I have always loved sailing beginning with racing an Ensign in college to extensive cruising in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Sea of Cortez.

On passage from Astypalaia to Nisyros, Greece. That early May morning was a bit chilly. Dr. Larry Sall (dean emeritus of libraries at UTD) and I completed many wonderful voyages in Greek waters. My experience includes sailing approximately 4500 miles among Greek islands. Several gales are included.

Ripping along on a passage to Bequia on the heels of a tropical wave. Hand steering was a lot of fun that day. On board is a crew of graduate students from the University of Texas at Dallas. I have sailed among almost all of the islands from Puerto Rico east and south to the Grenadines (a total of approximately 6500 miles in Caribbean waters). A few of our trips were quite rough including one that involved surfing a fifty-foot yacht down huge Atlantic rollers on a particularly exciting passage from Saint Barths to Antigua. Fewer still were passages so calm that the only disturbance was unimpressive longwave ground swell.

Sailing Galveston Bay aboard our sailboat Yankee. While the Texas coast can be interesting, it is almost time to head for new waters.

As is not uncommon for an older classic from New England, Yankee has a working fireplace.


S/V Yankee was built in 1969 by the legendary Hinckley Company. She is presently being completely updated in Dallas. Aside from the new Volvo Penta diesel, pretty much every system is being replaced. In addition to sailing the East and Gulf Coasts of the U.S., Yankee has been to Bermuda several times. Her next major cruise will be in 2019 and 2020 to favorite Caribbean islands. Wandering the French Caribbean islands will suit just fine. As usual, St. Barths, Guadeloupe, and Iles des Saintes will deserve a great deal of attention. Extended side trips to English Harbour, Antigua and La Desirade (via the ferry) will be in order. (Some of my original research involves work on La Desirade funded by the National Science Foundation.)  During hurricane season, Yankee will be strapped down to a welded cradle on a concrete pad. Insurance and potential hurricanes must be considered. Following that, Yankee I will sail Yankee to the Mediterranean. She will likely reside there for many years. 

Royal Yachting Association

Years ago I earned the Yachtmaster Offshore Certficate of Competence from the Royal Yachting Association. I also completed the class and exam components for the Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate, and will complete the documented ocean passage portion soon. This passage requires the use of a sextant for navigation. 

Sailing in the UK is a serious experience. If you have the inclination (and, perhaps, stamina), I would heartedly recommend training at a RYA facility such as this one. For those of us who have a rather lot of previous experience, a week of prep can be booked followed by a rigorous on-the-water exam. Mine took place at night in the Solent. It was cold, rough, wet, and involved fun activities such as sailing for various assigned points on opposite shores while having all sorts of examiner-generated complications occur. A skipper must deal with lots of traffic (including a U.S. Navy fleet, in my case), substantial currents, and major tides. Additionally, during the week of prep, a huge HMCG (Her Majesty's Coast Guard) helicopter appeared and asked permission to land a man on our deck. Like this, only on a sailboat with a 20 m mast. Exciting stuff.