Fogbound

The east side of the Bustard Islands was all shoals and breakers, with a broad band of granite shelves and outcroppings stretching half a mile or more offshore. Typical for Georgian Bay, I knew, where the safest routes run well outside to avoid the rocks, or follow the well-buoyed passages of the charted small-craft route that traverses Georgian Bay’s eastern shoreline.

The Voyage of the MARY SAVAGE

t was the spring of 1988, the year I turned seven, and Dad was restless. Mom was happy on our little homestead. Dad had built a log cabin for us on the hill at the north end of the family property, as well as a blacksmith shop, a sawmill, a henhouse, goat barn, horse barn, . . .

TORNGAT

When you catch a big fish, you take a photo. When you pass a grounded iceberg, you do the same. The notorious Iceberg Alley passes down the Labrador coast just a few miles offshore; ’bergs often drift from the current and go aground on Labrador shallows. Geof and TORNGAT check one out.

he year was 1979. My friend Geof Heath and I needed a special boat for a special project—a climbing expedition along the wild and mountainous coast of Labrador. The boat had to meet conflicting requirements: it had to be large enough to carry us, our food supplies, extra fuel, and climbing and camping gear, all . . .

The Canoes of Guna Yala

Justino blew a whistle, and the race was on. The ulu crews hurried to clear the docks, paddling to turn the boats, then easing the sheets to catch the tailwinds down to Ubicandup (Isla Nellie), the first marker of the course. Kate and I joined the ALLIANCE crew on their outboard-powered tender to follow the race. By the time we were all aboard and left the dock, the ulus were surprisingly far ahead of us. The shallow-draft canoes glided over coral heads and sandbanks as their crews picked the most direct course. We had to weave through unfamiliar reefs, reducing speed and lifting the outboard over obstructions. We eventually got back into the action, just in time to see the ulus go around the first marker. Each helmsmen maneuvered using a large paddle, or cammi, and trimmed the mainsail. The single crewman aboard each ulu bailed, tended the jibsheets, and hiked out, standing on the gunwale and pulling a line tied high on the mast. At every tack, each helmsman paddled the ulus through the turns until the bow crossed the wind and settled on the new course.

LEGOLAS

eter Knape was once stuck behind an office desk in a soulless building in the business district of Arnhem in Holland. Year after year, his demanding career had sapped both his time and energy. He longed for a quiet life with freedom, and independence. He realized his destiny was in his own hands, and that . . .

From Father to Son

CURLEW began as I was making the transition from teaching school to becoming a musician and caretaker for the family land here just north of Vicksburg, Mississippi. The large tract of land has been in the family since my great-great-grandfather, Benson Blake, settled here in the 1830s. Once a grand sweep of woods and farmland, it is much reduced, but six generations later, we Blakes are still here.

From the Channel to the Med

When my husband Mat and I set off from Sidmouth, England, our destination was the Mediterranean, roughly 870 miles (1,400km) south. We planned to reach it through the inland waterways of France. We had two months off work and arranged for friends to meet us with the boat trailer in the port of Sète on August 5, 2017, to bring us home. We estimated we’d need to row at least six hours every day to make it. With just weeks to go before we planned to depart, Mat finished our boat, DUNLIN. The lapstrake dinghy, 13′ 7″ long with a 4′ 6″ beam, was the first boat he’d built and is based on a traditional workboat designed for both rowing and sailing with a gaff sloop rig.

Uncertain Ground

At low tide BONZO came to rest on the sand close to the line of shipwrecks. I didn't get to do as much exploring as I'd hoped—the mud surrounding the sand bars was far too sticky.

I sailed along the edge of Possession Sound toward a breakwater made of six wrecked ships set bow-to-stern in an orderly line one-third of a mile long. With the tide up, only the ragged ends of frames and some of the diagonal planking were visible, blackened with age and bristled with the iron rods that once held the ships together. About 50′ from the line of wrecks I dropped the anchor, dragging it along under sail until the flukes set and brought BONZO to a stop.

A Boat for the Summer

We had to wait for the tide to rise for us to cross a shallow spot in Cramer Passage at Broughton Island, so Koen passed the time doing some solo sailing.

The following week, we crept along the Sunshine Coast and got acquainted with the scale of the British Columbia landscape, a tidal range approaching 16’, and an abundance of drifting logs and deadheads. We made an overnight stop at Wilson Creek and raided the supermarket the next morning, stocking up on flour, oats, nuts, raisins, and powdered milk. Although our supplies were as simple as the boat itself, Koen saw to it that we would have a culinary high point every day. He had brought his sourdough starter; it was so dear to him that it even had a name: Jesaja. In the morning, the sweet smell of fresh bread filled the air; Koen was beaming at what he had created in our two frying pans.

Wolf Rock Light

Will’s madcap plan was to sail around every offshore lighthouse in Britain. The project began in March 2012 when he and his wife Sara sailed around the Eddystone Lighthouse, 13 miles south of Plymouth, in a 14′ open dinghy. The couple did that trip to raise money for WaterAid, a global nonprofit devoted to bringing clean drinking water and hygiene education to disadvantaged communities, and the idea grew from there. Will’s scheme is an ambitious one, not least because of the sheer number of offshore lighthouses—at least 50—but also the remoteness of some, for example, Sule Skerry is 35 miles north of Scotland. But Will isn’t in any hurry, and regards it as a lifetime project.

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