|VU2MUE Home||Cap'n Fatty's Photo Gallery at Kochi|| Link to Fatty Goodlander Books||Prof. Mani's article||Guestbook|
Carolyn wants a big fish!Captain Fatty Goodlander-the Salt Stained Sea GypsyCap'n Fatty does not need a buoy!
(Aka Gary Martin Goodlander
, US Vanity Call-sign: W2FAT)

|Want to track Cap' Fatty/sailor hams?| |Track sailboat at Pangolin.co.nz|  
WINLINK 2000 (HF E-Mail)|
|Pactor III|

To search Cap'n Fatty instantly click here! > http://shiptrak.org/?callsign=

I have been chasing Cap'n Fatty's voice on my radio day after day....This web page is just an expression of my wonderment and realisation that the world in fact has turned in to 'One World' with brave people like Cap'n Fatty on it! Cap'n Fatty Goodlander is on a circumnavigation tour round the world onboard a small sailboat named 'Wild Card' (a $ 3000 38 foot sloop) along with his YL Carolyn.  I feel so exalted that I can talk to them through ham radio! There is a very interesting 'Kerala episode' of a ham radio operator helping these sailor couple at Kochi. It was just by incidence that a 'faulty marine rig' brought me in touch with the wonderful people like Cap'n Fatty & Prof. Mani (VU2ITI). This page was last updated by me on July 14, 2003. After 10 long months I am today overwhelmed with joy to announce that Captain Fatty Goodlander (W2FAT) and Carolyn (NP2MU) have completed their 4 year long circumnavigation round the world on April 3, 2004 as per message no 64 through WINLINK at http://shiptrak.regex.ca. Congratulations to Cap'n Fatty & Carolyn!! As of now on April 9, 2004, they are anchored at St. Barth

|Cap'n Fatty's story|  |Cap'n Fatty's nautical route as tracked (manual) and recorded by me!!|

Cap'n Fatty Goodlander


Captain Gary Martin (Fatty) Goodlander-'a confirmed boater and a die hard live-aboard who has no ambition to live ashore, even under the coziest of circumstances'!  In  Cap'n   Fatty's own words- "I've been through eight tropical hurricanes aboard various sailing craft within the last forty years. I have survived them all, though twice the boats didn't. Pity...."





|Pictures from Wild Card||Images from Carolyn!|

Cap'n Fatty Goodlander-The Salt Stained Modern Sea Gypsy!

Thanks to the 'Internet'! It was a simple e-mail message (and a 'faulty rig'!) that brought me in contact with Captain Fatty Goodlander-one of the most outrageous marine journalists in the world. It was signed by Carolyn Goodlander (now NP2MU) with just the name of their sailboat (Yacht Wild Card) requesting information regarding help to repair their marine Icom rig at Kochi. They were able to receive but unable to transmit. No more information was there in the e-mail except that they were anchored at Kochi off the Bolgatty Palace Hotel.  A search on the net revealed that the e-mail, which I received, was from the wife of one of the most outrageous marine journalists in the world! His name is Captain Fatty Goodlander. A ham once lost- Cap'n Fatty has 'resurfaced' with all the 'vigour'. Cap'n Fatty got his licence at the ripe age of 12. But his licence expired; his antenna broke down....until he came to Kochi, India ..and revived his old hobby!!

Cap'n Fatty Goodlander-the salt stained sea gypsy

A caricature by VU2MUE

Yacht Wild Card : A 38 foot sloop, which is on an ambitious circumnavigation tour

| Audio Clip-I (Interview by Derek O'brian: Bournvita Quiz Contest) (1.6 MB)|

As I transcripted it:
Derek O'brian:
"Why? Why? Why did you take up this incredible journey for the last 30 years?"

