The Minimalist Sailor

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Category: Alex Dorsey

Happy New Year

Like so many, as the new year approaches, I find myself reflecting upon time. 2018 marks 15 years of freedom for me, and 28 years of sailing. I left the United States on a little 28′ sailboat (Namaste) in 2003 to sail around the world. And 15 years later, not having sailed around the world, I […]

Bloggers Block

It’s been so long since I’ve been blogging regularly I don’t really know where, or more importantly, how to begin. Every time I sit down to write a blog, the first thing I do is come up with a blog title. The title of my blog shapes my words, gives me inspiration, and helps me […]

Welcome to Jamaica mon !

It’s been so long since I’ve posted a blog, I figure it’s high-time! I’m sitting in the international airport in Kingston Jamaica waiting for Carla to arrive in a few hours. The past months have been a blur of boat projects and sailing. All I can say about Eleanor (Westsail 42) is WOW, what an […]

On the move

Once again I have to leave Carla and Nacho behind. Delivering Eleanor home has been quite an adventure and has taken around 18 months, how time flies? The addition of my father put a wrench in the delivery but has brought so much to Carla and I. How does the saying go? “When you make […]

The move

I haven’t been blogging much because 100% of my creative energy has been diverted to writing, and making The Minimalist Sailor (The movie). I have a solid first draft of the script (120 pages), and we are planning to go into production in July of this year. As some of you know I’ve been a […]

Splendid V2.0

Big haul-out Splendid is at the beauty parlor and getting pampered. Our haul-out is going well. As you know we will be selling Splendid soon and I want her right when we do sell her. I’ve pulled the engine and transmission. The engine runs perfect (compression) but had a few little leeks. She is getting an […]

I’m a slacker!

Since the beginning of Project Bluesphere I’ve never gone this long without writing a blog, arrrgggg!. The reason I’ve turned into such a slacker is that I’m waste-deep in writing “The Minimalist Sailor” script. The main character is a blogger who lives in New York City. After loosing his day-job, he travels to Florida to […]

Earthbag house?

Building? The last thing I would have thought when I turned 50 was to build a house. I’m not a big fan of the land, taxes, neighbors, and not being able to move when I want, it’s not really my style. Yet here I am in Bocas Del Toro Panama contemplating how to build a […]

Strange dayzzzz!

This is the longest I’ve ever gone in BlueSphere history without writing a blog, sorry :( I founnd a little time to write this morning as I’m on a ferry crossing from Almirante to Bocas Del Torro Panama (two hours). As most of you know I promised to replant my father on a beach as […]

Times are a chang’n

Man, I just don’t know where to begin. I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a moment to relax or write. As you guys know dad is moving to Panama with Carla, Nacho and I. I found a nice beach rental for him in Panama. In a few weeks he will be sitting on a beach smelling […]

A corporate decision

I wont be sailing to Panama this season. A number of factors have helped me make my decision, most importantly, my father wants to move to Panama. When I told him we could do it in 6 months or so, and he replied “6 months is a long time when your 83”, I made my decision. […]

Charleston SC

For 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 […]

What a ride!

I’ve just dropped the hook up at the top of the Delaware bay, just south of the C&D canal which connects the Delaware and Chesapeake bays. I’ve slept less than an hour in the past 36, but I must share my thoughts tonight. I met up with a sailing friend on Monday who pulled into […]

The wind.

I find it hard to believe that many people don’t hear, see, or feel their own calling. If I had a super-power it would be my ability to feel the little magnet in my heart repelling or attracting me, towards or away from, the opportunities in my life. Actually, scratch that. I believe most people […]

Marine Weather

I’m a little low this morning. I’ve carved out a tight schedule for me to get to get home (Panama) before the onset of hurricane season. I feel like a racing dog raring to get out of the gate, and it just wont open, ARRRGGGG! Cruising does have a way of putting you on nature’s […]

The River

The Hudson River is behind us :) Todd and I left Stoney Point Bay Marina with the hi-tide yesterday morning and sailed under the Tappan Zee, George Washington, and Verrazano bridges. We also sailed by New York City, and the Statue Of Liberty. New York City is my birth place and where I grew up. […]

I’ve been assimilated!

