This is the official website of the Sailing Ketch Solitary Bird.

Home of Zeehag and Bubba DaBoatKat.

we are trying to  find  inexpensive places to  sit out bad weather and  enjoy living.

seems under certain  administrations there is a  bit of difficulty  trying to make ends meet in usa.  oops we  worked there all our lives and unfortunately  became disabled  from our professional abilities and therefore are no longer  welcome in our own nation. this is ridiculous. the monies we paid in taxes for fica have been  denigrated by administrations  until inflation exceeded 25 percent and the cola  for ssi and ssdi were negated in total by an unseeing administration claiming to be  low income friendly , yet proving otherwise.

now  this same administration wants to  further cut our  usable income by  placing a users fee, as it were, on our banking transactions.  where is it they will get the money  needed to  lower the deficit  from folks only making 600-1700 dollars per month and attempting to live on that money??   does this make sense to you?

shouldnt this administration be  looking to  access the  monies of those who have been and still  continue to be  EXEMPT from taxation as high income and corporations and  politicians  have been for decades???

this administration  has removed the  only  process for low income folks who are living on monies  earned and already taxed  and  still bragged on having to have paid income tax on 5 million dollars income the same year  the  cola was negated f or  ssdi and ssi recipients. isnt that a bit strange to you?

still trying to get along and survive in a strange strange world.


mazatlan sunet

this wasnt taken by my camera---

this strange world is a  unique and lovely  land.

still in transit,  we will probably  continue to remain in  mexico until more repirs have been completed.

this is merely the beginning  of  my adventures aboard  sk solitary bird, a 41 ft formosa ketch built in 1976 in taiwan.  designed by  wm garden, she was originally built for  world travel.

sadly, over the  duration of her life, many  bits of her  were removed  for whatever reasons, and damage from  neglect and abuse  have  found her.

i am restoring as much of her as i can find to original   formosa appearance an function.

she is a wonderful home and  fun sailing  boat….good design. thankyou  bill garden.



momms, i fixed the controller......

66 thoughts on “About”

  1. Zeehag & Bubba:
    Greetings and salutations to Captain Karen & Crew of the Sailing Ketch “The Solitary Bird”.
    Best of luck now, and ever, in your sailing adventures.
    Warmest regards,

    • ZeeHag-
      Have enjoyed your posts on blah-blah sailing world forums- maybe some day we will run into you (in a good way)

      • wow.i am not complaining about my life–i have an awesome life, as i made it so.
        we all and each need to remember our days on this planet in this form we keep are limited–and we do not know the limiting factors..
        is our job to enjoy living and life and keep on praising each day we are gifted.

        there is no fairness nor unfairness to life–is merely life–each of us chooses the manner in which we will live and whether we will appreciate the days we are gifted.

    • ZeeHag- have always enjoyed your postings and just found your website-
      have followed your postings on blah-blah sailing web forum things – maybe some day we will run into eachother (in a good way) I have a blog but it seems kinda insipid so am a bit embarrassed –gotta get my blog-act together- anyway – if you wannna see it and be bored (blog is kinda bullshitty but also true) check me out at http://www.vinnygallagher.blogspot.com
      one thing: there is so much to complain about and it seems like you got ‘ripped off’ by the ‘administration’, and if so, I send my sympathies for sure…..but when I was a kid I rememeber my immigrant grandmother’s favorite song, “….I beg your pardon…I never promised you a rose garden…”
      I complain to much—gotta stop thinking that life is fair.
      Thanks for your postings and blog!

      • wow.i am not complaining about my life–i have an awesome life, as i made it so.
        we all and each need to remember our days on this planet in this form we keep are limited–and we do not know the limiting factors..
        is our job to enjoy living and life and keep on praising each day we are gifted.

        there is no fairness nor unfairness to life–is merely life–each of us chooses the manner in which we will live and whether we will appreciate the days we are gifted.

    • David (Davil) said:

      tried to send my customary holiday’s season but couldn’t as Cruisers Forum will not take the message???
      Found the site you are using, great deal of relief as we are now due to our age moving into the Endangered Species group.
      Sorry to hear your predicament with the damage, if anybody can fix it is you!!!

      Preparing Martha Lei to go south, Bahamas?Isla Mujeres? who knows.

