Skip to content


March 9, 2011

"Sailing the Salish Sea"

Do  you want to learn how to sail, explore the Gulf Islands, see the Sunshine Coast or just go for a cruise ?calgan_23_photo

Should by any chance, reading some of this blog got you dreaming about sailing, fishing or just  just being on the water, you are more than welcome to follow your dream.

Maybe we could help you to turn your vacation into a real adventure ?

Get in touch with me:  here on this blog under comments or at and let me know what you have in mind.

Any interest to come and experience sailing with us, here off Vancouver Island, BC. Canada?

We are not talking yacht club here & the luxury associated with those. We are talking about the adventure, excitement and thrill that comes with sailing.

We are talking about some local sailors here, who are willing to share their seasonal pleasure and world and will accommodate you for a small enough fee or donation.

No regular tours,

you make your own plans and we try to accommodate you.

Just write to me

when  you would like to sail …

what you have in mind…

where you would like to go…

how long a trip… and…

“have you ever been to Sea, Billy?”

happy and lucky goes hand in hand

January 24, 2011

Not that one has to be lucky at all times in order to be happy. But look at the smile of that guy, can you feel just a little of his joy? Most likely even rain instead of sunshine wouldn’t have lessened his hapjan 8 427piness at that moment. Furthermore I bet he was prepared for a sudden change of weather.

Well, this could have been you, if only you had taken a little initiative (I know it is just to easy to come up with 10.000 different excuses why you couldn’t be the one having fun…on the water…). Just remember, if you want it bad enough and are willing to work towards it, it will cross your path eventually.

So start dreaming & scheming, and don’t forget to act (summer is fast, come and then gone).

Will (my self adopted sailor guru) told my the unique part about sailing was, that not one sailing trip was like any other. Every time one went out, it was a complete new experience. He was right. Never once did it feel like a rerun, or “been there before”.

When I first went out with the “Puffin”, I did not fully realize what stubborn a man I was. Sailing taught me to be more flexible, able to change and act fast and to come to compromises. One can’t have it all, most of the time it’s one or the other.

If it was not for the desire to experience something new, we would all still be  living in caves.

There are all kinds of choices. The principals are the same. Get out on the water and let nature give you a ride with help of the wind and the tide.

Skipper Mike would like to be your guide.

All it takes is an idea, a dream and a bit of work or energy to jan 8 438turn it all into a reality.

Never to old to start something new

We are still working on the details, possibilities are endless.

Here is a rough outline of the project. Through the Internet create a network of people with sailing boats and adventure seeking travellers that would love to go sailing (if it wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg). Introduce the various people to one and another and arrange a custom made tour or trip. Not as a business. but as an learning experience, some quality time for the benefit of all involved.

jan 8 423

“Not all who wander are lost.”                     JRR Tolkien

” I’m having a lot more fun, especially in the summer. Sailed all over the place since we last saw each other and feel a lot more confident. Fastest I went this year  with my crown 23 slope “Puffin” was 8 knots {15 km.} from Sidney to Fulford harbour and that’s when the starboard winch broke out of its socket. Thank God I reacted fast enough and solved the problem without hardly losing any speed at all & without losing the winch that was on its way flying overboard.”

Well, let’s start planning, write me an e-mail or leave a comment. Get motivated and do your homework. and

A work in progress…an art form out of the past (sailing that is).

November 14, 2011


Patients can save you a lot of grieve…

So, what really happened the other day ( already heard all kinds of rumours). My little crown slope breaks loose of its anchor and starts drifting. An unexpected westerly wind creates instant turbulence and it’s not easy to chase down my run-away boat with a canoe. Meantime the wave action is increasing and this is no joy ride but turns into a treacherous balancing act (don’t make a mistake, you are almost there..; don’t give up, you are almost there..). I love my “Puffin “ too much to let her drift of to timbaktoo without the captain.

When I finally get close, I only have a few seconds to get a hold of her in this choppy sea, I fail, don’t get close enough and shoot right past. What disappointment, what frustration,..(if only..)  Just try again. Paddling backwoods (got more strength to move against the current and the wind that way) a passing motorboat slows down and is willing to help. The bow-line of my canoe is at the stern (I know, very confusing, but I found the slope can pull the heavy freight-canoe better that way) and I get it across to the motorboat in little time. Everything seems to be going just fine despite the rough water.

Now for the second try, we’re coming closer to the “Puffin”, but I can see the disaster coming. The wake of the motor boat is swamping me full of water. My screams: “I’m sinking, pull me closer” are answered by action and I get a grip on a handle at the stern. Within seconds the canoe is sinking underneath me, but I’m able to pull myself unto the motor-boat. Not only have I lost my dingy, but everything that was in it as well. Furthermore I’m soaking wet…(if only…). Still, no time to quit now. Since there is no other way, I will jump across when we get close enough.