If your reading my blog on Facebook, I’m a ghost! I’ve decided that it consumes too much of my time and doesn’t provide me with anything tangible. There are so many things in our lives that rob us of our time. Work, social obligations, boat and house projects, television, where is our time to dream, […]

Time to sail home!

Sorry for not blogging more but I’ve been working on Eleanor from the time my eyes open in the morning, till the time they close at night. In just the past three weeks Todd and I have been able to install a cubic-mini wood burning stove, a Harkin roller furling, a Simrad below deck autopilot, […]

The Cubic mini wood burning stove

Sorry I haven’t been blogging more but my nose has been on the proverbial grindstone. I’ve been battling with a below decks autopilot instillation (Thanks Neil), attending to rigging issues, plumbing, electrical issues, and working, working, working on Eleanor to get her ready for our voyage to Panama. My crew member Todd is a super-great guy […]

To furl or not to furl?

That is the question! Eleanor’s frozen/faulty roller-furling has been the last big piece of the puzzle, I need something safe, cheap, and dependable. If you have ever been stuck in a blow with a sail you cant roll in or out you’ll know what I’m talking about. Eleanor came with a vintage Dynafurl. I called […]

Planning a voyage

For me, planning a voyage is no simple matter, nor one to be taken lightly. Before I crossed the Pacific I studied for years. Charts, weather patterns, cruising guides, satellite photos, and every scrap of information I could get was scrutinized so I could maximize my safety, and the safety of my boat. I use Open […]

Good times!

Woot, back online :) I’m glad Ryan is blogging about boat projects as they are so unimportant to me at the moment. I’ll get back to that in a few weeks when I get back to New York. Having my father (Joe) visit for the last two weeks has been a wonderful experience. For the […]

Sea dogs

 The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, has posted a wonderful collection of historical photographs showing the range of animals sailors and travelers used to bring to sea. Today we have Nacho aboard Splendid. He really is a great little mutt. He provides entertainment, companionship, security, and will keep any unwanted critters off the boat and […]

Home sweet home!

All is right as rain! I’m sitting on Splendid, swimming in the sea, and listening to the monkeys in the trees from my hammock on the foredeck. Carla did really beautiful fiberglass, painting, fairing, and varnishing work in the aft cabin. If we can make the whole interior look like that Splendid will be one pretty penny! […]

I found my father!

Last September 14th Carla said something strange to me. “I don’t know what it is baby, but something big is going to happen in the states, something related to your family, someone is calling”. Carla and I live in total peace away from the hustle and bustle of western culture and we are very sensitive […]

Off-Shore to Panama?

I have my wife back and we have discovered the CORONARITA!!!!!! Who would have known one wouldn’t need to make a choice between a beer and a margarita with your fajitas? I’ve been having a blast with my family since I’ve left New York. I had a great time with my cousin Steve and family […]

Spiritual navagation

Two of my favorite quotes are: “The best navigators have no idea where they are going until they arrive” And: “All who wander are not lost” As soon as we unshackle our spirit from the idea that we must get up every day, work for the collective, and build wealth, our path unfolds. Like a […]

light on the horizon

November 6th Well Eleanor has an engine once again. Still a bunch of work to do with the installation, but I’m hoping to be under way in about a week. I can’t wait to hear her roar to life for the first time! My friend Darryl (manning the engine) is building a new centek exhaust […]


Tao means way, or path. There is no right or wrong path, there is just the path! And every man has a very unique path to walk. I suppose if I were to choose a religion Taoism would be where my spirituality would connect with philosophy and community. Life is a river and we must […]

The wind is unhappy.

