Cruising World

Cruising World

The Charter Issue 2020

Cruising World is your passport for exploring the world’s coastlines and oceans while voyaging under sail. Its contributors inspire and entertain through stories, pictures and videos that underscore the beauty and adventure of sailing, while providing instruction on the disciplines of seamanship, navigation and boat handling. The Cruising World community is made up of experienced, committed sailors and boat owners. No matter their long-range sailing plans, Cruising World’s mission is to nurture their dreams with practical how-to information and stirring real-life adventure features.

United States
Bonnier Corporation


when in the sea of cortez

Bucket-List Wildlife Encounters Wildlife experiences can’t be scripted, but location, seasonality and sometimes a guide enable a special few to be virtually assured in the Sea of Cortez. Whale sharks: Swim with the largest fish in the world in the fall, when they gather to troll for plankton in the waters of La Paz’s shallow bay. Dolphins: Multiple species inhabit the sea, and passing pods are a daily occurrence. It’s possible to see mega-pods of a thousand stretching across the horizon. California sea lions: Swim with these comic tricksters at Los Islotes, a daysail from La Paz. Near Loreto, there is another sea lion colony that camps on the east side of Isla Coronado. Blue-footed boobies: The turquoise-toed birds are famously photographed in the Galapagos but can also be seen perched on Isla Partida or…

our beautiful backyard

“By any name you call it—staycationing, quaranteaming, family adventuring, notching another checkmark on the bucket list—sailing in America is booming again.” Remember the good old days, when all you talked about was going out on charter, or taking sailing lessons so you were qualified to do so? Now, like just about everything else in a pandemic era, the times have demanded new labels for recreational sailing and instruction. Staff at Club Nautique on San Francisco Bay, like many others in the industry, immediately heeded the call: Socially Acceptable Independent Leisure (SAIL) became their go-to slogan. “We offered a basic keelboat and basic cruising package of instruction to families,” says Don Durant, chief executive officer. “We’d tried it a few years ago with no success, but in 2020 the timing was right. It’s…

resources for the journey

Iceland Yacht Charter: The company (icelandyachtcharter.com) has five bareboat charter vessels available, four Bavaria sailboats, ranging from 37 to 50 feet, and an Arvor 215 power cabin cruiser. They are docked behind Reykjavik’s famous concert hall, the Harpa. A licensed captain is required to charter. Boats come with a good chart plotter at the helm and paper charts, but bring tablet or phone navigation as backup. Our Bavaria 50s were fully capable and comfortable even in the worst weather; as with any charter boat, check out your boat thoroughly during the briefing. Cruising season is June through early September. We were their first American customers. Cruising guide: Arctic and Northern Waters, including Faeroe, Iceland and Greenland, by Andrew Wells, RCC Pilotage Foundation. Written by hardcore cold-weather sailors, it has a wealth…

what to expect

Prices are high in Iceland, especially for food and alcohol. A $15 bottle of Beefeaters gin in the US was $30 in the duty-free store in Keflavik Airport and $60 in the Vinbudin state-run liquor stores. We found that these stores have irregular hours and can be hard to catch while open. The country’s environmental record is mixed. Eighty percent of Iceland’s energy is produced by clean geothermal or hydropower sources, yet Iceland is the only country that allows hunting of endangered puffins and one of the few that still permits whaling. There is only one company in Iceland that hunts whales but many that run tourist whale-watching trips. Icelanders note that only tourists tend to eat whale meat. And while Iceland is famous for its world-class cooking, it’s also infamous for…

into the ice

WHEN I WOKE, MY SEASICKNESS HAD subsided to a general feeling of queasy unease, like snapping to in someone else’s house after a big night out. The constant slamming of the previous two days was gone, replaced with gyroscopic rigidity. The boat was on rails. The sea bubbled along the hull and a curious clicking sound tickled the side of the boat, like there was something loose in the bilge. But the noise came from outside: a pod of dolphins caressing us with their sonar. Other, subtler sounds filtered through. Distant music, melodious but indistinct. Was it whale song? I was grateful to be free from the nausea, so grateful that it didn’t occur to me that the Southern Ocean should not be smooth, particularly Drake Passage, south of Cape Horn—the…

2 new beginnings

CHARTERING If you’ve gone sailing off on charter vacation before, you’re familiar with the usual drill upon arrival at a dream destination. Guests typically land at the local airport and travel to the charter base via a charter-company-owned shuttle or a taxi for an in-person check-in. Celebratory libations are common, followed by a detailed chart briefing and an extensive boat walkthrough with a base captain. Then, skipper and crew often spend their first night aboard at the charter base preparing for a morning departure. But, like so much else in 2020, these rituals have changed. In the midst of a still-unfurling pandemic, charter companies large and small are (more or less) open for business and have taken many preemptive steps to ensure that visitors are as safe aboard their vacation vessels as…