Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Let's Go Sailing!

 Steve putting the final touches of bottom paint on Aspen before she splashes

 The boys, enjoying some pool time (Captain Steve, Fred on Dakota Dream and Laurie on Cat Tales)

 Sailors at the pool: Dawn (Cat Tales), Fed (Dakota Dream), Laurie (Cat Tales), Maria and Steve (Aspen)

 Port Louis Marina and the big boy docks near the marina entrance

 Shadow Fax taking island visitors out for a rum and beach tour

 This isn’t a picture of Aspen, in case you wondered.  Just a beautiful 295 foot gaff rigged schooner named Athena and owned by the founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape, James Clark.

 Athena is for sale, if you are interested, at only $45 million (USD).

 Da Customs man's place

 Maria with Aspen at Port Louis Marina

S/Y Aspen – December 4, 2019 – Log #167
Aspen Position: 12 degrees 02’ N  061 degrees 44’ W
Grenada, Caribbean

Aspen is floating once again and put back together for another sailing season in the warm, sunny Caribbean Sea!

We brought Aspen to Port Louis Marina and reassembled her, making it easier on ourselves since there are showers, great WIFI and nearby grocery stores and boat chandleries for our needs.  Electricity is very expensive so we don’t use our air conditioning while at the dock.

Getting acclimated to 90 degree heat with matching humidity is still ongoing for us in this tropical climate.  We work in the morning until about 10 am before the sun gets too intense for any more chores to be done.  We go grocery shopping or run other errands during the heat of the day (sometimes sitting in the marina pool to keep cool!) until about 4 pm when the sun is lower in the sky.  Two hours of work before sunset and that takes care of most days in Grenada.

Late afternoons are also time for happy hours with friends who have arrived and are accomplishing the same things as we are.  Oh, we routinely check the weather back home in the States, just to make us feel better about roasting in the tropical sun.

Captain Steve awakes early each day, well before sunrise, in order to get his run in.  Once the sun breaks the horizon, bad things like lots of sweating happen quickly.  It is best to be finished running before sunrise!

When we shop for groceries or boat parts, the local bus system is our method of transportation.  The system works, is cheap but the normal size vans (called a bus) can be crowded and uncomfortable at times.  No, there is no AC on the bus, just open windows for the much sought-after breeze.

Lugging a heavy backpack full of groceries makes for interesting times, that’s for sure.

We’re stocked up and ready for some sailing now.  Let the wind fill our sails and the seas take good care of us in these little latitudes.

Sail on, sail on Aspen…

1. You can track our location using this:
2. Our sailing book, Voyage Into Hell, is available at (
3. And the new book, Leadville Trail 100; History of the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Running Race is also available at (

Monday, November 18, 2019

Starting Another Sailing Season

 Book signing with Marge, my co-author.  Notice our huge belt buckles!

 Maui, Hawaii, our 50th visited state

 Glacier National Park.  Hiking to Iceberg Lake, as you can see with the bergs in the water!

Glacier National Park as seen from the east and our rental house.

 Glacier National Park hike with our friends, Tim, Maria, Charlie, Patty and Anina

 McCall, Idaho hike with Kim, Maria and Dean

 Our truck, "The Beast", on the dirt roads of the west Texas oil fields

 Chicago hot dogs in Joliet, IL

 Hiking near Aspen with Tim and Debbie

 Another typical mid-west breakfast at Louis’ Restaurant.  That is a small order of biscuits and gravy!

 Bike riding with Tim, Jim and Bruce near the foothills west of Denver

 Golf with Tim, Barry and Bob.  I gotta get a hat to fit in with the guys.

 Sir Timothy, Zach, Maria and Nik celebrating Tim’s birthday

 Rolling Stones concert in Denver.  Wow!

 Maria getting her well deserved t-shirt for 175 Jazzercise classes since coming back in June.

 Cousins Joyce and Kathleen on the farm near Havana, Illinois

 Cousin Cathy near Milwaukee, WI.  Cathy plays Annie Oakley in many celebrations and festivals around the country.  Yes, she rides and shoots at the same time!

 Early fall blizzard in North Dakota.  You don’t want to be around that part of the country after about August!

 Our sailing friends on Dakota Dream, Fred and Sandy, took us in and gave us shelter from the storm in North Dakota!

November at our house in Colorado when the snow begins to fly.  Time to head south, quickly!

S/Y Aspen – November 19, 2019 – Log #166
Aspen Position: 12 degrees 02’ N  061 degrees 44’ W
Grenada, Caribbean

Six months of being back in the good ole USA and how quickly that went by, before the snow started flying and cold weather set in! 