The wind is unhappy here. My spirituality it is my connection to nature, and I believe I have an ability my to see, listen, and understand it. I also believe the wind is unhappy here on the Hudson River. It’s not unhappy because it blows strong in October, it’s unhappy because nobody listens to it. […]

walking our path

Wow, the last 36 hours have been rough. A violent Nor’easter really just ripped through my world. Three boats went adrift here at the club during this Storm. I experienced 60 knot winds for much of one night, and a hard gale for the rest of the time. I also had some damage to the […]

No pictures, just words.

I couldn’t have started this journey without my brother-in-law Nico. Thank you for all the help brother (not in-law). Nico returned home yesterday, however he left me with a solid plan. This past week I felt like Neo walking through the matrix for the first time being guided by Morphious. Thanks for taking my hand […]

Cloud 9

   I’m Back in the USA for the first time in about 7 years. Believe it or not I’m still happy after having  strangers ruffle through my personal belongings, pat down my privates, and radiate me with scanners 3 times upon entry. New York is my home, I was born at doctors hospital (Manhattan) on […]

God, family, and love

We bought a new boat, a 1975, WestSail 42 “Rocinante” (Don Quixote’s horse), WAHOOOOOO!!!!!!! I don’t often use the label “God” because it causes so much commotion amongst people. Even though I strongly disagree with organized religion, I am the most spiritual man I know. I refer to God as nature, and God has spoken […]

Splendid is for sale.

But only for the next couple days. I have a very narrow opportunity to get into a slightly bigger and heavier boat in the next few days. Carla and I have been dreaming of Greenland, Alaska, and Patagonia. The truth is I’ve been thinking of steel, and heavier boats and we have a crazy possibility […]

Apnea training.

I’ve been spear-fishing for about 20 years, maybe a few more. I can hunt around 40′ deep and hold my breath for about a minute and a half, nothing special. I always manage some food (fish/lobster) unless I’m being lazy and just don’t want to clean smaller fish, the big fish lay deep. However put […]

Health onboard

I’ve never really written about health onboard because I’ve always been quite healthy for the most part. I did have a battle with malaria in Colombia a few years back but aside from the occasional flu, and dealing with my asthma in a moldy environment (rain forest humidity on a boat) life has been pretty […]


As most of you know, you won’t just read of beautiful beaches, palm trees, and sugar-plum fairies here at my blog. I like writing about real life, and real life voyaging abroad. Losing Robin Williams to suicide has really affected me, and given me strength to write about some things that are difficult for me […]

The hunt is on!

Arrrggg! I have a rat on board. At least I think it’s a rat, some kind of rodent for sure. It must have swam and climbed the anchor chain while I was gone. I’ve set two snap-traps, and a glue trap. It keeps taking the food without triggering the traps, and stole food from the […]


Sorry for the long delay in a blog update. I’m finally home after a 6-week stint trying to deliver a boat to Nicaragua and I have so much to talk about! The past 6 weeks have been tough as the boat I was to deliver had been severely neglected. The rudder post was broken as […]

New and old friends.

Carla and I are really enjoying the charter boat life. My old friend David and his wife Cindy came for a week visit and we picked up the wayward Charlie and his daughter Monica. We all had a wonderful time swimming, eating (lots of lobster), snorkeling, exploring islands, and and drinking wine ;) David is […]


I just love this photo I grabbed during the first rain of the season. I never thought I’d ever conjugate a sentence using the words “young-people”, but hell, I’ll be 49 in July. My last charter, Jared, is only 20 years old. He is really a great kid. All he really wants to do is […]

Guerrilla pack & family fun!

Carla’s sister (Juli), husband (Juano), 4 year old (Ramiro), 2 year old (Celeste), and 3 month old (Sol) left this morning. They live in the mountains of Patagonia and have never experienced something like San Blas. I must say, I think the 11-day holiday on Splendid was a success! I don’t know if you remember […]

SSB counterpoise ( ground plane)

Well I got my new Icom IC-M802 SSB radio and I must say I’m more than excited! I’m looking forward to simplifying my life of paying for wi-fi, mobile data, cell phones, pre-paid phone cards, 12v DC chargers, and AC (whatever country I’m in) chargers, stressing that there is no coverage in a given anchorage, […]

The marine SSB

I’ve had such a big response to my “Minimalist marine electronics” series of blogs I feel I need to expand. I will be compiling all of the “Minimalist marine electronics” blogs into a video, and incorporating with another series of blogs and video I’m working on, “The marine SSB”. I’m forging the two together because […]

Marine Electronics

Go minimal! I’ve been writing this blog for over a decade now, and many of you know I research, research, research before I buy or build anything. I travel the world with far less financial means (less than 8k a year) than 95% of the sailors I know. And when I do buy something for […]

Cave man.

