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For those of you who don't know why you're here, this page and listserver has been set up for friends, family and online acquaintances of John Taylor, to keep them updated as to his whereabouts, music, writings and of course, his adventures aboard the sailing vessel Tiamat, a 33' sloop, as she travels south from Long Beach, CA to destinations unknown. To those of you who already know John, my condolences (JK!) and you already know what to expect. For newcomers, there's a link below to get ya up to speed about me.

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My Very Best Friend

When I began preparing for this voyage a number of years ago now, I'd tell people about it, and they'd always think me brave (and crazy,) and nod along... I've never been anything like typical, so those who know me weren't particularly shocked. Now that it's coming to fruition, friends, acquaintances, and people I've never even heard of are writing to wish me well, sending their blessings and the like. I'm grateful for their sentiments, and moved by their concern and interest.

Earlier today, I informed the listserver that I was a couple days from heading out from Oklahoma to go to the Tiamat, prepare her and depart. For some reason, this trip I'd been talking about for so long suddenly became real to friends and family. It's as though they never really thought I'd do it, and now they're shocked by that it's only a few days away from commencement.

The most touching letter, though, came from the most beautiful, wonderful woman in the entire world. I've not asked her permission, because she'd probably blush and forbid it, but here's the letter:

You will always be my #1 Son, my first born, my only son. Yes, I will have son-in-laws that I will love alot, but no one can take the place of my firstborn #1 son. We have something special, that no one else has, or can take away.
For me, this new venture of yours is moving too fast.
There is a song that I wanted to send you, but you wouldn't get it in time. It's by the Wilkinsons, called $.26 (26 Cents). Have you heard it yet? A mother gave her daughter (son) an envelope, and in it was a note, she didn't have much to give her daughter (son) but 26 cents: 1 penny for your thougths, a quarter for a call, and all of your mother's love.
Go out and break a leg. Take the bull by the horns. Get it out of your system and come home safe.
I don't think I need to tell any of you about the tears that streamed down my cheeks as I read this, or about the powerful sense of pride in her, nor the love that filled my heart. But I WILL tell you that this awesome woman, this lady who took me to the first tryouts in my life when I was 9 years old, then to all the rehearsals, who was there for me throughout my life, the perfect stage mother (always supportive, never overprotective or embarassing,) and whos love and confidence have always been at the very core of my existence, SHE is the single strongest force behind everything I am or have been able to become. Any bad I've done, any failings or falling short of my potentials has been in spite of her, not because of her. I love her with all of my heart.
With the strength and courage she raised me to have using the intellect she promoted in me, I will sing this song, this journey. Carrying her love in my heart, if the seas should rise up, I will sing out strongly and sweetly, cause them to part or subside, so I'm able to see her smile again.
Mom, you have all of my love and respect always, and my utmost appreciation for all you've been for me, and for the courage you display yourself when you wish me well, sending your encouragement for a journey that I know  you'd rather I didn't take, but that you'll bless for my sake. Who could ever hope for more from any friend? Thanks, Mom! See you again soon! -- JATY 1-25-99


Pictures will be put up as I can... so check back here!


1970 Custom-built, flush-deck, full-keel sloop. Hull made of 3/4" marine plywood, encased in polyester resin and fiberglass. Designed and built by Ray Baggarly, an aerospace engineer.

Draft: 5 feet
Beam: 12 feet
LOD/LOA 33' (at present. May add a 4' bowsprit)
Headroom: 6'3" throughout.
Ballast: 7000 lbs of lead poured into keel, which is bolted on every foot
Displacement: 15000 lbs net, 18,500 lbs gross/design
Engine: Atomic-4 gas
Fuel: 80 gallons in SS tanks
Water: 80 gallons (will be adding 40 gallons more soon)
Features: Edson wheel steering, 3-burner gimballed propane stove and oven, on-demand hot water heater, pressure water, wood planking throughout belowdecks. V-berth divided into one large double and storage cabinets to port, CD player, Marine VHF. Hope to have Marine SSB and ham capabilities soon.
Sleeps: 5 ( 2 in double-berth forward, 2 in double-berth in main salon, 1 in single berth in main salon, 1 or 2 more in the cockpit during pleasant weather.
Documentation: USCG Registered, coastwise endorsement.

The Tiamat is in NEED of:

Marine SSB radio or ham unit, GPS with interface, Autohelm 5000 or comparable for wheel steering, inflatable and outboard, extra sails, new bottom paint, charts (paper or CD-rom)

WANT LIST includes:

Kam+ TNC (radio modem) and an IBM or clone laptop w/ CD-ROM player and Windows 95, a diesel conversion

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