Columns

If I’m racing, I sail to win. If I’m cruising, I sail to relax. The sailing bug bit me 20 years ago, and I’ve never recovered.  

Readers Write on the Essence of Seamanship

by Sail Staff, Posted July 8, 2013
In our July 2013 issue, regular contributor Tom Cunliffe reflected on the essence of seamanship. We asked about your views on seamanship, and you answered. Here are a few reader-submitted takes on the essence of seamanship.
It was a perfect afternoon on the Maine coast. After a pleasant sail to a spacious, uncrowded anchorage, my wife and I spotted the familiar shape of the handsome sloop belonging to our friends Trevor and Maria. We had prearranged the rendezvous.
I’m not sure what madness made me decide to fix our generator myself. Maybe I was feeling especially talented that day. Or cheap. Or downright insane. Back on land, I would never try to penetrate the mysteries of our furnace—I didn’t even change the filters myself. But life aboard changes you. 
During the summer sailing season I had kept Radiant Beam close to my favorite cruising grounds near Pamlico Sound in North Carolina. As November approached, however, it was time to bring the boat back to her homeport in Wilmington.

In Search of an Iceberg

by Maura Flaherty, Posted February 20, 2013
Teresa Carey and her husband, Ben, plan to release their documentary film, One Simple Question, to film festivals this summer. The film follows the couple as they move aboard their Bristol Channel Cutter 28 Elizabeth and set sail in search of a mammoth iceberg adrift in the North Atlantic. 

Windshifts: The Worst Day

by Matts Djos, Posted August 15, 2013
Though we’d dragged our 6,000-pound Balboa 26 over three mountain ranges and through seven passes, our pilgrimage from Colorado to Washington State had been relatively carefree. After that we’d spent three weeks in the Gulf Islands east of Vancouver, all without a serious mishap. Then, as we were moored in Oak Harbor preparing for the final leg back to Seattle, everything changed.
The first time I saw a spinnaker I was only a few years old. It was flying on the bow of a 35ft foot cruiser off the coast of Maine. A few years later, my father agreed to set the kite on our 50ft Hinckley, a rare concession.
The wind was too light to sail, so we started out motoring. Soon, however, my buddy’s motor started heating up. The access hatch was buried under camping gear, and he didn’t want to investigate right then, so he shut his engine down, and I took his boat in tow.
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.
  • facebook
  • twitter