Dodge Morgan

A visit with Dodge Morgan

A visit with Dodge Morgan

September 2021 By Homer Shannon It was the morning of July 14, 1999. Three boats from the American Yacht Club in Newburyport, Mass.; Carpe Diem, Overtime and Cinderella, were anchored way up in Quahog Bay. Homer and Dee Shannon from Cinderella had just returned from
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Bring back Dodge Morgan!

Bring back Dodge Morgan!

May 2021 By Bob Muggleston In 2014, and new to the magazine, I was manning the booth at a boat show when a gentleman strolling by with a beer called good-naturedly over his shoulder, “Bring back Dodge Morgan!” He didn’t stop to elaborate. I turned
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Punch lines one might be able to live by

Punch lines one might be able to live by

October 2010 By Dodge Morgan Throughout life one does collect some one-line statements worth remembering – and actually remember a few of them. I like to say my memory is good but short, which means my recallable one-liners are from quite a way back in
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She’s been my gal for 42 years

She’s been my gal for 42 years

September 2010 By Dodge Morgan My little schooner Eagle is not showing her age but is showing off her age. She is 84 years old and looks like new. Credit for her Bristol condition these years goes to Paul Bryant of Riverside Boat Yard in
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Abby Sunderland’s compelling adventure

Abby Sunderland’s compelling adventure

August 2010 By Dodge Morgan Abby Sunderland is the American woman of 16 years who was attempting to be the youngest solo circumnavigator. She has impressive sailing credentials as a member of an impressively sailing-savvy family. Abby’s boat, Wild Eyes, was a 40-foot sloop specifically
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Cruising styles commensurate with age

Cruising styles commensurate with age

July 2010 By Dodge Morgan I spent my second longest continuous time on board a boat this past winter. It was seven months on the trawler Osprey, compared to my two and one-half years in the early ’60s cruising and sailing on the schooner Coaster.
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The Seagull outboard and its owners

The Seagull outboard and its owners

June 2010 By Dodge Morgan The British Seagull outboard motor appears to have been designed prior to the industrial revolution. Fifty years ago, it was a most simple and straightforward piece of machinery found on many dinghy transoms, but now it is a humorous curiosity
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Communication? That’s a laugh!

Communication? That’s a laugh!

May 2010 By Dodge Morgan “Do you have a pup with you?” This is just one sentence I translate from of an endless series of them spoken loudly – bellowed actually – to compete with the squeak-like quacks of a very nearby dog, and coming
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‘Cooked brick; ate with peanut butter’

‘Cooked brick; ate with peanut butter’

April 2010 By Dodge Morgan I can safely state that the one activity every human being knows how to do is to eat, although answers to the eating how-to and why questions show a very wide gastronomical and attitudinal variety. Some live to eat and
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The machine rules

The machine rules

Midwinter 2010 By Dodge Morgan Trawler Osprey is a boat that evokes a subtle power of persuasion but with a significant impact on a sailor’s mental state and cruising frame of reference. To begin with, she has the amenities of a high-rise flat in Manhattan
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What a difference a year (or two) makes

What a difference a year (or two) makes

December 2009 By Dodge Morgan When this issue of Points East hits the harborsides, I will be in some narrow body of water plowing south with a powerboat under me. Woof. Narrow bodies of water frighten me. One cannot run into hard, fixed objects at
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The two sides of cruising the old-fashioned way

The two sides of cruising the old-fashioned way

October 2009 By Dodge Morgan “It must feel good to know you have the prettiest boat in the harbor,” said the silver-haired gentleman from his dinghy. “We just wanted to get a real close look at your boat,” said the captain of the Monhegan Island
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The downsides of technology

The downsides of technology

September 2009 By Dodge Morgan Have you noticed how mankind keeps inventing marvelous solutions to problems some of us have, sometimes only to create new problems worse than those we sought to solve? A D10 Cat can clear-cut a forest in one day that it
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Perhaps we all should keep our pasts a secret

Perhaps we all should keep our pasts a secret

August 2009 By Dodge Morgan At one point in life, the past becomes populated with activities we cannot anymore do – and those we would not even consider doing again. A corollary of this is that time enhances, sometimes creates, past successes, and blurs the
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My one-off friends and what makes them tick

