We are a family 5 who loves to explore the amazing world we live in. After years of living 5 minutes from the shore of Lake Ontario, we took the plunge and bought a sailboat. This is the story of our adventures in fixing up Blue Nun, and learning how to sail.
About Our Family
For a long time Lindsay and I had dreamed about sailing one day. It really started when we were in the Virgin Islands for our first big vacation with the kids, and we did a snorkelling day-trip on a catamaran (Kekoa is a wonderful experience if you are ever in St. John). Ever since then we have talked about chartering a boat down there and island hopping.
Well, it was just a dream, until I started doing club racing with a friend of a friend. Helping out when they were short turned into being a regular on the foredeck. Rob is such a great teacher, and I started to become more confident as a sailor. The occasional times on my grandparents Sunfish, and some sailing at a summer camp one year had given me some of the basics, but Rob and the rest of the crew made learning to sail very accessible. Lindsay even joined us for a couple of regattas, and we confirmed that this was something we wanted to make a part of our life.
We went our for an afternoon sail with some friends, and got talking about how they had started sailing, the different boats they had owned, and how easy it can be to find a decent boat for a reasonable price. All of a sudden, it started to sound like something that didn’t have to wait for “someday”. Once Lindsay gave me the green light, I started looking seriously. I started researching used boats, and decided that 27′ was a bit of a sweet spot for our family. Enough room to sleep 5, but small enough to be easier to learn how to sail, and keep costs down. Once we settled on our budget and size of boat, we spread the word that we were in the market. I looked into some oddball boats that seemed like a great deal, but needed a lot of work, and at boats in great condition that we couldn’t afford. We went for a sail on an Aloha 28 (soft deck and strong smell of diesel below), and looked at a C & C 27 (nice boat, just not quite right), and a Mirage 27 (a bit out of our price range). Then a friend pointed us in the direction of a CS27 at their yacht club. As soon a we walked up we started to fall in love. Even the little things (don’t base a major decision on this) – the boat was white with a blue stripe, and had a seat on the bow pulpit. It had a recent survey, was in great condition, had nearly new sails, and was a price that we couldn’t pass up. The owner was leaving for a vacation shortly, so we quickly arranged the details, and a few days later we were proud owners of a sailboat!
About the Boat
Blue Nun is a 1978 CS (Canadian Sailcraft) 27. The CS27 was designed by Raymond Wall of Camper and Nicholsons, and its robust, ocean-going lines show the influence of the North Sea. These boats have a really good reputation, and we have been really happy with out choice of boat. We found a well-maintained model, it has been a great way to get into sailing.
Blue Nun has enough interior room for weekends with our family of 5, and is small enough to be a great starter boat.
About the Name
We don’t know who named our boat Blue Nun, or what they were thinking. We have a few theories and some information.
Nun bouys are are a term used for the triangular bouys found in large sea ways. Of course, then are red, and the boat is blue (white with a blue stripe), but here we introduce irony, which along with puns, are a key part of boat names.
About this Site
It is easy to find sites written by people who have sold everything, quit their jobs, and are travelling the world on their 35′ sailboat. While that is very inspiring, it can be hard to relate that to 9-5 jobs, commuting into the city for work, and having kids in soccer, hockey, baseball, dance, etc. In our case 2 boys in baseball in the summer, hockey in the winter, our daughter in competitive dance, our eldest also in hip hop classes, and robotics competitions.
So this is a story of what it is like to live in the GTA, and have a boat that fits into that life. For us it is a chance to get on the water and enjoy the lake that is on our doorstep. And the yearly fees are approximately what some people would pay in property taxes for a cottage – the drive to our “cottage” is only 5 minutes.