David at the Helm
Wind, northeast steady at 20, gusting to 30. Seas only a few feet as we are sailing on a broad reach across Penonbscot Bay, heading back to Rockport, Maine, our homeport. Fair-Thee-Well, a 42-foot wood sloop was my second sailboat and the first to carry me offshore to the Caribbean in 1980 and to the Bahamas in 1984. She was designed by Geared Hendle and built in Camden in 1947 by Maclomb Brewer. She was a demanding lady, requiring a lot of attention (not to mention money), but she taught me more lessons than I learned in college. Photo by Kate Carter, 1979.
One of my favorite places, besides Maine, is the West Indies, specifically the Eastern Caribbean Islands. When not in Maine skiing, sailing, or writing, I can be found among those islands. Behind me is Mount Pelee, towering above the village of Saint Pierre on the French island of Martinique.
Thanks for dropping in.
I’ve been a magazine man most of my professional career—writing, editing, photographing, designing, and laying out publications.
So, if this website looks a little like a magazine, you'll know why.
I've gathered up my magazine articles, essays, books, photographs, and videos and put them in one place. Poke around. There’s a lot to see and read—after all, I’ve been at this for some time.
I've been telling stories since I was old enough to talk. I've worked in radio, television, newspapers, and magazines, authored a few books, published hundreds of magazine articles, made thousands of photographs, and created a few videos. I've built businesses, launched a summer school, and founded a college. I've owned and sailed four different sailboats and skippered a few for other owners.
Most of my creative work has involved writing about my adventures, voyages, and explorations into fear and into the very nature of creativity itself. Even being a father has been an adventure. I’ve climbed mountains and skied down them, often too fast and out of control. Why? To scare the bejesus out of myself. I want to feel what it's like to be on The Edge, to live on the other side of "my comfort zone." To face the fear. I’ve sailed more than 50,000 miles offshore between Maine and the Caribbean, most of it alone, and survived three hurricanes for much the same reasons. My sailboats have allowed me to explore the sea, visit far-off islands, and live with nature. All these adventures have taught me something and given me something to write about and share.
This became my career.
Back in 1973, I launched a summer school for my fellow storytellers. It wasn’t that I had anything to teach them; it was because I had a lot to learn from them. What I learned was not what I'd expected. What I did learn, as is often the case with any adventure, was what I needed to know about myself. It was, as I discovered, the voyage itself, not the destination, that was the teacher.
There a new video on my Youtube channel
This is for skippers making their first apprach to Bermuda, and those who haven't been in while. It covers a brief introduction to:
Prepartions, weather, crossing the Gulf Stream, routing, the paper work, approaching, contacting Bermuda Radio, entering St. Georges Harbor, Customs and Immigrations and where to get stuff, like food, fuel and repairs.