Say hello!

This is an invitation! Because the blog has a statistics page available to the person who runs it, I get to see the number of folks visiting, and the countries that you come from. It’s wonderful to see so many countries represented, over the course of time, as well as the substantial number of readers in the US. Countries that have shown up on the list include Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Indonesia, India, Serbia, France, Germany, Spain, Thailand, Russia, Uruguay, Belize, Canada, South Africa, Great Britain, and more… I’m not sure that this means that folks from all these places are actually interested in the contents of this blog (probably not!) But certainly some are…

Anyway, it would be wonderful to hear from you. Some of you have posted comments, which have been great to see. And some are “following” the blog, which means that I get a little e-mail saying that’s happening. For everybody, here’s an invitation to say hello! Either publicly, on the blog, or by e-mail, if you’re inclined that way.

If you feel like it, it would be interesting to know what part of the world you live in, if you sail, or have in the past, or think about sailing in the future, and what draws you to reading here. Are there things that you’d like to see discussed, or have particularly liked already? Would you like to share your own experience, or a link to your own writing? Or a link to a favorite related blog? Please do post any of these!

This invitation comes with all the usual caveats about treating people with respect, and subject matter and language for “general audiences,” which you probably figured out already. I’d love to hear from you, and I’m thinking that other readers might also like to hear from you too. Please feel free to comment to this page, or to jump in with comments on any of the posts.

Thanks so much for your interest,

shemayalaurel at yahoo d0t com (you’ll need to put this e-mail address in the usual format, to use it – it’s written this way to keep it out of automated searches for addresses for spammers)

43 thoughts on “Say hello!”

  1. love your blog,might get this old 74 year young back crusing againand desine a boat for my special needs,the best to you,old cap carl

    • Hi young Cap Carl,

      Hey that’s great! I’m so glad that the blog is being useful. What sort of boat are you thinking about? It’s always so interesting to see how everybody makes it work.


  2. Hello Shemaya…Follow your posts…Keep it up…whit them…Regards…Bata the Danube…..

    • Hi Bata,

      Thanks so much for saying hello! What’s your part of the Danube like? It’s a treat that the Internet makes it so easy for people all around the world to be in touch, and I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the blog. It would be great to hear about what you’re doing where you are.

      Thanks again for writing,

      • Hello shemaya

        Sorry for my English(Google)…I live near Belgrade,Danube river,Serbija…I work at a Petrochemical Complex in Pancevo…Soon I should build Stevenson Weekender…I bought the plans…Regards….

  3. Hi Shemaya,
    In April or May…Otherwise sail on kajak own design…


  4. Hi Bata,

    Great – that’ll come fast!

    I’ll bet the kayak is fun too. What does the rig look like, that you designed? I sailed a Nautiraid folding kayak, with a sail rig from Balogh, a number of years ago. It was really, really interesting – and very fast. I’ll bet that a homemade system could work really well too. Do you use outriggers?

    Send a picture, if you feel like it!

  5. Hi, Shemaya! I am 54, father of 3 (two of whom often sail with me), and sail a Core Sound 20 (cat ketch to which I added a cramped cabin) for my bigger trips, and a Jewelbox Junior (Bolger birdwatcher-type by Jim Michalak) for in-shore trips when the weather is cool or rainy. Having said that, my idea of a big trip is just a few days!

    I live in Brockton, MA and sail the bays and coasts of MA and RI.

    I’ve forgotten where I first learned of your blog–Duckworks, probably. I came for the beautiful boat, but stayed for the adventure!

    Jeff Michals-Brown

    • Hi Jeff,

      Thanks so much for saying hello! I’ve been looking at Core Sound 20s off and on for ages – this part of the coast must feel pretty much ideal for that boat. So easy to get in and out of shallow places, and so many beautiful areas to poke into, together with the capability to also go out into the wider areas. History of Everglades Challenge and all that…

      And then the Jewelbox for when it rains! That’s what I like about the Chebacco, getting to be out in the lousy weather, sailing and looking out through the windows at the rain. Or anchored, same thing.

      How old are your kids? That’s great that two out of three like to go sailing with you.


  6. Shemaya,

    I appreciate that you made a post about this because I use a newsreader to get all the weblog posts, so I don’t usually go to the blog website.

    I built, and last summer launched, a 12ft SCAMP named Zephyr which you can read a bit about on the Small Craft Advisor forum.

    While I sail around my home in Portland, OR, I am looking to do more sailing in Puget Sound and north. I sold my Columbia 22 because of moorage costs and that I was stuck sailing from one location. SCAMPs portability have given a glimmer of possibility to sailing all around the country.

