GULFPORT, Mississippi - Our Travel Girl found a way that you can sail the Gulf Coast, without the hassle or expense of owning your own boat. Captain Jim King and North Star Sailing Charters have all kinds of options for adventurous souls who want to get behind a steering wheel that navigates waves, not asphalt.
As we meandered out of Gulfport Municipal Harbor, Captain Jim described how the entire harbor was rebuilt after Katrina. He also explained the history of the beautiful lighthouse that stands as a beacon overlooking the area, noting that it was a replica of the one that once stood on nearby Ship Island.
He taught Travel Girl Stephanie a few sailing terms, and ways to remember sailing knowledge, such as the phrase "Red, Right, Return," meaning that when you return to dock, you must keep the red markers on your right side.
Captain Jim teaches a three-day introductory course, Sailing 101, that gives students the know-how to man their own sailboat if they want, such as during a sailing vacation in the Caribbean. For those who prefer to let someone else do the work, he is a "captain for hire," with leisure options that last two and and half, four or six hours.
The most popular trip is the two and a half hour sunset cruise, that costs $190 for a couple. He says the journey at sea is a big hit for marriage proposals. There have been 11 on his boat so far, and every time, the answer was, "Yes!"