Sailing Kachemak Bay
Sailing on Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska

Sailing the Summer Wind

Sailing Sails on Kachemak Bay brings out the cameras and the sobs. "Can we go sailing? Please, please, please!"

Well, yes, as a matter of fact you can. You can even man the helm yourself and help hoist and lower sails. And it costs less than a ticket to go chasing halibut.

You can satisfy the sailing urge by showing up on P float almost any Thursday evening between 6:00 and 6:30 and asking the captains if they need crew for the Homer Yacht Club fun race. There is a small fee to defray expenses.
The highlight of the summer for yachties is the early July campout/clambake hosted by Commodore Patti Boily and her husband Brendan who gained their traditional clambake skills while growing up in New England. Sailing to a beach across Kachemak Bay, clammers and firebuilders set up camp Friday night and the rest sail over Saturday to join the fun. Guests are welcome and will be asked to contribute something to the potluck.

Or you can book a charter.

Captain Brendan Boily decided last summer to share his joy of sailing with visitors and see if he could make his favorite toy, a sleek 32 foot cutter, Gwylan, earn her keep. He offers day-long, half-day or sunset cruises anywhere from the head of the bay to Seldovia, sailing into Eldred passage and other nooks where sightings of puffins and humpback whales are common. He also takes overnighters around the far side of the peninsula to spectacular Nuka Bay. If you'd rather forego crewing, you can opt to lounge in the cockpit or heated cabin and listen to the captain's tales of the sea. Brendan has many to share from his 12 years of sailing from Homer to Prince William Sound to Kodiak.

Also chartering out of Homer Harbor, St. Augustine's Fire is a classic wooden cutter that has long been sharing the lure of the sea with visitors.

If you just want to stay on the beach and film the action, be advised that the Yacht Club sponsors five Cup Races during the course of the summer. Any Saturday or Sunday that you see seven-or-so yachts sailing more or less in the same direction in early afternoon, you can turn to your companion and say knowledgeably, "Oh yes, that's the Trophy Cup race." The schedule hadn't been set, but the sequence is Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Denny Converse Memorial Cup (usually first weekend in August), Nancy Cooney two-day race to Seldovia (winds and weather willing) and the Labor Day race. Captains and crews meet on P float at noon and, being a friendly bunch that likes to share nautical skills and fun, any one of them would be likely to invite you to crew if you can't stand being on shore when there are sails on the bay.

This guide brought to you by The Homer Tribune. Publisher: Jane M. Pascall. Voice (907)235-3714, Fax (907)235-3716 E-mail:, 601 E. Pioneer Ave., Suite 109, Homer, AK 99603.

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