Wooden Boat Festival 2022: A River of Stories

I’ve always thought of the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend as a broad, winding river full of stories and adventures. Each time I attend, I jump in with a destination in mind, but once in the current, I’m pulled along…

Close to the Water: Feeling the Love

The author rows across a calm stretch of water. When I pulled up to the customs dock on San Juan Island on a sunny September afternoon, I was feeling good. Over the past six weeks, I had traveled some 200 miles down…

Close to the Water: Gone Sewing

The author works on a sewing project for his fleet of boats. When I got over the jaw-dropping price of a bolt of Sunbrella fabric, I set aside my habitual thriftiness and pulled out my credit card. After all, I reasoned,…

Close to the Water: Becoming a Sailor

From the June 2022 issue of 48° North. At the helm on a beautiful day in the PNW. Recently, a reader reached out for advice on getting the necessary skills and knowledge for a small boat journey. His questions made me…

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…