After the Fun

OMOO’S next stop with be a haul out in spring 2023.

Like any exciting trip there is always the clean up after. As sailors and boat owners we all experience the joy of taking friends and family out on the water for a day, weekend or week.

It always boggles my mind that cases of beer, bottles of wine and spirits can always find their way onto a boat, but the empties never off the boat. I also enjoy scouring the boat after our guests leave to find what they have forgotten. It’s not uncommon to find the extra pair of sunglasses, a beach towel, jacket, shoe or hat. What’s really puzzling are the big ticket items. There’s the telephoto lens of a $10,000 camera, the paddle from a kayak and a wedding ring. Haha, kidding about the wedding ring… that may not have been a mistake.

The most common thing left behind are the repairs. I apologize ahead of time to the Skipper cause this isn’t fun, or funny for him. The last trip of the summer I brought along a gorgeous young friend who stepped onto the boat and caused the crew to get completely distracted.

We wound our way out of a busy harbor, dodging sport fishing boats, a few kayakers and a very large B.C. ferry. The next day after setting sail in 15-20 knots on a broad reach, with gusts up to 25 knots, we were all giddy with adrenaline from blasting across the waves with the sun on our shoulders and the sails full of power.

As the sun sunk, and the wind eased we turned the boat toward a bay to anchor for the night. As everything settled down, the sails were pulled in, the engine started and we put all the loose ends away, we competed for attention from our attractive guest. Then…

THUNK, thunk and thunk again. The crew yelled, “you don’t want to see how big that log is.” The Skipper looked back, to his dismay a 20 foot long log, at least a foot in circumference, bobbed in the wake of the stern. He slowed the boat to check on the bilge, no water was coming in and no apparent damage could be seen. The steering was intact since the boat was keeping course.

Revving the engine up again, we could feel the new vibration of the propellar. Pushing the rpms a little more and the vibration increased. “Damn it!” We had all taken our eyes off the water at exactly the wrong time.

We always make sure somebody is looking ahead for obstacles on the surface of the water. Where we sail in the Pacific Northwest there are always logs floating around, either set free from the beaches at high tide, or from log booms that break loose.

OMOO has a feathering prop, so it’s a tricky fix. Next spring before we head out, the boat will get hauled out, the prop taken off and shipped away to get repaired. The old spare prop will be dug out from under the floor where it’s lived for the last ten years and put on for the summer.

We really were lucky, as those logs can cause so much more damage. A log that size can take the rudder out, or punch a hole in the hull.

The Skipper and crew had some rip roaring sails this summer with taking the sails out fully in some big wind. Now we’re wondering if the new “ish” jib is too big, since the sheets would snap against the front panels of isoglass on the dodger. Later in the season the isoglass was held together with more and more gorilla tape and patched with pieces of hard clear plastic saved from covering our salon table top to protect the wood surface.

Now the dodger is removed and off to be repaired, OMOO is tarped over and covered to protect her from the rain and snow.

The pocket book takes a hit with the repairs and getting the boat ready for next summer is a full time job. Hershey is kept busy, which he loves. When you’re retired and a boat owner, there are no days off!!

New Crew

changing light

shadows are longer

wind is stronger

light changes

dramatic and soothing

leaves drifting

across the sea

passing by

like an old familiar feeling

kind trees

sway in the breeze


carpets of color

slowing the pace


A return to HOWE SOUND was the highlight of September sailing. There has never been a time in Howe Sound when we didn’t have wind.

There’s nothing like introducing new people to sailing, we LUV LUV LUV it. My dear friend Yumna’s first time aboard took off from Horseshoe Bay.

Sideways Sally climbed back onboard, ditching the day job for a blissful weekend. We crossed over to anchor in Gambier, dodging ferries and sport fishing boats.

The next day the morning light crept over Gambier, spilling warmth into the cockpit while we devoured breakfast. The sunshine and wind reaching into the anchorage promising great sailing and exploring.

Outside the bay the wind was 15-20knots with gusts up to 25knots. We pulled out the sails, reefed down and set the course for a beam reach. YEEHAW, away she went. OMOO sails so well in these conditions and we were quickly up to 7-8 knots.

