"The sea is a great university of the story-telling art." -Norman Freeman
I really enjoy writing content for SailFarLiveFree.com. In fact, writing sailing related content is second only to time spent with my family and actual sailing in bringing me fulfillment. The more I write and the more I get to interact with readers, the more I find I'm inspired to continue writing. So thank you to my longtime readers, new readers who have started following my blog sometime during 2012, and to all those who comment and contact me.
There's a lot of great bloggers in the sailing and cruising community and I also get a lot of inspiration and enjoyment out of reading their content. And so, this blog post is an attempt to recognize and thank some of my fellow sailing bloggers. If you read SailFarLiveFree via the webpage (as opposed to an RSS feed or email subscription), you're probably familiar with a lot of my favorite sailing bloggers from seeing them listed in my blog roll. In any case, I highly recommend you follow the blogs below in the coming year.
SailFarLiveFree's Best Sailing Blogs from 2012
Windtraveler: Brittany and Scott have a great website and share candidly about their adventures, their life, and their cruising experience. Their blog is well-written, informative, and updated more frequently than just about any other sailing blog around. It's looking like 2013 will be an even more exciting year on their blog since they're about to begin another long cruise through the Caribbean on their new-to-them Brewer 44, this time with their little daughter, Isla. Given their origins on Lake Michigan and their family-cruising focus, I'm a big fan of Windtraveler.
s/v Wondertime: Picture a down-to-earth family of four (mom, dad, two daughters) sailing across the Pacific from Seattle to New Zealand, and adventuring on all the islands in between. While it's fairly common to see blogs about a cruise through the South Pacific, you'll be hard-pressed to find one that's written better or with a more genuine tone than what the crew of s/v Wondertime produces. I thoroughly enjoyed following their journey throughout 2012 and will miss their cruising stories if they decide to stay in New Zealand for 2013.
Controlled Jibe: If you're anticipating going through sailing-blog-withdraw from the completion of journeys like those described from s/v Wondertime above, tune in to Controlled Jibe during 2013 and you'll be reading from the front end of a new sailing journey down in Mexico's Sea of Cortez. 2012 was all about Mark and Katie finding and fitting out of their classic Alberg, but now they've recently begun their cruise and are going to "Sail til the money's gone".
Zero to Cruising: Fans of sailing/cruising blogs who haven't been on ZeroToCruising.com are either just starting to explore quality sailing blogs or are living under a rock. While there have been more popular cruising blogs in the past, I'm willing to give the current crown to ZTC. Mike and Rebecca are rockstar bloggers who started back in 2008 up in the Great Lakes with no sailing experience and are now Caribbean veterans who post tons of great advice, pictures, and stories almost on a daily basis. ZTC will keep you warm through the coldest of winters.
Bumfuzzle: It's almost cliche to have Bumfuzzle on a "best of" list these days since Pat and Ali have been doing it right for years and have a huge following of readers. I first became a reader back when they were kid-less and admittedly clueless catamaran sailors nonchalantly circumnavigating the globe with almost no sailing experience. They've since graduated to a race across America in a 65' Porsche, a 60,000 mile road trip in a 58' VW bus, and now parenthood aboard a monohull in Mexico. Pat's photography and writing are top-notch!
Log of s/v Del Viento: Mike, Windy, and their two daughters are hardcore cruisers. They've covered the West Coast of the United States and Mexico and are currently cruising in British Columbia. Mike writes openly and knowledgeably about a variety cruising topics, but I guess my honest attraction to the Del Viento blog is seeing how their young daughters grow through cruising experiences. Well, that, and I'm a big fan of the Fuji 40 as a cruising sailboat.
The Retirement Project: While the Retirement Project blog isn't necessarily new, the crew of Kintala haven't officially started their big cruise yet. So far, readers have been treated to a refit of the Tartan 42 and the refinement and learning of sailing skills on inland waters as TJ and Deb prepare to shove off into a cruising life, potentially sometime during 2013. I'll be eagerly reading as they depart through the Great Lakes and head towards salty seas.
Proper Course: Hopefully Tillerman doesn't take offense when I say that Proper Course is the odd-ball among my list of best sailing blogs for 2012. I mean it as a compliment, honest. Tillerman has a bit of disdain for cruisers and aspires to "cheat the nursing home and die on his Laser". But still, his writing manages to be entertaining, informative and almost always unexpected.
Swell Voyage: Liz Clark and the Voyage of Swell is simply really good, honest, cruising experiences. Liz Clark is a women's collegiate national surfing champion turned solo-sailor and environmentalist. She's sailed solo across the Pacific and writes about a simple way of life. I think she serves as a great role model for my three daughters and I look forward to her adventures in 2013.
John Vigor's Blog: John's blog appears simple and visually reserved, but his writing is interesting and informative even without pictures or illustrations, so I recommend you have a visit. Many of you probably know John from his many published books (Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere, Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started Sailing, etc.). His blog features quick tidbits and great tips all grounded in his vast experience.
What were your favorite sailing-related blogs to follow during 2012? What will you be reading in 2013?