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Paul Howard & Fiona McCall’s Cruising Guide Guide to the West Coast

Welcome back; world sailors. Sailors Fiona McCall; Paul Howard and their children Penny and Peter acknowledge welcome-back greetings from boats and spectators at harbouriront yesterday after their five-year; round-the-world Voyage aboard their boat; Lorcha.

We first met Paul Howard, Fiona McCall, and their two children Penny and Peter, when they sailed into Toronto Harbour in 1988, after a five-year round-the-world voyage in their 29-foot junk-rigged craft Lorcha.

Crowds were on hand to greet them. Luckily for us, their publisher was on the ball, and we had copies on hand of their book All in the Same Boat. We promptly sold our 100 copies, as Paul and Fiona busied themselves greeting people and signing copies of their book. It was a memorable occasion.

Since then, we have followed the adventures of this extraordinary sailing couple, who are still out there doing it.

Fiona McCall & Paul Howard aboard Carpe Diem

By Paul Howard & Fiona McCall

In October 2012 We sailed from Toronto on our 38foot Catamaran with a destination of  the west coast: British Columbia and Southeast Alaska.  Our plan was to head there directly, spend two seasons cruising that west coast, then cruise our way back to Toronto.  We were not acquainted with cruising the west coast.  Other than flying out a few times and knowing some people with boats, we had not spent any appreciable time on the water there.  These were new cruising grounds to us, though we were seasoned cruisers in many other parts of the world.


We needed cruising guides and I like to have lots of information.  When we have a destination I like
headed south julyAlaska 035to know the choices and reasons for going there.   We arrived in Victoria, B.C. in May, 2013, and headed north, up the inside passage of  British Columbia, to Ketchican, Alaska, and returned south to leave the boat in Anacortes, Washington, to haul the b oat ashore in November.  The following spring we returned to Anacortes in April to launch Carpe Diem and headed north again and carried on to Juneau, Alaska, and beyond to the Icy Straits and returned down the inside passage again visiting some favourite places and some not yet visited.    Thus we made two round trips on this coast covering thousands of miles in a relatively short time, but nowhere nearly exhausting the list of harbours and anchorages.  We sailed from Neah Bay at the tip of the Olympic Penninsula on the Strait of Juan de Fuca near Cape Flattery at the end of September, 2014, direct to San Francisco, following the recommendations in the Douglas Pacific Coast guide (see below).  Following is a summary/review of the cruising guides we used that does not include land based guides such as Lonely Planet guides, etc.


Waggoner Cruising GuideWaggoners Cruising Guide, Robert Hale

Covers from the Puget Sound (Seattle, Washington area) through the complete British Columbia coast and across the Dixon Entrance to Ketchican, Alaska, the first port in Southeast Alaska.  There is no equivalent guide for further north in Alaska even though the typical cruise in southeast Alaska is north to Juneau, Icy Straits and Glacier Bay.

This is an essential guide for this coast for its information on marinas, fuel stops and availability, grocery stores, liquor stores, hardware, etc.  It is easy to read and well organized in logical sections with locator maps.  There are lots of glossy photos and good pilotage information, though it is short on suggested anchorages outside of towns. The Douglass’s Exploring guides are often quoted in this text (see below).  Updated annually.

Exploring Vancouver Island’s West CoastExploring guides, a series of guide books by Don Douglass & Reanne Hemingway-Douglas.

Including: Exploring the South Coast of British Columbia; Exploring the North Coast of British Columbia; Exploring Southeast Alaska; (and less relevant to this section but important to us on our sail from the Straits of Juan de Fuca to Mexico is the Exploring the Pacific Coast).  They have published additional guides to the above, but these are the ones we used.

These are essential guides for travelling this coast.   We are experienced cruisers and enjoy getting off the beaten path to lonely and isolated anchorages but also enjoy the occasional marina and town.  For marinas and towns the Waggoner guide was all the info we needed.  For everything and everywhere else our first reference was the Exploring series.  The Douglass’s often quote sections of the government coastal pilot and then give additional detailed information from their own experience along with (in many cases) diagrams of anchorage entrances, rocks and kelp to avoid and just where to drop the hook.  We  followed their directions religiously and never found an error in their recommendations.  The guides are a pleasure to read and an invaluable reference.

