Sailing

Lost and Found

Have you ever lost something while travelling? I have. My grad ring in a hotel room. Pearl earrings on the shelf of a houseboat. A raincoat and favourite hat after diving with great whites. My stuff. Inconveniencing no one. The day I lost the basket to the coffee pot while sailing into Virgin Gorda…that was a little different. I’d committed a party foul and I needed to fix it. Not a huge deal. But what would have been an uneventful errand at home became a charming side-step into the ...

This is Why We’re Friends

I looked down, unlocked my phone and made a selection. Van Morrison. Into the Mystic. It starts with a few strums of the guitar… ‘We were born before the wind. Also younger than the sun’. I’d been at it for hours. Thumbing through playlists for the right songs. The ones that slide down your spine. Make you breathe deep, roll your shoulders back and relax. I looked around. They dug it. Everyone was smiling, eyes closed, heads swaying. It was a perfect night. When I started writing ...

Fake Plastic Trees

It was like that opening scene from Forrest Gump. A white plastic bag fluttering by. Turning over on itself. Somersaulting. The only difference. This one was underwater. Part of a parade of juice bottles, styrofoam food containers and foil packages caught in the current.

Fucking Amateurs

I didn’t need to look up, I knew they were watching us. Six people trying to maneuver a boat backwards into the open slip were bound to become a spectacle. They’d seen us coming. The giant logo running along our boom was a dead giveaway. And now, as the wind pushed us sideways towards their anchor lines, the crowd roared. They hurled insults, all in the local language, until one voice cut through the din – fucking amateurs!  We’d been invited to sail the Greek islands about six months ...

When in Rome

Do as the Romans do. Adapt to local customs. Emulate the culture. Drink ridiculously expensive cocktails in a luxury hotel until the lounge singers hand you a mic. A saying based in antiquity, uniquely applied to modern day travel. Bora Bora. It’s home to some of the largest overwater bungalows in the region and impossibly beautiful. I could feel the ka-ching in the air. If a cloud of thousand dollar bills floated by on the breeze, I would not have been the least bit surprised.  We’d never ...

Big Fish

I have a super power. At least that’s what I tell myself.  It revealed itself a few years back on a sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands. We’d been at sea for days and were making a crossing. It was a long one. There’d be no land in sight for hours. Just blue on blue, a thin line separating sea from sky. I’d had breakfast, cracked the spine of a new book and dozed for an hour in the midday sun. Now bored, I sat watching Jimmi bait a hook.  As he let out the line, a thought entered my ...

O Canada

Canadians. We’re best known for poutine, hockey, saying sorry and Ryan Reynolds. At least on the west coast. If I lived in Ontario, I would have gone with Ryan Gosling. Whatever. It’s the small things that make us who we are. We’re understated about our nationalism. Canada is already great.  So, when our token Australian mentioned that he was working on his citizenship application, I was (very humbly) proud. It takes some time. You have to learn history, politics and culture. There’s a ...

Chicken Parts

One of the best things about travelling is the food. It’s the thing people most often ask about when you get home.  How was the food? Did you go to local places? What was the weirdest thing you ate? When we decided to book a trip to Cuba last year, it was the first thing people pounced on. The. Food. Is. Awful. They went on and on about it. It’s tasteless. It’s boring. The country is beautiful, unless you’re a foodie. We had a different experience, but this isn’t that story. I’ll talk about ...

Woman Overboard

I should start by saying, I hate putting my face in water. I don’t know why. My mom concluded long ago that I drowned in a past life after I freaked out at the community pool. She made me take lessons. I learned the basics. I persevered. But when I failed my blue level badge because I wouldn’t do a stride jump into the deep end, I was done with swimming altogether. So naturally, many of my vacations are…ocean-based. Chalk it up to an awesome group of friends who love to sail in exotic ...