early dates

1941    November 11        born Webb Tedford;  Saint Louis, Missouri

1946                                    moves to suburb, Kirkwood, Missouri

1949    February                father commits suicide

1950                                    legally adopted by stepfather, name changed to    


1950ties                              begins writing

1963    June                       graduates college, moves to California

1963-1974                          continues writing while working various jobs

1967    January                  buys first boat in San Francisco, California

1974    November 1          quits job

1974    November 2          sails from San Diego


1962--1966                          Mary                  Dubuque, Iowa

1973--1974                          Lynn                   San Diego, California

1977--1978                          Suzanne            Las Vegas, Nevada

1981--1982                          Suzanne            Cairns, Australia

1985--1992                          Jill                       Pago-Pago, Western Samoa

1994--present                      Carol                 Key West, Florida


1975--1976                            EGREGIOUS.  San Diego, California.  East via

                                              Cape Horn and Southern Ocean.  Two stops:                  

                                              Auckland, New Zealand; Papeete, Tahiti.

1978--1984                           CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE I and II, and RESURGAM.       

                                              Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands.  West via Suez and 

                                              Panama Canals.

1984--1990                           RESURGAM.  Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands.  West via

                                              Panama Canal and Cape of Good Hope.

1991--2003                           RESURGAM and THE HAWKE OF TUONELA.  Sydney,

                                              Australia.  East via Cape Horn and Cape of Good


2008--2009                           THE HAWKE OF TUONELA. Opua, New Zealand. 

                                              West via northern Australia, Cape of Good Hope

                                              and Panama Canal.

2014-2019                            GANNET   San Diego, California.   West via Hawaii, New

                                              Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Panama.


1967--1969                            unnamed 26’ Excalibur sloop

1969--1973                            EGREGIOUS, 35’ Ericson 35 sloop

1973--1977                            EGREGIOUS, 37’ Ericson 37 cutter

1978--1982                            CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE I, 18’ Drascombe Lugger yawl

1983                                      CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE II, 18’ Drascombe Lugger yawl

1983--1992                            RESURGAM, 36’ She 36 sloop

1993--2012                            THE HAWKE OF TUONELA, 37’ Heritage One Ton sloop

2011-present                          GANNET, 24’ Moore 24


1977                                       STORM PASSAGE:  Alone Around Cape Horn; Times


1982                                       THE OPEN BOAT:  Across the Pacific; W.W. Norton

1984                                       THE OCEAN WAITS; W.W. Norton

1999                                       A SINGLE WAVE; Sheridan House

2004                                       RETURN TO THE SEA: Sheridan House

2011                                       THE FIFTH CIRCLE:  the passage log; Kindle

2011                                       SHADOWS; Kindle



quotes used in front of my books

                        Nor law, nor duty bade me fight

                        Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,

                        A lonely impulse of delight

                        Drove to this tumult in the clouds.   

                                       --from ‘An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

                                          by William Butler Yeats

                        My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,

                        My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,

                        My crop of corn is but a field of tares,

                        And all my good is but vain hope of gain;

                            The day is past, and yet I saw no sun,

                            And now I live, and now my life is done.

                        My tale was heard and yet it was not told,

                        My fruit is fallen, yet my leaves are green,

                        My youth is spent, and yet I am not old,

                        I saw the world and yet I was not seen;

                            My thread is cut and yet it is not spun,

                            And now I live, and now my life is done.

                        I sought my death and found it in my womb,

                        I looked for life and saw it was a shade,

                        I trod the earth and knew it was my tomb,

                        And now I die, and now I was but made;

                            My glass is full, and now my glass is run,

                            And now I live, and now my life is done.

                                    --from ‘On The Eve of His Execution’

                                      by Chidiock Tichborne

                        No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.


                        We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures.

                        Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things!  Make you

                        late for dinner.

                                    --Bilbo Baggins, Hobbit

                        “You are mad,” shouted Angus, who had learned to cherish

                        his own limitations as a sure proof of sanity.

                                    --from VOSS by Patrick White

                        With my dying strength I will bite the lips of the jaws of death.

                                    --from THE MAN WHO SKIED DOWN EVEREST

                                    by Yuichito Miura

                        A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.

                                    --Grace Murray Hopper

                        My soul, your voyages have been your native land.

                                    from THE ODYSSEY: A Modern Sequel

                                    by Nikos Kazantsakis

                        Curtis probably never found out either [why Two Whistles, a Crow   

                        chief, had a crow on his head when Curtis photographed him],

                        because after thirty-three years in the field taking photos of the

                        Indians he went crazy and was placed in an asylum.  When they

                        let him go he went down to Old Mexico and looked for gold, with

                        a diffidence in recovery that characterized the behavior of many

                        great men--let’s go to the edge and jump off again.

                                       from DAHLVA by Jim Harrison

                        (I) am, I believe, following the clear path of my fate.  Always

                        to be pushing out like this, beyond what I know cannot be the

                        limits--what else should a man’s life be?  Especially an old man

                        who has, by a clear stroke of fortune, been violently freed of            

                        the comfortable securities that make old men happy to sink into

                        blindness, deafness, the paralysis of all desire, feeling, will.

                        What else should our lives be but a continual series of beginnings,

                        of painful settings out into the unknown, pushing off from the

                        edges of consciousness into the mystery of what we have not

                        yet become, except in dreams that blow in from out there

                        bearing the fragrance of islands we have not sighted.

                                        --from AN IMAGINARY LIFE by David Malouf

                        Cafes sweet with the trilling of singing birds whose cages were

                        full of mirrors to give them the illusion of company.  The love

                        songs of birds to companions they imagined which were only

                        reflections of themselves.

                                        --from MOUNTOLIVE by Lawrence Durrell

                        Be fair, or foul, or rain, or shine

                        The joys I have possess’d, in spite of fate, are mine.

                        Not Heaven itself upon the past has power.

                        But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.

                                        --from Horace’s Ode III.29

                                        as translated by John Dryden

                        He had seen men survive on ships who would have lost their

                        reason and tranquility forever anywhere else.  Course, wind,

                        waves, position, the day’s run, survival; out there only those

                        words had meaning.  Because it was true that real freedom, the

                        only possible freedom, began five miles from the nearest coast.

                                        --from THE NAUTICAL CHART by Arturo Perez-Reverte

                                            Between the vision

                                            And the reality

                                            Falls the Shadow

                                                --my memory of ‘The Hollow Men’

                                                  by T. S. Eliot

                                                                    I love


                    Entering the monastery of the sea

                    A boat in the groove


                    Words, when they come together gracefully

                    Being as far from any other of our species

                    Refections on water

                    Laphroaig 10 year

                    Making voyages no one else ever has or has even


                    Having gone the distance

                    First light during a storm at sea

                    Owing no one anything except the truth

                    Standing in the companionway of GANNET listening to

                               music, sipping a drink at sunset



                     The athletic grace of the young

                     That some of you understand