May 2015

New book

During the past two years I divided my time between working on Atom, numerous projects on customer's boats, some local sailing, and writing my second book, Bound for Distant Seas. My first book, Across Islands and Oceans, was as much a land adventure as it was about the sailing. Although in this follow-up book my land excursions are again described in some detail, I focused even more on the sailing and the spiritual journey of an engineless voyage alone to Asia. The book is now available on Amazon as an ebook or paperback. There are also two sample chapter excerpts from the book on this site's Articles page about my travels in the Philippines during the 1990s. The book's back cover blurb below describes the story:

Bound for Distant Seas begins sailing author James Baldwin's epic tale of his second circumnavigation. His story is seasoned by his adventures during his first circumnavigation in 1984-86 as told in Across Islands and Oceans.

Alone with little money aboard Atom, his now engineless 28-foot sailboat, James embarks on his odyssey without the comforts and equipment most sailors consider essential. Challenging himself to live as closely with the sea as possible, the author sets sail in 1987 from Florida, bound for new adventures on the distant shores of Asia. He does not return home again for 15 years.

In this paean to the sea and foreign lands, the author recounts the best and worst of life on the ocean, visits to far-flung islands, and adventures amid throngs of humanity in some of the world's most densely populated cities. This unvarnished physical and philosophical saga includes encounters with dead-eyed bureaucrats, native angels of mercy, newly discovered WWII wreckage, fellow expat adventurers, rogues and misfits.

The journey takes many unplanned turns as the author faces near misses with lurking dangers, hikes across islands, finds temporary employment ashore, and immerses himself in foreign cultures. Along the way he is tested by sea and society, and he ultimately discovers the priceless treasures of heart and mind that he seeks.

James invites you to come aboard Atom for the journey of a lifetime.

Boat Projects

We've enjoyed the final fitting out process on Atom this year and taking her out for local sailing.

AtomSailing03kb67Sailing Atom on St. Simon's Sound  

During the first months of this year we've been involved with several other boat projects, including assisting with an Albin Vega 27 refit in our backyard boat shed. The other shed is occupied by a local Cal 2-27 undergoing a complete refit for a local customer who will use it for east coast coastal cruising.

I also bought another sailboat trailer from Sail Trailers of Columbus, GA and used it to pick up a customer's 1968 Alberg 30 from Annapolis, MD. The previous Alberg 30 project detailed on this site was a late model version, which had minor differences in design such as a full interior fiberglass liner, fiberglass toe rails with teak caps instead of solid teak toe rails, and a few other changes. This latest A30 is scheduled to get a few of the same modifications as the previous boat, such as an outboard well to replace the seized up Atomic 4 gas inboard engine. But we don't expect to do as extensive a rebuild as was done on the previous boat.

Another Alberg 30 with a new Sail Trailer
Hoisting out the broken atomic 4 engine