Saturday, March 12, 2016

breakfast on board

we ate only organic fruit and oatmeal and vanilla soy milk for breakfast for 8 years. now we mostly eat local free range organic eggs (easy over) fried in hot well oiled cast iron pan, (i find olive oil less sticky for frying eggs) on home made whole wheat toast with organic butter and jam served with fresh roast organic free trade shade grown med. dark ethiopian coffee french pressed served in warmed cups with vanilla so nice soy milk. some mornings we have french toast served with melted organic butter and hot maple syrup with fresh made apple sauce, jams and vanilla yogurt again served with french press coffee and vanilla soy milk.   yvonne and i take turns to make each other breakfast every morning. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

just baked fresh bread and pumpkin coconut cream pies. filling; small can of pumpkin, a can of coconut milk, 3/4 cup of sugar. 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 cup starch (i used tapioca powder), 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. dinner is salmon burgers served with tzatziki sauce with steamed and fresh veggies. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

stories of heroism and more

we were far off shore between hanalea bay, kaui and west coast canada. the  wind was storming at about 20 knots. not to much for our little ship but we had a broken cable on our wind vane on the auto helm and that meant long hours of hand steering or fix the cable.

the cable runs from the vane to the small rudder.  without cable, the rudder just hangs loose on the stern.  yvonne put on a life harness backward so the d rings were in the middle of her back instead her chest. after setting leaf to the wheel with notice our lives depended on him, he steered us downwind in the most kindly direction we could manage. i tied a strong rope onto yvonne life harness and wound the rope around a large samson post on the stern deck then lowered yvonne face first, feet up into the boiling sea.

not only did she have to remove the broken cable, she had to carefully push 8 feet of cable back up the tiny tube into which the cable ran, not unlike a bike cable in size or design. onto the end of the cable is a loop and a small stainless steel split ring like a key chain ring but tiny holds the whole system together.

in roaring seas hanging by a rope face first into the sea, yvonne repaired the broken wind vane and we sailed on safely back to vancouver.

yvonne is a champion on the wheel, as a pilot charting our voyages and many more boaterly talents. she is truly a boat wife in the best meaning of the term. she can row a dingy or change the oil. she is always first on the weather info and many many other tasks involved with living on the water.

leaf has really grown. he is nearly finished high school and he is passing with honours. something yvonne and i never did. he has his own boat now, a 28' grampian sloop with a volvo diesel inboard, bought with money earned dish washing and serving at a bakery on the  sunshine coast and some help from family.

last summer we sailed in a big storm with leaf on his boat and yvonne on i on ours. it was great to see him flying along side us. i  have included a picture of his boat. he has upgraded it with solar panels and we installed a new oil heater for him and other upgrades.

on our boat, birthdays are like christmas, they dont just last one day they are more like seasons. it is yvonnes birthday season so for her, i am posting this update after many years of absence, happy birthday to the best boat girl any skipper could want.
we made salmon cucumber sushi and peach kuchen with whipped cream for her birthday dinner.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

noodle recipe

pasta with carbonara kale

first double the following recipe to make the noodles or use about 2 pounds of dry pasta.
one egg, one eighth teaspoon of salt, one tablespoon of cold water, one tablespoon of olive oil, one cup flour. mix salt and liquids then mix with flour, then kneed stiff dry dough till smooth. add a little water or flour if needed. kneed well and let rest covered for half an hour. then roll out by hand. then i finish with my manual pasta roller and cutter. the are ways to roll and cut pasta by hand.

pasta carbonara with kale enough for two egg fresh noodles
4 oz ham or bacon fried in a little olive oil
1/2 onion or shallot chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine optional
1 bunch black kale or other hearty greens or parsley, chopped.
2 large eggs beat with 1/4 cup hot pasta water
1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g.) freshly grated parmesan or cheddar
or romano cheese
freshly ground black pepper
fry ham till nearly crispy then fry with the onion, then add kale and pepper and fry till cooked.
add wine if desired and boil a few minutes.
beat hot water into eggs when ready to add to pasta.
mix fresh cooked drained pasta and warm bacon kale mix into original warm pasta pot, then stir in warm egg mixture and grated cheese and cover a few minutes before serving with lots of fresh black pepper.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

a few pics of some old and new art

acrylics on found wood,  the dragonfly is on our fridge door in the galley, the second one i call sailish sea, and the third is under our main door near the floor.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

yvonnes full moon birthday sailing party

tic tic tic goes the loose halyard as it slaps rhythmically against the mast. tic tic tic tic with the wind the halyard marks time aboard wishing star. sometimes too magical too put into words. perfect sometimes is all we can say.