Well, determination pays off. I get on board of the “run-away”, change into semi-dry clothing (there is a big difference between soaking wet and semi dry), pull the anchor and half a mile of chain & line in, set sails and get going against the wind. As abrupt as it began the westerly wind dies down and I’m still out 3 N.M. at Separation Point (yet, 3 miles with no wind and no motor can take forever). And all this misery because my motor broke down. Some 12 hours later I finally manage to hit “Bluenose Marina”, cold, tiered, wet, but home!!!  My new home is on the “Escape”, a 30 ‘ Monk (mahogany hull )which I will introduce soon.

“If only..” I’ve had a little more patients, all of this could have been avoided. When I anchored the “Puffin” last (it was less then halve a mile from her mooring-buoy), I left her in a bad spot ( I was tiered drifting in front of the harbour without a motor). Wouldn’t you know it, shortly after I  had dropped the anchor, enough wind came up to carry me to her secure and proper place.


The worst, but at the same time the best teacher there is…

Your mistakes and mishaps, even if they are of a negative nature, extremely destructive at times and  can be quite painful, are a valuable tool. A stubborn man might repeat them several times before he seriously will make an effort to avoid them, hence a lesson well learned. Not that I encourage you to do wrong in order to find out the consequence. One should try to pick up a general knowledge of what and what not to do in order to avoid accidents. Yet nocalgan_23_photo matter how much you may know or how much you remember, there is always more.

Nothing is as powerful as experience. Some things can’t be taught in a classroom, they have to be experienced.  Often the idea of looking foolish, ignorant and outright dumb to our peers prevents us of trying something new. It scares us to that extreme that we rather pretend to know all about it, but are not really interested, then admitting the truth, that we actually know little, would like to find out more but wont try (out of fear of what the neighbour might think or what we might look like).

If it was not for the desire to experience something new, we would all still be  living in caves.  I would have never gone sailing and definitely would have never started a blog (since my knowledge of computers is extremely limited). All the mistakes I’ve done so far (or still doing on a daily base) will not prevent me to acquire new skills, but help me to become a better blogger, a better sailor and maybe even a better person.

  I can well imagine of how this blog might look like to a professional writer, but so what, it might improve yet.


All for the love of sailing…Image3_thumb8

How wet can it get?

Ever slept in damp clothing,

… bailed water half the time you are awake,

… only to be rained upon some more?

What does it take to be a sailor?

…to be able to grin & bare it, no matter how hard it seems,

… to embrace the storm &  shout for more,

… to be alive.

So, lets go sailing (making sure the boat can take the weather)…we are not suicidal…just love to live intense…the adrenaline, the juice of live flowing freely.

Little to do with sailing,… a reminder…(a dream never dies, just the dreamer…)

November 10, 2011

Sam, the man made me aware of my past by sharing this link with me and I’ll like to put it out there for all :

When I’m reading all those comments and how it affected people who came across Sombrio Beach , the freedom it represented and how much was lost when they reformed the beach, it still makes me a little sad, … on the bright side of the road: 
Nature is enduring, people that are close to her are in general very hardy and freedom loving human beings (… and once this seed is strong enough it will grow, continue and flourish on some other shoreline).
Nowadays I’m sailing along the Gulf Islands and up and down the Straits, still searching. I find like-minded people wherever I go.

It was never about rejecting all progress, but to question a society that uses all means to destroy this Earth, desensitise the public from nature and their alternative life-styles they may adopt.

Peace, love and freedom (not just a nostalgic phrase out of the past) but a dream that will never die.

if there is a hard way, I’ll find it

September 4, 2011

hurry up and wait…, got big plans of improvement and …time and tide waits for no man.

Turning simple tasks into a major and mind-boggling complication is my specialty. Everything seems to be overwhelming when it’s unknown. Once you’ve comprehended and done that what is new to you , it becomes so easy, you wonder why you made such a big deal of it. Your negativism telling yourself  you can’t do that or don’t know how to,  is not only an excuse,  but can become a major obstacle.

Will poor old “Puffin” ever forgive me all the abuse only a novice sailor can put on a boat?  The strain and stress I put on the hull, stays and sails done a lot of damage. My ignorance wasn’t bliss, but created all sorts of problems. All the cold facts I was not aware of….ignoring rather then investigating,… what did it get me but apathy, laziness, an unhealthy life and boat.

Well, from leaking like a sieve to keeping the bilge water below the floor boards (without hauling the boat out of the water) was no simple task, but was do-able and thanks to Will  (my friend and tutor) was done.

So, now we are temporary patched up and sailing again. Next will be replacing the worn out stays and get better sails. At the speed I’m going about things… when ever the boat will be seaworthy, I will be, too.

As long as we don’t come to a complete stand still…just remember,…time and tide waits for no man.Here is a condition you don't want to find yourself in when sailing. It happens only when you get into too shallow water and the tide catches you unaware

sailing versa almighty $

May 25, 2011

DSCN9597 Why is a simple art form, to move a boat with only sails & rope so closely related to an industry that seems to have itself consumed by greed ?

