Showing posts from 2023

The pure joy of the familiar - 26° 42' 38" S 152° 55' 02" E

With Canada and Australia sharing a common language, similar values and even the same Head of State, moving between the two should be relatively straight forward. The cultural change I grappled with when living in Indonesia, where everything was so different, was thought not to be such a big deal in Canada.  And it wasn't. But unlike Indonesia, when there was a sense of joy whenever something felt a little familiar,  the differences in Canada were so unexpected, I was blindsided. I had been in Canada for about a year and went for a run with a friend on a summer Saturday.  We stopped for coffee afterwards and, because it was so warm, I opted for an iced coffee rather than something hot.  I was anticipated the tall frosted glass filled with cold milk coffee, the big dollop of ice-cream and the lashings of whipped cream on top when I was presented with a glass of black coffee filled with ice cubes.  I was dumbfounded.  I just stared at it.  I do believe there were tears.  It was cultu

Gold Coast - 27°58'18" S 153°25'31" E

Some good friends of ours joined us for an adventure while we were in Australia and darn it, Gord did such a good job of writing up our time together I decided to have him as a guest author here, rather than getting ChatGPT to paraphrase what he had said. Thanks Gord and Jenny for joining us and Yes, you have made it onto our first-round picks for crew members on Chinook. Jenny and I have just returned home after a three-week trip to Australia. During this time, we were guests of Sean and Kate who were moving a friend’s sailing yacht (Popeye) from Hamilton Island down to its home base in Sydney. Our route Due to time constraints, Jenny and I were aboard as far as Southport, along the Gold Coast (south of Brisbane), a total sailing distance of 700 nm (almost 1300 km)! Sean and Kate are starting a new adventure in their lives where they are having their own boat constructed and are planning on spending the next 10 years sailing around on it. It’s a romantic notion depicted in film an

On The Bottom (Oopsie!) - 20° 17' 02 S, 149° 02' 38" W

They say there are two types of sailors - those who have run aground and those who will! (or 'those who lie about it' is another versions of the saying!). We have run aground in the past, that harrowing time when we put Popeye on a reef in Bawean, Indonesia.  You can read about that fun adventure here ! We were enjoying a stunning day at Whitehaven Beach.  The conditions were idyllic with the sky and the sea competing over who had more shades of blue.  It was our Calgary friends, Gord and Jenny's first Queensland beach and Whitehaven was at her very best. Popeye happily at anchor off Whitehaven Beach We had come in just before high tide and anchored in 8m of water - that's 5m under the keel - plenty of water to allow for the almost 2m tide.   Beautiful Whitehaven Beach We swam in the clear, warm water and picnicked on the sand.  We walked along the beach to the lookout  and watched rays, turtles and fish frolic in the shallow water.  An idyllic afternoon. As we were wa

Canmore - 51° 05' 03" N 115° 22' 07" W

"So, how's that boat coming along?" That is a very common question in our conversations these days.  It's not far off being able to float (with a few strategically placed corks) but it is far from habitable.  It is two days before we leave for Australia but we have just received some work progress photos from the yard.  We are liking what we are seeing, so time to share. If you have been following the story so far, you know that the welding of the aluminium hull is finished and Garcia has it in the carpentry and fit-out shop.  This is Chinook sitting beside the sister hull (number 45).  From the business end, the hull looks great. This is the view from the transom.  Workers and visitors board via a real gangplank (arrrr!) that doesn't come with the boat.  There is plenty of protective cardboard to keep the cockpit paint safe from the tools and workboots that clamber over her every day.  At this point of the build, there's not a terribly impressive amount of

Tombstone Campground, Yukon - 64°30'23" N 138°13'21" W

Despite having visited and travelled through many, many places around the world, I was always a bit embarrassed to admit that I hadn't been very far north in my own country.  I had been to Fort McMurray but not further into the top half of my homeland.  Even Kate, my Australian-born bride, had been closer to  Santa's Workshop than I have.  We knew there was a rough road that meandered all the way to the Arctic Ocean, but it took some investigation to learn that it was called the Dempster Highway. Pre-COVID we planned a trip.  Chatting with the Australian family, Wendy and Graeme showed interest in joining us.  Late August/early September was set as the timeframe to: avoid the swarms of bugs that summer brought be there for the fishing season (more to enjoy the bounty than do the fishing) catch part of berry season possibly get lucky with the turning colour of leaves Spoiler Alert: In the end, we succeeded fabulously on all points. Although COVID delayed o