By Christine Wenk-HarrisonI headed to Galveston, Texas, to meet my sister and two friends for one of our “sisters’ trips” in early December 2018. We had selected Galveston twice before but never in the winter. Although I wasn’t sure what to expect from a beach resort in the off-season, I ended up being pleasantly surprised.
By Dick DaybellBack in August 2013, my wife, Lois, and I took a cruise around the English Isles with stops in Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Le Havre, France.
We left Southampton on August 4 and proceeded to St. Peter Port in the Guernsey Islands, the only land in Great Britain occupied by the Germans in World War II. We walked around the marina and looked at the boats, which sat about 25 feet below street level at low tide.
By Susan GilbertThe Sultana Downrigging Weekend Tall Ship and Wooden Boat Festival in Chestertown, Maryland, has become a favorite fall mini-getaway for my husband and me. In 2018, we took our third trip to this charming town to view interesting ships, Chesapeake Bay work boats, beautifully preserved Chris-Craft powerboats and antique cars.
Sponsored by the Sultana Education Foundation, the festival takes place on the banks of the Chester River. Proceeds from the three-day event support the schooner Sultana. Each year Sultana takes more than 4,500 students from many Maryland ports onto the Chesapeake Bay for hands-on programs in environmental science and history.
By Christine Wenk-HarrisonA recent road trip to visit family in Florida took us to Rotonda West, about 50 miles south of Sarasota. Our hosts have a home on a circular canal where bird watching is a daily pleasure. With no outlet to salt water, only a limited number of small boats (pontoons and motorized skiffs) occasionally pass by. Jim thought a kayak would be ideal until his brother advised him that alligators also inhabit the canal.
We did, however, get to kayak when our family took us to nearby Don Pedro State Park for a two-hour kayak paddle to the park’s barrier island, which is accessible only by boat. We walked along the beautiful mile-long beach, which offers some of the best shell collecting I can recall.
By Jeff Lagrew with photos by Jack FishThe Bluegrass Chapter of America’s Boating Club takes annual charter trips all around the world. In September a group of nine adventuresome members, led by Commander Louise Lagrew, set off for the Caledonian Canal in Scotland.
By Van Diehl, with help from Ted and Claudia BowlerA group of us recently took a wonderful sail charter to Grenada and the Grenadines. One of the Caribbean’s nicest sailing areas, the Windward Islands consist of Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Martinique and Dominica. The islands got their name from the British, who had to beat to windward to sail there from their colonies. The islands lie almost across the easterly trade winds, which makes for an easy northerly or southerly passage. Just far enough apart to allow for an exhilarating open ocean sail, the islands are lush and richly tropical, with high mountains that trap the clouds and produce dense green vegetation.
By Walter LaMendola with Bruce Cochran, Michelle Denton, Pam McCain, Charley Oliver and Nancy VanDeMark“Why?” I’d wondered when Nancy told me that our group of sailor friends wanted to go to Croatia on holiday. I only had half-formed notions about Croatia and its people, but I should have known the “why” was typical sailor stuff.
The reasons included a long archipelago of sparsely inhabited Mediterranean islands; miles of beach, rock, vineyards, forest, palm trees, farms and olive groves; the southern Adriatic’s clear waters; and the generous people sustained by its riches. Mostly, it had to do with history and sailing with sun, wind and stars.
By Steve LorimerOn several trips to northern British Columbia or southeastern Alaska, I’d noticed the Polkinghorne Islands just west of Wells Passage. We’d passed these islands in deep fog without seeing them a number of times, but in summer 2016 I vowed that it was time for a visit.
None of the guidebooks mentioned the islands as a safe anchorage, but when talking with Billy Proctor, an old-time commercial fisherman, environmentalist and year-round resident of Echo Bay, he mentioned anchoring there while salmon fishing in nearby waters. That did it! He had confirmed what I had speculated, and as we left Sullivan Bay in the Broughton Islands, we headed for the Polkinghornes.
By Jerry MajorAfter several years of enjoyable sailing trips to Ontario’s North Channel aboard Major Dad II, my 26-year-old 27-foot O’Day 272, my fascination with the surrounding natural beauty and serenity has not diminished. However, my cruising buddies, brothers Steve and Howard Anderson, and I discovered an exciting alternative to sailing my boat on the long trek from Toledo Beach Marina on Lake Erie near Monroe, Michigan, to Manitoulin Island in the North Channel.
By Helen and Bob KovachAfter travelling 2,200 miles from Brewerton, New York, to Florence, Alabama, aboard ALLEZ! a few years ago, we decided that Florence, seemed like an ideal spot to visit. The medium-size town on the Tennessee River has lots of history and many places to explore.
By Steve LorimerFiordland Conservancy in central British Columbia, Canada, has some of the most beautiful scenery you could ever hope to see. To get there, you must cruise several miles from the north end of Finlayson Channel to Sheep Passage and continue into Mussel Inlet or turn into Kynoch Inlet. Together the inlets comprise Fiordland, and a visit to both provides several days of anchorage alternatives.
Once in Fiordland you pass bold snow-topped mountains, rushing streams and waterfalls. In some ways it’s similar to Princess Louisa Inlet in lower British Columbia.
By Anne HammondBoulder Valley Sail & Power Squadron members joined U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary members in February 2017 to sail the U.S. Virgin Islands aboard Dream Machine, a Beneteau Oceanis 45-3 from CYOA Yacht Charter at Frenchtown Harbor Marina, St. Thomas. After provisioning and the boat briefing, we took Dream Machine to St. John, a half-day’s sail. We caught a mooring in Great Lameshur Bay, dinghied to the wide, undeveloped beach, and swam in the bay.