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?