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ContinuousWave: Trips and Rendezvous
Long Whaler Journey
|Author||Topic: Long Whaler Journey|
posted 01-13-2006 03:25 PM ET (US)
I just came across [the ContinuousWave website], found a question about the longest trip ever taken in a Whaler, and found my name still attached to the record.
In 1987 two friends and I towed my 17-foot Mantauk (powered by a 90 HP Johnson 2-stroke) from Redondo Beach, CA to Ft. Lauderdale FL where we began a journey which was more fun then three 23 year old should be allowed to have.
Starting in Ft. Lauderdale we navigated our way north up the ICW to Chesapeak Bay, Deleware Bay, the New Jersey ICW to Manasquan Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean to New York City. Nearly 2,000 miles up the coast and only 14 miles spent in open ocean. You have to love the ICW. Unfortunately, we ran into a fog bank seven miles into the Atlantic and the motor wouldn't start, which was the only engine trouble we had coming up the east coast.
From NY City we went up the Hudson River through the Erie Canal around Lake Ontario to the Trent Severn Waterway across Georgian Bay to Mackinaw Island. We then headed south along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan and, crossing the Lake to Chicago from Saugutuck. Great Lakes are beautiful but the toughest water I've ever experienced in a small boat.
Leaving Chicago after five days and nights of frivolity, we navigated the Illinios River to the Mississippi to the Ohio to the Tennessee River and through the Ten-Tom Waterway to the Tombigbee River to, if my memory serves me correctly, the Black Warrior River to Mobile Bay the Gulf of Mexico and New Orleans.
6,100 miles in 112 Days. The thing that stands out the most: The friendliness and generosity of the American people. 72 of the nights we were taken in by people who did not know us from Adam. "Here's your room, here's the fridge, here's the liquor cabinet, leave my daughters alone, seemed to be the general rule(s).
After nearly 20 years I've finally decided to write a book about the experience. I've written as far as Chicago and with any luck will be finished by the end of 2006.
Sorry for the long posting, but it was a long trip.
posted 01-13-2006 03:33 PM ET (US)
Well hurry up and finish it!
The book sounds like it will make for very good reading.
posted 01-13-2006 03:35 PM ET (US)
Awesome! The Great Circle Route in a 17' Whaler!
Want to do it again?
112 days, huh? Does your book detail your planning, provisions and expenses (fuel usage, etc)?
Please, please, please - when you've got the book finished and a deal to publish it, come back here and let us know.
posted 01-13-2006 03:54 PM ET (US)
I am sure it was a typo, but the boat is of course a Montauk, not a Mantauk.
We look forward to reading your book!
posted 01-13-2006 04:12 PM ET (US)
You would think after traveling aboard a boat for almost 30 years I would know how to spell the name of the vessel. Bet you're really looking forward to that book.
Yes, the book details all the planning, including garnering sponsorships and media coverage as well as the provisioning of the boat. The biggest improvement, we constructed a custom bed out of 1/2 inch marine plywood between the center console and front hatch cover. This not only more than double the size of the bow area for sitting and sleeping but creates great storage underneath.
I still have the boat, have replaced the engine a few times since however. She's actually become part of the family. I proposed to my wife on the bow of The Whaler off Catalina Island so there's no way my wife will let me sell her. I wish I could take credit for the idea, way back when I proposed, but I can't.
Great forum, happy I found it.
posted 01-13-2006 08:01 PM ET (US)
Wow! I'm sure I'm not the only one here envious of your adventure. Eagerly awaiting the book.
posted 01-13-2006 09:08 PM ET (US)
Devildog, By chance have you ever lived in Charleston, SC?
posted 01-14-2006 10:09 AM ET (US)
OIA, have been planning the same trip (Great Circle) since 1999 in my 1993 Montauk w/90 Yama. Constructed basically the same platform up front using collapsible SS legs for support. 1/2" marine ply, sealed, painted with blue Petit epoxy on the underside and Whaler desert tan on top sprinkled with non-skid (pulverized oyster shells from Hatteras). The platform is lined with vinyl trip attached with 5200 to prevent scratching of the ledge and hull sides. Made it into two parts for ease of removal when not needed. The rear edge extends back to about 6" past the ledge on the forward part of console, supported at the far end by one of the fold-away legs. Had a four section camper canvas made that covers the entire boat as needed attached over the rails to the swivels used for the mooring/trailer cover. the top edges are zippered into the bimini top. Each section has a large screened window with storm flap. Used the extendable combination paddle/boat hook for the forward upright with the blade positioned into a piece of 2x4 painted to match, with the bottom covered by a piece of shower mat (with suction cups) glued in. Very stable and doesn't slide. The handle serves as the top secured with velcro straps wrapped around the pole section to prevent slipping on the canvas top. Works great. First used at Kelly's Island at a Whaler rendevous when were hit with a storm with 30-45 mph winds. Had erected 3 sections and dry as a bone while a lot of others were soaking wet. Originally planned on doing the cirle in 2005 but my buddy with a 22' revenge bought a 36 Trawler in VA and spent the summer bringing it back to Michigan City, IN. Had originally planned on a 75 day window due to his having to be back to work at school by 8-20. Now looking for another buddy to do the trip with, preferably with another Whaler, most likely next year. Thanks for the post and look forward to your book.
