Since he was seven years old he knew he wanted to spend his life at sea. Now at the tender age of 54 Captain Toni Mirkovic is plying the breathtaking waters of the South Pacific at the helm of the award winning luxury cruise ship, Paul Gauguin. Unlike Captain Bligh of the ill-fated Bounty, Captain Mirkovic has gained the respect of his 217 crew and the confidence of his 330 grateful guests. On an eight day cruise in March, we visited the Society Islands of French Polynesia , an eight hour Air Tahiti Nui flight south west from Los Angeles, landing in a pocket of the Pacific Ocean seemingly at the very end of the earth.
Tom and Kathleen Kjaersgaard
When 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:
“OK, considering that it’s Alberta…not a boating paradise… let’s just embrace the change. Sell the boat (our much loved Olson 25) and then we’ll just move-on and pursue other hobbies. How about golfing more maybe? We’ve pretty much ignored golf for the last 15 years right? So we agree - we’ll replace the boating with golfing and who knows what other Alberta adventures on the weekends.”
As a semi-recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest from New England’s historic waters, I was thrilled to learn that the boating season here in Seattle is much longer than it is back East, provided, of course, that your boat is up to the task. While our summer months here at 48 degrees north are characterized by massive high-pressure systems that park-up over the Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver Island, delivering bluebird days that are void of any real breeze, our fall, winter and spring months offer plenty of pressure...