I AM A SAILOR HOME FROM THE SEA
My first memory of going to sea was on the Schooner “Roona” owned by Captain Lloyd about 1950. It was a day trip down the Courtenay River to Tree Island. Captain Lloyd also had a basement full of ship models in glass cases where I fantasized of sailing the oceans of the world while he and my father reminisced upstairs
Not me but as I remember the time
As a teen I spent time fishing on my parents fish boat. Father and Mother lived and fished on her for many years.
Next came the HMCS Lanark as a Shipwrights mate.
During my time in the Navy, I visited San Juan Puerto Rico. While hanging out in a hillside bar I saw a Schooner anchored in the bay below. I decided then and there that would be the life for me.
Five years after leaving the Navy, in 1968, a small 19 foot gaff rigged Sloop was bought to “try sailing out”. After two summers of cruising The Gulf Islands of British Columbia it was decided to have a hull and deck built of a sailboat that could cross oceans
A design by William Atkin “Eric” was chosen.
Built of BC Red Cedar on White Oak frames with the Keel from a 100 year old seasoned timber salvaged from a demolished Vancouver Pier. A 5200 pound cast iron ballast keel was bolted to that. Many thousands of plugs filled the boat-nail holes. Each of these had to be aligned with the plankings grain on the planks.
Launched in 1969
Sailing in 1973
The times they are a changing
I became a Beachcomber (log salvage) 13 ft. 120 Hp sterndrive
I moved on to outside coastal equipment barge towing first as a deckhand then as mate.
In the spring of 1976 Samsara left for her first long adventure, a six month trip North to Prince Rupert and back.
On return we found moorage and caretaker status at a just opened Boat Brokerage
Looking down the dock
Baby Canada Geese
With log booms so close it was back to beachcombing. This one was 17′ and 150 HP
By 1981 we were nearly ready for our first offshore adventure.
And off we went to Tahiti a 2 1/2 year journey with many stops
Vancouver-San Francisco-Mexico-Marquesas-Tuamotu’s-Tahiti-Bora Bora-Hawaii-Vancouver . Just over 10,000 Nautical miles (18,600 Km) and 85 days at sea. Longest single passage 31 days.
Back to Beachcombing with some local towing work on the side
Built a Galleon for a mall
Set up the boat display at Expo 86
Then in 1989 it was a rollicking trip back down the coast to Mexico for a couple of years and back home via Hawaii.
The down wind rig for the “Trades”
Entering Vancouver Harbour in 1991 inbound from 26 day passage from Hawaii. Another total journay of 10,000 Nm . Our Last adventure in Samsara, sold after 23 years of cruising and living aboard. She is still sailing with a new (2nd) owner. Destined to adventure some more.
BACK TO WORK
After two semesters of Nautical training I obtained my Masters Papers in the form of a “Steamship to 350 tons or a tug of any size:. The Gulf Ranger was my fist Command
The work was Coastal, mostly equipment barges.
We loaded bulk water from a glacier fed stream for a bottling plant on the Fraser River 60,000 gallons at a time.
My view of the world for 9 Years
The Company I worked for purchased the tug Haida Chieftain and I signed on as Mate. 150Ft 5000 Hp
We towed the 370 Ft self dumping log barge Haida Carrier
There she goes. Internal tanks on one side were flooded until the logs dumped. Anywhere from 11 minutes to an hour depending on the load. The Company ceased operation in 2001.. The Log barging era was pretty much over.
Finished my career as Master on MV Hornblower a 120 ton 100 Passenger Harbour Tour Boat. No waves and better food. Retired 2007.
Top of page