Share in Our Adventures with SV ORION

19 September 2014
22 March 2014 | Sidney, B.C.
20 October 2013
14 October 2013 | Victoria, BC
21 February 2013
21 January 2013
30 December 2012
04 November 2012
19 October 2012
18 September 2012
25 July 2012
27 June 2012 | Victoria, B.C.
06 June 2012
27 April 2012
23 March 2012

What a summer!

19 September 2014
It is so hard for me to believe that summer is winding to a close, and fall is on our doorstep. For those of you who know me, I am NEVER ready to say goodbye to warm summer nights, ocean swimming, less clothing and of course flip flops!

This has been a summer to remember for so many reasons! Moving to our new neighbourhood opened the door for us to explore favorite places as well as discovering a few new ones (not sharing) within just a few hours from our doorstep! We proudly put on a 150% sail that had been tucked away in our storage unit, with hopes of doing a lot more light air sailing. Although it didn't look the same after being rolled up for the past 8 yrs, a little discolored, a little stained, we coined it "Big Ugly" and decided to use it anyways. This sail has proved to be amazing! It may not look the prettiest, but it opened up a whole new world of enjoyment for us and sailing. We spent so much more time sailing this summer, and learnt first hand what a balanced helm actually feels like! The boat is happy, the owners are happy and Big Ugly was definitely the key!

We had an epic weekend a few weeks ago with our son and his girlfriend aboard for the day! We went out with the purpose of relaxing, enjoying family time and doing some salmon fishing. It was a beautiful morning, we were lucky and the guys did get a few beautiful fish. We had a bit of wind to sail back to a beautiful nearby beach spot for dinner. We cleaned and bagged the fish, put the heads and tails in a trap and went to the beach to put our toes in the sand and stretch our legs. We returned to a few keepers in the trap, enough for a lovely appy and enjoyed a beautifully prepared BBQ salmon. The sunset was amazing (picture above) the moon and four happy stomaches and hearts full!

LOVE our lifestyle, we are truly blessed.

Cheers to Spring!

22 March 2014 | Sidney, B.C.
The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and this girl has a new found spring in her step!!! As much as I love and embrace our lifestyle living aboard, it is no secret that spring and summer are my definite favorites! Thankfully Darren pulls out all the stops during the winter, ensuring the boat is warm, comfortably tied to the dock during storms, and preparing some absolutely delicious comfort meals aboard. Yes, I am one spoiled girl!

To update, after living in downtown Victoria for the past three years and making the most of sailing weekends when we could, we decided in February to move the boat to Sidney, which is known as the Gateway to the (B.C) Gulf Islands. This has increased our weekend sailing options immensely, and has us both very excited! Although missing our boating friends/neighbours, we are feeling really good about our decision. We have traded the busy Inner Harbour for peace and quiet, and a true walk about community. The community theme is nautical, which is lovely, and the sunrise and sunsets are so spectacular they take your breath away!

Missy has done well making the adjustment to her new neighbourhood also. We have several walking options at the top of the ramp, and she decides when we get there which one it will be today. There is also a sandy beach spot for her to romp around on, saving stray pieces of kelp whenever she gets the chance :)

The Purge is on!!!!!

20 October 2013
Living aboard a sailboat with the two of us sharing a very small closet often means staying on top of clutter. Darren has always been so good at this, which I admire, while it continues to be my challenge. I tend to just pull and shove when I put things back on my shelves, so no surprise that it starts to look like mayhem. I try very hard to practice the "bring one aboard, lose one" motto, but bringing things aboard becomes very insidious. When you have both of us doing that, it's not long before things get cluttered and at times seeming out of control! Thankfully we are very compatible in that we both dislike clutter and appreciate living within tidy surroundings.

Embarrassing to admit, Darren has been tripping over my "stuff" throughout the boat, and I assured him I would tend to this while he was out of town. In all honesty, I was tripping over my stuff too, but turning a blind eye to it as this fall weather has been so nice! If the sun is out, my kayak calls, dog walks, time with friends etc. You get the idea.

So.......the time had arrived and I had two weekends to accomplish this daunting task. Last weekend was so beautiful that there was no way I was spending it indoors! This past week I secretly hoped for not so nice weather and this weekend worked out beautifully for me. The fog rolled in, and only improved to be high clouds and grey.

