by David W. Shaw
The typical snowbird traveling the Intracoastal Waterway sees little of North Carolina’s Neuse River, choosing instead to pick up the ICW again at Adams Creek. More than a few, though, have been known to not only venture another 25 miles upriver to New Bern for a visit, but to winter over there.
On arriving at Alligator River Marina after a 15-mile passage across Albemarle Sound, we got a bit of a surprise. The place was practically empty, which was weird considering it was October, the height of snowbird season.

Thousand Island Sanctuary

by David W. Shaw, Posted September 20, 2012
As the saying goes, good things come in small packages. That’s certainly true of Clayton, New York, a village of about 2,000 year-round residents on the St. Lawrence River in the heart of the beautiful Thousand Islands.
Few places in Barnegat Bay are off the beaten track, but sometimes you can find a nook that is less well traveled. For instance, check out Silver Bay, in New Jersey’s Toms River Township.
Known for its shimmering blue waters and lush green hills, the lower Hudson River presents cruising sailors with panoramic beauty that would make Thomas Cole proud.

Extrasensory Perceptions

by David W. Shaw, Posted September 28, 2011
The night sky over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel flashed white with lightning, like a silent artillery barrage. The storms were so far up the bay the sound of the thunder never reached Sonata, the 1981 Pearson 36 cutter...

Gut Instinct

by David W. Shaw, Posted July 14, 2011
The strong south wind was mild, even though it was blowing in off the frigid Atlantic. Gusts swept over the crags of Allen Island and churned the waters in the anchorage enough to awaken me to the moan of the rigging. I looked up from my bunk and saw a full peach moon perfectly framed in the companionway of my friend’s venerable 1960s-vintage Tartan 27. Evidently, the ship’s cat had a touch of

1,000 Islands

by David W. Shaw, Posted June 23, 2011
This article originally appeared in the December 2009 issueWhitecaps kicked up by a strong southwesterly wind churned the St. Lawrence River between the New York shore and Grindstone Island. A fierce gust hit, forcing me to goose the throttle of the little single-cylinder diesel that powered Elizabeth, the Bristol 24 my wife, Liz, and I sailed for more than a decade throughout the

Let It Flow

by David W. Shaw, Posted April 15, 2011
As I knelt beside the open cockpit locker of my 36-foot Pearson cutter Sonata, I could hear the gentle whir of my freshwater pump. It didn’t sound normal. I reached down and felt the pump housing. The pump was in constant-cycle mode and running hot. It could pump until it burned out and still fail to pressurize the freshwater system I thought I had just finished
I could barely hear the robotic voice of the NOAA weather radio over the engine as I sat at the nav station, groggy from an overnight passage across the Gulf of Maine. It was just past dawn on a late September day, and I was taking Sonata, my Pearson 36 cutter, south for the winter. One of my crew was asleep in the saloon; the other was on watch in the cockpit.“For
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