Yumna and I kept switching sides to help with tacking and putting our weight on the uphill side. We braced our feet on the cockpit table and felt the power of the wind take us for a ride. Yumna said, “It feels like we’re vertical.” It was a rodeo, with the gusts heeling the boat over, washing the windows, and throwing some loose items around in the cabin. “Nothing broke, it can’t fall off the floor!!”

We were all grinning from ear to ear, but not wanting to scare our new sailor either. I put my arm around her and reassured her that this is what it’s all about, and that we’re safe. The Skipper reminded her there’s this huge heavy keel that keeps us upright and pointed out how the boat “rounds up” when the wind spills out of the sails and she straightens up until the next gust.

Howe Sound has numerous islands so we knew the thrill would be over when we got in the lee of Bowen Island. All the marinas in Howe Sound were chockablock full for the Sept long weekend. We all agreed it would be prudent to get to Keats Island and anchor in Plumper Cove before it filled up as well.

After setting the anchor, we dingied into shore. The crew went hiking and SS went pleasantly beach combing and enjoying some “alone time,” savouring the sun and the sand.

After returning to OMOO, the anchorage got very dark and quiet, with some rain starting to splatter on the topsides shortly after we were done cooking dinner on the BBQ.

Out came the bluetooth and the tunes. Our favorite game is playing music, taking turns on suggesting songs and making an extremely eclectic play list. What a peaceful way to end our day.

Howe Sound welcomes us back every year, the wind and warmth are pure joy for sailors old and new.

See you in the spring, you perfectly beautiful treasure.

New Crew

The Awesome Alli

Alli set foot on OMOO for the first time, taking a leap of faith with sailors she did not know. As the saying goes, “any friend of yours is a friend of ours.” Janaye, thanks for bringing Alli into our sailing life!!

A fun background story: Sideways Sally used to babysit Alli’s Mom, Tracey, along with Janaye’s Mom. Also, in 2020, both Moms and SS went on an adventure together to Cozumel, Mexico, where we all babysat each other!! So the connections run WAY, WAY back… so fun!! SS gets a BIG KICK out of this story.

Alli came to life when she was on the wheel on Day 2. We had wind on the nose at 15-20knots. We showed the girls how to reef down and point the boat into the wind. This required several tacks to get past the narrow channel between Galiano Island and Secretary, then Wallace Islands and into Trincomali Channel. By the third or fourth tack Alli was nailing it!!

It was a celebration on board to have both girls take to sailing with ease.

The wonderful week we had with these young ladies will never be forgotten and we can’t wait to have them back. OMOO will remember your late night giggles forever!!

New Crew

The Amazing Janaye

Janaye is Sideways Sally’s great niece.

There is no bigger thrill for the Skipper and 1st Mate than having new crew learn the ropes on OMOO. Janaye and her Mom Jackie visited in 2018 and got acquainted with being on the water. At the time Janaye was 10. She took to the sailboat like a natural and before her short visit was over she was asking tons of questions and soaking up information like a sponge. She started reminding us of all the safety steps to the routine on the boat as we docked for her departure. We will never forget those early days.

What happens if we’re at anchor during the night and there is a hole in the boat? What happens if there’s a big wind and we tip over? If there’s 50feet of water and a 10foot tide how do we know how much chain to put down? Where does our poo go when we pump the toilet? ON and ON it went. It was awesome!!

She was amazing then, and she is amazing now. Four years later she returned to OMOO for a week, bringing sunshine and wind with her from Manitoba, along with her best friend! The trip for both girls were birthday gifts in 2020, delayed due to the pandemic. In 2022 it happened.

The boat was full of youth and exuberance. Janaye and Alli had taken their PCOC (Pleasure Craft Operator’s Certificate) in anticipation of taking the wheel and getting into the wind. Chase some wind we did!!

We got started in Nanaimo where OMOO and crew met us getting off the ferry. The girls were surprised and intrigued to meet Paul, our imported crew from Britain. They fell in love with his accent and he entertained them with no end to his antics. At first they required some translation to understand him but once they got used to him they got along just fine.