Inside Passage Route Plannng Map, North PortionThe Inside Passage, Route Planning Map, South Portion and North Portion published by Fine Edge.

These strip maps are another essential tool for navigating along this coast.  When we began cruising up this coast we were not familiar enough with the geography to know major passages from minor passages.  Referencing the charts and guides still left some guessing as to what particular island to go around on which side when going from one anchorage to the next, especially in the more isolated areas.  These two strip maps give an orientation to the geography of the area in a way we did not find anywhere else.  The alphabetised list with Lat/Long waypoints allows one to immediately locate any island, town, passage, mountain, anchorage, etc. and know its relative position to others.  Essential reference for cruising this area.

Ports and Passes; Published by Ports and Passes.

Tide and current tables covering from Olympia, Washington, to Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

I like having a paper book with tides and currents.  We used digital charts but also carried paper charts for the entire area.   Digital chart programs give tide and current timing for state of tide and current direction for their coverage area.  I find the annually updated paper books much more accurate that the digital chart tables that are electronically generated for decades.  Also, I like being able to look up tides and currents for planning departure timing for the following morning without turning on a laptop or tablet.  I did begin cruising in tidal areas on my own boat in 1975, so perhaps this is a generational issue.

I liked the Ports and Passes book for the accuracy of its information and for the extras it included, sort of like an almanac with information on the local area beyond the tide and current tables.  You will note that the book does not cover north of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, just near the Alaska border.  While in Alaska we used the digital and on-line information plus the small local give-away tide tables that are often a free-bee at fishing supply stores.  I felt the lack of a comprehensive tide and current book in Alaska and would purhase the appropriate government publications if I go back there.  Put Ports and Passes on the essential list.

Anchorages and Marine ParksAnchorages and Marine Parks, Peter Vassilopoulos.

As the title suggests, this book deals mainly, but not exclusively, with marine parks.  We found it more useful in the Vancouver Island area, and the San Juan and Gulf Islands, though the book includes information up to Prince Rupert and the Dixon Entrance.  There are few places to get ashore in the more islolated anchorages but marine parks always have a landing area and this book tells you where they are and what facilities are available.  There are diagrams indicating anchorages and aerial photos and some anchorage waypoints but the Douglass books have more details and pilotage information.  Some parks have floats and mooring bouys for inexpensive mooring (much less than marinas) and there are almost always places to anchor, too.  There is an extensive  portion on the west coast of Vancouver Island, though we did not go there.  The coverage of Haida Gwaii is minimal, both the Douglas and Waggoners is more useful there.  The coverage does not extend into Alaska.  Not essential, though it is useful and well organized.

Boat Camping Haida Gwaii: A Small Vessel Guide to the Queen Charlotte IslandsBoat Camping Haida Gwaii, Neil Frazer.

Written mostly for kayakers and small powerboat cruisers who are tent camping in Haida Gwaii.  The information is more relevant to those people than us cruising sailboats but does have good information on these fascinating islands.  We loved Haida Gwaii and were awestruck when visiting the heritage villages and when speaking with the watchmen, the only inhabitants of those long abandoned homesites.  Any and all information about this special area was eagerly studied.

Dreamspeaker Cruising Guide Vol. 1: Gulf Islands & Vancouver IslandA Dreamspeaker Cruising Guide, Volume 1, Gulf Islands & Vancouver Island, Anne & Laurence Yeadon-Jones.

We only purchased one vloume of this series of six cruising guides that cover the Canadian part of the northwest coast.  They seemed to be more geared to inexperienced boaters who were not going very far or for very long, two week summer holidays or weekend cruising.  The book has lots of drawings and capsule maps of towns with recommendations for restaurants and shopping.  I grew impatient with the guide as I felt it was not intended for someone of our experience or the distances we intended to travel.  The book does not contain as many or as varied anchorages as the Douglass books.  It would be a good guide for local cruising or a companion to the Waggoners and Douglass guides if staying in one area for a period of time.

Continue reading Paul Howard & Fiona McCall’s Cruising Guide Guide to the West Coast

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“Stars to Steer By” Review Raffle Rextravaganza!

