Unhitched and Afloat in Clear Waters
Grassroots energy and enthusiasm—plus a willingness to drive many miles to the destination—make Arizona’s Havasu Pocket-Cruiser Convention an annual winter success. "Passage Notes" from our November 2011 issue.
Singlehander: Larry Yake
Larry Yake, a relative newcomer to sailing, is another pocket cruiser who’s used nautical networking to maximize his enjoyment of the sport. Whitewater rafting and kayaking occupied his recreational time while he grew up in the eastern part of Washington state. When he turned 40, he combined his interests in water activities and weather patterns to teach himself to sail.
At first, escaping alone to the wilderness on Corndog, his Montgomery 19, he enjoyed exploring two of Idaho’s gems, Priest and Pend Oreille lakes. “I liked sailing alone and anchoring at night to watch the stars and northern lights,” says Yake, but eventually his desire to sail with—and learn from—others led him to various small-craft websites and flotilla cruising.
Before long, Yake was leading his own cruises to the San Juan Islands for Montgomery owners. He does this every other year, and he’s now organizing his seventh event. “I’m always thrilled by people’s first reactions to the absolute beauty of the San Juan Islands,” he says. “It’s always fun to go in a group, and I always learn something new from other sailors.” His latest two-week event was set to include more than 25 boats.
One of Yake’s joys remains sailing and exploring solo. “Last June, I trailered my boat farther north into Canada, took a ferry across to Vancouver Island, then drove another 100 miles north to Desolation Sound,” he says. “Wow! Rugged mountains, waterfalls, wildlife, great anchorages, huge, 20-foot tide swings, and, best of all, no crowds in June!” Yake has completed extensive modifications to Corndog and is happy to share his ideas. Future plans include a cruise following the Inside Passage through Canadian and Alaskan waters.
Pocket-Cruiser Convention fan Mark Wilson sails Triggerfish, his Catalina 18, out of Huntington Lake, California.