For an eager and experienced 14-year-old, passing the boater competency exam is just the first step in a lifetime of learning on the water. One of the toughest tests I have ever written wasn’t even at school. It was the pleasure craft competency exam. In contrast to the 30 minutes of studying I usually do for one of my grade eight exams, I spent weeks preparing for my boating exam. Every night during the weeks leading up to the exam, I would review a chapter in the study guide. I even took the guide to school with me to read when I had the chance.

Whether you see it as fairy dust in the water or stars in the head, ocean bioluminescence is a fascinating phenomenon. I had my most recent exposure to the remarkable phenomenon called bioluminescence during our beautiful West Coast weather last autumn. It was a crisp, clear night and we were on a mooring buoy at Newcastle Island Marine Park in Nanaimo, when my husband spoke to my love of the night sky and offered to take me for a dinghy ride to see the stars.

Is it the journey that counts – or the destination? My wife Sandy and I are avid sailors, although for many years we didn’t actually own a boat. To get our sailing fix, we simply chartered yachts in a variety of destinations. Typically, we would follow routes suggested by the charter company, always returning to the home marina within a week or two. And often, especially on our last day, our course would be directly into the wind, requiring us to beat, motor or both.

Easy to collect and prepare, fresh, wild oysters are one of the pleasures of cruising the BC coast. One of my favourite things about cruising BC’s south coast is the local seafood. And nothing beats a few oysters! It was late August and we opted for a dock day at Lagoon Cove Marina on East Cracroft Island because it was overcast and drizzling. We were getting to know new cruising friends at the dock, swapping stories and experiences, when I casually asked if anyone would eat a few oysters if I barbecued them. There was a combination of enthusiasm and skepticism – because oysters are not native to the Broughton Archipelago.

Fifty years ago, my parents bought a cottage on Gambier Island in BC’s Howe Sound. Facing the snowy Lions to the east and the undeveloped north side of Bowen Island, the tiny cabin – replete with mice, horsehair-stuffed furnishings and antique oil lamps – was accessible only by boat. My parents bought a 17’ clinker boat made by Elia Boat Works in Vancouver, and powered it with a Johnson outboard from Woodward’s Marine. They were set.

Even the simplest galley can produce great food, like these cinnamon buns… A well-fed crew is a happy crew, we say aboard Eleuthera Soleil, our 24ʹ twin-keel British Snapdragon. Robert and I both love to cook. Our galley is utterly simple: a Dickinson diesel stove with an oven, and a stainless steel Lagoustina pressure cooker. We cook as often as possible out in our canvas-enclosed cockpit, on our two-burner Origo alcohol stove, to minimize condensation.

Our first summer cruise aboard Free Spirit V changed our lives and introduced us to places and challenges we could never have imagined. Rob and I were complete novices when we bought our first boat, Free Spirit V, a 1991 Kadey Krogen 42 foot full-displacement trawler, in December 2010. Still, we wanted to follow friends north for a 10-week cruise the following summer. Bringing our knowledge and skills up to standard would mean a lot of winter cruising. Between December and the end of May 2011, with our reluctant standard poodle, Blue, in tow, we clocked almost 100 engine hours, and many of them weren’t pretty.

Did I mention how much I hate standing in the rain in a seaway…fishing? Messing around in boats has been our passion for almost 30 years. Corinne and I currently spend our summers cruising the Pacific Northwest in our American Tug 41, Ocean Mistress. We have a passion for finding new and remote anchorages. We love to explore. About 10 years ago we began adding other activities to our cruising agenda. We do a lot of hiking into the remote areas of British Columbia’s rainforest, and we add to our cruising larder with a little fishing.

Bitten by boating bug, the author and her husband choose a rugged 42’ passagemaker and start their climb up a steep learning curve…In the beginning…we lived on the prairies. We did not know a tide from a current but we harboured a dream of moving west, where we could see the ocean every day. We had spent a lot of time in Vancouver and, as the possibility of moving there drew near, we felt the urge to be out on the water – not just to look at it.

The perfect crew, Kona the Mastiff is always ready for adventure and never fails to entertain. Watching our boat Sea Foam steam up a channel in the early morning, an observer might notice many things: the red dinghy towing in our wake, the yellow and red kayaks on the pilothouse roof, her salty cabin and graceful lines. But you definitely won’t miss the mastiff riding on the bow. At 120 pounds, Kona is heavier than our largest storm anchor, roughly the same size as our engine and by far the best conversation piece in our 40-foot home. Again and again, we are asked the inevitable question, “Why not get a smaller dog?” 

Destinations

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At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...


Mackinaw IslandA favourite destination for many boaters and tourists alike is the lovely Mackinaw Island. Sitting in Lake Huron on the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac in the state of Michigan, it covers almost ten kilometres, of which 80% is park land. It was a sacred place of the Anishinaabe and home of the Gitche Manitou (Great Spirit) some 700 years prior to the arrival of the first Europeans.

According to legend, the Island was created by the Great Hare, Michabou, and was the first land to appear after the recession of the Great Flood.

Read more about the Mackinaw Island...

 

Boat Reviews

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Nelson Gilbert (1854-1921) began building canoes in Brockville in the 1890s, a time when the sport ...
I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
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 ...


Jeanneau NC 1095Andy Adams

The reinvention of the family cabin cruiser

We will probably look back on 2018 and 2019 as the years when power boats were reinvented by the combined forces of a booming U.S. economy and the wide-spread development and introduction of so many amazing new outboard engines. The result has been the development of many remarkable new designs!

One of the most inventive designers and builders is Jeanneau, and the NC 1095 is their new flagship outboard cruiser by Centkowski & Denert Design.

 

Read more about the Jeanneau NC 1095...

Lagoon 46Lagoon has been building catamarans for too long to make a false move. That’s why when the management felt that their tried-and-true 450 model, long a cruising favourite and winner of transatlantic events such as the ARC, was getting near retirement age, they went back to a team that has designed many successful models for them: Nauta Design for interiors and VPLP design with Patrick le Quément for naval architecture and exteriors.

We spoke with Nauta Design’s Massimo Gino about his work with Lagoon.

“Along with the many custom superyacht projects we do, we have been collaborating with Lagoon since 2009.

Read More about the Lagoon 46...

DIY & How to

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Electrical ground is a term used to describe the reference point in an electrical circuit from ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
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 ...

Ground Bus BarGrounding is always an interesting idea when on a boat. Can a boat be ‘grounded’ when it’s in the water?


Electrical ground is a term used to describe the reference point in an electrical circuit from which voltage is measured, a common return path for electric current, or a direct physical connection to the earth.

Connection to ground is also important in order to trigger protective mechanisms in the event of failure of internal insulation, and also limits the build-up of static electricity.

Read More about Electrical Installations Basics...

 

  

Marine Products

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My history with the Cayenne goes back many years, as I was at the launch of the original vehicle ...
Last month, Mercury Marine has announced the launch of the 400hp Verado outboard engine, the ...
Featuring advanced, intuitive 3D controls, Zipwake Dynamic Trim Control Systems deliver a more ...
Gina de Vere approached me at the Canadian Yachting booth at this year’s Vancouver International ...
A revolutionary “assisted docking” system that provides a glimpse into the future of boating ...
After developing the Figaro Beneteau 3, the first production foiling sailing yacht, Groupe Beneteau ...
You most likely operate your vessel with batteries that are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries ...
This past decade has been a real up-and-down ride for the companies who make boating equipment. ...
Making it’s global debut at the Toronto International Boat Show the new Mercury 5hp Propane ...
Most of us have heard of fuel additives, whether it be for gasoline or diesel. But which one to ...