updated: 22 February 2018

Cruise your Wayfarer!

In North America, Wayfarer "cruising" has three main annual fixtures:

1. The Rally
This is a camping/daysailing combination whose North American history dates back to 1995. Some of the Danes planning to compete in that year's Worlds at the Toronto Sailing and Canoe Club asked if something could be set up during the week before the Worlds that would let the visitors experience some sight-seeing in Wayfarers outside the big city.

Out of this grew the first of our annual International Rallies at Killbear Park near Parry Sound, Ontario, a place where a number of Canadian Wayfarer families had been spending summer vacations for some time. You can check this out in our Iinternational Rallies archives where you will see that the IR has been well travelled in northern Europe and North America.

In 2000, our master-cruiser, Dick Harrington, inaugurated the North American Rally that immediately became the centre-piece of our non-racing Wayfarer activities. After starting as a three-day weekend, the Rally (which in some years doubles as the International Rally) soon grew to its current week-long format.

Right now these Rallies are in a three-year cycle: Hermit Island, Maine > the Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence (3rd photo right) > Killbear Park. The 2018 Rally will be at Hermit Island on the Atlantic Ocean at the north end of Casco Bay - details here.

These Rallies are the perfect starting place for the beginner. In a week of casual day sailing, the beginner can pair up with the voice of experience and learn at leisure. We are all happy to share what knowledge we have picked up both on the water and ashore.

2. the Chesapeake Cruise
This group-cruise began in 2006 when Dick Harrington introduced us to the "Crisfield Triangle" where we sail Crisfield - Smith Island - Tangier Island - Crisfield. Occasionally we explore other parts of the Eastern Shore. On the open Bay, it pays to be an experienced helm, although we do our best to look after each other. In 2017, we sailed Oxford-Tilghman Island-Slaughter Creek, but in 2018 we will return to the Crisfield Triangle cruise format.

sleeping aboard on Tangier Island

3.  Beach Week.
A third annual cruising event has developed in recent years between two late-season regattas on back-to-back weekends in North Carolina. USWA Commodore, Jim Heffernan, has been inviting us to his beach house on Emerald Isle near Beaufort, NC. In 2017 we sailed in and around Oriental on the Neuse River, which is on the menu for 2018 as well if our planned sail across to Ocracoke Island is "weathered" out. There we pass the time between regattas by daysailing to Cape Lookout and elsewhere. In inclement weather ...

... we play games inside or watch the mood swings of the Atlantic Ocean.

And then, of course, there is the practically limitless scope for Wayfarer cruising virtually anywhere, by yourself or with friends. Why not visit our fine Cruising Log library  and get inspired?

Sleeping aboard can be quite comfortable under a variety of possible ...

...boom tent configurations.

2011: Wayfarers invade the Dutch canals near Heeg as part of a ...

mother-ship Rally.

the 2015 North American Rally on the St. Lawrence River near Wellesley Island

Smith Island, Chesapeake Bay: Breakfast is served.

the tidal flats off Beaufort, NC: The Wayfarer can sail nicely in less than a foot of water.

Casco Bay, Maine: the 2008 International Rally

Gary Hirsch and Uncle Al approach the Mackinac Bridge during the 2011 Tip of the Mitt Adventure.

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