Little Bear Westsail 32 goes for a sail! Blog # 142

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

I enjoy working on Little Bear. Really, I do. But after two years I’m really itching to get out there on the water.  So, even though the boat isn’t really ready, although there are tools and parts scattered all over, although the head doesn’t work, although the lights are only half working – I decided to get out for a sail. Sail meaning ‘motor’.

July first; Canada’s 150th birthday seemed like as good an occasion to get out and go for a trip down the river and around the bend. So that’s what we did. Dread Pirate Admiral & a friend took Little Bear out to see the fireworks in White Rock…


Of course, seeing fireworks means that we’d be out in the dark. The Admiral said that without a head there was no way we’d be anchoring out so we had to navigate back to the dock in the dark. Fortunately the tide was right and we managed to get her back to her slip without mishap.  Although it was a bit of a white knuckle ride up the river.

Special thanks go out to all the power boats with their 5′ wakes blasting past us to create the atmosphere of a hurricane in full fettle.  So kind and thoughtful of you. Blessings.

As always fair winds, following seas, and God bless.

Little Bear Westsail 32 refit: SAILS! Blog #138

Arrrrr me hearties. Welcome aboard.

The suit of sails I inherited with the boat are original equipment. That means that the sails are 41 years old. The genoa had been left to the wind and was tattered and torn. It was the first thing I threw out when I brought the boat home. The main sail has been stuffed in my shop-locker for the last two  years. I have had it out a couple of times to look at and refold, but my impression of it was that it was better suited as material for a sack rather than a mainsail.

In this episode I take delivery of three new sails. My new genoa (130%), stays’l, and main. This is what a suit of new sails from North Sails look like being installed:

As always fair winds, following seas, and God bless.

Vlog #4 On board at at last!

Well me hearties! Shiver me timbers – we were able to take possession of the pirate cutter ‘Little Bear’.  The Dread Pirate Admiral and I took off for the grand adventure and spent the weekend aboard.  We enjoyed glorious weather and relaxed like we’d planned.

The boat had been closed up for three and a half months so smelled like oil but other than that it was neat as a pin and waiting for us to make her ‘ours’.

Here’s a vid of our little adventure.

Well she’s ours now.  The next step is to do an inventory of all the nooks, crannies, and cubbies that abound on the Westsail 32.

Stay tuned, ya swabbies!

So it began…

I blame dad.

A romantic at heart, a creative engineer by nature, an erstwhile adventurer, a happy story teller, a dreamer, and man of the world.  He populated various book-shelves around the house with books about sailing; how to sail, how to build a sail boat, how other men & women sailed on various oceans and other bodies of water.  There were pictures of boats, models of boats, and plans for boats.

He was an aircraft engineer by trade so why the interest in boats that went unfulfilled I don’t know. But the  consequence was a dream instilled in the boy that I was. My imagination was captured like a bird in a net. The call of the sea was ingrained into the man that I was to become.

Dad never owned a boat and as far as I know, he never sailed one. He passed into eternity aged 80 without ever realizing the dream. He left that to me. Well that, a pair of shoes, a pocket watch, a couple of suits, some model trains, some books (yes, books about boats) and some hard-boiled lemon drops.

I suppose manhood entails revisiting the dreams and imaginings of childhood and bringing them into maturity. Giving them wings and letting them fly. It is the privilege of a man to take the immaterial and make it real.

Before responsibilities put a damper on the dream, I used to walk the docks, talk to sailors, read books, peruse magazines and just generally enthuse about boats with anyone who was interested.

The boats that caught my eye were the ‘traditional’ boats.  Some of them I’ve listed under the heading of ‘Favorite boats’. They are favorite, not because I’ve sailed them and found them to be wonderful but because they look salty, and have a reputation of being blue-water worthy.   Like the pilot’s adage “if it looks right, it is right”, these beautiful boats look right. They look like they were meant to be wrapped in canvas and sent scudding across the waves.

With me at the helm.

And so it began…