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.

It was still dark when we departed our home slips in Chrystal Harbour, LaSalle, Ontario, and entered the Detroit River. It was August 2nd, 2013, the first day of our adventure to complete the mini-loop counterclockwise from LaSalle, down Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, through the Trent-Severn Waterway, across Georgian Bay, down Lake Huron and back home to LaSalle.

Maurice and his wife, Hélène, traveled on Mystic Blue, a Mainship 30 Pilot Classic. Terry and his wife, Linda, voyaged on their Camano Troll, 4 Buoys.

Just off Fitz Hugh Sound, Fish Egg Inlet boasts a maze of islets and a multitude of anchorages, all waiting to be discovered.

Of all the boating we’ve done along the Inside Passage, one of our favourite cruising areas lies just north of Cape Caution. Once past this aptly named cape, we usually make a beeline up Fitz Hugh Sound to revisit anchorages we first pulled into 20 years ago.

In my youth, summers in Nanaimo were not complete without a visit to Newcastle Island. Just a short boat ride away, it offered beautiful beaches, hiking trails, a rich history and an enticing shoreline. My mom and I would save our coins for the ferry fare and, eager with anticipation, savour every moment of the ride.

CYOB Destinations: We Visit the Hilton Beach Marina

Hilton BeachBy Amelia Morris

Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population 200!), which I am lucky enough to call my cottage country, is located on the north-east coast of St. Joseph Island. The Hilton Beach Marina is one of the largest and most major ports of call in the Western North Channel. It also has a long and rich history dating back to the 1850’s.

I spoke with Marina Manager, Laura McRae and got the full scoop on what goes on in this inconspicuous but busy marina.

Read more about Hilton Beach Marina....

 

 

 

Lifestyle

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Boat Reviews

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Scarab 255 Open

Scarab 255 OpenBy Andy Adams and John Armstrong

You can imagine,at the GroupeBeneteau dealer meeting in Michigan last fall where all the Four Winns, Scarab, Wellcraft, and Glastrondealers had come to see the latest new models, the docks were lined up with gleaming brand-new boats to show the dealers and media – and they certainly put on a show! But for me, the Scarab 255 Open was an immediate stand out. This is a boat that breaks new ground and brings fresh thinking and interpretation of the boating experience to a wide range of buyers.

We had a quick look around but the test drives would have to wait until the next day.

Read more about the Scarab 255 Open....

 

 

 

 

DIY & How to

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Marine Products

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