      Take Care

      David (Davil in the CF)

      • davil..i left cf last year..could not take the marxism any longer. needed positivity i n mylife not negative ignorant creep based flogging.
        boat is out of water in marecsa yard here,and repairs are in planning stages. house doesnot move right and cat is not pleased. ahahahahahahaah. but we manage and have fun at same time. after a year, bubba is finally coming around a little, but isstillnot happy. poor boy. he is soo old now, at 16… isla mujeres i havenot seen yet–is supposedto be nice.. if you get there itis a short hahaha bus ride to mazatlan.
        smooth sailing and happy christmas and funner new year!!!

  2. Bravo and fair winds…eventualy our ships will meet somehwere on the oceans…look for a sistership.

    I will follow your voyage with interest.

    Allow me to dedicate this song as an aurevoir…
    Sail on silver girl, sail on bye…your time has come to shine all your dreams ar on there way…see how the fly, oh if you need a friend…Iam sailing right behind…yeh like a bridge over trouble waters, I will lay me down.

    When we meet I will sing you this song as a gift for your kind insperation.


  3. Zee,
    Sister Sailorette Go. Do it for you
    Do it for me
    Do it for every woman who has ever set to sea
    Do it for love
    Do it for money
    But for gosh sakes
    just enjoy it Honey!

  4. Where are the photos of Bubba Da Boat Kat???

  5. ZEE and BUBBA

    I will be waiting in the Gulf when you finally get there. Dinner is on ME and you can eat and drink to your hearts content. Bubba will have his own fresh fish to dine on. Live the dream, sail the dream, and you have already innspired the dream in others.

  6. Left ya a donation for one month in advance Mazatlan expenses 🙂

    • omg!! thankyou! you have made my month a lot easier—-now i can begin to repair some of the mayhem sailing does to a poor old boat with history of little maintenance and survive another month to payday!!!! wanna come out sailing?? will be here a bit of time– marina mazatlan is prolly gonna be my hurrycame hole place……

  7. karen hello morning I check your mail for you tell me

    • juan lu–am so glad ye found me here—please find my sksolitarybird group on facebook–my brother started that page — wish ye were here–is really gorgeous on htis side of mazatlan…..not as many fishies, either….waaahhhh

    • juan lu–is ok to speak with me in spanish in writing–i can read it better than i can speak and understand spoken spanish..

  8. First off I would like to say thank you for responding to my post “Paperwork” on CF.
    I am new to the sailing world, I am doing all the reading i possibly can, taking classes and some sailin on a friends boat. My five year plan is to cruising the South Pacific. At this time my dream boat is a 41 foot Formosa. I love the Clipper look and I understand that it is a sturdy design, with a few problems. I have read alot about these boats and its sister the CT. Two weeks ago I almost had one, but lost it to someone else because the broker did not keep his end of the bargain. I am sure others will come along in time.
    The problems I have encountered in my readings are:
    Some folks tell me it can not be single handed vary easily.
    The decks are a leaking problem.
    the electrical system are problematic.
    Tanks were made with poor quality steel.
    To much wood and to much to keep it up.

    Can you speak to any of these topics?
    I think you are single handing , unless you have trained the cat to pull lines.

    Thanks for your time

    Anthony Wiley

    • Anthony, my name is Kent a previous owner of Solitary Bird. I can assure you without question the yankee clipper and the ct are easy to single hand. I logged over 4000 hours single handling the ¨Bird¨, sold it but wish I had not! Have been through 45 foot breaking seas and over 90 knots sailing with aptian Kent

  9. as far as ct 41 and formosa 41 sailing ease, is easy to sail these boats with a decent autopilot. the decks are wide an d easily walked while underway. i shorthanded with one crew from ensenada to here, so each of us was single handing esentially while other slept. was easy. i have a simrad hdl2000 autopilot mounted on my quadrant, so is easily managed.
    the leaking problems are repaired with sealing the fiberglass under the teak. if there are no leaks, is awesome and they have been repaired.
    i don ot see any deal breakers in these as they are built to handle seas.
    the proper way to treat teakwood decking is sea water–daily douchings keep the wood moist and expanded, whereas fresh water shrinks and splits the wood.
    many remove the teak and just keep fiberglass as the deck–as is mine. i wish i had the wood decks, but i have what i have and will work with that.
    these actually sail nicely and are fun in a BIG wind…… found out on way here..just north of cabo san lucas we were hit with 60+ kts winds an dwe actuallly sailed at 8+ kts under reefed mizzen and reefed jib!!!! was a gas!
    please feel free to message me for any more info if you desire.

