May 23, 2017

Pam and OlliePam and Ollie

Pamela and Oliver Sinclair, known throughout Elizabeth Harbour, Exumas as "Pam and Ollie on DeJarlo", both hail from Oshawa ON. Although Pam insists she is not a sailor, they have sailed from Indiantown, Florida, where they summer their boat, down to George Town for the past 15 years.

Ollie was very familiar with the water. He had been working as a SCUBA diving instructor. After a conversation with one of his students, who was planning to become an instructor in the Bahamas, Ollie [according to Pam] came home with, "a great idea"!

They'd had a time share condo in Grand Bahama and had fallen in love with the islands and the community, but now it was time for a new adventure. They felt that they wanted to explore more of the islands and to be able to spend more than three weeks a year here. They gave up their time-share and bought their first boat, a 32 foot Beneteau.

Ollie took all of the Power and Sail Squadron courses, including celestial navigation. They both practised sailing on Lake Ontario for a season and Ollie became an avid sailboat racer. When they were ready to leave in September of 2002, they upgrade to their 42 foot Beneteau, outfitted her for cruising and said their goodbyes. Their first stop was in Coburg. Although it was only a half-hour trip by car, it was a day sail and the beginning of the new adventure. They wanted to practise anchoring out in the bay before heading across Lake Ontario into foreign waters!

Pam says they never slept a wink that night, worried that their anchor wouldn't hold, but the next day dawned, showing that they were exactly where they had anchored the night before. That night, Lake Ontario was glass calm so they decided to do a night crossing, and headed out at 9:00 p.m. They were half-way across the Lake, with the mast on the deck, when the winds picked up. Rolling with the waves on the beam, Pam decided they should alter course, so they sailed to Oswego and into the Erie Canal. When they landed in Oswego, Ollie spent a third sleepless night, re-tracing and fixing the wiring on the boat, to make the batteries operational!

Heading down the Hudson River, out into the Atlantic and back up the Delaware into the C&D Canal was quite a trip, and they had lots of stories. When the weather turned cold crossing the Lake, they both decided that being in winter all the way to Vero Beach that year was not a voyage they wanted to repeat, so from that point on they left their boat in Indiantown Marina, Florida.

Having travelled down the ICW and crossing the Gulf Stream, they reached the Bahamas and sailed down to George Town, Exumas. They were prepared to stay for three days, resting and re-supplying, then continue south. But here in George Town, Pam found her niche. She was introduced to the wonderful weather and water, the boating and local communities, the activities, and an abundance of new friends.

Since 2002, they have been an integral part of the George Town and Stocking Island community. They both have assisted with local volunteer projects such as the Red Cross emergency relief collections. They have chaired events in the annual Cruiser's Regatta [Pam has organized skits and musical numbers and performed on stage]. They both have taught many a boater to play bridge and Texas Hold'em Poker. They continued participating in and encouraging activities; helping to distribute valuable knowledge and information about the community to new arrivals; and at times Pam was the voice of the Channel 72 Cruiser's Net in Elizabeth Harbour.

And now, after 15 years they are ready for another adventure. Their beloved DeJarlo is for sale, and they are preparing to return to a land-based life, but not just any land. They are heading for Panama!

We, who continue to remain in "Velcro Harbour" [as it is dubbed] will miss Ollie's sense of humour and willingness to assist; and Pam's melodic radio voice. We wish them the best of luck in their newest adventure.

- Susan Schultz

 

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