    This winter I’m aiming to put a dodger and cockpit tent on Zephyr to complete the camp-cruising setup.

    I thoroughly enjoy your posts on coastal cruising in a modest sailboat!

    Keith N.

  7. Hi Keith,

    I’m so glad that worked out, about the post in the regular part of the blog getting to you. And thank you for writing!

    ZEPHYR looks fantastic – Scamp is another boat I’ve been watching. Funny how the folks writing back are the ones with my favorite boats! Or not so surprising, since the Chebacco looked interesting to you too. Anyway, that’s great that you built a Scamp. Some of the articles in Small Craft Advisor, about things that have been done in that boat, really do get one’s attention. Great that it’ll open up traveling/sailing all over the place. Myself, I think a lot about the Great Lakes, and if I could pull it off, coming to the Northwest. If you get to New England first, I’d love to see the boat!

    The other boat in the garage here is a 14 foot Peep Hen. You really do notice the difference in trailering, between that and the Chebacco. The Chebacco really needs a truck for any distance, where with the Peep Hen in back of my van, you don’t even know it’s there. That makes such a difference when you look at something like crossing the Rocky Mountains! I’d love to hear how things develop with the dodger and the cockpit tent, and your travels. Thanks for the link – maybe it’ll show up there!


  8. Margot Siegmann said:

    Hi Shemaya…been thinking a lot about you and Auklet and the warmth of summer and the wonderful day followed each other down the bay. The clouds were particularly beautiful that day and in this cold it seems a long time ago. oh well summer is coming and I’m thinking boats. How about you when is Auklet going in?


  9. Hi Margot!

    Yes, that was a lovely sail, even if the wind didn’t blow so much! No idea about launch timing this year – junk rig in the works, so it’s hard to know how that will affect developments. How about yourselves? It’s so nice to be turning the corner on the year, and seriously thinking about preparations. There might be snow on the ground, but even now some of the birds are starting to brighten up… it won’t be long.

    Thanks so much for writing!

  10. Hello!
    I’m having so much fun reading about harbors and grease pencils and power conservation while enjoying Lebanese food in Portland, Oregon. I’m out on business, but today I finished work at 2:30 ( of course that would have been 5:30 at home). My friend David was free and took me to a wonderful beer bar on the east side of the river. It was nice to catch up with him (mostly retired but designing energy efficient lighting systems for gyms in schools). Then, a stop at a military surplus store for waterproof gloves and discount socks, and on to a Lebanese restaurant next door. Turns out to be a lovely, authentic place with enormous pita bread (14″ across?) and wonderful hummus. So there I settled in to enjoy your recent posts and relax. I could hear your voice in every line. Thanks for joining me for dinner!

  11. Hi Shemaya,
    My wife Shannon and I follow your blog and your travels. We have a sailboat in Freeport Maine in the Harraseeket river. We saw you this summer anchored off the Northeast side of the mooring field. We took a couple of photos of your boat. We wanted to come over to say hi but we felt we would be intruding. Just recently we saw on one of your posts where you said that you like when local folks stop to say hi. If you make your way to Freeport again we will be sure to say hi!
    Glen and Shannon

    • shemaya said:

      Hi Glen and Shannon,

      Thanks so much for saying hello! And I do hope to be back to the Harraseeket, and would be delighted to say hello in person. What sort of sailboat do you have? There are some fantastic boats in there, and it’s a real joy to see who is doing what.

      Did you by chance do digital photos of AUKLET that might be easy to share? This past year I ended up with a real shortage of pictures that weren’t taken by me, and the ones I did were almost always ON the boat! It would be fun to see a different perspective.

      Meantime, the blog comment process showed me the link to your website about your soapmaking business – it looks so nice! I’m sharing the link here, at the risk of looking like this might be related to the above question about photos – but it’s not! I just think it is a really nice thing, and want to let other folks know:

      Thanks again for writing,

      • Hi Shemaya, We have an Irwin Citation 35.5, “Sea Mist”. We have a mooring up the river near the Osprey nest. I found three digital photos of Auklet. Please let me know where to send them and I will get them to you right away. Shannon said to say thanks for posting her link! Glen

        • Hi Glen and Shannon,

          Thanks so much for the photos! You know, from the angle of the pictures, and Shannon, seeing your photo on your website, I think I remember the two of you going by in your dinghy – that’s fun!

          Where do you sail to? Freeport is such a nice jumping off place for so many wonderful islands and coastline. Great that the cover is off your boat! Same for AUKLET, as of yesterday. Very encouraging.

