Round we go…

One of the things on this season’s boating agenda is to acquire the certificate for, or at least learn the curriculum of, the Coastal Skipper (Advanced) level. This includes doing overnight sailing, passage preparation, watchkeeping and hopefully some cruising chute experience. Another thing I want to do is try some open water sailing away from the protected coastal waters of the inside passage to see if I “have the right stuff.” All this with an eye to do some sailing in places with bigger trips involved like the Med or Island hopping in the Caribbean.

I had looked at going back to Nanaimo Yacht Charters and doing a cruise and learn up to Desolation with one of their group classes  last fall. They are offering it again this spring. And I had been toying with the idea of joining our old instructor Tim Melville on his boat and going around Vancouver Island. He had done it last year along with a Blue Pacific boat but we decided on our Broughton trip instead. This year he is teaming up with Nanaimo Yacht Charters’ Yachtmaster course and will follow along for most of the trip. When I mentioned my desire to join Tim, to Leslie she surprised me by saying she might want to go too.

So after much humming and hawing, we have let Tim know we will be joining him aboard the Northwest Passage for a 14 day trip circumnavigating Vancouver Island in late May. His boat is a 42 ft Baltic sloop with all the necessary equipment for some  offshore adventuring, so maybe we will be able to do some actual bluewater sailing. Who knows? It will be less of a holiday and more of an adventure, as it will include some overnight passages, being away from a marina for multiple days in a row and of course exposure to the rigours of the Pacific Ocean. Tim is still looking for two more participants to make a total of six, so that will also be new to us. Any takers?


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Vancouver Art

Emily, My Emily
I can’t say as Emily Carr it the Group of Seven ever meant much to me. Any of the pieces I had seen in books, I generally skipped by a so much “trees and rocks” and her work generally represented a period that I found a bit boring.

But I haven’t actually looked at her since my trips to the MOMA and I certainly have never seen the originals. And more importantly I had never visited places like Skedans and the Broughtons.

So I’m changing my mind. I like Emily Carr. The Gallery nazis won’t let me take a picture but there is one painting of a west coast forest that truly captures what I feel when standing beneath the tower cedars of BC’s west coast. I guess I’ll have to read up on Ms. C.

We wandered downtown Vancouver and soaked in all the cool people before wandering off to catch our plane.

My illicit picture of one of the Emily Carr paintings that struck me. 


I also was intrigued by this Chinese artists style and may try and emulate it…it is a tiny section of 40+ foot scroll. Forgive the blurriness



Dave not buying a boat.

Leslie wanted to buy this boat, but I wouldn’t let her.


This is the crew cabin in the bow of a 55′ Beneteau that I couldn’t buy even if I wanted to.

Yesterday was an great day. We toured the Granville Island floating show and Dave introduced me around. Nice to talk to brokers with a bit more of a personal connection. Sales people are still sales people though and I’m pretty sure Len was working hard to put the bug in my ear. But he was good at it so none of that slimy feeling was left behind.

Yesterday we talked quite a lot to all three Hunter brokers. The first was a good salesman and while we felt the pitch, we also felt he was on our side. The second guy was even better or actually just genuinely interested in talking boats. I really left believing him. The third (a woman, which may or may not be significant) was pure old school used car salesman. She left us believing Hunters could sail around the world without even getting the hull wet. She was good. Real good. And I would never buy anything from her. I am way to paranoid to ever trust someone that can steer me around like that.

Anyway we toured some boats and chatted in the rain. I like the Catalina 445 as a I’m-so-rich dream boat. But the Jeanneau 37 wasn’t bad as a realistic dream…

We drive back to BC Place and wandered. L and I bought some Gill 3-season gloves so our fingers will be warmer this year. We took in a couple of seminars. One on couples cruising which had a lively speaker and some common sense knowledge and one in canal cruising. This guy, an author of a couple books, needs to take classes in public speaking.

He read from his notes and the only time he had any colour in his voice were the 2 asides when he looked up from his screen. Couple that with a very linear story of his boat buying experience and picture slides with 0 explanations and he had a few people leaving mid-presentation.

Which was too bad because the presentation had good bones and based in his Q&A after he had good knowledge and a charming personality. Margaret liked it though so I guess I was just looking for more. Makes me want to go back though.

The we headed out to the Boathouse overlooking English Bay for an awesome dinner and terrific company. Them’s good peoples.

I really enjoy the boats how. D & M say we really ought to check out Seattle’s show (which just started) so maybe we try that one year. It’s nice to spend a couple of days dreaming and not worrying about reality. Leslie always enjoys Vancouver, and I do too, even if I did get wet.

And now we wait for spring and sailing season :-)

More Day One Images


So off to Vancouver. Our first flight since the no bag/carry on rule change and wow, what a difference. For one thing they have zone boarding now which is good. For another they are actually checking bag sizes. And for yet another thing it now takes flipping forever to board the plane.

Tanstafl as Mr Heinlein used to say. (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch for you uninitiated.)

Off to #YVR and the boat show. Hopefully, after all that sailing in 2014, this year we will have a better idea of what we we are looking at/for.

Day one. Note to self. It rains in Vancouver. Jean jackets are not waterproof.

So I got a bit wet.

How’d he do that?

Well the second issue of the magazine is off to the printers and should be on shelves next week. I did a lot of “fancy” photoshop work this issue—nothing too complex but more than I normally do. One of the articles is on the history of the Bruin Inn in St Albert and the Big Kahuna wanted to try a fancy archival/modern blend. We tried in vain to photograph it, but couldn’t get the framing right and the depth of field was screwing us. That and the photographer was constantly in danger of getting run over.

So we decided to blend three separate images in photoshop to get the desire effect. One was the original archival photo, one was a shot of the restaurant that was built to mimic the Bruin Inn’s architecture and one was of a hand holding a picture. With a lot of careful masking the picture below was slowly built. The big issue I had right up until the last minute was I couldn’t get the thumb to look like it wasn’t “photoshopped” in, which I didn’t want, even though it was. I fought with it several times in vain, but it wasn’t until Zak said the thumb needed a big, soft shadow that I realized what the problem was. It still looks a little fake, but it is miles above what I had. I guess my kid’s pretty smart after all.

Bruin Composite
Archival Photo Credit: Provincial Archives of Alberta, A11605