BeBop Around The World

Even though the trip has been called off, I'm leaving this site up to read for anybody interesting in refitting a boat or sailing in general.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The BeBop Finale......

Sorry for the long delay in getting my next post up, all will be explained. Lets start with the planned 3 to 4 day trip that Rich and I took.

Thursday after spending the better part of the morning getting gear ready and moving it onboard BeBop we slipped the lines about 2pm and started the 2 hour trek down the intercoastal waterway to the gulf with the tide. The wind was blowing a nice, 15 knots or so. No big deal and it was decided if the Gulf looked too ruff to go out we would just anchor behind Shell Island hang out with the live aboards there and check things out in the morning. As it turned out the Gulf looked real nice (waves under a foot) so I decided to head out anyway.

It took another hour to clear the last channel marker and we started heading NW about 5pm. Here's a picture of it. If you look close you can see the last channel markers, engine in the up position and Half Note being towed while we are making about 3.8 knots. She was a little close and about 15 minutes after this was taken we let some more tow line out.

Before I forget here is a nifty idea for mounting your depth sounder if you don't want to cut a hole in your bulkhead. It's a mini washboard that I made out of spare lexan. ^_^ If you ever buy more instruments it can be modified to add them easily too. Store when not needed. Ok getting back on track...

As the afternoon turned into evening and the sun began to set, the seas and wind were picking up. The plan was to get 20 or 30 miles offshore then come in the next day pretending that we had to find the pass (Hurricane Pass) out of sight of land but during daylight. Well, as the wind picked up around 20 knots or so and the seas built to 5 feet after dark, I decided to take a more northerly course that would parallel the coast between 8 and 10 miles....far enough that you can see taller buildings but not the beach and should make for a better night as the weather report was 7+ foot seas. Nothing BeBop can't handle but why beat yourself up right? So I reefed down the main while the deck was easy to see just to be safer. Still banged my wrist pretty good though.

About this point Rich is getting very very sea sick. Like here's the bucket and go lie down sea sick. Effectively from this point on in the story assume I'm singlehanding unless I mention otherwise cause he's lying down and throwing up every hour or two. I was fine, even took time out to make some ramen with the autopilot holding course.

Another hour and the winds picked up a little more now to about 25knots and time to reef down the big 150 to working jib size. This is how I ran for the next 6 hours, under reefed main and jib in 5 foot seas. Little Half Note was bouncing around behind us but hanged tuff without issue. Should of put her on deck before we left but I wanted to make the tide. Lesson learned. So with food in me, Rich being sick down below and not much to look at with no other boats being around at night, I myself curled up in the cockpit horizontal to the companionway and cat napped for a couple hours getting up every 15mins or so and taking a look around. I felt totally safe the entire time (I did have my vest on with a line attached to the boat) and very little water was coming into the cockpit over the bow thanks in large part to her design and the dodger. The GPS said we were making great time (for a Nomad) doing about 4 knots on a beam reach.

Around 3am we had made a lot more northerly progress than I had planned on because we didn't go as far offshore as I wanted to. So with Rich still very very seasick, I made the decision to make for Hurricane Pass in the dark. This wasn't done lightly as the pass is not lit at night and is very narrow. Leave the pass, smack a sandbar on one side the beach on the other. The pass runs that close to shore. Easy right? Well I booted up the laptop to use since it had the charts on it, furled the jib, doused the main (banging my wrist some more on a now bucking deck) and headed straight into the wind under engine power making 5 knots for the pass at full throttle. Remember the part in the movie "The Hunt for Red October" where they went though that underwater pass? That's what was going on in my head since you really really don't wanna miss this channel. I got lucky and the charts were accurate and we got in safely. (good thing as I can't see well at night) As we made the pass and boat quit rocking around Rich the zombie turned back into Rich the sailor and was able to help me drop anchor just off the channel in about 4 feet of water. There we went to sleep until about 9am.

