Ryan MayToronto sailor and former RCYC coach/sailing instructor Ryan May is now a US coast guard captain and is presently accepting bookings in San Francisco California.

 

 

 

Pirate costumes and dark-n-stormiesThe food in the grocery store – where does it come from? There are undoubtedly hardworking people who farm, refine, etc. and when we walk into Sobey’s, there it is...

New York Canals - St. Anne de BellevueThe sun was just starting to light up the horizon when we departed our home slips in Crystal Harbour, LaSalle, Ontario, and entered the Detroit River. It was June 28, 2014, the first day of our adventure to explore the waters of the Great Lakes and beyond from Windsor to Montreal. We had set aside about six weeks to cruise down Lake Erie and enter the NY Canal System near Buffalo, travel east on the canal to Oswego, head straight north across Lake Ontario to Kingston, traverse the Rideau Canal to Ottawa, cruise down the Ottawa River to Montreal, head back west up the St. Lawrence River to the Thousand Islands, and finally re-enter the NY Canal system at Oswego and follow it back toward Lake Erie and home. 

My wife, Hélène, and I travelled on Mystic Blue, a Mainship Pilot Classic. Terry and his wife, Linda, voyaged on their Camano Troll, 4 Buoys. Both 30-foot vessels were designed to cruise at a comfortable and economical speed of about 8 – 9 knots. 

San Juan view across Hotel de Haro gardensJust across the border from Canada’s Gulf Islands – and there’s a story behind that – San Juan is an engaging destination rich in history, culture and opportunities to explore shoreside.

Our first cruise to the San Juan Islands was in 2005, our seventh year of cruising on our wooden sailboat, South Islander. We had heard about how lovely the San Juans were, and even though we have many beautiful anchorages in Canada, we felt it was time to do some exploring south of the border. After all, the San Juans are really just an extension of our own southern Gulf Islands; it’s the international boundary that runs right smack through the middle that makes the San Juans a separate destination.

The Presque Isle peninsula is a 3,200-acre – 7-mile long arm that extends northeast into Lake Erie creating a large, sheltered boating paradise of a harbour.  With a string of well equipped marinas, a wealth of facilities and a very impressive yacht club, it has attractions for boaters that place it at the top of a cruising destination list. This may come as a bit of a surprise since Erie, PA is a relatively small community with a population that has hovered around 100,000 for decades. Nonetheless, it is a comparative giant in terms of boating.

Boats and Erie have a solid historic connection. If you managed to stay awake during Grade 10 history you’d have traced the communities of the lake back to the early exploration of North America. During the War of 1812 (which we know as our victory in Canada, although it seems to have had a different outcome south of the border) a 27-year-old US Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry built a fleet of ships and defeated (!) the British at the Battle of Lake Erie.

Few cruising boats visit beautiful and remote Prince William Sound. Some 2,800 square miles in area and situated at the very northern tip of the Gulf of Alaska, from which it is separated by a series of major barrier islands, this inland sea has a coastline equal to that of Oregon and California combined. Within its boundaries lie the towns of Cordova, Valdez and Whittier  ̶  as well as the native American villages of Chenega and Tatitlek.

To reach it, any boat too large to be put on a trailer and towed for hundreds of miles through mountainous terrain must be placed on a barge or brave a 500-mile transit across the open and often tempestuous waters of the Gulf of Alaska.

I have always wanted to go to Baja, but like many of the other 25+ destinations on my bucket list, I still hadn’t got round to it. Imagine my delight when a last minute invite – timed perfectly around a crazy production schedule – found me basking in the beauty of the Marina Costa Baja ready to hop on one of Mooring’s brand new, fully loaded Power 474s with a bunch of like-minded journalists, ready for a first-hand experience of a lifetime. The first day – ‘the getting to know one another day’ – found us only six miles from our departure point in La Paz, Mexico, in the well-protected anchorage of Caleta Lobos.

