Best Sailing Blogs of 2013

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." -Benjamin Franklin

That's a simple quote, but an arduous task. And of course, the meaning of "worth" changes among readers and writers. But if you're here at SailFarLiveFree.com, I can safely assume sailing probably ranks high on your scale of things worth reading and worth doing.

Below are the sailing related blogs that I've most enjoyed following during 2013. There are many more that I follow and countless others that are worthy of reading, but just as with years past, I've tried to narrow the field a bit. Some are very popular blogs and some will be new to you, but all benefit from writing and adventure that's outside the editorial constraints of magazines and other more traditional forms of written media. Notice also, I've included a selection of blogs to follow in the upcoming year. Many will be beginning new adventures in 2014. Enjoy!

A sailing blogger's office

SFLF's Best Sailing Blogs of 2013

s/v Bella Star: Nicole and Aaron are a couple of Seattlites who did the typical cruising thing: dreamed about the tropics, bought a boat and set off for adventure through the South Pacific's playground of palms, atolls and postcard beaches. A very sweet dream for many cruisers, but nothing all that out-of-the-ordinary in today's cruising blog community. What sets the s/v Bella Star blog apart from others is the short, punchy posts followed by many often hilariously captioned photos. Nicole and Aaron alternate authoring duties and their blog benefits from that volleying. Maybe I'm biased because their boat (Hans Christian 33t) happens to be my favorite bluewater cruiser, but following their journey across the Pacific was a pleasure. Need a winter warm-up and a quick smile? Take a stroll through their pictures, "arm shots" and "island conquering".

Get a feel for the s/v Bella Star blog with this post: We Love Niue!

Art of Hookie: Here's a unique blog from someone who describes himself as "a maximalist in minimalist clothing." The description works for the blog too. Alan left a secure job and bought a very cool boat (Falmouth Cutter 22), draining his savings account to just 14 cents! That's risky to some, foolish to others, but it's now a home and way of life for Alan. Art of Hookie is about more than sailing. You'll find deep personal reflections, beautiful photography, wilderness adventures and more. What I like most is that Alan often challenges his readers to think differently about the world and society around them.

Get a feel for the Art of Hookie blog with this post: Treasure Island

Katie and Jessie on a Boat: I initially started following this blog because Katie and Jessie are from my home waters on Lake Michigan. Theirs is a story of two friends who purchased an old Cal 27 with aspirations of doing the Great Loop and are mostly making up the script as they travel along. These aren't your ordinary Loopers, however. Katie and Jessie are two girls in their early 20's who are just hoping to make "the greatest story a girl could ever tell." Their writing, photography and adventurers are all very fresh, if even a little green, which is exactly what makes their blog stand out in a positive way. So far, they've made it from Lake Michigan down through America's inland waterway to Florida's Gulf Coast and then through the Ockechobee Waterway to the Atlantic where they took on the Bahamas. It's sounding like 2014 may see them finish the Loop.

Get a feel for the Katie & Jessie on a Boat blog with this post: The Storm

s/v Estrellita 5.10b: Livia and Carol can now be called South Pacific veterans after having sailed and blogged about these waters for multiple seasons. Their plan is simple: To cruise as long as it's fun. How do they define fun? Well, in their own words "fun is at least 80:20 percent on the fun-to-suck ratio, with an ideal fun-to-suck ratio of 90:10." The bottom line is that if you're a sucker for the South Pacific like me, you should follow s/v Estrellita 5.10b and get a dose of what it's really like sailing in French Polynesia.

Get a feel for the s/v Estrellia 5.10b blog with this post: Losing Your Cruising

Bumfuzzle: Pat and Ali certainly don't need an introduction or recognition from my blog. They're truly Hall-of-Fame worthy cruisers and bloggers, so why include them here? Well, since they recently decided to swallow the anchor and take to a life of "motorhome gypsies", I thought it was fitting to include them one last time in a list of best sailing blogs. You've all read their family adventures, but make sure you read Pat's candid post about the end of their cruising existence.

Get a feel for the Bumfuzzle blog with this post: Roll On

Log of s/v Del Viento: These West Coast cruisers provide readers with some of the best perspectives on what it's like to cruise as a family. There's a fine line between too much family content and not enough sailing content, but Michael has steadily tightroped the line now for several years. His style continues to evolve and his writing is as good as it gets in the blogosphere. Their boat is currently headed back south towards Mexico, but a good portion of 2013 was spent in Alaska.

Get a feel for the s/v Del Viento blog with this post: Moe-Gee-Oat-Eh

s/v Ocelot & The Hacking Family: I'm very politely going to label the Hacking Family as the grand parents of the cruising blog generation. They're not physically old, but they've been sailing, cruising, living aboard and blogging about all of it since at least 2002. I've been a reader of theirs since before I started this blog back in 2007. If you dig deep enough into their website, you can even find stories from their sailing experiences in the 1980's. I guess it goes without saying that their website (it's much more than a blog) is massive. While much the content in 2013 covers a major refit of their cruising catamaran, I wanted to include their website in this list because it's such a good resource for cruisers. Why do the Hackings cruise? Their primary goal has been to teach themselves and their children about the different cultures of people in our world. You'll find that they've gone one step further by also teaching readers the same.

