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.

Galley Guys in Holland

Greg Nicoll

As the result of some scheduling issues, career commitments and just bad timing, our sojourn to Holland became a guys only trip. Here is what we would tell our wives that they missed by not joining us on our Le Boat trip in Holland.

Roster for the trip:
* Captain John Armstrong on the wheel * First Mate Robin Ball, navigator, tactician and sous chef * Deck Crew Greg Nicoll, lines and bollards, plus some cooking and storytelling...

Read more about the Galley Guys in Holland..

 

Boat Reviews

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Azimut 55 SAndy Adams

The Azimut 55 S offers the discriminating buyer a unique combination of Italian style and design innovation.

The express cruiser style in this boat is refined in a number of interesting and unique ways. The distinctive bow styling serves an important purpose as does the attractive transom treatment while the rest of the yacht in between is an outstanding expression of the contemporary express cruiser style.

Our guide through the boat was Derek Mader, President of Executive Yacht in Toronto and our Azimut 55 S was, at that time, the only 2016 model available in Canada. Derek had ordered the boat in because he believed it had some unique features and indeed, it's unexpected to find a 55 foot express cruiser that includes both a private crew cabin and an enclosed dinghy garage.

Read more: Azimut 55 S...

Lifestyle

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Stony Lake Yacht ClubKatherine Stone

As summer becomes a distant memory, see if you can close your eyes and recall those glorious days when you spent more than one lazy day hanging around the general store at the cottage. Not only was it a great place to purchase some penny candy, but also the place where you could eavesdrop on conversations that your parents said you should know nothing about. It’s where countless members of small communities seemed to blend seamlessly when they sailed, laughed, danced, swam, had ice creams, paddled, and shared cherished memories in a casual, summer atmosphere. C and Stony Lake Yacht Club comprise this community which has existed for some eight generations on Juniper Island in the ‘Jewel of the Kawarthas’. Many say that if Stony Lake is a community then Juniper is its hub.  In the late 40s, Swatty Wotherspoon came to the lake and has been returning ever since. For him, life-lasting friendships were made where he vividly remembers square dances at the Pavillion, which became a very important place for his family growing up. He still treasures the spoons he won in the races sailing with everyone out of the yacht club.

Read more: Stony Lake Yacht Club...

  • 2016 Azimut 55 S Yacht Sea Trial with Andy Adams of Canadian Yachting
  • Neptunus 650 Express Tour with Canadian Yachting Magazine
  • Yacht Controller Founder Gerald Burton Describes This Precision Docking Innovation
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  • Beneteau GT40 Sneak Peek with Canadian Yachting's John Armstrong
  • Galley Guys at Krates Marina in Keswick, Ontario
  • Executive Yacht at Toronto Outer Harbour with Canadian Yachting Magazine
  • Diane Reid - Clipper Round the World Race - The Countdown is On
  • Port Credit Spring In-Water Boat Show with Canadian Yachting Magazine
  • 2016 Neptunus 62 Launch with Canadian Yachting
  • Enjo Outdoor Cleaning Kit - Chemical Free Cleaning Solutions for your Boat
  • Keeping Diesel Fuel Clean Part III - Water Separators - Ask the Experts
  • Launch Day 2015, Midland Bay Sailing Club with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Keeping Diesel Fuel Clean Part II - Filters - Ask the Experts
  • Mystic Seaport Museum with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Marine Museum of the Great Lakes with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Kingston’s Pumphouse Steam Museum with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Antique Boat Museum Clayton NY with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Shrink Wrapping a 16 ft Glastron Bowrider for Winter Storage
  • Flare Disposal with CPS-ECP's John Gullick and Canadian Yachting
  • Keeping Diesel Fuel Clean Part I: Biocide  - CY's Ask the Experts
  • How to Select & Install the Solar Charging System on Your Boat -  CY's Ask the Experts
  • Boating Simulator with John Gullick of CPS-ECP and Andy Adams of Canadian Yachting
  • Cruising in the SeaRay 310 with Canadian Yachting at the 2015 Miami Boat Show

DIY & How to

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Marine Products

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