Cruising

Prepare Sushi on Board

by Michael Robertson, Posted September 17, 2013

Anchored off a fishing village on the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Baja peninsula, my daughters, Eleanor (8) and Frances (6), sat at the dinette, manipulating small piles of found objects and plastic pieces into spiral shapes as part of some kid of game.

 


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It is surprising to me that so few sailors are also fishermen. When joining a new boat for a passage, I often ask to see what kind of fishing gear the crew has on board. Almost always, I receive a puzzled look, or perhaps a mildly apologetic one, as my fellow sailors wonder where they last saw the jumbled mass of line, hooks and lead weights they call “gear.”


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After reading “The Essence of Seamanship” (July 2013) by Tom Cunliffe, as well as the online banter that followed, it became apparent that the topic of “seamanship” is a hot one, especially in today’s ever-changing world of on-water and systems technology. Here’s my take: 


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We at SAIL don’t tend to dwell on the darker side of the sailing life—boats lost, sailors drowned. The monthly “Voice of Experience” column has its share of drama, but it’s the kind in which, to channel the radio cliché, “luckily, no one was hurt.” Quite honestly we’d rather focus on reasons to go sailing rather give anyone a reason not to.


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When I first purchased my 1987 Beneteau First 375, I had visions of mimicking the exploits of Tania Aebi, the Martin family and other daring sailors I admired.


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