  10. david dodson said:

    Hello my sailing friend and the kitty from very far away.

    I was/am having a hard time with life and reading your posts and hearing your smile in your heart,my tears have turned from loneliness to happiness- I just want to thank-you.

    I would love to have dinner with you,but I live in Canada by the Peace Bridge in Ontario-so I sent ya 50 pesos to go out with the kitty and hoist one for us all!

    I’m new to the forum-I love my Woodie-old Chris craft lover until gas made sailing more beautiful.

    You are a strong,wise and witty woman and I hope to be able to meet you one day soon.

    God bless and I will be admiring from afar.


    • you are too kind, and we WILL raise one to ye today !!!
      dont get depressed in winter when the world up north goes dormant–come down south and bite your own pomegranate and make winter less of a snow infested mayhem!!! once i get this heap fixed again and she is a sweet yet worn ketch, you are more than invited to appear near my boat and go for a sail…..they are long ones, so ……
      just bring yer jammies and foulies of choice and is all good. is not a bad thing to run away from home to go sailing on other folks’s boats–is why they have em, for the most part..
      thankyou again and be warm!!!

  11. Thomas Akin said:

    Dear Karen,
    You courage and ability to live in the moment are an inspiration to us all. My best wishes to you and my admiration as well. I pray your financial and mechanical challenges all work out as swiftly as you hope. I will follow your journey with delight. See you around CF. Tom

    • thankyou!! working hard to get and keep my birdy going smoothly as possible…i am just me– have to live life as itis handed to us–putting off that which we most want to do only causes premature oldness. glad you like my pix n words—mebbe i will get this blog thing right after a bit of time….thank you for your good wishes an help!

  12. Hey ahoy Zeehag. Where are you now??

    • am in mazatlan–will exit marina mazatlan dec 1 for an anchorage in south side of mazatlan prior to sailing to banderas bay/south of puerto vallarta in december….will post pix when i get there!
      how is your critter hunting going and your business?? where are ye ??

      is warm here..niiiice!!!!!

  13. I owned Solitay Bird, your ketch for 10 years. Orginally it was named Dream Comtrue. I refubished and painted it and renamed her myself in channel island shipyard. I just met two sailors from Ventura in my restaurant in La Cruz Marina, Nayarit Mexico, who told me the ship was in Matazalan. I had my friend Harry Weber sell the boat for me after living here for two years. This is a great place to stop on your voyage, beautiful harbor and great mooring spots. Would love to see her cruise in past my restaurant. My restaurant name is Eva´s Brickhouse, named after my wife, who by the way is the reason I sold the vessel, I couldn´t afford both..ha.ha.. Anyway we are located ajust inside the harbor entrance. Can not tell you what a thrill it is to see the ¨bird¨ and know she is on a voyage. Best to you and happy selling. Captian Kent

    • i will come there after i have some necessary repairs done– she isnt shiny at all, and some pieces were removed prior to last owner, but she is a goood bird and sails nicely and handles heavy weather proudly. gooood shiplet!!

  14. I purchased Dream Comtru in 1992, refurbished in Channel Islands Boat Yard and named her Solitary Bird. I now have a waterfront restaurant in the Marina of La Cruz, on the north side of the Bay of Banderas called Eva´s Brickhouse. Sail on in and have a compt. dinner on me. I met sailors a couple of days ago who told me the ¨Bird¨was in Matazalan. Thrilled to see her and happy for you.
    Solitary Bird has points of five
    1) It keeps its beak to the sky
    2) It has no definite colour
    3) It flys to the highest point
    4) It suffers for no company, not even that of its own kind
    5) It knows no boundries
    Don Juan Mateus
    Happy sailing, Captian Kent

    • captain kent!!
      would love to meet you and have bird have a reunion!!! i LOVE her– she has her problems, but she is a work in progress…..her only misfortune was in meeting dmitri, the fella who did her refit. i have her old papers in her folio, and we will try to come meet you when i have had some repairs done so she sails without shedding or shredding those sails remaining on her. she is a delight in big seas and in huge winds– makes me smile very large.
      she is wonderful! i am glad you contacted me and found this site– she has also a facebook page and a facebook group. thankyou!

