The Minimalist Sailor

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Category: Ryan Bradfield

The 600

I have finally carved out a bit of time for myself to sit and write. Ahh. It’s been entirely too long, so I apologize to the hopeful reader out there (if there’s still anyone reading my stuff).   I have been absurdly busy with work these last few months, doing a ton of sailing, and […]

Whitey in Paradise

The plane lifted off at 5:08AM that Sunday morning.  With a foggy Houston thousands of feet below, and yearning for some breakfast and hot coffee, I knew it was to be an exciting day.  I was en route to Antigua for two full weeks, leaving the exceedingly humdrum hamster wheel in the rearview mirror for awhile. […]

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Happy New Year to the PBS clan!  It’s going to be an exciting year! First off, I’d like to share something I’ve been planning for a few months now.  On February 12th, I’ll be flying down to Antigua to participate in the RORC Caribbean 600 yacht race!   When I sailed with Paul Exner back […]

Fiberglass. EVERYWHERE…

After Lorilee’s relocation and my badass trip to the Caribbean, I knew it was time to get down to business.  The project list on Lorilee is still quite long, but the two items at the very top of that list were to replace the boomkin and glass the hull-to-deck joint.  This post is a bit on the technical […]

The Summer Solstice – Part 3

In past writings, I have mentioned several times that I often look around and think to myself, “how did I get here?”  Sailing downwind from Jost van Dyke, with St. Thomas to port, Great Tobago to starboard, and Puerto Rico somewhere over the western horizon, this was one of those times.  It’s rather hard to […]

The Summer Solstice – Part 2

The morning sun tiptoes into the partitioned-off corner of my room; the smells of strong spices and baking pastries fill my nose; the sounds of crowing roosters  echo in the surrounding hills; and my 0700 alarm goes off, shattering all of it. This was the typical morning during my stay in Road Town.  No air […]

The Move (a bit of a long read)

I feel like I have crossed a major milestone in my journey.  After nearly eighteen months in Rockport, I have finally moved Lorilee closer to home.   Though nearly 200 nautical miles, this trip pales in comparison to Alex’s move of Eleanor from New York down to Panama.  However, it was my longest journey to date on my […]

It’s Time

Tomorrow morning Lorilee will begin her 200 nautical mile move up to Kemah.  I have some mixed feelings about leaving Rockport.  I’ve made a lot of great friends, and I love the area.  There’s great wildlife, abundant boating culture, and the town itself is pretty cool too.  However, I’ve been making the six hour round trip down […]

A Reach Down the Beach

I have never been much of a competitive person.  I don’t care much for sports or fast cars, and usually when I’m competing for something, it’s against myself to self-improve.   When I was in high school, I was a competitive weight lifter.  I didn’t care what the other guys were doing in my weight […]

Time to Buckle Down

After my last outing with my brother and dad, I decided it was time to get to some serious work on Lorilee.   The three hour drive to and from the boat has to end, so I’m going to move her closer.  A few things need to happen first though – Remount the Plath windlass and […]

Close-hauled with Good Company

This past Saturday, I decided that Lorilee needed to stretch her legs one last time before I dig into some big projects.  So my dad and youngest brother joined me for one of the best days of sailing I’ve had to date.    Because of the wind direction and the orientation of Aransas Bay, Lorilee was either close-hauled […]

Das Boot

I’m beginning to think I’m cursed. I have yet to go on an extended sailing trip when the weather actually cooperates. And this trip was no different. From the outset, the planning and execution of this trip has been bound by the icy chains of wintry weather. When I first jumped on board, I was […]

Leavin’ on a jet plane

I’m not quite sure what is about sitting in an airport that make me want to write.  Maybe it’s boredom? Maybe it’s the people watching?  Or maybe the impending prospect of travel?  Right now I’m sitting in Indianapolis airport waiting for my connecting flight to Chicago en route back to Houston.  I had to fly up […]

A new dinghy!