My one-off friends and what makes them tick

July 2009 By Dodge Morgan A wandering mind is a troublesome thing, can lead to mental acts of socially incorrect nature – or to a boating column like this one. Murray Peterson was a magnificent designer of traditional, wood-built sailboats, and was known for his
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My annual fitting-out advisory

My annual fitting-out advisory

June 2009 By Dodge Morgan Since boat owners can be sorted into two categories – those who do their own fitting out and those who pay others to do it – we should review some role definitions for this spring ritual. Counseling the do-it-yourselfers is
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My annual fitting-out advisory

My annual fitting-out advisory

June 2009 By Dodge Morgan Since boat owners can be sorted into two categories – those who do their own fitting out and those who pay others to do it – we should review some role definitions for this spring ritual. Counseling the do-it-yourselfers is
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My schooner as allegory for the economist

My schooner as allegory for the economist

May 2009 By Dodge Morgan My investment account has a brand-new profile, the same features displayed half-size like a naked shrunken head. My schooner appears patently unaware of the financial surgery accomplished on her long-term friend. She sits dry and comfortable as always under winter
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Open 60 designers, skippers push envelopes

Open 60 designers, skippers push envelopes

April 2009 By Dodge Morgan The Vendée Globe solo, nonstop, around-the-world sailing race has just three boats still to finish on this March 1 date. The race is billed in superlatives as the major human endeavor and test known. The first Vendée Globe was in
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Sad and good tidings on pages of life’s news

Sad and good tidings on pages of life’s news

Midwinter 2009 By Dodge Morgan I wonder if this global recession plays any role in the rash of sad news we have witnessed recently. Olin Stephens died, Francis Stokes died, I sold Wings of Time, and Tom Snyder has put Blue Moon up for sale
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Great-great-great-grandpa was a crass SOB

Great-great-great-grandpa was a crass SOB

December 2008 By Dodge Morgan My family archives indicate that my great-great-great grandfather Dodge Morgan sailed boats on the ocean. This, of course, is just one more curious activity out of the distant past, an era when people used personal automobiles for transportation, cooked their
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The two categories of personal challenge

The two categories of personal challenge

October 2008 By Dodge Morgan There are two fundamental categories of personal challenge: those we choose and those that choose us. There is an immense difference between the two when first they are engaged, but they become curiously alike over time. The difference at the
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A rocky start to my summer season

A rocky start to my summer season

September 2008 By Dodge Morgan I am accustomed to making mistakes on boats but mostly small and unthreatening ones. I have never lost a boat even though I have owned a few worth losing such as those made up of inflated rubber tubes. However, this
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Harmonicas on PDFs and other odd tales

Harmonicas on PDFs and other odd tales

August 2008 By Dodge Morgan The world of “Safety at Sea” has matured to become a little old lady. Clearly, going back 30 or more years ago, there would not be a boat that would pass today’s safety muster, even when not considering the electronic
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Count me out of this mission, please

Count me out of this mission, please

July 2008 By Dodge Morgan I have been recruited for active duty in the war on terror by none other than Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. This assignment was announced by the secretary at the recent meeting of the National Marine Manufacturing Association in Washington,
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Foraging in the pasture of the past

Foraging in the pasture of the past

June 2008 By Dodge Morgan Age and illness drive one’s mind into the distant past, to childhood memories, often clean and true, sometimes elegantly embellished. The present seems not that compelling, and the future not that comforting unless flavored with the spices of how things
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American Promise poised for new chapter

American Promise poised for new chapter

May 2008 By Dodge Morgan The sloop American Promise has been retired after 25 years of service as the flagship of the United States Naval Academy sail training fleet. She is the vessel I sailed around the world solo and nonstop in 1985-86. The purpose
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Private Smith will not be coming home

Private Smith will not be coming home

December 2007 By Dodge Morgan Two incongruously connected events: The recent $314 million lottery winner from Indiana will undoubtedly find his name is added to a number of yacht broker prospect lists. In stark contrast, we learn that Private Smith will not be coming home
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A melancholy annual event

A melancholy annual event

October 2007 By Dodge Morgan I wonder if the reason I make the sail each year from Snow Island to Newcastle alone is because I enjoy sailing Eagle with a crazy crew. Or if I simply can’t find anyone who wants to sail with me.
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Critter crisis on the high seas

Critter crisis on the high seas

September 2007 By Dodge Morgan I know a sailing couple with a small child and a large dog. When they go cruising, they place the kid with a baby-sitting relative and bring the animal aboard with them. How’s that for setting priorities! And not that
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A Luddite view of the technical world