The Purge is on, yippee! As proof in the photo, from our closet alone I purged 24 items from my clothing! This doesn't include magazines, recipes and other misc stuff that I removed too. You probably find it funny that I counted them, but in living with our motto above - I now have 24 items to my credit to bring aboard!

Obviously we don't stick to our motto item per item, or I would never have to be faced with a large purge in the first place, but I do enjoy teasing Darren!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

14 October 2013 | Victoria, BC
As I sit today enjoying the warm sunshine, it seemed the perfect opportunity to settle in and do a much needed blog post.

This has been a crazy, busy year for us. Each running in different directions due to employment and making the most of our time together when we could. Darren was working out of town for six months so our lives suddenly became a schedule of week on and week off, trying to cram "life" into a week. It proved to be exhausting, both physically on Darren and mentally on me and not something we were truly enjoying. We reminded ourselves that life is just too darn short to not be enjoying our time here. With this and some creative planning, Darren has since started his own business utilizing his lifetime trade of 35 years working with Glass! We are both much happier with him being home, and besides that, his time away was seriously cutting into our sailing/pleasure time!

Since August, we made the most of our sailing weekends, until one weekend which abruptly came to a halt with a mechanical, thankfully while we were just outside the harbour. The problem was not obvious and had Darren scratching his head. He replaced all of our water system, both fresh water and sea water and eventually discovered it was our heat exchanger. With that repaired, we were in a hurry to get out and spend weekends aboard every chance we could to salvage the little bit we had left of summer!

It had been years since we had put up and played with our spinnaker, so the first "light" winds day we cut the lines and were off to play! It was so wonderful, and so colorful, I can hardly wait to have the opportunity to do it again!

Fall is now upon us, and the weather is spectacular! I am very thankful for the opportunities we had this summer to feed our passion, and hopeful for many more! We plan on doing more winter sailing this year and heading out for day sails, simply to play. It still amazes me how you can leave the dock for four hours, and it feels like it has been a few days! We return with fresh perspectives and happy hearts!

We have so many things to embrace and be thankful for! Family, friends, & good health are definite on the top of our list! Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving!


WOW -Women on Water!

21 February 2013
Saturday March 9th, through the Bluewater Cruising Association courses are being held with women specifically in mind! This is a first time presentation in Victoria, B.C. and it has many of us women boaters excited!

Please take a look at the course selections above, and consider registering while there are few spaces left for this awesome event!

