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Saturday, December 12, 2015



I have the privilege of serving aboard the Jade Princess, a MV bound for St. Petersburg, FL.  Captain Gordon asked me to help crew aboard this 78 ft. Pluckebaum boat being delivered to the owner.  My crew mate is Thadeus a 23 yr. old man having served with Captain Gordon in a prior delivery.  We seem to be making a good crew after learning the habits and sailing plan of our captain. 

We are currently in the “ditch” as the upper portion of the Tom Bigbee Waterway is known.  We have a voyage of about 1,100 nm to our destination.  We experienced strong currents the first 200 miles but not are on the downward leg of the river portion.  Cruising now at 10 knts. The boat is performing admirably. 

We are making about 60 to 90 miles per day with the limited amount of sunlight.  Due to the debris in the river we are not cruising past dark.  The boat has twin Caterpillar diesels and a somewhat flat bottom.  We will experience some roll when crossing the Gulf to St. Pete.  The boat handles well with a bow thruster and twin engines.  We will transit 11 locks to Mobile Bay.  We hope to get a push from the current below the first lock at Whitten Dam.  We are burning about 13.5 gal. per hour which includes the on board generator.  This is actually an economic burn. 

Not many people would enjoy our cruising speed, however, I have friends who comment wishing they could have this experience.  I just tell them they can with a commitment and that all precious commodity of “time”.  I am fortunate to have a very patient wife, Denise, who shares my passion for travel and accommodates my adventures. 

I will try to find the time to update the blog after this long absence.  I am trying to establish another blog on word press but stumbling around the site.

Happy sailing all.


Jade Princess

At Columbus, MS.

Friday, September 25, 2015


Almost as an afterthought, this summer cruise was created.  Denise, needing some time away from the grind of work, meetings and all the stresses associated with these demands, prompted her idea for a cruise.  Hence, the journey.
As we have traveled for several years, we discovered the most rewarding part of “travel” is the journey not necessarily the destination.  We rediscovered this portion of travel during our recent cruise.  Now keep in mind this type of travel, cruising, is not for all.  But if you want to spend every waking moment in the company of your spouse or loved one, this can be a journey of discovery. 

Our star ship is a 30 year old trawler, 36 ft. in length and 12.5 ft. beam (wide). Now if the boat was square, which it is not, we would have 450 SF of living area.  However, this living area is estimate at about 300 SF.  Probably the size of a typical bedroom.  However, we have a spacious bridge and sundeck to augment our living area.  In fact, except for sleeping, we spend much more of our day on the bridge than in the cabin. 

During this voyage we determined to NOT travel long days, say 50-60 miles which at our speed requires an 8-9 hour cruise.  Instead we planned to cruise 20-30 miles most days in time to anchor for an evening swim, adult beverages and dog entertainment. This planned has proven a success.  Our cruise did include a wonderful visit from friends who journeyed to Clarksville, TN to meet us for dinner.  Now those are friends. We docked at the Clarksville Marina on our upriver portion. 


Our first afternoon or day I should say was a WORK day. We had to provision the boat and this required several long walks from the vehicle to the boat pushing a cart loaded like a Pack Mule.  I was the pack mule.  We you try to prepare for 7 days and nights floating aboard 0 Regrets, one must prevision thoughtfully.  Now our boat has certain limitations on storage, thus an imagination is required.  Food flexible enough to serve as breakfast, lunch, snack and in a crisis dinner.  Dogs must be prepared for as they are part of the crew.  A bit of food, snacks, play ball and of course our dog ramp is all they really require.
After a quick stop overnight on the hook at Prizer Point, the real cruise began late morning the following day.  This required about a 30 mile upriver cruise to Ft. Donaldson and Hickman Creek embayment.  We discovered this bay last year and it is almost a hidden jewel of an anchorage.  After passing the entrance at depth of 6-9 ft. we are rewarded with an expanse of a bay with Donaldson Fort on the south side and just a couple boat ramps on the north.  No dwellings are visible along the shore. We anchored at 12 ft. depth and commenced the afternoon ritual of doggy swimming. That’s right our pampered pets retrieved a ball and swam out to Denise for a ride of the Admiral’s Barge (float).  The temp was very warm therefore, the cooling waters helps wash away the “trials” of the day.  This cruising is tough!
As is typical of our daily cruise, evening required some adult beverages while the gourmet chef prepared an always excellent meal.  No hot dogs here.  Crusted chicken breasts, some type of salad I cannot pronounce with on boat made dressing and of course an excellent red wine.  We do have a gas grill on the bridge which sees its share of use.  Sundown brings time to rest for tomorrow is another arduous cruise.

