Tag Archives: Sailing

Expired Documentation!

  Our vessel is documented with the United States Coast Guard. Each year they mail out a renewal notice. One simply needs to sign the form and mail it back in order to receive a new document. Well I waited and waited for my renewal notice. It never arrived. Today I looked at our document and discovered that it expired two days ago. Doh!


  Looking for the correct phone number leads me through the myriad of governmental alphabet agencies. The US Government / Department of Homeland Security / National Vessel Documention Center (in West Virginia of all places). If you have an issue with your vessel documentation the number to call is 1-304-271-2400.

  I dialed and listened to a five minute recording that assured me my call was important. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and that they are short on staff at this time. Then I got the automated menu. I pushed “7” for documentation renewal questions. I listened to a little muzak, then finally got a nice lady on the line. I explained that I never received a renewal notice. She informed me that my documentation was expired. I already knew that. She quoted the fine print on the back of the document, “Renewal is the responsibility of the owner.” I already knew that. I wanted to comment on the fact that a division of DHS can’t even mail out a simple form on time, but bit my tongue. 

  She was quite helpful though. For five bucks I could pay the late fee and she would send over my form to the renewal department. I thought, “What? You aren’t in the renewal department?” Anyway, we settled the matter over the phone and hopefully I’ll get new paperwork sometime this year. 

  When we bought our vessel she flew a Canadian flag. If that were still the case she’d currently be an illegal alien vessel. Maybe we ought to hide out in the mangroves so the NSA can’t find us, at least until our new paperwork arrives.



  Lesson learned – You are responsible for renewing your documentation. Don’t wait until it’s too late to discover that the Coast Guard did not mail you a notice. You might be forced to hide out in the mangroves too. 


  For more adventures in liveaboard boating read Leap of Faith / Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat:



Planning Another Leap

   Forty months ago Kim and I left our old life behind. We sold everything we owned, bought a boat, and moved to paradise. It’s been a fantastic experience. We were chasing happiness and we found it aboard Leap of Faith, in SW Florida. Our boat, the Gulf Coast and the Keys, our life in the sun – all of it is more wonderful than we ever dreamed it could be. 


  Then I wrote a book. It was all down on big yellow legal pads, handwritten while on the beach or the back of the boat. I needed to type/format/etc. I needed to learn how to get a book published. I needed reliable internet. So after three glorious years at anchor, we returned to civilization and . . . Gasp . . . a marina. We’ve been tied to the slip for six months now. It’s my fault. I wrote and published two more books. I’ve networked and promoted and done radio interviews and became immersed in the world of publishing. It’s been exciting and rewarding. I’d do it all again, BUT – this life on/near land is killing us. 

  The people, the noise, and the drama are wearing away at our seafaring souls. Fortunately we have a plan. We still have dreams. We still have bucket list goals to achieve, places to go, things to see. Our first tropical destination that we want to check off our list is the Dry Tortugas. See those sailboats in the picture below? We are going to nudge right in amongst them with Leap of Faith.


 We’ll swing by Key West again and up the Keys. Then on to the Bahamas! I wish we could leave today. What’s stopping us?

Well it’s like this; we need to refill the cruising kitty. Book sales are going great, but the royalties are slow in coming. The big checks will just start to arrive in late April and May. All three books are going strong today so some level of future royalties is assured. We hope to have sufficient safe funding for another multi-year adventure by the Fall, or within the year at the very latest. In the meantime, the boat will undergo some upgrades in preparation. Crossing the open Gulf and east coast Gulf Stream are nothing to take lightly. Our first order of business is a new stove to replace our 34 year-old propane range. Then we’ll need new bottom paint before setting off. We’re going to need to replace our battery bank as well. It all costs money. 

  Just knowing that we have a plan, and that we won’t be stuck here permanently is heart-lifting. Soon we’ll start taking off for several days at a time just to escape. Pelican Bay awaits. The beach at Cayo Costa is calling our name. The Dry Tortugas and the Bahamas are out there in the distance, but we can see them. 

  Those books of mine are our ticket to paradise. If you haven’t read them all yet, please consider buying them today. 


The one that started it all is on sale for just 99 cents until sometime tomorrow.

It’s currently ranked #5 in Happiness and #10 in Social Sciences.




Book number two is still Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Boating after two months.





Book number three is currently Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Physical Impairments, and #19 in Pain Management.




Anyone who purchases any of these books is due a free drinking session aboard Leap of Faith. Where ever the wind blows and the sun comes up, that’s exactly where I’ll be.