For months now, I’ve been on the fence about what to do for a tender.  My original intent was to find a dinghy that would fit between the mast and the attachment rail for my dodger, which is about seventy-six inches.   This narrowed down my choices considerably.   So naturally I shifted my focus to building a nesting […]

A Gift

It has been a very difficult few weeks since my last writing.   I have had absolutely no motivation to write and have seen my boat very little.   But I think it’s time I shared what’s been going on. On Monday, November 16th at about 9:00 a.m., my mother lost her eight-year battle with follicular […]

Sailing on a Harvest Moon

  This time of year, the weather can be hit or miss.  October is my favorite month in Texas, typically found with clear air, light wind, and cool temps.  This year wasn’t so typical.  For months, I prepared for the 2015 Harvest Moon Regatta, an offshore sailing race of over 150 nautical miles from Galveston […]

Work continues

  The weather here in the coastal plains of Texas is growing exceedingly better. The long sultry days of summer, with their close intense heat, are waning. The wind blows gently from the North, bringing with it the smell of autumn.  And thus, my work on Lorilee continues. I still suffer the three hour drive […]

lapsus calami

I’ve always felt, and have always been told that I have an old soul.  I’m not an altogether spiritual person by any stretch, but I do feel there is some truth to this.  For my entire life, I have always been intrigued by history, learning, and the wonders of the natural world.  When I look […]

What a ride!

Six months to the day since I bought her, Lorilee is finally back in the water. Because of paint cure and launch timing, I had the weekend all planned out down to the hour.  And of course, the best laid plans almost ALWAYS change.  I won’t bore you with the details, but the bottom paint was […]

Almost there…

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  Things have been insane lately. Aside from the relentless onslaught of work obligations, I’ve been rushing to get Lorilee in the water again.  It’s been over six months since I bought her, and over six months since she’s been in the water.  My original plan was less than three. There […]

Festina lente

    Well hurricane season is definitely here.  It feels too early to be worried about a named storm, but as I write this, “Tropical Storm Bill” is bearing down on us, and many of it’s projected paths have it heading straight for Rockport – where Lorilee is on the hard.    In any case, I prepared […]

Monsoons and Mosquitoes

So it’s been raining in Texas… like a lot.  This is the wettest spring/early summer that I can recall in my lifetime.  Rivers have spilled their banks, bridges have washed out, and major thoroughfares have been underwater.  And the mosquitoes are swarming in droves.  Some areas have received feet of rain in a single day.   […]

How did I get here?

How did I get here?    Those were the words going through my head Saturday afternoon as I was piloting my friend’s yacht Providence at ten knots through the narrow turbulent locks in Freeport. At this time a year ago, I had just started a new job and was still licking the wounds from a really bad breakup.  I […]

Moving Right Along

  I’m starting to feel that I’m in the downhill stretch of this phase in the Lorilee Project. Spring is definitely the rainy season here in Texas, as it has rained just about every weekend whilst I’m down in the yard trying to get things done.  Progress has been slow as a result.  Two weekends ago, it rained […]

A Quick Update

This past weekend was supposed to be rainy so I was limited on Lorilee boat work.  I did manage to accomplish a few things. Friday, I wet-sanded (in the rain) the mast to smooth out the lent left behind by the crappy roller I used. I used automotive 400-grit wet/dry paper from my buddy that runs an […]

The Big Stick

One of the three major projects I wanted to accomplish while Lorilee was on the hard was to repaint and refit her mast.  In my initial research, I was shocked by some of the estimates I was seeing for yards just to repaint the mast.  Some figures were as high as $10k.   Now that I’m over […]

Why Sailing?

Just some introspective thoughts this afternoon… For pretty much my whole life, I have grown up in and around the water.  Ever since childhood, I have been drawn to the sea.  With frequent fishing trips on my dad’s bay skiff, or summers spent at our family house in Galveston, or solo camping trips on the beach, the sea […]


  Lorilee arrived in Rockport, Texas on January 30th, safe and sound. But before I get into the boat restoration stuff, I’d like to talk about my experience about buying a boat in another state and the transport.   As mentioned in a previous post (Craigslist, California, and a Fat-bottomed Boat), I found Lorilee on a Craigslist […]

my First blog

Hello everyone! Alex has kindly invited me to join Project Bluesphere to share my story and the adventure that lies ahead.  I couldn’t be more excited.  He has asked to me to start with a bit of an introduction.  I enjoy writing, and this is my first time writing for an audience, so forgive my […]

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