Thursday, January 01, 2009

Simply the Best Sailing Posts of 2008

I asked sailing bloggers to look through their archives and to each select their best post of 2008. The additional challenge was to complete the sentence "this post is simply the best because…" in 30 words or less.

15 bloggers responded to my request. Thanks to all and especially to the ones participating on one of these group writing projects for the first time. Once again you have blown me away with your creativity and the variety of different ways in which you write about sailing and related subjects.

In no particular order...

1. The grim grandeur of South Georgia
This post is simply the best because it connects us to the past, draws attention to important but little-known boat-related information, was the development of a series and showed readers contributing from across the world.

from Gavin Atkin at

2. September 18, 1953
This post is simply the best because it is the beginning of something special, and I enjoy the start of something huge.

from Captain John at Ayala Sandbox.

A Peak Experience with Team Zorro, parts 1, 2, and 3.
This post is simply the best because it captures the complete elation that comes from sailing well, with a wonderfully coordinated crew and a fantastic skipper. It makes me happy every time I reread it and remember.

from Carol Anne at Five O'Clock Somewhere.

4. Christmas Eve off Maeda Point
This post is simply the best because because it's the first blog entry I've actually tried to make interesting.

from Adam Johnston at Scarlette, the adventures of a 24-foot sailboat in Okinawa, Japan.

5. Zen & Sailing... resolving conflicts to the Tao
This post is simply the best because…it generated the most response. I usually do not get many comments, this post, got me called an idiot, wise, and a large amount of flack in the real world for me.

from Zen at Zensekai ll By Sea.

6. Finally, A Motor Round the Rina
This post is simply the best because it makes me smile.

from Edward at EVK4 SuperBlog.

7. Don't Think Twice
The path to find this story is slightly convoluted as Andrew has moved his blog. Just follow the instructions.

This post is simply the best because I'm going to be out there on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings in my old Laser, surrounded by old Laser sailors, doing what I have rediscovered to be the one thing I enjoy doing most of all.

by Andrew Sadler of Sadler Bootwerk.

8. I Need A Shrink
This post is simply the best because it reminds me how ridiculous a day of windsurfing (for me) can be.

by Michael at The Peconic Puffin.

9. DR-1
This post was simply the best because you'll find it all in this post: damsels in distress, river rescue swimmers, fishermen, helicopter command centers, swashbuckling firemen, and some sailing.

by Greg and Kris of Love & Coconuts.

10. Hooray for Team La Vita!
This post is simply the best because it provides a snapshot of this season that includes all the components of a perfect sail: great company, a stiff breeze, and a crew that just 'clicks.'

by Christy of Central Air.

Ulua progress: off the molds!
This post is simply the best because it demonstrates the most significant achieved milestone in the Ulua canoe-building project, and has a great pic my girls and the hull off the molds.

by David of Never Sea Land.

12. Boat Show 2008
This post is simply the best because of the variety of elements that fit into it and make it an interesting story; from meeting a fellow Enty to walking the decks of a warship, admiring a vintage Hornet, snapping some shots of the racing and just spending a day out with my eldest daughter doing nothing in particular, just messing about with boats.

by Tim of All Day I Dream About Sailing.

13. A little detective work
This post is simply the best because it appeals to our inner Sherlock Holmes. Or at least it shows what some boat builders think about while they’re building. Oh, and it was fun to write.

by Tom of the Museum of Yachting in Newport Cherokee Blog.

14. Richard Branson Answers My Questions About Adventure Sailing And Business
This post is simply the best because it brought together all of my passions: sailing, leadership and social media. Sir Richard Branson answered my Twittered questions about sailing and leadership via audio and that was pretty cool!

by Peter A. Mello of Sea Fever Blog.

15. Sisters? Sopranino & Thunderbird

This post was simply the best because it featured two exquisite small, light displacement boats, one of which, I feel sure, influenced the other. Both great achievers, both by brilliant designers.

by Thomas Armstrong of 70.8%.

16. Never Failed to Fail
This post is simply the best because it combines the three underlying themes of my blog... bad sailing, humor and an expression of my passion for the sport.

by me from here.

Update 2 Jan 2009: One more late entry...

17. Haul-out Day at Raritan Yacht Club
This post is simply the best because the events of the day and the characters involved inspired me and, as ever, my wife comes out of this as my greatest source of inspiration.

by Adam Turinas of Messing About in Sailboats.

Update 3 Jan 2009: One more that I missed before. Mea culpa.

18. US Elections
These posts are Simply the Best because they were always a lot of fun to write and I haven't seen other sailing fictional posts out there so feel I am actually bringing something new to the community. The top three were sailing and US election related. They say the heart of a good story are the combination of great characters and plot, and boy did the election have both. You really really couldn't have made it up.

US Candidates Speak out on Sailing
US Election Update
US Candidates Top Five

As to which is
the best, that's hard!

by Captain JP of Captain JP's Log.


Greg and Kris said...

Thanks for doing this, Mr. Tillerman. I love the gems that I get to connect with, when you put something like this together. I don't know that I would have found (and enjoyed as much as I did) the piece on wood planing, on my own.