Cap'n Fatty Goodlander:
"I am a worshiper of the concept of being as free and as International as possible..I think to myself as a citizen of the world. I am looking for the way so that I can be the most free..the way that I can have the highest quality of life...the way that I live like to my own will and be the master of my own universe. My small sailboat gives me that freedom
with the goodwill of my own fate.."

| Audio Clip-II (As recorded at VU2NCT) (1.1 MB)|
|Audio Clip-III (As recorded at VU2NCT) (100 KB)|

I also discovered that Captain is a popular columnist of many sailing journals and the author of many popular books, which are available at http://www.amazon.com . All his books are autobiographical. Immediately after finding the information, I sent e-mails to
[email protected] and [email protected] (moderator: Sunil, VU2UKR) requesting anybody in Kochi to provide assistance to these sailor couple in trouble. They were strangers to me and I never knew at that time that Captain Fatty was a ham radio operator also! I got a prompt reply from Sri (VU2SBJ), Mukundan (VU2DRL) and Prof. Mani, VU2ITI (January 13, 2003), volunteering to repair the marine rig of the sailor in trouble. Balsun (VU2UYC, Kuwait) being one of my old friends from Kerala also personally sent this information to his friend Prof. Mani, VU2ITI. Prof. Mani (VU2ITI) promptly went to search for the sailboat but his first attempt failed. Then I collected Prof. Mani's mobile number from Sunil (VU2UKR) and made an e-mail to Carolyn with Prof. Mani's mobile telephone number and at the same time gave Carolyn's e-mail ID to Prof. Mani. After getting connected , Prof Mani promptly went to the sailboat again, picked up the rig (an IC 710) to his house  and voluntarily repaired it (read Cap'n Fatty Goodlander's article at: http://www.eham.net/articles/4883 ). The rig was re-installed by Prof. Mani after making the necessary repair(read Prof. Mani's feedback at: http://www.eham.net/articles/5539 ). As Carolyn remarked-"The rig now works better! Prof. Mani and his friends noticed that our antenna coaxial cable was connected to the antenna in a wrong way. They corrected this too and now we can pump out more power!" Thanks to Prof. Mani and his friends for all the care they have taken during their stay in Kochi. Prof. Mani also invited Cap'n Fatty to his university (Cochin University of Science & Technology) to deliver a talk on 'Boat & Electronics'. Cap'n Fatty lectured almost for two hours surrounded by his new fans. They had traditional Kerala style lunch at Prof. Mani's house and in turn invited Prof Mani to their small sailboat for a sailboat lunch!

This is an event worth remembering for me...a very small episode though, but it has it's own glory in it and that the hobby of ham radio would surely be glowing with glory with many wonderful people adoring it. I have been chasing Cap'n Fatty's voice on the radio day after day (an expression of the wonderment!) and some time I make very good radio contact with him. It also helps me overcoming the frustration that comes very often due to the remarks of many an enlightened people that ham radio is an obsolete technology in the days Internet & mobile telephone (This is a very common remark to be heard whenever I go to schools for demonstrations representing VU2NCT Club Station of National Council for Science & Technology Communication & Vigyan Prasar)! It gives me immense satisfaction at the same time to look back when I find myself as a short wave listener (during 1983-84) enthralled listening to the   mariners on an ordinary short wave radio (it was a National Panasonic two-in-one with only two short wave bands as documented by me in the 'Electronics For You' magazine in 1986!). Earlier I documented it like this: "As a young radio enthusiast I found it a thrilling experience to explore the short wave bands in search of voices from such exotic places and in fact the image of a lonely man traveling on the high sea and talking to a person in a distant land made me so obsessive that, that might be one of the reasons I became a ham radio operator"…..(Scanning the World with Amateur Radio, 1992)
Today I can communicate with a brave sailor like Cap'n Fatty only because I am a ham radio operator. Also I am proud to regularly convey their messages to their family in the USA through
e-mail. Who says ham radio is outdated? I receive messages from
Carolyn's 78 year old mother Angelline Alleruzzo through e-mail and read it out to them through my ham radio system. I update Cap'n Fatty's daughter Roma Goodlander (who studies in Boston) about their voyage from time to time through e-mail. It was another happiest moment for me once when I could pass on a message from Roma Goodlander that there is a '700 Dollar Check' waiting for Cap'n Fatty for his articles published in the Cruising World Magazine! In fact Captain Fatty Goodlander gave me his call-sign (VP5GGX) just before they started sailing from Kochi towards Maldives and then only I came to know that he is a ham radio operator too! Till then I revered him as a die-hard sailor. Now that I have another reason to revere him from being our own fraternity and also as an author of a book which I liked very much! When I told him that I shall purchase one of his books from amazon.com, he promptly gifted me a copy of his book "Chasing the Horizon: The life and times of a modern sea gypsy". It was beautifully autographed by both Cap'n Fatty & Carolyn. I liked the book for various reasons.

