Back in the saddle again

This is happening

After a hiatus of several years, I’ve decided to resurrect the old blog.

Things have changed, they did so several years ago, rendering the theme of the original blog obsolete. You see, we decided NOT to go buy the boat on the westcoast ūüė¶ Hey, but when one door closes a window opens (or something like that). We decided instead to buy a grocery store in Calgary … not exactly a prime location to own a large oceangoing vessel.

Now, maybe we’ll feel like buying ourselves a yacht once we’ve made our fortune here in Calgary, anything can happen.

So why bring the ol’ blog back to life now … well, we’re on the verge of heading out on a vacation of a lifetime for us. It’s a 30 day cruise up the west coast of Africa. I thought it would be a great time to bring her out of mothballs so I can chronicle our journey. Stay tuned.


Remember When “Dusty Rose” was in?

We liked this once !?!
It would have been about a decade after Harvest Gold and shag carpeting. You remember if you’re my age. I wonder which colors we like today that future generations will think are hideous.

Hubby and I went to look at a boat a few weeks ago. It was built in the eighties, so, you guessed it … dusty rose throughout. I mean carpets, curtains … anything fabric was pink. But, if you could look past the pinkness of it, the boat had good bones. We thought it had potential.

The day we went was blustery cold, brrr. I kept going back to the galley to stand by the space heater while hubby exchanged boating anecdotes with the boat broker. Fun times!

I will admit that we were just kicking tires this time. We’re not in a position to buy a boat just yet. One day it will happen. This particular boat would have required some remodelling, which would have placed it out of our price range anyway.

It was nice though, just to be able to walk around a boat and “pretend”.

Odds ‘n Ends

This is not our yacht. Photo By Pline, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
Hi everyone!

I thought today I’d bring you up to speed re: what’s happening in our lives that’s boat related. Here it is, in no particular order:

1. I passed my boating exam! Yay! You can now rest easy that I won’t ram into your boat when I’m out cruising the waters, as I’m down with the Collision regulations. Now, don’t go worrying about hubby, he’s also legal, but he didn’t have to take the exam since he already took the course (lucky him). He was a real trooper though, and went to all of the classes with me (when he was in town, that is).

2. We’re registered for a new boating course. It’s Maritime Radio and is only three nights – much shorter than the last one. This course will provide us with a restricted radio operating certificate, or something like that. I’m looking forward to the class because I never did learn when to use Mayday versus Pan Pan in the boating class. I don’t want to get the two mixed up. Once we’re finished, we’ll take a bit of a break from boating courses for awhile.

3. We’ll probably be heading out to BC for a couple of days (I won a trip!) towards the end of Feb. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to scope out potential boating location #1 while we’re there. We’ll also get to check out a Canucks game as part of the prize winning package! Whoa, it just doesn’t get anymore exciting than this. Unfortunately, the prize package is just for me, so I can’t bring hubby into the hospitablity suite at the game ūüė¶ I will be sure to text him and send photos showing him how great it is. He’ll appreciate that.

4. We waded through snowbanks to enjoy a social evening hosted by the local Power Squadron chapter last Friday. Two couples shared their adventures sailing on the Westcoast last summer. Looked like great fun, and it made us both wish we were there.

5. We haven’t checked out any new boats, nor have we had anymore interest in the house … soon, soon.

Well now you know what we’re up to. BTW if you did buy us that boat for Christmas, I think there’s been a mix up at the dealership, as we haven’t received a call about it yet. You might want to follow up on that.

You are cordially invited …

Bowen Island by Philippe Giabbanelli under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
… to spend a “virtual” day on our boat. In other words, if we had a boat, you’d be invited out for the day, but since we don’t, well then this will be the next best thing.

So, bring your imagination and let’s get started!

OK – we’d like to get started early (that’s 10:00 am for us). Can you meet us at the dock in town (to be specified later). We’ll come and pick you and your belongings up in the dinghy (don’t forget sunscreen and a hat). Don’t bring anything if you’re afraid to get it wet. No cats please.

I think we should talk ahead of time to decide where you would like to go for the day. If you want a really lazy day, we can just stay anchored in the harbour. Your call.

Ok, well here we are at the boat … watch your step getting off – that first one is a doozy, and we don’t want to have to fish you out of the water ūüôā

So, you say that you want to venture over to Bowen Island. Good choice! I’ve never been there. We’ll have a look at the tide charts plan our route and we’re good to go.

We’ll take it pretty slow – probably travelling at 8 knots or so. So kick back and relax and just enjoy the scenary. Can I get you anything to drink? Champagne and orange juice – alright – I like the way you think.

Look at that, we’re here already. I think we’ll anchor off Snug Cove and take the dinghy in. How about that, we’re just in time for lunch. Want to head over to Doc Martin’s pub? You can have the fish ‘n chips. I’ll just have chips, thanks! (and maybe a beer). Ahh, this is the life isn’t it.

You want to go for a hike after lunch – I’m in! I hear there’s a path over to Killarney Lake. it looks very picturesque – it’s only a 45 minute walk.

Well, wasn’t that a wonderful outing. Are you ready to head back to the boat – that’s terrific. We’ve got something really special planned for diinner. “What’s that?”, you ask – well it’s (insert name of favorite food here). Ahh, yes, isn’t it nice to be sitting on the deck, eating a wonderful meal. It’s such a warm summer evening. I just love listening to the gentle lap of the waves and enjoying the company of good people such as yourself. I hope you enjoyed your dinner. Now, let’s just kick back, relax, turn on some tunes and look at the stars.

