Peter J. Marsh: Nautical & Outdoor Writer

I am a writer and photographer living and working in Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest (U.S.A.) since 2002. I became a full-time freelancer while living upriver in Portland in 1988, specializing in all things nautical. I mainly cover the Pacific Northwest region from Bellingham, Washington to Crescent City, California, reporting on commercial marine activity from fishing to shipping, and recreational boating from kayaking to ocean sailing.

I have been a contributor to NW Yachting since 1977, have provided PR services for many marine businesses, and became NW coast correspondent for Pacific Maritime and Fishermens News, in 2015. In my 30 years as a free-lance journalist I have written hundreds of articles on the history, design/build and use of all types of craft, plus occasional outdoor – travel stories about adventures from “sea to summit.”

In the INDEX column on the right, you can find 140 of my stories from the last 30 years, which is about 10% of my total output!       Just click on a category or enter a search word.

  • “Ocean Rowing or Ocean Drifting?” This is my controversial report and opinion on the nautical sport generally known as “ocean rowing” although drift voyages and flotsam routes prove it is actually “ocean drifting.” I explain why this matters, and why it demands both extreme endurance and extreme denial.   Read the rest of the story and leave your comment!
  • Creating accurate, informative press releases, web pages etc.
  • Copy writing, editing & proof-reading
  • Reprints of my work for commercial use
  • Read more about my writing career 1988-2017
  •  I am the distributor of  “Tango Round the Horn”–see below
  • I have a collection of WW II shipyard photos and scans for sale


Cycling, Hiking & Adventure Travel Writing

While riding the Camino del Norte in Spain, the author came across a remarkable oversize wooden bike sculpture in Cabezón de la Sal in Cantabria.

I have been actively involved in cycling journalism since 1989-92, when I edited the monthly Oregon Cycling paper. I continued to contribute when it was moved to Eugene. In 2006, I began writing for the Bike Paper in Seattle–until it too closed at the end of 2015. To see my best bike stories, click on “Cycling” on the list at the right, or type in a search word like “Bike Friday”–the folding bike built in Eugene, Oregon that I have ridden overseas since 1997.

Mule Packer: The DIY Travel Bike that Flies Free!

Mule Packer ready to box up–handlebars shown outside package for clarity, they actually go in space between wheels. inside package.

Since 2014, I have built, tested and proved a simple D.I.Y. method to build a demountable travel bike with sturdy 26″ mountain bike wheels. When packed, it  measures 62″ overall  to comply with airline luggage limits. It’s easy to build and the two simple joints are as strong as the sturdy frame tubing. I rode the prototype along the wild Carreterra Austral in southern Chile (Patagonia) in 2016. (600 views) Learn more:

In Praise of Retro Bikes-my collection of  re-purposed 1980’s bikes.

  For Sale: the book on the last of the Pacific North-West lumber schooners– “Tango Round the Horn” 

The Tango was towed across the Columbia Bar and into the Pacific.

This is the story by Lawrence Barber (1903-96) of the WWII voyage of the Tango, the last U.S. windjammer to round Cape Horn, covers the ship’s history from launch in 1904 as the German square rigger Hans, through its conversion into a Santa Monica casino ship in the 1930’s, and final revival as a six- masted schooner in 1941. $14 (postage paid) contact me to buy a copy.

The Columbia River Bar Pilots used a WW II minesweeper as a station boat for 20 years.

I also have a large collection of news photos of WW II Kaiser shipyards in Portland. They are all original images by photo- journalist Lawrence Barber of men and women at work, crowds at launchings, sea trials of Liberty ships etc.

Duplicate photos printed in WW II and scans are for sale.

About this site: my sea-to-summit adventures began in June 1997 and I went online soon after on Angelfire.com. I converted to Linux and moved the site to WordPress in November 2014. It now receives 20-80 visits per day, with up to 1,000 visits per month, and a total of over 16,950 views to date. Here are the Top Six pages:

1967 Maxi Yacht Atalanta Sails On More stats 809
2011: The Nomadic Life of the Farrells More stats 774
The Life and Designs of Bill Tripp More stats 745
Mule Packer–the D.I.Y. Travel Bike More stats 625
Ole Evinrude’s Outboard Engine is 100 More stats 566
Cascade Yachts: Boats for the Long Run More stats 505
  • You can reprint my work for non-profits–with a credit and link.
  • Contact me for permission to use my work commercially.
  • I will allow all informative and relevant comments.