The Minimalist Sailor

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Charleston SC

hurricane_graphic1-e1401978575206For those of you that have been watching our position on the SPOT page you’ll see that we have been hitting the miles hard! Our biggest day on the ICW to date was 92 miles, and every mile was made in daylight.

We had some severe weather in Palmico sound. I was just about to pull into an anchorage when we got a tornado warning. A few minutes after that everything went grey and windy enough to heal Eleanor over hard with no sails up, hurricane force winds for sure!

A few minutes after that I heard a sizzling sound, looked over to the port side of the boat and saw a 26funnel cloud or tornado heading straight for us. I had to turn hard to port to miss it as it violently tore the water within ten feet of Eleanor. The water was swirling up in an angry circular motion and looked like the Tasmanian devil. The wind and rain was stinging our eyes so hard it was impossible to keep them open. I had to cup my eyes in order to see the chart plotter and keep us in the twenty yard channel to the creek where we were trying to anchor.

The whole incident lasted about thirty minutes. My father was white and wide-eyed, looking up at tasmanian-devilme from the cabin. All he said was there was lightening striking all around me against a dark gray background and he was afraid for us. Todd was wide-eyed and white-knuckled as well. I was surprised but knew the worst thing that would happen was a lightening strike, or we could have ended up in the mud. It all made for a good experience and story.

Man do I wish I had a video of the tornado or funnel cloud on the water as it was passing just a few feet away, AMAZING!

My dad has been sick for the entire journey from Norfolk. We had to pull into Georgetown as he was having respiratory issues, fever, and nausea. I brought him to the hospital and they put him on I.V. antibiotics. He was complaining that a woman behind him was coughing on the plane to Norfolk and it turns out he contracted viral pneumonia. We had to rent a car in Charleston and I drove him home to Florida yesterday. I’ll be back on Eleanor on Monday to continue my journey south.

I’m exhausted, I really miss my wife, and I want to get home. Hurricane season starts tomorrow and I’m just heading to the Bahamas in a week or so, BUMMER! June tends to be a pretty “safe” month however we have already had a tropical storm this year and are supposed to have another later this week. All I can do at this point is hit the miles hard, keep and eye on the weather, and get home to Panama.

I met my new crew member (Wade) and he seems like a pretty good guy. He will be coming aboard tomorrow and will join Todd and I for the next 3 weeks or so.

I was contacted by one of my subscribers that is trying to make his dream of sailing across the Atlantic happen and has launched a crowd funding page. I really do have a soft spot when it comes to people realizing their dreams and told him I’d help him out by giving him a link.


“My name is Slobodan Velikic and I am a 33 year old sailor from Croatia. I sail in dinghies (F18, 505) and keelboats (Mini 6,50 class). 2 weeks ago I quit my job to follow my dream, participate in Mini Transat regatta.

However, I do not have enough funds to buy a second hand boat so I have launched a crowd funding campaign to collect money. I offer many perks for my sponsors, from bottle of Atlantic water to skipper job and also 1 perk of sailing the Atlantic with me in Mini 6,50 boat.

The link to the campaign is here –

…and in the end a call for action (help/donate/share). But I will let you do the personal touch if you do not mind. :)

Thank you a lot. I hope to meet you one day out there.

Best from Croatia,




Sail far and live slowly.

– alex

Published in Alex Dorsey
Updated: June 5, 2015 — 10:10


  1. Alex,

    Where you dropping anchor Sunday evening June 7th?

    Paul Alexander

  2. Paul,

    Probably in Jupiter.

    I haven’t had a moment to write, read, check the web or do much of anything :(

    We are in Melborn, going to check on my dad tomorrow and make sure he is doing well, he was really sick.

  3. Wow ! You guys are already in Melbourne. Y’all are knockin down some miles!!

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