Port EverettThe Port of Everett Marina in Washington State, the largest publicly operated marina on the West Coast, was among more than 20 marinas nation-wide considered for the prestigious industry award.

MarinaA favourite destination for many boaters and tourists alike is the lovely Mackinaw Island. Sitting in Lake Huron on the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac in the state of Michigan, it covers almost ten kilometres, of which 80% is park land.

Ryan MayToronto sailor and former RCYC coach/sailing instructor Ryan May is now a US coast guard captain and is presently accepting bookings in San Francisco California.

 

 

 

Pirate costumes and dark-n-stormiesThe food in the grocery store – where does it come from? There are undoubtedly hardworking people who farm, refine, etc. and when we walk into Sobey’s, there it is...

New York Canals - St. Anne de BellevueThe sun was just starting to light up the horizon when we departed our home slips in Crystal Harbour, LaSalle, Ontario, and entered the Detroit River. It was June 28, 2014, the first day of our adventure to explore the waters of the Great Lakes and beyond from Windsor to Montreal. We had set aside about six weeks to cruise down Lake Erie and enter the NY Canal System near Buffalo, travel east on the canal to Oswego, head straight north across Lake Ontario to Kingston, traverse the Rideau Canal to Ottawa, cruise down the Ottawa River to Montreal, head back west up the St. Lawrence River to the Thousand Islands, and finally re-enter the NY Canal system at Oswego and follow it back toward Lake Erie and home. 

My wife, Hélène, and I travelled on Mystic Blue, a Mainship Pilot Classic. Terry and his wife, Linda, voyaged on their Camano Troll, 4 Buoys. Both 30-foot vessels were designed to cruise at a comfortable and economical speed of about 8 – 9 knots. 

San Juan view across Hotel de Haro gardensJust across the border from Canada’s Gulf Islands – and there’s a story behind that – San Juan is an engaging destination rich in history, culture and opportunities to explore shoreside.

Our first cruise to the San Juan Islands was in 2005, our seventh year of cruising on our wooden sailboat, South Islander. We had heard about how lovely the San Juans were, and even though we have many beautiful anchorages in Canada, we felt it was time to do some exploring south of the border. After all, the San Juans are really just an extension of our own southern Gulf Islands; it’s the international boundary that runs right smack through the middle that makes the San Juans a separate destination.

The Presque Isle peninsula is a 3,200-acre – 7-mile long arm that extends northeast into Lake Erie creating a large, sheltered boating paradise of a harbour.  With a string of well equipped marinas, a wealth of facilities and a very impressive yacht club, it has attractions for boaters that place it at the top of a cruising destination list. This may come as a bit of a surprise since Erie, PA is a relatively small community with a population that has hovered around 100,000 for decades. Nonetheless, it is a comparative giant in terms of boating.

Boats and Erie have a solid historic connection. If you managed to stay awake during Grade 10 history you’d have traced the communities of the lake back to the early exploration of North America. During the War of 1812 (which we know as our victory in Canada, although it seems to have had a different outcome south of the border) a 27-year-old US Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry built a fleet of ships and defeated (!) the British at the Battle of Lake Erie.

Few cruising boats visit beautiful and remote Prince William Sound. Some 2,800 square miles in area and situated at the very northern tip of the Gulf of Alaska, from which it is separated by a series of major barrier islands, this inland sea has a coastline equal to that of Oregon and California combined. Within its boundaries lie the towns of Cordova, Valdez and Whittier  ̶  as well as the native American villages of Chenega and Tatitlek.

To reach it, any boat too large to be put on a trailer and towed for hundreds of miles through mountainous terrain must be placed on a barge or brave a 500-mile transit across the open and often tempestuous waters of the Gulf of Alaska.

I have always wanted to go to Baja, but like many of the other 25+ destinations on my bucket list, I still hadn’t got round to it. Imagine my delight when a last minute invite – timed perfectly around a crazy production schedule – found me basking in the beauty of the Marina Costa Baja ready to hop on one of Mooring’s brand new, fully loaded Power 474s with a bunch of like-minded journalists, ready for a first-hand experience of a lifetime. The first day – ‘the getting to know one another day’ – found us only six miles from our departure point in La Paz, Mexico, in the well-protected anchorage of Caleta Lobos.

Adamant 1 has had an adventurous trip since returning from the Bahamas. The Intracoastal Waterway is full of twists and turns, marshland, shallow water and spectacular scenery. It has been very quiet as well with little boat traffic. We pulled into Fernandina Beach at the Florida-Georgia border. We heard it was beautiful there so we rented a car and toured all day. Sadly, we got caught in a tropical depression that lasted for two days with sustained winds of 80 km/h. Once the storm abated, we headed north again. Georgia doesn’t have much to offer except marshland.

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Viko S35

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I am lucky to have the opportunity to helm many types of boats. I am even more lucky to sail boats on champagne fall days when many boats are either being hauled for the winter, or are already under shrink-wrap.

Not only are there great winds – usually offshore, but welcome sunshine and open waters with few boats out enjoying the last days of September. Joining me for the test sail of the Viko S35 was the former publisher of Canadian Yachting, Greg Nicoll, and the Canadian Viko Yachts representative, Eric Beauregard, who had driven down from Montreal.

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Four Winns H4By Andy Adams

The well-known Four Winns brand is now a part of the international boatbuilder Groupe Beneteau and the new H4 is a great example of how the design and engineering resources of Beneteau can up the game even for a brand like Four Winns that has a long and distinguished history.

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It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul out was still over a month away. The question was: where to now? Friends in Meaford often suggested we sail in for a visit. We never had because we’d always moved north-south on the east side of Georgian Bay. This year we were up for something different. This was the perfect opportunity to cruise the west side of the bay.

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