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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Sailing around the Door Peninsula

Around the Door

Sailors circumnavigate Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula

By Janelle Peotter

After months of planning, anticipation and a little trepidation, Eric Perlman and I set out on our 21-foot sailboat, Moon Dancer, to circumnavigate Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula in 2015. We dock our boat at Sawyer Harbor and normally simply sail out into Green Bay. Since we’d never gone through the bridges, we planned to begin this trip by going through them and heading up the lake side.

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North to Alaska

North to Alaska

Using USPS know-how, a couple takes the cruise of a lifetime

By Mike Kondrat

My wife Chris and I had dreamed about cruising north to Alaska, so after retirement, we took the plunge. Our United States Power Squadrons classes and our 35-plus years of boating experience helped us pull off this 3,592 nautical mile cruise without destroying our marriage or Aqua Therapy, our Bayliner 3988.

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In Transit through the Panama Canal

Panama Canal Transit

Sailing through the Panama Canal and back

By Patricia H–F Moore

After sailing Hope and Glory, our Island Packet 420, down the Central American Coast, we arrived at the Panama Canal Yacht Club in Colon on a dark night to await transit through the canal. We looked around in dismay to find the harbor crammed full of sailboats.

“Let me have a go,” John, an English crew member used to crowded English and Mediterranean coasts, said as he took the helm.

“There’s no space anywhere,” we chorused, but John sailed slowly ahead.

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Bareboating in the British Virgin Islands

Bareboating in the British Virgin Islands

By Greg Allen

From the moment I shut off the diesel on our chartered 39 Beneteau Oceanis and watched the sails fill with the fresh Caribbean trade wind, I was hooked. Taking the helm as captain of a bareboat charter in the British Virgin Islands was a dream come true.

My wife, Mary, and I had this trip on our to-do list for about 10 years when we finally teamed up with another couple (good friends of ours) to make the dream a reality. After months of careful planning, we sailed out of Road Town, Tortola, in the BVIs via Sunsail charters for a seven-day adventure in paradise.

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Boaters sail on historic SS Badger

Boaters sail on historic SS Badger

By Jana Smith

One summer, my dive buddy and I took a trip across Lake Michigan on the SS Badger, the last and only coal-fired steamer in North America.

We took this trip for several reasons: to avoid driving through Chicago, which is especially difficult towing a trailered boat; for fun because I’ve never been on a cruise before; and because it might be our last chance to ride aboard a coal-fired Great Lakes steamer.

The night before, we went down to the pier to watch the ship come in. That’s really the only way to get pictures of the whole ship.

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