          All best wishes,

  12. Hello Shemaya,

    I’m enjoying reading your blog, I’m working toward a live aboard sailing life and am devouring all the good info I can find. Your posts on provisioning have caught my eye. I read Annie Hill’s ‘Voyaging on a small income’ and found that to be a great resource and a good read. Your posts are full of useful information and food for thought. I’ve only read a couple but so far but am looking forward to trawling through the archives!

    kind regards,

    • Hi Alan,

      Thanks so much for writing! And for your kind feedback. Voyaging on a Small Income is such a great book. Do you think at all about junk rig, for your upcoming boat? Annie Hill is active in the Junk Rig Association forums, along with a number of other interesting folks – perhaps you’d like reading that also. It’s been so interesting to see what she’s been up to more recently… And of course on her blog (link under “Blogs I Like”)

      What sort of boat do you think about? It’s amazing, the variety of approaches that are possible. Likely to stay near Australia? Myself, if I thought I could pull it off, I’d try for some time in the Southern Ocean. At least I like to think that, from the comfort of the idea being rather far-fetched. But there you are, so close!

      Anyway, thanks again for being in touch – I’ll look forward to checking in on your blog as well. That was a beautiful photo, with all the stars. (Interested folks can see this at
      And “gimbaled compass” is such a great name!


      • Hi Shemaya,

        I’ve got my eye on a few boats and I have a pretty good idea of what I’m looking for, this has been a pipe dream for a while! I’m looking at boats in the mid to high twenty foot range. There isn’t quite as much choice in boats down under, but I like the look of the H28 which is a Herreshoff design and was built by a few boat yards in Australia and New Zealand.

        I have given some consideration to the junk rig, Annie Hill seems to think it’s a very manageable sail for single-handed sailing. I’m just not sure I’d want to commit to modifying a boat to that degree! I do like the idea of the ketch rig. I love the lugsail yawl you have setup! I got myself plans for a clinker plywood boat from Iain Oughtred (the Whilly Tern). It’s drawn with the lugsail and it looks like such a beautiful, traditional rig.

        One of the concerns I have about a ketch rig is the ability to setup a self-steering system as it makes fitting a wind-vane difficult. How do you manage self-steering on Auklet?

        I’m planning on basing myself on the east coast to start with, then maybe head to New Zealand. I’d love to check out Milford Sound and the Marlborough Sound.

        Thanks for checking out my blog, it’s early days for my blogging so any interest is welcome!


        • Hi Alan,

          That all sounds fun! The Herreshoff H28 looks really sweet. Maybe the folks at one of those online owners groups could talk about if they manage to put on a wind vane somehow. Maintaining a boat that size does look like a bit of work! But if you enjoy the tinkering process as much as the sailing, what a sweet outcome. And the Whilly Tern looks nice too – I agree, on the lovely traditional rig.

          For self steering, I use an electronic autopilot connected to the tiller, or balancing the two sails and lashing the tiller, which sometimes works pretty well. (See Sven Yrvind for thoughts on non-mechanized self steering.) I’d love to try a wind vane, but as you pointed out, the mizzen sail is a significant obstacle. Still thinking on that.

          As far as junk rig, the most enormous advantage is easy reefing. Even with the roller lug on AUKLET’s mainsail, in bigger winds and seas it has sometimes been a serious struggle, with potential for bad consequences. Junk rig conversion is in progress this year, most especially for that reason.

          There’s an interesting modern adaptation of junk design getting attention lately, called the “split junk rig,” which on some boats means that you can keep the mainmast in its original Western-rig position. You have to sew camber into the sails, or it’s unlikely to work, but once made, it’s got really serious potential for being an outstanding rig. Easy to reef, good upwind, and easy to sail. There’s more about this at the Junk Rig Association. On AUKLET, the mainmast is already forward, so the boat is better suited to a more traditional junk rig, so that’s what I’m working on. But in a different situation, I’d try the split junk rig in a flash. If you check out this link, there are interesting articles – probably the best to begin with is the last one in the list, with the article from Catalyst:

          It’ll be so interesting to hear where you go with it all!


  13. Ahoy Shemaya. You’re looking sooo happy to be on the water again. Great team work by all to get you back on the Auklet. Let’s hope for some Indian Summer weather to enjoy the rest of your voyage wherever you go. Seems like you need a sea dog to keep you company but Toby isn’t offering his company!

    Take care and be safe.

    Alice B.

    • Alice! What a treat!

