“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.
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.
It was the summer of 1946. Three of us teenagers from Grand Rapids, Michigan, all about to join the military, caught a car ferry to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and backpacked through the Porcupine Mountains on one final adventure together.
Everyone fears the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway the first time they attempt it. I know I did. I’d heard so many stories—about shoals, rough water, tricky inlets, narrow channels, aggressive tugboats.
After working together at SAIL for two years, my coworker Christa asked me if I’d teach her to sail. Having never “learned” how to sail with either a coach or in a classroom, though, I knew my limitations as a teacher.
Enjoyed our stories on chartering in the South Pacific? Learn more about where to go and how to get there. The South Pacific enjoys a tropical climate year-round. From May to October the weather is cooler and drier, with temperatures in the high 70s; November to April is hurricane season.