by Amy Ullrich
"June 30, 1861, CSN Sumter. Mississippi Delta. Bound for the sea. Blazing sun, thick haze.The eyes of Commander Raphael Semmes are burning, and there is nowhere to turn for relief. It’s high tide at Head of the Passes, his only chance to break from the cage Abe Lincoln’s sea boys have built round him and New Orleans. And right now the South’s little bark-rigged raider, the ship channel
I was in St. Thomas the last week of March on a press trip organized around the annual International Rolex Regatta. The welcome party at the St. Thomas Yacht Club welcomed not only the racers, but gusty winds accompanied by rainsqualls. By the next day, when we press people were out on a spectator boat watching the downwind start of the first race, it was threatening to blow the hair off the

Deja Vu All Over Again

by Amy Ullrich, Posted August 21, 2008
Echoes of a long-ago family charter reverberate in a Florida charter with grandchildren. Maybe it's genetic.     It was a long time ago—in our family's history and in the history of chartering boats—when my husband, George, feeling in immediate need of a vacation one August, chartered the only boat available in the state of Maine. It was our first time

Charter Cats

by Amy Ullrich, Posted August 20, 2008
Thanks to the unusual nature of my job—I give thanks frequently—I’ve sailed on a lot of charterboats with (often) people I’d never met before in (sometimes) unusual weather patterns. It’s not unusual, however, that many of these boats have been catamarans, given the proliferation of cats in charter fleets worldwide. So I can claim a certain authority in saying that, in many circumstances in

Heading Down Island

by Amy Ullrich, Posted August 14, 2008
It’s been a while since I sailed out of St. Vincent—the “mainland” to the eight inhabited (three by resorts) islands of the Grenadines, plus the Tobago Cays—so I was happy to be invited on a press trip there, especially one that included two days of sailing. It’s probably the most popular charter area after the Virgin Islands, and with good reason: the sailing is superb, though more

Where To Go Now

by Amy Ullrich, Posted August 14, 2008
Sailing your home waters in summer is fun; sailing someone else’s home waters is an adventure.Now, as you read this magazine, is the time to think about where you’d like to spend your summer sailing vacation. Some mighty fine North American cruising grounds offer chartering—the way most of us get to sail outside our home waters—only in May through September or at least enjoy their finest

New Boats To Try

by Amy Ullrich, Posted August 14, 2008
One of the pleasant aspects of chartering is the opportunity to give new and different boats and/or gear an extended test-sail. If you’re a lifelong monohull sailor, you can give a catamaran a week’s workout to see if sailing on two hulls is a good fit for your future sailing plans; if you wonder how the very latest modern conveniences might enhance your lifestyle afloat, give them a try before

Las Islas Encantadas

by Amy Ullrich, Posted August 14, 2008
Charles Darwin wasn’t impressed when in 1835 the Beagle arrived at her first landfall in the Galapagos Islands at San Cristbal (then Chatham Island), which was my starting point too. “Nothing could be less inviting than the first appearance,” he wrote. “A broken field of black basaltic lava, thrown into the most rugged waves, and crossed by great fissures, is everywhere covered

It's All Greece To Me

by Amy Ullrich, Posted August 13, 2008
A charter in the Ionian sea yields a sampling of the "real" GreeceWe sailors are lucky. Thanks to the availability of boats that can be chartered in many of the world's wonderful places—and to my mind, many of these wonderful places are islands—we can travel around at will, complete with housing, a kitchen, and a clothes closet. Within certain parameters, of
David Schmidt had an exciting time at the Culebra Heineken International Regatta ("El Dragón," page 54), but Caribbean regattas aren't the sole province of locals and sailing journalists. Three big ones—the St. Martin Heineken Regatta (early March), BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival (early April), and Antigua Sailing Week (late April)—have charter (no-spinnaker)
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