james bay


So far there have been only glimpses of spring on the West Coast, but it’s approaching  February and it can only be a matter of time before the spring sun warms the cockpit again and we shake winter out of the sails under a stiff  breeze.   In the meantime, my land locked mind does go a little (wooo-hooo) bonkers.

Sideways Sally had been fantasizing for a few hours about drifting along on OMOO among the outer passages of Vancouver Island, while driving in a snow storm…

I was brought to my senses when lights started flashing in front of me and the Po Po  waved the traffic past a car that had slid off the road and into a three foot snow drift, luckily into a very flat ditch.  No it’s NOT SIDEWAYS SALLY going sideways.

Sideways with Chef Kelly

I’d taken a winter road trip in the prairies in January, something I’d swore I’d never do since leaving the frigid province of Manitoba behind in 2003… still haven’t figured out what got into me.   The sky did match the color I’d been daydreaming about, but the snow-covered fields surrounding me did nothing to coax me to stay.

Prairie sky Feb 3, 2018

I did have a method to my madness, which was to visit my sweet 90-year-old Mom, and make the rounds to the rest of the clan while I was at it.  Having visited the kids and grandkids, the farming cousins, drank a dozen cups of Timmies dark roast and watched a moose munch frozen shrubs, I turned my thoughts to summer sailing and the job of getting the boat ready.

Well, getting prepared is the key to a happy boating life.   A boat is a small space to have a big problem.  Sometimes we’re out on the ocean in places far away from help, medical or mechanical, and you have to figure things out.  A large percentage of the boating population are “mature” retired people who have the time to get out there.  We’ve looked forward to those twilight years, and the Skipper has worked a whole lifetime to create the dream of drifting off into the sunset.  He’s like a magician who makes the trips happen by getting OMOO in top shape and figuring out EVERYTHING from bow to stern.

Magic tricks by Hershey

Reality is creeping up, and Sideways will be 60 this year.  I have to remind myself to be practical, while in my mind I can still do anything, and in the dark I’m still 29.   I’d be happy with 49 but my mind has a mind of it’s own.  The Skipper turns a spry 70 in March.  (He will be reminding everyone his Birthday is on International Women’s Day)

We’re a very happy Threesome, OMOO, Hershey and Sideways, wine glasses in hand, smells of dinner wafting up to the cockpit from the galley, good conversation over the day’s events and breath-taking scenery at anchor.   Sharing the experience of exploring amazing places by water, and falling exhausted into bed after a very satisfying day… being 60 and 70, that can be more than enough.

Life is short, never miss an adventure.  We keep wavering between taking another long trip north of Cape Caution to see Kitimat or staying south and staying warm.  So far we’re leaning toward circumnavigating Vancouver Island again to see the places we missed last time and linger in the spots we fell in love with before.


Till then…





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