North America

Cruising the Great Lakes has one drawback: you don’t see many whales or dolphins, or frigatebirds or puffins, for that matter. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have plenty of equally meaningful brushes with nature.

Discovering nature on the half-shell

by Sail Staff, Posted April 6, 2009
We experienced a surreal moment as our family sailed into the Hood Canal, where snow-capped peaks beckon in the distance and temperate rain forests slope to a coastline fringed with sand beaches, gravel bars, and muddy tidelands. A wake rolled across the water’s surface, but there wasn’t a boat or a sound. The source of the mystery wake was Bangor Naval Submarine Base on the eastern shore, home
For cruisers bound south from points north, the long slog down the Intracoastal Waterway often ends at Beaufort, North Carolina, on the Crystal Coast, at the southern end of the Outer Banks. For some weary sailors, this backwater (in the best sense of the word) provides a chance to recuperate, repair, regroup, refuel and re-provision before firing up the diesel once more and plugging on down

Squall line on Lake Erie

by Sail Staff, Posted April 13, 2009
It was late June, and my wife, Lyn, and I were halfway through an 11-day vacation cruise onboard Fellowship, our Hunter 26 trailersailer. We were visiting the islands at the western end of Lake Erie—South Bass and Kelleys islands on the American side, Pelee Island on the Canadian side—as well as Leamington, Ontario, on the mainland about 15 miles north of

It's Not All Cocktails in the Cockpit

by Nan Scrimgeour Weston, Posted January 24, 2011
Ten days gone, five things wrong…forget it!” How often have these words been uttered by a captain in a state of complete frustration?We’d said our goodbyes at Georgia’s Brunswick Landing Marina and cast our lines. All was bright until we headed across St. Andrew’s Sound. The sunny weather changed quickly, and we were surrounded by patchy fog for the half hour we had to point our bow into

It's a Shoal Draft Thing

by Ida Little, Posted August 14, 2012
Few can enjoy the inner passages of the Florida Keys quite like diehard thin-water sailors, such as Ida Little and her husband aboard Thorfinn.

Heading Home

by Fred Bagley, Posted April 13, 2009
It’s not because you can’t get there. Or that it’s dinky. In fact, it’s the biggest city on the biggest freshwater lake in the world. It’s just that it is the farthest end of the biggest and baddest freshwater lake in the world.H.O.M.E.S: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior. Childhood mnemonic for memorizing the five Great Lakes.By now all you Carmen Sandiego

One Fine Bay

by Meredith Laitos, Posted March 11, 2011
The great thing about sailing in a new location for the first time is that you have no idea what to expect. Without a laundry list of hot-spots-we-always-visit, your itinerary is a blank canvas, ready to be painted and repainted as you see fit.This was the case last April when a crew of comrades and I chartered a boat from Annapolis Bay Charters in Annapolis, Maryland, for a week of
After working together at SAIL for two years, my coworker Christa asked me if I’d teach her to sail. Having never “learned” how to sail with either a coach or in a classroom, though, I knew my limitations as a teacher.

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
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