Hope Town Light

Soundings, June 2014

Soundings, June 2014

Elbow Reef Light, as it’s properly named, is one of the few lighthouses left in the world still powered by kerosene and lit by hand, with a lens that rotates by hand-cranked weights.

This story in the June 2014 issue of Soundings profiles one of the prettiest and most historic lighthouses in the world. It received a Merit Award in the 2014 BWI annual contest for Boating Photography.


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BN.1-2Among the most famous wooden schooners in the world, Bluenose has been a floating symbol  of Canada for almost a century.

It is also three boats in one: The original, built in 1921 and sunk in 1946, was a working “saltbanker” fishing boat; it beat every American challenger thrown against it for almost 20 years in the most legendary sailboat races ever held between the U.S. and Canada.

The second Bluenose was built in 1963 to market Schooner beer and dismantled in 2012. Construction of the third and newest Bluenose was completed in 2013, in the same Nova Scotia shipyard where its ancestors were built.

This story, published in the July 2013 Soundings, looks at all the Bluenoses, the people and place that produced them, and why it’s one of the most special boats ever built.

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The Great Loop Gallop

Review of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 34 on the first leg (Annapolis-NYC) of its Great Loop voyage. Published in the August 2012 issue of Soundings.

Great Loop Gallop (reprinted with permisson from Soundings LLC)

Video of Leg 1 (8 mins):

Poplar Island: Success on the Chesapeake Bay

The New Poplar Island

Poplar Island, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is one of the rare environmental success stories in the Chesapeake Bay–and perhaps the most spectacular. Big enough to support farms and a town in the 1800s, it had eroded to less than three acres and was functionally gone by the 1980s. An extremely effective cooperative effort by federal, state and local governments has rebuilt the island to its 1800s footprint using clean dredge spoil from the bay’s approach channels to Baltimore–keeping the city’s docks (and jobs) open to shipping, while recreating a critical nature reserve for rare and threatened Chesapeake Bay wildlife.

The story of Poplar Island is in the July 2012 issue of Soundings.

Click here for a NASA/Landsat satellite timelapse of the island being built.

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Sailing New York City

Soundings, October 2011

New York by water opens a whole new world to the Big Apple. This six-page destination story in the October 2011 issue of Soundings magazine tells how to navigate those hectic urban waters, what you’ll see on the way through, and provides some valuable survival advice from one of New York’s professional tugmasters. Online here. 

This article won first place for Travel/Destination story in the Boating Writers International 2012 writing contest (Sec. 4).

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Soundings video with Capt. Bill Brucato, drawn from the article and using Brucato’s videos: “Let the big boat go first.”

Video of my East River passage

East Coat Sailor Goes (Mid-)West: The Chicago-Mackinac Race

The voyage of Blue Chip, a 36-ft. Mariner and its crew of eight, in the 2010 Chicago-Mackinac Race. “The Mac,” as it’s known, is the longest (333 miles) and oldest (102 years) annual freshwater sailboat race in the world. It is an experience it itself, but a whole new boating experience for a saltwater sailor on a freshwater sea.

Details appear in the January 2011 issue of Soundings magazine (pg. 1, left), online here.

This article won an honorable mention in the Boating Writers International 2012 writing contest for Adventure story (Sec. 5).

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Boating in Baltimore

Soundings, Nov-10

Baltimore is one of the most historic and boater-friendly destinations on the Chesapeake Bay. The city’s legendary Inner Harbor, guarded by Fort McHenry, has great marinas, more boat museums than you can visit in a day, and some great neighborhoods — as described in the November 2010 issue of Soundings magazine.

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