      Yes, it’s an amazing team effort – what a great group, making it all happen.

      You know, as far as four-footed crew, a lot of people do take dogs cruising on sailboats. I often see folks with dinghy and dog, headed for this or that island to let the dog run. The dogs generally seem quite happy about the whole endeavor, and the people happy with their furry friend. The company might be nice, but I have a bad habit of not going ashore for ages at a time, which wouldn’t be so fair to the four-legged crew. I can see why Toby is not volunteering!

      I hope you have some fun with the reading, firmly anchored on dry land so as not to get seasick!

      Thanks so much for writing,

  14. Hello Shemaya, You mentioned Jerome (Jay) Fitzgerald on the junk association forum with regards to information on the yuloh, a goggle search brought me to your interesting blog. I live aboard May Morning a 26ft junk rigged Sadler.

    • Hi Rob,

      Oh that’s fun! Thanks so much for saying hello. Since the other day when you wrote this, the yuloh plans have finally made it onto the blog, so perhaps that will help? I’ll watch for you and your boat around the JRA!


  15. I’d really like to meet you! There are not too many junk-rig sailors here in New England. I’m a member of the JRA, and have a boat on Champlain. Looks like we think similarly on several topics, including kerosene as a boat fuel.

    • Hi Timothy! Yes, that’s so true about the small number of junk rig sailors around this region. Though there is another JRA member who lives on the Maine coast not that far from where I am. Small discussions have begun about having a junket – any chance of your boat making it all the way over here??

      Not sure about the kerosene – must be from somebody else? Sure do like that yuloh though!


  16. Shemaya,

    I was thrilled to come across your blog today. You are one enthusiastic Chebacco sailor!

    I’m located near Melbourne Australia and have built and sail a Chebacco 25. Even bigger than your Chebacco and just as beautiful. I am webmaster of the website – no doubt you have dropped in once in a while as we have collected heaps of information about Bolger Chebaccos here – so it is curious that I have only just found you. I would love to publish a post about you and your boat and your adventures.


    • shemaya said:

      Hi Andrew,
      This is wonderful news, that you have revived! I hadn’t checked in quite a while, after it had been inactive for some time. At one point AUKLET was registered on there, though probably buried somewhere back around 2008. I’ve just had a chance to look at the new site for a minute, but will have a great time getting more caught up. If you want to do a story on AUKLET, that would be fun!

      I got to read the first post you did on the new site, from 2015, with all those great build and lake sailing photos of your boat. It looks lovely!

      Thank you so much for writing – it’s great to be in touch.

  17. Lauren "Joe" Welch said:

    Hi Shemaya! I’m still processing the two-day (for me) junk rig gathering at Holbrook Island cove! Can’t stress enough what a pleasure it was to finally meet you and how grateful I am that you organized this event. I especially owe you a debt of gratitude for your encouragement of me on a personal level as I continue to learn and, importantly, develop further confidence. Don’t know that I’ll ever arrive at a point at which I can totally tune out that admonition—ingrained since childhood— not to “toot your own horn too loudly” but maybe I’ll gradually be open to sharing a few of the things I’ve learned—that I’m certain are proven and might be of value to others –while building/rigging “Elaine-Elizabeth.” Again, thank you so very, very much! Looking forward to following you here.

    • Hi Joe!
      What fun that was, that gathering. I’m so glad that you made the trip, and that it worked to stay for sailing TWICE! I know what you mean about the conundrum of tooting one’s own horn – says I, with this enormous blog. I do indeed hope that you will share the work you have done on Elaine-Elizabeth. It is both beautiful, and without a doubt useful to other folks working to put boats together.

      I have mentioned to Lynda at the JRA that you have some lovely photos – if you are inclined to send something along to the JRA magazine I’m quite sure that she would be delighted. And of course, if you are inspired to put together a blog page, then everybody can see it! That would be not only interesting and fun for the rest of us, but very useful. So if our gathering has contributed to that idea developing some extra steam, I would be especially happy. Any way around, it was wonderful to meet you, and I look forward to staying in touch.
      Very best wishes,

  18. Geoff Davis said:

    Hi Shemaya,
    I noticed that some people found out about you by stumbling across your blog. I, on the other hand, “stumbled” across you and Auklet in Penobscot Bay not far from Pickering Island back in August of 2012-I think. On an afternoon sail in my Friendship Sloop, I spotted you off Cape Rosier headed east. Being a fan of Bolger, I was immediately intrigued by your boat. We passed at a distance and I was about to continue to Pond Island, but my curiosity overrode my plans, so I came about and chased you till we were within shouting distance and I was able to call out asking if your boat was a Bolger design. And then of corse, where you were from. When you answered Connecticut, I was impressed but the conditions weren’t right for a lengthy conversation, so I waved and wished you a good voyage.

