Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Biggest Cruising Mistake

My father sailed extensively with a man who cruised for eighty-one years. He was taken on cruises as an infant and he cruised until the end: the New England coast, points south, the Caribean, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and beyond. His crews were nearly always content and happy.

Among his secrets was never committing to a destination for the day's sail. This tip is so obvious as not to require elaboration, but I think quite often novice boaters ignore it, and maybe we're all guilty of that from time to time. I spoke to a friend who early one summer took a short cruise with her husband and kids in their powerboat, a 25 foot enlarged runabout type. Leaving Portland, the wind was whistling and in their teeth, the sky was grey and low, and there was a sea running. But they were bound and determined to make Boothbay Harbor (a forty mile trip) and by God they did, wet, angry and tired.

More about cruise planning tomorrow.

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