Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bringing Seawind Home: Preparing for A Sailor's Excellent Adventure

She's an Alberg 30 and she's 35 years old. But, because she's an Alberg 30 and has been impeccably maintained all those years, she is a bit like Cher---still solid, sea worthy, and lookin' good. Here she is, on the hard way out on the end of Long Island. This was last summer the weekend we bought her and then had to leave her there for the long, cold winter. It was tough driving away that day, like leaving a kid at college.
But now the sun is warm, the daffodils are blooming, the birds are going nuts, and so can the time to go and get her be far off? I'm suddenly up to my nose in preparations. Here's part of my list: insurance, a marine survey (maybe), new shrouds and stays (the ones on there now are original), re-documenting her with the Coast Guard (that way I don't have to register her in Virginia--at least that's what I've been told) buy stuff for her like a new dinghy, maybe put a tri-color nav light on top of the mast instead of the anchor light, bottom paint (modified ablative for those of you who know about such things), getting all the canvas back on her (sails, bimini, dodger), de-winterizing the engine, the head, and the water system, replacing the bladder-type holding tank with a solid plastic one---on and on.
I'm going shopping at a West Marine store up in Delaware to avoid taxes and gonna load it all in a U-Haul van and drive up to Long Island the last day or two of April. I've got volunteer crew as my poor wife (and most excellent long-time sailor/mate--we've sailed all over the world together for the past 28 years) is still working and can't be there (it's killing her).
So the "Sailor @ 60" is now the "Sailor @ 62" but still going strong and looking forward to being back out at sea. Our planned course? Down Long Island Sound and through the East River (that oughta be interesting), New York harbor, and out and down the Jersey coast to Cape May. Then up the Delaware Bay to the Chesapeake-Delaware canal and into the Chesapeake. From there, it will be a long beat down the Bay to Onancock. I'll be reporting in on this blog.

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