We did a few things while we were home like:
    •    Book signings for the new running book with my co-author Marge
    •    Maria visiting her family near Chicago
    •    Trip to Maui, Hawaii that marked the completion of our visits to all 50 States
    •    Road trip and hiking in Glacier National Park with our sailing friends (Charlie & Anina/Prism along with Tim and Patty/boat less now) and a trip to Idaho (Dean and Kim/DreamCatcher)
    •    Another road trip to the US Southwest and Texas to pick up The Beast
    •    A bit of golfing, bike riding, Rolling Stones, family time and a record number of exercise classes for Maria
    •    Hiking and soaking at hot springs in Colorado and New Mexico (with Tim and Debbie)
    •    Driving to the Midwest and upper Great Plains to visit Steve’s cousins and our sailing friends in North Dakota during an early fall blizzard (Kathleen, Joyce, Cathy, Fred and Sandy/Dakota Dream)

The posted pictures do more justice about these fun trips than mere words; and the pictures are more interesting anyway.

But now it is back to the tropical little latitudes onboard Aspen for more adventures in the warm Caribbean waters that call our name every winter. 

Planning our new seasons’ voyage is pretty much impossible, as sailors know.  We sail as the wind allows, with desires written in the sand at low tide.  The sea guides and rules our every day lives while Aspen takes us near and far.

We will keep you updated on the latest happy hours, a few (!) rum tastings, hikes and ever changing cultures in the Caribbean this winter season as we sail aboard Aspen and think about the snow and cold up north.

For now we will be sweating in the boatyard, way down south in Grenada, getting Aspen ready to go back into the water once again. 

So for now,
Sail on, sail on Aspen…

PS -
1. You can track our location using this:
2. Our sailing book, Voyage Into Hell, is available at (
3. And the new book, Leadville Trail 100; History of the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Running Race is also available at (

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

End Of Another Sailing Season

 Captain Steve steering the schooner Friendship Rose with Laurie (Cat Tales) closely watching to make sure I don't hit anything!

Sunset in Bequia, St. Vincent.  Our friend Dean on Dream Catcher took this amazing picture!

Maria in Bequia, posing on Aspen, as she did 14 years before (see the following picture).

Maria in Bequia on Aspen, 2005

Aspen will rest in the bay, located far in the distance on the right, Prickly Bay, for a rest.

Hiking with friends on Bequia.  Picture was taken with the drone.  Aspen, Fezzywig (Mel and Don), Oasis (Bob and Carol), Jumbie (Kathy), Dream Catcher (Kim) and Dakota Dream (Sandy and Fred).

Sweet Bequia with Aspen

Pool time at Port Louis Marina, Grenada with Cat Tales (Laurie and Dawn) and Maria.

S/Y Aspen – May 1, 2019 – Log #165
Aspen Position: 12 degrees 02’ N  061 degrees 44’ W
Grenada, Caribbean

Six months of sailing and how fast that went by! 

Exploring the Windward Islands and a few of the Leeward Islands passed our time, along with happy hours, making new friends and visiting with familiar faces during the course of this sailing season.

Captain Steve was also occupied this sailing season by writing another book.  Oh no, not that again?!?  Yes, but this one is about the Leadville Trail 100: that extreme 100-mile ultrarunning event that shaped my very being, for so many years.  Luckily (?) Maria was around to relive all those years as I pounded the keys, finishing the book.  I co-authored the book with my running friend, Marge Hickman, so there is more to the story than just explanations of VO2max, training regimes and finishing numbers.  The book is called: Leadville Trail 100; History of the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Running Race.  Here is a link for the book or through your friendly Amazon site as well:

We will haul Aspen out of the water here in Grenada, once again, where she will rest and relax before our return for yet another sailing season in these tropical, little latitudes.

Sail on, sail on Aspen…

You can track our voyages using this:
Our sailing book, Voyage Into Hell, is available at
And the new book, Leadville Trail 100; History of the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Running Race is also available at

Monday, April 1, 2019

Sweet Bequia Once Again

Ladies lunch on Bequia

Bequia whale distribution.  The islanders harpooned a humpback whale and are using all the parts to distribute much needed food to the residents.  This is an amazing picture taken by our friend Nicolle.

Steering the Friendship Rose schooner toward the Tobago Cays.  Laurie Corbett (Cat Tales) is photo bombing as usual!

Rum tour on Bequia

 Another shot of the rum tour, in case you couldn't guess!

Sailors lunch in the Bequia hills!

