5 Ways to Go from Cruising to Adventuring

When I first purchased my 1987 Beneteau First 375, I had visions of mimicking the exploits of Tania Aebi, the Martin family and other daring sailors I admired.
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
Crusing05

When I first purchased my 1987 Beneteau First 375, I had visions of mimicking the exploits of Tania Aebi, the Martin family and other daring sailors I admired. Seven years later, I’ve yet to venture more than 20 miles offshore, but have still managed to have more than my share of adventures. Here’s how:

1. Take the train

Instead of keeping your boat in one place and sailing every weekend to the same destinations, leave your boat in a new place each weekend and use the train to get home. My wife, Alina, and I explored the Connecticut coast that way in 2009 and the Long Island coast in 2010. We would slowly sail along the coast on Saturday and Sunday, drop the boat on a mooring, and then take the train back to NYC for work on Monday. On Friday, we’d resume our voyage, returning by train to wherever we had left the boat. It was like having a summer home in a different place each weekend.

2. Sail at night

We eventually reached the end of the railroad line—Greenport, on the eastern end of Long Island—but we had our eyes on Nantucket. Sailing there overnight was both efficient and worth doing for its own sake. By early evening, we saw all of the other boats sail home. After that it was just us and the wind and waves and the sun setting over the water. The darkness heightened what we heard and felt. The sunrise on a becalmed sea was even better.

3. Repair something underway

After many weekends of “train sailing” and a couple of overnight passages, something will undoubtedly break. In adventure tales, sailors often jury-rig ingenious fixes, and you can try the same. Alina once patched a hole in our inflatable at night while sitting in it in the middle of a bay. As part of the process, she deflated both chambers so the air pressure would not push the glue out. Not only did she save the dinghy, we also learned it won’t sink when deflated.

The dinghy Alina patched and saved

The dinghy Alina patched and saved

4. Rely on the kindness of strangers

If you’ve completed steps one through three, you’ve mastered radical self-reliance—you can go anywhere you want, day or night, and you don’t need anyone’s help to do it. Next, try the opposite. You’ll find that when you do unusual things, strangers are more likely to help. For example, from the train station, walk down a suburban road with a watermelon in one hand and an extra sail in the other, and someone will inevitably offer you a ride to the marina.

5. Sail to a different cruising ground

Once we explored just about every port on Long Island Sound, it was time to go somewhere new. The Chesapeake was an obvious choice, both because it’s a good place to sail and because we have family in the area. Our favorite part of the Chesapeake is the northern part—Bohemia River, Sassafras River and Still Pond—where you can swim in fresh water, and the temperature is already in the upper 70s by late May. Best of all, we got to use all of the skills we acquired closer to home. 

Related

01b-Over-Loch-Scavig

Cruising Across the North Sea

Conventional wisdom says sleeping in the V-berth while offshore is a bad idea. It can be like a diabolical amusement ride that tosses a sailor to and fro, inducing stomach-churning weightlessness. And yet, here I am, nestled in the tilted corner created by my berth and the ...read more

GG17-SAONA47-DX0796

Boat Review: Fountaine Pajot Saona 47

Here’s a riddle: What is less than 50ft long, has two hulls, three big cabins and four decks? Answer: The Fountaine Pajot Saona 47. In fact, it may even be five levels if you count the large engine rooms. This boat is a “space craft” in every sense of the word.DESIGN & ...read more

RichardBennettMIDNIGHT-RAMBLER3249x202

Storm Sails: Do you Need Them?

Many sailors embarking on ocean passages will take along the obligatory storm jib and trysail, with the vague idea that they may come in handy. Few sailors, however, have a real understanding of how and when to set them.It doesn’t help matters when we hear from seasoned sailors ...read more

IntheWater(1)

Boaters University Unveils Rescue Course

Boaters University has just announced its latest online course, Safety & Rescue at Sea, taught by Mario Vittone, whose name you might recognize from the pages of our sister publication, Soundings Magazine and his Lifelines blog.Mario Vittone is a retired U.S. Coast Guard rescue ...read more

IMG_20170920_132819

How to: Installing New Electronics

I had been sailing my Tayana 42, Eclipse, for a few years without any installed electronics on board. I’d gone pretty far up and down the New England and Mid-Atlantic coasts with paper charts, the Navionics app on my Android phone, a hand-bearing compass and the ship’s compass. ...read more

02-Douglas-Adkins---Coriolis---Orcas-Island-KevinLightPhoto

A Phoenix-like Concordia

Cutting a fine wake on the cobalt-blue waters of West Sound on Orcas Island, Coriolis sparkles like a diamond. Her lovely silhouette is offset by emerald forests that frame the ocean, within spitting distance of the border with Canada. Seen up close, this Concordia yawl is a ...read more

IMG_1051

The Latest Boat Trends from Dusseldorf

The world’s biggest boat and watersports show, held in Düsseldorf on the banks of Germany’s Rhine River each January, is the place to scope out emerging trends in the boat design and building.What would be the new trends for 2018 and beyond? Hint—sophisticated electronics figure ...read more