Columns

Voice of Experience: A Wayward Gust

by Sergio Cosso, Posted September 25, 2014
My first boat was a poorly maintained Thompson 21 powerboat that broke down so often I decided to try sailing. After all, having wind as the motive power and an outboard kicker when that failed would, in theory, provide the redundancy to keep me out of trouble and my family safe. 
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.
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.

Voice of Experience: Going Wrong in Fives

by Timothy B. Glynn, Posted July 14, 2014
John D. Macdonald, through his iconic character Travis McGee, observed that one thing never goes wrong on a boat. Instead, things go wrong in threes.
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. 
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...

Viewpoint: 5 Lessons My Kids Learned from Cruising

by Owen Caddy, Posted May 7, 2014
When I asked my daughter, Tamsyn, 10, what she and her brother, Griffyn, 7, had learned while sailing aboard Madrona, our Tayana 37, she cited some obvious things, like becoming a better swimmer and learning about marine life by observing it firsthand...
According to Coast Guard statistics, the vast majority of drownings happen from boats less than 26 feet long, with solo boaters especially at risk. Isn’t it time for the United States to make lifejacket use mandatory aboard boats of this size or when boating solo? 

Voice of Experience: The Less Difficult Sail

by Lambros Karrie, Posted May 6, 2014
About a mile east of the Saint Lucie shoal and about 15 miles from the entrance to Ft. Pierce, as John was negotiating a steep wave, we heard a sudden loud noise under our feet. John screamed “Take it, take it!” as the boat headed into the wave. The reefed genoa backed, and the boat came about and started heading in the opposite direction with the wind and waves on our port side.
  Hobie was one of those true pioneers who brought sailing to the masses. Rest easy, dude.
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