Searching For the Elusive Spirit Bear

Searching For the Elusive Spirit Bear Cruising BC’s Central Coast on Tula Let’s face it, we love cruising BC’s Central Coast on our sailboat SV Tula. These remote cruising grounds are an uncrowded paradise with great sailing conditions, unparalleled scenery and spectacular wildlife both on land and in the ocean. While on board SV Tula, we regularly see black bears feeding along the shoreline, particularly at low tide. Bears love Read more…

So You Want to Sail Away? Preparing For Our Vancouver Island Circumnavigation (VIC 2019)

So You Want to Sail Away? Preparing For Our Vancouver Island Circumnavigation (VIC 2019) As we sit through the winter months dreaming of fleeing our busy everyday lives, we can’t help but think about sailing away from reality into the warmth of a British Columbia summer. We imagine meeting a pod of porpoises or orcas. We can see waterfalls lining the coast, snow- capped mountains, and smooth seas rich with Read more…

Nautical Cocktail Making

A couple of years ago, Michelle and I were asked to run a 47 foot Leopard catamaran called Tarsha. We cruised from True Blue Bay in Grenada almost to Saint Vincent up through the spectacular Tobago Cays. On visiting friends in Barbados, and while on board Tarsha, we were introduced to two wonderful nautical cocktails, the Barbadian national treasure called simply ‘Rum Punch’ and the very famous ‘Dark ‘n Stormy’. Read more…

They Bite But Taste Good

Sustainable Gulf Island Crabbing On Board Tula One of our favourite Gulf Island anchorages is Reef Harbour, near the bottom end of Saturna Island, about a three hour scenic sail from our Tsehum Harbour base.  Situated between Cabbage and Tumbo Islands, the harbour is sheltered from most winds, other than a north to north-westerly breeze.  For much of the year Reef is deserted, and we like that.  In summer, power boaters Read more…

Graveyard of the Pacific

Charts: 3646, 3668, 3670, 3671 In the middle of the stormy winter of 1906, the iron steamship Valencia was driven ashore at Pachena Point. Massive waves dashed the ship and it’s passengers on to the rocky shore with horrific results and the loss of 136 lives. This loss is generally regarded as Vancouver Island’s worst maritime disaster. It is said that a wrecked ship rests on the ocean bottom for Read more…

Being Boarded

It was a few winters ago and Andy and I were travelling on Tula from Victoria BC to a whale conference near Port Townsend, Washington. Andy is a member of the Canadian Forces and as a navy guy, has many years of naval experience in all parts of the world and is at home on the ocean. The trip down from Friday Harbour down San Juan Channel had been scenically Read more…

Delivering Mistress

The Joys of Winter Motoring on The Salish Sea    Rob Andrews is a buddy from New Zealand who purchased a Swan 53 called Mistress in San Diego a year ago. Mistress is a gorgeous, high-end sailboat made originally in Finland. Everything about Mistress is big and rugged. Rob’s ability to tolerate huge refit cheques is more well developed than my own. In early May, Rob will be heading south Read more…

Protecting Your Sailboat from the Pineapple Express

Keeping Your Boat and Crew Safe While Cruising BC’s West Coast We enjoy cruising British Columbia’s West Coast on our sailboat Tula. We sail the Coast during most seasons of the year. Our wonderful cruising-grounds extend from the bottom of Puget Sound up the Salish Sea to Canada’s border with Alaska. During our sailing courses, we continually stress to our students that anything can happen on the ocean and that they Read more…

Tranquility Base: This is Tula Calling

The Pleasures of Extended Coastal Cruising on BC’s West Coast Dawn is gradually colouring the Eastern sky and a little fog is rolling in. Tula is safely alone at anchor, deep inside a maze of small islets near Darby Channel on our Central Coast. After a quiet night, we are up before the birds and the two student crew. The café mocha expresso coffee smells good and needs to be Read more…