A Luddite view of the technical world

August 2007 By Dodge Morgan Technology is the sweet siren on the rocks wearing a Medusa headdress. The call from a distance is seductive but the closer you get, the uglier she is, and the lopping off of one snake of confusion only produces a
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Preserving the cruising mate

Preserving the cruising mate

July 2007 By Dodge Morgan The ravages of time can cause troublesome consequences for the sailor and his mate. The pair has sailed together over so many years that individual roles on the boat have been refined with precision and become unquestioned habit. When circumstances
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Fridays with Albert

Fridays with Albert

June 2007 By Dodge Morgan My long personal familiarity with Einstein affords me the privilege of calling him Albert. I bonded with Albert because I had the natural gift of knowing how to expand the scope of his thinking to levels of pragmatic understanding –
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Have I got some spandrels for you!

Have I got some spandrels for you!

May 2007 By Dodge Morgan The word “spandrel” began life in an architectural lexicon. It defines the accidental and useless spaces between functional shapes, like the “V” that appears between a pair of arches and the triangle of space that happens beneath a staircase. I
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One More Sail South

One More Sail South

April 2007 By Dodge Morgan Does someone make an instrument that measures a boat’s vertical movement? There’s a confusion of choices for the horizontal: speed paddles, GPS machines, chip logs, patent logs. Why I’m wondering is that I would really like to know if, during
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Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass

Midwinter 2007 By Dodge Morgan Voice No. 1: “You look like an old sailor.” Voice No. 2: “I am that, especially the old part, but you look like you are in costume, just dressed up as an old sailor.” No. 1: “Let us talk sailing
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There’s a little fighter pilot in every sailor

There’s a little fighter pilot in every sailor

December 2006 By Dodge Morgan I read that the remains of legendary fighter pilot “Earthquake McGoon” McGovern, who flew for the Tiger Shark squadron for China before we entered WW II and later for a CIA combat “airline” in Indochina, has just been found and
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Simplicity offers a sense of security

Simplicity offers a sense of security

October 2006 By Dodge Morgan I read “We, the Navigators” by David Lewis during an eight-day solo cruise this August. The author has intensely studied the navigation techniques of the South Pacific islanders as they linked Polynesia to Melanesia to Micronesia by sea voyages in
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Most of the time, I just don’t know

Most of the time, I just don’t know

September 2006 By Dodge Morgan It is true that any decision is better than no decision when sailing. There is a commanding ring to phrases like “hard-a-lee,” even if one is sailing by the lee at the time, a state that confuses which side the
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Venturing into the world of columnist fiction

Venturing into the world of columnist fiction

August 2006 By Dodge Morgan Columnists write non-fiction as a rule. Or maybe they write true stories as hallucinations as a rule (hallucination here being an accurate replacement word for opinion.) Excepting for Dave Barry and Tom Snyder, columnists do want more than anything else
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Storm, ice, calm, rain ­– all in a day’s work

Storm, ice, calm, rain ­– all in a day’s work

July 2006 By Dodge Morgan The British solo sailor Pete Goss and I recently traded signed copies of our circumnavigation books. Pete’s 1996 sail as a competitor in the Vendee Globe non-stop race was a dramatically different challenge than was my solo, non-stop sail 20
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Taking the loneliness out of solitude

Taking the loneliness out of solitude

June 2006 By Dodge Morgan If practice produces insight, then I should qualify as a solitude guru. I have spent more time solely with myself than anyone I know, mostly at sea. The more practice I have accumulated, the further from both ignorance and knowledge
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Go sailing simply for its own sake

Go sailing simply for its own sake

May 2006 By Dodge Morgan Teaching yourself to sail is quite like it was when you taught yourself to walk. There is a fresh innocence about the challenge, with the very first steps being the most intimidating because the act itself then appears to be
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Finding family in our little fleet

Finding family in our little fleet

April 2006 By Dodge Morgan It is daunting when your own “I remember” becomes “old history” for most others. I am not talking abstract, near-term world changes such as the Internet and fake knee joints. I am talking reverie fresh in my mind that impresses
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Oh! The rhythms of the sea

Oh! The rhythms of the sea

Midwinter 2006 By Dodge Morgan Of all life’s joys, sailing is a strong No. 2 after sex. This truism becomes emblazoned with clarity during a midwinter in Maine, because sailor’s minds are diverted to memories of occasions when the lead pair of human joy –
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A lesson in time management

