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Old 19-06-2017, 19:00   #1
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Thumbs up Were off on our first cruise!

Hi All,

I have lurked here for some 2 years now, occasionally posting questions, but mostly absorbing what knowledge I could from peoples experiences sailing, with my main interest being sailing catamarans.

I guess my story is probably somewhat typical. Middle aged fellow, married with kids, longs to go to sea, but the wife wants none of it. Doesn't like monohulls. No talking her out of it. Then, some 2+ years ago I stumbled across sailing catamarans, and our world changed.

My wife turned. She did a complete 180 degree about face when we started learning about catamarans from sites like this, and magazines, boat shows, Yacht World, and of course the ever burgeoning YouTube network. Particularly Brent and Ana on catamaran Impi, and a few other good chroniclers that I'm sure many of you are familiar with. All of a sudden my wife saw the possibilities. She realized that sailing was not only something she could see herself doing, but she started seeing it as something that she could get excited about. We have since started gearing our lives around the idea that when I retire in 8 or so years, we will start looking for a boat of our own, and start the process of moving onboard and setting sail. It seems like a long way off, but by then all our ducks will be in a row, and we will be as set to go as we can be.

And here we are. About to set off on our first ever cruise. My wife's first time out on a bigger boat, my 2 kids first time out on a bigger boat, and MY first time beyond day sailing on a bigger boat!

I have to say, I'm pretty excited, but readily confess to being somewhat nervous too.

I have a lot of experience with smaller boats, mostly power, but some sailing. I grew up on a decent sized lake with an uncle who lovedboats, worked in the industry, and took me under his wing. Most things boat come pretty naturally to me because of it, and I am thankful for that. We have also owned power boats for exploring and fishing in our local waters. That said, I have never sailed a yacht, mono or cat. So, as the first step in making our sailing dream a reality, we booked a 5 day "Cruise and Learn" from Coopers Boating, and will shortly be setting sail from Vancouver on a Lagoon 38 with the kids and an instructor.

I am hoping to do almost all the sailing, and can't wait to learn the boat. I want to know what everything is, and work it, and understand it. I can't wait to feel the ocean under my feet again, being pushed along by the breeze... oh I do so hope it's fair winds and sunny skies. Perhaps our somewhat hesitant and shy summer might finally make an appearance...

We are learning about some areas within striking distance, mainly the Gulf islands, or up to Pender Harbour, or Jervis Inlet, if it's not to far. We don't have much time. And we will have a lot to learn.

Hopefully no one gets sea sick, but we are prepared in case. I think my wife and I will be fine, not too worried about the instructor (sorry Rick), but unsure about the kids. Then again, that's why we are doing this. Shake out cruise, and learn. I hope my kids will love it!

My wife and I will be following this trip up with more lessons and instructed sailing from Coopers, and hopefully some good crew experience.

Anyway, if anyone would like to put forth suggestions or cast pearls of wisdom, I am all ears!

Steve
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Old 19-06-2017, 19:43   #2
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Re: Were off on our first cruise!

Hi Steve, you are about to embark on a great adventure. Me and my wife did the same course last year on a 43 foot mono. Also in the gulf islands. We had a blast.
This may we chartered Stray Cat from Coopers. We spent five days in the gulf islands again. The boat is awesome, nicely set up, and quite comfortable. ( we are now firmly in the cat club as well)
The feel is different from a mono, more slippery for lack of a better word. It didn't make much difference to me, but was tremendously better for Allison. If you head through a pass you will definitely notice the difference. Slack tide is your friend.
If you want to experience towns, Ganges is a great place especially on Saturday for the market.(if your wife is anything like mine, she will love shopping at Mouats) For scenic/rustic but still has a great cappacino, go to telegraph harbour. For more rustic and a fantastic hike, Wallace Island is hard to beat.
My only real recommendation for the boat itself is dock port tie, if you are sleeping in the owners side(starboard) or vice versa. On a windy night you hear the fenders a lot if docked on the side you are sleeping in.
Have fun and learn lots:-)
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Old 21-06-2017, 21:05   #3
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Re: Were off on our first cruise!

