Spring Special: Sail Cruise from $663
Learn with instructor John Roper on the seaworthy 37ft cutter Mistress sailing from Gibsons 21st May or 3rd June, cruising to Gabriola, Galiano, Thetis & Newcastle Islands.
For cruise details email John email@example.com
The temperate south-western BC climate means cruising can be enjoyed by mature adults in our comfortable all weather cutter from April through September. Our vessel operations are well suited to beginners with no experience, or to those with some experience who want to extend their skills and knowledge. We normally schedule cruises of five to seven days in April, May, June and September when we find that nature and cruising is most enjoyable. In July and August more favourable sailing is found in nearby Howe Sound which can be explored in one to three days.
At anchor in Howe Sound on a summer day
Planning to join a cruise.
For most persons, the cruise experience starts when boarding the large comfortable BC Ferry at Horseshoe Bay for the 40 minute crossing of spectacular Howe Sound to Langdale on the Sunshine Coast. From there it's just a 5 minute drive into Gibsons Landing. On arrival the skipper will welcome you on board and sign you on as crew members for the voyage. Then he will familiarize you with the operating and safety equipment, and introduce you to navigation with charts and tide tables for crossing the Strait of Georgia and transiting a tidal pass into the Gulf Islands.
Learning how to handle a sail control winch
The day of departure starts at dockside with checking the weather forecast, instruction on safety, terminology, equipment, and safe procedures for departure and docking. After practicing operation under power, you may assist in raising the sails and head out into the Strait of Georgia. After confirming the wind direction and strength you will assist in setting the sails and steering a compass course. En route you can learn how to determine your position with visual or GPS fixes and make course and/or speed corrections as needed to arrive at a tidal pass at slack tide. Transit of the pass leads into the protected channels of the Gulf Islands, and a quiet harbour for the night.
The next day may start with docking practice, followed by learning how to set the sails for changes in wind direction. An afternoon of passage making follows to arrive at a sheltered anchorage for the night While at anchor there may be use of the inflatable dinghy from the swim grid, meal preparation, and securing for the night. After spending the night at anchor you can learn how to moor to a mooring buoy and how to rescue a person overboard. This can be followed by heaving to and reefing, and use of the autopilot and VHF radio, while sailing to another anchorage or marina. Day by day you are becoming a capable crew member with experience in most aspects of safe navigation and seamanship..
Wildlife & Flora
Due to mild winters, there are many species of seabirds and marine mammals that are winter residents here. Activity and feeding builds in spring,
in preparation for migration to Arctic or Interior breeding grounds in May. In March and April huge flocks of Loons, Grebes, Goldeneyes, Surf Scoters,
Harlequin Ducks, and Bonaparte Gulls can be seen, as well as numerous California or Stellar Sea Lions feeding in waters teeming with spawning herring.
Eagles are nesting, with the young appearing in May and developing their spectacular flying ability in family groups on windy days.
In all seasons you might see Turkey Vultures, Blue Herons, Cormorants, Guillemots, Murrelets, Mergansers, Buffleheads, Seals, Killer Whales, Dolphins,
Porpoises, Otters, and Mink. In fall the Eagles move to the interior rivers to feed on spawning salmon and return to the coast in winter.
By mid September the return migration of winter residents is well underway, and in October there are spectacular flights of snow geese
returning from the Arctic.
In all seasons there may be encounters with congregations of Harbour Seals, family pods of Orcas (Killer Whales), large schools of Pacific White Sided Dolphins, an occasional solitary Grey Whale, Porpoises, River Otters, and Mink. Last September while docked we received an exciting visit by a pair of beautiful and rare Sea Otters
At Gulf Island destinations, well watered by the winter rains, the flowering cactus, succulents, lilies, Indian paintbrush, wild sweet peas, and rock cress
bursts forth in vivid colours with the strengthening sun in March, April, and May. Plants become dormant during the summer when rain shadow effect,
caused by the mountains, brings arid conditions and water shortages.
The Cost of what is
Our current co-operation cost is $295 per day in April, May & June; $330 per day in July, August, and September. The co-operating crew contribution covers parking, food on board, fuel, moorage, and marine insurance. Provisions are of excellent quality and include organic produce. Any meals ashore will be on your own account. Be sure to advise us about any special dietary needs or preferences. Bedding, pillows, linens, and towels are included.. The cockpit can be fully enclosed with weather-proof screens so you need only bring normal clothing for outdoor activity, rubber soled footwear, personal effects, and easily stowed travel bags.
Caption: John and Pam look forward to welcoming you on board
Registrations and Conditions
Contact us at
advising your home location and age range, and we will respond with our current availability.
To register we will need to receive a 30% deposit by cheque or money order, followed by payment of the balance at
least one month prior to the cruise departure date. On receipt of your registration deposit we will send you a receipt with confirmation.
A Canadian Yachting Association Cruise & Learn Manual for advance study is available on request.
Our cancellation policy is that if you need to cancel for any reason, the balance, if paid, is refunded and we retain the deposit.
As our personal availability is subject to other commitments, we encourage you to inquire well in advance for your desired timing.