  15. Jennifer Bond said:

    Hey Karen,
    Where are you now? I just want to say again, thanks for your generous offer of staying on your boat for a little while, when I was having Capt. problems in Panama.
    I would love to have the pleasure of meeting you and Bubba da boat cat, one day.
    Have fun Karen, and smooth sailing to the boat of you! 🙂 Jenn or aka “seafairy”

    • jen–i am in la cruz de huanacaxtle, still–mightbe for summer, as i can use a bitof electricity fro air cond and is near a haul out yard.. we will see how things progress..

  16. john taylor said:

    How are you doing? I finally figured out that here was the most current positions.
    Happy to hear you and Bubba are faring well. Good idea to stay in a protective anchorarage when Hurricane season is really near. I see you are alright whenn I hit the forums, but I do wonder. I admire your spirit, and the grit to do what you are doing. Keep it up girl.

    • we doing goood—getting stuff fixed bit by bit and being very very slooowwww to progress–enjoying cute n quaint towns before they are over inhabited…cruising……

      • john taylor said:

        If you want to see it all in an instant, then you need too travel by plane. Just fly over and see it all. Of course you don’t get to meet some wonderful people, or make friends, but hey ; you got to see the whole country @ 400mph. That is mainly my motivation. All those sea miles and countries and you get to spend a night and maybe a day. I still want to do it @ 6or 7 kts. Enjoy Karen, and pat Bubba for me.

      • bubba is speaking out more now than used to do — vocal boy now.. is a beautiful world and too much is seen at fast clips–this is slooowwww and fun….i am sailing at 4-7 kts with an accidental 8.4 when wind rises waaay high –is fun. nice to not know when tuesday is…..or friday or saturday—-or the number associated with that particular day….

      • john Taylor said:

        Bubba should be full grown now. Bet he is a beaut. I saw myfirst Bobcat about a month or so ago. All this in spite of growing up in the woods of South Carolina. Maybe by the time you get thru the P. Canal, I will have a boat. Enjoy your life. Not knowing what day it is is one of my things, too. I have to click on the date on my computer to see.

      • bubba is full grown and sweet–until he wants something i dont wanna give him, then my heels get bit–ouchies– but he is awesome! he sez ma-yooooo
        to ye…

  17. Hi Karen saw you on CF so tracked you website. Just wanted to say hi. We are in Hualtulco, Chahue Marina. We are on the hard for summer and have rented a casa for $400 a month, plus $160 a month for the boat. Wanted to give you a heads up on haul out as I know you need to haul and bottom paint. There is no lift here! A guy here has two large trailors he uses to haul out, but he is way to expensive, $2500 out and back, you stay on his trailor. I found an old rusty trailor that was barely big enough to haul on so only cost me $600 out and in, plus monthly. Anyway forget Acapulco for haul out they just handle million dallar race boats. You can anchor there though but it’s deep 70ft! There are lots of old mooring so I stole one for a couple nights, spent two nights at the old (new) La Marina, reasonable $30 night for me, then headed out. Anyway I digress, so best haul out is new marina in Chiapas marina (Porto Madero). Supposed to have the lift in this summer? We will go back in the water in a couple of weeks, move back on. Plan to head out in late Oct for Central America. Cheers

    • wow–dave n leiann!!!! i am thinking o f going to chiapas and doing it there–is on way and being first never hurt anyone too much…..and i can pick up joe first!!! bubba is doing well–we are repairing things and changing stuff around so there is more room inside boat!!!! LA CRUZ IS OK in summer–interesting lil place– very pretty! looking forward to bumping into you guys again!

  18. I just spotted your message to me (fro April!) on Cruiser Forum…so sorry it took so long to answer. I never knew it was there! I hope this finds you well, healthy and in good spirits


  19. Mike Sibley and Gina Nadas said:

    We check your website occasionally and are always so interested to hear what you are doing. We look forward to when you make it into the Gulf. We got to do dinner and compare notes. We sold Talisman (Pearson 365) and bought a Lagoon 37 TPI. We like it a lot and are looking forward to a month cruising in November. Stay healthy and say hello to Bubba for us.