Anybody interested in the trip starting from Chicago heading south let me know. Could leave as early as May 1 and have until September 1 to complete.
posted 01-14-2006 10:32 AM ET (US)
Wow, sure makes me feel brave when I fret about a 40 mile trip on the Chespeake Bay in an 18 Outrage.. 'What if the seas kick up'
posted 01-14-2006 11:34 AM ET (US)
I remember when you guys made that trip, and seeing the publicity in the Chicago Tribune. I have forgotten if you guys had a good set of Mills canvas on the boat.
It seems I also remember the BW company giving you some publicity on the trip.
Well done, and it's nice to have you show up after so many years.
After you guys, I think I hold the record for trailer cruising on an 18 Outrage, including three 2 week trips on the BC coast..
posted 01-14-2006 03:57 PM ET (US)
No, just a short visit years ago.
posted 01-14-2006 04:01 PM ET (US)
devildog, thanks for the reply...It was a long shot, but I knew someone there with the same name. Thanks.
posted 01-16-2006 03:05 PM ET (US)
Good luck with The Trip. We were not out to break any speed records and spent alot of time sightseeing as well as waterskiing (Connelly Waterskis also sponsored our excursion). 112 days can be improved upon. Recommend the Trent Severn Waterway as opposed to Lakes Erie and Huron.
My biggest recommendation would be to schedule rest days where you allow yourself the opportunity of uninterupted sleep. Beyond the Great Lakes, which served up a huge storm on Lake Ontario and brutal conditions on Lake Michigan, our biggest obstacle was rest.
You awake in the morning and agree that "tonight will be a rest night!" However, you pull into a marina after a long days run and explain what your doing to a fellow boater or passerby and inevitably someone wants to buy you a beer. One beer turns into four which turns into dinner which turns into after dinner drinks on the verando over looking the ICW. Don't excpect to pick up any of the tab because the large group gathered around won't hear of it. The original friend you met upon your arrival leaves for the night but new friends won't allow you to sneak away until you tell more of your story. This scenario plays itself out more than you can imagine.
Our best idea, we invited friends to fly in and travel with us for a week or two then fly home from a predetermined future port. We also met people along the way who joined us for a few days. Although there were three who made the entire voyage, the majority of the time there were atleast four people aboard. The record, 7 people and a bike on the Trent Severn Waterway.
Your bed and cover sound great. Wish we had your foresight. Our first night out, after departing Ft. Lauderdale, we were asleep in the bow and awakened by a southern squall. It was here we discovered our super duper waterproof cover . . . leaked.
As I'm sure you discovered, Waterway Guides are essential as are condensed chartbooks.
Anything I can do to help please let me know.
posted 01-18-2006 07:56 PM ET (US)
That must have been a remarkable experience, I did a similiar one in the West Indies in the 70's except I was on A 70 'Motor Salior working as crew. Its a blast from the past alright.
posted 01-18-2006 08:40 PM ET (US)
OIA, we would love to see a photo of you with the boat loaded down, ready for adventure.
posted 01-19-2006 12:58 AM ET (US)
"and brutal conditions on Lake Michigan"
I could not agree with you more. That lake is always rough! Especially on the western side, the Michigan shore.
Welcome to the website.
posted 01-22-2006 12:57 PM ET (US)
If your resolve flags, as you write,
please remember that many continuousWavers
are eagerly awaiting the chance
to buy your book as soon as you're done.
TARGET MARKET spoken here.
