Away we go!

Just as in life, our plans for this adventure have taken different shapes along the way. But now it’s time to cast off the lines. As much as we eagerly await to see what unfolds next, we also cherish the friendships and time we have spent at Canoe Cove Marina in Sidney, BC. We will certainly miss Bryan and Bonita Elliott of S/V Magellan II who convinced us in 2012 that this was the place we should stay. They welcomed us the day our boat launched and were there to see us off at our departure. They have represented the best of Canadian hospitality, even including us in their Canada Day block party and Thanksgiving. Farewell also to Rick Schnurr and Jude Brooks whose generosity, kindness and friendship has been most appreciated.

And of course we will miss our marina neighbor to the port side, Paul Switlyk of M/V Taliesin II with whom we have shared many lovely adventures both at sea and on land. Fortunately, through his daughter and son in law, he’s got some solid Utah connections, so we know our farewell is limited.

Nonetheless, this photo sent by Paul the night of our departure really tugged at our hearts.

Altering course

Many of you may have heard of our ambitious plan to sail across the Pacific this summer. After delays out of control of any one individual, it became clear that we just didn’t have enough time to make it safely across the Pacific. We listened to the wisdom of experienced sailors. ( Many thanks to our nautical guardian angels: Garry and Ticki MacKenzie of S/V Thistle, Bill and Cathy Norrie of S/V Pixie, Leighton Richardson and Lynda Martel of S/V Morningstar, Bruce Halabisky of S/V Vixen, and Pamela Bendall of S/V Precious Metal.) Our new plan holds plenty of sailing challenges and beautiful areas to explore. Thank you for following our sailing journey. Here’s the latest iteration of our planned journey:

Where we’ve sailed so far

Since the launch of the boat in 2012, we’ve explored just a fraction of the waterways in the Pacific Northwest. Rather than citing a list of stops, here’s some of our favorite sites along the way.

Princess Louisa Inlet, British Columbia

The water looks like the Caribbean, but in this case the color of the water is due to glacial silt. Another glorious day in Desolation Sound

Toba Inlet Desolation Sound.  (Towing the dinghy Dave built)

Last summer we explored further points north to Haida Gwai. Thanks to Paul Switlyk on Taliesen II for inviting us to share the journey into Fjiordland and Haida Gwai.

SGang Gwaay, Haida Gwai
Dawn departure from anchorage in Haida Gwai

We also explored both small towns and cities along the way:

Victoria Harbor – Classic Boat Show
Sullivan Bay in the Broughtons Archipelago

About the boat


Designer: Paul Gartside   Builder: Jespersen Boat Builders

Year built/launched: 2012   Place built: Sidney, BC, Canada

Hull type: Monohull   Style of boat: Sailing boat

Sails: Hasse & Co Port Townsend Sails

Description of boat: Cruising yawl La Vie en Rose is a double-ended cruising sailboat, inspired by the canoe yawls of the 19th century, but capable of coastal and offshore cruising.

Between 2005 and 2008, we collaborated with designer Paul Gartside to develop our ideal cruising sailboat. Six sets of preliminary sketches passes back and forth until we settled on the current design. In 2010, Eric Jespersen of Sidney, BC, Canada began construction, and we launched her in September 2012.

The hull is cold molded of Western Red Cedar over a Douglas Fir backbone. Decks are marine plywood. The yawl rig with double headsails provides a flexible, easily handled sail plan. Since bulkheads are not required structurally, we chose an open, single cabin layout below. The interior is designed to maximize livability and storage space rather than the number of berths.

Le Vie En Rose

Auxiliary power is provided by a 55-hp Volvo diesel 4 cylinder engine

We attempted to maintain simple systems. Heating and cooking are fueled by diesel. Electrical requirements are minimal – there is no mechanical refrigeration, only an ice box. A composting head eliminates the need for holding tanks and thru-hulls. Generous tankage (140 gallons of water and 140 gallons of fuel) has allowed us to explore remote areas for prolonged periods without outside support.

Le Vie En Rose

An article about the creative process and our collaboration with the designer and builder appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of WoodenBoat Magazine (#260)