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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Five Islands Harbor, Georgetown, with Artemis and other moored vessels.

Back to the Sea

Learning to slow down and enjoy cruising

By Laura Landis

I’ll never make up the 18 years I spent too far from the sea. I left the New Hampshire coast for New Mexico in 1996 and didn’t return until the summer of 2014 when I could no longer bear to be away. Thus began my return to cruising.

Last year was my third year on Artemis, a 1983 Sabre 34 I bought on eBay. The first year was challenging. The second year, I brought Artemis from Oriental, North Carolina, to Yarmouth, Maine. I pushed hard, was mostly alone and never had a real crew.
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Sailing in Greece

Greece is the word

Planning and sailing a charter boat in the Dodecanese Islands

By Van Diehl

Fulfilling a lifelong dream of sailing to faraway destinations, my wife, Cida, and I have organized four charters, two in the British Virgin Islands and two in Greece. On our first Greek charter, we sailed around the Cyclades Islands in a Bavaria 45. For our second Greek charter, we wanted to sail the Dodecanese Islands, which was on my bucket list.

When we started planning the charter, the first person I contacted was Bob Miller, the San Luis Rey Sail & Power Squadron educational officer. He and his wife, Sharlene, loved the idea and signed up, along with their friends and former squadron members Neil and Renee Scheuerlein. Eudes and Beth Lopes from Brazil and Werner Rech from Germany rounded out the group.

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Senaca Falls Lake

Magical meander on the Finger Lakes

Cruising New York’s Finger Lakes and canals

By Rodger Litchfield

Rather than the usual weekend rendezvous at one port, William Herrick, the District 6 commander, planned a four-day, four-port summer rendezvous to take advantage of New York’s wonderful 500-plus-mile network of canals and inland lakes.

We planned to stop at Watkins Glen on the south end of Seneca Lake and then at Geneva on the north end. After transiting the Cayuga-Seneca Canal to Cayuga Lake, we planned to spend the night at Hibiscus Harbor near the lake’s north end and Ithaca at the south end. From start to finish, we would cruise some 80 miles.

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River adventureL Chartering a boat in France

River Adventure

The joys—and snags—of a river boat charter


By Dave Davies

In recent years, my wife, Jo, and I have taken several powerboat charters in England, France and Germany—most on French rivers and canals. If your ideal vacation is a slow cruise down a tree-lined river with quaint villages, ancient castles and stunning views, you might consider chartering a river boat, too.

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