the moon some say, was the biggest, closest and brightest maybe ever last night. we sailed in the northern sailish sea as the moon rose over the coastal mountains. we were sailing about 4 knots downwind from big tribune bay on hornby island to cortes island, 30 knots away. we left in the afternoon for a night sail with the promise of the biggest moon ever to light our way.

all went well. we poled out our headsail on one side of the boat with the mainsail tied out to the other. our wind powered auto helm worked smoothly,
so piloting was simple and pleasurable. the weather was 10 knots on our stern and we felt happy to do 4-5 knots steady to our course.

underway we made pasta with nice organic wine and local lamb sausages we bought on hornby to celebrate yvonnes birthday.  i made double nut chocolate chip biscotti that went well with tea later into the evening.

we motored into the gorge with the sails already lashed around 1 a.m. in the morning. leaf was sleeping, the moon was shining bright. we dropped anchor, secured the boat and went to bed hardly able to sleep after such a sweet but challenging adventure.

double nut double chocolate  biscotti

4 eggs
½ cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup fine chopped hazelnut
½ cup fine chopped oat flakes
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
½ warmed coconut oil
½ cup smooth unsalted peanut butter
1 teaspoon salt

whisk salt, sugar, eggs, peanut butter and oil together well.
mixed oat flakes, chocolate chips, flour and chopped hazelnuts and add to wet mix with spatula and spread into an oiled 7 inch by 11inch cake pan.
bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
remove from oven, slice cake with sharp knife lengthwise, then in half widthwise. repeat halving widths until 16 slices divided down the middle make 32 cookies.

these can be eaten now or baked again by removing from pan and laid out on cookie sheet and baked for another 20 minutes at 350. for extreme cookie, melt a 100 gram chocolate bar in metal or glass bowl set in pot of hot water as a gentle double cooker. when chocolate is warm and fluid, dip one side of cookie into melted chocolate and let cool, chocolate side up on plate.

if you bake these, you and yours may be saying perfect too.
more pics, stories and recipies to come, fairwinds.

Friday, April 13, 2012

here is a pic of a guy rowing his dingy with his feet, he had no special equipment and he wasnt handicapped. he said it was easier to row like this. i ll add a few pics of the admirable too.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

victoria spring 2012

just a short note to say we are alive and loving, sailing around the sailish sea this winter. lots of good sailing and experiances. will update with some pics and a few stories soon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

back in sooke

we were two days out storm sailing 100 miles off coast of washington and we turned back. we are now peacefully anchored in sooke for this moment. watching the weather and considering plan b?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

last days at anchor in sooke

we have been battening down the hatches and checking our rigging and getting last minute supplies.

we have been getting lots of last minute jobs done and it feels good. we are excited and nervous as the weather is now breaking in our favor.

soon we are going to take our chances out on the pacific again.

i will report again soon after our next landing.

update thursday oct 6: weather looks only fair but we dont want to wait to long for the storms will be more often. this morning we are still not sure if we are leaving today or waiting for the next system to blow through in a week or so.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

sailing away again...

its time to go sail out on the pacific ocean again. we have worked hard to get ready and now we are waiting for the right winds in victoria. i will post some pics from the past winter with this post plus a recent one of leaf and his new/old guitar.

more pics...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

early summer 2011

this last winter was challenging and rewarding. we shared winter with several communities on the west coast of vancouver island. we went to schools, markets and potlucks. i caught several rock cod, a nice big ling cod and lots of crabs. we made new friends and discovered a few old ones. we survived many harsh winter storms in remote harbours. we anchored right out front of uclulet and tofino in storms over 40 knots. we felt strong and survived with no damage. 300 feet of 3/8 high test chain, 1500 watt bronze italian windlass and 70 lbs cqr style anchor made by steve trembley has given us a great deal of security.

we are now selling our jewelry in galleries and sharing this blog with our customers. so welcome and thanks for your purchases. in this blog you will find many adventures from our past. it is never up to date because we dont want anyone to worry if we are ok or not. we just want to share some of our adventures and make a link with those who share and support our dream of life long cruising. and although this blog is often neglected it is never forgotten. i hope you enjoy our blog.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

November 19, 2010
Banfield B.C.

