dest-canada-back_to-small“So you’re back,” says Canadian Yacht Charters co-proprietor Ken Blodgett as if it hasn’t been a year since we’d last seen him.

“I’m back.” I sit down on a Muskoka chair beside Blodgett just outside their office, snugged down on the shores of Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island’s north shore.

I stare at the waters – dark green and mysterious in the late afternoon.

destinations-canada-first_steps-smallYou're not quite sure how or when this happened, but the casual thought of going off cruising someday is starting to become a goal you're taking more seriously. Perhaps at the moment you don't know if, given your current circumstances, it's even possible to say goodbye to the rat race for a while and set sail for warmer climes, but you'd sure like to check it out!

destinations-canada-bruce-smallA rugged path strewn with rocks slices through a dense stand of cedar just beyond a red-roofed square wooden lighthouse squatting beside Georgian Bay on the furthest reaches of Ontario's Bruce Peninsula.

You trudge along this path that meanders through forests boasting five-hundred-year-old trees; you deeply inhale the cedar aroma. Then the forest thins and you emerge onto a plain of stone and sand and shale.

destinations-canada-best_of_bc-smallThe Gulf Islands of British Columbia envelop a beautifully diverse cruising ground – an alluring and accessible pocket of paradise. Boaters will be charmed by each island's distinctive character and lured by clean sandy beaches, sheltered bays, hideaway anchorages, spectacular sunsets and abundant wildlife. In addition, the area's marine parks are unique to British Columbia's coast and are often only accessible by water.

destinations-canada-dream_cruise-smallMost cruises are based on a destination: "When school finishes, we are going to take the kids on a summer cruise of Georgian Bay." "When I retire, I want to sail through the islands of the Caribbean for a couple of years." "We're going to ship our motorboat over to Europe and explore the Med for a few seasons." "We're going to sail around the world!"

destinations-canada-financial_matters-smallMost people believe that long-term cruising is expensive but it certainly doesn't have to be. When we first cut the docklines in 1989 we were surprised at how our monthly fixed expenses dropped when we let the apartment go, sold the car, and suddenly didn't have rent to pay or home and car insurance premiums. The cable TV fees stopped, as did our fitness club memberships. Costly commuting expenses disappeared. No longer working in offices, our clothing budget dropped drastically since our wardrobe simplified and cruising in the tropics didn't demand several sets of seasonal clothes.

destinations-canada-cruising_pay-smallTravelling by boat, as I'm sure you'll agree, offers many pleasures and freedoms but can present plenty of challenges and high-stress moments as well. Adding financial stress to the adventure can really take the fun out of cruising so, as we discussed in our last article, it's important to maintain a good financial base when cruising. As in life ashore, financial security provides freedom and peace of mind. The ability to earn a living while cruising then seems the ultimate freedom.

destinations-canada-part_time-smallThere is a misunderstood notion that to become a long-term, long-distance cruising sailor it is necessary to truly cut the docklines by selling everything and leaving. You know, get rid of the house, quit your job, and wave goodbye to the rat race. Paul and I have been cruising now for 18 years and can assure you that this just isn't so. In fact, the happiest long-term cruisers we meet are most often those who have found a pleasurable balance between life afloat and life ashore.

destinations-canada-home_base-smallThe decision to cast off the dock lines and undertake a long-term cruise involves considerate financial planning from establishing a budget for outfitting your boat, travelling expenses, insurance, sightseeing costs, maintenance and repairs, and changing costs of living as you move from destination to destination. So it's no surprise that in the process of planning a cruise, the topic of whether or not it's economical to maintain a home base while you're away nearly always comes up.

can-sunshine_coast-smallStrung out below Syren Point on the east side of Hotham Sound is popular Harmony Islands Marine Park. The biggest and smallest of these four islands (the rest are private) are designated as a marine park, with the southernmost park providing flat, grassy spots for kayakers to beach their craft and set up camp. The adjacent waters in the channel between the islands and the mainland are also within the park's boundaries. We headed for our favourite, sheltered spot known locally as Kipling Cove – tucked between the three northern islands, it offers dramatic vistas, good snorkelling opportunities and warm water swimming in July and August.

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CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

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Read more about the CY Virtual Boat Tours....................

 

Hanse 418By Katherine Stone

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