Flashback to the summer of 2007:
I had recently met Ellery and it turned out that his lifelong dream was to sail around the world and he wanted to take me sailing for a week. It turned out that this was actually a test to see if I liked sailing and could hack it on a boat. See, I’m from Edmonton Alberta and had never been on a sailboat before. I didn’t know anything and since I think I’m funny sometimes, I even contemplated showing up dressed like a pirate. I decided against the pirate costume and I’m glad I did because when I told Ellery that later, he thought that would have been weird. Anyway, we spent a week on Ellery’s dad’s boat, sailing in the Gulf Islands. I loved it! It wasn’t exactly as romantic as I had imagined but it was really fun! Ellery showed me lovely anchorages, quaint villages and how to do a few things on the boat. I was hooked! Ellery told me later that I passed his test. He was confident that I would be a good partner for cruising!
Over the next few years we borrowed his dad’s boat a few more times. We also owned a Fireball and a Laser II that we sailed on evenings and weekends. We spent our summer trips kayaking because we needed to get out there, away from everyone and it was an inexpensive and fun way to explore the coast.
On our last big kayak trip in 2014, we schemed how we wanted to buy a sailboat. Then in October 2014, we bought SV Arctic Loon. Since then Ellery has been refitting the boat so that we can do some longer coastal cruising and eventually some offshore cruising.
Over the last two summers we have done as much sailing as possible with a baby (our first daughter Maddie), cruising the Gulf Islands as far north as Saltspring (which really isn’t that far).
Now, we have two little girls, one two years old (Maddie) and one 3 months old (Amelia). This means our days of expedition kayak trips are behind us for a while and our days of coastal cruising are upon us. This summer we are going to take the girls and sail north up through the Gulf Islands with a goal of going farther than we ever have before (Saltspring), which shouldn’t be that hard. We plan to leave before May long weekend and have until mid to late August, so we will just see how far we get before we have to turn around and come back!
I’m a bit nervous about this of course, as we have two little girls but I know we have to go and try for a few reasons. First of all, we’ve been planning this for soooo long and Ellery has been working so hard on the boat to make it comfortable for all of us. Next, my soul is just craving adventure and I want so badly to show our girls this beautiful coast.
And heck, I know what you’re thinking! It’s going to be hard with two young girls onboard! Yes. You know what though? It’s hard now, at home. So, it may as well be hard while we are exploring and seeing new places. Anyway, I like a challenge and so does Ellery.
The next month or so will be filled with heaps of boat prep, which is mainly done by Ellery because I have a 3 month old baby to take care of. While I am breastfeeding and sitting on the couch with a sleeping baby, I will be blogging, route planning and researching how to store food without refrigeration.
Wish us luck and stay tuned!