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Frank and Mary Anne on the dock in Princess Louisa Inlet.
Frank and Mary Anne on the dock in Princess Louisa Inlet.

Frank and I were both over fifty years old when we first stepped onto a sailboat. It had been his idea for the two of us to sign up for sailing lessons in English Bay, something he had long wanted to do, and right away he was in his element. I, on the other hand,  was terrified and dreaded each afternoon on the water. I felt huge relief when the lessons came to an end, and as I stepped ashore after the last one, I vowed never to hoist a sail or man a tiller again.

Then in 1996 we spent a week cruising the waters of Haida Gwaii as paying guests on board a 52 ft. sailboat. It was on this trip that I learned what recreational boating was really all about, and it was also the beginning of the end of my resistance to buying a boat of our own.

In 1999 we bought a 30 ft. Fraser sailboat which we named the Zephyr, and ever since have spent a large part of each summer cruising the Salish Sea and waters north as far as the Broughton Archipelago.

The Zephyr anchored at the foot of Chatterbox Falls in Princess Louisa Inlet.
The Zephyr anchored at the foot of Chatterbox Falls in Princess Louisa Inlet.

We could never have anticipated the importance boating would come to have in our lives, opening up an unexpected world of exploration and learning, daring us to master new skills, face new challenges and participate in exciting adventures well into our golden years.

In this blog I hope to share with other cruisers, coastal dwellers and anyone else who might be interested stories of our experiences on the water–people we have met, animals we have encountered, problems we have solved and knowledge we have gained about our natural world here on the south coast of British Columbia. Perhaps other boaters will respond with stories of their own. If you have a tale to tell about your adventures at sea, I would love to hear from you.