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Old 09-04-2018, 21:58   #1
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Greetings from western Canada!

Hello all, and a still-wintry greeting from this Canadian family to all of yours. We're preparing to cruise our way through a year long sabbatical sometime in the relatively near future. I've been gleaning loads from this forum and others so I thought it was about time I registered and said hello. I have a feeling the questions will start flowing from us if we can't find the answer here already.

Our family is composed of myself, mom and two girls currently aged nine and six. Mom and dad are in our early forties. I'm self employed, happily running a bustling little animation and design studio (meaning my work is very portable). We plan on my wife taking a year sabbatical, plucking our kids from school and tending to that years' education on board and sailing away so we can concentrate on just being a family. Leave the hustle and bustle, the daily grind and the winter behind for one glorious year. Beyond that? Who knows.....

Looking forward to learning more and more from here all in preparation of things to come. No fixed date at the moment, just making sure I've got all the ducks I'm a row so that when the time comes we're ready.
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Old 09-04-2018, 22:06   #2
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Re: Greetings from western Canada!

Welcome.

It would help to fill in your profile with approximate location and the boat you have.

If you are still looking for boats I’ve been thru some of that process and can help with decision making.
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Old 09-04-2018, 22:14   #3
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Re: Greetings from western Canada!

Welcome from another Canadian. Judging by the still wintry comment, you could very well be my neighbour. It has been a long one this year.
Hopefully the ice is off soon.
If you are fortunate enough to be on the coast, you won't have that problem.
Let us know where you are and some of your back ground.
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Old 09-04-2018, 22:59   #4
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Re: Greetings from western Canada!

Sounds like a great plan. We've met tons of young families out there and they're always some of the funnest boats. Good luck and hope it works out for you guys!
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Old 09-04-2018, 23:02   #5
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Re: Greetings from western Canada!

Close indeed. Our snow is in Sherwood Park. I'm completely done with winter....shoveled a path around the boat yesterday so I don't have to wait until July to get at it! I've spent the last four years easing the family into the sailing world, following sage advice from my first sailing instructor. So far so good.

We spent year one literally just hanging out on the boat at Gull Lake, anchored. Didn't move at all. Then year two we did the same but added a few picnics on board and a few very short motoring trips. Year three we took the picnics "offshore" and motored for significant periods touring the lake. Near the end of that season I unfurled the headsail for the first time for everyone for a lazy downwind drift. No heel. Year four (last year) we warmed back up with some motoring but day one the sails were hoisted. Light winds, controlled sailing. By the end of last summer we were on Wabamun under full sail, heeled right over and nobody was freaking out. Success!

It may seem a painfully slow progression but remember the kids ages. Last year was the first time I felt confident in them should anything happen. I'm fortunate that the youngest happens to be a fish, loves the water and is capable when immersed.

The sabbatical plan hinges on one thing really - we can't do it until my mother in law has passed on. Now, don't get me wrong....we love her and hope she lives another 40 years. Truly we do. She is in absolutely perfect health and is a big part of our family life (she's even part of our childcare solution two days a week). We just know the trip is not something our family would survive with her along and there is no way we could leave her for a year. Especially not after all she's done for us. She's just turned 80 and despite a quadruple bypass ten years ago is as spry as us almost half her age.

For me the trip gives me something to plan for, to work towards, to save for and to prepare for. All the while getting water under the family. The plan for this summer is many extended weekenders (my wife gets nine weeks off in the summer - teacher at MacEwan). We've yet to overnight but that's this years' fun. Depending how things go we might dump the ballast ranks and drag the boat to Kootenay Lake. We have friends there so dealing with the tow vehicle and trailer is a piece of cake. Likely not much of a sailing lake but a gorgeous place to motor and anchor out.

Next year we'll take our little boat back to the salt water we bought her off of and explore Desolation Sound (or Victoria-Saltspring to see family instead but I'd really rather head up to Comox and get into the warmer "kids, come play in me" waters in DS).