Hope to see you there!
Vessel Name: Orion
Vessel Make/Model: '38 Dencho Choate
Hailing Port: Victoria, B.C.
Crew: Darren & Cindy, & our adventurous dog Missy!
About: Come share in our living aboard adventures while we work to fund our extended cruising kitty!
Extra: **Comments on our blog posts are encouraged, as we LOVE to read them!
Orion's Photos - B.C. to Alaska!
Photos 1 to 117 of 117 | Main
The view of ice bergs from our anchorage!
Scenic Alaska
Beautiful green color water, from where the Skeena River enters the Ocean.  So pretty!
Dam proud of ourselves for our accomplishment!
Darren enjoying the sun & warmth in Shearwater
Another gorgeous blue ice berg!
Happy to have the fore sail out and be back in B.C.!
New friends - Tom & Hannah.  We all met and enjoyed many meals together while waiting on weather in Ketchikan
Transiting Wrangell Narrows.  Darren was absolutely amazing on the helm!
Grateful & proud to be in Alaska today!
Beautiful shoreline in Hakai
Shearwater, B.C.
One of many gorgeous sunsets in Shearwater, B.C.
Orion resting amongst the bergs!
Our three new hungry kayaker friends!
Bergs floating by
Gorgeous scenery, and depicting the cold!
Petersburg, Alaska
Working town and one of our favorites!
Orion at anchor
Another gorgeous berg!
Darren giving his sacrificial foot to the bugs, to save the rest of our bodies!
Darren & Missy enjoying the beaches at Hakai
Missy exchanging kisses with her new friend the Donkey in Ketchikan!  So cute!
Darren & Missy playing with our float before it gets hung in the hot springs.
Missy swimming off the beach at Hakai
Another sample of the bergs!
Darren loving being out on the water again!
Marker 54 in Wrangell Narrows, otherwise known to the Alaskans as Christmas Tree Lane as there are 60 red & green marker lights to use as a guide for safe passage.
Mendenhall Glacier tour
Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau Alaska
Missy enjoying her Alaskan scenery
The welcome sign that we made it too Ketchikan!
Darren fishing in Kynoch Inlet and Missy wanting a taste!
Stormy sky while anchored in Pruth Bay
B.C. Glacier in Kynoch Inlet
Thrilled to be leaving Petersburg & heading out in the quest for an ice berg!
Comparison shot to show how big some of the bergs can get
Ice bergs floating past Orion while we are at anchor.  A little unnerving until you get used to it!
Town of Ketchikan
Beautiful collection set aside on Hakai Beach
Darren & I loving sitting on the deck in the sunshine & actually feeling heat again!
Our first true "crystal duck!"
A close up of an ice berg!  Fascinating!
Hanging out with friends!
Sawyer Glacier, absolutely stunning!
Our scenery while anchored in Thomas Bay.
Fun times at Hakai!
Missy enjoying her freedom on the beach
Proof it is freezing cold in Alaska!  This was our daily dress for almost two months!
Darren drinking a rum with ice berg ice!
Enroute to Prince Rupert
Family pic on the boat while Cody visited us in Nanaimo
Family get together at the Dinghy Dock!
Darren replacing the 4th fuel pump during the trip so we could keep the heater running 24 hrs/day
Darren emptying the dinghy, everyday, while we were in Ketchikan
Darren making a new modification for Ziggy (the autopilot), as I broke it - somehow????
Darren & Cody sharing laughs at the Dinghy Dock
Darren hanging our float in the hot springs
Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska
A sample of the cruise ships docked right across from us in the marina in Ketchikan
Loving the gorgeous beaches at Hakai!
Darren changing our prop in Nanaimo.
Darren smiling & happy to be outside of Prince Rupert!
A celebratory drink that we made it in one piece - ourselves & the boat to Tracy Arm!
On top of the world at Hakai!
Sawyer Glacier zoomed in
The coconut from the Marquesas that we received in trade for fishing tips & lures!  It was delish!
Happy to be back in B.C. waters & sunshine!
Tied up at the Prince Rupert Yacht Club.  What an experience.......
Another scenic spot enroute in Grenville Channel, B.C.
One of the many ice bergs.  Note the blue beautiful!
Waterfall in the bay of Bishop Hotsprings
Gorgeous scenery
An American Lighthouse!  White compared to Cdn. Red & white
One of the many inlets we discovered along Grenville Channel
Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska
Another gorgeous waterfall in B.C.
The Grizzley that was intent on watching us from shore in Kutze Inlet
Alaskan scenery
Darren got a fish from a local fisherman for helping him untangle a net
Darren taking video on the bow once we stopped in Tracy Arm
Crabbing is always so much fun with Darren!
Gorgeous scenery on our way up to Tracy Arm
Missy enjoying sunning on the deck now that we are back in B.C.
Inuikshuk outside of Booker Lagoon
Entryway to Booker Lagoon
A feast of prawns given to us from a fellow boater in Booker Lagoon!  Yum!
Beautiful spot on the north island
Other side of the bay....gorgeous & warm enough to swim!
Hakai. One of our favorite beach spots
Our customized float that we hung in Bishop Hotsprings!
Bishop Hotsprings, B.C.  LOVED this place!
Codville Lagoon.  A beautiful swim spot enroute to Bella Bella.
Orion anchored at the base of a waterfall at Kutze Inlet
My first Grizzley encounter!  We were in the dinghy, and he followed us along the shoreline.
Lowe Inlet, B.C.   One of the many waterfalls we enjoyed listening to at anchor
Kynoch Inlet.  A little B.C. glacier all of its own
Orion anchored at Kynoch Inlet
One of the gorgeous waterfalls in B.C.
Our first trip in the dinghy to see an ice berg close up!
Touching an ice berg for the first time!
One of the many fishing vessels in Alaska
Our first sighting of an ice berg up close!
Orion at anchor in Thomas Bay.
Some more beautiful Alaskan scenery
This picture shows just how COLD it was!
Heading up to Tracy Arm
Floating amongst the bergs & watching a small cruise ship come into the inlet
Fighting our way through ice bergs to get to Sawyer Glacier.
Darren collecting ice for our celebratory drinks later!
Cindy rowing the dinghy amongst the bergs! So fun!
Missy trying to figure all this out!
Missy & I on the bow, taking in the magnificent scenery.
Sawyer Glacier!  The head of Tracy Inlet


Who: Darren & Cindy, & our adventurous dog Missy!
Port: Victoria, B.C.