Close to the Water: Looping the Island

At 20 miles around, Harstine Island could be circumnavigated with a powerboat in an hour. But freeway speeds yield freeway views: a blur of trees, missed inlets, and a flash of homes. A slower speed suits me better, one that…

Close to the Water: A Second Cruise with My Mate

A Second Cruise Brings Border Crossings, Uncertainty, and Lessons Learned.

Close to the Water: Cruising With My Mate

Sailing Luna westward through the San Juan Islands on…

Close to the Water: Finding Awe in the New Year

As boaters, we get to see the world from a unique perspective. We arrive in cities or towns by water, taking in the view of cliffs, trees, and mountains rising from the earth. Out on a bay, river, or lake, the glint of the…

Portland’s 6th Annual ‘Witches on the Willamette’ Rules the River

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 before Halloween that felt too good to be true: clear blue skies, scarlet and gold leaves…

Close to the Water: The Flip

Almost over, the flipping crew’s coordination paid off. It…

Close to the Water: Eating on a Small Boat

The finished flatbread.Its secret flavor…

Close to the Water: Stitch & Glue

When the need for a new dinghy arises, a reluctant boat builder goes to work "I’m going to start building a wooden boat this weekend,” I told a colleague one Friday last December. It was casual workplace chit-chat, but deep…

Close to the Water: The Log of Row Bird

No matter the size of the vessel, a log book still has a place aboard. When I tell fellow sailors that I keep a log for my 18-foot sail and oar boat, they mostly look puzzled. Why would I want to do that? I see them wonder.…