SIGHTINGS king of his cassel Being the king of your own castle in the world of sailing is no easy task. But Carter Cassel — the captain of the National Historic Landmark ship Alma — says he's right where he wants to be. He's in charge of a big boat, part of a sail training program, and he's raising two children. After growing up in a sailing family and dreaming about being in command of a ship, Cassel spent some time at a maritime academy before he found his unique place in sailing. "I was lucky; my parents actually were in the yacht racing world, so they were already doing that when I came along. They plopped me in a junior program," Cassel told us on a warm February day. Carter grew up sailing Sabots which he likens to his current command. "A Sabot is basically a smaller version of this thing," he laughed as we stood on the deck of the 126-year-old, 80-ft scow schooner Alma which is completely square and flat-bottomed, and was designed to move cargo — namely hay — around the pre-industrial Bay Area and Delta. (Because it has a centerboard, Carter called Alma the world's biggest Opti.)
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• March, 2018
and the sea One of the most convoluted, bizarre — and true — murder mysteries of our time involved sailors. And it just got stranger. Mac and Muff Graham were old-school cruisers who completed a circumnavigation aboard their 38-ft wooden ketch Sea Wind in the '60s. Heading out again from their homeport of San Diego in 1974, they sailed to Hawaii, then to Palmyra Atoll, about 1,000 miles to the south. They arrived in July, intending to stay awhile, as did the younger, hippie-type couple on a rundown 30-footer named Iola. The Grahams' plan was just to enjoy the tropical paradise. The younger couple were there ostensibly to grow marijuana and smuggle it back into Hawaii. Other cruising boats came and went,
The March 2018 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.