- Apr 14, 2015
- Apr 02, 2015
- Mar 30, 2015
The eternally fascinating mental exercise of choosing, equipping and organizing priorities on my ideal cruising boat has kept me awake on countless night watches over the last 30 years and 300,000 miles of bluewater sailing and coastal cruising. No matter where I sail or how ambitious my plans, there are a few things on my dream boat that are not negotiable.
It was a pleasant day in May when our family boarded Val-De-Ri, our Catalina 34. We were preparing to sail from our homeport in Bath, North Carolina, to Chesapeake Bay, a long-anticipated cruise. Little did we know that we were in store for a smoking engine, medical issues, a storm from the north, and an unintentional grounding.
The ARC, which starts each November in the Canary Islands, is very much a European event and the Americans who run it are often a bit out of the ordinary. Without doubt, the least ordinary American boat in this last edition of the rally was the Gunboat 66 Phaedo.
It used to be that sailors looking to keep their boats moving in light air had fairly limited options. A big overlapping genoa flown from a fixed headstay was the weapon of choice when trying to get upwind in a zephyr. Turning downwind, it was a question of setting a balky hard-to-handle symmetric spinnaker on a pole.