Saturday, December 30, 2017

Instant Snow

Hi World

I’m in Thunder Bay Ontario for Christmas.  It’s been bloody cold here, so I took advantage of that to make some instant snow.

YouTube link

Thursday, December 14, 2017

SVG Botanical gardens

Hello world

Still working on producing some video content for social media.  Not really happy with the longer video blog format so I'm going to try some short ones instead.  Here's a sample

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

First Video Blog

Hi there

I produced a video blog about the process of building my sailing school.  This one is mostly a trial run.  It's about what I a have been up to this fall.

Here it is:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Adaptive Monohull cruise.

Hello World.

I am Joel Taylor.  I am exploring doing some adaptive sailing and as part of that my sailing partner Jen Weterings and I took some disabled friends out for a cruise.  I acted as skipper for 1 day and Jen as skipper for the remaining 2 days.  We sailed the completely unmodified Fraser 30 pictured below. The criteria for the crew to be safe on this cruise was that they were able to climb three vertical steps with assistance.  When not skippering, Jen and I were available to assist the crew where needed.

"Blue Rose" a Fraser 30 sail boat.

Karen Bowen wrote the following text about our cruise.


Before we headed out, I had a day of prep Thursday cooking healthy food for our team: Joel, Renuka, and Jen.

Lunch with Jen, Karen and Renuka

September 1st - woke up after four hours sleep I was very excited for our adventure and couldn’t sleep. Felt completely shattered, but looking forward to sailing on the Blue Rose - “Rosie”, a 30 foot Fraser sail boat. 

Jen came and picked me up and helped carry my backpack and sleeping bag to the car. I have been living with MS for the past 14 years and my mobility is challenged. I was grateful to have some help.

Jen and I arrived at the dock to meet our skipper  Joel. Ken, the owner of “Rosie” , was there to greet us and wish us a safe trip. We headed to the boat. Jen assisted me on as my legs felt weak - hang in there guys!

Joel gave us a tour of Rosie pointing out the control panels and the engine: I learned how to do a W.O.B.B.L.E. check of the engine: We checked the WATER FILTER then the OIL  levels, the BELT checking for damage and tension. Next were the BILGES, we looked for signs of leaks which may indicate something more serious.  Then the LEVELS and the ENGINE/EXHAUST - We allowed the engine to warm up, so it "ticked over" smoothly before setting off.

All looked good!  Next, Joel showed us the map and and discussed our course. 

Joel Taylor

We made a lunch of salad, cheese and fruit.  At 1400, we headed out to Bowen Island. Jen  steered us out as Joel, cast off lines and pulled in fenders, Jen successfully steered us clear and safely away from the dock and other boats, Renuka and I kept watch and held out boat hooks to made sure that we didn't hit other boats, or the dock, as we left the dock. 

 I took port side watch and noted the markers we passed, as we left the inlet. A motor boat sped by, breaking the speed limit in the inlet. Ken referred to these boaters as “credit card captains”. I continued to watch for deadwood, other vessels, people, crab traps and tankers. We noted a tanker was moving, and steered clear of it.

After a time, I went on the bow and took bow watch - the scenery was breathtaking - we passed Lighthouse park and Whytecliff park as we made our way to Bowen. I felt an incredible sense of freedom.

Karen on the bow.

Lighthouse Park, North Vancouver. British Columbia Canada

We arrived at Bowen Island at 1730. As it was the long weekend, the government docks were full, so we decided to anchor at Mannion Bay. A beautiful bay. 

Once we anchored, Joel and Jen jumped into the water - I was eager to join them, but wasn’t sure if my legs could handle going down or especially up ladder, so I sat at the stern of the boat and watched Jen and Joel. Jen boarded the dinghy and with encouragement from me emptied a bucket over my head- it felt cold, but amazing. 

Rejuvenated, I made a dinner of brown rice pasta and sauce with spinach and kale. We ate and discussed our course for the next day, and after hit the hay around 11pm. I slept in the kitchen area it was actually very comfortable and the bench/bed was long enough for me. (I’m 6 feet!)  The waves lolled me to sleep,  I felt incredibly relaxed and happy. I could get used to this! 

Saturday September 2nd - In the morning made breakfast. After breakfast we plotted our course from Mannion Bay to Gambier. Once our course was plotted,We learned how to measure the distance and calculate the time it would take to get there. Distance equals speed multiplied by time. We estimated we would be averaging 4 knots speed so figured it would take us a few hours. I went on the bow and resumed my lookout. After an hour, I steered Rosie, she was a great boat to steer. We lost wind and tacked back and forth a few times.  Renuka took over under sail, and then realizing the wind had died, we motored the rest of the way.  

Here's some sailing pics:

Renuka docked us at Gambier she managed to maneuver Rosie in a very tight locale. We had arrived at Jen’s friend Ford’s majestic cabin. 

Happy helm Renuka post docking.

I jumped in the water and swam to shore. Joel brought me my poles and shoes. We all went for a swim then Ford offered his shower for us we took turns taking a shower it was fantastic and felt luxurious - Joel and I played foose ball while we waited for the shower. I won woohoo!

