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…

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…

Close to the Water: Secret Society of the Lower Columbia

With miles of backwater sloughs, scads of wildlife, and no competition for anchorages, I’ve often wondered why the Lower Columbia River is so empty of small cruising boats like mine. Row Bird is frequently the only one…

Close to the Water: Missing Kelp in South Puget Sound

Kelp loss South Puget Sound is real and, despite the odds stacked up against it, boaters and scientists aren't giving up hope. If you hiked to see those towering giants, the coast redwoods-and all you found were a few ferns…

Close to the Water: Small Boat Businesses Weather the COVID Storm

This article originally appeared in the May 2021 issue of 48° North. I confess to being a typical American in my shopping habits: I go to the store or browse the web, find what I want and buy it. The pandemic changed that…

Close to the Water: Ruminating on Boat Paint with Peter Marshall

I’ve long been proud of the paint job on my boat. At the same time, I’ve also been a little insecure about it. Everything I know about painting I learned from books, chat boards full of opinionated armchair sailors, or my…

View 48° North Columnist’s Artwork at Portland’s Lincoln Street Kayak & Canoe Museum

Present Tense: An installation by SE Portland sailor and artist Bruce Bateau goes on display at the Lincoln Street Kayak & Canoe Museum in Portland, Oregon April 3-31, 2021. Bruce Bateau has been seeking communion with…

Close to the Water: Where the Action Is

Large crossings in a small boat create a deeper appreciation for the simple beauty of shallow water and vibrant shorelines One of the reasons I love small boats is because they are so well suited for cruising in shallow…

Close to Home Adventures on the Willamette

Like many Pacific Northwest boaters, come summer, I dream of sailing north, to places familiar or unknown, but always far away. The allure of the local is left to the neighborhood farmer’s market or the nearby park. But…