Tag Archives: Sailing

I want a Dufour40e for Christmas

23 Nov

Dear Santa,

In addition to another pony, I would like to add a Dufour 40e sailboat to my list this year. It may not fit down the chimney, so please park it on the dock outside that cottage on Vancouver Island we talked about last year. I assume that will be ready for this Christmas as well.

Thanks man, I appriciate it.



I took these photos during the spring (2012) from our Zodiac. This particular Dufour was a stock vessel at the time- we were sailing it that day for an Audi Lifestyle Magazine photo shoot.  I have been on the boat many times and fell in love with it. From the Zodiac, I had a cool perspective of the sailboat with the Toronto skyline in the background. What a pretty boat!

Annapolis, MD

21 Nov

Hello! Jess here,

We’ve just returned from Annapolis, Maryland!  The primary reason for the trip was because I was attending a three-day SailTime Base Owners Meeting. Annapolis is well known as the center of sailing and boating in the Mid-Atlantic. As soon as you enter the town, you immediately sense the nautical ‘vibe’. Almost everyone looks like they’ve just stepped off a sailboat. Scenic Main Street is lined with sailing stores and boutiques. If you’ve never been, I would suggest you go check it out… but only for a day or two.  (Pictured below Chris and I are on Main St.)

Not being a ‘hard-core’ sailor, I find the town a bit boring. Annapolis is the type of place where you enjoy good food, good wine and good company. When I typed ‘Annapolis’ into Trip Advisor, the top things to do where Sailing, Museums, the local Park, Dining and the United States Naval Academy. Yes, the academy is pretty neat, but unless you’re a sailor there isn’t much to do other than wander the cobblestone roads and check out the old architecture.

The meeting I attended was a gathering of the global SailTime base owners. It was very cool to be in a room filled with people from all over the world who do the same thing I do for a living and suffer the same frustrations and challenges. I learned a lot and had a very good time. If you’re interested in the fractional sailing program I manage, you can click here for more information!

During the meeting, sailing legend Gary Jobson lectured on sailing, leadership, teamwork and his past adventures. I do admire sailors for their love of adventure and their free spirits. Gary told us wonderful stories of America’s Cup Racing, the founding of ESPN, his many years of commentating sailing events for the network, his love for the sport and sailing mishaps he’s since learned valuable lessons from. Gary is not only an inspirational athlete, he is also an exceptional leader and speaker. I was very excited to meet him. Gary’s website can be found here. Pictured with gary is myself and my collegue Andrew. We manage the SailTime GTA base and program together.

If you’ve never heard of the America’s Cup, you’ve got to check it out. The America’s Cup is the oldest active Trophy in international sport!  As sailing has progressed throughout the ages, so have the sailors. originating on monohulls in 1851, the boats racing this year in the 34th America’s cup are lightning fast catamerans. The sport is INTENSE in every sense of the word. As I persue learning the sport of sailing, I hope to eventually crew on a race boat. These guys are the real deal.

Check out the America’s Cup on their YouTube Channel. Here is one of their latest videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OwmwNEw6oA&feature=plcp or here.

I had the privilege of seeing these boats live in action last summer in Newport, RI. They sail three times the speed of the wind- it’s almost unbelievable!  I intent to blog about the America’s Cup in the future- stay tuned!

When Chris and I travel throughout the USA, we often drive to Buffalo, NY and fly out of BUF on SouthWest. On our way home, we stopped for some Buffalo wings… when in Rome…

Until next time! Thanks for following along :)

CYA Certified

23 Sep

Well the results are in!

Today was my written and practical sailing exam. I passed! Thank goodness. This past week I’ve crammed in over 38 hours on-water training on top of my normal 40+ hour work week! I’m seriously lacking sleep! Luckily, I have tomorrow off. Katie dog and I will be sitting on the couch tonight, listening to Norah Jones and relaxing.

Here’s a picture of me on the Hunter 36. We sailed from Bronte Outer Harbour (Oakville) to Stoney Creek and back.


Learning to Sail

22 Sep

Ahoy!  It’s me, Jess. This past week I’ve been taking a Sailing Training Course…

“Oh isn’t sailing romantic?!” My Instructor sighs as we bob through the Lake Ontario waves. He and my two fellow students are absolutely enchanted. I smile through pursed lips as he looks my way. ‘Dude, its freezing, windy AND raining. Not to mention we are going a whole four knots. Are we even moving?! I could SWIM faster than this. And that’s not saying a lot- I can hardly doggie paddle in a swimming pool without inadvertently panicking and gulping water…’  I can’t complain. I told my boss that if I was to be any use to the company, surely I would need to know how to sail. He agreed to pay for my course if I sold other training registrations to fill up the class. Done.

I showed up for the first evening class pretty confident I’d be making an appearance at the next Pan-American Games sailboat race. I had all my super high-tech gear I borrowed from the office, I had a pretty good understanding of boats, their parts, sails and had been on this particular boat numerous times. I even have a key for the damn thing on my car key chain. Anyways, we all meet below deck and sit around the table in the galley (That’s the boat word for ‘kitchen’) and we started into the course material.

1. Parts of Boat (Oh, I totally got this)

2. Gear and Equipment (Pshh easy)

3. Safety (Where’s the test? Just let me write this thing now, save me some time.)

4. Weather (Nothing I can’t catch up on with a couple documentaries…right?)

5. Rules of the Road/ Right of way (Wait, What road?)

6 Seamanship/Sail Reductions (I can figure that out I’m sure…)

7. Navigation (Hmm…I got lost on my way to the marina)

8. Tide Tables/Current Tables (Current!? Can’t we just turn on the engine?! Are there tides in a Lake?)

9. Handling Under Sail (Who’s ‘Gybe Ho’? and ‘Helms Alee’? Why are we yelling at them!?)

… that was my first indication that the Pan Am’s were a bit out of my reach…

The course material was pretty challenging. Every angle of the sail, every wind direction, every movement has a command and a name and a meaning. What added insult to injury was that during this whole ordeal I was aware that not only was I there to learn, I was also there to try and sell a boat to my fellow students. I had to act like I was having the time of my life. Bah. They were all doing well and answering questions and studying like good little students while I secretly rolled my eyes and continuously put on more layers of clothing.

After answering 5 textbook questions wrong in a row, I decided I didn’t like sailing. Or boats. Despite the resolution NOT to become a sailor, it turns out that I’m actually quite good at the helm. And… after a while I started having fun on the water. Maybe this isn’t so bad after all…

Tomorrow is my big test. If I pass I get a sticker! In the mean time I’ll practise yelling “Heading up! Harden the Sheets!” and working on my Round Turn and Two Half Hitches Knot.

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