How Big is Your Escape Pod?

Folks are curious about how big an “escape pod” they need – an escape pod being anything that’ll take them on their dream journey. They often ask me “How long a boat do you recommend for ocean sailing?” or “How big (or many) a horse(s) do I need to go on a long distance ride?”

The answer, these days, seems to be “REALY BIG”. The average length of a new cruising sailboat has stretched to 40-something feet, up… Continue reading

Announcing "Captain Bernie's Mule Speed Library Tour"

As I rode Woody and Maggie across America, I wrote a series of articles for RiverEarth and various newspapers.

There was only one problem.

I couldn’t carry a computer in my saddlebag because it weighed too much.

Enter libraries. They had public computers and Internet access. But what would I do with my mounts as I filed my stories?

Bringing them inside was out. I’d tried that at Gaskill’s Hardware Store in Beaufort and when Woody wasn’t eying the peanuts,… Continue reading

Where are the Mules on MuleCam?

I hear it all the time. “If you call it MuleCam, where are the mules?”


The answer’s simple. I don’t have any right now – well, not any I’d trust to pull my wagon.

What about Woody?

It occurred to me that since he’d had already walked across America, he’d probably make a fine wagon-pulling mule. And he jumped too. That showed flexibility.

Woody the showjumping mule

In a moment of enthusiasm, I draped an old harness on him,… Continue reading

MuleCam, Pork and a DVD signing – Oriental, NC

This week I’m visiting Oriental, NC ,where I began my circumnavigation aboard Sea Bird – and my mule trip across America.

Coast-to-coast mule trip departure – Oriental, NC, March 2004, Melinda Penkava photo

But no, this time I’m not here to go sailing, muleing or dragon hunting.

Nope, this time I’m here to attend Tennessee Ronnie’s annual block party barbecue.

I caught up with Ronnie this morning as he was inspecting the grill on his pig cooker.

Ronnie checking for… Continue reading

Your Basic Busted Wheel Moment – Southern Pines, NC

Now before you say “Awww man!” like I do when Woody sticks his leg through Maggie’s cart and busts the wheels, remember this – mule and boat travel is fraught with delay.

Your basic “Awwwwww man!” moment – Fairbank, AZ

When you count on wind and hooves for locomotion, as I often do, travel times get skewed. A few years ago, old man Neptune took a bashing to my boat and I spent a year and half in New Zealand… Continue reading

Three Questions – Southern Pines, NC

As you know, I like to have themes when I travel. Lost Sea. 65 Days Alone. Litter by State. Budweiser vs. Keystone. Moonshine and Voodoo dolls…

Voodoo doll in anonymous hand – Slab City, CA

Ok, so I haven’t told you about the voodoo dolls. Let’s just say people show you the neatest things when you travel by mule.

But let’s get back to the theme for the next trip.

First and foremost, I’ll be investigating the Lost Sea, the… Continue reading

Not Knots and Miles Anymore

I recently returned to Oriental after a five-day shake down cruise in my new vessel.

Bill wonders… (Susan Edwards photo)

Now in the old days when I returned from a sailing trip I liked to brag a bit about how many miles I’d gone. “Oh yeah.” I liked to let slip once Sea Bird was snuggly moored and I invariably stretched the number of sea miles it was to Bath or Beaufort.

“30 nautical miles” I’d hear in my head… Continue reading

Shark Tooth on Main Street (or Why it's now the Lost Sea Expedition…)

So I drove my mule team from Oriental to Aurora and smack on the corner of Fourth and Main I found a shark tooth.

For real.

Ok, let me back up the plot a little. First let me explain how downtown Aurora is laid out.

Main Street runs down the middle of it. On one side of Main Street is the Aurora Fossil Musuem. On the other is what they call the fossil heap.

Debbie Richardson and Richard Olsen of… Continue reading

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