After some needed sleep and morning coffee we upped anchor and got underway. With Rich still not doing so great, it was either go through drawbridge after drawbridge down the intercoastal back to port or go back into the Gulf with it being faster. I chose the Gulf but we stayed a lot closer to shore since the seas would be better. Rich still found that too much to take and ended up lying down for the entire trip until we got back into the intercoastal again, poor guy. Going back the wind all but died and I basically motored all the way back to port with not enough wind to move BeBop at more than a knot.

Now, for the not so great stuff.

Lets start with Rich, who had his own plans to buy a boat and go sailing. Well, 3 times out 3 times seasick each time in nothing more than one foot seas and he's calling it quits. Didn't used to be that way but he's got medical problems that seem to be the issue. He used to go offshore with his family and their boat all the time a couple of years back. Crazy guy once took a Hobie 16 into the Gulf during 10 foot seas cause he wanted to go sailing so bad. I know the details of his medical issues and I can't blame him. I'd do the same.

Now for me...

This is for all intents and purposes the end of what's become known to everybody simply as the "BeBop Project."

I've been depressed about it for the past two weeks and not just my normal melancholy with the pointless of life and everything.

It's a devastating realization after having two years of unusual clarity as to the direction I wanted my life to go.

The last two times I took BeBop out, the boat was a lot tuffer than I was. In fact is tuffer than me by a good margin. For my long time readers you will probably recall about every other entry I ended it about being in pain of some sort or another. Neck, Wrist etc. I never gave it much thought cause after working on BeBop I could clean up, walk into the house, pour drink after drink until the pain went away. Not a option when your bouncing around offshore, your stuck with it day after day and perhaps in my excitement to get her finished and floating it never crossed my mind. It did for my friend Brolly (who has seen my xrays) but I wouldn't hear of it and pushed on with the project being excited about it.

It's like this. I have this love affair with motorcycles and I've wrecked 3 of them because of it. The last one nearly killed me and the thought crossed my mind as I left the road and went 300 feet down the cliff that I was a dead man. I woke in the ER with two broken wrists, a shoulder, knee, nose, a concussion, 5 broken teeth that had to be extracted and neck and back trauma even though I had full gear on. I thought I would recover just like I would from the first two accidents but would take a little bit longer. 1 year on disability, pins in my wrists and daily pain told me otherwise. 4 years later it's still something I deal with. What you don't know is for the past 2 years whenever I'm in front of a computer I wear a brace on my right wrist. More recently it's gotten worse and I wear it about half the time now no matter what I do. Doctors say the pins looks great and the pain and loss of motion is just something I have to deal with.

But I have to be honest with myself, it's not something I can push through everyday for the years it takes to sail a small boat around the world. You can't just pull over and stop like you can during a road trip if things get bad.

I waited too long to live the dream and it's passed me up. I should of done it years ago like I wanted, but I was too stupid to realize you didn't need a million bucks with a new boat with the XYZ wonder part complete with kung fu grip. Heh, I try and be funny and to pick up my mood but it falls flat doesn't it? As they say it's "not the years, it's the mileage."

Now, BeBop is complete, best I could make her, with all the heart I have. Best Nomad in all of north america if I say so myself. Ready for the trip around the world. But sadly her Captain isn't.

I can't afford the crazy costs associated with keeping a boat in a slip for a long time. Perhaps if I could afford the $1,000 a month for 10 minute gulf access I would keep her but obviously I can't. So much as it breaks my heart, I'm listing her up for sale, effective immediately for $9,500. Complete with all her gear, the nesting dinghy half note, solar panels etc...all of it ready to take someone on a dream trip.

Perhaps after I lift my chin back up and feel like facing the world again I'll build a little boat to play with, a Birdwatcher II or something that I can put in and out of the water easily on a trailer. But not for now, it would be too painful. If your interested in taking over where I left off, email me at She's so ready all you'd have to do is show up with your personal effects, food and leave. Makes me sick to my stomach, but I've had two weeks to think about it.

