Travel by Boat

Atlas Obscura Releases Podcast About my Time in the Doldrums

What’s it like to float alone for a week in the Doldrums, one of the remotes stretches of ocean on planet Earth? This week Atlas Obscura released an interview I did with co-founder Dylan Thuras about my experience exploring the Doldrums in my sailboat Sea Bird. You can listen to the interview here.

The Doldrums: that place made famous by the “The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere” (yes, Samuel Taylor Coleridge spelled it that way when it was… Continue reading

What’s it Like to Float Alone in the Doldrums

This week, I had a great chat with Atlas Obscura co-founder Dylan Thuras about what it’s like to be stuck in the Doldrums. When I say the Doldrums, I don’t mean depression, a funk or a case of the mid-winter blues. I’m talking about the capital D Doldrums, the windless stretch of the Atlantic Ocean on either side of the equator that’s known for trapping sailors for weeks at a time.

The Doldrums: that place made famous by the “The… Continue reading

Sailing Back to Horses

I have not always traveled by mule. When I was thirty, I decided that sailing around the world would be more interesting than sticking with my office job. I bought an old boat named Sea Bird and notified my employer that I was going sailing. I had just enough money saved to get going but not enough to make the whole trip without working along the way. I went anyway.

Sea Bird when I bought her. She was designed by… Continue reading

Pickle Raft Crushed, Rebuilt and Refloated

Crunch! Last winter a tree crushed our beloved Pickle Raft. This week, we rebuilt it. Here’s a quick (30-sec) video of how that went followed by some pics.

Introducing the Pickle Raft

A few years ago, my wife Julia and I assembled what looked like a patio on top of a bunch of plastic barrels and pushed it in to our pond.

We christened it the Pickle Raft and life was good.

Building the raft. We scored the barrels on… Continue reading

How to Rebuild a Katadyn Survivor 35 Desalinator

The email came from the Falkland Islands. “Do you have advice and information about watermakers?” It was from my friends, sailors Thies Matzen and and Kicki Ericson aboard Wanderer III. A new Katadyn Survivor 35, the one they were interested in, costs around $2,400. In this post, I show you how I rebuilt a surplus Katadyn Survivor 35 Desalinatorwatermaker I bought on eBay for $150. It worked fine.

Thies and Kicki and me in Whangarei, New Zealand. I’m… Continue reading

Welcome to

Howdy. This is where I (Bernie Harberts) post about my travels by mule, boat and bike.

Mules Cracker and Brick on my recently completed 2,200 mile ramble from NC to ID ramble (Sue Waddell photo)

To join me for an authentic mule voyage, check out the Lost Sea Expedition, the Rocky Mountain PBS series about my 14 month mule voyage across America.

Stream the series on:

My wife Julia’s take on things at Considering

Happy Adventuring!


65 Days at Sea

65 Days at Sea

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In 2003 Bernie completed a solo circumnavigation of the world in a 35 foot steel cutter – "Sea Bird". During this voyage Bernie filmed what life at sea was like during the long passage (over 6,000 miles) from South Africa to the US Virgin Islands. Bring Bernie’s positive spirit and life at sea into your living room with this one hour… Continue reading

Pickle Barrel Raft

bernie harberts raft pickle barrel barrel raft shanty boat adventure

Some voyages include dolphins off the bow (Falkland Islands, Southern Ocean). Others entail pickle barrels lashed up under a deck (western North Carolina). Both are fine ways to sally forth.

Some days, a man dreams of sailing away in a schooner, dolphins dodging the striker stay. Others he’s content with a pond and a pickle barrel. It’s okay to take a break from pursuing something big to take a shot at something a bit, well, tangential.

Thing is, there’s an… Continue reading

Putting to Sea

falkland islands bernie harberts Windora Phil Lynda Christiesen

The Falklands are sparsely populated. These king penguins saw us off on our voyage in to the Southern Ocean. We will be sailing aboard Windora the wood ketch anchored off the beach.

The day has come to put to sea. Tomorrow I sail from Stanley, in the Falklands Islands, to South Georgia island, off Antarctica. I’ll be traveling aboard Windora. She belongs to my friends Phil and Lynda Christiesen. We met years ago in New Zealand. It may be… Continue reading

Surviving the Southern Ocean Rock

 bernie harberts windora south georgia antarctica sailboat christiesen phil and lynda

Fighting for her life. Hurricane force winds threaten to splinter the ketch Windora‘s 40 year old wood hull. She dragged her anchor and wound up on a submerged rock in South Georgia, the Antarctic island. I was aboard her. Video footage is at the end of the article.(Vessel “Braveheart” photo)

“Below 40, there is no Law. Below 50, there is no God.” They saying comes from Southern Ocean voyagers. The 40 is the Roaring Forties, the 50 the… Continue reading

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