The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Close to Home, Yet Far Away

With fifteen knots of wind on her port quarter, Maverick V is whipping along nicely, the vane gear keeping her to within a few degrees of true north.

A 60-mile fetch and a growing weather system to the southwest are starting to churn up the kind of short, sharp waves whose period is uncomfortably close to the boat’s natural roll.

Most, if not all, cruising sailors know that feeling—the not-so-subtle message from stomach to brain demanding, “Sell the damn boat and go buy a cottage with a nice solid concrete foundation.” But the feeling is fleeting.

Two hours later, we’ve cleared the Lower Gap and gybed to a starboard-tack broad reach. With the islands and shoals now absorbing the worst of the wave action, the 49-year-old boat is flaunting the “racer” part of her cruiser-racer classification as this late-July cruise nears its end.

The latter part of this site’s title: Adventure Cruising evokes visions of glacier-lined fjords in Norway, or of the rocky cliffs of Patagonia, or of unspoiled white sand beaches stretching halfway to the Pacific horizon. The qualifier, though: Attainable, brings us closer to home:

  • To a passage we can squeeze into a few days away from the office.
  • To a destination just over the horizon.
  • To a place that most of the residents of the nearest city, just twenty miles away, have never heard of and couldn’t find on a map.


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Brian Russell

Beautiful writing. It appears your home port -in the photo of your boat showing the transom- is Narnia? Is there a wardrobe onboard?

Jane Anderson

Beautifully written story. Adventure doesn’t need to be far from home!

Peter Carrie

Thanks for evoking a beautiful memory Matt. As it happens I’m sitting with two of my daughters, now all grown up, who spent many childhood summer days exploring Main Duck. A wonderful spot and our favourite destination on lake Ontario.

Jim Schulz

Matt, thank you for sharing this reminder of what it’s all about!

Ben Logsdon

As a Lake Erie sailor, I love reading stories of Great Lakes cruisies for future destinations. I also have a similar appreciation for the steep chop you described. Thanks for sharing!