It describes how deeply Fatty was influenced by his uncompromising father (who was a commercial artist without an artist's licence!)
and his gypsy life onboard his father's sailboat in the Mississippi River when they sailed down from one place to another for their livelihood. They sailed and sailed until they reached the sea and that Fatty (Tim-as his mother-in-law fondly calls him) is now circumnavigating the Earth! It also tells how he could attend a school when he was 10 years of age! And then left it for good probably studying for only 5 years....He found that the school was full of religious & dogmatically patriotic people-a very good reason for him to develop a hatred towards it and then leaving it for good (According to Cap'n Fatty, it was just one of his misguided endeavours which he hopes would never see the light of the day!) All these are just amazing.

Hats off to Captain Fatty Goodlander & Carolyn (onboard Yacht Wild Card) and our best wishes to them always. Fatty calls himself a 'salt stained modern sea gypsy', a born sailor.

He puts it like this at the very beginning of his book 'Chasing the Horizon "The Life and Times of a Modern Sea Gypsy"'

-"In many ways, I was brought up, trained, and conditioned to be against everything for which American society stood…Our collective perspective as a family was that we were outlaws, outcasts, misfits, rebels, non-conformists, and revolutionaries. We felt we were, above all else, adventurers…In many ways we were like tribe of sea-going gypsies. We were always in constant journey just beyond the jagged rim of the fringes of civilization."

The incredible circumnavigation adventure of Cap'n Fatty began in the month of March, 2000. Captain Fatty Goodlander & Carolyn are presently (as on May 26, 2003) anchored at the lagoon of a small deserted island of the Chagos. They have lots of coconuts all around all grown naturally! They have been diving, swimming and fishing all alone in this island of 'zero' population. "We are quite happy far away from the civilisation"-once Cap'n Fatty told me on the radio. "You know sometimes humans are the greatest 'sharks'. We have been swimming with the friendly sharks here while the humans are fighting with horrible weapons out there in the land!!"-Once Carolyn remarked. When the wind would become favourable (In fact when I talked to him on the radio today May 26, 2003 he told me that the Southeast Trade Wind has started blowing creating a favourable 'weather window' for them to sail towards the Madagascar), and probably they would sail down to another island 20 miles away. They are sailing just like the ancient mariners-most of the time without engine power! The next leg of their voyage would be to South Africa. Being civilians, they would not be allowed an entry into military Diego Garcia (US)! Diego Garcia has a civilian population of 1,500 (mostly contractors) but that is 'off limit' to these sailor couple on a 38 foot sailboat.

I was very curious to know about their long voyages when they have to sail onboard their tiny sailboat without seeing any land or any big ship (I mean the big luxury cruising ships!)!

