shows by example how easily you can eliminate stress, become more independent, raise your children in a safer environment (while spending more time with them, instilling values not based on the mighty dollar) and avoid the traps of commercialism. Because we live and sail simply, we have been wandering for 11 years with no intention of stopping. This is not a trip for us; it is our life, and I hope to share our success with stories of laughter and tears, as well as how-to tips and DIY projects for preparing, sailing and making a boat a home, so that others can join us.


January 5, 2015

The following article appeared in a sailing magazine a few years ago. I was reminded of it recently when sailing friends of ours, currently in Puerto Rico, sent us an email. "Thanks for the lanolin." I can only imagine in what one of a hundred ways it made their lives easier lately. So I thought I'd share this once again. Yes, I know, before I get a hundred messages, that you can buy this at the nationwide, large marine store that we avoid at all costs. But then again, you can find it elsewhere, too. We're all about "elsewhere."

A few days ago Dave removed the shackle from our primary snubber. We had been hanging from this shackle for months, with it right at the surface of the water, the perfect location for corrosion. When he started to remove the pin he expected a fight, judging from the marine growth on it. Instead, it unscrewed easily, showing no signs of corrosion or seizing. The secret: lanolin.

The tools

We searched for a small container of this for years, but finally had to purchase a pound of it for $30 from the local pharmacy. It is important that it be anhydrous ("without water") in order for it to work its magic on boats and their gear.

Any time Dave puts a fitting on our boat, it first gets a liberal coating of lanolin. He also puts it on electrical fittings, light bulb sockets, crimps, nuts, bolts, screws and turnbuckles. The lanolin lubricates and prevents corrosion and seizing of fittings. This makes removing, replacing or checking gear and fittings much easier, meaning we do it more often, which makes the boat safer. A pound of it will probably outlast us and the boat, but it's better to have too much of it than none at all.

The magic

New Year's Eve we had an unexpected guest. Sailing buddies seem to show up everywhere, and no matter how far away they may be, you can count on them to be "there" for you. MONDAY we'll share a modern version of the old coconut telegraph.

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