The Rogue Wave

I posted this blog first at, but thought you might enjoy it too, so I’m repeating it here.

5/29/2016 – The Rogue Wave

Last night I watched the movie, Abandoned, about four men lost at sea for more than 100 days after a rogue wave wrecked their sailboat. When they were finally rescued, the media expressed intense skepticism. People didn’t believe their story until a close examination of the wrecked boat proved the sailors told the truth.

The movie brought back memories of living on a motorsailer called the Hardtack for three years back in the seventies. A motorsailer is a hybrid between a sailboat and a powerboat. Our boat was a heavy, double-planked classic boat designed by famed naval architect John Alden. The single mast was stepped to the full keel and 58 feet high. However, the boat also had a heavy-duty Caterpillar diesel engine.Hardtack

The Hardtack was a comfortable, roomy boat for live-aboards with a large cockpit that served as a “playground” of sorts for our toddler daughter. It was also very forgiving, which saved our lives more than once. Continue reading “The Rogue Wave”


Sails on career planning

Irving Johnson (1905-1991) spent his life as a sailor, author, lecturer, adventurer and sail training pioneer. His 25-minute video/DVD, Around Cape Horn, is a classic film of a sailing adventure, but I call it a career planning study as well. Here’s why: 

  • First, Johnson was focused. He wanted to sail large ships around the world.
  • Second, he studied what he wanted to do, determined the skills he would need and developed a plan for acquiring those skills.
  • Third, he carried out his plan.

He would need to know how to climb swaying masts, so he practiced climbing a rickety telephone pole near his home. He would need to defend himself in rough ports, so he took boxing lessons. He became a merchant marine and then, because he wanted to learn how to sail in rough seas, he signed on as a sailor on a brigantine freighter going around the cape—and he filmed the adventure.  The film is available from Mystic Seaport, CT,, and other vendors.

Blog at

Up ↑