Rolling into another year living aboard our 34-foot sailboat, we often reaffirm why we moved from the mountains, in Whistler, to living our life on the water in Campbell River. Our wild journey started in Vancouver back in 2019, aboard our first, narrow, and seaworthy Gulf Island 29-foot sailboat. Since then, we’ve regularly asked ourselves: “Does this still serve our purpose and fulfill us as it first did when we fell in love with sailing?’’
Days of extreme fatigue from refitting our beloved salty home; uncountable hours of mechanic work on our old engine; a high-stress trip caught in a storm; multiple trips with seasickness; a very long sequence of rainy days where we tried, endlessly, to manage new water infiltrations; breaking parts; the constant fight for comfort and warmth; working against moisture, condensation; when the weather or work keeps us at the dock for too many weeks. The list goes on and sometimes we lose sight of the why.
But then we sit down, open our navigation map, and look at the hundreds of pins that represent days, weeks, and months spent exploring. Naturally, memories flow back to us. We reminisce with anecdotes of time spent in Howe Sound, the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast, all the way into Princess Louisa Inlet, and, of course, Desolation Sound. Some of the best moments of our lives have been collected in the past four years. Looking at all the places we’ve been, the stories attached, the quality time with family and friends, and the new friendships we’ve created along the way, is usually all it takes to feel at ease in our hearts and get a grip on our why. A handful of mental souvenirs removes half the fatigue and rejuvenates the obsession that fuels this freedom; this life of adventure.
The more time we spend on the water, the more time we want to spend on it. The more we explore, the further we want to go—to see, feel, and learn about the places we visit. We truly connect to our environment and get curious about everything that surrounds us: from wondering about whales breaching and bioluminescence, to magical meteor showers at night.
Every part of sailing becomes addictive. To be slow to move, to harness nature’s energy, to be forced to surrender to the pull of going somewhere; to resist our nature of wanting to accomplish a million tasks. Instead, we are forced to be entirely in the here and now.
Waiting for the next sailing trip, we crave being out there, out of reach, with no cell service for a while. We crave losing track of time—eating when we feel hungry and sleeping when our body is ready. The joy of revisiting local island markets, favourite coffee shops, bakeries, and ice cream stores … always on the hunt for a new anchorage that only fits us. Fishing before dawn straight from the cockpit still in pyjamas, witnessing sunrise and waking up to the thrill of catching today’s meals. With less distraction and less noise, we reconnect to ourselves and what’s meaningful to us.
Wanting to share this lifestyle, this passion, has now become our business. At Beyond Sailing, we offer sailing lessons and small group excursions from Campbell River. Our vision continues to expand as we marry more of our interests with unique upcoming sailing trips like sail-to-run, sail-to-climb, and sail-to-bike excursions.
We dove into this life at sea, feeling as free as we can be.
Beyond Sailing offers sailing lessons and excursions out of Campbell River.