Category Archives: sailing

From Summer to September …

September has always seemed more like a beginning than an ending for me. Sure, the days are getting shorter, and the air has taken on a bit of a chill in the evenings, but rather than and ending to a summer, it’s always been a start. Empty binders, fresh erasers, clean lockers, and new shoes were signs of a new school year. This year, like many previous, my children are of to their respective schools. Now, our youngest son is  half way through elementary, our daughter has begun high school, and our eldest  two sons … well, they’re grown, and they get to decide their own schooling.

For me, as a teacher, fall means new students (along with the worry whether there will be enough registered students to run a course), a fresh course outline with new stories pulled from familiar books. I love the excitement that students bring to each new class, believing that it will be good, not simply another course to get through. I do my best to prove them right. IMG_2006 poet's cove IMG_1863 sailing southern gulf islands salt spring Conover Cove

This fall, it seems that summer is still lingering, teasing with toasty play in the sun. Despite so much that is new and exciting about the fall, I am sad to see the long summer nights slip away, and the chill take ahold so deep that I can’t bear to cleat the sheets to my sails. So in that way it is not just a beginning, but an ending. Last weekend may well have been the farewell to our short sailing season. I’m not yet sure, still holding on hope … I’m not quite ready to winterize; after all, it is still fall.

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Filed under education, family, sailing

Over the Straight and into the Bay …

Silva Bay on Gabriola was our first destination out of Howe Sound. This involved crossing the Georgia Straight from Vancouver to the Southern Gulf Islands. There was only one way to see if we were up to it …

We took our good friend, a much more experienced sailor, with us. He seemed so calm–and kept saying, “this is completely normal,” in a tone that I knew it was true.

After a night at Silva Bay, we went on our own to Pirate’s Cove on DeCourcy Island, a lovely marine park established since 1966! Lots of trails for walking amid a lovely setting.

Our Catalina 30 at rest, stern tied and anchored in Pirate’s Cove.

I wish i had a wider angled lens to fit the fantastic angle from the water line … but I wasn’t about to jump back into the water just to get the picture as my camera isn’t even water resistant let alone proof.  Would go back to Pirate’s Cove in a heartbeat.

One of the things that I always enjoyed about our camping trips was the challenge to make meals with as little sand as possible, and as much flavour and nutrition as possible. Those meals over a single burner camp stove, with the light grit of shell and sand, are gladly gone when I can dip into my cooled ice-box for fresh veggies, fruit and meat. Can’t say we miss the sand.

After a night at Pirate’s Cove, we ended our long weekend away with a trip back across the straight. With steady NW winds from 10 – 15 knots and clear skies, we couldn’t have asked for better … Okay we could have, the chop grew throughout the day to a full 2m, and the wind grew to 18, topping out at 22 as we rounded Point Grey into English Bay, but just as quickly diminished to 15-17. Only in the bay did the waves cool down to a ripple. It was an intense and fantastic ride across the straight. It pushed our skills and comfort. More waves under our keel …

What you can’t see here is the whites of my knuckles gripped around the wheel as we surfed the waves. Every seventh wave seemed to be a biggie. I thought that we had a max hull speed of 6.5(ish) knots). And yet we were up to 7 – topping at 7.2 (albeit it briefly). We kept an average speed of about 6.4, or there about, with a beam reach, slowing to high fives in a broad reach as we headed into town.

The Sky was so clear that we could see Mt. Baker in the distance behind Vancouver.

 Now to plan our next weekend away …

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Filed under British Columbia, sailing