Cruising Grounds

Fine & Wild

by Jayne Finn, Posted September 7, 2011
Conventional wisdom dictates that you not enter an unknown harbor at night, and as we prepare to depart Quebec City, I wonder if the same applies to leaving. For three days the wind has been blowing a steady 25-plus knots from the east, against the current of the Saint Lawrence River, pinning us down in Bassin Louise, the old port, now Quebec City marina. But let's be clear; this is not a
Eskimos, according to urban legend, have 32 words for snow. Or perhaps it’s nine, or 15. No matter. Tongans must have at least that many words for the color blue.
Scientists recently discovered what they believe to be an ancient “sunstone” at the site of a 1592 British shipwreck near the island of Alderney in the English Channel. Before the invention of GPS or even magnetic compasses, sailors may have used this as a navigatation tool on cloudy days.
When most of us think about cruising in Sweden, we imagine a place that’s expensive and cold, with Volvos and Nordic beauties galore, and well-built boats with hefty price tags. The blondes are there, all right. So are the Volvos and the boats, but costly and chilly it is not.

The Joy of Gunkholing

by David W. Shaw, Posted August 11, 2008
There's more to cruising than wide-open spacesI glanced to port at the anvil-shaped cloud rising high over the mainland to the west, then at the genoa eased to catch a southerly breeze blowing anemically up the Johns River off Elizabeth's stern. My heavy full-keel Bristol 24 barely moved. More to the point, I was losing the race with my friend's Tartan 27 as he glided toward

Out the Gate to the Giant Dipper

by Sail Staff, Posted May 7, 2009
Sailors and non-sailors alike respectfully refer to the ocean beyond my home waters of San Francisco Bay as “Outside the Gate.” Along the northern California coast there are miles of rocky coastline separating the few harbors of refuge, which often have challenging entrances. Along the way you had best be prepared for strong winds, fog, and sizable seas. Of course, it may also

Dry Tortugas Adventure

by Jack Foard, Posted January 24, 2011
Drop your hook in crystal clear turquoise water, walk these white sandy beaches under the bright warm sun and blue sky, and you might just think you are somewhere deep in the Bahamas or Caribbean. It’s hard to believe the Dry Tortugas, my favorite sailing destination in Florida, is only 70 miles west of Key West.It was 2000 on a warm September evening when my wife, Desir, my sister Jane,
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?
I yearn to return to Tahiti. I was there in 2010 for the Pearl Regatta and fell in love with the islands. I can still hear the crash of surf outside my room that first night, smell the scent of orchids at the top of the mountain on Raiatea...
If you promise not to tell too many people, I’ll let you in on a little cruising secret: Bocas del Toro. Located on the Caribbean coast of Panama near the Costa Rican border, this unspoiled archipelago of nine big islands and many smaller ones creates an inland sea where the breezes are so tranquil the waves rarely exceed knee height. And because Panama is south of the hurricane zone, there is no “season.” You can safely cruise here all year round.
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