Cruising Most Commented

A Life Afloat

by Cindy Wallach, Posted September 3, 2009
Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived in the big city. One day the little girl’s mother and father brought her to a big garden center. There were rows and rows of seeds and bulbs and saplings, and in the very middle there was a sailboat. She climbed on board and found a little kitchen, a little bed, and even a little toilet. Her mother called to her, “Honey, what
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Every time my wife Jennifer and I sail to the Beaver Islands, something goes wrong. So why do we keep going there? Initially it was because of where they are, but now it’s because of what they are.

First, the “where” part. The Beavers are a dozen islands in northern Lake Michigan, 30 miles from Michigan sailing centers like Mackinac Island, Harbor Springs and Charlevoix.


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I steered Sonata, my 1981 Pearson 36 cutter, out of the landcut linking Goose Creek to Bay River, in eastern North Carolina. Turning to my wife, Liz, I triumphantly announced, “We’re done! No more landcuts till next spring.”

Liz smiled quizzically. “What?” she asked. “You mean you don’t like landcuts? Imagine that.”

We’d navigated many landcuts along the


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Alone in gale conditions

by Sail Staff, Posted August 18, 2009
I dropped my crew at the fuel dock in Ajaccio, Corsica, thinking it would be only a few moments before I would be able to tie up Eidos, my 32-foot East Orient cutter. Lying just off the dock, I shifted in and out of gear and drifted while waiting for space to open up. Once I was safely tied up I planned to spend the rest of the day cleaning up and fixing things. It was early Sunday
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Letting go a sheet

by Tom Cunliffe, Posted August 18, 2009
When the boat is tacking taking the loaded jibsheet off a winch can be a just cause for nervousness. On boats up to 40 feet or so, the safest way to do this is to first ease the sheet off a few inches; keep the flattened palm of one hand pressed against the turns on the drum as they begin to surge around it. This slight easing removes the worst of the load. Depending on the
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