Mischief in the Keyway

Mischief in the Keyway

An autopilot failure forces an offshore crew to improvise We had just entered the Gulf Stream heading north from Palm Beach with some 1,100 nautical miles to Martha’s Vineyard when our autopilot failed. Even though we were in settled conditions, we instantly knew the gravity of the issue – that without a reliable repair we would need to turn back or face more than a thousand miles of hand steering including hundreds of miles in the stream, not a pretty prospect, especially with just three on board. Sea Witch is John Stephenson’s 53-foot Pearson ketch. She displaces more than 40…
Read More
The first six thousand miles without Patrick

The first six thousand miles without Patrick

Rebecca Childress readies the wind vane self steering rig aboard her Valiant 40 Brick House. Rebecca with her late husband Patrick Childress who died of COVID 19 in Cape Town in 2020.Rebecca aloft on Brick House performing a pre-departure rig inspection. Brick House’s route from Cape Town to Greneda.The stack pack arrangement for Brick House’s mainsail. Rebecca and her captain for the trip Michael Hayward.The rugged and distinctive landscape in the vicinity of Cape Town, the starting point for Brick House’s passage to Greneda.A rainbow appears as a good omen for Brick House in the anchorage at St. Helena Island.…
Read More
Fall rallies recover from COVID slowdown

Fall rallies recover from COVID slowdown

Boats in Gran Canaria preparing for the 2021 ARC crossing to the Caribbean. Rallies are a popular way for voyagers to cross oceans in the company of other boats. The transatlantic rally known as the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) (www.worldcruising.com) has been around for 35 years. In this year with the COVID pandemic still lingering, there seems to be pent-up demand and the ARC event has 150 entries and even spawned added interest in the ARC’s associated rally the ARC+. The ARC starts from Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands and proceeds 2,700 miles through the northeast trades to…
Read More
Sail Training in the Gulf of Maine

Sail Training in the Gulf of Maine

The schooner Harvey Gamage under sail. Admiral Robin Graf, left, oversees knot-tying practice on the first day of the voyage. Cadets man the jibs during a practice tack. Nothing, not even heavy weather, preempts a birthday cake at the appropriate time. With the foresail already reefed, the Cadets wait for the predicted wind. The training sail took the cadets out into the Atlantic, then back to the Isles of Shoals. Previous Next The sails themselves tell the story: A double-reefed main and single-reefed foresail announce that the ship expects wind, lots of it. The 131-foot schooner Harvey Gamage, operated by…
Read More