Ghost Lake - Aerial viewWhen we (an Ontario couple) both raised sailing on the Great Lakes and Lake Simcoe,  decided to pack up and move our lives and careers to Cochrane, Alberta (minutes West of Calgary) in 2013, our rationalization banter went a bit like this: 

 

 

Muskoka Ontario, Muskoka WharfOwning a runabout or personal watercraft enables boaters to do unique explorations not possible with larger cruisers. The only additional equipment needed is a good tow vehicle and trailer. This way, you can launch wherever there’s a handy ramp to embark on new trailer boating adventures. 

One of the most enjoyable and memorable is touring in Muskoka, Ontario. Dubbed “the Malibu of the North” by the New York Times, Muskoka has attracted the rich and famous since the latter 1800’s. Its cottaging celebrities include Martin Short, Steven Spielberg, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Tom Hanks, Harry Hamlin, Cindy Crawford, Ted Rogers, Kenny G, Bill Murray, Kevin O’Leary, along with many sports and business luminaries. During the summer, the Muskoka population swells as tens of thousands of pretty well heeled cottagers take advantage of fun in the sun on its clear and sparkling waters. 

Ocean Harvest Cruise ViewWe met Bobby Sherlock in Ucluelet on the West Coast of Vancouver Island onboard his Hunter 340, Pegasus, near British Columbia’s Barkley Sound. The Broken Group Islands would be our home, for the five of us, for the next few days. The Broken Group Islands are located are on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, in an area known as Barkley Sound and are only accessible by boat. 

With fishing licenses in hand, and after a thorough tour of the boat, we talked with our skipper about the evolution of his unique Ocean Harvest Cruise. It seems like a natural fit for Bobby to lead such an adventure, with his education in outdoor adventure training and having cooked in professional kitchens since he was 15 years old.

Some may say that the sailing experience of monohulls versus catamarans is as different as chalk & cheese.   Until recently, Frank (my husband) and I never gave much thought to catamarans.  We rarely saw them over the years of monohull sailing on the West Coast.  However, they’re very popular in warmer water destinations, especially the Caribbean.  When we were presented with the option to sail on a catamaran for an autumn Desolation Sound Flotilla (organized by Cooper Boating, Vancouver), it intrigued us – What is catamaran sailing all about?  We wanted to find out for ourselves.  Our curiosity peaked further when we learned the catamaran or ‘cat’ was a luxurious 40’ Lagoon 400! 


Having cruised the BC coast for several decades, we enjoy sharing information about the remote northern anchorages we’ve discovered over the years. However, the truth is that we haven’t really “discovered” many of our favourite spots but were told about them by fellow mariners we have met out on the water – veteran boaters who’ve been more than happy to come aboard for a visit, unfurl a few charts and direct us to some of the best anchorages our coast has to offer.


Glendale Cove, on BC’s Knight Inlet, is protected habitat for grizzly bears – and the ideal spot to rub shoulders with these rulers of the coastal rainforest.

Cruisers who venture north of the BC coast’s major tidal rapids quickly learn that they’re not in Kansas anymore. The big passes not only divide the popular cruising grounds to the south from the less-travelled country to the north. They are gateways between the “civilized” south – where humans are in charge – and the “wild kingdom” that is home to some of North America’s most formidable wildlife.

Years before realizing my family and I would find happiness in boating, Bronte Village had been a tranquil calling for us. But, while living in our neighbouring city of Burlington, we normally traveled hours to our cottage in the Kawartha's to enjoy the settling spirit of the waterfront.

However, the drive was such an exhausting part of the journey, it had the reverse effect of stress relief. That was when we finally realized our calling to transition into boating. Our first boat was to be big enough to sleep on and to entertain our family and friends.

The family of the Great Lakes, like our own, has members who each enthusiastically demonstrate their own personality. Tough guy Superior can play pretty rough, glamour puss Lake Huron with her luscious curves, seductive secret coves and jewelled islands, all business Michigan, blue collar Lake Ontario lined with steel mills and auto plants. Then there’s the eccentric sibling Lake Erie, the hippie, the music lover, the sun-worshipping devotee of leisure.