A lesson in time management

October 2005 By Dodge Morgan Twenty-five years ago, Eagle was only 54 years old and I was a 48-year-old pup. The two of us were cuddled in Christmas Cove for the annual bending on of sails after another spring journey down the Damariscotta River from
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Never trade luck for skill

Never trade luck for skill

September 2005 By Dodge Morgan I have been fascinated with the meaning of luck since an early age, when I first become aware that I was one lucky bastard. The awareness is visceral, like when one knows when the answer will be “yes” before the
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How solo sailing has changed in 20 years

How solo sailing has changed in 20 years

August 2005 By Dodge Morgan I have been often asked what differences I see in the solo sail of Bruce Schwab from that of mine 20 years ago. Both of us have accomplished a solo, nonstop circumnavigation under sail. It is interesting that the answer
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Global warming and the wages of pain

Global warming and the wages of pain

July 2005 By Dodge Morgan The passage from Tortola, B.V.I., to Bermuda is 830 nautical miles on a true north heading. The passage from Bermuda to Newport, R.I., is 620 nautical miles northwest or 720 nautical miles north-northwest to Portland, Maine. The purpose of the
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It is time for my spring fitting out

It is time for my spring fitting out

June 2005 By Dodge Morgan My annual fitting-out epistletome, directed, this time, to both the do-it-yourself addict and the get-more-out-of-the-boatyard sloth. Do-it yourself addict These are generally arrogant people much like those who brag about how early they arise in the morning. There is an
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A Mystery Harbor in words, not pictures

A Mystery Harbor in words, not pictures

May 2005 By Dodge Morgan The sail to my Mystery Harbor was close-hauled in a 12-knot southeasterly breeze. There is a soft one-foot bright-blue sea chop and clear, blue skies. Air temperature and water temperature are both 80 degrees. The horizon is pocked with cookie-cutter
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Sailing memories sparked by the senses

Sailing memories sparked by the senses

April 2005 By Dodge Morgan Wintertime Maine locates sailors in a squat posture drooling over memory inventory. Memories do come packaged in a very wide variety of actions and images oriented quite uniquely by the leading sensory input that captured them in the first place.
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Winning is not everything. Wanting to is.

Winning is not everything. Wanting to is.

Midwinter 2005 By Dodge Morgan Solo sailor Bruce Schwab and his open 60 Ocean Planet will be in the Southern Oceans, probably having passed the Indian Ocean and well across the South Pacific’s “Roaring Forties and Ferocious Fifties” latitudes at the time you read this
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It’s sink or swim for a slacker crew

It’s sink or swim for a slacker crew

September 2004 By Dodge Morgan A crew in a sailing voyage or cruise or race can take on several functional roles from vital skill provider to engaging companion to extra baggage. I am so used to sailing alone that I refer to anything aboard with
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Don’t forget those star parties in the sky

Don’t forget those star parties in the sky

August 2004 By Dodge Morgan I find the wonders of technology overwhelming in practice and underwhelming in concept. While I find myself failing to master the technical gear I own, I have also developed a deep distrust of technical solutions in general. Consider my boat,
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Global warming hasn’t been fair to Maine

Global warming hasn’t been fair to Maine

July 2004 By Dodge Morgan There are a number of indicators we use to determine the arrival of summer in Maine – greening and flowering of the landscape, return of the osprey, geese goslings, striped bass, songbirds. The lawn needs mowing, heating bills abate, boats
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You can’t take boat naming too seriously

You can’t take boat naming too seriously

June 2004 By Dodge Morgan The naming of a boat should be treated with at least as much care as the naming of a child and must always be done by her owners. It is said that it is bad luck for a new owner
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Rational thought can be over-rated

Rational thought can be over-rated

May 2004 By Dodge Morgan There is a surreal color to thoughts of sailing in the void of social contact. “Don’t say it, just do it.” The sails feed each other on a close reach, fight each other on a hard beat and rob each
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Sometimes, even my own id confounds

Sometimes, even my own id confounds

April 2004 By Dodge Morgan There are some current (meaning “present” and not “water flow”) boating-related dilemmas that should be noted. They come to me and I puzzle over them at inadvertent, odd times in my daily life, when watching the tumbling numbers on a
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Identifying the wood boat person

Identifying the wood boat person

Midwinter 2004 By Dodge Morgan Human beings can be classified into just two major species and two sub-species of the one primary species. The two major species are “Boat Persons” and “Non-Boat Persons.” The primary species “Boat Persons” holds two categories, “Wood Boat Persons,” defined
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Just what qualifies a sailor as ‘intrepid?’

