One beautiful August evening last summer we were sailing to meet friends in the Canadian Gulf Islands when the wind died. The tidal current just happened to be at peak ebb on Boundary Pass, so we furled the sails and fired up the engine.
My wife and I were aboard Eftihia, our Beneteau 331, sailing from Jost Van Dyke to Beef Island one beautiful afternoon in the British Virgin Islands. Our plan was to rendezvous with friends for dinner at The Last Resort in Trellis Bay, which lay a few miles to windward through restricted waters.
On arriving at Alligator River Marina after a 15-mile passage across Albemarle Sound, we got a bit of a surprise. The place was practically empty, which was weird considering it was October, the height of snowbird season.
I first went to New Zealand in 2006. I was 20 years old and setting off on my first long journey away from home, bound for Brisbane, Australia, for a semester of college at the University of Queensland.
I watched through stinging spray as my fiberglass dinghy was swamped, turned into a sea anchor, and then quickly snapped its painter as my O’Day 31 surfed down 6-foot seas on Long Island Sound. It probably was unwise to be out on the water that day.
I hate this time of year. Some of my friends wax rhapsodic about crisp fall air, the changing of the leaves and the coming holidays. But all I can see at the end of October is the end of the sailing season and the long winter stretching out before me.