"Stars to Steer By" Review Raffle Rextravaganza

Help fellow seafarers find their way by adding guiding stars and reviews to your favourite books on — and get entered in a raffle with a chance to win a $25 gift certificate.

For every review you contribute, we’ll add your name to the raffle hat. You can even review charts or navigation tools if you want.  Negative reviews are okay too, but extremely short/uninformative reviews might get disqualified.

The raffle will be held on Friday, October 30th.


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Guest Blog: Voyaging With Kids

This guest blog is from Lin Pardey, about Voyaging with Kids, a new book from Sara Dawn Johnson, Behan Gifford and Michael Robertson that the Pardeys are publishing. The  overwhelmingly favorable reactions from early readers of Voyaging with Kids: a Guide to Family Life Afloat has prompted L&L Pardey Publications to create its first full colour book with interactive Ebook edition, to be released in October 2015. The website for the book can be found here.

Cover-final-VWkA Thanksgiving dinner, a house full of friends, and voyagers from overseas, their children’s laughter ringing through the house: that is where Voyaging with Kids first entered my life.

During more than four decades of voyaging, no matter where we happened to be, Larry and I tried to recreate the unique feeling of this most American of holidays. And now that we had hung up our offshore sailing hats and moved ashore on a small island near Auckland, New Zealand, there was room to invite two dozen folks who needed a yearly turkey fix. Among the guests was Sara Johnson. We’d been exchanging emails for a few years. Just before she set off across the Pacific with her husband Michael and their two young daughters, Holly and Leah, I’d written, “Get here in time for Thanksgiving and we’ll have a mooring waiting for you.” As often happens, one kid boat seems to attract another, and on this evening six cruising kids had joined the celebrations. I watched them confidently fitting into a situation that was completely new and interacting comfortably with adults they had never met before, and I found myself wishing there was some way to encourage more folks to take their children away from so-called “normalcy” and let them experience the opportunities cruising could provide.

As the evening was winding down, Sara asked me a few questions about my publishing experience. She wondered if I could give her some guidance on a project she had in mind. A few weeks later we met for coffee. After briefly outlining the idea for this book, Sara told me the three authors were considering self-publishing. Over the next hour I outlined the pitfalls and advantages based on my experience of having the first seven books I’d written published by a major New York firm, then creating five more as an independent publisher. Then we switched to talking about ideas to expand the manuscript.

Sailing-with-baby-in-wrapI drove off, headed to another appointment, and then, three blocks later, turned back. Sara was still at the café, just buying her daughters an after-school treat. “Sara, your idea has gotten me fired up,” I stated. “I would like to be your publisher.” It was at that moment that added this newest arrow to my eclectic career quiver. I switched from being a self-publisher to being a “real” publisher.

I was not the only person fired up by the manuscript these three hard-working authors created. The cruisers and ex-cruising kids who contributed sidebars and stories for this book, the editors and designers who helped bring it to fruition, and the early reviewers have all reacted the same way. This book has become for them, as it is for me, a special addition to cruising literature.

Since taking on this project, I have published two other nautical titles and hope to do more. I am dedicated to creating well-written and informative nautical books which will encourage others to enjoy the pleasures that can be found by independently exploring the waters of our world. I hope others are inspired and encouraged by Voyaging with Kids. And if it helps you set sail toward my part of the world in time for Thanksgiving, come on in for a taste of turkey.


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John Graves Simcoe Day (for those in Toronto)

220px-ColonelSimcoeThis is the August Long Weekend- and so on Monday is (what is known in Toronto, only) as John Graves Simcoe Day. Interestingly, the rest of Ontario’s municipalities chose to not honour Upper Canada’s first Lieutenant-Governor in this way.

Simcoe is a fascinating character, with some tenuous but interesting maritime connections. He was born in 1752 in Northamptonshire, and died in 1806 in Exeter, in the West Country. His father was an officer in the Royal Navy, and was Captain of HMS Pembroke in 1758/59, during the campaign to capture New France/Quebec. During this time, the Pembroke‘s master was James Cook. The latter’s efforts during this period resulted in him spending several years charting the coasts of Newfoundland, and was then employed on three famous voyages of exploration.