Adamant 1 has had an adventurous trip since returning from the Bahamas. The Intracoastal Waterway is full of twists and turns, marshland, shallow water and spectacular scenery. It has been very quiet as well with little boat traffic. We pulled into Fernandina Beach at the Florida-Georgia border. We heard it was beautiful there so we rented a car and toured all day. Sadly, we got caught in a tropical depression that lasted for two days with sustained winds of 80 km/h. Once the storm abated, we headed north again. Georgia doesn’t have much to offer except marshland.

Florida is celebrating its 500th Anniversary this year. What you might not know is that it all started in St. Augustine, recently recognized as one of the top 20 places to see in the world according to National Geographic Traveler. Although part of you is likely anxious to get back home to friends, family and terra firma of any kind, a short stay in St. Augustine will leave you wanting more and certainly provide you with one final memorable reprieve before the last leg of your journey.

The big adventure continues! After ten days in Mobile, sightseeing, doing repairs and stocking up, we put the mast back up and were ready to go. We just needed a good weather report. One great thing about the VHF weather in the USA is that it goes by county. It makes trip planning easier because the forecasts are localized. Bypassing part of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) because Adamant’s mast was too high for the bridges, we headed to Panama City.

Grenada: It was all so inviting...

The Large Island of Grenada

By Katherine Stone

Anytime a Canadian is asked to travel south in the beginning of our spring, which this year was far from inviting, is a dream worth living. The thought of a sailing adventure, tropical breezes, the smell of spices and the warmth of the sun was too much – we HAD to go! The first thing we did was to dig out the copy of Ann Vanderhoof’s book, The Spice Necklace, we had acquired several years ago and to re-read the seven chapters of their adventures in Grenada. Not only should this be your required reading, but the book is loaded with scrumptious Caribbean recipes that are a must-try.

Read more about Grenada...

 

 

Lifestyle

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We are home for Christmas this year. Soon we will be heading back to Adamant 1 for another winter ...
This past October we drove to Telegraph Cove with friends and spent a day of wonder cruising the ...
We have kept our subscription to Canadian Yacht Onboard as we have traveled the South Pacific over ...
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...
As the sole arbiter of the Photo of the Week I, your editor, get to make the choice. This week, ...
Michele Stevens pointed us to this interesting project which recently came to fruition in Cape ...
Our Photos of the week this time come from BC where our friend Rob Stokes sent us a very nice ...
Our little treasure: Montague (Monte) taken at Pirate's Cove in the Gulf Islands. Monte is a ...

Boat Reviews

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Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...
The latest new model from Cruisers Yachts is the Cantius 42 and this yacht made its debut in the ...
The Sabre 45 Salon Express is new for 2017, making its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International ...

Leader 9.0

Leader 9.0By Andy Adams

In the case of baking a cake, Betty Crocker and Julia Child both start off with the same eggs, sugar and flour, but the results can be very different. Naval architects, designers and engineers in the boat business also have many of the same ingredients, but the trick is to make the cake unique and desirable.

With a huge history of innovative design in boatbuilding, Jeanneau brings the sort of skill and artistry to their boats that can set them apart. Their new Leader 9.0 model is a case in point.

Read more about the Leader 9.0...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

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Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...
In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 

Ask Andrew – How to hire a boat repair contractor

hiring a contractorBy Andrew McDonald

A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out there, including: Websites showing repairs, YouTube tutorials, Instagram pages and snapchat streams – let alone books, magazines, service manuals, and years of practical experience – how does a boat owner know which method(s) are ‘right’, who to trust, and who to hire to do the job? In short: How do you find and select a contractor?

Unfortunately, most people are forced to hire a contractor due to a circumstance where something has broken or failed, or the task...

Read more about hiring a contractor...

 

  

Marine Products

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Looking for a great Christmas gift for the Offshore sailor on your list? This being a Marblehead to ...
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...
Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...