Basic & Intermediate Cruise & Learn.
5 Day Sailing Voyage through the Gulf Islands off Vancouver Island.
Our boat for this voyage was ‘Pacific Karma’ a 41-foot sailing vessel. PK is well equipped with every amenity required to be comfortable on an extended trip with 4 grown men eating, sleeping, sailing and learning aboard. Her two large double berths are also well suited to couples.
Pacific Karma at moorage.
Pacific Karma’s home is in Nanaimo BC on beautiful Vancouver Island. I arrived to the marina under a wonderful sunset and relaxed with our Skipper and CYA certified instructor Rex, and his Son Ryan who would be joining us for the voyage. Rex explained the basics of PK and our itinerary for the week.
Arriving at the Marina. Monday, July 4th 2016
Talking to our Skipper. First evening at Pacific Karma’s home marina.
Late in the evening we were joined by the fourth member of our sailing team, Reid, arriving from Calgary.
The next day we awoke around 8 and ate a hearty breakfast before exiting the marina and passing through Dodd’s narrows on our way to the Gulf Island chain.
The day was mostly overcast with favorable winds.
. I take the helm on day 1 as Rex looks on…
Reid from Calgary. Working hard on his Intermediate Cruising certification.
Our first day of sailing took us approximately 30KM as the crow flies to our first overnight stop, Clam Bay Anchorage. After a quick lesson from Rex on proper anchoring technique we relaxed with a good meal and later went for a quick fishing trip in the zodiac
The Anchorage at Clam Bay. Our home for night 1.
Sun setting on Trees. Night 1. Clam Bay
Day 2 was our only day without wind. We took the time to relax and learn from Rex as we made our way under power to Ganges on Salt Spring Island. Topics of conversation included: Man Overboard procedures, reviewing right-of-way and points-of-sail. Many enjoyable stories from our captain, sailing-related and otherwise! Ganges was a lovely town, rich in culture and arts, we took in a local art gallery and farmers-market.
Ryan prepares a tasty lunch on day 2 of our voyage. PK has a spacious and full-featured galley.
Day three was our best day of sailing. Great winds and lots of sunshine. We began under sail with narrow tacks coming out of Ganges harbor. We traveled approx. 25KM as the crow flies (many more including tacks), around Prevost Island, to arrive at our destination, the pristine and picturesque moorage at Montegue Bay.
On day 3 we also learned that Pacific Karma is FAST! Doing 8 KNTS in 10-12KNTS of wind, executing fast tacks and overtaking the other boats we came across. It felt as though we gelled as a sailing crew as we witnessed what PK was capable of in response to our teamwork.
Great wind and sunshine! Morning of Day 3.
Pacific Karma Sailing from Ryan Durkovich on Vimeo.
Relaxing with a beer after a day of awesome sailing! Evening of day 3, Montegue Harbour.
Montegue Bay was a beautiful moorage for our third night aboard. We took time to wander around the nearby trails (it’s a national park) and enjoy some of the local sights and sounds of Galliano island. This included a late-night school-bus ride to a pub up the mountain. It’s really a ride that you must experience for yourself, but let’s just say that it was the most colorful, lively and percussive school bus ride I’ve ever been on! Another highlight so to speak was taking in the remarkable bioluminescence on our zodiac ride back to PK. Breathtaking!
Our fourth day was a mixed-bag weather-wise. Good winds throughout the day led us to our final stop of the trip, Thetis Island Marina where we enjoyed a fine pub meal with a misty west-coast view.
Our Sailing Buddy, Day 4. Overcast on the way to Thetis Island Marina.
Our fifth day aboard took us from Thetis Island Marina back to Pacific-Karma’s home port at which point I wrote my Basic Cruising certification test and Reid did his intermediate.
I was surprised to see just how much I had learned after five delightful days aboard; all my previous rusty sailing experience had come back in a heartbeat and I was full of new information, skills, and love for being out on the open water with only the sound of the wind and the hull cutting through the water!
I’ll be back for more!!
Our Sailing Buddy. Day 5. Returning Home.
Here is a brief description of how Pacific Karma Sailing came to be
We have been doing Sail Canada Cruise and Learn Courses for the last 15 years based out of Nanaimo. The demand had been almost exclusively single males and the Sceptre 36, Ocean Karma was perfect for the task. We and many students had a blast cruising and racing (informally) throughout the Gulf Islands and beyond. There was a significant change in demand over the last few years and the market shifted more toward couples wanting to do this together. We contemplated continuing on as we had or just dropping out of the business altogether. The new regulations by Transport Canada made us take a serious look at the future. There was no practical way to equip a 36’ sailboat to the standards now required for Recreational Boating Schools. We decided that we were not ready to retire so we had no choice but to find a boat more suited to the market demands. After an extensive search, we found Pacific Karma (re-named by us with all appropriate offerings to the sea Gods). We bought Pacific Karma last September knowing we had a lot of work to do to bring it up to the standards set by Ocean Karma.
We took Pacific Karma for a shakedown cruise in September, 2014 and we and the students aboard (see video on site) were impressed with the power and speed she displayed. The rig was in very questionable condition but she displayed her ability to perform as a wind powered rocket ship! The winter of 2014-2015 was spent re-rigging all of the running rig. All the antique, oversized lines were replaced with new and high tech lines of appropriate size. We now have new halyards, new sheets and new running backs and checkstays. The standing rig has been surveyed and found to be in good condition.
The next task was to meet Transport Canada Standards for Recreational Boating Schools. Fire alarms, fire port, smoke detectors, high water bilge alarm, and of course, a $2500 white elephant – a 6 person offshore liferaft. Man Overboard Pole, lifering light, PFD whistles and lights and Jacklines, harnesses and tethers round out the winters work. We are now fully functional and totally seaworthy.
We can now confidently offer quality cruises in comfort with 2 private double cabins and 3 single berths to a varied market. If there are 4 guys that want to sail hard, we can do that. If a couple that want to experience the cruising life, we can do that and all things between.
We have just finished the semi annual haulout and the bottom is in perfect condition. The prop (a feathering Max Prop) was adjusted (is was way out of spec!). The hull was polished. We still need to polish the topsides but we are getting there.
If you want to have some real fun and learn how to shed the stress of modern urban life, we have the key.