…the Blog

The reasons we maintain the blog are now a little different from the reasons we created it in the summer of 2012.

Our original intention for Water Music was to keep our family and friends informed about where we are and what we’re up to on our year-long hiatus from the rat race, and secondly to attract or inspire a few readers considering stepping away from the 9 to 5 work world to persue a sailing dream.

Towards the second intention, we had visions of writing sailing and boat repair how-to’s, posting tried and true galley recipes and maybe some cruising budget information. We’ve since learned that there are a lot of sailing blogs out there that do all that stuff far better than we could (or would – turns out we’re somewhat lazy bloggers; we didn’t get around to doing this About page ’til 8 months into the voyage).

Though Water Music still fulfils its purpose of letting our peeps know what we’re up to (we hope!), it has become more of a travel log, for us, so that we can look back on this crazy year and be reminded that it was worth all the hassle of selling the house, pushing the pause button on a successful HVAC business (for Phill), leaving a perfectly good government job in IT (for me), and burdening our family and friends with all the junk we’ve left behind.


Phill didn’t sail when I met him, but he made it pretty clear he was interested in learning. He was a commercial diver for about ten years (which gave him a real jump-start on his seamanship skills) when he decided to go back to school. That was almost eight years ago, and he now owns a successful residential HVAC business in Ottawa.

Not only has he learned to sail, but he’s become a great Captain, and now has many successful nautical miles under his belt.

Captain Phill
Captain Phill

The first thing I did after graduating from university in ’96 was spend about a year and a half as first mate on a 25′ Whitby Folkboat sailing from the north shore of Lake Huron to the Bahamas (and back again). It was the trip of a lifetime and getting back to cruising has been a dream of mine ever since.

Between that adventure and this one, my 9 to 5’s have been in IT.

First Mate Mary
First Mate Mary

The blog is named after our boat. Though the noise we make doesn’t quite live up to the name, we’re both learning to play the guitar and I pick the banjo occasionally.

Phill loves to take pictures, I’m horribly camera shy. We left on this magical adventure September 1st, 2012 (weeks later than we’d planned ’cause Nothin’s Easy) and we will be back in Ottawa by August 2013, or else all kinds of things might turn into pumpkins on us.

…our Boat

Water Music is a 1986 Aloha 34, built by Ouyang Boatworks in Whitby, Ontario. We bought it in November 2010, and sailed it for the 2011 season on the Ottawa River out of the Nepean Sailing Club.

Hull Statistics
LOA:  34′ 0″ (10.36m)
LWL:  28′ 8″ (8.74m)
Beam: 11′ 2″ (3.40m)
Draft:  5′ 6″ (1.68m)
Displacement:  13,600 lb. (6182 kg)
Ballast:  4,700 lb. (2136 kg)
Bal/disp ratio:  0.39

Sail Statistics
Total sail area:  445 sq ft
Main:  226 sq ft
Working jib:  219 sq ft
150 % Genoa:  456 sq ft

Spar:  keel-stepped, aluminium, 48’
Standing Rigging:  stainless steel
Power: 27 HP Westerbeke diesel
Fuel capacity: 15 imp gal –> we now also carry four 5 imp gal gerry cans on deck
Water capacity:  60 imp gal –> we now also carry four 5 imp gal gerry cans on deck
Construction: fibreglass with balsa core deck
Headroom: 6′ 7″ (2.02m)
Berths: 6 x 6′ 4″ (1.93m)
Designers: Brewer and Walstrom

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