It’s been over a month since we headed out to sail to Hawaii but we were blown north up to Barkley Sound. It was quite a challenge to find a safe anchorage at night in a place that we had never been before. Barkley sound is one of the most beautiful places we have ever sailed to but coming in at night into the sea of rocks called the Broken Islands was very challenging. We were glad for our high-powered flashlight, radar, depth sounder and our g.p.s. showing our place on our computer charts. It was a dark cloudy night with no moon or stars to help us. It was with great relief that we dropped anchor in a nice safe harbour.

At dusk we were still about an hour from the islands and a large whale swam right toward us. We had seen it a couple of times spouting but it had been far away. The whale seemed to know well were we where and swam right to us. We steered to port to try and miss it. For a moment it seemed it was going to ram us but at the last moment it dove under our boat right in front of us flashing its giant tail and gave us a great thrill. To us it seemed to say welcome to the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

We have had a great time discovering the area and have been sailing all around here for the last several weeks. The weather has been all over the place including many storms with winds reported up to fifty knots.

Uclulet offered great walks along wild Pacific beaches, interesting shops and good anchorage through several storms. The Broken Islands are a huge marine park with safe anchorages, ancient village ruins and incredible hikes. We also have visited the Deer Group Islands and Poetts Nook.

After passing through a narrow passage through the Deer Islands called Robbers Passage we dropped anchorage for a lunch break and a walk to the beach only to find that our zodiac was missing. We immediately raised anchor and retraced our path back through Robbers Passage and luckily found our dingy floating out in the open sound, but it was floating over a dangerous reef. We took our chances and steered out over the reef watching our location on our digital charts carefully. We hooked the painter with a boat hook and motored off the reef. It was a bit frightening as we could see rocks only a few meters below.

We tied up for the night on a dock in Robbers Passage and spent a couple of days exploring this wonderful area including seeing a big buck right on the trail just two meters away who looked at us for awhile and then calmly strolled away.

We are presently in Banfield, a nice village that has a school with about 20 children. Leaf has been going to school almost every day for half a day. It is a great break for him from our isolated lifestyle. The teachers are welcoming and the children seem to enjoy meeting a new boy. There is a little public library which we have been enjoying including watching a few DVDs.

November 24, 2010

Our starter motor broke and needed replacing. The local marine shop helped us locate one and shipped it here. We were very handicapped without an engine and there has been a series of issues that has made a very challenging week. A cold snap and severe storms have made living without an engine at anchor frightening sometimes. Our dinghy’s motor was stored in the hold for our hopeful offshore passage, the dingy motor could have helped us get to a dock if we needed while our main engine was inoperable, but being so cold and icy we didn’t want to bother to put the engine back on the dinghy. So we sat at anchorage through some severe blows with not too much lee if we dragged anchor. The bay filled with white caps as the storm blew at the exact worse angle. Without an engine we could not recharge our batteries and our solar panels are not too efficient when there is no sun. So we had limited lights at night and a few other inconveniences.

So we sat for a over a week out in the bay doing little but surviving and praying things did not get worse. The first starter motor we ordered was the wrong one so we had to wait for a new one, then the parts company forgot to put the replacement on the freighter that serves this area but eventually it came and it all worked better than new. We are all grateful that our boat if fully operational again. I am very connected to the boat and when it not working well I am not at my best either.

In Banfield the locals telephone in their food orders to a supermarket in Port Alberni who deliver it to the docks where a freighter makes bi-weekly trips up the inlet to remote communities. We just made a large food order ourselves. We are still enjoying the area and we are planning to go to a craft fair on Saturday to sell some of our crafts. Yvonne and Leaf went to a community potluck a few days ago and had a great feast and everyone loved the cake Yvonne made. Leaf has been entertaining the local kids with balloon sculptures and magic tricks.

We are still open to sail to Hawaii, this area being a great jumping off point for the crossing. It is more dangerous and cold to go so late but we will go if the winds are favorable. It is more likely that we will continue winter cruising on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island. This too is a bit dangerous but we have five years of winter sailing experience and we have been enjoying the adventure and the beauty of the area. We have seen very few other boats about except local fishermen. Although the area can be very rough to sail it also offers many safe anchorages and we have good weather information to guide us. We are planning to head further north to Tofino and explore the Clayquaot Sound if we don’t sail to Hawaii, which becomes more unlikely as winter approaches. We are especially looking forward to the hot springs north of Tofino on Flores Island that has a safe anchorage.