Now for some thank you's.....

Rich, I couldn't of done it without your help. Sanding on the hull, helping install the ports, figuring out the wiring issues and providing motivation on those days when things weren't going right. You set new standards to what friendship means.

Hawkeye, for all the wisdom you gave me, for being so funny, how to do things on a sailboat, and the gear you gave me to outfit BeBop with. It's staying with her where ever she might roam.

Brolly, for taking time off from work to help put her in the water, putting up the mast and taking her to port the first time

Geert, from Belgium for being a funny guy and another Nomad owner just beginning his refit, I'll be happy to give any advice I can to you..all you need do is ask.

Gator, just fun talking to you back and forth via email this past year and allowing me to bounce ideas off you. I'm sure you'll go far with whatever boat you end up buying. Still like to meet you in person one day.

Everybody else, and there are a lot of you, I would like to say thank you. Thanks to the gentleman who gave a small donation, thanks to the guy from Brazil just for saying hi, the woman in the cubicle for taking time out of her life to read my website. All of you, you know who you are, Thank you and I'm sorry that I find myself unable to continue.

As for the website, I plan on keeping it up for now working on the assumption it doesn't get slammed with negative comments. I feel it would be a nice pool of knowledge to pull from about how to refit a boat on the cheap, Nomad or otherwise. I don't consider any of this a waste of time. I learned so much, from knowing nothing about fiberglass to being a expert with the stuff all the way to my writing skills. I look at the early posts and just sorta cringe.

As for me, well....seems since I'm not going anywhere, I'll be looking to cause chaos in the ranks of the corporate slave masters since I'm a computer guy. Something I'm not happy about. But one does what one has to do. I'd rather get a job doing something beneficial to mankind, save the animals or environment or something, but that doesn't seem to pay the bills even if it makes you feel good about yourself. Just living day by day right now, like you, doing the best I can in this matrix of life.

One last picture to share in closing, with tears in my eyes, a beautiful sunset over the Gulf of Mexico from the deck of my tuff little BeBop.

Thank you all, where ever you might be around our small blue world and of course Fair Winds.....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry you can't realize your dreams because of past injuries and pain. Anyone who has had major injuries can identify with you. Whoever buys BeBop will be getting a top notch boat. I have followed your blog since day one and know all the work was done with quality TLC.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

Ouch. Very sad. Glad you are still amongst the living. I was a little concerned for awhile there.

You know your body best. But if bebop doesn't sell early on you might consider finding the cheapest storage yard you can, and putting her there for awhile. Work a bit, and let the emotions ease. I can't mention how many times I've made quick decisions which seemed right at the time; but completely wrong three months later when I could look at it objectively.

If sailing is not for you for whatever reason, it's unfortunate; but not the end of the world. There are other dreams out there.

Good luck. And don't stop dreaming.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Geert said...

Hey Jammer,
You already told me last week about the changing of plans. But I still thought you'd change your mind man... I think Bebop is not only in the best of conditions in Northern America... As for all Westerly Nomads I saw, she is far out in the best of condition !!! I do regret you both will make the trip around the world. As you told, if you're body cannot follow, than there is no use in making unresponsible decisions. As you know, for me, I will only go out sailing at minimum 25° celcius and 0 knods wind speed ... ^v^ Mounting my barbeque on TIE will be 'the' moment of my refit !! I know our intentions were completely different with what to do with our Nomad. But having the same boat that is almost 40 years old, having it refit almost at the same moment was something I really found unique! I enjoyed your stories and was really amazed sometimes how great things went. As I told you, even at the work place where I had the osmosis treatment, they were really impressed with what you did to Bobop... I will continue checking your blog and I'll hope that one day, there will be a new publish announcing Bebop is back in full force ...!! As for TIE, the trailer couldn't handle the job, so she is still in Holland. Anyway, enough things to do so I will not let my head go down... Thank you very much for the assistance and tips you already gave me. I'm sure we will keep in touch, and I hope I can continue asking you all different stuff if one day I make another mistake or when I do not now how to proceed. As for the course of dutch language, I will pass you some more lessons. I'll oblige myself to update my english version also, so you can see how TIE is changing ...!! And last, you know you're always welcome her in Belgium mate. Amsterdam, London, Paris, ... are all within 2 to 3 hours of driving ... But the most beautiful city there is in Europe of course is Gent !! ^v^!! So if you decide to come (by any means), food and sleep is free ...!
Hang in ther, keep you're head up and as they are telling us here at Honda ... We always must have the power of dreams !