Then I turn to his books and articles. Here is a quote from one of his stories ('Your Watch, Carolyn'-In Praise of a Watery Relationship) in praise of Carolyn, which also won awards at the
2003 Boating Writer's International Competition
(Thanks to OM Balsun, VU2UYC, Kuwait for forwarding it to me):

"I love the night watches, especially thousands of miles offshore in the middle of the Pacific. The air is so pure, the stars so impossibly close. Everything seems in perfect harmonic balance: the chuckling bow wave, the creaking mainsheet, the dove-wing flutter of the genoa leech. I achieve an almost mystical state of grace during such salt stained moments of intense introspection---my heart feels heavy and pregnant with universal love, my arteries pulse like a cosmic metronome,
I can almost hear the earth spinning on its axis.
Sometimes I have to be careful to take small breathes so I don't hyperventilate: I am one with Mother Ocean, I am sailing through God's own cathedral. I am so incredibly lucky, so amazingly blessed.
But eventually my eyelids droop. I stumble below, check the red-glow of my nav instruments, make a faint tick-line on the tattered chart. Then I crouch beside her. "Your watch, Carolyn."
She stirs, faintly at first, then surfaces. "Hi," she says as she smiles away her drowsiness. "Any ships?"
She always asks this---even though there has not been a single ship for the last twenty days we've been pointing towards French Polynesia. Unquote.

Still I keep on wondering how they sail all alone the long ocean passages! Captain Fatty puts it to me on the radio like-"We usually sail for a week or two on ocean passages. Though we occasionally go for as long as month without seeing land. Yes, provision is a problem. Thank God Carolyn is a genius at it. Right now we have enough provisions for 3 to 4 months and could make it six if we really had to. That's literally a ton of food aboard right now! (Which sets us two inches lower in the water!) Our average day runs is 138 nautical miles, though we often only go 70 or 80. Three times we've went over 180 miles..probably with a favorable current. Once we went 100 miles in 12 hours... our fastest run ever... and I'll probably never press her (Wild Card) that hard again... "

Click here to download an MP3 file (Right Click>Save Target As), and listen to Cap'n Fatty's voice (recorded at VU2NCT) when Cap'n Fatty was at Latitude 03 degrees 13 minutes North and Longitude 72 degrees 28 minutes East in the middle of the Maldives. 
Some portions of the audio clip are noisy but not the entire.

"Cap'n Fatty Goodlander has lived over 44 of his 50 years aboard various sailing vessels. Just after his first birthday, his family moved aboard (1953) a 52 foot Alden schooner named the Elizabeth. They sailed and cruised aboard her until Fatty was 12 years of age, when he purchased his own vessel (a 22 foot Atkins 'Eric Jr.' double-ended sloop) at the ripe old age of 15. He lived aboard her for thousands of sea miles before beginning construction of his 36 foot, 10 ton ketch named Carlotta at 19 years of age. Carlotta was launched three years later, and he sailed her 18,000 ocean miles in 15 years before losing her in Hurricane Hugo. His current vessel, a 38 foot S&S sloop named Wild Card was purchased sunk (also by Hugo) for $3,000. Twenty-one days after raising her, Fatty steered her to a second place finish in the 1989 Coral Bay Thanksgiving Regatta. He has attended a total of five years of school, and currently makes his living as a writer, editor and radio journalist"
(-reproduced as appeared at the URL: http://www.cruisingguides.com/fattygoodlander/default.htm ).

On April 15 midnight, this year (2003), my YL Nandita suddenly overheard 'Captain Fatty' on our TV and immediately she drew my attention "Hey! It's your 'Cap'n Fatty' man!!". We were lucky to watch Captain Fatty Goodlander (Tim) & Carolyn on the 'Sony channel' interviewed by Derek O'brian from Bournvita Quiz (this was recorded during the Kerala episode of Bournvita Quiz contest on Sony Channel) immediately I recorded his voice. (The audio clip is available here to download-Right click and choose 'Save Target As' to save and replay). This is the first time that my YL could hear the real voice of Cap'n Fatty Goodlander!..Because when I contact him from my house, even I can barely retrieve the audio amidst the high noise due to my poor antenna. As if I am talking to an imaginary voice! But from VU2NCT club the contacts are good. It was a very thrilling experience for me to see him on the TV. "It is amazing!!"-as remarked Derek O'brian. Derek's question to Cap'n Fatty was-"Why? Why have you been sailing all these 30 years?". I was enlightened to hear Cap'n Fatty's answer; He told-"I want to be a person as free as possible...My small sailboat gives me that freedom. I want to be a citizen of this universe..I want to live a free life of my own..The whole world is my house and all the oceans are my swimming pool...!.."