The first trick he pulled out of his hat was a quick dive into the water after he flipped his sunglasses over the side by accident. We were all sitting in the cockpit chatting and laughing, telling tall tails and sailor stories. It all happened so fast, he turned and slithered between the life lines and was over the gunnel in a flash. It was like he rehearsed it all. Then slithered back onto the dock like a slimy lizard and back into the boat.

Everyone was in stitches, except Paul. He lost a 65dollar or pound (we’re never quite sure which currency he talks in) pocket knife to save his 35dollar or pound glasses.

Then next day we timed the slack at Dodd Narrows and went off into the wind which was steady at SE10-12 knots. We had full sail out, tacking back and forth toward Thetis Island.

It’s a total mystery how one transplant from the prairies brings other transplants, plunks them on a sailboat and viola, they stick like gorilla tape!! (that’s an inside joke for OMOO crew)

Janaye was on the wheel all day and it was like she’d never left the boat. She picked right up where she’d left off and was handling the wheel like a pro. The whole crew was cheering her on, and she was in her element. We had such a good time watching her blossom as a young sailor.

Whether she was on the wheel, trimming the sails, playing chess, dancing below or jamming on the bus, she was great!

We love you Janaye and we’re so happy you came back.

New Crew

Canada Day – Shoal Bay – Green Point Rapids – Port Neville.

Sideways Sally always finds a way to get back to OMOO and the Canada Day weekend turned into quite a thrill for ocean and air travel.

We got off Johnstone Strait between West and East Thurlow, past Blind Bay. We could not continue in the direction of our destination due to Green Point rapids which requires timing for slack water. We were happy to turn right to Shoal Bay.

The quaint cottages of Shoal Bay welcome guests who fly in and out. The government dock has been maintained since it’s past days as a cannery.

According to Wikipedia: Shoal Bay was a cannery town in the Discovery Islands region of the South Coast of British Columbia in Canada, located on the northeast side of East Thurlow Island, at the bay of the same name. Once the largest town on the western coast of Canada, Shoal Bay was a hub for mining and forestry.

After anchoring in our usual spot, Paul and I lowered the dingy and made our way to the dock. We walked up to the grounds to say Hi to Mark, who came to this amazing spot 20+ years ago on a vacation, and never left.

The cottage that normally hosts happy hour looked too quiet. There were no flower pots hanging out for the humming birds. We found Mark, he was busy firing up the pizza oven in his outdoor kitchen.

We found out he’s been struggling to find insurance for his service of happy hour drinks and food, which now is BYOB only. Such interference in small businesses is sad to see, as it is so vital to have places like this for the tourism industry.

These remote marinas are just quietly existing, counting on the few summer months to make enough to sustain them for the whole year. It is not for the faint of heart.

We walked up to the garden, which was lush with herbs, flowers, vegetable beds and a bench to nap on!

On return from a hike up the hill, Paul found me sitting with the group that were sipping refreshments and chatting up a storm. There were pizzas baking in the oven, and Mark was attending to guests from the cottages.

This place was created from a dream of what could happen in a small bay surrounded by majestic mountains and wildlife. Mark, Cynthia and Tulip, their beautiful dog, have chosen to share this experience with visitors travelling by boat or by air. OMOO and crew stop here frequently and kudos to Mark for continuing to make this stop available.

Video of a beautiful evening and the departure of guests via Coral Air.

A picture perfect evening before our departure the next morning to catch the slack tide through Green Point Rapids and onto the next stop.

On to Green Point Rapids and Johnstone Strait. Again, wind on the nose made for a slog so Port Neville it was for the night. A few hours later we made another right turn into the sheltered 13 kilometer long inlet.

The head of the inlet is inhabited by Port Neville Indian Reserve No. 4, or Port Neville 4, which is located at the upper end of the port, to the south of Fulmore Lake at 50°34′00″N 125°56′00″W[3] It is 14.9 ha. in size and is under the governance of the Tlowitsis Tribe band government of the Kwakwaka’wakw peoples.