We planned to dock at the Clarksville Marina which we would recommend to all boaters. The design of the facility is excellent for a river marina and the staff are more that helpful.  We were assigned a covered slip which provides relief from a burning sun. It is summer you know.  We also recommend the Liberty Park Grill which is located just off the marina for a wide menu, good service and a river view.  We plan to return here on the down river portion of our cruise. 

Part of the journey include a bit of exploration.  We have not cruised above Clarksville, TN (upriver is always up).  We had considered Nashville as a destination but docking downtown without some security and our past visits did not entice us.   We instead planned to lock up at the Cheatum Dam and explore a portion of the Harpeth River. The Harpeth River is truly a great anchorage.  We were tipped about this anchorage by our good friend and fellow cruiser Doc.  Anchored in 12 ft. of water near high bluffs with the only noise being fish jumping and the wood peckers.  Again, time for the doggy swimming with some adult supervision. 

I am stopping this latest entry as we are planning the voyage to Pensacola. I will See you on Channel 16.

thanks for you attention. 

Monday, August 31, 2015


After a long absence from the Blog, I venture back into the abyss.  I continue to consider creating another blog with our new passion, Sailing.  I say sailing meaning to sail our trawler in hopes of new adventures.  We continue to market our motorhome and plan to relocate to Lake Barkley (Cumberland River) for our land based location.  

As might be expected when sailing a 30 year old boat, maintenance and repairs are an important part of the year.  While our Albin trawler remains in good condition, sometimes things just break. We seem to be pretty good at breaking things.  While I am not accomplished in boat repair I am attempting to learn the routine maintenance.  This does require repeated attempts to bend this old body like a your midget to rear certain bolts, valves etc.  There have been occasion where I had the thought that my heirs might find my body in the bilge wedged between a manifold and batteries.  Maybe a safety harness would help extract the body?  

One of your major repairs this year is the windlass.  That's right the wince that launches and retrieves the anchor. Having destroyed the original windlass, we searched world wide for a replacement. This came from a tip on Trawlers for Trawlering email string and has lead us to the solution.  We have been retrieving the anchor by hand, legs, back and will.  This can bring you to a challenge.

I left this post some time ago.  Now I am preparing for the great exploration South to the Florida panhandle.  So I will end this post in hopes of continuing to greater waters and more quality posts.

Captain Barry


Tuesday, March 17, 2015


During this vacation on an island, Manasota Key, Florida certain realities have presented themselves.  YUCK.  While I think of myself as a realist I enjoy the wandering imagination fostered by my dear mother.  Reading those wonderful mysteries as a boy continues to bring me much joy.  I find that while on this island, each visit, I imagine writing stories, books and hoping for that allusive moment when I am propelled along with my imagination.  I have been guilty of being "full of shit" and I am starting to enjoy that handle.

Above is the Lock & Key Bar
Scene of UK Victory
Some of the changes I noticed on this island trip do not have anything to do with the island but with my experience here on this latest visit.  We have ventured to Manasota Key for about 10 visits over the years, with and without children in tow.  While walking the beach today I began listing some changes;

10 years ago:                                                     Today: 
 towels, flip flops, kid stuff                                  umbrella,beer,chairs, bag,sunscreen
 three boys                                                         beach bag, cell phone

running on beach, splashing                              sitting in chairs under umbrella, beer, doing 
water, fishing till dark                                          beach shuffle(shell hunting)

digging for sand fleas, falling off                          cereal, coffee breakfast, work on laptop, 
skimeboards, fishing till dark,                              quiet walk on beach, miss our dogs,
eating anything.