It just doesn’t get any better than this, does it?

Christmas Gift Ideas for the Would-be Boat Owner

Hi everyone, as Christmas quickly approaches, I thought I would help all of you out by providing some¬† “boaty” Christmas gift ideas.¬† Oh, you know just in case you were looking for a gift for a beloved boater in your family.

Actually, I’m not seriously suggesting that you should get these for us, so go ahead and put your wallet away ūüôā

Rama, cc-by-sa-2.0-fr
  • A survival suit.¬† With one of these puppies, we could fall overboard, and bob around happily until help arrives.¬†
  • Drogue see my earlier post in which I discuss this wonderful device:
  • Lounge wear – you know, so your boat friend can lounge around on the boat.¬† I know that’s what I’ll be doing.
  • Fancy glasses – that is drink glasses, not eyeglasses.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen – for those among you that like to give practical gifts.¬†
  • Earplugs – “Why?”, you ask.¬† To drown out the moaning of the skipper’s seasick companion.
  • T-shirts (Mine sould read skipper, and hubby’s¬†should read Crew).¬† Oh ho, wouldn’t that be fun on Christmas morning.
  • Gravol &/or motion sickness relief band.¬† For obvious reasons.
  • Marine GPS – so we don’t get lost on the way to visit you.
  • Weather walkie-talkie – oh yeah – I’ve seen one of these.¬† It gives off an alarm whenever there’s a nearby weather warning.
  • Not a cat.¬† Just in case you thought cats and boats go together.¬† And besides, we already have one.
  • A yacht.¬† Go ahead and get your wallet out again.¬† We’ll take this one.¬†

    image from

Have a wonderful Holiday Season everyone!

Top 10 Boating Songs

… and Row, Row, Row Your Boat isn’t one of them.

I thought, for fun, I’d share with you my all time favorite top 10 boating songs…¬† So, without further ado, here they are in reverse order:

10.  Six Months in a Leaky Boat by Split Enz

9.  Sail Away by Enya

8. Captain of Her Heart by Double

7. Brandy by Looking Glass

6. Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot

5. Sailing by Christopher Cross

4. Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding

3. The Last Farewell by Roger Whittaker (yes, that’s right)

2. Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills and Nash

and the winner is!!! …

1. La Mer by Charles Trenet.¬† And I’ve included a link to the winning song, in case you’re not familiar with it…La Mer

I would like to qualify this list by saying that not all songs were chosen based on their artistic merit.  Some I included for nostalgic reasons.  For example, I had to include Six Months in a Leaky Boat after seeing Split Enz perform the song live in concert Рthey were so energetic (and dressed like sailors!).  How could I not?

Anyway, that’s me … what are your top 10?

That Boat we Bought

The one that got away

Aha – got your attention!

Well, to be fair, I guess the title should read “That Boat we Almost Bought”.

I thought today, I would regale you with the story of the boat that we almost bought about a year ago.¬† The story goes like this …

We stopped by the Boat Broker’s office when we were on Vancouver Island,¬†Thanksgiving before last.¬† We just wanted to get the lay of the land, see what was available boat-wise on the market.¬†

We were actually on the lookout for an old fishing boat that we could refurbish and live on.¬† After a brief conversation with our boat expert, we learned that a fishing boat may not be the way to go.¬† You see, fishing boats are designed to have holds full of fish, and a refurbished one wouldn’t be that stable without a lot of ballast in the hold.¬† We didn’t want to put ballast in the hold, we wanted to put beds there.¬† Hmmm, maybe lead beds would work.¬† Anyway, I digress….

So, onto plan B, a motor yacht, and our broker friend just happens to have his eye on a beauty.¬† The price is reasonable, and what do we think?¬† Well, we look at it on-line, and we like it! It’s an older boat, to be sure, but it has everything we need and abundant cabin space.¬† We return home, and ponder for awhile, then book another trip to the coast to have a look at her.

She’s also impressive in person, sitting larger than life in the water.¬† Her owner takes us for a short cruise and we are in love. Having been reassured by the salesman not to worry about the fact that we still haven’t sold our house … there are ways of making these things work out.¬† We pressed on and made an offer – which was accepted.¬† Yay!

Now, since you know we don’t¬†own a boat, you know that something must have gone wrong.¬† Yes, you’re right.¬† Two things really.¬† First of all, our house still hadn’t sold, and it turns out that the salesman’s re-assurances were just that, reassurances¬†– there wasn’t a grand scheme to help us own both a boat and a house at the same time.¬† Imagine that.¬†¬†In hindsight, duh!

The second issue, and ultimately our saving grace was that the boat appraisal we had done returned some pretty dismal results.  There was a de-lamination issue with the boat that could cost us upwards of $100,000 Рyikes!

Well, we took that opportunity to bail (get it, bail), and got out of Dodge.¬† We were a little sad –¬†it was a great boat and the owners really made a positive impression on us.¬† I suspect, if our house had sold, we would have made that particular deal work somehow.

But, now we’re on to bigger and better things!

Just a side note about the delay in buying ourselves a boat.¬† When winter arrived, and we went to shovel for the first time,¬†we¬†couldn’t find our snow shovel.¬† We had sold it in a garage sale last spring!¬† Also, I still can’t find my winter boots.¬† I think I may have thrown them away.¬† I guess the lesson here is sometimes¬†we optimists get burned ūüôā But now I get to buy a new pair if winter boots – so not really – yay!