Monday, October 18, 2010


we sailed off the coast of washington but got no wind and the forecast was against us, so we sailed up to ucluelet and we are now enjoying the west coast of vancouver island 'till the winds change to our favor. we anchored at night in a sweet bay on effingham island. it was challenging anchoring at night in a unknown bay but all worked out fine. it feels lots better than fighting the wind or slopping around with no wind. there may be a change in the weather in the next week or so. we use for a guide.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

sailing to ukulele islands

today we are going to leave victoria and head out to the pacific ocean. we will stop at a bay or two on our way out of the juan de fuca strait. thanks for all your good wishes and we hope for a fun and safe passage. fairwinds to all.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

new sailing stories to come...

we have been busy in the last year since we returned to canada. leaf has been in school quite a bit and we have also been selling our crafts and beads on the sunshine coast the last two summers.
we have also been working to maintain and upgrade the boat in many ways.

some improvements and maintenance includes a new chain and windless, a new (used) radar, furling gear on the head sail, lots of sanding and painting (endless), two solar panels and a new wind vane on our auto helm (the old array on the radar worked great for this, pics coming), i also replace the old broken winches on the davits for lifting the dingy with the old wire winches from the maisail and jib that i removed in san francisco, sails repaired and lots of other small but important repairs and improvements.

we are hoping to sail to hawaii this fall. i will post more info when we get there.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


we made it. an awesome sail lasting 28 days. great weather. great sailing. no major problems, just some wear and tear on sails and ropes. one broken shackle. we had great meals and our fresh food lasted until the last day.

thanks all for your prayers and blessings.
i will post more later about this passage and our whole voyage.

best wishes

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

good bye hawaii...

heading on our last leg of this voyage back to canada tomorrow.
we will probably be sailing for about a month. maybe our most challenging sail yet.

leaf bought himself a ukulele as you can see in photo.

thanks everyone for your best wishes and prayers for fair winds.

wishing star crew

Monday, May 25, 2009

hanelei bay

we are anchored in beautiful bay. voted number one beach in u.s.a.
it is also the bay in which peter paul and mary wrote about in the song puff the magic dragon, hanali. because it is beautiful and the mountains are the image of a recumbent dragon.

a wonderful place surrounded by dramatic emerald green volcanic mountains with waterfalls cascading down cliffs almost starting almost impossibly high from the tops.

the beach is long and and the sand is soft and the colour of light brown sugar.
the water is warm (27 degree)and the surf is large enough for serious surfing out by the reef, but inside the reef along the beach has a gentle swell making it lots of fun to play in. a real paradise. there is little development and the beach is so long that hundreds of people can enjoy it without seeming crowded. the surroundings are jungle like with banana plants and coconut palms and many other lush green plants and flowers.

this may be our last stop before heading back to canada. it is a real great finale to this voyage.

we have been spending our days exploring in the small character town and swimming.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

birthday cookie recipe and radio link

yvonnes birthday cookies

1/3 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 egg
2t grated orange rind
2 cups flour
1/8t salt
2T orange juice
2t baking powder

mix sugar, juice, eggs and oil
stir in sifted dry ingredients
adjust flour or juice to make nice firm dough
divide into about 30-40 balls rolled in hands
balls should be about walnut size
squish lightly with fork in two directions
bake on lightly greased tray or parchment paper
bake @ 375 until light brown about 15 minutes


we found we could get internet in the bay and guess what? cortes radio is now online, it is so fun to hear it so far away. here is the link so you can listen too...

we made it part 2

we have been in hawaii for one day now and we are really enjoying ourselves.

we met another sailor who has a car here and showed us around the island we are on (kauai). the highlight was the farmers market and we got some nice fruit and veggies.

leaf got a new boogie board and spent an enjoyable afternoon playing with it in the surf on a brown sugar beach on the bay we are anchored. he loved it.

our passage from mexico was what one sailor told us it would be, a little of everything, storms, doldrums and perfect sailing weather. fortunately the weather was mostly very kind and it was a classic downwind run with warm steady tradewinds on our back. we got lots of rolling swells and we got seasick a bit. however, once we got our sea legs we were cooking great meals and making the most of the challenge.

we caught at least five dorado (mahi mahi) these are delicious white fleshed fish and we made great meals out of them, two i soaked in soy sauce and dried on the hand lines, they turned out great, sort of like fish jerky. we caught some barracudas but we didn’t know if they would taste good so we threw them back. we also threw back many tuna as they are not our favourite and we can only eat so much seafood.

