South America

Fast Raft to Brazil

by Sail Staff, Posted August 26, 2008
Lodged in my nautical psyche I find indelible images of rafts: a boy and a runaway slave standing proud before a canvas tent aboard a makeshift pontoon of pine planks floating down the muddy Mississippi; a sun-bronzed Viking in a loincloth steering a lashed-up slab of balsa logs across the electric-blue Pacific with a massive oar. Having always wanted to be that boy and that Viking, how could

Ceviche and Process Knitting

by Clark Beek, Posted September 24, 2008
I heard various comments about Peru from other sailors as I cruised South America, usually to the effect of “Don’t even go near the coast. Stay at least fifty miles off.” These rumors undoubtedly date back to the 1980s heyday of Peru’s dictatorships and the Shining Path guerillas; Peru is now in fact a pretty tame place. Moreover, it has 1,500 miles of coastline, several key New World

The Nature of Mexico

by Sail Staff, Posted February 20, 2009
Our cruise through Mexico was a magnificent discovery of sight, sound, and senses. We expected to see a few whales basking in the sun and to have dolphins once again play in our bow waves. What we had not anticipated was that wonderful feeling when you are so overwhelmed by the intensity of nature that your skin becomes gooseflesh and cold shivers run down your spine, despite the 80 degree

Crossing More Than Miles

by Sail Staff, Posted August 11, 2008
Mother-daughter bonding on the high seasAs I dialed my mother’s number on the Panama City pay phone, I told myself not to be disappointed if she’d changed her mind. My father, who’d been worrying ever since I’d announced my decision to sail the 3,200-mile passage from the Galpagos to the Marquesas alone, had e-mailed me the night before. Subject line: “Crew for your
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