During the “treasures of the bilge” segment of the cruisers’ radio net in Bocos del Toro, Panama, someone named Felix offered a metal sextant for sale. Two minutes later I was racing out to his handsome ketch Boisterous.
One of the best things about being retired is that it allows me to spend some quality time doing what I really like. One such escape—wife willing—is a month-long stay on my sailboat on San Francisco Bay.
I hate this time of year. Some of my friends wax rhapsodic about crisp fall air, the changing of the leaves and the coming holidays. But all I can see at the end of October is the end of the sailing season and the long winter stretching out before me.
On arriving at Alligator River Marina after a 15-mile passage across Albemarle Sound, we got a bit of a surprise. The place was practically empty, which was weird considering it was October, the height of snowbird season.
“Jim! What’s wrong?” I shouted as I sprinted half-awake toward the companionway with Glen, our 11-year old son, close on my heels. The roar of our diesel engine thundering into reverse had yanked me from my sleep.
In April, reader Dennis Michaud wrote SAIL complaining about the “glorification” of sailors “traveling on a shoestring” while he got a PhD, taught at university and is now about to hire 500 people and purchase a custom yacht—and “pay the onerous yard bills.”