“Our world then was both wide and narrow – wide in the immensity of sea and mountain; narrow in that the boat was very small, and we lived and camped, explored and swam in a little realm of our own making.”
– M. Wylie Blanchet (The Curve of Time)
On August 12th, our crew of four set sail for the coast of beautiful British Columbia. Our vessel Sunrise, was going to be our home, transit and refuge for the following three weeks. Upon boarding Sunrise, we threw away the complexities of land life, and turned to a simpler way of living. Although much more simple, being on the water brings its own set of challenges- catabolic winds, or no winds at all, tidal changes and dragging anchors. The list goes on, but surely makes life at sea all-the-more exciting.
While I have always been a land dweller, I truly believe that there is no better way to explore our coast than at sea. We started our journey in the Saanich Inlet and headed for Desolation Sound and the encompassing passages. Our pace of travel enabled us to fully take in the beauty of our surroundings, while stopping for frequent ocean dips, whale encounters and majestic mountain views.
Before our trip, I had never experienced life on a sailboat. While things would be extremely calm as we puttered along, a quick decision made by the crew after debating about the favours of the wind, would flip the calm upside down and turn it into a storm. All of a sudden everybody would tuck away their belongings and head for their positions. One person on the tiller, another on the traveler, one of us on the jib sheet, while another heads to the bow to raise the sail. Up goes the jib, as I hear Gabe yell “we’re flying”. As we’re all excited to be sailing, the wind dies down yet again and we’re back to the mercy of the current. On goes the motor, down comes the sail, until we feel the wind is in our favour again.