Voyaging with Velella: First Class Tickets

By: American Sailing Association

Continuing the Voyaging with Velella series by ASA writer-at-large Meghan Cleary. Meghan, Prescott, and their kitten Nessie have just concluded a 6-month sailing adventure in Mexico and are returning to explore the Pacific Northwest by sail. I was extremely tired from traveling as I walked into a Wal-Mart to pick up some cat food yesterday. I barely noticed the huge display of familiar Mexican food items in front of me: masa harina, pan tostadas, cane sugar bottled Cokes, Penginos, and other typical corner store stock. It slowly dawned on me that literally everyone around me was speaking Spanish too—and I …

Voyaging with Velella: Going Home

By: American Sailing Association

Continuing the Voyaging with Velella series by ASA writer-at-large Meghan Cleary. Meghan, Prescott and their cat Nessie are concluding an extended cruise along the coast of Mexico. We are anchored amongst a thicket of sailboats in La Paz. The sunsets here are look like a forest of masts on fire, trailing red smoking clouds across the evening sky. We’ve returned to the flock. As daunting as it is in some ways to re-enter “society” after weeks in island isolation in the Sea of Cortez, I’ve always loved being in the company of other boats. We row to shore during the …

Voyaging with Velella: The World a Spare Room

By: American Sailing Association, Sailboats

Continuing the “Voyaging with Velella” series by ASA writer-at-large Meghan Cleary. Meghan, her fiance Prescott, and their kitten Nessie are on a planned 9-month cruise in the tropics. He’s driving me completely nuts. We’ve had a lovely “early honeymoon” this week, sinking into the solitude with each other (after a month of guests aboard) and exploring some of the most remote anchorages we’ve yet seen. As the sole boat in an enormous reef-fringed anchorage on an uninhabited island, you can hike up the cliff in the nude if you feel like it! There’s nobody for miles but the scuttling crabs …

Voyaging with Velella: There’s This One Place…

By: American Sailing Association, Sailboats

Continuing the “Voyaging with Velella” series by ASA writer-at-large Meghan Cleary. Meghan, her fiance Prescott, and their kitten Nessie are on a planned 9-month cruise in the tropics. A V-shaped notch opens at a sharp slant to the Northeast on the very northern edge of Isla Carmen, about midway up the Sea of Cortez. This particular spot is not a place many people get to visit. More often than not, the weather makes it an unsuitable anchorage, and when the weather does behave, there’s room for only one boat, maybe two. This week, we happened to be in the right …

Voyaging with Velella: Baja Hospitality

By: American Sailing Association, Sailboats

Continuing the “Voyaging with Velella” series by ASA writer-at-large Meghan Cleary. Meghan, her fiance Prescott, and their kitten Nessie are on a planned 9-month cruise in the tropics. The Sea of Cortez is adorned with striking contrasts: dry pink cliffs standing up out of drinkably blue water, lime green cacti amidst creamy soft sand dunes, the throbbing sounds of Carnival resonating against black nights glittering with millions of stars. Just a short way from the southern Sea of Cortez base of La Paz, where we picked up friends for a week-long cruise, all traces of civilization drop off completely. Our …

Voyaging with Velella: Entrance Exam

By: American Sailing Association, Sailboats, Social Media, Weather

Continuing the “Voyaging with Velella” series by ASA writer-at-large Meghan Cleary. Meghan, her fiance Prescott, and their kitten Nessie are on a planned 9-month cruise in the tropics. Last week, after over three months living on the lush tropical coast of mainland Mexico, it felt strange to be leaving it for good. We spent a couple of nights sleeping soundly in the gloriously still estuary at San Blas, surrounded by complete peace. The morning of our departure was hazy; the water still as glass, broken only by pelicans. The sails hung like rags and we drifted. Finally, we decided to …