    When I finally got ashore I thought maybe I might find you at Buck’s Harbor, but you weren’t there so ever since then I’ve been wondering who you were and what your story was. Two weeks ago I started reading Bill Cheney’s book Penelope Down East and to my delight, there was my answer! And what a story indeed! I’m so glad to have found a way to say hello again. Cape Rosier, particularly Blake’s Point is my summer home so perhaps there’s a chance we will cross paths again and have an opportunity to chat and maybe even share a lobster dinner.

    I am quite taken with your blog and will be following.
    Have a great winter!


    • Geoff,
      How wonderful to get your message! What a fun story, after all this time. You will have seen the new rig by now, looking at the blog – but I still keep getting outpaced by Friendship Sloops! If that was 2012, that was most likely that same time when I first met Bill at Pickering Island, as he talked about in the book. It’s a lot of fun, when all the threads start coming back together.

      What a treat that must be, your summer home. Where are you in the winter? I’ll look forward to the possibility of seeing you again, one way or another!


  19. Geoff Davis said:

    Hi Shemaya,

    We live near Portland, Oregon in the winter where we dream about being in Maine until late Spring when we head east again. Born and raised in New England, I just can’t stay away-at least in the summer, but I must shamefully admit that I my willingness to endure bitter cold winters has worn thin. I will watch you blog and if it looks like you’re headed Penobscot Bay way again I will keep a serious eye out for you. Have a wonderful winter.

    Your story is ansolutely inspirational and are making a difference in the world just by being you. You have my greatest admiration!


    • Hi Geoff,

      Portland, Oregon is nice too! I know what you mean about the winters here, though they are getting shorter – now the day before Thanksgiving, it’s raining and was close to 50° earlier. I’m not sure that’s a good thing, but it does help with winter stamina when it takes so long for the cold to get going.

      Do you ever sail east of Schoodic? It would be a treat to see a Friendship sloop in Gouldsboro Bay – the entire neighborhood would be delighted to welcome you! Please do say something if you think you might be in the area. Who knows what I’ll be up to next year, but it would certainly be fun to say hi if I’m over your way.

      Thanks so much for your kind words – I’m late in replying, which is no reflection on how much I enjoyed your message.
      Take care,

  20. Doug Wilcox said:

    She maya, would you contact me please. I have a Peep Hen and would like to rig it with a junk rig like you and Glen Maxwell have done. I need some guidance. I am in Rhode Island.

  21. Rodney Deacon said:

    Good afternoon
    I am actively looking for a set of yacht beaching legs for my new yacht. They would be less than 2metres long. My boat is scanyacht 290. Basically an LM27 hull. Its draught is 0.95metres.
    My ideal would be a ‘Yacht Legs company’ set. Please can you help?
    I am a capable engineer and can fit myself. I sail in the Bristol Chanel where legs are an advantage in places.
    R Deacon
    PS I am a 76 years old active sailor, for the last 50 years with my wife. Yes for all those years.
    The latest boat is to provide a more in cabin comfort in old age. We sailed it back from Eastbourne very successfully this summer, but legs would help enjoyment.

  22. Rodney Deacon said:

    I have been reading your interesting blogs. I spotted the name Bolger. A chap Jim sailed his lee board home built boat across the atlantic and wintered at our club up the Bristol Channel (UK). he rerigged it as a Junk rig.

  23. Adena Bowden said:

    Hi there!

    My dad and I met you today while out for a paddle off Schoodic Peninsula (Frazer Point area). So happy to have been able to find you online. My dad sails some (is currently on a 10 person crew of a 30 foot race sailboat) and I was fortunate that he shared the sport with me when I was young.
    It was a pleasure meeting you today and I look forward to following your adventures on your blog. I find you inspiring and I hope to be as bada** as you some day.
    Happy floating!

    Adena Bowden
    Pittsburgh, PA

    • Hello Adena!
      It was such a pleasure talking with you and your dad, in that cove off of Mosquito Harbor, up by Winter Harbor! I got a little jumbled with the blog, and I’m sorry it’s taken so very long to put your comment through, and to write back. It’s just lovely to hear from you, and your sweet thoughts.

      I hope that the two of you had a wonderful time with the rest of your trip, and that the intervening months have been treating you well. I’d love to hear about your own adventures!

      With very best wishes,

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