Columns

It all started with losing my job. Like many people in recent years, I found myself unemployed, and the lack of activity made for restless hands. I figured since I couldn’t find work, I might as well build a boat.
“We’ll only be out for an hour,” he promised, and I decided to believe him. The wind out on Lake Ontario was light, the seas were calm, and despite there being some dark clouds in the distance, it looked like a great afternoon for a sail.

A Terrible Sinking Feeling

by Allen F. Murphy, Posted June 28, 2013
My running diesel made a clunking sound, followed by silence. Next came the sound of rushing water, as if from a large hose. I quickly pulled the companionway steps off the engine compartment and saw tannin-darkened river water gushing in around the propeller shaft, a shocking confirmation of my worst fear. If the flooding water couldn’t be stopped, Kelly IV, my 1979 Endeavour 32, would be lost.
Last October, NOAA announced it was abandoning the chart-printing business. The last lithographic charts will roll off government presses on April 13. NOAA will continue to provide updated accurate “print on demand” (POD) charts, as well as PDF files, which users can print or download themselves, and will work with businesses that wish to print charts for resale.
  Hobie was one of those true pioneers who brought sailing to the masses. Rest easy, dude.
For dreamers of all ages, the idea of cruising has an inescapable allure. But the question always remains: “When should I go? When can I realistically trade my current life for the freedom of cruising?”
“Would you like to sail one?” asked Dale Denning one Saturday back in 1980, as Peg and I stood admiring some gorgeous little sailing dinghies sitting by the side of the road.
After the rigors of our Ouija board navigation, Ken treated me to a spontaneous VHF serenade. Suddenly, blasting out of the radio came the unmistakable sound of the “Ride of the Valkyries.” I grabbed the microphone and hollered to my mid-ocean friend, “Charley don’t surf…Charley don’t surf!”

Voice of Experience: Shoal Water and Thunder Squalls

by Todd Erenstein, Posted February 3, 2014
I am a desert sailor. My wife, Noelle, and I live in New Mexico and normally sail the small inland lakes scattered around our very dry state. On arriving in Norfolk, Virginia, one sunny Thursday afternoon, we were looking very forward to sailing with our good friend Mike and his wife, Heather, on our first cruise on Chesapeake Bay. 
Nothing dispels winter’s gloom from the dyspeptic souls of Salish Sea cruising sailors like sunshine, blue skies and a juicy bit of gossip with your morning coffee. When the rite of spring commissioning comes around in the Pacific Northwest...
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