De Vliegende Hollander

At the end of the most recent episode in this sorry tale, the boat’s captain Roy and I were sitting on a 50-foot sailboat, watching the first light of dawn strengthen. Overnight, we had just finished successfully offloading ten thousand pounds (4,500 kg) of foil-wrapped compressed one-kilo bricks of Thailand’s finest herb. Block by block,…

The Eagle Has Landed

It was late afternoon. After three and a half months at sea from Manila to California, we were due to offload twelve thousand pounds of Thailand herbal matter on the coast a ways north of San Francisco that very night. We were running a little behind time because the wind had died off a bit…

White With A Red Stripe

For those not familiar with my tale of aquatic lunacy, so far it has gone from Hong Kong to Manila, the South China Sea, Thailand, the Pacific Ocean, and mid-Pacific with a side trip through a dolphin party. And finally, we’re approaching the US. A non-stop cargo sailboat trip from Manila to Thailand, then back past the Philippines and across the entire Pacific…

Rumors Of Dragons

This voyage so far has encompassed Hong Kong, Manila, the South China Sea, Thailand, the Pacific Ocean, and mid-Pacific with lots of miles still ahead of us. We’re in a fifty foot (15m) gaff-rigged staysail schooner, a tub of a sailboat. Up north of Hawaii, we got caught up in the tail end of a disintegrating…

Terminator Winds

When last heard from, your obedient servant was on a sailboat somewhere in the mid-North Pacific Ocean, a boat with a busted engine that was loaded top to bottom with twelve thousand pounds of illegality. We’d already been a month and a half crossing and recrossing the South China Sea without touching land when we…

Shades Of Blue

The sea drives truth into a man like salt. Hilaire Belloc. I wrote last time the latest of a string of posts about how I ended up in a sailboat without a motor just leaving the passage between Taiwan and the Philippines, headed across the entire Pacific Ocean for California with the boat totally stuffed with twelve…

Loaded And Overloaded

With Hong Kong, the Philippines, and the Sea of Waterspouts behind us, when we left off the previous section of the story it was dawn offshore of the island of Ko Samui, Thailand. We were on a tubby fifty-foot (fifteen metre) wooden sailboat. Opposite us, there was an eighty-foot (twenty-four metre) ugly Thai fishing boat, with a bunch of…