You're a community organizer.

Next stop, greatness. Well, you may have to get past a couple of pitbulls on the way. I hear they wear lipstick, or something.

Tillerman said...

Thanks Greg and Kris. I really liked that one about wood shavings too. I always admire writers who can turn apparently mundane stuff into a fascinating article.

Thomas Armstrong said...

This was fun, and generated a wonderful window into some weblogs I never read. Thanks for the opportunity. How about having readers vote on their favorites? Would be interesting and instructive for the bloggers. I any event, thanks for putting this together and I hope you will continue to do this.

tillerman said...

Thanks Thomas. Folk are willing to express comments here about which "best posts" they like, but I don't really want to turn it into a poll or competition. Each one is good in its own way and to choose between them would be like comparing oranges and apples.

Anonymous said...

I like apples more than oranges

Andrew said...

Thanks for helping me with my assignment :) and thank you more for pointing me to all these blogs, a great start to 2009.

David said...

... and I like oysters more than snails.

Thanks T-man for the showcase. I'm not worthy!

Captain John said...

Thanks Tillerman,

When I started my blog I googled ‘Sailing Blogs’ and got what seemed to me to be a trashcan of stuff I couldn’t begin to decipher. Several months later I found your blog and your blog list, and I now have many great examples of blogs to read and be inspired by.

Your ‘Simply the Best’ is a great tool to sort out the many excellent blogs.

I can’t say that my writing has gotten any better, but that isn’t really the point anyway.

The point is to share our love of sailing, to put a perspective on our passion, and to understand the perspective of other people’s passion for the same wonderful experience of wind, waves and water.

And we have you to thank for helping pull it all together.

Cap'n J said...

Thanks also for putting together a space for sail blogs.
I agree that making this more of a writing contest would be counterproductive. Each blog is unique for different reasons. I too enjoy the different writing styles make "Simply the best" a great launch site to other sailing blogs.
Once again thanks.

Cap'n J
S/V Scarlette

Tim Timand said...

I like oranges better than apples.

JP said...

Seems to be one missing. Must have been penalised for being too early or something.

Tillerman said...

Sorry JP. I don't know how I missed you as I did read your post. Will add it to the lsit.

matthew houskeeper said...

Good idea for a New Years post to put something like this together.
Happy New year!

PeconicPuffin said...

This is great stuff to come back to again and again. What a rainbow of responses.

EVK4 said...

I've never seen you go so long without posting, is this Proper Course's Swan Song?

tillerman said...

Not a Swan Song. More of a brief duck.

Carol Anne said...

Is that a Peking duck, or a muscovy duck, or an eider or a mallard or widgeon? And why did it choose briefs rather than boxers?

tillerman said...

Moby Duck.

Anonymous said...

Great way to start the year TMan. Happy New Year to you BTW

PeconicPuffin said...

For anyone interested in a third-rate attempt at humorous characterization of m'Lord T's assignments, see here.

With that done and no place else to comment: Hey Mr. Tillerman sir...when are you going to put up a "1" for 2009? And are ye going for the century mark again?

Kayla said...

I just discovered your blog am enjoying reading your past entries. I am the boating examiner for Seattle and just wrote an article about boating blogs that are worth reading and included your blog. Just wanted to give you a heads up.

tillerman said...

Thanks Kayla.

EVK4 said...

I know tillerman has internet access and a he just trying to set a record for most clicks without a post? I'm checking his blog *more* now just to see if he's finally written something new.

Hello? anyone in there?

tillerman said...

Woohoo - 23 comments already and it's only 9 Jan. I figure that if I don't write any more posts I should reach my target of 100 comments some time in February.

O Docker said...

Comment 25:

I think he figured out the week after New Year's is a low season week in the Caribbean.

If I were down there, there's no way I'd be blogging either.

I wonder if he's drunk and naked.

Anonymous said...


O Docker said...

Comment #27:

Maybe we need a grassroots campaign to bring Tillerman back.

Okay, he's retired, but most of us have been back at work for a week now and he's still hanging around in his pajamas, unshaven, goofing on the internets. He must have sobered up by now.

I think we need a kind of Bizarro World Tillerman writing project - right here on the comments page. Why not post a short take on why you think Tillerman should get off his duff and get back to work? Don't get too soppy about how we need his great talents - he just eats that stuff up and would let it go on forever.

Get to the point - appeal to that work ethic of his. How is he going to average one post a day this year if it's half way through January and he's posted zip? Some mild hostility could be effective - never underestimate the power of an angry mob.

If you have your own blog, a little noise there wouldn't hurt either.

Can we bring Tillerman back?

Yes we can.

rob said...

Aaahh, let him bugger off of he wants to. The old bastard has been losing it lately anyway so if he wants to goof off just let him. There are plenty of younger bloggers who can write better than the old Tillerdude buzzard.

Anonymous said...

O Docker...I, too, am worried. I researched Rhode Island Coast Guard SAR and am considering calling. But, we DON'T KNOW if he went missing from Rhode Island or if he was vacationing somewhere when he last posted. Can someone hack his blogger account?

Guy said...

It was fascinating to read, thanks alot Greg and Kris.


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