Get a feel for the Hacking Family blog with this post: Indonesian Arrival

Need a sailing magazine alternative? Follow a sailing blog!

Blogs to Watch & Follow in 2014 - New cruisers, new adventures, and new blogs

LAHO Wind: Jereme and Kim purchased their first sailboat in 2013 and just quit there jobs in December to go cruising in the Bahamas and Caribbean. It should be fun to watch them evolve as sailors and adapt to the cruising lifestyle in 2014.

In The Present Sea: Webb Chiles is an accomplished author and sailor, but did you know he keeps a blog? Just don't let him hear you calling it a blog. He prefers "journal" and considers "blog" and ugly word! In any case, Webb is currently preparing for his 6th circumnavigation and intends to depart sometime in early 2014. [If you haven't read my recent interview with Webb, check it out here]

Sundowner Sails Again: Westsail the world! Tate and Dani will be living that slogan soon enough. They're currently finishing the restoration of their Westsail 32 in preparation for a planned January 2015 departure to sail around the world. Follow them in 2014 as they finish the boat and shake things out before leaving.

Skelton Crew: I've gotta give some love to fellow Great Lakes sailors from our home port of Muskegon. Like those above, they've purchased a sailboat and are getting to know her before their big Caribbean adventure in 2015. Check 'em out and follow along as they "play in the Great Lakes" before heading south.

ZeroToCruising: I suspect many of you are already following Mike and Rebecca, but 2014 should be full of new adventures now that they've switched from cruising on their own sailboat to running One Love catamaran charters out of St. Thomas.

Retirement Project: All the way from an inland lake in Illinois to Florida (currently) and the Caribbean (2014). That's the recent story for Tim and Deb aboard s/v Kintala. If you're familiar with their blog, you know they've worked hard to make it this far, so seeing them reap the rewards in the Caribbean during 2014 should be gratifying.

Want more great blogs? Check out the Best Sailing Blogs of 2014.

Got other favorite blogs you love to follow or know of some that should be picking up momentum in the coming year? We'd love to hear about them, so please share in the comments below.

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31 comments:

  1. Wow! Thanks SO much for including us on your list! :) And what an honor to be in such great company. We are super excited for the newfound cruising lifestyle that awaits us in the New Year. -Kim, s/v LAHO

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  2. Thanks for the Great Lake love! Looks like I've got a couple new blogs to follow now :) ~Jackie

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  3. Such a great list of sailing blogs, and I love the section of up and comers, especially since my friends the Skelton Crew are on there. We may be biased, but there's just something about people that come from the Great Lakes. ;)

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  4. can we throw our blog into the list? www.itsanecessity.net we're been cruising for four years but only blogging since this past April.

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  5. Oh Hey! We are flattered you put us on your list. That means at least one person finds our blogging about nuts and bolts and the occasional screw interesting :). We just keep hammering away but are approaching our departure date and we are EXCITED!! Geesh, we are really ready to get this show on the road. Maybe one day we'll all get to meet up, somewhere warm and somewhere tropical.

    Dani and Tate

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  6. Super excited to see your blog post on such a great topic! There are countless blogs out there so it is so nice to see a write narrow the field a bit in tems of what to look for on the world wide web! When I get the chance later I will come back and give them all a visit. I love to read about others adventures and how they ae making it happen. I am on my own personal journey with sailing, but it is a slow one to say the least. I am married, have teenagers and work full time. So my plan right now is to sail when I can and do as much reading and studying about sailing in the meantime. I have met some of the most absolutely wonderful people that sail and I can tell you that my life is better for it!

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  7. Oh I love these lists!! So many of my favorite blogs here, and a few I hadn't seen yet! We are a young couple totally new to sailing and just about to set for the Bahamas, Caribbean and Central America with our two dogs :)
    -Jody, S/V Mary Christine
    wherethecoconutsgrow.com

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  8. Great list! Please follow our new blog :
    www.goodshipmonster.blogspot.ca

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  9. Great list! Please follow our new blog: www.goodshipmonster.blogspot.ca

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  10. My internet has been down for a while and when I got it back I noticed a huge amount of new traffic so I did some investigation WOW thank you much for the kind words. You did happen to leave out the best of the best though www.sailfarlivefree.com Happy New Years my friend :)

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  11. There is a terrific blog that seems to fly under the radar. Posts swap between beautiful photos that share the life of a cruising family with the occasional longer form piece that represents the most literary writing of all the cruising blogs "out there". Truly, I don't' think that's an understatement! It's not been very active the last few years, but is ramping up as they take off anew. Check out: http://svseawolf.blogspot.com/

