Copyright 1997-1998 by John and Eleanor Coulthard
Permission to copy for non-commercial purposes is granted provided the source is acknowledged

The little boat of you and me
went sailing on the deep blue sea.
We weathered winds and crashing waves
and we were strong and true and brave.
And we were still in love so we
kept sailing on the deep blue sea.
The little boat of you and me.
(Author unknown)

The following is a compilation of a series of email messages we sent out to friends and family during a yearlong cruise on board Galiander, our 34 foot Catalina sailboat. They are separated into different web pages based on the following geographical areas:

We have also included the following:

October 6, 1997 - Galiano Island, B.C.

Dear Friends,

Eleanor and I will be leaving Vancouver shortly to begin our cruise down the east coast of the USA to the Bahamas in our recently acquired sailboat. We intend to communicate from the boat primarily using email through a cellular telephone Many friends have asked us to include them on our email list. I have created two mailing lists. Your receipt of this message means that your name is on a list to receive a summary of our travels every few months.

If you want to be removed from this mailing list please let me know.

We also expect to communicate with our family and other people interested in tracking our whereabouts on a more frequent basis with email once or twice a week. If you would like to be on that mailing list please let me know.

In January we scaled down from our Kitsilano home of 27 years into a two bedroom bungalow. In June we scaled down again to a boat and storage locker. Although we still have the cabin on Galiano Island to escape to we have been living mostly on the boat this summer.

We spent many weekends this spring getting familiar with the boat. In July we started more extensive outings in the Southern Gulf Islands. We had company. Eleanor's sister and husband, Brian and Kathy from Ontario, were with us for some great cruising. We also spent time sailing in the company of the 41 foot sailboat "Coprinus" with Joe and Anami on board. We enjoyed visiting many of BC's lovely marine parks. We especially liked one called Jedediah Island north of Vancouver.

We are starting to get used to stern anchoring. For you non boaters stern anchoring is used in very crowded anchorages, typically marine parks. The idea is that you can pack more boats in if they are not allowed to swing around their anchors. So you drop an anchor and tie a line to shore from the back (stern) of the boat. Sounds easy right? Wrong! Lots of things can go wrong. Your anchor may not set satisfactorily. Backing up a sailboat can be a bit tricky, especially if you want to squeeze between two other boats and there is a cross wind. Scrambling ashore with a line can provide a challenge, especially when the shore is steep and slippery. Our strategy is to get into an anchorage early so we have lots of room and provide entertainment to as small a number of boats as possible. Then we sit back with our cocktails and watch the rest of the boats struggle.

In August we started to work our way North but almost immediately had to plan our return to Vancouver in order to get the boat ready for trucking to the east coast. The trip back south provided us with challenging sailing conditions. Old man weather provided us with gale force winds and very heavy seas directly from the direction in which we wanted to go. Not pleasant at all.

The trip back to Vancouver was very wet. After our arrival we had to dry things out, remove the sails and stow them in the boat. The same for the dingy and kayak. The mast was removed, cleaned, waxed and wrapped in plastic. All this in preparation for loading on a truck. We took the opportunity to look after a lot of other chores as well. Minor repairs to the keel and rudder were performed. The bottom was painted. We removed and reinstalled the portholes in the aft cabin due to leaks back there. We acquired solar panels which will be installed when we arrive back east. We installed a bimini (sun shade) and a utility arch (to hold solar panels and a pulley system to help put the outboard motor on the dingy). I did some electrical troubleshooting. The starting battery has been replaced. Our dishes, books and other loose items were packed in boxes so they would not rattle around.

The truck trip back east is what is called a "backhaul". Most boats are trucked east to west so the trucks often return empty. By waiting for the opportunity to ship on a truck that would otherwise be empty we get a cheaper rate. Originally we thought the boat would ship on Sept. 8th. But that date slipped, and then slipped again and again. We didn't expect that. Finally the boat shipped out about 4 weeks later then expected. So we had more time to finish up other chores on the boat. We enjoyed living at Granville Island in Vancouver for several weeks. We cleaned and waxed the hull. Then we spent some extra time out at Galiano Island.

On October 4th at 4:30pm our Catalina 34 Sailboat "Galiander" (renamed from "Trail's End III"), passed through customs on its way to the Chesapeake. It will be put in the water at a place called Shady Side in Maryland which is about 12 miles south of Annapolis on approximately October 12th. We fly out on Tuesday, October 7th. We will go to Baltimore to join Brian and Kathy on board their sailboat Tundra. While we wait for Galiander to arrive we will see the Annapolis Boat Show, which is apparently one of the biggest in North America. And there are lots of tourist attractions in Baltimore and Washington.

Our rough itinerary is to stay in the Chesapeake until after the hurricane season, then go down the intracoastal waterway to Florida for Christmas. Then we plan to go over to the Bahamas for several months. Next spring we will return and head back up the intracoastal waterway towards the great lakes for the summer.

Then? - - well we will decide when the time comes.

Here is a picture of Galiander at Whaler Bay on Galiano Island.

Continue to the Chesapeake Bay

Go to John & Eleanor Coulthard's home page.

Revised:  Jan 01/10 (removed out of date article on communications)

Revised: Jan 30/21 (removed out od date article on trucking).