Of all the boats I’ve built and cruised with, my sneakbox LUNA is the one that has meant the most to me from gathering the materials to build her to having her see me safely through my most challenging voyage. All the planking for her cold-molded deck and hull came from a large western red cedar driftwood log I towed by kayak to my home beach and split by hand with a maul and wedges. I constructed the sneakbox in a cabin/shop I’d built deep in the foothills of Washington’s Cascade Mountains where my electricity came from alkaline batteries and the running water was the South Fork of the Sauk River, a lazy stone’s throw from the front door. When her hull had enough of a finish to be weatherproof, I hauled her on a sled towed by a snowmobile 14 miles to the roadhead and moved to another utility-free cabin on Lopez Island.LUNA was meant for a winter cruise from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Cedar Key, Florida, by way of the Ohio River, the Lower Mississippi River, and the Intracoastal Waterway skirting the Gulf of Mexico. For two-and-a-half months in the winter of 1985, she carried me 2,400 miles through storms, floods, ice, darkness, log jams, and whirlpools.

On this morning in 1986, I was rowing about a mile off Florida's Gulf coast on the last day of 2-1/2 months of rowing and sailing from Pittsburgh. I had my camera strapped to the end of LUNA's boom.

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