Maria helping Steve steer the Friendship Rose between squalls

Dawn Corbett (Cat Tales) showing Steve where the flat flounder is hiding in the reef

Laurie Corbett (Cat Tales) warning the big ship to stay away from the reef?

S/Y Aspen – April 2, 2019 – Log #164
Aspen Position: 13 degrees 00’ N  061 degrees 14’ W
Bequia, St. Vincent/Grenadines, Caribbean

It is hard to believe nearly a month has gone by since we arrived in Sweet Bequia.  Bequia is part of the Grenadines and belong to St. Vincent, another x-British country.  While the mainland of St. Vincent is pretty “rough”, Bequia is a jewel in the Caribbean and very sailor friendly.

We took a ferry to the mainland of St. Vincent when our friend Brent Weigner of Wyoming arrived on a cruise ship to run a marathon with a group of other passengers and local runners.  Watching him run up and down the old airport runway was intriguing, to say the least.  At least Maria had a massage in a beautiful villa overlooking Indian Bay while we were there too, followed by KFC for lunch.  Now those two things were a real treat!

Back on Bequia, we took a day trip on the locally built, 100 foot schooner, Friendship Rose with 18 of our sailor friends to the Tobago Cays.  What a difference it made not to worry about squalls, running aground or hitting another vessel since we were all passengers.  And we could drink as much rum as we wanted!

Then there are the rum tours, hikes to remote lookouts and beaches, ladies only lunches and just playing in the sea with sailor friends that help pass the tropical days in these little latitudes.

Three days ago the islanders on Bequia got their first whale in over two years.  Bequia is one of the few places on the planet that is allowed to take a whale for food, since their heritage is whaling.  The International Whaling Commission grants them four whales per year, but that number of whales is never taken.

When a whale is harpooned, just like in days of old, it is drug to shore where the local population strips the whale of everything and distributes all the meat to every family on the island.  The whale provides much needed food for the island residents.  The sight was very amazing as you can see by the picture on our blog.

Now that spring is here we will eventually sail further south toward Grenada, when the winds, seas and time is right and continue our exploration of the Windward Islands in the sun.

Sail on, sail on Aspen…

PS - You can track our voyages using this:
Also, our book, Voyage Into Hell, is available at

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Rodney Bay Marina

 Aspen at the dock in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia.  Aspen is the sailboat with the solar panels on the stern.

A drone picture of Rodney Bay Marina, looking northeast.

Another drone picture of Rodney Bay and Pigeon Island where Fort Rodney is located.

Happy hour with our Danish and Norwegian friends on Touché (Judith, Haakon, Odd and Anne-Lise) along with our Idaho friends on Dream Catcher (Dean & Kim) in the marina.

The view from Fort Rodney, St. Lucia

Maria standing next to our long-time sailing friend's new boat (Ger and Michael).  We sailed with them half way around the world.  Then their previous boat, a Malo, sunk while they were crossing the Indian Ocean and had to be rescued.  Amazing!

Cas en Bas Beach, St. Lucia and the spent booster stage of a rocket that was launched from French Guiana.  

Cas en Bas Beach group hike with Joann (La Vie), Valeria (Iriana), Maria (Aspen) and Kim (Dream Catcher).

Cas en Bas beach and horse back riders enjoying the bay.  The kayak is for safety, as is the guy in the water leading the horses!

S/Y Aspen – March 6, 2019 – Log #163
Aspen Position: 14 degrees 04’ N  060 degrees 57’ W
Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, Caribbean

Yes, Aspen is still in the same place as last time and still enjoying St. Lucia. 

We received our ocean shipment of replacement parts and have been installing them, slowly.  We needed a new toilet and hot water heater.  Those were the big items.  Then there were the sails.  Two new sails were made by Mack Sails in Florida.  After many long ocean passages, it was time for new nice white billowing things that fly from the mast.  We will see if Aspen enjoys her new suit of sails!

Of course we also had lots of little projects to keep us busy, as is always the case on Aspen.

Maria enjoyed going to the women’s weekly luncheons.  No guys are allowed at the luncheons and no boat talk is accepted either!  How much fun could that be, said Steve?  That’s why guys are not invited.

Steve even got some geophysical consulting work done, using Google Fi.  Google Fi allows us to have internet, voice and text messaging without breaking the bank with phone fees.  It is like being at home and no one even knows the difference.  Nice!

It looks like Aspen’s bow will be turned south tomorrow as we head to Bequia, home to lots of cheap lobster, great beach bars and more friends and happy hours.  We’ll see if we can untie our bow lines that seem to have been in one place a long time.

Sail on, sail on Aspen…

You can track our voyages using this:
Also, our book, Voyage Into Hell, is available at