I 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.