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  12. One more suggestion. We've cruised in company with sv Delos, and after each taking a break in Australia, they've headed to some fascinating, off-the-track places. It's a younger crew of free spirits, and a nice balance between stories of their wild adventures and addressing cruising FAQs. check out: http://svdelos.blogspot.com/

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    1. Love sv Delos and crew! Not only is their blog great, but so are their YouTube videos...check them out if you haven't already. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. We've been so busy navigating the ICW and this new lifestyle that this is the first day I've had the time to get caught up on my blog reading so I hadn't even read your post. Thanks so much for including us here among such a list of accomplished cruisers. Maybe it will rub off on us! Disclaimer: we try always to be totally honest about our experiences, and we've had a few difficult ones, so our blog is not the umbrella drink pictured on the white sandy beach kind of blog. If you want the truth about cruising though, it's the place to go.

    Thanks again for your encouragement,

    Deb
    S/V Kintala
    www.theretirementproject.blogspot.com

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    1. Deb - Your honesty on the blog is very apparent and appreciated. Keep it up!

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  14. First, let me just say how grateful we are to you for putting together this list. We have been looking for a few new blogs to follow in 2014, so your line-up was much-needed and well-received. Regarding blogs of interest in the coming year, you're welcome to check out our crude attempt at a sailing blog: www.havewindwilltravel.com. The Cap'n and I acquired our first s/v, Plaintiff's Rest, a 35' Niagara Hinterhoeller, in April, 2013 and have just started to really stretch her legs. The aptly-titled "Gulf Crossing" (when we sailed the boat from Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda, FL to its new home port in Pensacola, FL) was quite the adventure. We also took her out for a chilly 10-day cruise over Thanksgiving and we're now readying her for our first 'real' (I guess in your words - our first farther, further, freer) cruise in March, 2014 - 6 weeks/2 months to explore the Keys and Florida's west coast. As you'll probably see, our blog focuses more on the journey than the destination. We tend to find adventure everywhere and a story worth telling always. I hope you enjoy the read, and thanks again for the work you put into this.

    - Annie and Phillip
    S/V Plaintiff's Rest
    www.havewindwilltravel.com

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    1. Thank you for sharing your blog. It's well written and fun! We spend some time annually visiting my parents in Punta Gorda and have often thought that it'd be an excellent home base for a cruising boat. Lots to see along the Gulf Coast and the Keys are just a short jump away. Enjoy your Niagara...they're great boats!

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  15. Well, thank you. Very flattering. And next year we are WESTBOUND!

    Livia & Carol
    Currently at anchor in Mangareva Atoll
    Gambier Archipelago, French Polynesia

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  16. Well, thank you. Very flattering. And this year we are WESTBOUND!

    Livia & Carol
    At anchor aboard SV Estrellita 5.10b
    Mangareva Atoll
    Gambier Archipelago
    French Polynesia

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  17. I just had the opportunity to catch up on your blog as we have been without internet in Cuba. 2014 as did 2013 provides some interesting reading. You hooked me on Windtraveler last year. We will see which one catches my eye this year. http://pinknblueview.blogspot

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    1. Thanks Linda! Definitely a lot of excellent sailing/cruising blogs out there...almost too many to keep up with!

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  18. We have just redesigned our website to make it a little different and hopefully you will have a look.
    We have been living aboard our sailing yacht, Cygnus III full time as a family for three years now and our blog is a mixture of sailing and humour. We always like to get e mails or answer anyone's questions about the live aboard lifestyle so stop by and say hello.
    www.cygnus3.com

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    1. Thanks! I'll definitely check out your new redesign, and hopefully others will too. Thanks for commenting.

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  19. Thanks for compiling this list. Great to read about others enjoying the cruising life. I have begun creating my own list of great sailing blogs and bloggers; some of which are on your list as well.

    My blog is www.bluewatermystique.blogspot.com

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  20. Great list, thanks for this!

    www.clubtray.com/sailing

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  21. What a cool resource for Sailors!
    I hope to arrive on such a list at the point that such inclusion is deemed worthy.
    My blog has shifted towards a resource for Southern Californian sailors -
    and a few irreverent tips on Sailing style for the newbie -

    Sail on Sailor!
    S/V Alize'
    Mission Bay, San Diego
    Curran's Captains Log

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  22. What an awesome list of sailing blogs! I also really like Zizoo's sailing blog. You can check it out here: https://blog.zizoo.com/

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  23. Great list, nice work. One thing, your link for sv bella vita leads to an investment site. This link worked for me: http://sv-bellavita.blogspot.com

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  24. Hi! Please check out our website and blog at www.coconuts.is
    We have been sailing for years (10) but never had the time to start blogging until recently. We have been nomads, on a constant move, started out with 2 toddlers and have since added two more to the crew (born onboard). We have sailed Green (engineless) for all these years covered the Pacific, Caribbean, North Atlantic, Arctic circle and North Sea, currently in the Bay of Biscay.
    Thanks!

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