    Mike and Gina

    • will be good to see you guys again!!! might be a little while yet–am doing this slooowwwly….zihuatenejo is next stop…..repairs coming nicely so far–we see how this continues–is good to have some good repairs on this boat–she needed it so badly….still have 2 boats…and trying like crazy to sell or transfer the other one to po of this boat..lol–we see how that goes….

      • Hi Karen…Patsy is fine and says hi…
        Mark Rose “Katies Waltz” was found floating in the anchorage this morning….

      • ray–yipes–was he drinking? is a kind of flagrant loss for sd bay–he was definitely queen of that bay–quite a character. wont forget him in a hurry. rip, mark.
        glad patsy i sok–i miss you guys–where is patsy now?? what is she doing?? wifi is so bad here i cant even call on computer…

      • Patsy went to T.J. dentist…teeth look great, she lost a lot of weight…looks good. she keeps busy, we talk every month or so…
        Happy to know everything is fine with you..

      • send her hugs from me, please, and tell her hay…i am glad she is doing well

      • I don’t know if he was drinking…you know I keep my distance from those fags….Diver Paul saw two feet sticking out from under a dinghy and called the harbies…
        He walked up to me as I was walking my dog, the evening before he died… he commented on the weather..and then yelled that he was probably the only gay republican around..hahahaha…I sure didn’t think that he would be a floater the next a.m.

      • mark was a funny guy….i remember the winter storms 1998–i was on dreamer–mark was on nathaniel bowditch, we were anchored next to each other, kinda–he would cook his heart out during storms–wouldnt sleep. dinner at 0200…he was awesome cook……

  20. I am a retired merchant seaman from seattle.wa…refitting my first boat…Irwin 28..I would like to do what you are doing….I read what you wrote..and I agree with you..the usa is not what it used to be..they will destroye this country and everyone or some will be on the street..and the people in washington will still have all the money? something is wrong here….pdbj…

    • i do consider the goings on in usa as important to the rest of this world. things aint as they were once. there are many things from which we are not able to run–our selves, government, etc are not run-away-able things–they follow ye…even to sea. we do take our selves with us…..
      in this lifestyle i have adopted, and to which i am still adapting, there is a lot of interdependence involving countries into and out of which i sail,people i left in usa, even folks i meet out here in cruiserville– and with whom the actions of usa government are important….as long as usa is in a torment inside, there is no peace, and no peace of mind. incomes are incomes and the usa government is messing with that prospect of my life as well as many others’ lives to our detriment, and the benefit of those in office. is a shame.
      as usa morphs into whatever it will become, we must adapt and move onward. i hope and pray the end result isnt as bad as it seems to be going to become. is always a shame when powers that be do not consider the lil guy when they give across the board increases in elected officials incomes and benefits despite the underlying economy and pitfalls therein. they should cut back, yes–will they–NO, as they never do that–might hurt their multimillion dollar incomes.
      as this is not a place for political ranting, there will be no more on this topic allowed into this site. thankyou for your concern and i hope you are able to get out here sailing, as that is a fine goal. is gorgeous here and weather is perfect, even when it rains….

      • Truer Words Have been Heard ( And Thanks for That……Helps Soothe the Sore Feelings……..OF Many )………Capt. Jacques Perro…….Somewhere in the Caribbean

  21. Would love t correspond with you guys! You are doing it the right way. My boat will be ready and me and my esposita will set sail in one year. I am an expat and have pretty much cut all ties with my homeland for many of the same reasons you have expressed. I pray we meet in a quiet harbor and can talk about your adventures.

    Artie and Maria Maxwell

  22. Myrna and Earl Claunch said:

    Hi there Zee Hag. After following you on CF, I Have finally found your site. Have been trying to locate Leaky Teaky Yacht Club on Yahoo also.

    As many have said before us, hope to find you in some secluded anchorage in the future.

    Living aboard our William Atkin cutter with our dog Rosie, and our cat Leo, headed who knows where.

    So many times you have made our day, really enjoy reading your posts.
    THANK YOU!!!

