We've put our instructor ashore and, for the first time, have command of a sailing boat. We're both a bit heady from the excitement. Yes, we really have very few responsibilities back home. Yes, this really is sustainable. Yes, we have the skills and abilities to manoeuvre, maintain and anchor a yacht.
We panicked a bit during our first few unsupervised dockings. Dropping anchor was even worse, but the second and subsequent times were calmer.
Sailing (or cruising), I'm learning, is a low-speed busy-ness. There is always something to do, but rarely is it harried. Planning routes is something a really enjoy. I can only imagine the thrills my map-and-chart-loving wife must get. It involves a whole new language of tide tables, navigation markers, true- and compass-bearings to consider. Local knowledge is of premier importance and you are always attuned to picking up little bits of it wherever you can.
Kate and I have always loved sharing the fun we have. This time, we've managed to convince our ex-neighbours that the two spare cabins on the 40' Beneteau really shouldn't remain empty for the final six days of our sailing trip. Scott, Elizabeth and James have done a one-day marathon drive from Calgary to Victoria to join us. Winter Cove, Princess Cove and Pirates Bay will be our destinations over the next few evenings.