Simcoe, despite his father’s example, did not go into the Royal Navy. After education at Exeter Grammar School and Eton, he spent a year at Oxford before being accepted to Lincoln’s Inn. From there, he joined the 35th Regiment of Foot as an Ensign. That regiment was deployed to the American colonies. He saw much combat in the American Revolutionary War. He was offered command of the Queen’s Rangers. After being invalided back to Great Britain following Yorktown, he recuperated at the house of his godfather, Admiral Samuel Graves, and in 1782 married Graves’ ward Elizabeth Gwillim. Following the end of the war, in 1787 he published A Journal of the Operations of the Queen’s Rangers from the end of the year 1777 to the conclusion of the late American War. This was followed by his election as an MP.

The Constitution Act of 1791 divided Canada into Upper and Lower Canada, and Simcoe served as the first Lieutenant-Governor from 1792 to 1798, although poor health forced him to return to England in 1796. During his brief time in Canada, he was largely responsible for the ending of slavery in Upper Canada in 1793 with the Act Against Slavery, for the creation of the Queen’s York Rangers regiment, and the building of Yonge St (from York to Lake Simcoe) and Dundas St (from York to London, Ontario). Following his return to England, he further served in military operations in Haiti, and then died before being able to take up duties as Governor of India.

While Simcoe did not have a personal involvement with the Navy or sailing, between his family connection, his time spent in the West Country, and his deployments away from England he would have certainly have spent quite a bit of time aboard ship.

We will be open from 10 to 6 on Monday.






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New Books: July 2015

This past month, we’ve received some fantastic new books that we’d like to share with you.

Salt, Sweat, Tears: The Men Who Rowed the OceansSalt, Sweat, Tears: The Men Who Rowed the Oceans

Talk about adventure, endurance, and self-discovery–for more than 70 days, Rackley and his rowing partner James Arnold ate, slept, and rowed in a 7-metre by 2-metre boat, the 268th crew to cross the Atlantic by rowing. The first, Norwegian fishermen George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen, rowed 2,500 miles in a wooden fishing dory in 1896 (their 55-day record stood for 114 years). Rackley’s account shares insights and details from his own and other amazing attempts.

One-Wild-SongOne Wild Song

After Nicholas Heiney committed suicide at 23, his father (BBC and ITV host) Paul Heiney decided to sail on a voyage to Cape Horn. NIcholas had been an experienced sailor, and had written on the subject as well. In addition to facing severe challenges over his voyage, Paul grappled with the emotional task of facing a future without his son. This story of that voyage begins with insurmountable grief, and ends with something approach peace of mind.

Stress-free Sailing: Short-handed Sailing TechniquesStress Free Sailing

Most sailing technique books assume a crew of 3 or 4, all willing to lend a hand. Wells, however, covers the most common sailing scenarios where anyone cruising has found themselves shorthanded—from couples with young children to be supervised by one partner, to deliveries alone. He provides clever, original techniques and solutions for dealing with the huge variety of essential operations on a boat—from sail setting and reefing, to picking up mooring buoys in a variety of wind and tide situations, anchoring, berthing and leaving a pontoon shorthanded, picking up a man overboard, sailing in fog and heavy weather—and even going up the mast. Organized into techniques for different cruising scenarios, the book features step by step sequential photos showing exactly how to approach each situation and carry out the task in hand.

Beyond-the-BreakBeyond the Break

On November 29. 2014, while participating in the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race, Team Vestas Wind ran aground on the Cargardos Carajos Shoal in the Indian Ocean. This was a widely seen event, and resulted in the near-loss of the boat. A week after the disaster, navigator Wouter Verbraak put a blog post online and admitted fault. This book details the disaster but is also a discussion on issues that cross boundaries, like navigating team dynamics and decision-making. This is a beautifully designed book, filled with photos of the Team Vestas Wind, the race, and the aftermath of the wreck.

Ocean-Visual-EncyclopediaOcean: A Visual Encyclopedia

From the Arctic to the Caribbean, tiny plankton to enormous whales, sandy beaches to the depths of the oceans, this visual reference brings our marine environment to life with stunning images and expertly researched text. Ages 8 and up.