Just what qualifies a sailor as ‘intrepid?’

October 2003 By Dodge Morgan I have been reading “Intrepid Voyagers,” edited by Tom Lochhaas and published by International Marine McGraw-Hill this year. It is composed of 18 selections from the journals and logs of “the world’s most adventurous sailors,” an eclectic bunch from pioneers
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An exploding block can be so funny!

An exploding block can be so funny!

September 2003 By Dodge Morgan I believe I am the funniest son-of-a-bitch I know. At least I am when I am alone with myself. I am continually pulling off hilarious acts for my own pleasure. Of course it could be that my sense of humor
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The aesthetics of boats and other things

The aesthetics of boats and other things

August 2003 By Dodge Morgan I see some really ugly boats, more of them these days than in the past, and I wonder if the reason is that my aesthetic sense has simply gone out of style. Style keeps changing and leaves some of us
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A rough passage, a deepened respect

A rough passage, a deepened respect

July 2003 By Dodge Morgan The deep sea is the most pervasive wilderness of all existence on earth, wilder than a mountaintop or a backwoods river or a desert barren or an untouched timberland. The deep sea is intensely and uniquely wild by virtue of
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And now, for the rest of the story

And now, for the rest of the story

June 2003 By Dodge Morgan I hear those stories that begin “I remember when I was” all the time. Often coming out of my own mouth. And then I scrub my memory a bit cleaner and can actually “remember when I was.” The purpose of
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As a sailor, I am what happened to me

As a sailor, I am what happened to me

May 2003 By Dodge Morgan The Human Genome Project has really screwed up how we can account for our personal sailing characteristics. Who knows but it may have even screwed up how all of human behavior is viewed. We used to have a simple “nature
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Extreme boating comes to Quahog Bay

Extreme boating comes to Quahog Bay

April 2003 By Dodge Morgan The advent of the annual boat shows seems especially incongruous this winter. It takes a stretch of imagination to covet a pair of handcrafted oars when the outside temperature in Portland is 17 degrees below zero. But because boat people
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Getting the most out of right now

Getting the most out of right now

Midwinter 2003 By Dodge Morgan There are aspects of a Maine winter experience that remind me of being at sea. One of them is the struggle I have with the meaning of time. In both cases the awareness of time is intensified, either because it
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They came, they bought, they boated, they left

They came, they bought, they boated, they left

October, 2002 By Dodge Morgan I can sense that an evolution in recreational boating has occurred now that the failed revolution is behind us. The large majority of boaters now are back to knowing what they are doing afloat. The revolution was a yuppie trend
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A new ethical paradigm for the sailing club

A new ethical paradigm for the sailing club

September, 2002 By Dodge Morgan If I were to run a sailing club in the style of those guys who have been running companies such as Enron, Tyco and Adelphia I would: Change the name to “World Dominance Yacht Club,” incorporate, and appoint a board
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Case of the pot calling the kettle black

Case of the pot calling the kettle black

August, 2002 By Dodge Morgan My cab was careening through the streets of Paris in 1983 on my way to interview French naval architect Guy Ribadeau Dumas. I thought he could be the designer of the boat I intended to sail around the world alone
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Don’t put the boat before the horse

Don’t put the boat before the horse

July 2002 By Dodge Morgan F.E. “Ted” Hood once told me that his most important education in boat design came from his experience at the helm of so many different boats during sea trials for his sails. He could not even estimate the total number
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The Bermuda Backwards Two-one

The Bermuda Backwards Two-one

June, 2002 By Dodge Morgan There’s a daily email of sailing news called “Scuttlebutt.” The coverage is strictly racing. A grand cast of the world’s racing famous report and debate racing matters at an awesome level of technical and personal knowledge and insight. I have
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I’ve seen a few things at sea that really bug me

I’ve seen a few things at sea that really bug me

May, 2002 By Dodge Morgan I can get really irked at some things I observe when I’m on the water. The number and frequency of these irritants seem to have increased over the years, perhaps because I was doing many of them myself early in
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If sailing is art, then these are the sculptors