All the best and Sail ye !!


12:44 PM  
Anonymous tienkou said...

So sorry dude, at least you tried. Most people don't make attempts at dreams.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog since the very begining and found it perfect. I am very sorry for you and this "end of the story". It was so unexpected, and it makes the re-reading of all the previous pages a real drama. You know, this would make a very good and beautiful story for a real book.

Good luck !

Best regards

François (France)

5:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to read your decision to give up sailing. I did that once but after a few years I found myself looking at boat ads to get another boat.I would agree with adam about letting the emotions subside awhile before selling and then having to start from scratch when you get the itch again.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Words cannot express how depressing it is to hear this! I always thought of how cool it would be to hear about your stays in exotic locals and your trials onboard Bebop.. Christmas in Mexico..the senioritas...

I was getting so excited for you and I was planning on living vicariously through you until I can get that dream boat of my own. I understand if you just can't take it but I wish there was something you could do to make it possible. You are almost there! Isn't there anything that would make living aboard more suitable to your needs? Think it over! There's got to be another alternative.. Think about working out of that cubicle again! NOOOOoo!

I sure hope that you change your mind man!! 2 weeks is not enough time, give it 2 months!

Your saddened loyal reader,
Sloth :(

2:19 PM  
Blogger Deryk said...

Hey man, that really sucks. I understand about injuries, I have had more then my share of them. But just a thought... so you cant sail around the world, there is still plenty of places you can sail that wont be huge distances. Go down to the islands, south america, the gulf of mexico. The dream doesnt have to end because you cant sail across the ocean. Sail up and down the coast, when that gets boring hit the panama canal and do the west coast.

good luck


8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[hope this isn't a duplicate post].
jammer, i think deryk is on to it. sounds like you're going to be hurting whether you're sitting on your boat or at your desk in a cubicle, so why not grab a bottle or two of cheap rum and head south? get your charts, take your time, mostly day sails and your down to the keys, then cuba and over to mexico, down the hippie trail, belize, the rio a couple of months you've hooked up with some granola babe to tend your sheets, life is good, and we're all wishing we were there.
well, just a thought and what do i know? but whatever you decide, good luck, man, and hang in there. v.joe

10:43 AM  
Anonymous skylark said...

You might want to give it some time on your decision. A rough overnighter is always a downer. It sucks to be seasick and stuck out all night, or to be with someone who is seasick. Most people try to avoid a trip like that. It would have been better to sail out to where the other cruisers were anchored out and experience life on board at anchor for a few days. Then when the weather is right, jump on down to the next harbor.

Sailing around the world is a decent goal if you planned on doing it slow and sailing a lot of day trips before your first big passage.

Since you are in Florida, you could get over to the Atlantic side and cross over into the Bahamas. Hopetown during mid-winter is one of the biggest gathering places for cruisers. If you wanted to learn what voyaging is about and meet people who have done it, you could day trip your way down there (except for the overnight Gulf Stream crossing).

Sailing can be difficult but it doesn't have to be. At least you can minimize it by taking short passages and waiting for weather windows. Most cruisers try to minimize wind and wave exposure, although you have to be prepared for the worst.

The prep work you did on the boat has got to be worse for your body than 95% of the sailing you would experience.