Well you might get the idea.  Age does seem to change the island routine.  Not really a bad thing just a realization of mine on this island visit. 

I do seem to give the island time more appreciation.  During my earlier life the work load was so great it took a week to relax.  Now that my schedule is more sedate, I enjoy each day here without the dread of returning to a grind. 

View from the beach our first evening.  We do expect this all week. Beats snow and 0 degrees recently experienced in Kentucky.

We are staying in new digs for us. We typically rent a condo for the stay but during the high season rentals are limited.  However, we lucked into this duplex cottage and have a great and private beach access.  More than enough room for a couple and within walking distance of many island activities. 

Well our arduous activities with continue tomorrow. Quietly enjoying the island life prior to sailing aboard 0 Regrets. We have scoped out a local marina for our visit aboard and plan a stay here in coming years. 

Happy sailing,

Adm. Denise, Capt Barry, Deckhands Bailey and Bella


Sunday, March 8, 2015


In a previous post I outlined the Galley Refit.  Well due to the lovely weather we have experience along the shores of Lake Barkley, things have slowed.  However, progress has been made and the project continues.  I say this at the risk that parts of the
project have changed. 

A pleasant view during the Summer Season 
Snowy and COLD view during February 2014.  Enough Said!  Let's hope this is gone and Spring has arrived.

The original plan called for removal of the existing countertop and construction of the hard surface top.  However, after several consultations(in KY that is talks) with 2 contractors, the risk of damage to the existing cabinet(teak) has altered my plan. I made the executive decision to keep the existing countertop and cook top range. This will not result in damaging the cabinets. 
I have removed the existing appliances, microwave and old ice maker.  In this effort I did discover two (2) 110 volt plugs behind the microwave which was for the ice maker and microwave.  It is good to know these can be available for later uses.  This effort created a large amount of storage space which we badly need.  Long range cruises require dry good storage and most trawlers of our vintage, 1985, lack such space. 

The revised plan with a little modification, to install louvre cabinet doors with possibly an additional shelf in the larger cabinet.  This does require some modification of the opening but my limited skills can complete this requirement. As previously written, the new microwave will be installed in a box toward the bow.

Spring Cruise Plan:
As has become the custom in recent Springs, I will be "the Captain" of a cruise with good friends.  Spring break for my friends is 2nd week of April and we typically cruise up river the Tennessee River.  This Spring my crew will join me at Clifton, TN for cruising "new" water. It is a journey of spring break out, seeing teenage boys change to young men and keeps the Captain fresh.  

The purpose of the "new" water sail plan is to introduce the crew to the wonders of transiting a Corp. of Engineer's Lock. We will lock up the Pickwick Dam to Pickwick Lake and later transit the Wilson Lock, a 93 ft. lift to Wilson Lake. This lock is the highest lift East of the Mississippi River.    As much travel occurs on the Tennessee River, very few people get to experience locking through a dam .

The journey will take most of 2 weeks and is never long enough. We continue to make plans for sailing South to Florida and beyond and prepare 0 Regrets for the journey.  Better come along with us to enjoy the adventure. 

Happy Sailing,

Adm. Denise, Capt Barry, Deckhands Bailey and Bella  

Sunday, January 25, 2015


As I sit by the fire on this wet and cold winter day, surrounded by our two best friends, Bailey and Bella, I realized, it is hard to be a dog. 

Today offered some examples. 
1. Potty time.  Now today it is wet, cold and just plain yucky. But the girls must venture forth at 7 am for potty time.  Now, I know this does require some smell time but give me a break!  Would you want to walk outside barefooted at 7 am to potty? 

