A Conversation with John Neal

Highlights from Mahina Expeditions' 2014 Pacific training season and a look forward to future voyages  (published December 2014) It was a typical Pacific Northwest fall day, grey and spitting rain, when I walked from my boat to the Mahina Expeditions office in Friday Harbor, Washington. I hadn’t seen John and

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Pelican Bay, Cayo Costa, Florida

26 41.10N 82 14.25W “Range yourself between ICW marker R74 and the sign near the beach. At this point, you need to be ready to get uncomfortably close to the sandy spit on your starboard side as you turn to port,” a friend explained as he drew a small chart

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Best of the Grenadines

  Choose your own adventure in one of the Caribbean's finest cruising grounds  (published October 2014) A strong easterly breeze and hefty quartering sea had us moving quickly towards and then past St. Vincent on our way to the Grenadines as puffy white clouds scuttled by. It was one of

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Knowledge is Freedom

How upper-level cruising courses can take your passagemaking skills to new distances  (published August 2014) Somewhere between Tortola and St. Martin I sat on the leeward side of the cockpit on a windy, pitch-black night and dropped a blinking strobe light into an empty one-gallon water jug and then sealed

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All Together Now

A family charter in the British Virgin Islands creates lasting memories and leaves the crew yearning for more  (published August 2014) [caption id="attachment_6648" align="alignleft" width="486"] Jill, Porter, Russ and Beth at the Moorings base[/caption] Firmly wedged between the cockpit table and the windward settee, my nephew George napped in his

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Ewing Cove, Sucia Island Washington

A springtime trip to the San Juan Islands reveals empty anchorages and splendid hiking  (published July 2014) My eyes darted quickly from the slowly dropping depth meter to rocks on either side of us as we slipped into Ewing Cove on the northeast side of Sucia Island. When our depth

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Dufour 560

Performance and comfort combine to create a cruiser that will be happy at sea or anchor  (published October 2014) The spinnaker had just filled and was getting trimmed when someone hollered, “Heat it up!” I obliged from the windward helm and then watched our boatspeed jump while I brought us

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Get On Up…Wind

Tips and tricks for trimming your sails upwind  (published June 2014) While leading a flotilla of six boats in the Caribbean, we had a day of sailing to windward from our anchorage in Montserrat to Jolly Harbour, Antigua and the wind was suppose to build as the day progressed. Based

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Life Raft Servicing

Taking proper care of your life raft is critical to making sure it will work when you need it most  (published May 2014) When I stepped into my life raft at Westpac Marine Services in Tacoma, Wash. and sat down, I tried to imagine what it would be like to

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