If sailing is art, then these are the sculptors

April, 2002 By Dodge Morgan I have been struggling with how to classify sailing, holistically speaking, that is. I mean what frame of mind do I feel best suits me when I sail or when I simply think about sailing? This is a very personal
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Waves and the art of winter meditation

Waves and the art of winter meditation

Midwinter, 2002 By Dodge Morgan What does a sailor do in a Maine winter? Work over the spring commissioning list of chores? (This year I’ll finally have her Bristol!) Plan summer cruises? (Sure, I can fit in Chesapeake Bay and Nantucket Sound and Buzzards and
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Let’s revisit some of those classic screw-ups

Let’s revisit some of those classic screw-ups

October, 2001 By Dodge Morgan How about a column consisting of random thoughts? Hark, I hear some protests. “Why not?” Some shrugs (yes, one can hear a shrug. I once heard a bank VP’s nether orifice shrink). Some “What the hell?” And a few “Don’t
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What Eagle teaches, Wings will never know

What Eagle teaches, Wings will never know

September, 2001 By Dodge Morgan I sail Eagle when I want intimacy with the wind and water and Wings of Time when I want to go somewhere with obscene comfort. Eagle takes 20 minutes to get underway and Wings takes two minutes. Eagle is a
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Sex, the sea and the quantification of wisdom

Sex, the sea and the quantification of wisdom

August, 2001 By Dodge Morgan My relationship with the sea is as complex and as unfathomable as my relationships with people I love. I am not at all sure of the how or why of it. The answer is a confusing combination of the spiritual
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Fog is negotiable, even if the spuds run out

Fog is negotiable, even if the spuds run out

July, 2001 By Dodge Morgan The feature article in June’s issue of Points East, “Whistling for Bats,” nudged me into a haven of nostalgia. Author Richard Fullerton detailed a Downeast cruise to the St. John River in the especially lovely Rhodes yawl Arion, a cruise
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Where would we be without the loonies?

Where would we be without the loonies?

June, 2001 By Dodge Morgan The lunatic fringe, and we’re talking about people here, can be found along the full range of human endeavor and in all age categories. There are wacky athletes, intellectuals, life-stylers, adventurers, sailors, activists, comics, plumbers and editors and the wackier
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Try a little character around the yard

Try a little character around the yard

May, 2001 By Dodge Morgan A boat owner’s relationship with the boat yard is extremely complex and delicate, a duel of two very different perspectives towards the only reason for the relationship in the first place: The boat. It may appear on the surface that
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Is big-budget racing really sailing?

Is big-budget racing really sailing?

April, 2001 By Dodge Morgan I received a personal letter from Bob Rice, who is arguably the top special-events weather forecaster alive. Rice did the strategic weather planning for my solo, non-stop circumnavigation with American Promise and advised me on weather tactics while under way.
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Don’t try talking reality with this ship

Don’t try talking reality with this ship

Midwinter, 2001 By Dodge Morgan It is much easier to mix reality and fantasy when one is at sea alone. And it is only when the two are combined in a kind of mental-state emulsion that the truth can be experienced. Reality is trapped by
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I’ll hang out with the turtles, thanks

I’ll hang out with the turtles, thanks

By Dodge Morgan We had several wandering tribes in Maine this August. One could think that we are returning in spirit to our pre-Columbian, Indian roots with fully self-sufficient clans migrating between halos of action, some on land and some on sea. Tribal names now
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A celebration for the record book

A celebration for the record book

By Dodge Morgan OpSail Maine 2000 weekend transformed Portland Harbor and western Casco Bay into a confusion of scenes spanning a century of time and a myriad of seagoing pursuits. The full-rigged ships and schooners of the Tall Ships parade harked to the 19th Century.
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An unfamiliar feeling as land draws near

An unfamiliar feeling as land draws near

By Dodge Morgan Sailing into Bermuda, on June 7 at 5 in the morning was a very busy event. Wings of time and I folded into a traffic jam of two big square-riggers, an immense cruise ship, a United States Navy submarine and two more
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Learning the ropes on a Murray Peterson schooner

Learning the ropes on a Murray Peterson schooner

By Dodge Morgan Murray G. Peterson of South Bristol, Maine, was my introduction to the golden age of yacht designers. It was essentially through him that I met, or at least found myself in the presence of, Aage Nielsen, Fenwick Williams, John Alden, Olin Stephens,
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A funny, frugal and immensely talented designer