we all read lots of books, leaf read over thirty all by himself, yvonne and i probably read a couple of dozen between us. many of the books were sailing stories so we got to share the lives and stories of other sailors who went before us like robin lee graham on the dove, bernard moitessier, triston jones, tania aebi, magellan, herman melville, joshua slocum and others. with these sailors on board, we were we in very good company.

we also played lots of board games and cards.

in one big storm, our largest headsail ripped in two along a seam. it will be repairable. we have a large inventory of other headsails so it did not slow us down too much and that was about our only problem equipment wise. not bad for 33 days of non-stop sailing.

our wind vane autopilot (lucky the monkey) worked perfectly. all the upgrades in the last while all worked out well too. the electronic addition (her boyfriend, rob the robot) on our autopilot made her steer perfectly in even the gentles of breezes or when we motored.

we had very few squalls and in the whole time out, we only changed our sails four times. we never reefed our sails. the time our big head sail ripped, i should have dropped it earlier. we sailed for weeks sometimes with no need to adjust our sails.

cooking was big highlight on board and once we got our sea legs, we ate very well. best meals included fresh hummus with homemade pita bread, mahi mahi coconut curry on rice, curried fish soup with fresh limes, mahi mahi in camelized onions, salad rolls with peanut sauce, fresh tortias with chilli and rice. we often had california wine with our meals that we had bought in san fran. every day we had at least one big glass of fresh orange juice (we brought 100 kgs of oranges with us). our fresh food lasted until the end. we brought 8 dozen eggs with us and they lasted all the way. for breakfast, we often had pancakes or apple oat porridge with soya milk. yvonne made lots of bread along the way too. someday cooking was not too easy but those days we often did not want to eat too much anyway. leaf made yvonne orange almond cookies for her birthday, they were great!

our biggest challenge over all was probably boredom but mostly we handled that well. we missed radio a lot. we had a ssb for listening for weather but it offered but little in entertainment or news.

we had lots of dreams of family and friends, they seemed very real. we really felt the prayers and blessings from them.

we are going to rest awhile here and figure out what comes next.

blessings to all.
wishingstar crew

Sunday, May 17, 2009


WE MADE IT!!!!! 33 days at sea from mexico to hawaii.

we had a great voyage. no real problems, one ripped head sail on seam, no big deal.

lots of reading and fishing.

the people here are friendly and we are so happy to be at a safe anchorage.
thanks friends and family for all the blessings, we had so many dreams and good feelings of many of you and on this voyage, you were really with us!

blessings to all!
i will post more later,

Friday, April 3, 2009

a few more pictures...

boat yard blues...

we have been having lots of adventures. we started back south along the baja coast and stopped at a few fishing villages. we explored old drying beds for making seasalt. we did some repairs on the playground equipment in agua verde (green water), a favorite place of ours and many others.

north of aqua verde we hit a rock! it was scarey but everything is alright. we developed a small leak and had a diver check it out. we decided we had better haul out and that we did in la paz (the peace). a nice city with a big protected harbour.

the damage was minimal but it was a bit difficult to repair. we needed new bottom paint and zincs anyway so we made the best of it. we were in the boat yard for a week and had good service from the yard.

the cruising club here in la paz is great and we met lots of cruisers and used thier book exchange and video library.

we are floating again and almost ready for our pacific crossing.

best wishes everyone
wishing star crew

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

hidden ports

one of the stops along the way was poerto escondido {hidden port}, it is a beautiful hurrican hole with many boats moored. some are sailors but many are just floating condos for americans and canadians so they have a cheap place to spend the winter. almost everyone here is retired and few are sailing anymore. some like us just pass through and stop to get food and supplies at the nearby city of loreto, the oldest mission in the baja.
we met many nice people here and we went for a sunday brunch at the local saiors club. one nice guy gave us a couple of rides to loreto and helped us in other ways too.
we went on an awesome hike up a canyon near here with caves, palm trees, waterfalls and pools for swimming.
we are continuing on our way to other hidden bays and valleys along the way.
i left a piece of my art here as you will see in the photos.

keeping our hooks sharp, sails trim and dingy inflated.
fair winds and flat seas my family and friends...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

sailing around mexico

well we are sill having a great time in the sea of cortez. lately we have been visiting small fishing villages. leaf has been playing sports with the children. we have been making and giving beaded gifts to the people of the village. the kids are so fun and really seem to enjoy leaf. he shows them new ways to play old games and they all laugh alot, they call him by name and invite him to play when we come to visit.