The Rebel Heart Saga

  There has been a lot of media attention to the Kaufmann family this week. A young couple who lives aboard their sailboat and cruises the Pacific with two very young children had to be rescued when their vessel was disabled. 


Criticism galore from various major media and social media outlets – so many people bashing the life choices of this couple. “Taking those kids to sea was dangerous and stupid” they cry. Of course, non of these complainers are sailors or liveaboards. This couple has been living the life they chose for 7 years. They are not inexperienced. They happened to have a few children along the way. They chose to raise them without the dubious distractions of modern life on land. No video games, iPhones, malls, etc. It seemed a wonderful way to bring up a child too me. 

If you follow this couple either via their blog http://www.therebelheart.com/blog/ or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/svrebelheart

You’ll see loving parents exploring a fascinating world with small children. You’ll see a tight-knit family that is rare in today’s world. I’m appalled at some of the criticisms I’m reading about the whole affair, some from my friends. I did find one somewhat sympathetic article at the NY Times parenting blog: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/07/judge-the-rebel-heart-sailboat-parents-or-envy-them/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

There has also been a bit of a rally from the liveaboard community. For example here’s a call to action from Live Bloggin the ICW:



  I feel really bad for the Kaufmanns today. Not only have they lost their home, but they face the storm of nasty remarks regarding their parenting decisions. I’m sorry if you disagree, but I myself admire them and the life they have chosen. Modern society holds no good will towards children today. Fortunately they are all safe, and live to dream another day. Whatever they decide to do with their future, may good fortune find them. 


Poop, Booze, and Bikinis / One Month Anniversay

Wow, PB&B is still selling well. I continue to be amazed at it’s appeal. It was published on February 5, 2014 and immediately went to number one in Boating. It’s been a Hot New Release at Amazon in six different categories all month long.

As of today, March 5:

#1 in Boating

#1 in Watersports

#2 in Adventure

#4 in Specialty Travel

#16 in Travel

#21 in Sports

Thanks to all who have purchased and read Poop, Booze, and Bikinis. It’s been a great first month. 

If you haven’t picked up your copy yet . . . . 




Paperback Version of Poop, Booze, and Bikinis is Now Available

  That’s right, Amazon was very quick to publish once I approved the files. Sometime last night the paperback version became available. 

As of this afternoon it is already at number 10 in Boating. The Kindle version is still at number 1. On the Hot New Releases list, the Kindle version in number 1 and the paperback is number 3. 

I don’t even have any copies myself yet, but you can get yours at Amazon. The opening price was 8.88, but it’s already gone up to 8.99.

For those of you who would rather hold a real book in your hands, here it is:



Poop, Booze, and Bikinis (What’s it all about?)

The Kindle version of Poop, Booze, and Bikinis should be live at Amazon sometime tonight. What is it? I know, strange though somehow catchy title. For you non-boaters, you don’t realize how important poop management is to someone who lives on a boat. It’s a common topic of discussion amongst liveaboards. It’s get it’s own chapter and several more references throughout the book.

I suppose you can tell that this is not a serious piece of literature. It’s something I did for fun, and to hopefully make you laugh.


I radically changed my pricing philosophy this time. The first book, Leap of Faith / Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat, debuted at 6.99 for the Kindle version. This forced my friends to overpay. It sells now for 3.99, but was once discounted briefly to .99.

By starting off with the cheapest price possible, my friends and fans can grab the Kindle version cheap before the price goes up.

Paperback will take a bit longer to publish, but it’s in the works. 



  Ed Robinson’s first book, Leap of Faith / Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat, was an Amazon best seller in multiple categories. Now he’s back with this hilarious look at the nautical lifestyle. From Poop to Booze to Bikinis, he covers the funnier side of the issues encountered by boaters all of types. With chapters like Signs You Live on a Boat, Stupid People on Rental Equipment, and Zombies Can’t Swim, you’ll find plenty of laughs. There’s even a chapter for Tim Dorsey fans.

  If you are a liveaboard, cruiser, weekender, wannabe boater, have boating friends, or are just a fan of Ed Robinson’s wit, you will enjoy this light hearted romp through many maritime topics. 


