Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Whale of a tale

So there we were on our lesson day...  just finishing lunch while hove-to.  For those non Sailors, to "heave-to" is a way of virtually staying in the same spot while your sails are up.  You use your foresail, and main sail against the force of the keel and rudder to maintain position in the water.
My and my three ladies were having an awesome day.  Just enough wind in the morning, and virtually none when it became docking practice time.  Sunshine.  Good people.
What else could you ask for????

Well WHALES of course!!!    At that moment, just when Heather went down to use the head, up pops three Orcas!  Holy amazing..  and close enough we could reach them... well, almost.  a mum and her pups I assume.  but thats not all... while we were revelling in the glory of having whales right beside us, up pops two more off to the Starboard side! .... Then, forward- three more,... but wait... they were headed strait towards us and only about 50 yards off!  down they went! ....  ...  Unsure of where they were coming up, I told the girls to hang on.  They did eventually pop up just aft of us, and carried on their way.
In all I think there were at least 12 of them,  including two males in the distance.  In our area, its rare to see Orcas, and especially that close up.

I had three ladies onboard that day.  One of them has been overcoming a fear of Sailing after a very traumatic experience years ago. She is an awesome student and very eager to learn.  We look forward to having her crew with us on some Wednesday racing.  The Second sailed years ago, kayaks mostly now, but wants to get back to it.  The third was quite new to Sailing and trying to see the value in it.  Even though her husband is an avid sailor, she never took to it very well; fear and not understanding can be large obstacles.   The next day she asked her husband to take her out on their boat and they had a beautiful enjoyable day which included a second spotting of our whale friends.

We are taking that as a sign.  Positive and motivational.  It makes you realize how precious our waters are and how much you need to be aware of your surroundings. You never know what is in your path.
After all,  Life is short.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

New Blog, lets try this out for size

So, life just goes on and on... and we have decided that a Blog might help us realize that life is short.  We best get a move on it.

So here we are in Parksville Canada,  Beautiful little ocean town on Vancouver Island,  paradise of the Island actually.  More retired people in this area of BC than anywhere else in the world, apparently, so you can imagine how traffic flows!!!!!  Coming from Edmonton, ( 4 years now)  I am still adjusting to the pace of driving speed here.    Little to say, yes, it stresses me out..... but maybe i need to chill sometimes and smell the flowers.  And Yes, we have a lot of them here.

So we have gotten ourselves a mid-term boat.  Yes, an ocean cruiser is what is in the plan, again,  but this little gem came upon us and we could not pass it up.  Maxim is a Crown 28  ( a what???##@!!)  yes thats what I said too.  A Crown 28 is built upon the model of a Cal,  she is a steady little tug that just keeps going...  Her 11 hp diesel engine is a tank, and she sails like a charm.  We have started doing some teaching upon her.. and she is great for the ladies courses I teach out of Schooner Cove Marina.  We actually race her too.  Yes, RACE,...  we are being generous here....  Maxim weights just over 6000 lbs, has a cast iron keel, drafts 5'  and has a 258 PHRF rating.  Im sure you can figure it out, we come in last over the line consistently,  but we are consistent.  HOWEVER, we did place second in our home port two day regatta in June.  So racers we are  lol.  After our win again, with Judy and Paul in Swiftsure in our division on Annie,  we have a claim to fame.  :)
Here is a picture of our lovely vessel, this just happens to be right before the fire...

FIRE!!!  yes... long story.. but all is well...  We met friends Judy and Paul, and Norris and Karen in Conover Cove last September, when after a full day sail, the battery was dead again... so we switched batteries underway.  We are efficient in the way that we had taken an extra battery with us on our honeymoon voyage.  (we had experienced battery trouble since we purchased the boat).  So after our champagne and treats celebrating our marriage with Norris and karen, who couldn't make it to our wedding in august,  we retired for the night.  Well we turned the batter switch on, and WOW were the lights ever bright!   So we tidied up a bit,  cause thats what honeymooners do,...  then smelled..  and sniffed... and thought... and sniffed again...  FIRE !!!  RIP THE HATCH COVER OFF,  HOLY CRAP!!!  Fire extinguisher close by, the prudent safety sailors we are...  and got it out.  All was fine...
When mentioned to our friends in the morning they thought something else was up.. they never thought it would be that kind of fire!!!
Anyways,   we fixed it and carried on, no real damage done. We just got to spend the day in Conover Cove!

So thru the winter we went, sailing-  er... racing with the best of them in our club winter race series.  Amazing Grace, Shingebiss, Flight and the like....  completely destroying us all winter...  They are patient though, and always waited for us to finish before starting the next race.  Thanks guys!

Now we are into summer fun series.  Ashely and Phil have taken well to being our crew and besides Phil handling the pole so well...  Ashley has taken the helm a few times.  they are learning and are great students.  Summer series is fun racing.   No one keeps score and when you are race officer you get to decide who wins.
We won last week since I disqualified everyone else.  :)  Yesterday, in no wind,  yes NONE, we actually went backwards, we were the winners again since we were the last boat to quit.  We missed the whales, but we were the last quitters.  And it wasn't even dark  LOL

Darren is getting back into Kayaking.  Something he has missed over the last year or so.  With me not being able to do it, he has focused on Sailing a bit more, and has even taken the boat out on his own once.  He is excited to start coaching again.  I guess when you love something so much,, you should just do it  cause you never know when time is up.

We will be out on a boat again one day soon,  full time I hope.. but first we have to finish this house...  we are close to the end..  The garage and two bathrooms left... phew!!!

Well,  life is short.  I better get back to it. Sail safe, have fun, and enjoy what you have every minute.