We spent a lovely evening nestled in a protected cove in Port Neville. The NW wind was howling on Johnstone Strait and we could hear it high over the mast but no wave action could reach our anchorage.

The cove was also home to a bright read cottage, a McGregor sailboat and a skiff tied to a dock, all grounded at low tide when we arrived. I could see through the binoculars that there were green houses and sheds surrounded by gardens.

There was a camper parked not far from the dock which looked like it sat on large logs. Unbeknownst to us, since we had not anchored in this particular spot before, there lives a homestead under the umbrella of “Agrarians Foundation” in partnership with “Organic Alberta.”

I was fascinated to find this website describing this organization and delighted to read about this piece of paradise and what is happening close to where we were anchored.

According to their website: The long term vision for the land: To develop a self-sustaining homestead which could support two families. This could include agroforestry, sustainable wood-lotting, wild harvest of non-timber forestry resources, development of a food forest, orcharding, vegetable gardening, and small scale livestock husbandry.

What a fascinating discovery of more people living their dreams in Port Neville!! We are often drawn to Port Neville for the break from Johnstone Strait and have mostly observed heavily forested hillsides, sparsely inhabited sites, and a commercial oyster bed.

Who knew we would discover the homestead. What a pleasant surprise!! This is exactly what the Skipper and Sideways Sally love the most. Explore, explore, explore. The gypsy in us never tires of these wonderful experiences, and we get so much joy taking people along.

Paul offered to cook on this Canada Day, so the Skipper and I relaxed in the cockpit, chatting and discussing the plans for the next day. OMOO rarely sets a firm destination so she can use the wind on any given day.

However, on this trip, we had to reach a spot where air travel allowed me to get back to Vancouver for work. We’ve learned this is possible from most marinas anywhere on the West Coast.

The small floatplanes that service the northern areas are vital to the remote communities that rely on them for passenger service, mail runs, groceries, and anything needed.

Sideways Sally looked for air travel to the Broughtons and discovered a way to get back to the airport at Port Hardy. She was in for another big treat and she didn’t even know it!!

Chicken kiev and shenanigans were served up by these guys. Hershey never fails to entertain. He’s just so damn happy to be out there doing what he loves.

After leaving Port Neville we had to brave Johnstone Strait long enough to get into the next passage to the “back road” leading to Lagoon Cove.


OMOO and Crew – June, 2022

The adventures of OMOO continue! Hershey and crew, Paul from Britain are wandering in the Broughton Archipelago. They are having a time in true East Coast and OMOO fashion, making friends along the way!!

Paul came to Canada in May to crew on Hermitage and OMOO. He’s been a welcome asset with loads of energy and sailing knowledge. He’s been crewing full-time on boats all over the world since 2017. His home is the ocean and he considers himself “a citizen of the earth.” He’s conscientious about nature and respectful to those onboard at all times. What a bonus to find him!

He found a brother on the docks in Campbell River. They had a great chat about life and compared notes on how they lost their leg(s). Bullshit was called on the stories about the shark bite and the crocodile fight pretty early in the convo.

The return of the humpback whales is dramatic, and hardly a day goes that they don’t see one.

Photo by Paul, on a day they didn’t have wind, they floated and watched the whales.

“More than 500 humpbacks have been documented and cataloged in the Salish Sea, according to the Pacific Whale Watch Association.”

June Early morning flight to Campbell River – 45 minutes.

Meeting OMOO and crew at the Fuel Dock – 20 minutes.

Provisioning in Campbell River – 2 hours.

Campbell River to Seymour Narrows – 1 hour.

Discovery Passage to Turn Point – 2 hours.

Snaughty Johnstone Strait to Shoal Bay – 4 hours.

An update yesterday, July 9th, that Hershey and Paul had traversed Dent and Yuculta Rapids on their way south to prepare for new crew arriving in August.

Up next, Canada Day on OMOO….


Sitting in the Cockpit

There’s nothing like sitting in the cockpit watching the world go by. Mother Nature provides the backdrop for the marina as it plays an orchestra of sounds.