I respect your decision, I am kind of in a similar situation. I just hate to see a bad experience spoil the dream. I wonder if it had been perfect weather and wave conditions, if you would be enthusiastic and still working on achieving your dreams.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Zen said...

do not rush yourself off course...

The dream is still reachable , if you want it enough!

-The solo voyage from Japan to California alone would be impressive for someone with all his limbs, said Chad Keane, the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor's operations officer and a sailor for most of his 45 years. For Yonago to do it with just one arm, Keane said, is astounding.-


-The morning sun glistened on his wheelchair as he readied the boat for the day. Grunting with effort, he made small hops and managed to get out of his wheelchair, off the dock and into the boat.-

8:36 PM  
Anonymous CapnK said...

Jammer -

Don't give up the ship! Like others have said, store her on the hard for a bit, or moor her out somewhere to alleviate the marina costs. Maybe take her to the Keys where the water is flat most of the time, liveaboard for a while, perhaps find a remote networking job you can telecommute to. Enjoy her before taking a financial loss, you just may find a way to keep the _sailing_ part of your dream alive, if not the actual circumnavigation part.

Best in whatever you do decide to do. Obviously, you have inspired many others who have similar dreams, self included. I hope it all works out in the best way possible for you.

Two quotes for you to think about:

"Did America give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor???" (John Belushi, in "Animal House")

"You can do eet, mon!" (Rob Schneider, in "Happy Gilmore")

:) Peace -


8:24 AM  
Blogger Rocko Delray said...


You have a great boat ( A Nomad and designed by the Commander himself) and a great blog. I looked forward to reading your post. Perhaps if you give it a rest for a while, put BeBop back on a trailer in the driveway and settle down a bit. Get some more income going and the dreams will come again and start to replace the pain in your joints and the worries about not having enough funds.

Heck, I’ve cruised in my dreams, sitting in the cockpit of my old Windward 21 (while on the trailer in our driveway). You don’t have to go ten miles out in ten foot seas to be a cruiser.

I hope you don’t sell her JamMer.


9:10 PM  
Anonymous AdriftAtSea said...


I'm so sorry to hear that you and BeBop won't be going offshore as you intended. Unfortunately, many sailors find out that their beloved boats are far tougher than they are. I only recently found your blog and have been working my way through the trials and travails of your commissioning of BeBop.

I, too, am a sailor, as well as a computer guy, and am in the process of outfitting my boat, and hope to leave sometime next year. I too have lived with chronic pain, courtesy of a 1976 Ford Granada turning me and my bicycle into a bumper sticker over 20 years ago.

I decided to start working on my dream of sailing to see what lay beyond the sunset after losing my beloved wife to cancer. My boat is named for her. I'd invite you to take a look at my blog, and to read the section I call "My Life with Gee" as well.

I would recommend you take Zen's advice, as he is a wise man, with good counsel. Your dream may not be as out of your reach as you think. Whatever you decide, I am glad you are keeping your blog up—it is a resource and an inspiration for others out here.

CapnK is also worth listening too. Given all the work, and what you have accomplished thus far, it would be a shame not to at least try.

Fair Winds,


12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


There are times for each and every one of us when that dreaded old phrase "Half a loaf..." springs to life filled with understanding and renewed possibility. For you the present is such a time. It simply awaits your arrival.

If you sell Be Bop now, then you'll have no loaf at all.

Keep your yacht and adjust your course to the conditions at hand -reality - it's what all true sailors must do.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we are all waiting for your responce?

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think more about this. Once you let the boat go you will never find the energy to do all this again. And once you decide the dream is over and you sit back doing whatever is next you will convince yourself that you could have lived with the pain and the discomfort.

Look at it this way, it will not cost you any more to make the final effort. As you say the boat is ready to go, so go. Pick the optimum conditions and try. If it all falls apart you will be able to look back with at least the satisfaction that you couldn't have done any more.

