Top view of Nao Santa Maria in Beaufort

Piloting a Historic Replica

By Howard Heckrotte with Douglas Nelson

Photos by Bob Corso

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources 25-foot twin-engine fast boat propelled us through rain and 3- to 4-foot seas at over 35 knots for a rendezvous with the Santa Maria. The North Atlantic waves pitched and yawed the two vessels. When a higher wave materialized, the 25-footer went into thin air, engines over-revving before thudding back into a trough, testing knee and shoulder sinews as white knuckles gripped the center-console grab rail.

The DNR officer smiled thinly and throttled back a bit, continuing a course to our rendezvous point, unseen in the rain and light fog but somewhere a few miles ahead. I was wondering how the boarding would take place when the ship’s profile appeared out of the sea mist, looking daunting.

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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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Racer's Edge--How Chris-Craft got its start

Racer’s edge—Chris-Craft boats

Before he founded Chris-Craft, Christopher Columbus Smith of Algonac, Michigan, built some of the first gasoline-powered boats as well as the earliest speed boats. In 1915 his Miss Detroit won the Gold Cup.

Garfield “Gar” Wood bought Miss Detroit and Smith’s company, and for six years, Smith built race boats under Wood’s direction. By 1921 they had won five more Gold Cups and two Harmsworth Trophies.

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