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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Tips for cruising the Bahamas

Tips for cruising the Bahamas

By George Shaw

Depending on who is counting, the Bahamas consist of about 700 islands, limestone cays and rocks. A dozen have a significant population; others house a couple of families or a few fishermen.

The area is one large plateau of sediment brought in by the prevailing equatorial current as well as limestone deposited over thousands of years by sea creatures who made the area their final home.

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From Cancun to Punta Gorda

Sailing from Cancun to Punta Gorda

Sailing trip around the Dry Tortugas puts book learning to the test

By Dannela Varel

After many years of boating experience—living aboard, running a marina, working for a cruise line, being a member of two squadrons and completing all USPS courses—I decided to put my boating knowledge to the test.

A local boat, Calypsa, was offering passage from Punta Gorda, Florida, to Belize and back, but I could only join for the Cancun to Punta Gorda leg, so I arranged to fly to Cancun to meet Calypsa at the Hacienda Del Mar Marina.

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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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Cruisers charter catamaran in Thailand

Cruisers find adventure in Thailand

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column width=”1/1″]By Marie Genteale

When new sailing friends asked Chris and me to join them in chartering a 46-foot catamaran in Phuket, Thailand, we said yes. The vessel had four staterooms and four heads, a large common area inside and out, and was a stiff sailor. A dinghy and two double kayaks would allow us to go exploring.

We arrived in Phuket four days early, checked out the vessel and took in the countryside. One day we rode elephants through the jungle and kayaked on swollen rivers. Another day we toured Phuket, visited the great marble Buddha overlooking the harbor and shopped. Our hotel, the Supalai, sat high on a hill above the sea.

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Two boaters cruise West Virginia

Two boaters cruise West Virginia

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column width=”1/1″]By Linda Mangelsdorf

While looking at a map of Corps-maintained waterways in an Army Corps of Engineers office, Fred Mangelsdorf discovered a short black line representing the Monongahela River, running south from Pittsburgh into West Virginia. The year was 1994. “Someday, I’m going to go to West Virginia by boat,” he said. Someday arrived in 2012.
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Navigating the unknown

Navigating the unknown

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column width=”1/1″]When it comes to cruising in unfamiliar waters, even veteran boaters get sweaty palms and make beginner mistakes. Instead of regaling you with mine, I’m passing along 10 tips I learned the hard way.

1.  Pre-plot your course

This is really a double tip, because you have to buy the right charts before you can pre-plot your course. Get an up-to-date chart that shows an overview of the entire area as well as detailed charts of the harbors along the way. Spread the charts out at home, and plot your route ahead of time. Pencil in the courses you’ll be steering along with their compass headings. Navigating will be so much easier.

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Life's a Reach--a one way charter to Grenada

One-way charter to Grenada

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column width=”1/1″]By Steven Brickley

My wife, Shari, and I met at the Sarasota Christmas boat parade and spent our courtship sailing up and down the coast of Southwest Florida. When we married, we bought a house on the Manatee River at the south end of Tampa Bay. The house wasn’t on sailboat water, so we traded the sailboat for a Sundancer and joined the local cruising club. Having never lost our love of sailing, we decided to give chartering a try.

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