Throughout your blog you have gone the extra mile to make this boat the best it could be. It and you deserve the opportunity to reach a sea.

Come on, you know it makes sense!

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Hawkeye said...

I have read the tea leaves and thrown the bones and twigs of my medicine bag and chewed the hard ju-ju-bees and I have found the answer.

It is 4 and ga-zert-ni-whaa.

I don't know what it means. It could be a flashback to the 70's and a handful of orange sunshine I chugged in the Haight Ashbury, or maybe it's that old Viet Nam stuff coming back.

I do know this - there are no answers out here - you must find them within yourself - treat yourself right and don't pick a permanent cure for a temporary problem. Even the wildest seas turn flat eventually, and you will pray for a bit of the wind you cursed yesterday.


11:01 AM  
Blogger BC said...

I'd downsize your goals and head for the Bahamas. You've got a decent boat and some time. You will kick yourself later. You don't like it, head home, it's only a few days away. Bahamas are nice cruising, I've never heard anyone complain.

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, At least you could take the time to let us know what your doing. Even though your probably going through some really mind wrenching times. The people who care are sitting here in the dark wondering what your doing. Like so many of the others. I really wish you would hold on to your boat and maybe you'll want to reconsider. But if not and your sure. Why not let us know.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:48 PM  
Blogger Jammer said...

I considered the last entry to be the closing of the story. There isn't anything else to tell. What am I doing now? Same thing you do. Get up in the morning, put my pants on the same way you do, try and live my life the best I can with what I have to work with.

Still not happy about not going. Depressed would be a better way of putting it. Living dockside or coastal cruising is not a option, because I would always be living with the disappointment everday that I couldn't go round the world. BeBop is currently still for sale.

As you can see I pulled the donation button down as I forgot that it was there. Only recieved one money donation (ever) anyway. I made some other changes to the site as well.

People will no longer be allowed to leave comments without using a registered blogger name. Anybody that tries to insult me will have their comment pulled.

I'm leaving the site up for everybody to read and pull knowledge from only as long as people remain civil in the comments section.


11:47 AM  
Blogger opsguyjc said...

I soo am sorry to hear about your troubles. You are an inspiration though. Excellent website! The fact that you documented your work is a great thing, and I hope that many aspiring sailors/circumnavigators will be able to read and learn from it. I have been reading and thinking a lot lately about selling all I own, buying a boat and making it for as long as I can. Thanks to you I can keep the dream alive. I don't have the experience to undertake such a trip...yet... Every time that I read an article/webpage like your's I am newly inspired. I thank you for that. It's the intrepid spirit of the explorer, and its importance can not be down played. The time and effort that you placed in your little pocket cruiser is commendable, I have book marked you page in hope that I can learn from it. Thanks again for your effort, and I hope that your next project turns out as well/better, though it will be tough to top. Good luck with the auction on Ebay, and I sincerly hope that BeBop goes to an owner that will have the time and ability to do all with it that you intended.

P.S. If she doesn't sell before christmas look me up on Sailnet:
opsguyjc. Drop me a line, hopefully I will be in the market by then.

Good Luck!!


1:18 AM  
Blogger Geert said...

Hey there all,

Just to give my personal view : Everybody has the right to take decisions for it's own. As long as no other person get's in trouble due to these decisions, what's the problem !!???

Maybe this is a more european (belgian) way of appraoch.

I can understand the 'comment pull'. This is a very nice blog and can be of great inspiration for lots of people who are interested in refitting their boat or who are busy on such kind of a project. So what would be the use if it gets ruined by stupid comments or all kind of meaningless opinions.

As we say here in Gent : "al diene ziever es veur maa nie ...!" (freely translated : keep on rockin in a free world !!)

Sail ya all!

Oh yeah, for those who are interested in another Nomad refit blog :
the english version will be updated very soon !

Geert from Gent

2:35 AM  

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