- Feb 09, 2015
- Feb 06, 2015
- Feb 05, 2015
When it comes to my passions, I’d be hard-pressed to choose between sailing and skiing. That’s how I found myself standing on the snow-covered runway of Troms airport, the northernmost city in the world, ski gear in one bag, sailing gear in the other.
Sailors on the lower Great Lakes regard Lake Superior with a mixture of awe, respect and—frankly—fear. Tales of cold and fog, shipwrecks and wind keep most of us from exploring Superior’s shores. But there is another side to this greatest of the Great Lakes, and I found it on a summer cruise aboard my Westsail 32, Antares.
Avatar, a 37-foot Swiss-flagged boat with owners Beat and Lola on board, had set sail from Tahaa, an island a few miles southeast of Bora Bora in French Polynesia. Just a day later, while sailing westward on a comfortable reach, the boat’s helm suddenly became unresponsive.
I’ve been on both sides of the fence when it comes to cruising rallies. My very first transatlantic experiences, way back in 1992, were in two cruising rallies organized by Jimmy Cornell, the man who can rightfully lay claim to having invented the concept when he launched the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), from the Canaries to the West Indies, in 1986.
While Pacific Northwesteners are a laid-back lot, some things are sacrosanct. Take seafood. Sure, we might roll into the marina in an aging Subaru wearing worn-out Birkenstocks, battle-scarred jeans and an old regatta T-shirt, but you can bet your last roll of duct tape we don’t tolerate inferior seafood. Why should we?