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Sailing the World Part III: Reference Books for Cruisers

In the previous two entries, we have discussed the planning documents, and charts and cruising guides that are necessary for sailing the world. In this entry, we will examine some of the reference books and guides that we strongly recommend to cruisers. When sailing the world- or even when doing relatively shorter cruises for example on the Great Lakes, or in the Caribbean, it is important that cruisers have resources available to allow them to deal with immediate problems and ongoing concerns. Having reference books aboard as part of the boat’s library allows the crew to deal with most problems quickly, as well as an ability to troubleshoot problems to see if more help is required.

Electrical and Mechanical Reference Books

Boatowner's-Mechanical_Electrical-4thThere are quite a few authors who have published good books on electrical and mechanical systems for boats. In terms of consistency and breadth of topics, none can compare to Nigel Calder. In particular, we recommend the Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual, Marine Diesel Engines, and Refrigeration for Pleasureboats. Calder’s work is the gold standard for these topics. He is also the author of the Captain’s Quickguide: Diesel Engine Care and Repair. The Captains’ Quickguide series are a handy set of waterproof pamphlets, perfect for those who don’t have space for a full library aboard. On this subject, we also recommend Charlie Wing’s Boatowner’s Illustrated Electrical Handbook.

Boat Repair Reference Books

BoatRepairBibleAll boats require continuous upkeep and repair- and it is important that cruisers not be reliant on external resources and knowledge to perform these repairs. It’s important to have a book, such as Nic Compton’s Boat Repair Bible aboard to ensure that proper procedures for repair can be followed.  We also highly suggest books by Don Casey. For sailors in particular, Canvaswork and Sail Repair is incredibly important. Other good books by Casey include Don Casey’s Complete Illustrated Maintenance Manual, and Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair. We also highly recommend Ference Mate’s Shipshape: The Art of Sailboat Maintenance.

First Aid Reference Books

Firstaidatsea On any cruise, injuries are going to happen. It is always a good idea to have a first aid or emergency medical reference guide on hand. With a fair few choices, it’s a good idea to have a look at the various options, and decide which one you think is clearest. One option is Douglas Justin’s First Aid at Sea. Jurgen Hauert’s Doctor on Board is very detailed and clear, and written for non-medical professionals. There is also a Captain’s Quickguide and a First Aid Companion reference card available.

Weather Reference Books

Captain’s Quick Guides: On-Board Weather ForecastingOn every cruiser, sailors have to deal with weather. On trips of longer duration, being able to recognize, prepare for, and deal with weather becomes especially important. Often, it’s possible to receive the Marine Forecast, but other times it’s necessary for sailors to be able to interpret the signs. It is important to be able to do this quickly and there are a number of reference guides designed to help sailors, for example the Captain’s Quick Guide, a series from Alan Watts comprised of books on Weather, Wind and Storm forecasting, or a forecasting Quick Reference card. Another excellent title is Weather for Sailors from North U and Bill Biewenga. We also recommend the Captain’s Quick Guide for Heavy Weather Sailing.

Information, and more importantly, knowing where to find that information, is critically important to sailing around the world. We hope that this series of blogs helps you find the information you need to plan and execute your dream trip.

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Sailing the World, Part Two: Charts, Sailing Directions, Pilot and Cruising Guides

This is the second in a series of blogs, discussing the necessary planning required before sailing around the world. In the previous entry, we looked at guides for more general planning, such as which routes to choose. This entry will look at resources for local planning, specifically charts, chartbooks, sailing directions, pilot and cruising guides. There’s quite a bit of terminology there, and we’re going to do our best to clear things up.

Charts and Chartbooks

First of all, whats the difference between a map, and a chart? A map is a static, intended to be a reference document, and is focused on the land features. In comparison, a chart is a living, working document, and is intended for navigation. Further, maps provide details of surface routes, where as charts provide information about subsurface conditions and hydrography that are necessary for maritime navigation.

As we discussed in a previous post, in most parts of the world, there is a legal requirement to carry paper charts. Especially if you’re doing international cruising, this is really important. Of course, many modern boats do have electronic plotters and use electronic charts. While these are incredibly useful, they do not satisfy the legal requirement to carry charts. Of course, if you are interested in purchasing electronic charts (such as BSB Raster charts), We do offer electronic charts for Canada, the Caribbean and Mediterranean.

