Sailing Hunter 34 in Bay of QuinteI love sailing.  I learned to sail when I was 11 years old through Sea Scouts in Vancouver.  A few years later, I continued learning to sail at Royal Military College in Kingston.  Since then, I have sailed with many friends, but did not get my own sailboat until 2011, shortly after moving to Belleville, Ontario.

I own, cruise, and occasionally race a 1984 Hunter 34 sailboat (34′ long).  It has berths for sleeping up to seven, but really is well suited for up to four adults, although I generally single-hand it by myself.

I am grateful to live in Belleville, right on the Bay of Quinte which provides convenient water access, great sailing, and spectacular views.  I sail two or three times a week on the Bay, but each year also do a couple of big trips such as around Lake Ontario or down to Kingston and the Thousand Islands.  I spent about 22 nights on the boat, last year.

I am fortunate to belong to the Bay of Quinte Yacht Club, a group of like-minded sailors.  The club organizes weekly racing as well as many social events.  The opportunity to connect with other sailors provides a great social network and the ability to learn from a wide variety of experience levels.  Most have been sailing seriously much longer than I have, so I continue to learn from them.

One of the pleasures of owning a sailboat, other than actually sailing, is puttering.  I enjoy working on boat projects, and each year tackle something new.  So far, I have tuned the engine and replaced a lot of the engine hoses and filters, rewired the DC electrical system and installed bigger batteries and a 2 kW inverter and microwave oven (so I can cook while sailing),  replaced all exterior wood with HDPE plastic lumber, rebuilt the plumbing system, replaced thru-hull valves, added solar panels, mast-mounted the whisker pole, and the list goes on.  It should be noted that none of this makes the sailing any faster, although it is done with more comfort.