Columns

When I was a kid, I devoured Choose Your Own Adventure books. “If you think Marty should open the spooky door, turn to page 16. If you think Marty should run away from the haunted house, turn to page 23
The news that NOAA was going to stop offering printed nautical charts was hardly a surprise, but all the same it hurts to see the end of an era. All we boomer types who spent our formative cruising years frowning over dog-eared paper charts, stamped with coffee cup rings, crisscrossed by part-erased pencil lines and dotted with semi-legible scribblings, will feel a warm fuzzy pang of sentimentality at the news.
There's more than one way to skin a cat

One Hull or Two?

by Pat Schulte, Posted February 4, 2014
A cruiser's take on the great debate
It was a perfect afternoon on the Maine coast. After a pleasant sail to a spacious, uncrowded anchorage, my wife and I spotted the familiar shape of the handsome sloop belonging to our friends Trevor and Maria. We had prearranged the rendezvous.

Voice of Experience: Shoal Water and Thunder Squalls

by Todd Erenstein, Posted February 3, 2014
I am a desert sailor. My wife, Noelle, and I live in New Mexico and normally sail the small inland lakes scattered around our very dry state. On arriving in Norfolk, Virginia, one sunny Thursday afternoon, we were looking very forward to sailing with our good friend Mike and his wife, Heather, on our first cruise on Chesapeake Bay. 
Over the course of the past 56 issues, we’ve brought you “Windshifts,” a reflective collection of pieces written by a host of different sailors on sailing, sailboats and life lived among them. However, in 2014, we’ll be taking a slightly different tack with “Waterlines,” a column in which Amy Schaefer and Paul VanDevelder take turns using this last-page space to fill you in on their unique whereabouts and reflections.
It all began when I was eight. The bilge pump on our wooden skiff was running nonstop, and my mother had been pointing this out for some time before my father finally peeked under the hatch and saw water slopping around just inches below the battery.
Last October, NOAA announced it was abandoning the chart-printing business. The last lithographic charts will roll off government presses on April 13. NOAA will continue to provide updated accurate “print on demand” (POD) charts, as well as PDF files, which users can print or download themselves, and will work with businesses that wish to print charts for resale.

Voice of Experience: Halyard Jam

by Ben Markhart, Posted November 21, 2013
With the wind gusting into the low 20s and some very ominous-looking clouds on the horizon, I knew it was time to get back to dry land. I was out sailing with my two good friends, John and Jack, and we had crossed most of Great Bear Lake in no time.
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