2085 Toronto Harbour – Toronto Islands
Chart 2085- Toronto Harbour & Toronto Island

Charts have traditionally been the product of surveys by government agencies, such as the Hydrography Office in the UK, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the American National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. These agencies were responsible for the creation of the charts, and also for printing them, and selling them through Chart Agents, such as our store. In some cases, like in Canada, this remains true. However, governments are increasingly out-sourcing responsibility for the printing of charts to private companies.

No matter who publishes them, each individual chart is part of a numbered series. To find out what charts you need, it is necessary to examine chart catalogues. For other agencies, such as UK Admiralty charts, it is necessary to look at the chart catalogue produced by Imray Norie. Once you know what charts you need, you can call the store and tell us (by number) which charts you need. Of course, we also have chart catalogues in the store so if you’re not quite sure what charts you need, we can help you find them.

One of the side-effects of the outsourcing of chart-printing is the proliferation of chart books. Chart books gather together a series of charts, often in a more functional form factor for cruisers. Where a chart is often 108 x 72 cm unfolded, chartbooks are a more manageable, usually about half the size. Technically, chart books do not contain charts, rather they contain very high resolution photographs of charts. As such, there is a warning at the beginning of chartbooks that they are not to be used for navigation. This is a legally required statement. Practically, chartbooks are functionally identical to charts, and (in the vast majority of cases) will satisfy the legal requirement to carry charts.

Chartbooks provide an excellent economical option, as they will cost far less than purchasing each chart individually. They are also great for allow flexibility in cruising plans. The Nautical Mind offers chart books for Europe (specifically the French Canal systems), the Great Lakes (Richardson Chartbooks), the Atlantic Coast, the Caribbean (specifically Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Windwards & Leewards).

As the maritime environment changes, information on charts does go out of date. It is really important to check the date of publication for the charts that you purchase, and to acquire the appropriate Notices to Mariners that provide update information for charts. These are notices published by government services, and are usually free. Examples include the Canadian, American and British Notices to Mariners.

Sailing Directions/Pilots & Cruising Guides

Sailing Directions: Great Slave Lake & Mackenzie RiverThese types of documents are very important to local-level planning, as well as cruising. Sailing Directions and Pilot Guides are actually the same type of document, and the difference is that they are the North American and British terms, respectively. These types of documents “include detailed coastal and port approach information, supplementing the largest scale chart of the area.

Both Sailing Directions/Pilots and Cruising Guides provide the same kind of basic information for specific areas, specifically ports and their approaches. The difference in content is a result of authorship, rather than intention per se. Sailing Directions/Pilots are published by governments organizations or corporations in order to provide the necessary information for safe passage. As such, they will include things like photos of the approach to a harbour, safe courses, documents required to cruise in an area, radio channel and light lists.

PORTS Cruising Guide: Lake OntarioCruising Guides are written (often by cruisers) for cruisers. As such, they contain much more information that could be classified as ‘touristy’. This includes things like local attractions and amenities near marinas, and activities suitable for children. Where Sailing Directions/Pilots tend to be updated infrequently (and mostly through Notices to Mariners, as above), many cruising guides are updated on an annual basis. In both cases, it is necessary to make sure that you have acquired the most up-to-date versions available.

When choosing what sailing directions and cruising guides to carry, it is important to examine the available options. For example, at the Nautical Mind we carry at least three different sets of cruising guides for the Great Lakes in addition to the Sailing Directions. Additionally, for some areas, the line between Sailing Directions and Cruising Guides is blurred by, for example, Rod and Lucinda Heikell’s books which are extremely detailed and can provide the adequate level of information. Further, some cruising guides are very detailed, and cover a smaller area while others discuss a larger region. With so many available options, taking the time to find the right level of detail and topics will certainly be a good investment of your time.

In the next blog post in this series, we will look at the type of reference books and guides that cruisers should have on-hand when cruising long-distance.

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Broad Reach Foundation for Youth Fundraiser with Eric Holden

ORCA - Broad Reach Foundation for Youth

Marguerite from Broad Reach writes:

The support of the sailing community is the bloodline of our operations. Please join us and Eric Holden on 9 July 2015!