"My only real recommendation for the boat itself is dock port tie, if you are sleeping in the owners side(starboard) or vice versa. On a windy night you hear the fenders a lot if docked on the side you are sleeping in."

Good advice! I would not have thought of it, at least the first night
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Old 25-06-2017, 19:00   #4
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Re: Were off on our first cruise!

Let us know how it goes!
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Old 25-06-2017, 20:00   #5
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Re: Were off on our first cruise!

My wife did not want to do a circumnavigation in a monohull, but she was willing to do it in a catamaran. So we ended up doing it in a cat.

We are getting ready to do it again, and my wife is more than happy to go along since we are in a cat.

If it works for her, it works for me!
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Old 25-06-2017, 20:18   #6
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Re: Were off on our first cruise!

Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 28-06-2017, 21:39   #7
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Re: Were off on our first cruise!

Steve,

There is a BC Multihull club that has a gathering and fun race if you want at Cowichin Bay Aug 5 & 6. If you can, make plans to get there. Some will continue north for more cruising afterwards. Some of us Yanks also get up there. Congrats on the new boat.
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Old 03-07-2017, 19:47   #8
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Re: Were off on our first cruise!

Ahoy Sailors!

We are back from out 5 day trip out of Vancouver, and it was simply outstanding! This was our first ever charter and first time on a sailing yacht of any real magnitude. It was amazing! Exhausting, exhilarating, stressful, and brilliant!



We early boarded Sunday afternoon, and spent our time exploring Granville Island, provisioning with fresh fruit and veggies from the market, and visiting with family. We met our captain, an instructor with Cooper Boating in Vancouver, and discussed boats and trips, and possible routes for us to take. Captain Rick was energetic, enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. I knew it was going to be a heck of a run, and I was right.

Cap'n Rick wanted to make sure that we got every ounce of that CYA Basic Cruising course material as best we could before the 5 days were over. We would talk sailing and drill and sail all day, and do course work all evening, several times until midnight! It left little time for much else, and our two kids did occasionally get a little bored. Who can blame them? None the less, over all they had a good time, and occasionally really enjoyed themselves! I'd say they did very well indeed.

We set off Monday morning at the crack of 10ish, and motored our way out of the harbour and into English Bay. From there we put up the mainsail and jib, and tacked for Pt Atkinson. The wind was a steady 15, and the seas were short and rough. We beat our way past Point Atkinson, and into Howe Sound. That night was spent on a public dock in Plumper Cove on Keats Island, across from Gibsons.



Early the next morning, we motorsailed back around Keats Island and into the Strait of Georgia, where we had a pleasant, light wind sail across to Silva Bay, where we waited for slack tide to transit Gabriola Passage.

Here's a Lagoon 42 doing the passage...



We explored Herring Bay on Ruxton Island briefly, before settling in at Pirates Cove on DeCourcy Isle for an evening on the hook. I awoke in the middle of the night as the wind had shifted and was now blowing straight into out otherwise perfectly sheltered little bay. I went topside to check our position and see if the Rochna was still holding fast, and noticed how the water was full of bio-luminescent creatures. My wife and I spent the next 10 minutes running our hands in the water through the escape hatch, and marveling at life.



The next day saw us enjoying some wing on wing downwind sailing, before the morning breeze puffed out and left us motor-sailing most of the way south to Poet's Cove on Pender Island. We were fortunate enough to have made good time, and found some wind to muck around in, practicing tacking and working on the Man Overboard drill, before it too disappeared, and we motored the last hour into Poet's Cove and took a slip for the night.



The next day we spent the morning practicing docking, and we practiced, and practiced. Several different approaches (The practice payed off, as on our return to Granville Island, I managed to dock nicely at the fuel dock for refilling [$88cdn], and slid the vessel stern to into her narrow slip without a hitch!). After conquering the dock, we motor-sailed up to Montague Bay on Galiano Island, where my wife practiced her dingy skills, and I went walking with the kids.