We were invited to join Ford and his friends for dinner, I had a great chat with one of Ford’s friends Karen whose best friend had a similar health “journey” to me - cancer and MS what are the odds? I promised to send her my e-book on navigating cancer. We had a great night talking to Ford and friends - Ford mentioned he wanted to give back to GF Strong, where he was rehabilitated. We also discussed new gene therapies that looked promising Crispr and the Cas 9. I texted my friend Marjorie who is a research scientist working with gene therapies and she was testing these therapies out for her work with childhood leukaemia  - small world!

Karen, Joel and Renuka at Fords cottage.
After dinner, we headed back to the boat and hit the hay.

Sunday the 3rd - we woke up made a quick breakfast and headed back to Horseshoe Bay with Jen as our Skipper. The scenery was spectacular on the way back. I was sad to see our trip end. Jen docked us safely at Horseshoe Bay and I disembarked as I was off to Duncan to visit a friend. Joel kindly fetched me a wheelchair and delivered me to the ferry terminal as my legs had given out. 

This trip was wonderful and a highlight - I made new friends and got to know other friends better. I felt adventurous and on the water, I felt like a normal healthy happy person not defined by MS or Cancer for that matter.

Joel, Jen and Renuka then sailed "Blue Rose" back to her home slip.

Sailing back to Vancouver, BC Canada

At this time the same crew are organizing an adaptive cruise on a catamaran in the Caribbean. The cruise will be on a 40 foot catamaran.  We are organizing the trip with Barefoot Yacht Charters in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where Joel is working as a charter skipper for the 2017/18 season. 

The crew were:

Joel Taylor
Adaptive Sailing coach. (Certified in multiple keelboat sailing schemes)

Joel can be reached at: (604)838-4269

Karen Bowen

Jen Weterings

Renuka Senaratne


New direction

Hello All

I am thinking about a new direction for All Season Instruction.  I am feeling ready to get my own boat and start my own school.

The plan right now is:
1) In 2017, learn about multihull sailing and cruising, Trimarans in particular.  Try some adaptive cruising on a multi hull.
2) 2018 write business plan for the new school and begin promoting it.  Become involved with the ASA's new course structure to allow students to take 101-104 on a multi hull.  No mono's required.
3) 2019 Buy the boat and run ASA multi hull courses.  Begin modifying the boat to run Adaptive courses.  Summer at home base and winter down south.
4) 2020 Run 1/3 of cruising courses as adaptive courses.

So that's the plan.  It has now been written down, now to go out and get it done.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Hello World, it's been a while.

In the priviouse post, I was in the middle of my first contract in the Carribean.  It was lovely sailing, and a good learning experience working in a base and teaching lots of ASA courses as well as helping look after the boats a bit.

About the end of that contract, I started getting emails from the Sun Sail Sailing school on Tortola.  After lots of interviews I ended up accepting a probationary position in their school.  I was home in Vancouver for 5 weeks, and I was off again for another contract.  It turned out that I wasn't a good fit for that school.  Learned a lot from the Principal and head instructor, but it wasn't the right place for me.

So it looks like I am going back to St.Vincent and the Grenadines to work for the Barefoot Offshore Sailing School.  I plan on two three month contracts, with the first beginning the last week in October and come home in January.  I'll return after a late christmas break for another three months.

On that topic, my wife Dana and I have a new home base.  I wanted to do some more long contracts, and Dana wanted to move home, so that's what we're doing.  We have moved into Dana's mom's house in Thunder Bay Ontario.  I think I am going to enjoy living in a smaller town.  There is also an active sailing community, with an event most weeknights.  The main race nights are Wednesday for the Yacht Club and Thursday for the sailing club.  There is a Lightning fleet here for some good one design racing.  I havn't sailed a lightning sincce I worked for the Kitsilano Yacht Club ages ago so I won't be short of sailing oppourites.

It's also easier to fly to the Carribean from this coast.  In December there will be a direct flight from Toronto to St.Vincent into the new international airport there.

The other new thing is I feel like I am gathering enough experience to think about my own school in the future.  I have an interesting 5 year plan that will be the topic of my next post.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Carribean Adventure

This winter i have been able to make use of the new qualifications I got last winter.  In August I started job hunting looking for a charter base or school that i could work for for the winter.  In the end it turned out that the places that a canadian can work are mostly in the Caribbean, and mostly American Sailing Association (ASA) schools. Fortunately i was able to cross over my rya qualifications to the equivalent ASA instructor qualifications.  After that I had more luck job hunting.  I had a few skype interviews, and then a job offer from Barefoot Offshore Sailing School.  Here’s a link:

So I arrived before christmas planning to teach my first course the week before christmas.  Unfortunately the students canceled that course due to a very rainy forecast and i worked for the base helping in the rigging department.  I was able to learn about the boats and how the base works and such instead.  I did get out for an orientation sail in 25 kn and 2 meter seas.  Average for the end of December i’m told.

Next I went out for a 7 day with a family of 3.  They found the waves a bit much so we focused on skills instead.  Spent a lot of time around Beckway.  Here’s a couple pictures:

Returned to base, switched boats and crews and went again.  The second crew was two couples with a bit of sailing experience, so we worked on a lot of skills and got everyone through to bareboat skipper.  I learned a lot about the ASA standard in the process and now I have a much better plan for the next time I get a full boat load of people who want bareboat skipper.  Basically get the middle level done by day 3 and then get ready for the harder skills.  Here’s some pics