Australia

The first Europeans to come to French Polynesia were Spanish and Portuguese explorers, in the early 17th century. They were followed by a Dutchman, Le Maire; the British; the Frenchman Bougainville, in 1768, who at least gave his name to a plant; and Captain Cook in 1769 (to observe the transit of Venus), 1772, and 1779. It seems fair to say that they were all overwhelmed by


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Seamanship

The Zero Knot Sailor

by Sail Staff, Posted February 5, 2009
High and dry in the unchanging latitude of my zero-knot armchair, I was an excellent sailor. Always at the ready, nimble and knowledgeable, never seasick or tired—I was eager, eternally young, and unafraid.

You need only ask some of my former illustrious shipmates. Joshua Slocum, Sailing Around the World Alone, found me a stalwart companion. With Richard Henry Dana, Jr., I spent


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Caribbean Racing

Bahamas Sloop Winds

by Sail Staff, Posted February 5, 2009
Northeast trades: 25 knots, gusting 30. The quarter-wake hissing.

My 29-year-old son, Noah, and I had just shaken out the reef in the mainsail on our little Bahamas sloop and fallen off onto a reach in the lee of Great Guana Cay when we saw the old salt.

Screaming out of the settlement’s harbor, he held the tiller of a sky-blue sailing skiff with a casual at-homeness I have seen only


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2009

2009 Pittman Innovation Awards

by Sail Staff, Posted February 3, 2009
As sailors we pit ourselves against the unknown, working to negotiate safe passages through ever-changing oceans and lakes and rivers in weather conditions for which the term “variable” should be considered a euphemism. While each passage or race is unique, one aspect of sailing is universal—namely, that innovation and new technology combine to make our sport easier, safer, and just plain more
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Caribbean Racing

Caribbean Class

by Kimball Livingston, Posted January 20, 2009
How do you spot a happy European sailor?

The Caribbean tan.

How do you spot a happy American sailor?

Surely you have my drift.

When it’s overcoat weather in St. Tropez or Green Bay, it’s time for Martinique. St. Barts. St. Lucia. Key West. Any place from Florida south. And if you’re looking to race, no problem. The 7,000 isles, reefs, and cays of the


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