It’s 4:30 and I’m wide awake. It’s normal for me to be up so early, as this is my day-dream time. My days have a definitive pattern. I wake up quite early. My day-dreams run wild like a broken tap in the early hours of the morning and are usually connected to my night-dreams. I […]

San Blas sailing fun.

  TEAM SPLENDID: Bart, Danja, Thomas, and Sabine. Thanks for an AWSOME time! We had a beautiful week providing a 5 day kite-boarding charter which we landed through, and shared  with Nirvana charters. We had a lovely crew from Belgium, Switzerland, and Holland. Two couples on Splendid and six guys on Nirvana’s boat. Carla and […]

Come to paradise!

So Carla and I have returned to the San Blas after being away for 10 months. We have only been here a few days and the decompressing magic of the islands is saturating deep into my soul. The last 3 days have been filled with the silence of the Caribbean sea crashing against the reef […]

Chartering again.

Well, we got an opportunity to do a 5 day, 2-couple charter in a few weeks. Which means we are off to the San Blas next week. Carla’s sister, husband, and 3 kids are also coming to visit us from Patagonia in March. I’m really excited about them coming as they have never experienced something […]

Rolling & tipping goodness

All I can say is WOW, I feel like I’m floating on happiness! Splendid’s refit is at the point of making her pretty. Carla and I have been discussing various painting configurations for hours on end and we FINALLY found the right way to paint, not to mention the right paint itself (Sikkens two-part polyurethane). […]


  Since I unplugged in 2003 I’ve learned so much of the world. The heavy fog of judgment & ego has slowly given way to peace & understanding. The deafening voice of the system has quieted over the years and I was finally able to find what I was looking for! The pursuit of Love […]

The cabin

In 1962 Tony Bennett  sang “I left my heart in San Francisco” for the first time. Today…, if I was able, I would sing that I left a piece of my heart in a small cabin in the mountains of Patagonia. As most of you know I am somewhat of an anarchist. I believe I […]


I don’t know where to start. I LOVE Argentina, not to mention Carla tambien! The first thing Carla and I had to do as soon as we got to Buenos Aires is to go to a government office and apply for our wedding. As soon as pen touched paper we realized this thing is really […]

The last 27

Well guys I’m on a plane for Argentina in a few hours and I’m having major separation anxiety (Splendid). I love to travel but I’m a home-body at the same time. Kind of like a wondering turtle with his house on his back. As you know the sea has been calling me hard for years, […]


This picture was taken by my friend Nick the day I left Mystic, CT. (2003) for the world. I refer to it as the “Day number one” picture. When I think back to who I was then, a decade ago, to who I am now, time stops as I could ponder the differences for an […]


So Carla and I are busting-ass getting out of the Bambu house, finishing the Dinghy, and preparing for our trip & marriage. As most of you know, I don’t like moorings & docks. Well I’m a big fat hypocrite because I’ve just put down a mooring. I hired a few local guys to fill 4, […]

Under the gun.

I’m going to Argentina at the end of the month and I’m freakin’ as to all the work I have to do. The dinghy project is at the top of the list. Rebuilding the Dyer midget, as usual, was/is more work than I had expected. Carla and I are sooooo excited to have her finished […]

Family fun

Well its been big family fun around here lately. Carla’s brother, wife, and 3 month old daughter came for a few weeks and her mom is here for a few more days. Carla is really close to her family and I’m gaining so much from this relationship, really AWSOME people. I’m so excited to go […]

Can’t sleep

It’s 4:30am and as usual my brain tugs at my sleep, my thoughts a thorn in the night. I’m getting married in a few months. For the first time I’m in a relationship that works. We both have the same dreams & life philosophy. We are both travelers, independent thinkers, students & teachers. We know […]

The speed of light!