I, for one, am especially looking fwd
to the passages covering NE Florida
and my childhood waters of Barnegat Bay.
thanks for your post
posted 01-23-2006 12:49 PM ET (US)
Thank you for the encouragement. The book is coming along well, please bear in mind this is the author's opinion! I've reached the point in the book where we have just left the Illinios River and are now navigating the Mighty Mississippi. My goal is to have the book ready for publication by the end of this summer. However, my three year old and 7 1/2 month old may have different plans.
posted 01-23-2006 01:50 PM ET (US)
Always wanted to do the ICW from NJ to FL but the farthest I have done so far was NJ to Oxford, MD...IN FEBRUARY! What a trip that was, never knew the Chesepeake could develope 5-6' swells in minutes, bad time to find out the radio is dead and no cellular service.
posted 01-23-2006 05:36 PM ET (US)
I'd be happy to proofread an advance copy for your publisher.....
Good luck with the book and please let us know when we can order it.
posted 01-23-2006 05:58 PM ET (US)
Thank you for the generous offer. I have my aunt, former english professor and my sister, budding professor, editing the book for me. Of coarse, they call each other and argue over the smallest of details then call me to complain about each other.
I wonder if Hemingway had these problems.
posted 01-24-2006 03:22 PM ET (US)
No, but he had other problems. Acute lead poisoning comes to mind. Seriously though, what a trip! I'm certain I'm not alone in having dreamed of such a journey since childhood. I look forward to your book and wish you Godspeed.
posted 01-24-2006 05:38 PM ET (US)
i wish i were that young again my mom went nuts waiting for me to call for a ride home from where ever my home made boat finaly stoped at 17/18 most of my trips were 3 or 4 days
posted 09-29-2006 06:25 PM ET (US)
The Great Loop In A 17-foot Whaler
Dear Boston Whaler Friends:
In 1987 two friends and I towed my Montauk 17 from Redondo Beach CA to Ft. Lauderdale FL. Upon launching our trusty vessel, we navigated our way north atop the Intracoastal Waterway to New York, up the Hudson River through the Erie Canal and around the Great Lakes to Chicago, then down the Inland Rivers to the Gulf of Mexico and New Orleans. 6,100 miles in a 17-foot Boston Whaler, by water.
My last posting described how I was finally writing a book about my adventure. Well, 350 pages later, I've completed my story.
I am now in search of a publisher. Does anyone know anybody in the publishing business?
The book begins by explaining how the original plan contemplated taking the summer and driving across the country. Figuring why take a car when we could take a boat, the idea turned into a dream to navigate The Whaler around the United States.
Eight years of dreaming and eight months of intense planning, which included a few custom features to the boat, garnering corporate sponsors and a whole bunch of media coverage, we launched The Whaler and began our trek.
There are plenty of stories of snakes and alligators and storms and the beauty that is the United States. However, the real story is the people we met along the way. Our fellow Americans are the friendliest (and some of the quirkiest) people you'll ever meet. As a matter of fact, 51 of the 112 night journey my friends and I were invited to stay in peoples homes or on their boats.
Sorry to run on, but it was a long journey. However, if anyone has a friend in the publishing business and would be so kind as to introduce the book to them I would be much abliged.
Thank you for your time,
posted 09-29-2006 09:46 PM ET (US)
Screw that thought, there are NO friends in the publishing business!!!! It's a tough racket unless you get an agent. But you never know.
Best is to get together with some of us around this site and self publish it - ya, if manuscript is good and you have photos why not? You have to have budget and willing to do an out of the box project it's totally doable and you have a base.
If there is fishing during this trip I do, in fact, have very good friends who are in publishing biz but content will need to discuss waterways and some fishing. That said, project can take a couple of years (unless white hot) and publisher owns the copyright - you get a percentage which increases with each printing. Initial print run for something like this is generally 5000 (high side) before second printing (and higher percentages)which could be your entire market. What always bugs me is once handed to many publishers it is not uncommon that you lose editorial control incl things like photo placement and designs. Not always the case but it gets complicated. If interested use the profile.
posted 09-30-2006 12:35 AM ET (US)
check out a book called "On the Water" by Nathaniel Stone.
He basically did the same journey in a rowing shell. Maybe
his publisher would do your book as well?
they have it on amazon.
|Tom W Clark||
posted 09-30-2006 01:24 AM ET (US)
As it happens, my significant other is a book publisher. While this would not be a good fit with her firm, she has mentioned that you should get a Robert Hale catalog (distributor) and see what publishers other similar projects have used.
Realistically, you will only be able to approach small and medium sized firms. To get any traction with a big firm you will need an agent.
One firm to start with is International Marine in Maine (now owned by McGraw Hill.) You are in SoCal so open the yellow pages and start inquiring. Really, if the book is well written, it will sell; any publisher will be interested in a good adventure narrative. Feel free to send me a chapter or two if you want some honest feedback.
posted 09-30-2006 11:59 AM ET (US)
You might also check with local universities, some of them have publishing operations, Wayne State University in Detroit, Mi for instance has "Wayne State University Publishing" it publishes a lot of special interest works by local writers....