2. Breakfast time:  Now the girls do not have to cook, but cold, dry food in a bowl?  No warm oatmeal here.  No bacon and eggs(unless we feed them during brunch).

3. Medicine time:  Now I have to consume a number of pills daily due to my increasing age(medicare you know).  But Bailey and Bella have to endure some real embarrassment when visiting the Vet.  You know like the temperature taking experience. I used to see a Vet for my medical care but learned the thermometers taste funny!  Even a grooming requires some expression of glands, akin to the prostate exam men endure. How unlady like.  Consuming the pills does required some tasty cheese. 

4. Car Travel: Now we all use our seat belts, right?  Well our girls just have to hack it.  I mean I know they make some new fangled seat belts for dogs but sometimes they just risk it. Sitting up in front, no car seat here, Bailey likes the view.  Bella loves to hang out the window but little one could go flying.  Hitting the brakes typically sends occupants, Bailey and Bella into the dash or back seats, but they only lost two teeth last year.  Now they go "barfff barfff!  What a cute lisp.

5. Sleep:  Now all dogs are expert at napping. But what could we expect.  We require them to sleep on the floor, mats, beds, boat decks, couches, chairs etc.  No temperpedic for this rough crowd.  Then after a rough night on the floor, who could blame them for lounging most of the day on the couch.  Hell, most of us wish we could accomplish the same.  Well, I do have some noon day naps. 

6. Food:  Now that is a treat!  Not really.  Dogs just have to eat what they are provided or what they can kill.  Now, Bailey will eat an anvil if nothing else is available.  Bella on the other paw, is a bit picky.  But dry food in a bowl on the kitchen floor is not your haute cuisine.  Treats are special, but dispensed after a good potty break(rain, snow, wind and hail).  So, the next time you feed your best friend, think of their trials at the table. 

Well enough about a dog's life for the time being. I need to potty, eat a snack, take a nap and find my medication for this evening.  After all, I am the "Captain".

All aboard 0 Regrets with
Adm, Denise, Capt. Barry and deck hands Bailey and Bella 


Saturday, January 10, 2015


While lounging around the lake home, watching the wind and sun play on the Cumberland River, one begins to fantasize about the coming cruising season.  My failure is cruising through web sites for boat refitting.  You know, those with unlimited funds to refit the true Yacht.  However, I have been known to steal a few ideas along the way. 

Small projects involve some teak repair and refinish.  Like scratch and patch areas damaged during cruising and locking up or down to areas along the river.  This type of repair has been well displayed on these pages and need no further explanation.  However, while experiencing a cold winter my feeble mind plays tricks.  I think I am capable of a larger project.  Ta Da!  The galley refit!

The picture above is our current galley counter top. Not in bad shape but original to the boat, 30 years ago.  We plan to replace with a solid surface, similar to stone.  We will keep the teak cabinets, of course. 

We will remove the microwave. The cooktop is above the microwave but will also be replaced. The old ice maker will hit the drink in order to create more food storage space.  We plan to replace the open cabinets with stained doors to complete the look.
The current debate is a 2 burner, electric cook top or induction hobs which can be stored when not in use. I think the maker of the new counter top will be the deciding opinion.  The microwave/convection unit will be moved to a wood box near the end of the cabinet.  This is shown above.  Yes I stole the idea. Shoot me.  Again, this opens more storage space for the galley.  We do like to eat. 
 The galley refit will include: DEMOLITION
1). Remove old counter top
2). Remove damage teak veneer under windows
3). Remove old microwave
4). Remove old ice maker
5). Remove 2 burner cook top

1). Install new hard surface counter top
2). Add shelving under counter after microwave removal
3). Construct box for microwave/convention oven storage
4). Stain and Install new louvered doors on cabinet

OK, that is a summary of the galley refit, as planned. Of course plans may change.  The project is always subject to finances and the whims of Admiral Denise.  Stay tuned.

Happy Sailing,
Capt Barry, Adm. Denise and deckhands Bailey and Bella