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?” 

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CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

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Neptunus 750 Enclosed FlybridgeBy Andy Adams

In the February 2020 issue of Canadian Yachting magazine, we featured our review of the Neptunus 750 Flybridge, the company’s flagship yacht. The boat had been bought by a gentleman from Newfoundland and we reviewed it just before it was to be delivered.

We learned later that the boat did not leave immediately after delivery. The story is that the new owner reconsidered the beautiful big open flying bridge layout. 

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View of Ganges HarbourText and Photos by Marianne Scott

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A Freedom Boat Club StafferAs a life-long marine journalist, it has often occurred to me, that it’s a big leap to lay out the cash, (especially for those with no previous boating experience), to try it out. How does someone even know that they will like boating it if they haven’t tried it? 

Well, joining a boat club, or a yacht club that has boats available for members to use, can get you started without the big financial commitment and with the support of the club’s education and resources. Try before you buy.


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In summer 2020, those trends were seen in the unprecedented numbers of boaters flocking to marinas and boat launches seeking a COVID-friendly vacation on the water. While the waterways were more crowded than ever before, the boaters you were likely to encounter weren’t necessarily in the know for boating etiquette, or marine know-how.

 

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Water can get into your boat in a variety of ways: a leaking shaft-seal (stuffing box), ripped or torn bellows, a leaking through-hull, a leaking tank aboard, windows, hatches and deck fittings that aren’t sealed - the list goes on. The catch-22 when considering maintenance in the pre-season, is that you may not know where a leak may start or develop until the boat is in the water and only then do you find that water is getting inside.

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