America's Great Loop Part 2 Grand Rivers, KY, to Fairhope, AL

Cruising America’s Great Loop Part Two

By John Simons

Our Great Loop adventure took one year and covered 6,500 miles. We departed from Waukegan Harbor in mid-September 2015 and, after making a series of left turns, returned to Waukegan Harbor in September 2016. Our crew consisted of John and Priscilla Simons and Dale and Andy Arnold.

Hundreds of “Loopers” make this trip each year. America’s Great Loop Cruising Association conducts seminars to help Loopers prepare for the adventure.

You can read part one here.

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Kayaking on Alaska's Glacier Bay

Kayaking Glacier Bay

By Sally Stuart

The Spirit of Adventure approached the drop-off site at Skidmore Beach and ran up the beach a short distance. We crawled up over the chairs, out the window and onto the deck. The crew lowered a ladder. We climbed down and reached up for our gear and kayaks as the crew handed them down.

We waved as Spirit of Adventure backed up and pulled away. Looking at the pile of gear on the beach, we wondered if everything would fit in our kayaks. With our gear finally loaded, we squeezed in our kayaks and paddled off to Skidmore Bay to spend our first night in kayaking Glacier Bay National Park.

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Photo of America's Great Loop Map with inset photos of locks, boats and people

Cruising America’s Great Loop Part One

By John Simons

Our Great Loop adventure took one year and covered 6,500 miles. We departed from Waukegan Harbor in mid-September 2015 and, after making a series of left turns, returned to Waukegan Harbor in September 2016. Our crew consisted of John and Priscilla Simons and Dale and Andy Arnold. Our adventure had been nearly five years in the planning, but yours can happen much faster. All we had to do was research and buy a motor yacht, learn to operate it, retire, and decide how we would handle our individual homes while on our adventure.

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Photo of boats transiting the Swinomish Channel

Transiting the Swinomish Channel

By Michael Guelker-Cone

Most of us have a bucket list of things we want to accomplish or places we want to go before heading off to that great marina in the sky. My list of places to visit has expanded along with my experience and the confidence that came with it. Many places on my list are close to home, including Washington’s Swinomish Channel. I kept putting it off because of the horror stories I’d heard of boaters running aground in the channel. In Seamanship and Piloting, I’d been warned that it wasn’t a matter of whether you’d ever run aground but when.

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Fishing Boats in Angelmo, Puerto Montt, Chile

Rounding the Horn

By Rafael Belliard

When my first mate Linda, the perennial travel opportunities researcher, found the perfect way to round the cape, we decided to make it happen. We would take the trip with back-to-back cruises from Miami, Florida, to Valparaiso, Chile, and on to Buenos Aires, Argentina, which included the much sought-after “rounding of the Horn.”

In the Winter 2019 issue, we detailed our trip from Miami to Chile. Here, we complete our cruise around Cape Horn.

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Celestial Navigation Taking a Noon Sight

Teaching Celestial Navigation

By Dick Sorensen 

On a cloudless Ohio winter day, Dr. Ralph Newman of Columbus Sail & Power Squadron/29 led 20-plus Ohio State University Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps midshipmen out into the bright sunshine. The rest of the squadron’s Navigation instructors joined them to teach the basics of a noonday sight. As students raised their sextants to take their first reading, my mind flashed back to how this came about.

I had read in a recent issue of The Ensign that the United States Naval Academy was reintroducing the study of Celestial Navigation to the midshipman curriculum. My initial reaction was shock. How could they not be teaching Celestial Navigation?

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Photo of Valparaiso, Chile, from Cruising Around the Horn.

Cruising Around the Horn

By Rafael Belliard

Going around South America’s Cape Horn has always been fraught with awe and understandable concerns about ships wrecked by rough seas, icebergs, huge waves, and strong currents. As avid cruising sailors and travelers, Linda and I had always dreamed of visiting South America and rounding Cape Horn.

When Linda, the perennial travel opportunities researcher, found the perfect way to round the cape, we decided to make it happen. We would take the trip within the sybaritic comforts of a cruise ship on back-to-back cruises from Miami, Florida, to Valparaiso, Chile, and on to Buenos Aires, Argentina, which included the much sought-after “rounding of the Horn.”

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Off-season Charter in Belize Brings Wealth of Adventure

Off-season charter in Belize brings wealth of adventure

By Peter Baumgartner
Photos by Denisse Allaire

My first mate, Denisse Allaire, and I chartered a Beneteau 42.3 sailboat for a week in September from the Moorings in Placencia, Belize. The off-season rate made the three-cabin, two-head monohull affordable.

We flew from Denver to Houston, Houston to Belize City, and from Belize City to Placencia in a boxy Cessna. The Friday before the charter started, we rented a cute, air-conditioned beachfront cottage for the night. The next day did not go as smoothly.

I had been communicating with Palencia through the Moorings in the U.S., but our messages hadn’t been relayed. Denisse and I requested a two-person kayak we could fasten on deck instead of a dinghy. Belize did not get this message. Likewise, we didn’t get the message that our briefing was to begin at 9 a.m. and spent the morning shopping in the quaint town of Placencia.

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Sailor satiates wanderlust, grows on Salish Sea

Sailor satiates wanderlust, grows at helm on the Salish Sea

By Patrick O’Brien

After years of living in Boulder, Colorado, we moved to Oriental, North Carolina, to cruise the Atlantic coast and beyond on a 40-foot Passport. After enduring the rigors of offshore sailing for two years, we sold the boat and returned to Boulder, only to stay for a year before leaving for Seattle, Washington.

Wanderlust seems to be a force in my life, and with it comes the desire to grow as a sailor.
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