I love early mornings spent aboard a boat. Whether I’m heading out for a passage and watching the sun rise while underway, or waking up in a new port, that first sip of coffee in the morning sure is satisfying. Equally as delicious and anticipated is entering a destination anchorage or dock, tidying up the boat and settling in for an afternoon cocktail…perhaps a cold beer or yachtsman’s special. It’s a great feeling to know that you’ve arrived and there is nothing more to do than relax onboard, or hop off the boat to explore. Indeed, some destinations are great for staying aboard, while others are ideal for heading into town.

WindCheck recently held the Second Annual SailQuest boat show at Milford Lisman Landing in Milford, CT. For the brokers and showgoers who’d never visited the harbor before, the consensus was that downtown Milford is not only a perfect spot for the show, but also a great place to visit by boat. Milford is one such ‘in-town’ destination. Whether you stay at Port Milford or Milford Lisman Landing, a very short walk will have you in the heart of town with plenty to do. There are no worries about what time the last launch is running, and no apprehension about navigating the dinghy back to a mooring after dark or working out a cab ride to the boat at the end of the evening.

On page 28, you’ll find an article about sailing opportunities in New York, NY and Newport, RI. It can be said that New York and Newport are the sort of destinations that may be viewed by novice sailors as intimidating. Many other sailors simply don’t have the time or opportunity to sail their own boats to these ports, and consequently, their view of the harbor is often from shore. But that needn’t be the case. Even if you drive or take the train, getting out on the water is a lot easier than you might think. One of the best things about sailing with the Manhattan Sailing School, Offshore Sailing School, Hudson River Community Sailing or Halcyon Sailing in New York, or J World or Blue Water Sailing School in Newport – besides not having to actually own a boat – is that when you’re finished you can head out on the town for a glass of wine to reflect on the day.

On page 32, a mere couple-hour sail from the action off the docks in Milford and roughly equidistant from New York and Newport, you’ll find quaint, historic Guilford, CT. The similarities between Milford and Guilford are many – both towns boast beautiful central greens and are dotted with period houses – but the boating experience is somewhat different. A walk along the varied beaches as the day breaks is the draw for me, so instead of an arrival cocktail, Guilford is the sort of place where I enjoy savoring that early morning coffee.

The variety of cruising destinations in this issue, which also has an article with great tips for making a passage to Maine, will allow for a memorable boating experience whether you’re a novice or a pro, and whether you have a week to spend aboard your own boat or a few hours at a school or sailing center. No matter which destination you visit, whether a small, protected cove or in the shadow of the city skyline – or how you choose to kick back once you’ve arrived – no libation or cup of coffee tastes quite as good as one enjoyed aboard the boat, or just after a day on the water.

…And here’s the disclaimer about having the cocktail on board: Don’t be stupid. See you on the water.


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