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Old 07-03-2020, 20:42   #1
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Hello from Canada

Hello everyone my name is BrandyAnn thank you for allowing me to join your wonderful community. I am about to make a longtime dream come true. I'm selling my business and everything I own to buy a boat, learn to sail and sail the world! My 3 children are grown the youngest is 18 and the oldest has made me a grandmom and I have no spouse. I feel like it's time to start the next chapter of my life. I am taking a sailing course in ottawa this spring and friends have been offering to take me for sails on their boats as well and help teach me. I am beyond excited and welcome any and all advice or warnings anyone may have.
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Old 07-03-2020, 20:50   #2
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Re: Hello from Canada

Sounds good. What boats are you considering?
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Old 07-03-2020, 20:57   #3
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Re: Hello from Canada

Welcome, hope you make your dreams come true
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Old 07-03-2020, 23:10   #4
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Re: Hello from Canada

Welcome aboard Brandyann! Good luck in your dream!
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:25   #5
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Re: Hello from Canada

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, BrandyAnn.
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:37   #6
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Re: Hello from Canada

Welcome! (from east of Toronto) Its a big dream, starting with courses are great! Try to get some time on Lake Ontario too! (bigger water) Getting a ride on other boats is a great way to get started! Sign up at yacht clubs for racing crews ( They're always looking) but remember that racing is completely different from sailing. Still fun but "different"
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:05   #7
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Re: Hello from Canada

Welcome. As a technical Ottawa resident myself, it's great to have more of us get out there. Sounds like you are right at the beginning of your new adventure, but you're taking some good steps.

I'd offer just a bit of caution; before selling everything and buying a boat to sail around the world, I'd strongly encourage you to continue to gain practical experience first. This cruising life is definitely not for everyone, and while it may seem like a romantic dream, the reality is a lot less glitzy.

I assume you're connected to the Britannia Yacht Club? I've never sailed the Ottawa river, but I do know the club seems to house a number of large boats. If there are races, definitely sign up as crew. Most clubs have a social membership. Get in there like a dirty shirt and let people know you want to go sailing. If you're good company (as I'm sure you are), then you'll find it easy to get out on other people's boats.

pcmm's suggestion is excellent. Lake Ontario and the 1000 Islands area is not far from Ottawa. There are dozens of marinas and yacht clubs along the shore. I assume there are also schools that offer cruising courses on the Big Lake. I'd definitely look into that as an easy first step.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:15   #8
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Re: Hello from Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
...before selling everything and buying a boat to sail around the world, I'd strongly encourage you to continue to gain practical experience first. This cruising life is definitely not for everyone, and while it may seem like a romantic dream, the reality is a lot less glitzy...
Mike OReilly's suggestion is right on.

Deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life without any practical knowledge or experience is potentially a mistake.

I recommend that you get into sailing big time before making that decision.

Contrary to what others have said, racing IS sailing and the good thing about it is that they do it all the time, good weather or bad. You can get on racing crews and sail for free and in a year you'll know a lot more about whether sailing is for you.
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:49   #9
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Re: Hello from Canada

Thank you all so much for your advice and welcome. I do know that this is a big step and I am a very practical gal lol. I know I love sailing the little that I have done and I know that leaving everything I know and love behind for this adventure is very scary but I've given myself a set amount of time to reach certain sailing goals before I start selling my furniture off �� That being said I know in my bones this is what I am supposed to do with my next life chapter. I have just joined the sailing school in ottawa and Kingston and the offer membership to the 2 clubs in ottawa included with the tuition. Thank you so much for the info about racing I did not know they are always looking for free crew that's wonderful I will definitely look into that as well. I feel that would be very useful because then your learning to sail in intense conditions which would prepare me for actual sailing in big water conditions better. I have thought about this alot and I can't explain it but I know this is something I have to do and I know this is something I will do well. I just have to get as much advice and information as I can and then a whole lot of actual experience. Do any of you take or know people who take beginners sailing on trips with them? I am considering joining sail libra in june to sail from Antigua to Isla Majueres Mexico. Apparently no experience needed but it costs 3500 USD to go. Does anyone know of anything like that?
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:30   #10
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Re: Hello from Canada

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Originally Posted by Brandyann View Post
I am considering joining sail libra in june to sail from Antigua to Isla Majueres Mexico. Apparently no experience needed but it costs 3500 USD to go. Does anyone know of anything like that?
If you have the money and time there are lots of these sorts of things available. Teresa Carey and MorseAlpha offer some offshore stuff a bit closer to home (2020 Schedule - MORSE ALPHA Expeditions), The Distance Shores people are looking for people to join then on their Pacific adventure (https://distantshores.ca/sail-away/sail-away-schedule). The list goes on...

