Over the past decade, I have been sailing with my best friend and her grandparents on their 36ft Catalina sailboat. The annual sailing adventures are always the highlight of my summer; filled with exciting destinations, relaxation, and a break from my everyday life. I am so grateful to have had the chance to be able to learn and experience so much from each journey; tying knots, setting the sails and navigating with charts to plot the course are some of the skills I will never forget.
It all started July 10 th, we set sails from Sidney Harbor on Vancouver Island, where I experienced the most delicious salad at the cutest café called "Toast Café." Up the Sunshine Coast we went… First stop was Smugglers Cove, after a rough crossing of the Georgia Straight. This anchorage was new to me but past years I had been further up and around the coast to Secret Cove, another warm watered and calm stay. While making our way up the Malaspina Straight, we paid a visit to the Copelands and Savary Island. Finally after a queasy stomach and healing it with lots of fresh ginger, I overcame my bout of seasickness. We glided into Cortes Bay, one my favorite islands. The reason I am so in love with this little island is because of the way the trees consume the light at sunset. Who doesn’t live for gorgeous sunsets! After hitting the most southern point of Cortes, we stopped in Von Donop Inlet for some kayaking and not too much paddle boarding considering my loss of balance! Entry to Gorge Harbour is through a narrow, cliff lined entrance where Spanish explorers used to stand watch for enemy ships approaching. Gorge is one of my top destinations because of this quaint little store that has the best coconut water, "King Island", and my favourite vegan ice cream, "Coconut Bliss." Each morning begins with 9am yoga, swimming in the ocean, and lounging around the saltwater pool. As night falls, the fireside is the place to relax and listen to the many local musicians, which truly makes the community of Gorge so hard to leave. I appreciate the peaceful down time on a sailboat when the wind fills the sails and the rhythmic rocking from the ocean waves lulls you to sleep. As well as occasionally spotting out a seal, a family dolphins or sometimes even an Orca, as we glide through the water. Think of white sandy beaches, sand dollars, seashells, and gentle hikes exploring beneath the warmth of the sun; don’t forget jumping into crystal clear ocean water that feels like a giant bathtub... That’s Tribune Bay on Hornby Island, and my happy place where I feel as if I have been transported to a tropical paradise miles and miles away.
This 2-week adventure always goes by way too quickly, and in the blink of an eye you are back on the mainland and your every day life resumes. Each year being out on the ocean, and visiting the beautiful islands dotting our coastline, my appreciation grows for nature as well as how incredibly stunning our planet is. As time goes on I know I will always remember the magical feeling of being completely enveloped by nature and the tranquil feeling of looking out and seeing nothing but the vast ocean and blue sky…
- Georgia T. Austin