Table of Contents:


  1.  Poop
  2.  Marinas Versus Anchorages
  3.  Booze
  4.  Bikinis
  5.  Marine Critters
  6.  Boats
  7.  Signs You Live On A Boat
  8.  Rum
  9.  Weather
  10.  Nekkid People
  11.   Deflatables
  12.   Tits, Pits, and Ass
  13.   Things I Love (About Living Aboard)
  14.   Things I Hate
  15.   S.P.O.R.E
  16.   True Nautical Terms
  17.   Zombies Can’t Swim
  18.   The Tim Dorsey Chapter
  19.   The Jimmy Buffett Chapter
  20.   Pirates
  21.   The Beerfort Scale
  22.   Stupid Boat Names
  23.   Brass Monkey
  24.   The Stories We Could Tell
  25.   It’s Alive!
  26.   Weird Florida
  27.   Why A Boat?

  Disclaimers and Acknowledgements 


It’s a light read that I hope many will enjoy, certainly worth 99 pennies. Look for it tomorrow and this weekend at Amazon.com

Price goes up on Monday. 




Poop, Booze, and Bikinis / Two More Chapters Done

Four new chapters in a week is excellent progress for the lazy writer. Earlier I composed the Zombies Can’t Swim Chapter and the Tim Dorsey Chapter. Now I’ve added the Jimmy Buffett Chapter and Pirates. 

  I emailed Jimmy Buffett to ask him to write a chapter for this book. He didn’t dignify my request with a response. I’m sure he’s really busy though, so I’ll let him off the hook.

   Jimmy has written several books himself. I particularly enjoyed A Salty Piece Of Land. The reason I thought he could contribute to Poop, Booze, and Bikinis is this; take a slow ride through any crowded anchorage and the majority of the boats will be playing a Jimmy Buffett tune.

  Why Jimmy? Songs like Son of a Son of a Sailor, or A Pirate Looks at Forty, were written for the boater. They weren’t for your average weekend boater either. They were conceived with the real cruiser in mind. 


I have long wondered about the fascination with pirates, especially among boaters. Again, take a look at any crowded marina or anchorage. I bet you’ll see some pirate flags.


  Why is this so common? Who thinks it’s a good idea to celebrate bloodthirsty killers and thieves? After much rumination on the topic of pirates, I’ve decided that sailors and cruisers see the pirate as some romantic notion of escape. After all, we quit our jobs and live on a boat in order to make our own escape from the stresses of normal society. The pirate may have been a scoundrel, but he was a free man. The pirate may have been demonized throughout history, but also slightly admired. He has broken away from conventional culture.


  I trace the origins of this pirate love affair back to 1883, when Robert Louis Stevenson coined the phrase “yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum” in his adventurous tale Treasure Island. Then all those Errol Flynn movies in the thirties made pirates out to be chivalrous and good looking swashbucklers. 


  That’s twenty chapters down in the first draft. All are short and to the point on specific nautical topics. I’m trying to keep it fun and funny. It is NOT any sort of technical advice book to be taken seriously. Look for the release of Poop, Booze, and Bikinis sometime in the next few months.



You can get my first book, Leap of Faith / Quit Your Job And Live On A Boat at Amazon, in paperback or Kindle version.





Progress Report: Poop, Booze, and Bikinis

   Christmas passed and suddenly I was hit with a bought of inspiration. Not one but two excellent ideas managed to come out of my rum-soaked brain over the past week. I sat down with the laptop and banged out two good chapters that I’m really happy about. 


   The first is “Zombies Can’t Swim”. In this chapter I explain why you should be living on a boat during the Zombie Apocalypse. It’s hilarious, trust me. 

   The second is called “The Tim Dorsey Chapter”. 

  For those of you who don’t know who Tim Dorsey is, I urge you to pick up and read all of his books featuring Serge Storms. Tim is a New York Times bestselling author and Serge is a loveable serial killer. I asked Tim to contribute a chapter for this book. He told me that contractual obligations prevented him from participating in the project.

  I wanted his input because most of what I see and write about takes place in Florida. No one knows more useless yet interesting trivia about Florida than Serge Storms. Tim would have been perfect, but it was not to be. What you’re left with is the chapter that would have been written by Tim Dorsey, had he said yes.

  When I first thought of contacting him, I wondered what sort of chapter would he write? What would the frenetic mind of a writer who makes you root for a psychopath think when presented with the topic of Poop, Booze, and Bikinis? I then proceed to pretend I’m Tim Dorsey and write a very interesting and fun monologue that could have been from Serge Storms. 


  So yes, progress is being made. I’m feeling good about it as I await the next spurt of creativity. I just sit around drinking beer and watching sunsets and try to think of what to write next. Not a bad job if you can get it. Image