Clayoquot Sound

Clayoquot is one of the major sounds on Vancouver Island’s wild West Coast, and a haven for cruisers in search of peaceful, remote harbours.

At the dock in Victoria, we were filled with the anticipation of a new adventure. We were fully provisioned and had carefully reviewed the weather window, consulted the charts and checked all of the vital equipment on Ocean Mistress, our American Tug 41. Like children on Christmas Eve, we pretended to sleep before we departed for our trip. We only had time for a short vacation and desired a place away from the crowds. The west coast of Vancouver Island was our objective.

The Rideau Waltz

I have lived in Ontario my entire life but have likely explored more acres outside my own province and perhaps even country than within. Shame on me! Because clearly there’s definitely more to discover here.

If You Don't Know Me By Now     

If you had told me a year ago that I would be enjoying our “calvacade of colour” cruising up the Rideau Canal in a houseboat, you’d have knocked me over with a feather. And although travelling by houseboat may have never been on my ‘to do’ list then either, I’d certainly add it to yours now.

Story by Sheryl Shard • Photos by Paul and Sheryl Shard

The first time we sailed to Madeira we wondered if the island had vanished. Or at least that's how it appeared. Actually, it didn't appear. Not when we thought it should have.

That was in 1991 before the days of affordable GPS. On that first voyage, we were relying on a sextant, SatNav and dead reckoning. By our calculations, we were five miles off a massive mountainous landform in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Read more of the The Madeira Archipelago....

 

Lifestyle

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Hello Photo of the Week enthusiasts and welcome to a superb album to kick off 2017.
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Armdale Yacht ClubBy Katherine Stone

You can’t possibly pack in more national history associated with a yacht club than what you can find on Deadman’s Island in Nova Scotia. This is what Halloween legends were made of, as it was not uncommon once upon a time, to have an arm appear out of the ground in winter with the remainder of the poor skeleton not being reunited with its appendage until the spring thaw.

Many years after the Micmacs discovered Melville Island, the spot they called “end of the water,” the site was used for storehouses and then was purchased by the British, where a prisoner-of-war camp was built to house captives in the Napoleonic Wars and then later during the War of 1812.

Read more about Armdale Yacht Club...

 

Boat Reviews

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The Rossiter 23 Classic Day Boatis both a logical extension of the Canadian-built Rossiter line and ...
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The Chris-Craft Scorpion 210F is a sport boat with a unique combination of a midship motor and an ...
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Vanquish 24 RunaboutBy Andy Adams

Big, elegant, and capable

Families with young people who are seriously into waterskiing or wake boarding face a difficult choice: Buy a dedicated tow sports boat and make the kids happy or buy a more traditional family boat and make everyone comfortable.

In our opinion, the Vanquish 24 Runabout offers up a big, elegant, and capable solution that could make everybody happy. This is not a cheap solution, but it's an impressive one. Last August, we traveled to Gravenhurst, Ontario, and got our first look at the Vanquish 24 Runabout, tied up at Muskoka Wharf Marine. One glance told us this was a special boat.

Read More of the Vanquish 24 Review.....

DIY & How to

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Marine Products

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Ally and Roy Way live on their sailboat in Vancouver. They had purchased a couple of electric bikes ...
Cranchi, a prestigious Italian leading name in pleasure crafts has officially designated Poliseno ...
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Whether it’s dock lines on either a power or sailboat or running rigging, wearing grooves in ...
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Now this sounds like a bright idea! Halifax-basedCanada Rope and Twine Ltd has announced the launch ...
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Vidas Stukas of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club has always experimented with his sail boats to ...
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Seamasters Inflatables

Always a major exhibitor at the Halifax International Boat Show, Seamaster’s sales manager Dave Trott tells us they will have several news products on display including the new Stingray 206cc and the 186cc.

Seamaster Services of Dartmouth is a diversified company with roots in the marine safety business. Over the years they have expanded from liferafts to inflatable boats, as a Zodiac dealers, and now sell and service an extensive line of fibreglass and inflatable boats including Grady-White and Stingray.

Read more about Seamasters....