The “light at the end of the tunnel” is blinding me! As you guys know in 2007, on the island of Tahiti, I made a decision to trade “Namaste” for a larger boat that I could grow old and retire on. My plan was to buy a fixer-upper, and take 2-3 years off of sailing […]

Welcome to the jungle!

Adventure is where you find it. Although I’ve been spending more time off the boat in the last month than I ever have I’ve been buying boat stuff, supplies, and still finding some time for fun. Carla and I took a jungle tour with our friend heather the other day. I find the jungle covered […]

Running a restaurant & bar ?

I’ve always wanted to have a restaurant & bar and the next 5 months may satisfy that urge. Our first week at the bamboo house has been work, work, work. I think its funny when people say a boat is a “money pit” or a “hole in the water you keep pouring money into”. […]

The list

I’ve become afraid of writing out to do lists as they can be intimidating. My daily routine consists of waking up each day and playing with my charting program, pouring over world charts, and dreaming of where to sail. This acts as my inspiration to break out the tools and work for 5 hours or […]

The last big push!

If you’ve been reading me over the years you know I have a simple altruistic perspective on life. I really believe in living small, green, free, while helping others along their path. I know it’s a good philosophy as my karma is rewarding Carla and I ten-fold. It may seem that I don’t worry about […]

A humble yacht.

Sorry I’ve been quiet, but either Carla or I have been sick with the Flu for weeks. It was a particularly tough battle as I got it twice. We are just coming out of it. NO FUN! I’m really looking forward to getting back to working on our new gourmet galley, especially as our stove […]

Big changes

These past few weeks have been riddled with hard work, living in a disaster area, fresh water, Love, and a change of season. The rainy season is here once again. The steady trade wind has made way to variable squally-wind, lightning, thunder and rain. All that being said it’s my favorite season. I sleep well […]

Life has changed!

After years of scrounging parts, re-building pumps, and designing a watermaker system we are making water (22GPH)! If you were to go out and buy a system like this you would be looking at eight – ten grand for an off the shelf watermaker. Water makers are pretty simple. You need to push sea water […]

The ice box :(

Well, we have been back in civilization for a few days now and I’m knee-deep in boat projects. The two major ones I’ve started is building a new dash and re-wiring the engine. I’ve got a set of new Faria gauges which will look pretty sharp once I’m done. The big job however is building […]

Banished to paradise

No images today, just words. Carla and I were watching a movie last night (No strings attached). It was shot in LA and Santa Barbara. I lived in Santa Barbara for four years while attending college and spent my adult life in Southern California. The movie got me thinking of how far, and for how […]

I’m back

I’m back after 10 days of chartering, and yes, I have 10 people in the dinghy. I got a call from an agency that needed help with a charter as they were a family of nine. Actually two families. One with two kids, the other with three. I got the family with two on Splendid […]

I’m Getting Married!

Hummmmm, here’s a fresh topic for Project BlueSphere. Carla and I have been together for 14 months now and have decided to take our relationship to the next level. We are planning to be married in Buenos Aires Argentina on November 23rd, 2013. No church, just a simple afternoon tea-party with a judge, family, and […]

A “cruising” philosophy

We are gearing up to launch “The Minimalist Sailor” soon and I want to explain a little about what it actually is. The Minimalist Sailor is a philosophy, and one geared for developing a life-path towards freedom while voyaging the world. I was recently talking to a Kuna about the changes I’ve seen here in […]


Well, it has been an interesting week. We had some friends visit for a few days. Jean (France) and Ivonne (Germany). Jean is a sailor in Europe and I finally got to sit down and talk to someone about the reality of sailing the Med. I’d love to visit Europe but I always hear the […]

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