North America

During the gloomy winter of 2011, while temperatures in Minneapolis hovered around -10F, my fiancée, Christine, and I made a pledge to sail as many of Minnesota’s lakes as possible in one summer.

Driving The Interstate ICW

by Sail Staff, Posted August 8, 2008
Unfavorable winds turn an offshore adventure into a sleepy crawl down the DitchBy Dave BaldwinWe emerged from the darkness of an overnight passage 10 miles off the North Carolina coast when Joe asked an ordinarily easy question: “Should we turn off the engines and sail?” The light breeze had finally clocked around so that it wasn’t hitting us on the nose and—having spent

Valley Boy

by Sail Staff, Posted April 29, 2010
The early morning air was redolent with the tang of low tide on the Hudson River as I steered upriver, bound for Lake Ontario via the Erie and Oswego canals. I’d gotten underway shortly after dawn to ride the flood tide north. The Manhattan skyline towered above me to starboard. Behind me the green-hued Statue of Liberty looked grand in the soft sunlight. The sounds of bustling Manhattan and
When I boarded Mercantile, an 80-foot schooner docked in Camden Harbor, Maine, my iPhone’s battery had about five minutes of life left on it. “Hey—do you have an iPod dock or outlet on board?” I asked a scruffy-looking young man who could have walked straight out of a modern-day Moby Dick casting call.“Aw, lady, you don’t know how much fun yer gonna have once that thing’s
We cruised by the Strawberry Island Lighthouse in Canada’s North Channel at 7 knots in a brisk 25-knot wind. I was aboard Henk Vanderhulst’s Precision 23, Go Gently, and he, despite his 80 years, was unwilling to risk his reputation for leaving the fleet in his wake.
There’s always an anchorage around the bend when you’re cruising the rivers and sloughs of California’s Central ValleyMuch of our world has lost a proper sense of the journey, but not the world of sail. A friend of mine once told me how he sailed his two boys 80 miles up the Sacramento River from San Francisco. “We went when the boys were 14 and 12,” he said. “Along the way we
The sun shone a milky white. Its weak rays were barely able to drive off the damp chill of the early afternoon as we made our way eastward in the Deer Isle Thorofare, a passage snaking between Deer Isle and the beautiful smaller islands of Merchant Row in Down East Maine. I carefully checked the chart against the red and green buoys marking the channel, mindful that straying off course could mean

Bait Station Boil

by MacDuff Perkins, Posted August 24, 2011
This past July, while sailing in Maine, we were surprised to discover there were no lobsters to be had on North Haven Island. “Ya got a boat?” a woman with no lobsters to sell asked us.As it turns out, this year’s lobster season hasn’t been the best one for Mainers, and you’re just as likely to get a fresh catch in Brooklyn as you are in Rockland. Lobster “middlemen”—floating barges that
On May 20, 2009, we were in St. Marys, Georgia, and it had been raining as hard as it could for 10 straight days. The wind was blowing a steady 30 knots with gusts over 40. Everything was soaked.

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
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