Wednesday, 29 June 2011

a stepping stone

We are in the throes of planning a 2-week journey to Barkley Sound. Two weeks, pfff. No biggie, right? It's nowhere near as big a deal as heading down to Mexico in September. But we are facing a few firsts. It's a small big deal.

Visualizing  our small voyage
Click on image to enlarge.

Charts and Cruising guides.
Kyra tackles analog planning.
We are heading out to the west coast of Vancouver Island. (The region that has long been known as The Graveyard of the Pacific.) We have wanted to do this for a long time. Limitations such as work schedules and the like, have conspired against us. So, this time we're doing it. We want to test our boat, our new boat systems and the crew. We're planning an overnight passage to get to Barkley Sound, (92 nautical miles), as well as an offshore stint from there with our buddy boat Antares. Just to try it out. (We also hope to explore some of the Broken Group and meet up with friends on another boat.) This is pretty much a shakedown prior to the big jump. There are many items that we need to cross off our offshore to-do list in order to go on this particular voyage. It's becoming the stepping-stone trip. After that, we have one and a half months to ready ourselves, fix things, alter things based on what we've learned on this little voyage, and so on. It's all a bit surreal, really.

Installing the new arch and other misadventures.
Our friend A, is on the right.
Our friend A, who has sailed extensively off the west coast of the Island, and down to Mexico, has been a wonderful source of information and encouragement for all our endeavours. What I like about this particular friend, is how he focuses on the exciting adventurous aspects of our dreams. He does talk about what we need, what we must be aware of, what to look out for. (This is all very valuable too.) And then, he'll pause and say something like: "You know, be ready. Be ready for the first time you feel the open ocean swell as you go out of the Strait... Woah, it's so great! You can feel a whole ocean behind it, it's so different from what you've experienced so far on the inside passage." In those moments, his eyes light up, and you can't help but get more excited at the prospect of the adventure. We've had conversations like this about going offshore, long passages, where A talks about the good stuff. The simple joys. I like that. (I do rather well on my own, when it comes to worrying or freaking out anyhow.)

And then, there's the early
morning digital research
I should add that A is not the only one of our sailor friends who balance cautionary tales with encouragement and excitement, we're lucky. But I have noticed a trend. When you plan a big adventure, say, sailing south to Mexico from Canada. The closer the departure date, the more horror stories start to sprinkle conversations. I've noticed this trend when a pregnant woman is about to go into labour, there is always someone who will have a story about the horrible experience so-and-so went through. Humans are strange that way. Someone like A is a refreshing breath of fresh air. 

In the midst of projects, course planning, reading cruising guides and figuring out what provisions to bring... We're feeling giddy. Perhaps that is not the coolest word I could have chosen. But we are. Giddy that we're trying something different, learning something new, and getting closer to the adventure of a lifetime.


  1. How exciting! We wish ya'll the best and we're sure it will be a blast! We have yet to experience our shakedown cruise (soon we hope), and "giddy" sounds like what we'd expect if we were doing this. Can't wait to hear about it!

  2. ooohhhhh, that's where your going. Thanks for the map, I'm a visual kinda person ;) AHHH!!! Your going all the way out there!!!????? hahaha, just kidding. You will love it , I am sure of that and it looks like a blast!!!!!!!! Love you guys,
    (and I can't wait to hear all the gory stories)
    xoxoxoxox Jen and Fam

  3. Pfff. You funny girl - you know that part of the west coast has been referred to as "The Graveyard of the Pacific"? I'm not sure why I'm the last to know this, but hey, gotta sharpen those navigation skills, this will be a good test... Don't worry, gory details coming up! :) xo Kyra (and Rick)



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