. But, my father made it for me and I don’t regret it. Besides, the boat had not yet left my driveway so I wasn’t at the point where “performance” was part of my sailing vocabulary.
Then I got to the electrical system. I bought a book, of course. A week into reading it and wondering if I’d turn the boat into a ball of fire on the water, I was introduced to John, a former electrician’s mate in the Coast Guard. Instead of courting me with flowers and fancy restaurants he offered to re-wire the boat. KEEPER!
Six months after my parents, John, and I towed the boat to Rock Hall, MD to its new home in a slip, my father died of lung cancer. Before he was diagnosed I asked him if he was going to sail with me. His response was that while he had fun working on the boat, he was not setting foot on a boat where he had to depend on wind to get him back to the dock. He had dragged home his own derelict boat to work on, a powerboat. My father had also joined the Auxiliary so we had some fun times and I have great memories.
John and I sailed the Venture for two seasons before deciding that we were tired of stooping in the cabin and wanted a boat with more comfort and range. We gave the Venture away to a couple that took one of my sailing classes and who I knew had the skills to keep it up. He is a carpenter, she is an accountant. All bases covered. We’ve since become friends.
There are a few things that I always tell my students during the first class:
Always carry a notebook. Sailors always have information they like to share. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but write it down so you don’t forget and can investigate further later. Besides, you’ll kick yourself for not writing down that potential nugget when you had the chance.
Never think you’ve learned everything there is to know about sailing and sailboats. There is always more. It’s kind of like getting to the end of the Internet: It won’t happen unless you’ve closed your mind off to new information. I’ve learned from novices asking questions, from an old sailor with experience to spare, from books, from people in this forum.
Now John and I are several years into owning a 1980 Catalina 30 and I have started our Next Boat research. We love Halcyon and it is perfect for Chesapeake Bay and coastal sailing. We sail frequently with friends and family. My now 82-year old mother has become the perfect boat ballast, er, guest: she doesn’t get nervous sailing in heavy weather (pops her head out of the cabin every so often to make sure neither of us has fallen overboard), sleeps better on the boat than at home, and is willing to go anywhere. During her first sail when she claimed her cockpit seat, she quickly hosed my idea that she’d be our galley wench when on board but, oh well.
John and I did our first charter in 2012 and fell in love with the British Virgin Islands. We had made a goal to return as often as possible. We also have offshore plans (Caribbean and the eastern coast of South America) for the Next Boat. Update: Since I wrote my original post John and I have returned to the Caribbean several times to charter. We've also sailed offshore from Annapolis, MD (in January scraping ice and snow of the dock and deck) to the Virgin Islands via the Atlantic Superhighway: Head to the 65th meridian and turn right until you hit an island. Our offshore plans on Next Boat have changed to start with Grey Goose Island in the Hudson Bay (drink a shot of Grey Goose vodka and get the hell out because: cold) and Tristan da Cunha in the south Atlantic. The latter was a challenge issued by a retired British Navy captain with whom I had too much to drink. We decided that Next Boat will be a Malo in the 40-42 foot range.
I work in IT and John does industrial calibrations and electrical work. Our jobs keep the boat floating and good food and beverages in the galley but unfortunately our vacation time doesn’t allow for a lot of weeks away. We live in southeastern Pennsylvania with a two-hour drive to the boat.
Being a SailNet moderator has been fun but not without its challenges. Just like real life. There are many different personalities in this forum who don’t always get along but for the most part try to respect each other. Almost like real life. My forum mantra is: Attack the idea, not the person. My sailing mantra is: Be safe, have fun, make friends.
Darn. I left no room for pictures. Again.
Re: Meet the Mods
Donna and Jeff let me know I should probably post something here. I'll give it my best shot, as I'm not one for words. Let me know if I should add something else here :)
I currently live in West Virginia, and have been here for nine years. Before that I spent ten years in Maryland near DC. I've lived all over the US, except the Pacific NW and New England. Honestly, this area is probably my favorite. We get four seasons, rolling hills, fall colors, and the Chesapeake, either in my backyard or a couple hours' drive away.