Broad Reach Foundation for Youth supports kids with many life challenges: poverty, broken family, health problems. We connect these kids with successful and good adults and teach them that they can be in charge of their life and become the Captains of their destiny.

Broad Reach delivers on its mission to provide leadership skills development program for these youth through the sport, science and mastery of sailing. Since 1998 we have worked with 2,500 youth. The youth come from shelters, the street, Autism Ontario, Epilepsy Toronto, poor neighbourhoods First Nations and the court diversion system. The justification for our wide community outreach is two-fold: not every kid will benefit from our experiential programming but every kid benefits from the experience. And when we say the word “benefit” we mean achievement of competency, courage and comfort to break the constraints of their personal circumstance.

In the end, only those with the right aptitude will persevere and continue on to scholarships, club memberships, athletic pursuits, education or work in the sector. These are the kids we foster through our work.

Our fleet comprises four Screamers 12M designed by Mike Kaufman. They are good training boats with speed, ease of handling,  good stability and a large cockpit.

Last summer we sailed for the very first time with Native Canadian youth. It was remarkable how these kids handled the boats: with grace and natural ease of body and mind.

The support of the sailing community is the bloodline of our operations. Please join us and Eric Holden on 9 July 2015!





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Wood Storms, Beaufort Force 10 Cooking, & Thorny Paths — Neat New Books at the Nautical Mind

Here are some of the great new books we’ve got in stock this summer:

WildWood Storms | Wild Canvas – The Art of Godfrey Stephens

by Gurdeep Stephens

This book presents the works, sculptures and drawings of iconic West Coast sculptor, artist and boatbuilder Godfrey Stephens, as compiled by his niece. The photographs are beautiful, and the text is both comfortable and personal, highlighting the relationship between author and subject. Simply stunning and highly recommended.


CURRY FORCE 10: TOTAL DEVASTATIONThe Beaufort Scale Cookbook

by June Raper

Cooking aboard a boat is a challenge in good weather; in foul weather it becomes much more difficult but is no less necessary. Experienced cruiser and author June Raper, provides over 100 recipes, indexed by wind strength, so that boats’ cooks can provide easy, tasty, and nutritious meals to their crews in a variety of conditions.


You think you can just cruise through lifeThe Cruising Life

by Jim Trefethen

This is a great book for anybody who is contemplating an international cruise. It is a straightforward guide, that includes honest discussions like “Should you go cruising?”, two chapters on financial planning for cruisers, and “A few things that you thought you needed but you don’t”. This is a great reference for the beginning planning stages.


You can do it.Coach Yourself to Win

by Jon Emmett

Gold medal winning coach and sailor John Emmett presents his top twelve core concepts of successful sailing. Whether your aim is to do be a successful club, national or international racer, this book will help you achieve your goal. It will help you set future targets, create challenging exercises, improve your strategy, tactics and sailhandling as well as other important skills.
BE YOUR OWN BOAT!Helming to Win

by Nick Craig

Nick Craig provides this guide on racing tactics and helming. Topics include ‘where to look’, or how to watch the fleet to see opportunities, tricks for improving mental focus on the race, as well as many other tips. The author uses photo sequences to illustrate his lessons.

Soaked shirt dryingCanvas Flying, Seagulls Crying

by Justin Tyers

The authors of the popular Phoenix from the Ashes continue their account of their eventful voyage in their self-built traditional wooden cruising yacht. This volume sees them travel from the Scottish Islands across to Ireland and down the Irish Sea to Cornwall and Brittany. A beautifully written and often funny book.


Found it.Quest on the Thorny Path

by David Beaupre

This is the second book about the voyages of David and Wendy Beaupre in their Bayfield 36, Quest. Here they sail on the Thorny Path from the Bahamas to the Caribbean.


ClassicClassic Ships of the Great Lakes

by Robert Campbell

A beautiful coffee table book, with great images of the many types of vessels that operate on the Great Lakes, from the classic Whale Back designs, to the more modern bulk carriers, self unloaders and ‘super ships’. Many pictures of both American and Canadian ships.