Destinations

Much Ado About St. Martin

by Meredith Laitos, Posted November 11, 2010
Most people think of St. Martin/Sint Maarten—northernmost of the Leeward Islands—as being half-French, half-Dutch. But it’s also Creole, Caribbean and a hodgepodge of over 125 other nationalities. More importantly, it is an excellent jumping off point for a charter cruise replete with lovely sailing, blue bays, white sand beaches and high-end French shopping and cuisine.Several charter

The Great Octopus Hunt

by Peter Nielsen, Posted November 10, 2010
Some people start a charter with a set itinerary worked out well in advance. Sunday night in anchorage X, Monday night on a mooring in bay Y, Tuesday the lobster special at bar Z, and so on. Others take a more free-form approach, only deciding where to go after they get up in the morning and check out the wind strength and sea state; if getting to X involves a stiff beat that’ll wipe the grins

The Other Pacific

by David Schmidt, Posted November 10, 2010
Simply put, sailing in Hawaii is a dream. Bountiful winds, gorgeous islands, friendly people, unbelievable marine life and crystal-clear water make this place a paradise, as I found out last winter while sailing from Ala Wai Harbor in Honolulu to the coastal town of Lahaina on Maui’s northwest coast. Along the way I experienced enough of Hawaii’s magic to realize that it’s one of the world’s most

Brand New World

by Adam Cort, Posted November 10, 2010
It quickly became a running joke. “How come we never went snorkeling here before?” my wife, Shelly, would ask. “What a great beach. Why didn’t we go swimming like this the last time we were here?”The answer in each case was exactly the same: we’d been sailing, beating our way up and around St. John, reaching through the trades, reveling in the sheer joy of our boat speed. Not until the sun

Skinny Sailing

by Peter Nielsen, Posted October 11, 2010
Thus begins a time of hunger, but the trade-off is compelling: 10 days of sacrifice for the serious fun of sailing in a legendary Caribbean event with a group of dialed-in high-school sailors and the boat’s skilled and gracious owner, Mike Williams.The 37th annual St. Thomas Rolex International Regatta sees 66 boats racing in seven classes to compete for four Rolex timepieces. Walking into

Barely There

by Peter Nielsen, Posted October 11, 2010
Racing a charter boat is very different from campaigning your Sonar or Etchells or, as in our helmsman Charlie Garrard’s case, your J/105. Some bareboats are pretty tired, and sails can have a short lifespan in boisterous Caribbean conditions. Some of the bigger, heavier boats are cumbersome and slow to tack and trying to sail them well can be a frustrating exercise. Local knowledge of winds and

Does Size Matter?

by Lisa F. Mann, Posted August 11, 2010
I was sitting on the beach in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, in awe of the enormous cruise ships docked there, including the mammoth Oasis of the Seas. A couple sitting in beach chairs next to me asked which ship I was on. I laughed and said, “See that little charter sailboat out there, anchored in front of the cruise ship dock?” They nodded their heads in unison. “That’s the ship I’m on.”

Insider Tips from the BVI

by John Glynn, Posted June 2, 2010
After fairly busy Winter and Spring seasons in the BVI, things have slowed down a bit lately. In the wake of months like February, March, and April, when anchorages are full of families on school holidays, May and June are a time for couples to get together (often with like-minded couples) and charter a boat or go on a sailing vacation at a fraction of the peak-season cost.While May and
On the first day of our charter we sailed to Cuttyhunk, Massachusetts, a charming island at the tip of the Elizabeth Islands between Vineyard Sound and Buzzard’s Bay. We dinghied ashore and bought fresh cod from a fisherman whose wife had lived on Cuttyhunk her entire life. We moseyed on to a general store, where Jaci, one of our crew, bought the Sunday Times and cut out the crossword

Turkish Delights

by Tom Dove, Posted April 15, 2010
We had already concluded, after only a few days in Istanbul, that we’d never figure out the Turkish language. Then we saw our Sunsail charter boat. The stern carried a French flag and the boat’s name: UAGIZ. My wife, Kathy, and I have dealt with a lot of foreign languages, but this one truly had us scratching our heads. And asking a dockhand didn’t help much. I heard “Oo-gosh,” and
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