Bob Hale’s Cruising ReportsWaggoner eNews

Cruise Report

No. 5

Retirement. Our 2016 trip has been our last cruise in our beloved Pacific Northwest waters. We’re retiring from boating (Mini-12 sailboat excepted), and putting Surprise for sale. Marilynn and I can feel the years taking a toll on our flexibility and balance, and we know there’s no going back. Neither of us is 80 yet, but it won’t be long. People do boat into their 80s, although not many, and many of those are not what they once were. We’ve decided to retire from boating on our terms rather than having terms imposed on us.

Starting and building the Waggoner Cruising Guide has been the fulfillment of a dream. I actually got paid to see and experience the coast all the way to Prince Rupert, and do it with Marilynn, who got as much out of it as I did. We got to go north of Cape Caution several times, and I got to circumnavigate Vancouver Island twice. We’ve met and shared the lives of remarkable people who somehow carve out an existence in the wilderness.

We’ve had humpback whales jumping around us, Pacific white-sided dolphins playing with us, and orcas surfacing under our bow. We’ve sat out a couple of 60-knot storms. We’ve seen wolves on shore, and one day we counted 12 black bears on the beaches and in the woods. It’s been a fabulous run.

Now it’s ending. We’ll be home in a few days. After settling in, we’ll take all our stuff off the boat and get her ready to go on the market. Surprise is in excellent condition. She could go to Alaska tomorrow, although it’s the wrong time of year to set out on that particular trip. Tolly Tollefson told us the 37 is the best sea boat he ever built, and we’ve had many occasions to confirm his judgment. Surprise has served us faithfully for 19 years, and we’ve reciprocated by lavishing improvements on her. Somebody will be getting a good one.

To the Waggoner Cruising Guide audience, thank you for your support, ideas, corrections, and year-after-year “being there.” Strictly as a volunteer, I’ll be helping with editing again for the 2017 edition, and probably will spend time in the Waggoner Cruising Guide booth at the 2017 Seattle Boat Show. Please stop and say hello.

Bob Hale


On behalf of the Waggoner staff and the loyal Waggoner Cruising Guide readers, we want to thank Robert and Marilynn Hale for all of their contributions to the Waggoner Cruising Guide and to the cruising community. What many don’t know is Bob Hale continued to volunteer his time to assist with editorial work on the Waggoner Guide for the last five years after they sold the publication. He kept us on the straight and narrow with his excellent advice, “Remember to serve the reader first.” Serve the reader and the success will follow. I think about this everyday while working on the Waggoner Cruising Guide and use his advice when making business decisions. 
Bob is not quite done yet. He will assist us with the final edit of 2017 Edition and will be at the Waggoner Cruising Guide booth at the 2017 Seattle Boat Show. Stop by and say hello.
– Mark Bunzel
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