Cruising Grounds

Dreams at Sea

by Dave Welch, Posted March 11, 2009
At sea I remember my dreams; at home I rarely do. Awakened frequently by a new sound or unexpected movement of the boat, I pop to attention with a dream still running in my head. I have to; my world floats just above the surface.On a recent delivery from Charleston, South Carolina, to Tortola, BVI—eight days, but it felt more like sixteen—we pounded east and then south

Pedaling to Bermuda

by Charles Scott, Posted March 11, 2009
I once sailed my Westsail 32, Antares, from Virginia to Bermuda. Through 760 miles of open ocean, Gulf Stream storms with towering seas, setbacks and survival, I was completely alone. I’ve crewed aboard boats all over the world, but I had never experienced conditions like those of the first days of the passage.I was mugged by a nasty northerly gale just off Cape Hatteras. Battered

The Nature of Mexico

by Sail Staff, Posted February 20, 2009
Our cruise through Mexico was a magnificent discovery of sight, sound, and senses. We expected to see a few whales basking in the sun and to have dolphins once again play in our bow waves. What we had not anticipated was that wonderful feeling when you are so overwhelmed by the intensity of nature that your skin becomes gooseflesh and cold shivers run down your spine, despite the 80 degree

Feeling Blessed

by Kimball Livingston, Posted December 19, 2008
Here’s what hit me on my last trip to Catalina. It happened on the wrap-up night of a Seawind Catamaran rendezvous, and we were six cats abreast, rafted in cozy Cat Harbor across a narrow neck from Isthmus Cove. The few scattered lights ashore stole little from a starry sky. The guitars and the singing went on for a bit. A few dozen people were sated by a potluck spread (and whatever else). Tales

Muddling Towards Golden Gate

by Michael Petrie, Posted November 21, 2008
They say you never forget the first time. For me, cruising offshore began back in 1976 onboard Azulo, a 20-year-old, 31-foot Mariner ketch. Three friends—Dave, Karl, and Allen—and I set out to follow the path of 19th-century writer Richard Henry Dana, up the California coast. A motley crew of four young sailors off sailing the high seas!I kept a journal during that first cruise,

A Year Afloat With The Family

by Sail Staff, Posted November 21, 2008
Living onboard a 50-foot sailboat with six members of your family for a year isn’t always easy—especially in a space the size of your living room. For example, what are you to do when your brother uses up all the hot water—for the rest of the day? Or when, after a bitter spat with your sister, the length of the saloon is the farthest you’re going to get away from each other—for the next two

Ceviche and Process Knitting

by Clark Beek, Posted September 24, 2008
I heard various comments about Peru from other sailors as I cruised South America, usually to the effect of “Don’t even go near the coast. Stay at least fifty miles off.” These rumors undoubtedly date back to the 1980s heyday of Peru’s dictatorships and the Shining Path guerillas; Peru is now in fact a pretty tame place. Moreover, it has 1,500 miles of coastline, several key New World

Fast Raft to Brazil

by Sail Staff, Posted August 26, 2008
Lodged in my nautical psyche I find indelible images of rafts: a boy and a runaway slave standing proud before a canvas tent aboard a makeshift pontoon of pine planks floating down the muddy Mississippi; a sun-bronzed Viking in a loincloth steering a lashed-up slab of balsa logs across the electric-blue Pacific with a massive oar. Having always wanted to be that boy and that Viking, how could

Passage To Tomorrowland

by William Yates, Posted August 13, 2008
A California sailor becomes the world’s first solo golden shellbackBy William YatesThe reefing line just parted, making a shot gun blast—BLAM!—as it went. This gets my attention. I don T-shirt, shorts, shoes, and harness, slip on the spreader lights, and climb the ladder to the cockpit. The big sail is flapping wildly. I ease the preventer and take in the main, then
Every once in a while, lake Superior fails to live up to its fearsome reputationStory and Photos by Fred BagleyMy wife’s father was 98 years old when I asked him why, having sailed Lake Michigan and Lake Huron’s North Channel for 65 years, he had never taken any of his boats to lake Superior. George replied without hesitation, “Too much fog, too damn cold.”Superior’s
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