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On Sailboats with Dieter Loibner

A teenager finds her sea legs

Editor’s note: Our sailing editor’s 13-year-old daughter shares her experiences from a three-day cruise aboard the schooner Martha this summer in the Pacific Northwest.

The first time I saw Martha was at her dock, about midnight. I still had a kink in my neck from the flight and the car ride from the airport to Port Townsend, Wash., with my friend Lauren, her dad and her two snoozing siblings. I felt like falling asleep, too, but the prospect of going sailing on a 106-year-old schooner kept me up.

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A world voyage ends on the homestretch

A jubilant Christian Liebergreen rounded Cape Horn, but he dismasted before finishing his adventure.Christian Liebergreen was resting in his bunk below deck. The weather was thick, but nothing he hadn’t seen before. Jonna, he was absolutely confident, was going to handle it. She was his yacht, and he was her captain. Together they were a good team. And this was Liebergreen’s grand adventure: sailing around the world alone, without stops or outside assistance.

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Adrenaline rush: Cup cats and high altitude

The writer got a bird's eye view of sailing mecca Auckland, New Zealand, from this perch on the Sky Tower.The wind was tearing at my orange jumpsuit. It was short at the ankles, and I looked as if I were on the lam from prison, getting treed by a K-9 unit, except that this tree was Auckland’s Sky Tower, rising more than 1,000 feet into the air and I was standing outside on a 4-foot-wide steel grating 630 feet above ground.

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A chandlery to satisfy classic-boat junkies

Toplicht can feed the jones of any classic-boat-junky - sorry, no electronics here.Ah, the intoxicating aroma of oakum, tar and hemp. Rays of light reflected by polished brass and gleaming varnish. Floorboards creaking underfoot. Stepping into the retail store of outfitter Toplicht is a symphony for the senses and a trip to the realm of nautical retro-culture.

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A fastidious Frenchman and his return to the sea

Professional sailor Frederic Boursier is preparing a client and his yacht for a solo circumnavigation.Inch by inch, the long orange rudder moves toward the water. There’s no wind to speak of, which is rare in early March in the Antilles. But the slight ocean swell is enough to make this a delicate operation for the skipper perched on the stern.

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