Pictures from Sea Venture’s Trip North to NYC

As seen on my Facebook Author Page, including Chesapeake City Book Signing:

A Boat Named Luna

Becalmed’s heroine, Tadie Longworth, owns a small sailboat named Luna. Now, her little boat is a sharpie, about 18′ on deck, but my husband found this cute little sailboat lurking in the Beaufort waters near our big lady, Sea Venture.  He sent me these to put a “real” visual to the name! I don’t know who owns this little gal, but isn’t she pretty?

Luna 01


Luna 02

If you look closely, you can see Sea Venture’s stern with the green bimini, sail covers, and lee cloths.



New SSCA Cruising Station: Beaufort, NC

Now that Sea Venture and her crew are hanging around the Beaufort area more often than not, we’ve volunteered to become a cruising station for sailors wending their way north or south on the US East Coast.


If you don’t know about the Seven Seas Cruising Association, now’s the time to discover the benefits of membership. Michael and I joined while we were still in California, preparing Sea Venture for her adventure. We may have met some of you at the Oakland Boat Show when we manned the SSCA booth.

We had so much to learn. We’d come from years of coastal or dinghy sailing but had never done any real offshore cruising — certainly not with only ourselves in charge. What to take? How to outfit an ocean-going vessel? What about insurance? Anchoring? What equipment works best? What should we avoid? What about navigation, charts, radios? (Michael had these down, but yours truly? I could navigate from buoy to buoy, but that was it.) And then, my favorites: the adventure stories written by folk who’d been there, done that. We gleaned so much from the SSCA bulletins and from meeting SSCA cruising members.

It’s time to pass forward some of those blessings. No, we haven’t swallowed the anchor. We’ll still go cruising, especially when we need to hightail it out of the way of hurricanes, but we remember how wonderful it was to enter a strange port and find a friend or to have someone who’d been there point us in the right direction.

Beaufort is a lovely town, full of history and delightful folk. But it’s not the easiest place for provisioning or for catching a flight to elsewhere. So. When we’re here, we’ll try to help with that. Just give us a shout, preferably by email, and we’ll try to be there to catch your lines or offer what assistance we can.

Jot us a note at svseaventure at gmail dot com. We’ll be waiting to hear from you!

SSCA Website

Also, if any of you update your world on Facebook, come say hey at

Normandie on Facebook

Calling the Crew: Readers and Writers

I’m a sailor — temporarily land bound — and I write stories of women who sail. Some of them sail small boats, some large ones. Most love the water, though I’ve a WIP in which the protagonist is a wife who follows her husband’s dream. How’s that working out? Well, I’ve met a few wives who did the same thing. In my story? Check back with me as it evolves.

Puff is a sharpie, built for my auntie, given to me. Puff became my friend, the soother of my shattered soul, the one to whom I told my dreams. You’ll find her in various guises in many of my stories, as rescuer, as a setting for compounded messes, as an entree to love.  Here she is in Core Sound, running from those gathering clouds. It was a very wet sail.


Sailing Puff

When we took off to cruise on Sea Venture, I wanted a sailing dinghy to play around in various anchorages. Puff II came along with us, but she’s a bit hefty for deck work. Michael plans to leave her behind when we head out on our next adventures. Still, here I am, with my mother, exploring Ballandra. The dinghy may show up one day as an adjunct to the big boat, but she offers less scope for adventure. At least, so far.


Sea Venture’s dinghy

Sailing a big boat is a lot more comfortable. There’s shade, for one thing. And a seat for steering, though unless we’re headed up a channel or into an anchorage, we’ve toys that manage the helm. There are places to hide in a big boat. Places to escape. But you can’t tuck the big boat away in a barn when a storm brews. And if you’re at sea, the storm becomes your enemy, your endurance course. And a great setting for survival.

Sea Venture off Loreto, MX

Sea Venture rarely shows up as herself, but she’s the inspiration. Life on board her for those years can’t help but affect the way I write as it provides so many what-ifs.

Here’s the big boat on her way north. Such stories she holds. Secrets that she breathes as I write.


Anchored in Stillwater Cove, CA

Life on the water abounds in mystery and romance. One night, in that same peaceful anchorage pictured above under the sailing dinghy, we went on deck with a flashlight.  Suddenly, silvery fish zipped to the surface. They did not make me wish for a midnight swim. But imagine if the heroine fell off the boat (or were pushed) into water like that? What a different mood from the daytime’s turquoise shallows.

Bahia Ballandra at night

What about a glide across the water where you see the heron in the picture above?

A different mood. And here’s still another:


So many settings. So much fun.

What I’d like to know is this: Do you enjoy sailing stories? Oh, not stories about sailing so much as stories about people who sail, women who prefer wind-blown hair to high heels.

If you’re a sailor, do you write about the life in more than your blog posts? (I’ve those on Sea Venture’s Journey.)

And if you’re a writer, do you craft your stories about the world you inhabit or about ones that inhabit only your dreams?