Cruising Grounds

If you promise not to tell too many people, I’ll let you in on a little cruising secret: Bocas del Toro. Located on the Caribbean coast of Panama near the Costa Rican border, this unspoiled archipelago of nine big islands and many smaller ones creates an inland sea where the breezes are so tranquil the waves rarely exceed knee height. And because Panama is south of the hurricane zone, there is no “season.” You can safely cruise here all year round.
Scientists recently discovered what they believe to be an ancient “sunstone” at the site of a 1592 British shipwreck near the island of Alderney in the English Channel. Before the invention of GPS or even magnetic compasses, sailors may have used this as a navigatation tool on cloudy days.
By the time you read this, Kinship, an American-flagged Saga 43, will have made its second Atlantic crossing in little over half a year. As I write, the yacht is staging in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, just off the coast of Morocco.
On May 20, 2009, we were in St. Marys, Georgia, and it had been raining as hard as it could for 10 straight days. The wind was blowing a steady 30 knots with gusts over 40. Everything was soaked.
D.C. may be a city on a swamp, but the Potomac River offers a surprising variety of sailing options that beats the hour-long trip to nearby Annapolis. 
When I was 11, my Dad, his buddies and I sailed Wind Dancer, his C&C 37, from Long Island Sound to Chesapeake Bay. It was my second offshore passage.
“I always put the fear of God into people that this is the world’s third-largest barrier reef,” says Capt. Joe Dyll of the western Florida Keys, which have long been one of his favorite cruising grounds.
When Dr. Seuss wrote these words, he must have had cruisers on his mind. Rare is the cruiser who doesn’t dream of sailing over the horizon, of exploring remote areas.

Sailing Scene: San Diego

by Lisa Gabrielson, Posted December 14, 2012
As the sailing world gears up for the America’s Cup, it seems that all eyes are on the City by the Bay. But 500 miles south, just grazing the Mexican border, lies a city where you can sail year-round, the weather is nearly perfect and sailors are friendly as can be.
Our hosts, John and Caroline Charnley, and my wife, Caroline, were already swimming in the cool, fresh water, but of course, I just had to jump in from the “cliff” (about 10 feet high) above the pool.
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