Halyards tinkling in the breeze, docks creaking as they ride the tide. The shrill of the kingfisher diving for breakfast in a flash of feathers. A raucous screech of the heron as it glides downward to the shore at low tide. The chirp of young eagles, answered by the long trilling call from the parents is like a well timed chime, ringing the dinner bell.

Bald eagles return to the Pacific Northwest in spring.

Raindrops pelting on the bimini while the wind builds and mooring lines tighten. Flags stiffen and flap. Otters scuffle and plop, scurrying along in their hunt for food and a special spot to poop. The soft swoosh of a seal surfacing, blowing bubbles and taking a breath.

The docks comes to life with people going to and from their boats with wheelbarrows stacked precariously. Boat cushions, life jackets and beer.

Children skipping excitedly, squealing with delight when peering into the shadows under the dock, spotting a purple starfish clinging to a piling, anemones swaying in the current, or a herring ball dazzling in the shadow of a boat.

The best part is, in any weather, friends pop in to say hello.

Hershey and Vic, our friendly and amazing boat neighbor. We love long chats in the cockpit.

January Jumpback to Humpbacks

Humpback whales swarm OMOO on a warm summer day in Desolation Sound. These magnificent creatures are coming back in steadily climbing numbers. They are curious and love to come close to say HI!!

Grab a morning cup of coffee and enjoy this exciting video taken by our loyal friend and crew, Ken Wilson. Thanks so much Ken. What a thrill!!


Stirring up some shit

This a perfectly shitty timing… Guest blog from Mexico is making me very jealous. You know that tank is gonna have some extra kick! Please enjoy Sue Peck on S/V Cariba in Canada or S/V Calidras in Mexico. The adventures never end!

OMOO real talk…

Sideways Sally returned to OMOO on a stormy weekend to help the Skipper unplug one of my holding tanks. It’s been plugged for awhile now and it’s getting pretty smelly. Being this constipated is not recommended. The Skipper isn’t bothered too much, he’s migrated to the V-berth and is working on plugging up that holding tank. His main gig is to research how to solve a problem, then let his brain contemplate it. The answer usually comes to him at 3 am.

They were in and out of the cockpit hauling up the pressure washer onto the top deck. Man, they were noisy.

Things had been pretty quiet as they usually are until she gets here. The music starts up while the coffee is brewing. Then comes the news and all the yapping about what’s going on in the world. I don’t care to hear it cause I’m in my bubble just floating up and down with the tides. They’re talking about the water flooding this and that, and how will people get to places they wanna go. Seriously??? I’m built for travelling on all this water they’re talking about.

I feel this great sploosh when she puts the pressure washer down the top of the tank…. then it starts gushing out the air vent. That’s a problem!! It’s supposed to gush out the bottom valve. Hmmmm….

Next she pours some goopy stuff in the top and they leave. They’re always going here and there to meet their tribe. It’s a strange thing to watch. They talk about all their people when they come back. It’s always entertaining to hear who did what, and what’s happening next. She’s a social butterfly, and he goes along, happy as if they are normal.

The next day she’s back on the deck sticking that long black thing back into the stinky tank and spraying shit everywhere… it’s still not going out the bottom. There’s alot of cursing and ‘f-bombs and she’s outta there.

In a couple of hours she’s back, this time pouring something powdery into the hole. She closes up the stinky hole and gets back inside. Soon enough, off they go again, party party party. The next day the whole rigamaroll repeats itself. I’m getting a little bored with this but she’s stubborn and never gives up. Once she sets her mind to something it’s a no win situation for anyone else. In this case it’s a good thing, cause I’m enjoying the shitty tank as much as everyone else.

Sideways Sally gets to Maple Bay via Harbor Air

When she sprays the next day, viola!!!

(The meaning of voilà is —used to call attention, to express satisfaction or approval, or to suggest an appearance as if by magic.)

The ending of the story is better than expected. Thank you “Go-Flex” for the bubbly party inside my holding tank. You are amazing and I feel so much better getting rid of the icky sticky stuff.

SS found NOFLEX at Lake’s Marine in Duncan, BC. It is AMAZING!!