We've got a friend that charters a cat every year so we'll join them likely in the late winter of 2020 which is also when the final "okay, we're going to do this" should come from the wife. Then it's a matter of when we can. She's on board with the plan now....in fact she is the one that asked me a year and a half ago what it would take to do it. After first taking a screenshot of her message I started the conversation - and the reading.

The only criteria that has surfaced thus far for our cruising boat is three cabins so the girls can each have their space. Early indicators were that it might need to be a cat but after heeling everything over last summer I think a monohull is definitely viable too still.
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:10   #6
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Re: Greetings from western Canada!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Macboy.

Excepting the MIL "problem" (we should all have such), sounds like a GREAT plan!
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:50   #7
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Re: Greetings from western Canada!

Well, then a double welcome:-)
It isn't too often I can extend an offer to new members. So.. If you find yourself at wabamun marina this summer, look me up. A San Juan 7.7 named Spanish dancer in slip a5. I'm always looking for company.
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:31   #8
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Re: Greetings from western Canada!

Wow. It sounds like we could be twins. I am in the graphics business as well and my partner is a Prof at MacEwan. She came up for sabbatical in 2015 and we jumped at the chance to go sailing. It took a lot of discussion and research to find a solution that suited both our comfort levels. It didn't take too long to discover we would have to buy a boat as chartering for anything over about 4 weeks became really cost prohibitive. Our logic then became that a charter for 3 months would be over $30,000 so if we bought and sold after a year we would still be ahead even if we took a $25,000 loss.

They we went back and forth about destinations. It turns out no matter where we looked (Mediterranean, Caribbean, Mexico) they all had down seasons. Frankly, I don't know why that surprised me, but it did. In the end we decided to stay in Canada. We bought a boat in the PNW, spent about 5 months tied up in Victoria over the winter sailing on the weekends and cruised from the San Juans to the Broughtons the rest of the year.

Oh, and then, in the end, we kept the boat. We just loved it so much. She is in charter now and we sail her 1-2 months every year.

So... good plan! I hope it all starts to come together for you.
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:38   #9
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Re: Greetings from western Canada!

Oh, and for the mother-in-law, check out https://theravenodyssey.blogspot.ca. They took off for Mexico and took their 80-something mother with them, granting her the prestigious title of deck boss...
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:15   #10
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Re: Greetings from western Canada!

MacboyCanada,

If you haven't already, check out MacGregorSailors.com.
I know there are fellow Mac owners in Alberta as well there is a large Mac owners get-together on the BC coast every summer woudl be something to try and plan around.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:51   #11
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Re: Greetings from western Canada!

You. Are. All. Going. To. Have. A. Ball.

Promise.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:20   #12
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Re: Greetings from western Canada!

Hello fellow Canadians... also done with winter! We are in central Alberta. Looking to buy a catamaran and get the heck out of here for a few years!
Good luck to you and your family! Hope to see you out there on the blue ocean soon.
Rory and Claire
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:45   #13
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Re: Greetings from western Canada!

Quote:
Originally Posted by roryclaire101 View Post
Hello fellow Canadians... also done with winter! We are in central Alberta. Looking to buy a catamaran and get the heck out of here for a few years!
Good luck to you and your family! Hope to see you out there on the blue ocean soon.
Rory and Claire
Welcome to the both of you as well. What part of Alberta are you in?
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:48   #14
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Re: Greetings from western Canada!

MacboyCanada,

Hows it going eh? Welcome from another Canuck on this board. I've spent many years in Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. The nicest place we've lived has been Vancouver Island for the things we love. (Sailing and for my wife gardening.) However all of Canada is pretty amazing and we've been happy anywhere in this country.

Your cruising plan sounds like a good one. Glad you joined the CF.
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Old 10-04-2018, 15:37   #15
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Re: Greetings from western Canada!

Hi Chris
We are located just east of Olds, How about you?
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