Fair Winds to Write on the Water

SunsetatFirst Landing

A Fijian sunset

by Christine Kling

I’ve had a good run here at writeonthewater.com but it seems the sun is now setting on this part of my life. Many of our faithful readers have noticed that this blog has been winding down. There have not been many posts lately, and no posts for me since my New Year’s 3 Words post. The time has come for me to move on. I’m not giving up on blogging — au contraire. I have simply decided to move my efforts to my personal blog at sailingwriter.com, and for those readers here who would like to continue to follow my adventures in the South Pacific, I hope you will go over and subscribe at that site.

My first post here at Write on the Water was on April 10, 2010, and the title was “An expert? Me?” I told some anecdotes about several of the extreme faux pas I have committed both as a writer and a sailor, and I questioned what I, a perennial screw-up could possibly contribute to a blog. I wrote:

“So, if I’m not an expert writer nor a master sailor, what makes me think I have anything to share on the pages of this blog? I hope that someone out there might find some kind of truth or solace or even a laugh or two as I contemplate the questions and struggles in my search to find contentment as a sailing writer. There I said it. Writer. Who, me?”

In the past almost six years,  I have tried to share my path towards finding answers to these questions. I followed Hemingway’s advice and cut open a vein and bled on the pages of this blog sharing my successes, failures, hopes, dreams, terrors, love and marriage. Blogging has made me a better writer, I have no doubt about that. I have always tried to get my blogs to conform to the premise presented here in the blog’s byline — “so you want to quit your job, move onto a boat, and write.” During the years I’ve been blogging here, I did quit my day job, I lived on my own boat and I cruised—all while writing the 3 novels in my Shipwreck Adventures series – the third book of which, Knight’s Cross is now available for sale on Amazon. But after all these years of writing about writing on the water, the topic has grown a bit stale for me. These days I much prefer blogging about the travels and adventures of cruising.

As many readers here know, in the last couple of years my life took a different turn. I met the marvelous Wayne Hodgins, ran off to Fiji, got married, moved onto his boat, sold my own boat Talespinner, and began doing some serious cruising in the Pacific. My blogs have turned more into travelogues, and I enjoy writing them. We traveled up to Majuro, spent more than a year there and then sailed down to Fiji last May.

We cruised these wonderful islands until August when we hauled out our steel motorsailer Learnativity in Vuda Point Boatyard and started a major refit, emptying the boat of everything, painting and varnishing everything inside the boat, We also replaced some hull plate that had grown too thin for our liking.

LearnativityblownoverWe were on the cusp of painting her topsides, deck and bottom when Tropical Cyclone Winston hit Fiji. Night before last, when the winds hit over 140 knots, and the eye of this category 5 storm passed some 40 miles to the north of us, our beloved boat blew over. Wayne and I were were in the aft bunk when she went. I flew through the air and slammed into the cabinetry, landing on top of Wayne. The rest of the night as the winds howled, and we tried to make ourselves comfortable in our topsy turvy world, we wondered what the damage was and what this would mean to our lives. We won’t really know for sure until a crane arrives tomorrow and attempts to right our 30 ton baby.

InfoThey are saying that Winston is the strongest cyclone ever recorded in the southern hemisphere. The news about the damage here in Fiji is only just beginning to come to light. It is very early in the recovery, but it is confirmed that 20 are dead and at least 7 are missing. Many boats washed ashore up in Savusavu. Thousands are homeless throughout the islands of Lau, Taveuni, and Koro as many, many villages were decimated by the high winds and the storm surge.

While our boat has suffered damage, we are alive and unharmed. We have no idea what this set-back will mean for our future, but our dogs are fine, and we all have each other. We are immensely grateful to be so fortunate.

I intend to continue to write about all the adventures we will have recovering from Winston, exploring these islands, and getting on with our cruising life over at sailingwriter.com. I hope readers who are interested in following those sailing/travel blogs, finding out what the damage is to Learnativity, and learning about all our adventures will follow me over there and subscribe.

Thanks so much to Mike Jastrzebski who started this wonderful blog. Without Mike Write on the Water would never have happened. I hope Mike will continue to blog here himself.  Thanks also C.E. Grundler and to John Urban, and to all the other bloggers who wrote here for a while and to those who were guests. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to share this writing space with you, and I’ve learned so much from all of you.

Most of all, I want to thank the readers for riding along in my world all these years.

Fair winds!


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About Christine Kling

I have spent more than thirty years living on and around boats and cruising the waters of the North and South Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. I’ve written articles and stories for many boating publications including Sailing, Cruising World, Motor Boating & Sailing, and The Tiller and the Pen. When I was married, I helped my husband build a 55-foot custom sailing yacht. After launching her, we sailed through the Panama Canal to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands where we chartered for over two years. While in the islands, I received my 100-ton Auxiliary Sail Captains license. It was that sailing experience that led me to set my first nautical suspense novel, SURFACE TENSION (2002), on the waterfront in Fort Lauderdale. Featuring Florida female tug and salvage captain, Seychelle Sullivan, the first book was followed by CROSS CURRENT (2004) and BITTER END (2005). The fourth book in the series, WRECKERS’ KEY was released in February 2007. At the end of the 2010-11 academic year, I took the motto of this blog to heart. I quit my day job as an English professor at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale (just when they offered me tenure, I said no thanks and took early retirement). I was living the dream of full-time cruising on board my 33-foot Caliber Talespinner on my very tiny pension and whatever I made from my books having parted ways with the big publishing establishment. I self-published two books on my own: a small collection of four short stories entitled SEA BITCH: Four Tales of Nautical Noir and my first stand-alone sailing thriller set in the Caribbean, CIRCLE OF BONES. In 2012 I was offered a publishing deal with Amazon's mystery/thriller imprint Thomas&Mercer and they reissued CIRCLE OF BONES. The sequel to that book, DRAGON'S TRIANGLE came out in June 2014. And as for me, I'm no longer a singlehander on my little boat. I met Wayne Hodgins in 2013 and after a whirlwind Skype courtship, I flew to meet him in Fiji and we sailed a nearly 2000 mile passage to the Marshall Islands for our "first date." We now sail together aboard LEARNATIVITY, a 52-foot motor sailor with our family including Barney, the Yorkshire Terror and Ruby, the Wonder Dog.
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4 Responses to Fair Winds to Write on the Water

  1. Gene says:

    Sad to see this blog going away. I’ve been following it for a long time and have enjoyed every post by all.

    Chris, glad to hear you are both ok. Boats can be repaired, so can bodies, but it takes longer.

    Thanks for letting us know where to read about your adventures!

    All the best,


  2. Diane Stevens says:

    Glad you’re both OK! So sorry about the boat, so sorry for Fiji! I’m sure there’s much work for all.

    I’ll continue to follow you, this was a good blog & I’m glad you’re not leaving blogging entirely.


  3. Gene – Thanks for the kind words. As of now, our boat is upright and we are hard at work cleaning up all the mess inside.

    I wouldn’t say this blog is going away. I don’t know for certain what John or C.E. plan to do. And, of course, Mike is the owner of this blog and I think he will return to blogging here one day. I’m only stating what my plans are. I don’t speak for everyone here.

  4. Diane-
    Thanks for your support all these years. Yes, this has been a great blog, but all good things do come to an end. I’m thrilled that you will continue to follow me over at sailingwriter.

    And thanks for your concerns for the people here in Fiji. It is a very small island nation, but the people are extraordinary and they have suffered. It’s important to them to know that others around the world do care.

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