Up early and out the next morning saw us once again motor-sailing to catch slack tide at Porlier Passage, for the run across the Straits back to Granville Island and eventually home... exhausted, but elated.



We miss the boat. We miss the feel of the sea and the little taste of yacht life we experienced. We are hooked, and will continue to learn and sail and explore and share. Many, many thanks to our Captain Rick, who drove us hard and instilled many valuable lessons that we will carry forward with us as we continue to expand our sailing lives.
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Old 03-07-2017, 20:21   #9
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Re: Were off on our first cruise!

Nice Report:

Hopefully you can make other fun vacations on 1-2 week charters before you retire. Many great places to go. Hopefully will also be able to sail locally as well.

I put my dreams off way too long. Finally have a cat (in charter) which I have used 7 weeks in past year, mostly 2 weeks at a time, in BVI. Planning about the same next year and then hopefully with empty nest, we can progress to a month long or so Caribbean sail outside BVI.

Enjoy the journey!
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Old 03-07-2017, 21:08   #10
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Re: Were off on our first cruise!

Glad you enjoyed it, and really glad it met and surpassed your expectations.
The gulf islands truly are spectacular. And Coopers is a great company to deal with. I am hoping to get back there next year as well.
Seeing the bio luminescence is awesome. I haven't for years, but I did a night dive in Campbell River a couple decades ago where it was almost like sparks flying off me.
It sounds like your future is decided. Pursue it, enjoy it, and keep learning.
Hope to meet you on the water one day.
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:53   #11
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Re: Were off on our first cruise!

How much did they charge you for the "Cruise and Learn" ?
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Old 04-07-2017, 14:37   #12
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Re: Were off on our first cruise!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post

We miss the boat. We miss the feel of the sea and the little taste of yacht life we experienced. We are hooked, and will continue to learn and sail and explore and share.

Yay! Money well spent!

Congrats!
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:17   #13
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Re: Were off on our first cruise!

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxingout View Post
My wife did not want to do a circumnavigation in a monohull, but she was willing to do it in a catamaran. So we ended up doing it in a cat.

We are getting ready to do it again, and my wife is more than happy to go along since we are in a cat.

If it works for her, it works for me!
Warning: thread drift!

Dave, that's great news. Hope that you get back to the SPac and that our wakes cross once more!

Jim (and Ann)
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:39   #14
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Re: Were off on our first cruise!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Warning: thread drift!

Dave, that's great news. Hope that you get back to the SPac and that our wakes cross once more!

Jim (and Ann)
I just retired from my job as a flying doctor with the Indian Health Service. We had to decide between going sailing and driving around the world in a Land Rover. My family says go sailing and so we are refitting Exit Only and heading out. We will do a shakedown and if all is well, I would like to sail back to Australia. As long as it's fun, that works for me.
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Old 06-07-2017, 19:06   #15
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Re: Were off on our first cruise!

Thanks for the encouragement and kind words fellas! Much appreciated

Razzo: The course is ~$1500cdn... I think... and usually you sign on to an established course, where they take you out with a group of people. We wanted more from our first adventure, and we wanted to share it with our kids, so we chartered the cat for ourselves, and hired an instructor, which was $1500cdn for the 5 days, and boy was it a bargain! I think we got twice our money's worth from of our guy. He was so passionate about us knowing our stuff, and would spend all his time during the 5 days he was with us, teaching. I know he is not doing it for the money as he is well off from a string of successful endeavors, and just loves it. Lives it. Is it. And wants others to enjoy and be safe. And I think he felt like it was a duty to impart as much information as he could to a couple of newbies... and one with a power boat background at that. There is going to be a bottle of fine Rhum and a half dozen Cohibas heading his way. It was great, but we will do our next set of courses in the more typical fashion (ie. with strangers... or as I like to think of them, yet to be discovered sailing kin), and likely on a monohull. That's how we will do our subsequent courses, and likely as individuals, not as a couple. Much more economical.
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