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“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.

Windshifts: Inflatable Combat

by Ray Jason, Posted September 20, 2012
After ten days of non-stop sailing from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, I deserved a night of deep sleep. So why was my crew awakening me at an hour that even a bishop would find ungodly?
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.”
The first time I saw a spinnaker I was only a few years old. It was flying on the bow of a 35ft foot cruiser off the coast of Maine. A few years later, my father agreed to set the kite on our 50ft Hinckley, a rare concession.
During the summer sailing season I had kept Radiant Beam close to my favorite cruising grounds near Pamlico Sound in North Carolina. As November approached, however, it was time to bring the boat back to her homeport in Wilmington.
Surely everyone who has sailed offshore has experienced that same elevation of the spirit, an upwelling of the life force, or whatever you choose to call it; you’d have to be dead inside not to.
It all started with losing my job. Like many people in recent years, I found myself unemployed, and the lack of activity made for restless hands. I figured since I couldn’t find work, I might as well build a boat.

Reader Feedback: No More Vagabonds, Please

by Sail Staff, Posted July 12, 2012
In our June 2012 issue we published a letter on our feedback page in response to "Fish on," an article printed in our April issue. We receieved an outpouring of response to the feedback letter, and were unable to publish them all in our magazine. The conversation continues here.
For dreamers of all ages, the idea of cruising has an inescapable allure. But the question always remains: “When should I go? When can I realistically trade my current life for the freedom of cruising?”
On Saturday, April 14, I was enjoying a perfect sailing day at the Strictly Sail Pacific boat show in Oakland, California. More accurately, I was watching a steady stream of boats heading out to enjoy a perfect sailing day—racing, cruising, or just messing about—while wishing I was among them. I had no idea that just 30-some miles away, a tragedy was unfolding in a sailboat race.
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