About Island Rambler

(Last updated: February 20, 2016)
White sands, Turquoise water, Someone bring me a rum punch!

White sands, Turquoise water, Someone bring me a rum punch!

Call me Todd. Some years ago- never mind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery parts of the Caribbean. In today’s overly tyrannical world, some are feeling the pressure and looking for excitement and adventure. I know there are others out there like me: planning, saving, and dreaming of sailing off to far away exotic lands. This website will be the journal of my escape and my adventures as I sail the Caribbean islands meeting new people and cultures. I hope it will inspire and entertain those that are following or those that are already out there living the life!

To get started, I want to take a moment to explain internet access and how it affects the regularity of my updates. For any sailor venturing offshore, communications become amusingly limited. To give you an idea what I’m talking about, here’s what the connections look like:

  1. Your normal urban broadband access, Internet cafes with full access to the internet I can upload anything I want; videos, large photos, etc.
  2. Curtsey service from marinas or hotels is a little slower than broadband, probably due to overloading. Medium posts and pictures are manageable.
  3. Cellular data access, secure but pricy for travelers, is not always reliable. Medium posts and pictures are manageable, some web access.
  4. Wireless access from free or public access points, security and bandwidth are concerns. I should be able to send some updates and photos; however, browser access may not be possible.
  5. Under sail or on the hook at a deserted cove. I’ll be thrown back to 9600 baud dial-up speeds. Internet access is restrictive and crazy aerospace expensive. Only email updates with a small photo is about all I’ll be able to afford.
Following the blogging pundits, I will try to be as routine as possible but depending on my access there may be times when it’s spotty, so bare with me.

How come this sight doesn’t have just one giant chronological blog stream like everyone else on the planet? I think there should be a little more order to a blog than most websites provide. It makes it easier for visitors to access the data they want. On this site the blog posts are broken into two streams. The mainstream ‘Blog’ with all it’s children and the ‘Cruising log’.

The Cruising log

The cruising log posts are small entries like you would see in a ship’s log. They are meant to be quick, fun, Jack Handy “Deep Thoughts”, “Hi Mom” kind of blurbs. If you want to get a taste of the day-to-day sailing life this is the stream you’ll want to keep an eye on.

The Blog

Blog is actually a parent for the more in-depth posts. If you want to see all the posts chronologically just click ‘Blog’ in the menu. If there is a specific content that interests you, you can click on the child name and avoid having to cull through everything. Here are the child categories:

  • Preparations – There are tons of things that need to be done before detaching yourself from land and everyone always wants to know: ‘What’, ‘How’, and ‘The Cost’. This includes not only getting the boat ready, but me as well: finances, home, pets, mail, etc.
  • Underway – So what’s it like to be out there on the ocean, with no one to rely on but yourself. What do you see during the day, how do you occupy your time?
  • Islands – You can go to Amazon and get a travel book about an island and the popular places and sights. My trip is not about that, it’s about the road less traveled. I will be seeking out the hidden gems of the islands.
  • Maintenance – What does it take to keep a boat sailing smoothly? There are tricks and tips that we all learn as we go along, not to mention preventative measures to keep serious problems from popping up at inappropriate times. This is information that needs sharing.
  • Ramblings – Not everything interesting to write about falls into the above categories. Here’s where I solve all the worlds problems.

As you can see there is some method to my madness, whether it’s easier to read is still up for debate, but I’m hoping it makes your visit here more enjoyable.

Context context context! One of my personal gripes about many sailing blogs is the lack of context. I’m not faulting the blog’s authors, it’s just that most blogging platforms don’t give location and time much importance. For sailing blogs I think both are HUGELY important! So when I designed the website I decided a map that could be easily updated was a necessity and that all posts would have a time stamp.

Keep an eye on the map image in header, it’s a cheat sheet if you will that automatically updates when I update the main map.

I also made sure that posts will always display the publish date along with any modification date. I’m not sure if all this geodetic and chronological work will pan out but I do hope it adds to your enjoyment of the website.

I’m about to step on to blasphemous ground here but I do want to be up front. This site implements an auto-poster. An auto-poster is a software plug-in that will automatically echo my posts to selected social media sites. Some people are vehemently opposed to these types of applications, calling them spamming tools, as they can and have been abused.

I agonized over this for days before deciding the pros out-weighed the cons. Considering my limited accessibility and the fact everyone gets content differently, an auto-poster used respectfully seemed to be the best solution for both me and my readers. I have the auto-poster setup to echo to: Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler. You can add my feeds from the contact page to your account in order to receive my updates via your preferred network.

The rest of website should be straight forward and self explanatory. I hope this little introduction and background information is useful and improves your experience. There is always room for improvement and if there’s a topic you’d like to see covered or something that’s not working for you please feel free to send me some feedback. It may take a few days to get back to you but be assured I will reply to any serious inquiries.

Hope you enjoy your visit here!
Fair seas,
Todd Martin