Last year I went to the North Sails loft in Charleston, S.C. I spoke to John and Tripp about the new NORTH SAILS 3Di formed sails. On their recommendation I ordered the 3Di sails.

At first I was thinking, what the hell have I done? New sails are expensive. So after relaying my reluctance to my friend Paul. His 2 comments were, “ You wanna win races , buy NORTH SAILS.” “Once the sails are on the boat you wont look back because you will be WINNING.” and he was right !!!

I looked back at what I had spent on the Dacron set of sails 6 years ago, surprisingly with the North sails discount it was 1200.00 more for the 3Di sails.

Tripp and John at North Sails have given me impeccable service as well as a great set of sails.

DIRECTION on the hill...

DIRECTION on the hill...

For the last week and a half DIRECTION has been on  the hill. Mini Refit, gate valves, glass repairs, new paint job. A little tardy, ready for 2017 charter season Lets GO Sailing!!!

November 17, 2013 CORA Chilli cook off

On Thursday the 17th CORA (Charleston Ocean Racing Association) had our annual chilli cook off.  16 boats entered thier warm crock pots of chilli. Ok 15 boats had warm crock pots of chilli , Marc on ALLIANCE put an ALLIANCE logo on two , gallon cans cold  beans. So around we went taste testing all  the differnent entries ranging from chilli with a shot of Rum provided by Fred on MOON RIVER very good, to several variations including a version of pork chilli. The fire was lit, it may have only been 40* outside,  but I was sweatin it out already. We ate and then the tally was taken. DIRECTION got the most beans (votes) and won the chilli cook off.  The next day  the chilli took revenge, chilli 3,big john 0. 1 Shart.

10 Phrases you didnt know that originated from SAILING.

“A clean bill of health”
According to this phrase derives from the days when the crew of ocean going ships might be a little less than hygienic, so they needed to present a certificate, carried by a ship, attesting to the presence or absence of infectious diseases among the ship’s crew and at the port from which it has come.


“Feeling Blue”
How often do you hear people talking about feeling blue or have the blues? An entire genre of music comes from this phrase. Who knew that came from the world of sailing? explains the popular phrase comes from a custom that was practiced when a ship lost its captain during a voyage. The ship would fly blue flags and have a blue band painted along her hull when she returned to port.

“Pipe down”
Parents have been screaming “pipe down” to their kids forever, but where does that actually come from? Apparently, Pipe Down was the last signal from the Bosun’s pipe each day, which meant lights-out, quiet down, time to go to bed.

“Over a barrel”
We all know when someone has you “over a barrel” things aren’t going well. This saying is used all the time these days to indicate being severely compromised, but it began in the most literal way. Sailor crew would sometimes be punished for their misgivings and that involved being tied over a cannon barrel and whipped. It’s no wonder that one stuck around. Yikes.

“Toe the line”
Perhaps you’ve been at work and your boss has scowled at you and said, “toe the line, or you’re gone”. If this has happened to you, we are sorry, that sounds like a horrible work environment. But, if you were wondering about the origins of his demand, it’s an old naval expression that refers to a ship’s crew who would be called to gather and form a line with their toes all touching a given seam (or line) of the deck planking.

“By and Large”
Folks say this one all the time to refer to the big picture. “By and large, ASA is the most awesome organization in existence”… something like that. This term got started on a sailboat with the word “by” meaning into the wind and “large” meaning off the wind. So sailors would say: “By and large this ship handles quite nicely.”

“Loose cannon”
Everyone has known a few people who are loose cannons – unpredictable and dangerous on some level. Not surprisingly the term comes from when a ship’s cannon would come loose from it’s lashing. The big dangerous thing would be sliding all over the place making for some uncomfortable time on deck trying to get that bad boy back in its spot.

“A square meal”
People often talk about getting three “square meals” a day…what the hell is a square meal? It’s actually quite simple – the wooden plates back in the days of tall ships were square.

“Hand over fist”
These days this phrase usually refers to making a bunch of money, although it can refer to anything happening fast and in abundance. It comes from a more literal origin – sailors would be tugging at lines as fast as they could, hand over fist, to trim sheets and raise sails.

