Log of The SY Mamaku Begins

Hello all! This is our first post in what we hope will be an ongoing project writing about our experiences living aboard, sailing and exploring the British Colombia Coast and beyond aboard our CS 36 Mamaku. We will be writing about personal experiences and adventures, practical information about how we tackle cruising and boat maintenance, and the history, environment and culture of places we visit.

At this point, we have been living full time aboard Mamaku for a little over a year. We are just coming to the end of our first full winter on-board, and it was, rather fittingly, the coldest, snowiest winter the Pacific Northwest has seen in years. the temperature dipped down to -10 degrees and our boat was blanketed in snow. Needless to say the heaters were cranking non-stop and we were wrapped head to toe in woolly warm things. The hot water bottle we finally got from a friend was absolutely priceless. Still, we had figured out a few tricks since last year  such as the value of a good dehumidifier, and that if you cook dinner in the oven it heats up the whole boat and makes for a cozy night. Now it is finally warm enough to sit out in the cockpit under the bimini comfortably and it finally feels that winter is over.

IMG_1431In a couple more weeks, we’ll be heading off the dock and back to our mooring in Cadboro Bay. Right now I’m enjoying the last of being able to use the hot water tank and electric heater thanks to shore power at the marina. Once back off the dock we will be completely off the grid and relying on solar panels for electricity. While we do have to be a bit more frugal with our electricity consumption while off the dock, the solar panels provide enough electricity for our basic needs including running the refrigerator, the stereo and charging the laptop. An added excitement of being off the dock is that we get to dinghy ourselves back and forth as well as the dog and any other items and friends or family needing transport. Good thing it’s not too far to shore.


So far the experience has been both a joy and a challenge. We have woken up to incredible sunrises over a calm bay, rocketed through bioluminescent water under a star-lit sky, anchored below a waterfall in desolation sound and visited more tiny gulf islands than I ever thought I would. We have also battled the cold and the damp, drastically simplified our possessions and learned how to cook meals in a kitchen with standing room for one. The support of our friends and family has been invaluable, from acting as crew, to painting the bottom, to letting us do our laundry at their house (thanks Keith) their help has made it a whole lot easier and more fun.

Photo by Keith Holmes

During our times off work we’ve been cruising around the southern gulf islands and crossed the straight to the sunshine coast and desolation sound. In the coming weeks, we’ll share some stories about those places as well as update you on our preparations for cruising around Vancouver island this summer. On that trip, we will be navigating the rugged and sparsely populated outer coastline stopping for back-country hiking, fishing and searching out remote surf breaks. We will be joined on that trip by several of Harry’s good friends from New Zealand. We will also update you on our preparations for future blue-water cruising, as we plan on crossing the pacific at some point in the next few years.

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