Piloting skills put to the test

Piloting Skills Put to the Test

By John Gignilliat

Editor’s note: This story is a part of a book (working title, “Sailing Across North America”) John is writing about his boating adventures in 1990 while sailing from Lake Michigan through the North Channel, Georgian Bay, the waterways of Canada, and eventually down the Atlantic Coast to North Carolina.

Despite the gray and rainy day, my wife, Carol, and I decided to make the run from Beaver Island, Lake Michigan, to Mackinac Island, Lake Huron. When we first purchased our chartbook for Lake Michigan, I had examined our expected route, which was straightforward and simple until you departed Beaver Island. There, the passage through Gray’s Reef was marked with numerous shoals, reefs and rocks.

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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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