One winter, three friends and I resolved to meet in south Florida, find a derelict sailboat,
fix it up, and sail off into the Caribbean. Hold Fast is a "video zine" about our trip: both
the story of being broke while repairing a completely wrecked boat in Ft. Lauderdale, as well
as the story of what we learned about sailing as we inched across the ocean towards Haiti.
I was back in the Bay Area again, squatting an Emeryville warehouse with all the free space that
I'd ever dreamed of, having gone from three boats to none. After owning a share of a 55'
tripple-masted schooner, then a couple of 30' sloops, and now nothing, I was in serious danger of
somehow accumulating another boat. I decided that I'd learn from my mistakes, and that what I really
wanted was something very small. Maybe 12 or 13 feet.
These days, it's possible to buy a compact GPS receiver for less than a sextant. No bulky sight
reduction tables or nautical almanacs are required, you can determine your location instantly, and some
will even plot your course on an electronic map. With that kind of technology available, it might seem
like a waste of time to read a pamphlet on celestial navigation. What's the point, anyway?
This is a sort of 'Cruising Guide' to free anchorages along the California coast -- specifically for
those of us who do not identify as cruisers. Most cruising guides are not written for us, and instead
include information on where to find comfortable slips at harbor or good shopping malls on shore.
Sitting at the tiller is exhausting. It requires constant attention, minor adjustments, and
absolute focus. Without self-steering, the single-handed sailor gets no relief while under way —
and any relief that might come while hove-to is accompanied by the haunting knowledge that distance
gained while sitting at the tiller is now being lost. Even with a crew, self-steering gives everyone
more time to lay around together, talk without distraction, play chess, cook, etc.
Currents Against Us
aims to document what adventures and projects we find ourselves in, with hopes that it will generate more sub-culture around our efforts, and therefore more community.
The Blue Anarchy mailing list is a way for all of us anarchist sailors, fellow travelers, and pirate-well
wishers to coordinate our plans and help each-other.