The modern definition of boat (Bring On Another Thousand) was created by the illusion sailing relates to yachting relates to wealth & prestige. A romantic idea of freedom only a certain class of people can afford.

Get out your credit card should you need marine supplies, a marina or simply a parking spot for a few hours.

Is it any wonder that sailing is in decline, boats are being neglected and once deteriorated beyond repair even abandoned to sink.

So now even fewer people can enjoy the pleasure of sailing, with the price of a newer boat being out of reach for the average man & the upkeep and maintenance of older boats more expensive than ever.

March 21, 2011

look who came to play with us while crossing the Georgia Straight

look who moved into Cowichan Bay and decided to stay

…what, where, when & how

March 21, 2011

What?…sailing, adventure & excitement…

…being on the water, close to nature & elements…being thrilled, excited & relaxed (all according to weather & wind conditions), …or just feel , experience and listen to the

Map picture

Salish Sea.

Where?…on the West coast of BC. to the South/East coast of Vancouver Island

…from Nanaimo, BC. to the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia,…from Vancouver BC. to Crofton BC.,…around Saltspring, Gabriola, Pender, only to name a few if the islands…to Sidney BC…to Victoria,BC.; anywhere there is water…,…that’s our play-ground.

When? …all year, all seasons and any time it feels right…

…if the wind is blowing,…if it’s not too cold,…if rain or shine,…when the desire to go sailing is stronger than …? (comments needed).

How ?…Still a work in progress…

letter from my son Ian:

“I like the idea of customizing trips, and the possibility of convoys.

The donations idea is good too. It just seems right. I do, however, see some issues with it and would recommend stratifications:

1. Day cruises: these could consist of a bit of a run down and back in the bay. It could include some “hands on” sailing by the folks who want to give it a go. If you have enough gas in the tank to ensure safety and enough life jackets, I’m sure people would like this sort of adventure option. For this, you could lay down your hat and take whatever people felt was justified for the good time out on the water.

2. Custom trips: because there would need to be some planning of a time frame (at least for tides and the possibility of low wind) with some idea of pick up and drop off times, you would need to have enough supplies (food, but more importantly gas) to make things feasible for folks who can’t play all week long. Due to the nature of having to buy supplies, I think you should ask for the supplies to be paid for in advance. This would also make it work for other boats to join the convoy because they wouldn’t be out of pocket to join (and wouldn’t blame you if they didn’t get any donations). After supply bills are squared away, you could still use the donation system for services rendered. That way everyone can focus on the adventure at hand rather than the funding aspect.

Overall, I think doing your adventure plan this way as a Not For Profit organization would exempt you from certain rules other outfits that charge big bucks for this type of stuff might need to follow, but I would suggest you find out what those rules are and try to follow them because they’re probably good guidelines (pencil pushers regulate everything that moves, you know).

Another thing to keep in mind is the local tourism boating industry in Cow Bay. You want to coexist with them and not undercut them in what they are doing. Just have a peek and see what they are up to. You aren’t competing with them, but you might give them a motive to shut you down or chase you off if you are getting in their hair.

Anything else?

Booking system? First come first serve? Connect over the internet? Communicate via email? Have a chat over coffee first to ensure you aren’t inviting people on board that might go cuckoo or throw up all over themselves?

Perhaps the “tour” could have a discussion on philosophy and closeness to nature. I know I’ll never forget those killer whales.

I’m sure if you get your blog noticed in the right corner of the internet, you’ll have all kinds of cool people interested in going for cruises.


A very supportive letter, but then he is my son. So all you pessimists and critics, give it to me, my skin is well weathered and thick (I can take it, as long as it is not just pure abuse).

I’m collecting  ideas …do you want to contribute?

Links & useful hints

March 16, 2011

“Not all who wander are lost.”                     JRR Tolkien  

This area, part of the traditional lands of the Coast Salish Cowichan people, is recognized for its warm temperate climate as well as the hospitality of the people who live here. The Cowichan is a visitor’s destination for its arts and culture, its marine and eco tourism, its culinary and wine events, its beautiful lakes and rolling mountains and picturesque towns.

so, where are we at:………………jpg&nbimages=1&clf=1

Separation Point, Cowichan Bay, BC, 3NM and we are back home. See the harbour in the distance?

Cowichan Bay / Vancouver Island / British Columbia / Canada                                   January 8th 2011

Cowichan Bay has a lot to offer:

jan 8 589


explore the Bay:


explore the village:

people from the Salish Sea,25
everything under one roof, have a look at the resort
museum/wooden boats
sea food available on several locations in village, or straight from the boat at fisherman’s wharf
happenings are plentiful


close to Duncan,BC:

Vancouver Island 625 

on Vancouver Island…

traveling to Victoria or Vancouver it’s a lot cheaper to use local transit and board the BCFerry as a walk-on passenger

winter colourswinter colours winter colours jan 8 598

Separation Point, Cowichan Bay, BC, 3NM and we are back home. See the harbour in the distance?


Never to old to start something new

If it was not for the desire to experience something new, we would all still be  living in caves.