“Son of a gun”
It’s amazing that this phrase has lasted so long. Back in the day, as you might imagine, sailors were often less than virtuous and every once in a while a “lady friend” of a crewman might give birth to a child on the ship. A good spot for this sort of thing was between the guns on the gun deck. Now let’s say this little rascal isn’t claimed by any of the aforementioned sleazy sailors, this little grommet would sometimes be called a “son of a gun”.                                                              PROVIDED BY THE AMERICAN SAILING ASSOCIATION

Double Handed Race 10/22/2016

 On Saturday 10/22- S/V DIRECTION participated in CORA's Double Handed race. Sebastian crewed and Big John skipperd.The wind was out of the ENE at 10 to 15 knots and puffy.  D fleet sailed course thirteen. We went three times around the J mark, three times around the BP mark, then off to the finish. The course was a little over five miles with seven boats participating in the class.                                                                                                                   ENGLISH BEAT won the start.  It was nip and tuck as Las Brisas came up hard to weather and nearly kissed the stern of Direction. A few moments later Direction returned the favor by heading hard to weather and came within 6 inches of Las Brisas stern. The first rounding at the BP mark was tight quarters, with a slight outgoing tide. Layla took the lead and stayed ahead. It wasn't untill mid race when the boats started to separate. Direction shot leward of Kelly Krew, above Ibis, passing three boats including Las Brisas. On the next to last leg Direction out-pointed Las Brisas to the J mark, forcing her to do an extra tack. Direction moved ahead of Las Brisas into second place. The last leg was an exciting finish as Direction beat Las Brias to the finish line, by less than a half of a boat length. In the end DIRECTION corrected over Layla for a first place finish.   

Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew wasn't Direction's first hurricane, so she knew what to do. A dock is about the worst place for a boat in a storm or hurricane because you're relying on everyone else to tie their vessels down securely. Lots of absentee boat owners in a marina means lots of bumper boat situations, and even some that are secured can come loose. Hurricanes are totally unpredictable.  We anchored Direction up a deep local creek, removed all her sails and rigging, and hoped Matthew would be kind. He wasn't to everyone, but it sure could have been worse for most of us.

Here are some great shots of pre-Matthew Charleston taken by our local friend Jason Crichton of Jason Crichton Photography. You can follow him on Facebook for even more interesting photos from the Holy City. Otherwise, we're back, we're sailing in beautiful weather, and we'd love to have you aboard. Book your trip now and let's go!




A Midwesterner's "Learn to Sail" Weekend

Life is short. You should be the one at the helm.
— Captain John

Last month we had a fun "Learn to Sail" weekend on Direction. A local sailor called me and said her friend Doug just bought a 24 ft. sailboat- but didn't know how to sail. Learning was on his bucket list, and she suggested that instead of years of trial and error (and smashing into things), that he come down to Charleston from Indiana for a 'Learn to Sail' weekend on Direction. She asked if I'd be willing to do a teaching charter. I love teaching, so of course I said yes.

As many of you know, I was a former instructor at the Marine Institute where I taught kids who were on probation or parole how to sail. Some of them had never even been in a boat and were terrified of the water - but with the right instruction they gained skill and confidence. So yes, believe me - whatever your fears or phobias about the water or boats - we can overcome it. Been there, done that.

We had great wind for Doug's sailing lessons - in fact, one of the best sailing weekends we had this year in Charleston.

With winds at steady 10 knots gusting to 15 to 18, we had plenty of power. Doug brought a couple of friends along and they all learned lots about sailing safety, how to use the radio to hail other boats, the marina and the Coast Guard, some essential knots, sail trim, how to steer the boat under sail and power, and what it feels like to heel over for speed.

Saturday and Sunday we started early and sailed until early afternoon. We knocked off in time for the crew to clean up then go enjoy doing tourist stuff in Charleston. I hear that mainly involved eating oysters and sampling local brews.

I think one of the things everyone who sails on Direction enjoys is being the one on the sailboat cruising around the harbor instead of the person standing on the pier, waving at sailboats and dreaming. After all, life is short - you should be the one at the helm - or at least the one relaxing on the foredeck with a beverage.

Doug enjoyed a nice weekend in Charleston, plus he went home confident enough to take his own boat out with his kids and guests aboard.

The nice thing about a private sailing class - whether it's a day or a weekend is you don't have to share tiller time with a bunch of other people. I've also seen people hold back questions in group classes because they don't want to be the novice. In a private sailing class the whole point is to be a novice - you get to ask all the basic questions you want in privacy. You're just going to learn more, and learn faster in a private class. Direction is also a stable, solid boat who has seen her share of newbies. You can trust her.

I love teaching people to sail - if you'd like to learn or just brush up on your skills - fall and early winter are perfect sailing conditions in Charleston. Send me an email today and let's go sailing. Remember today's lesson: Life is short. Take the helm.