    Myrna and Earl
    S/V “ROSA”
    Currently – Pirates Cove,
    Elberta, AL

  23. Hi I just purchased a 1973 Formosa 41 [Hull #215] in San Diego which has been on the hard [basically hull and spars only] for a while now and feel it is my mission to bring her back from the “almost dead” for a 2nd chance. I am wondering if you know anyone is San Diego who owns a Formosa I need to rebuild several details on the boat which I have no formal plans or measurements [bowsprit] or do you know of an owners group I could join?

    • leaky teaky yacht club, a yahoo group–make an email to them and you will have response. what is t he fail part on yours and please post pix somewhere i can see. would be more than happy to compare notes and such. i bought mine in sd also, but it was on amooring. these hate being out of water..
      is this the one in th e dry storage without a rudder??? please advise

      • Thanks Zeehag for reply I really appreciate it very much. Boat was last owned by a guy named Greg Heckaman who started a website called: Help Save a Classic Sailboat on a site GoFundMe never met him, spoke on the phone, but without adding to much detail he isn’t interested in providing everything he has in storage with selling my left-arm and I might need that for all the work ahead. Bowsprit is totally gone, Cabin tops need to be replaced, lots of epoxy and fiberglass work to be done, teak decks have been removed, no sails, no portholes, All that said she has good bones, hull is solid, new Volvo engine and spars are in good condition. I will reach out to leaky teaky yacht club and plan to start my own blog and site like yours which is very interesting. Once again much appreciated. Mike

  24. not even left you the windows?? damn. i knew they worth money, but that is hard. what is name of boat and was it in the fiddlers cove marina for any time?? that one had round ports instead of rectangular windows.. if was rectangular windows is not that hard to fix. need hard wood for decoration and holding window in position. portholes–see minneys in costa mesa. many items you will find htere fro reasonable fee. also appeal to leaky teaky as many ar echanging stuff etc….

  25. Thanks for info it might be her there are six round ports but the main cabin has 2 large square class windows. Not super sure on the name to last owner said Wu Wei is the name but the name plate is semi-unreadable what I can read says, _____ETCH KAREN so it is something Karen??? Hard to make out the first part of her name maybe some light sanding can reveal the lettering. Never used a site like yours so not sure how to post pictures but will find a way. Appreciate all the help!

  26. Appreciate email Zeehag I posted pictures there for you. All the best! Mike

  27. i hope you realize that it is bad luck to change a boats name if it named after a woman. last i knew, karen was a womans name. hee hee hee…momma will understand that joke, as will my siblings…. rodl…
    now– with the pile of stuff in the cockpit well on yours, looks lik emuch of that was once decking, which you prolly should just pitch, as it is over 15000- usd to replace properly these decks. i wish i still had wood, but ….. mine are fg. make sure when you lay up your decking on the core of ply wood..donot use foam– these like their weight. that you make em thick with woven roving alternated with matt. matt ois not strength, roving has and makes strength. seal all well with the glass and resin so you havent holes. if you need new chainplates, either replace now , before glassing deck, or externalize em seal this deck well.
    if you can place tthe stantions into the bulwarks, is better, so not on deck.
    is not difficul tto make new wood grates, which are the other item in your cockpi tell all crashed and trashed. those are helpful so ye dont fall repeatedly into the forward hole from hell of your cockpit well, forward of the binnacle.
    surrounding the square windows is teak wood trim bought in worst marine or other locale selling teak trims. measure and go for it. do not forget the plugs for hiding screw heads..
    so. buy wood repair and woodworkin gtools. you want o make aspruce sprit an d booms. they are hollow box with reinforcing blox for screwing in the bales and cleats and fittings. measurements for these can be obtained they leaky teaky yacht club in yahoo goups
    ok. neeexxtt question.. did i miss one….. …..

  28. Thank you for all the advise. Yes, I do know about changing names being bad luck I actually want to keep her name just trying to get the first part of it correct. Clean up and inventory of gear starts today so should have more questions soon.

  29. could use a partial name— call her karen. i will thankyou for namingher after me…in english this danish name means purity, and is kathleen in translation of names…

  30. don bland said:

    Great reading, great site , put together by a great “cat hearding” sea-woman & interesting lady all told. many thanks.

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