A funny, frugal and immensely talented designer

June 1, 2000 By Dodge Morgan How many of us can reach hack into sailing memories to the year 1963? Probably not if you haven’t been sucking on free air for 50 years or more. We codgers will have our own personal snapshots of what
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Just keep that horse moving

Just keep that horse moving

By Dodge Morgan In Maine the boatyards are thawed and disheveled forms swinging buckets and paint cans are beginning to appear. The floats are not yet in, but the padlocks on the sheds are open. Mostly the activity is chat. This early, it is difficult
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Unshackled from February’s grip

Unshackled from February’s grip

By Dodge Morgan When you live on an island in a deep-water bay, you assume that walking home is not an option. This, however, is not the case if your island is in Maine in the winter of 2000. This year’s deep freeze in the
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Season of sadness, season of joy

Season of sadness, season of joy

By Dodge Morgan It is October and the little Murray Peterson schooner Eagle and I are facing the sad passage that will end our thirty-second summer together. We are such good friends that we tend to take each other for granted. The day is 40-degree
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Growing older together

Growing older together

September, 1999 By Dodge Morgan Man and boat in harmony as rigging and joints squeak in The island home has some characteristics in common with a boat in that it is surrounded by water, has a windward and leeward side and presents an endless list
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Two easy ocean passages

Two easy ocean passages

August, 1999 By Dodge Morgan The air and water temperatures in the British Virgin Islands both hovered between 85 and 90 degrees F. The normal West Indies habit of occasional downpours that serve to cool things off were absent and people moved slowly, particularly those
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The scientific mind: Knowledge valued for its own sake

The scientific mind: Knowledge valued for its own sake

July, 1999 By Dodge Morgan Those of us who take great pleasure from the sea develop a spiritual relationship with her. It is a relationship that is built haphazardly over time on a collection of gut feelings, anecdotal knowledge and personal experience that falls together
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Accepting risk: For those who go to sea, it’s far better than the alternative

Accepting risk: For those who go to sea, it’s far better than the alternative

June, 1999 By Dodge Morgan There has been for some time a controversy over the cost and responsibility for rescues at sea. This controversy heats up each time an ocean race is blasted by heavy weather losses and every time a single-handed circumnavigation race is
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The boatyards are coming to life

The boatyards are coming to life

May, 1999 By Dodge Morgan The migrating Canada geese and mallards are back. The eiders have paired off and are expecting. I expect the return of the osprey from their winter home in Georgia any time now. Snow is gone and the ground is no
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Getting by this time of year

Getting by this time of year

April, 1999 By Dodge Morgan Now is worst of times for a sailor in Maine. It is March, the month of no progress on the promise of spring. It is like being horny with the woman nowhere to be found. It is like waking at
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Weather window heading south

Weather window heading south

Midwinter, 1999 By Dodge Morgan The standard sail from Maine to the West Indies in the late fall is a rough passage to Bermuda followed by a warm, easy slide to the islands. But there are always variations on this theme and we got those
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And the fewer utensils, the better the dining

And the fewer utensils, the better the dining

October 1, 1998 By Dodge Morgan Sailors will eat anythingI have always wanted to write a cooking column. It is right there on my list of desires with arm-power flying, playing a Wurlitzer at Kennedy Center and spending an overnight with Madonna. At least the
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Heavy weather is inevitable When it arrives, don’t forget to keep your boat

Heavy weather is inevitable When it arrives, don’t forget to keep your boat

September, 1998 By Dodge Morgan There is absolutely no single definition of heavy weather even as we can, of course, define a hurricane, a storm, a whole gale. There are no practical heavy weather standards to guide us on the way up to the obvious
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An appreciation for the solo passage

An appreciation for the solo passage

August, 1998 By Dodge Morgan I believe there is no experience as deeply satisfying as a sea passage under sail. One enters a world of absolute independence, a world dominated by the forces of nature and empty of the baggage of our human institutions. There
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Flight of the ‘Eagle’ Ship goes where the law ought not to tread

Flight of the ‘Eagle’ Ship goes where the law ought not to tread

May, 1998 By Dodge Morgan I have this nightmare, a wacky, “Help! Help! The paranoids are after me!” kind of nightmare. It goes this way: I am about to drop my mooring pennant for a sail on Eagle when suddenly a guy with a badge
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