|Click here for the photos sent to me by Carolyn Goodlander from Yacht Wild Card also you would find links to many Fatty Goodlander related stories|

|Click here for information on general sailing related books!|
An informative web site on small boat cruising (CruiseWeb)|
|Link to St. John Online newspaper|

My Logbook with Captain Fatty Goodlander (Captain Fatty's position)

24032003/0600 Zulu/14.345 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx-mm/43/ 75 22' East/0953'North
25032003/0600 Z/21.250 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx-mm/58/ 7512' East/0838'North
Calm sea,Overcast sky, 163 miles to go to Maldives
26032003/0600 Z/21.250 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx-mm/56/ 7335' East/0736' North
27032003/0610 Z/21.250 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx-mm/58/ Anchored at Maldives
04042003/0605 Z/21.250 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx (Would be sailing to Chagos Island at 0430 Z on 05032003)
10042003/0600 Z/21.250 & 28.465 MHz/vp5ggx-mm/7253' East/0452' North: Middle of Maldives heading south. Diving..collecting coconut bunches from deserted island, hundreds of colorful fishes looking at them curiously...
17042003/0600 Z/21.250 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx-mm/57/
27042003/0600 Z/21.250 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx-mm/58 qsb/7233' East/0237' South 2-3 days to reach Chagos Island
04052003/0600 Z/21.250 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx/55/7212' East/0521' South at Beddam Island (Chagos)
26052003: Cap'n Fatty and Carolyn is still anchored at the deserted island (A 'zero population' island!!) of Chagos.
02/06/2003/0600 Z/21.250 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx/44/
I talked to Cap'n Fatty & Carolyn (I heard Carolyn's voice
also! She seemed to me very joyous) on my radio. 'Cap'n Fatty told me that they had plenty of
rains and their water tanks are now full-sufficient to sail down to Madagascar. Probably
this time they are carrying 'coconuts' collected from the island (I heard Cap'n Fatty
saying something related to that). I think 'coconut water' would be a good replacement in the event of dearth of water. Cap'n Fatty was working on the boat and told me that they are almost getting ready to sail. The tentative date of sailing towards Madagascar is June 7, 2003.
09/06/2003/0600Z/21.250 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx-mm/56-44/After a long time I have once again established a radio contact with Cap'n Fatty. They have left Chagos Island at 09:30 local time and presently heading towards Madagascar. Tentative time that would be required to reach Madagascar is 20-30 days. The weather was stated to be very very nice and wind speed was 12 knot.
0600Z/21.250 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx-mm/55/ Cap'n Fatty's present position is  0630 min South and 7033 min East. The weather was stated to be very nice with bright sun-shine..They have seen big sharks...

12/06/2003/0600 Z/21.250 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx-mm/56/Position: 0938' South and 6637' East. Wild Card is sailing at 6.1 knot speed (wind speed 24 knot). Weather temperature is 26 C. Cap'n Fatty is very very happy..they sailed 153 miles in a single day...today he gave me the e-mail addresses of his mother and sister
13/06/2003/0600 Z/21.250 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx-mm/56/ Position:
11 01' SOUTH and 6432' East....Wild Card is sailing at 4-6 knot speed..Wind speed is 25 knot..water is pouring into the boat like smoke..and Cap'n Fatty enjoys that...!!..(I have calculated the distance they have travelled since I contacted them on June 12 to be 155.9023 nautical miles. The distance calculator is available at:http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~cvm/latlongdist.html
16/06/2003/0600 Z/21.250 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx-mm/56/Position:
11 40' SOUTH and 5737' East..Wind Speed is 40 knot, poor weather..Yesterday night a big wave of 6-10 meter went over the boat...Everything is fine onboard..another 500 hundred miles to go to Madagascar....