Having rigged a 1982 Montauk for cruising / camping....I too look forward to reading your book......
posted 10-01-2006 10:49 AM ET (US)
Publishing a book is about money. Or some combination of money, expertise, talent ability to write, effective layout, proofreading, editing etc. Perhaps you pitch your manuscript to Boston Whaler/Brunswick marketing,promotions, product development people. They got the loot and should understand this could be a significant advantage for them regarding real time adventure with their product and legacy building.
posted 10-01-2006 02:20 PM ET (US)
With the current gas crunch as it is maybe Boston Whaler could help,,they have publishers and promo ppl,,,and it would be a good kick for they as well
posted 10-01-2006 09:47 PM ET (US)
congratulations on both of your achievements - making the trip and writing a book about it!
i wonder if you might enhance your efforts by creating a web log (blog)online to post selected elements / sections of your book. that way, when you contact agents / publishers / whomever, you can simply point them to your site with a link in your email and do a bit of mooching; you might also post some of your trip pics at a free hosting service and include those links on your blog. (fwiw, there's also no reason you couldn't self-publish using pdf format <or have one-off's printed via blurb.com> and pay pal, eh?)
i use google's blog service, called (cleverly enough) "blogger.com" for my writing efforts. when i visited blogger.com just now, i found ~100 blogs that responded to my search on the term "boston whaler"... and it appears www.bostonwhaler.blogspot.com has not been taken :)
congrats - again - give 'em heck, john!
posted 10-02-2006 05:43 PM ET (US)
Did one of your friends on this trip end up becoming a professional captain?
One of my father's oldest friends from school sold his aircraft business and became a professional Captain a couple years ago. He currently contracts his services out of Todelo Beach Marina. On a couple of his trips to and from Florida, as well as couple trips on the Great Lakes, my fathers friend has had a first mate that has made the same trip in a Montauk. He also made the same trip a second time in a Montauk only, I want to say on the second trip, instead of heading to Florida from the Mississippi he made his way along to Mexico, Central America, to South America. From Venezuela he headed to Trinidad, Grenada, Grenadines, St Lucia, Martinigue, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua, St Kitts, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, through the Bahamas, and back to Florida. The second trip took well over a year.
Let me do some investigating and see if my father can get hold of his friend to see if I could get a name.
posted 10-03-2006 02:31 PM ET (US)
I want to thank everyone for your replies, your time and thoughts are greatly appreciated. I'm leaning toward self-publishing for, as some of you mentioned, there is a built in market of Whaler owners, boaters, adventurers etc. I think I could get some good press from the boating publications and if time and money permit I'd like to hit some of the bigger boat shows: Miami, New York, Chicago. I also liked the ideas about the blogs and internet promotions and posting chapters on-line. Maybe I could sell it on line for a 1/2 cent per page or something like that.
Since my last my last entry I've had an agent state he likes the book but can't use it. However, he did mention he thought it would be a great kids series, as in the realm of the Harry Potter books, and if I went that route he might be interested in handling it. So there's the slight possibility of a definate maybe with that agent.
I'll keep you appraised and thanks again for your ideas, and please don't be shy on providing future suggestions. Since I have no idea what I'm doing I haven't had the chance to develop my "Writers Ego" yet.
posted 10-03-2006 04:18 PM ET (US)
Perhaps an excerpt from a chapter of the book in a boating magazine. That may fly in some of the pubs out there, and may fuel some purchasing decisions.
I generally feel that a web publishing (1/2 cent per page, etc) is not a great option for generating a wide audience for this form of media (a book). Perhaps I am simply wrong on that one. It wouldn't be the first time!
All of that said, you may have to do a lot of the legwork for promotion yourself. E-mail me offline and we can go over some media strategies to get some momentum.
posted 10-10-2006 12:29 AM ET (US)
I am starting to write a children's book and am looking at two self-publishing firms: Iuniverse.com and cafepress.com. They have different pricing schemes, so I guess it depends on what volume you expect to sell.
Good luck with the book, I can't wait to read it.
posted 10-10-2006 02:50 AM ET (US)
I think there are some small outdoors related publishers that might be interested in your book. Maybe Dave is advising in that regard. It depends on what you want to do with it. IS there fishing at all in the story?