OMOO Sideways Sally The Skipper

Ecstatic Loveliness

This is the summer that wasn’t. An unscheduled stop. A colosal disruption. 2021 is the year of the known unknowns, then there are the unknown unknowns.

OMOO and crew started unplanning the yearly voyage while patiently waiting for Covid vaccines and restrictions to lift. One thing led to another in the breakdown department. Undoing the doing we’ve done every summer for the last ten years came with some painful adjustments.

OMOO turned out to be requiring some maintenance and the Skipper was holding things together and doing the fixing, a constant happy occupation for his engineer’s brain.

After taking four new crew to Tent Island on a day sail, the Skipper headed back out with old crew to chase some wind and enjoy an overnight anchorage in Princess Cove on Wallace Island. After a delightful sail, the crew secured the boat with a hook and a stern-tie. A pleasant evening of chit-chat ensued and all was right with the world again. OMOO was thrilled to be doing all the things she normally does. It started to look like the post pandemic world was opening up again.

Nope, not happening… The next morning with the stern-tie released, the engine purring and the crew in place to haul up the anchor, the windlass called it quits, caputs, nada. The bolts holding the motor in place sheared off and it separated from the capstan. It fell onto the panel above the V-berth and went into a deep slumber. It almost died.

Well, OMOO is 20 years old this year so she’s needing some extra lovin’. The Skipper and crew hauled up 60′ of chain bit by bit, using the spring line and hook we have for anchoring. The spring line is actually a climbing rope which stretches and is perfect to take the load off the windlass. The rope is long enough to reach the electric winches in the cockpit. Up came the anchor bit by bit, and home went OMOO to get repaired.

Chris the boat neighbor/boat guru.

All the unplanning and getting stuck to the dock proved to be fortuitous. Being close to marine stores and repair shops comes in handy when the Skipper can hop in his truck and get what he needs. A few days later with alot of helpful advice from our talented neighbor/boat guru, away it went again, the windlass was revived.

Appropriately named, S/V Waitabit arrived on the transient dock so we waited abit and had a friendly welcome back impromptu cockpit party. OH SO GOOD!!

Ron and Laura from Knotty Friendship – they’re so naughty!!
Welcome back Beth and Dave. We missed you!!
Dave from Waitabit who brought the shade, (wink wink), Grant, who brought ALL the desserts, and Lesley who brought the smiles!

Sideways Sally was having her own existential crisis. In the middle of a staycation her back and legs stopped working. With a little help from a steroid spinal injection things settled down enough to move again. What made the crankiness set in was not being able to do all the things she normally does. This includes sorting and cleaning OMOO and going sailing. NONE OF THE ABOVE WAS HAPPENING!! She got oh so cranky. There was alot of discussion and some tears shed before the partial solution arrived. Her name is Tammy and she’s a housekeeper for boats. She came aboard and accomplished in three hours what it was taking SS to do painstakingly in three days.

On the bumpy road to this final outcome were all the days of fixing and figuring out stuff on the boat, which the Skipper happily plods (his word) along on. SS is safely over yonder on the other side of the pond (in Vancouver) where outta sight outta mind is her motto. When arriving back to the boat after Tammy did her magic, SS felt like she won the lottery. The boat was fixed, AND clean. Miracles do happen!

Then SS won another lottery. A call came in that changed the scheme of things in a hurry. Her spine Doc had a cancellation in the surgery schedule and her awaited laminectomy and spinal fusion (fancy words for fixing an old lady back) was booked in a couple of weeks, instead of a couple of months or more!! Excitement abounded and the hope for some smooth sailing returned.

OMOO, the Skipper and Sideways Sally snuck out for a few days to celebrate, and we were thrilled with life again. Being escorted by a stiff breeze and a pod of Orcas on the way to Clam Bay was so serene we had to pinch ourselves.

Once again we were consumed by the ecstatic loveliness of sailing in the Southern Gulf Islands.

Orcas along Secretary, Mowgli and Norway Islands.

I’m writing this ten days post surgery and I can walk, talk and smile again!! The surgery was a complete success and there’s so many pain free minutes in days that I can almost hop, skip and jump my way back to OMOO.

I’m lovin’ life!!

Hershey – unedited.