20/06/2003/0600 Z/21.250 MHz/ssb/vp5ggx-mm/44/Position: 12 00' SOUTH and 4915' East..Everything is fine onboard 'Wild Card'. Arrived Madagascar.
Presently in the area of
Cape Ambre, Madagascar. Cape d’Ambre is the northernmost point of land on Madagascar (the world’s fourth largest island).
Contact Re-established with sailboat Wild Card!

July 02, 0600 Z
Today (July 2, 2003) I have re-established the radio contact (
we were out of Delhi: Click here for my travel note!!) with sailboat Wild Card at around 0600 Zulu from VU2NCT club station. I heard Carolyn's voice also! But the radio signal was very very weak at my end. So I could not understand much of the thing what they said..I could assume that everything is fine onboard 'Wild Card' and I told them about the receipt of e-mails from their family. These days radio wave propagation seems to be bad. Fatty told me the name of an Island several times but I could not copy it. Probably they are at an Island near to Madagascar. As Fatty has to use a very small wire antenna sometimes a 'good contact' becomes difficult if you don't have an extremely sensitive high-gain beam antenna. We tried several frequencies ( 21.250 MHz, 28.470 MHz and 14.260 MHz) but no luck...The Ionospheric Propagation 'God' needs to support you too! ha ha..I shall again try to contact them in the evening.
July 02, 1000 Z
Just now I have received an e-mail from Carolyn Goodlander and came to know that they have Internet access at last! In the whole island (French), there are only two computers available..They are at in Mayotte, between Africa and Madagascar.
July 09, 0600 Z
Contact re-established with Wild Card but readability was 2-3. Cap'n Fatty's signal faded with a brief signal report exchange.
July 10, 0600 Z
Today I had a fairly good contact with Cap'n Fatty on 21.250 MHz. I could note down their present position to be: Latitude :
1246' SOUTH Longitude :4513' EAST probably the name of the place is Gamamtudso (I am not sure)..
July 11: Got it confirmed from DXview software that name of the place is Mamoutzou, Mayotte Island.

Distance traversed (from 24/03/2003 to 10/07/2003)
Longitude: 7522' East >> 4513' East
Latitude: 0953' NORTH >> 12 46' SOUTH (Position at 0600 Z)
(Approximate distance travelled 1253.9243 nautical miles)

wildcard_animation_03.gif (25326 bytes)

I would appreciate your feedback too (Click here to send me your feedback)
or if you want to convey message to Cap'n Fatty Goodlander, please feel free to send it through this 'guestbook' provided to me by bravenet.com

(This web page on Fatty Goodlander is created as a memento of the 'ham radio help episode' that took place at Kochi, Kerala and as a memento of our friendship that has developed all because of a 'faulty marine rig'!
Thanks to Carolyn Goodlander who kept me updated throughout)



My acknowledgement to Jack, from whom I have taken the midi music
Harry Belafonte's Jamaica Farewell-one of my favorite songs)
coconut.gif (991 bytes)
Sandeep Baruah, VU2MUE (2003), New Delhi
Update Chronology: July 14, 2003 >April 9, 2004


Tracking Captain Fatty Goodlander's nautical circumnavigation adventure onboard Wild Card
Tracking Captain Fatty Goodlander's nautical circumnavigation adventure onboard Wild Card
Tracking Captain Fatty Goodlander's nautical circumnavigation adventure onboard Wild Card
Tracking Captain Fatty Goodlander's nautical circumnavigation adventure onboard Wild Card
Tracking Captain Fatty Goodlander's nautical circumnavigation adventure onboard Wild Card
Tracking Captain Fatty Goodlander's nautical circumnavigation adventure onboard Wild Card
Tracking Captain Fatty Goodlander's nautical circumnavigation adventure onboard Wild Card
Tracking Captain Fatty Goodlander's nautical circumnavigation adventure onboard Wild Card
Tracking Captain Fatty Goodlander's nautical circumnavigation adventure onboard Wild Card