Close to the Water: A Sailor Makes Peace with Engines

A small boat, engineless sailor reminisces on his experiences with motors and makes peace with their useful purpose aboard. My first experiences on the water were all about velocity. Riding in the fiberglass ski boat my…

Close to the Water: One More Foot

This article was originally published in the April 2022 issue of 48° North. It’s a rare sailor who is unfamiliar with the illness dubbed “one-foot-itis,” a malady which infects its hosts with the inexorable yearning for…

“Girls at the Helm” Inspires Aboard Schooner Adventuress

This article was originally published in the March 2022 issue of 48° North. After the Salish 100 fleet of small boats pulled ashore at Blake Island last summer, I overheard an animated conversation about a sailing program…

Trade Goods: Sharing is Caring While Cruising

This article was originally published in the January 2022 issue of 48° North. It’s hard to compete with a chicken — but I felt like I needed to after being invited for dinner aboard a sizable motor cruiser near Johnstone…

Doctor Agua: Resolving to Sail More in the New Year

Let’s face it, experiencing 2021 was like drinking bilge water. With the never ending coronavirus, social justice challenges, politics, a global climate crisis, and jam packed waterways, there were times I couldn’t muster…

Close to the Water: A Bunk on the Water

This article was originally published in the November 2021 issue of 48° North It happens whenever I row up to an anchorage or dock around dusk; heads turn, as sailors of cabin boats scrutinize Row Bird and me. Of course, I…

Witches Rule the Water

Taking in the scene at Portland's annual spooky SUP Witch Paddle. After a week of unrelenting rain, I woke up to a sunny Saturday that felt too good to be true: clear blue skies, scarlet and gold leaves dancing in a fresh…

Close to the Water: The Portland Sail & Oar League

Back in my dinghy racing days, I was out on the river one day when it occurred to me that there was more to the Willamette than the familiar patch of water where our meets were held. “Wouldn’t it be fun if the fleet raced…

Sailing the Salish 100

This article was originally published in the September 2021 issue of 48° North. Every year of my childhood, without fail, my parents tried to sign me up for a new sport or group activity — when I was far happier exploring…

Close to the Water: Dreaming of the Inside Passage

This article was originally published in the August 2021 issue of 48° North.  In some ways I never really returned from the Inside Passage. After my meandering, six-week solo journey from Port McNeil to Anacortes in 2019, I…