My point is it is not impossible to self-publish if you or someone will knows pro publishing software, is experienced and you want to attempt targeted distribution and want to do the leg work which could be fun. I doubt I'd waste time doing anything but pursuing these options, agent, small outdoors publishers, self if pro level.
posted 10-11-2006 01:20 AM ET (US)
OIA, that sounds like an awesome trip. I cannot wait until I can get a copy of your book. You may want to email a man named Ken Williams. He participated in the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally a few years ago, and wrote an excellent blog of it which he later published. He may be able to offer you some tips about how to get it published. The link to his books website is: www.kensbook.com. He has another website (www.kensboat.com) where he chronicles the building of his new boat that has a message board and his email address.
For all the people thinking about the great circle route, you may want to check out some of the past issues of Passagemaker Magazine. While they typically deal with far larger boats than our Whalers, the articles are well written and have a lot of information from other cruisers. There have been several articles on different issues of the magazine.
posted 10-11-2006 08:14 PM ET (US)
I want to again thank everyone for their time and effort regarding the publishing of my book Only In America. I have discovered that writing the book is only half the adventure. My hope is the second half of the journey, actually publising the book, won't take to long.
Again thanks for the ideas and if you have the time keep them coming. I read each one and take every idea seriosly.
posted 10-21-2007 11:10 PM ET (US)
This thread is a year old. Does anyone know if the book ever got published, and what the details are?
posted 10-24-2007 02:27 PM ET (US)
Can't wait till the book is out.
posted 11-15-2007 03:31 PM ET (US)
Hope that this idea hasn't died down and we get to read this book soon.
I am sort of baffled as to why you guys insist on making a canvas enclosure on a 17ft whaler when boston whaler made a 17ft boat with a fiberglass enclosure big enough to sleep two- the menemsha?? I think that boat would be perfect for this trip no?
posted 11-15-2007 05:13 PM ET (US)
The book "Only In America: An American Boating Adventure" is actually completed. The manuscript is presently going through an extensive editing process. Apparently, back in grade school, I missed the day they taught punctuation. . . and spelling . . . and
The plan is to have the book to the publisher by early spring 2008 with a potential delivery date of fall 2008. There's a chance this process may get expedited. Either way I'll keep you informed via the Continuous Wave.
The Trip and the book recently received some press from the Easy Reader, a local paper here in Redondo Beach, CA. I will forward a link when the issue is placed online.
Thank you for your thoughts.
posted 11-15-2007 06:09 PM ET (US)
You're question is similar to probably the most frequently asked question during our 112 day voyage: "Why in a 17-foot (open bow) Whaler." Well, in a nutshell, it's the only boat we had. That being said, I can't think of a better boat to do it in.
Most of our gear was stowed in the stern with sleeping bags and duffles stuffed into hefty trash bags to keep them dry. (I'm sure you can imagine the looks from law enforcement when we raced by in a boat stuffed to the gunwales with hefty trashbags.) The remainder of our gear was placed in the center console and under our custom bed (between the center console and front hatch cover).
This configuratrion worked out pretty well as the bow became our living room and crew quarters. The open bow allowed us to sit and stretch out when the conditions permited, which was more often then not. We got 82 days of wateskiing in that year and grew to become quite particular as to the water we would ski. AKA: most of trip was spent in conditions smooth enough to sit in the bow.
Even if the option was available, I don't think we would have wanted an enclosed bow. I'll have to go back and look at my notes, but if I remember correctly we only slept aboard the boat for 15 nights. We spent some nights in a tent, others in hotel rooms. Most of the time we were taken in by people we met after pulling into a marina for the night. I'm still amazed by the friendliness and hospitality of our fellow countrymen.
posted 11-15-2007 07:31 PM ET (US)
OIA- Great to hear the expected due date of your book. Can't wait to read it! Please if you can take my email
Saltfli@aol.com if you have a mailing list of people to remind about your book.
I suppose since most of your trip was in the summer (I think?) the protection of the closed bow wasn't vital. Sounds like that boat would have definitely been a sight to see.
I am curious to hear what size gas tank you used and what was your average cruising speed?
posted 11-18-2007 07:16 PM ET (US)
i think it would be cool to have as many members of this site as possible all go on this site at the same time it would be quiet the pod of whale(r)s.
posted 11-18-2007 07:17 PM ET (US)
i said "site" i ment trip
posted 03-24-2010 09:33 AM ET (US)
Started to reread OIA's trip and remembered another small boat journey some of you may be interested in. Back at the start of the last century, 1900 not 2000, a fellow from New England took a sailing canoe down to the south end of the Caribeaan and sailed 1000 miles up to about the USVI.
Pictures and story are now Public Domain and available on line, address is at bottom.
ALONE IN THE CARIBBEAN
Great Read.... enjoy
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