Columns

Gazing upon Cayuga Lake on a calm August day, I am struck now three decades later by my vivid memories of what must be every sailing instructor’s worst nightmare. It was supposed to have been a picnic, a final exam for the summer sailing program at the local yacht club. Instead, in less than 20 minutes, it turned into a terrifying, life-threatening maelstrom of wind and water.
An experienced skipper with an inexperienced crew gets into trouble during a post-race delivery
One beautiful afternoon last August I sat on an old-growth cedar stump that had washed up on the beach in a winter storm and watched a blue gale blow up the Straits of Juan de Fuca. The straits are straddled to the south by the aptly named 11,000-foot-high Hurricane Ridge and 20-plus miles to the north by the beach where I sat.
“Wake up! Wake up! I think we’re dragging anchor!” Peg’s words pierced my sleep like a needle popping a balloon. In an instant I was standing in the cockpit, face to face with the bowsprit of a large Island Packet that had been anchored three football fields away the night before.
In April, reader Dennis Michaud wrote SAIL complaining about the “glorification” of sailors “traveling on a shoestring” while he got a PhD, taught at university and is now about to hire 500 people and purchase a custom yacht—and “pay the onerous yard bills.”
I love this time of year. In Wisconsin, April is when people prep boats to go back in the water. It has been a long, hard winter of reliving last year’s races at the bar, reading magazine stories about other people sailing in warmer weather, visiting ocean racing websites and yearning. And now it’s time for the northern sailor’s rite of spring: getting ready to launch.

Multihull Madness: Our Readers Write

by Sail Staff, Posted August 8, 2013
In response to a letter in our July issue, SAIL editor Peter Nielsen asked our readers to spout out on their thoughts on multihulls. Check out reader responses to “Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea”.
When I was a kid, I devoured Choose Your Own Adventure books. “If you think Marty should open the spooky door, turn to page 16. If you think Marty should run away from the haunted house, turn to page 23
We have an inflatable globe that hangs in our saloon, and it is ruining my life. It is an innocuous-looking thing: the different countries are decked out in cheery purples and oranges, and a there’s jagged Sharpie line showing our route from the Chesapeake to the South Pacific. But somehow, whenever talk turns to the future, the globe jumps off its perch and into someone’s hands. Mesmerized, we turn it and turn it, trying to take in every country, every possibility, every tiny harbor. And we begin to play an endless game of And Then We Could.
The impetus for anchoring restrictions, particularly in Florida, comes from waterfront homeowners who object to people anchoring “in their backyards." Barb Venturi, a town commissioner in Oriental, North Carolina, is jazzed. New dockage for transient cruisers is being installed on the popular sailing town’s waterfront.       
  • facebook
  • twitter