Sea Change: Becoming the Captain of My Boat

The author settled in behind Kagán’s helm. As first mate of our Island Packet 350, Kagán, there were times when I thought I could capably skipper the boat I’d cruised around the Pacific Northwest for years. It usually…

Homeward Bound, Part 3:
Naha, Japan to Port Townsend

Irene’s route through Japan and across the North Pacific. Here's part three detailing the Niemann's voyage across the COVID-closed world to reach their home waters of the PNW. Read Part One, Turkey to Singapore and Part Two,…

An Offshore Romp:
Memorable moments on passage from Orcas Island to Alaska

We left Orcas Island on a Tuesday in late May with our sights set on Alaska. After all the pre-departure complexities and preparation, we savored the reality of finally being on our way. It was spring 2021, and though…

Never Say Easy

On a boat, some of the simplest days can turn into the hardest “It’s going to be a clear short trip tomorrow, we don’t have to rush in the morning. It will be easy.” I told my wife, Beth, the day before making a stop in…

Homeward Bound, Part 2: Singapore to Japan

  Irene’s route from Singapore to Japan. “Sorry to wake you, but we need all hands on deck right now.” Somehow these words penetrated my deep sleep and I rolled off the bunk and struggled toward the companionway. I felt…

A Sailor’s Sourdough Comes to Life on a Honeymoon Cruise

A several month cruise through British Columbia gives a couple a chance to celebrate their recent marriage, experience their new home waters, and grow a shipboard sourdough starter. The following article originally appeared…

Homeward Bound: Part 1, Turkey to Singapore

Last month, we were introduced to Peter and Ginger Niemann — award-winning Seattle-based circumnavigators whose journey home through the pandemic-closed world found them boat-bound for more than 300 days. They were in Turkey…

Reflecting on the Joys and Challenges of Cruising with Kids

This article was originally published in the April 2022 issue of 48° North. Ten days on a boat? With a baby?” friends asked when they learned about our plan to cruise the San Juan Islands on our 28-foot sailboat. “Are you…

Sailing Home to the Pacific Northwest

This article originally appeared in the April 2022 issue of 48° North. Land ho!” I looked up to see Ginger peering down the companionway hatch, grinning widely. “Mountains!” she pointed to port. We weren’t surprised that we…

A 10 Year Milestone: From the PNW to the Panama Canal

This article was originally published in the April 2022 issue of 48° North. Looking forward and aft — at what, I'm not exactly sure — our canal pilot, Francisco, says simply, “Slow down, we need to wait here.” I can feel…