After spending four years working on an ambulance, I became a Critical Care nurse, and have now been one for ten years. Time flies! While this job affords some flexibility (I only work three days a week, sometimes four), I work every other weekend which gets in the way of sailing with my wife. She has a normal 9-5 job, and it's not unusual to have only three or four days off together during a month.
Speaking of sailing - this year is the first I've been able to get on the water with my own boat! But backing up about thirty years, when I was young my dad had a Catalina 22 near Houston. Some of my earliest memories were on that boat - my blue PFD, catching a catfish with my kid-size rod and reel, and being put below when the weather got rough. It was rough weather that convinced my mom to stop sailing - and I don't think she's been on a sailboat in three decades now. My dad still loves to sail, and my new (to me) boat has helped rekindle that love for him.
A very generous friend gave me a 1980 Laguna Windrose 22 on a trailer so I could get started sailing. I will be eternally grateful to him for giving my wife and me the freedom of time on the water, and the opportunity to learn about boat maintenance. This has been a bit of a "project boat" in a good way. From rewiring the mast, to replacing the ports, to fiberglass work, to leak hunting - I've enjoyed every minute of being contorted in various places in the boat. This year we've spent a few nights on the boat, on the Severn so far, and hopefully the Magothy later this week.
I wouldn't be sailing right now if it weren't for @chucklesR , who was kind enough to be a wonderful friend and teach me a lot about sailing. Now he's living my long-term goal of living aboard and traveling around the country (and farther?).
@Donna_F and John have been a pivotal influence as well. In 2016 we spent 10 days in the British Virgin Islands on a charter together, and the sailing bug bit hard. The trip opened my wife's eyes up to the experiences that can be had sailing. Now I don't need to convince her that this is a life we can live. We're planning our future to include a boat large enough to travel for months on end.
SailNet has been such a source of knowledge, information, and friendship. I'm looking forward to maintaining this wonderful place as a welcoming port for new sailors and old salts alike. Mostly, I've been a lurker, but I hope with more experience on the water that I will make meaningful contributions. Thanks for the opportunity to be your Mod!
Re: Meet the Mods
Being Australian we know 2 things: Drinking and the water.
I was born in Adelaide, South Australia. In my room I could hear the waves breaking on the beach outside.
In Sydney at 12 we hit the harbour in my Dads Endeavour 26. We raced Saturdays in the big boat, Sundays in the club Moth skiffs and Fridays nights in the beer can social, all year round. 16 or 17 in another boat we were 2nd in the IOR ¼ Ton Worlds, 3 crew, me on the foredeck. Then it was offshore doing everything up and down the Australian east coast where the waves are big and we learned to heave over the side while changing sails in storms at night.
Bit of a gap as work reality hit until 1993 sabbatical saw Turkey for a few months instructing a German guy how to sail and cruise.
1998 raced from Ashkelon, Israel through the Mediterranean, Palma, Lisbon, Canaries. Raced as Mate of a Swan 651 from Canaries to Brazil and Argentina.
Then went back to work till I chucked it in early 2008 few to the Caribbean bought an ex-Sunsail Beneteau 393
https://ourlifeatsea.com/photos/sn1.jpg Sea Life in London 2019
From 2008 a west-about circumnavigation via Panama, Galapagos, Marquesas, Australia, Asia, Red Sea, Med, Atlantic back to Caribbean. Solo from Nice, France.
Last few years have been sliding between the Caribbean and the USA 3 times including 3 whole summers in New York, plus land travel including riding a bicycle 1000 miles/1,700 kms through the middle of the USA.
May 2017 headed to Europe last 2 winters in London and Summer in France, Belgium and Netherlands. Next summer, who knows?
My philosophy on life is to only do things that I enjoy and in a way I enjoy them.
Philosophy for sailing is to Go Now, Fix Later. To always have the boat ready to weigh anchor at 5 minutes notice to be offshore for at least a week. To do that the boat is always fully fuelled, provisioned (hard rations), water loaded, kit working.
Philosophy for Forums: By writing stuff down I reinforce it on my own mind. A forum needs to be super comfortable for people to say what they like honestly and in good humor and not to be hassled by those who do so without good faith.
As a new moderator here I am open to anyones thoughts or problems: If you are not enjoying it please sneak me a message and I will see if I can help.
P.S. Also tell me if I get grumpy. Life is about fun.
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