There are also Cruise and Learns at pretty much all the sailing charter companies. Tons here out in the PNW, of course all the major players like Sunsail and a bunch of more boutique shops around the globe.

Lots of options if you have the cash. After you get some local experience, you might find a few more crewing options that are a little less costly but its not a sure thing.

Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:37   #11
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Re: Hello from Canada

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Originally Posted by Brandyann View Post
Thank you all so much for your advice and welcome. I do know that this is a big step and I am a very practical gal lol. I know I love sailing the little that I have done and I know that leaving everything I know and love behind for this adventure is very scary but I've given myself a set amount of time to reach certain sailing goals before I start selling my furniture off �� That being said I know in my bones this is what I am supposed to do with my next life chapter. I have just joined the sailing school in ottawa and Kingston and the offer membership to the 2 clubs in ottawa included with the tuition. Thank you so much for the info about racing I did not know they are always looking for free crew that's wonderful I will definitely look into that as well. I feel that would be very useful because then your learning to sail in intense conditions which would prepare me for actual sailing in big water conditions better. I have thought about this alot and I can't explain it but I know this is something I have to do and I know this is something I will do well. I just have to get as much advice and information as I can and then a whole lot of actual experience. Do any of you take or know people who take beginners sailing on trips with them? I am considering joining sail libra in june to sail from Antigua to Isla Majueres Mexico. Apparently no experience needed but it costs 3500 USD to go. Does anyone know of anything like that?
Your being given some good advise. There is no activity that will teach you to sail better than racing. It's not so much about about the intensity of the activity, it's just about learning how to sail well. There are many cruisers out there that are terrible sailors but decent cruisers.
Racing won't teach you anything much about cruising, that's a different skillset. There are some cruisers that come from a racing background and they are good sailors but lousy cruisers. So in order to pick up the needed cruising skills you will have to do some reading, take courses,maybe watch utubes or whatever. Cruising skills are actually more important than sailing skills but it sure helps when you can do a decent job on both.
You'll have your hands filled taking it all in and if it becomes a passion it's a lot easier.
Either way your going to have good times ahead. You never have to know it all before you cut the dock lines, nobody actually does, just as long as you know enough to be somewhat safe and the rest is continual learning over many years. That's something to look forward to
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:47   #12
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Re: Hello from Canada

When we (my spouse and I) first started we took a number of Canadian Yachting Ass. (CYA) cruising courses. These were all week-long courses taught on the water, where we actually went cruising. The first one we took (together) was on Georgian Bay, then my partner went off and did her Intermediate and Advanced in the Caribbean, and I jumped ahead and did an Advanced course out of Vancouver.

I've never tried the paid crew option, although I know many who have. The nice things about the courses are you get to sail AND you get specific training.

One thing I will caution; sailing is pretty much the easiest part of this cruising life. It's everything else around boat ownership, and moving your floating home around, that are the real challenges. This is why I suggest that people start off with an inexpensive, but fully functional cruising-level boat. Get out there and get some experience.

Being based in Ottawa, I would definitely look to the Great Lakes as the place to start. There's always lots of good old boats for sale. And the Great Lakes are terrific places to learn the joys, and challenges, of this lifestyle.


ADD: I see Robert beat me to it.
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Old 29-03-2020, 14:19   #13
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Re: Hello from Canada

Hello Brandyann,
I'm also new to this site. There's a tall ship in N.S. called the Picton Castle. They take on passengers (not sure what cost is involved) to work alongside seasoned sailors, but it's totally a cruise just for the sake of cruising. I think they are doing their last circumnavigation this summer, but it might be something you're interested in. they do shorter trips as well. The skipper has about as many credentials as I have ever seen. His name is Dan Moreland. Umpteen trips around the world.

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Old 29-03-2020, 15:01   #14
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Re: Hello from Canada

Hi from the West. Due to the big ‘C’ issue we are back in Canada for the next while. Our next sailing will most likely be on our Catalina 270 on Kootenay lake in BC, which is just fine by me. Good advise above, you are close to a lot of true world class sailing in the Great Lakes. Get as much water time as you possibly can and also do as much reading as you can. Ask lots of questions, I am sure most of us would gladly answer them. If you ever find your way to the island of Bonaire, drop me a line. If we are there we are always looking for an excuse to go do some sailing.

Have Fun!!
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Old 29-03-2020, 17:27   #15
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Re: Hello from Canada

I sugest that you do an RYA course to get into the nuts and bolts of offshore sailing . I did one and even with my 50 years experience it was worthwhile. There is an all female sailing school that operates out of Pisa in the summer and Antiqua in the winter . It is called Second Star sailing and the people are real pros . Lots of learning and a world standard qualification at the end of the trip. Well worth the money
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