North America

Cruising the Channel Islands

by Abner Kingman, Posted June 15, 2010
We got a late start departing Ventura Harbor that Memorial Day weekend. Arriving at their Swan 40, Blue Moon, on Thursday, my hosts Mark and Christine Mohler discovered there was a problem with the shore-power main breaker. The Mohlers hadn’t been cruising for a couple of months, and now found their dead house batteries needed replacing.We finally got underway late on the Friday
The sun shone a milky white. Its weak rays were barely able to drive off the damp chill of the early afternoon as we made our way eastward in the Deer Isle Thorofare, a passage snaking between Deer Isle and the beautiful smaller islands of Merchant Row in Down East Maine. I carefully checked the chart against the red and green buoys marking the channel, mindful that straying off course could mean

Valley Boy

by Sail Staff, Posted April 29, 2010
The early morning air was redolent with the tang of low tide on the Hudson River as I steered upriver, bound for Lake Ontario via the Erie and Oswego canals. I’d gotten underway shortly after dawn to ride the flood tide north. The Manhattan skyline towered above me to starboard. Behind me the green-hued Statue of Liberty looked grand in the soft sunlight. The sounds of bustling Manhattan and
Every time my wife Jennifer and I sail to the Beaver Islands, something goes wrong. So why do we keep going there? Initially it was because of where they are, but now it’s because of what they are.First, the “where” part. The Beavers are a dozen islands in northern Lake Michigan, 30 miles from Michigan sailing centers like Mackinac Island, Harbor Springs and Charlevoix.

Barnegat Bay

by David W. Shaw, Posted August 18, 2009
A gentle west wind rippled the placid waters of Silver Bay, glistening in the light of a full moon that truly did make the bay look silvery. I was sitting alone in the cockpit, a cold beer in hand. Beads of condensation from the bottle dampened my palm. It was after Labor Day and the anchorage was deserted, except for me and my two Elizabeths.A flash of light caught my

Soul Sailing

by Wally Moran, Posted July 30, 2009
There are sailors who have spent over twenty summers cruising Lake Huron’s North Channel. They’ll tell you it is always fascinating, still surprising, and still, unceasingly, continues to feed their souls. My first week-long cruise was in 1978, and I now spend up to 10 weeks each summer in the North Channel working as a charter skipper for the Canadian Yacht Charter fleet,

The Gold Coast

by David W. Shaw, Posted June 15, 2009
The Throgs Neck Bridge cast a shadow over the East River off the bow of StewardShip, my friend Dave Steward’s C&C 29 MK II, a fast-yet-comfortable cruiser. A stiff southerly breeze bearing funky scents of the Big Apple filled the sails, speeding us along.Standing at the wheel, I glanced up at the underside of the span, experiencing the usual trick of the eye

Chesapeake Bay: A love story

by Wendy Costa, Posted June 8, 2009
Is it a love story when a widow and a widower fall in love—not with each other, but with the Chesapeake Bay? Two years ago, at the age of 55, I became a widow and got my U.S. Coast Guard license to operate a 50-ton vessel. Herb, 81, recently widowed, and once an expert sailor on Canada’s Georgian Bay, moved aboard Ticketoo II, a 34-foot Catalina, on the Chesapeake

Out the Gate to the Giant Dipper

by Sail Staff, Posted May 7, 2009
Sailors and non-sailors alike respectfully refer to the ocean beyond my home waters of San Francisco Bay as “Outside the Gate.” Along the northern California coast there are miles of rocky coastline separating the few harbors of refuge, which often have challenging entrances. Along the way you had best be prepared for strong winds, fog, and sizable seas. Of course, it may also

Heading Home

by Fred Bagley, Posted April 13, 2009
It’s not because you can’t get there. Or that it’s dinky. In fact, it’s the biggest city on the biggest freshwater lake in the world. It’s just that it is the farthest end of the biggest and baddest freshwater lake in the world.H.O.M.E.S: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior. Childhood mnemonic for memorizing the five Great Lakes.By now all you Carmen Sandiego
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