Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sailor's Life

I have a fun evening to look forward to tomorrow - a cruise on the Tall Ship Silva! This is something I've always wanted to try out so I can't wait to get out on that water.

You would think growing up on the ocean and being able to take boats everywhere one could possibly want at almost any time, one would get sick and tired of hearing about boats and water. But not me! I love the water and I love riding on it. Whether it's a grand tall ship with sails billowing, or a slow, leisurely coast on the Halifax/Dartmouth ferry, I love 'em all.
I've been on a fair number of boat rides in my time, but in honour of my upcoming sea excursion, I thought it would be fun to list a few of my favourites to date:

1. Prince Edward Island Ferry
We have been visiting "Anne's Island" almost every summer for almost every year of my life. And before this big beauty was built, the only way to reach the island was by taking the ferry. I remember (not so fondly) sitting in our car, for what seemed like hours, waiting to board and thinking what a wonder it was riding on a ferry that holds cars (we would drive our car onto a boat! on the water!). I'd be lying if I said that I miss the waiting and the length of the trip, but I do miss the peaceful nostalgia; the sense of setting off on an adventure to a far-off place. One of these days, maybe I'll take the long way to PEI again and relive the olden days pre-Confederation Bridge.

2. Brig Unicorn, St. Lucia

Photo by Me
I am lucky enough to have a mother who has a lifelong friend that lives on a tropical island. No seriously - her friend lives on the beautiful West Indies isle of St. Lucia and we paid her a visit for a week back in 2007. Visiting an island with such a major history of pirates, it would seem practically sacriligeous not to take a trip on a tall ship - hence our day-long excursion on the Brig Unicorn. You could almost smell the sweat and rum, and hear the 'argh's' of the seamen as we bounced along the crystal blue waves, view of the Pitons in the background. Alas, I did not come across any chests full of gold dubloons while snorkeling (and trust me, in that water? You'd see it a mile away), but I still had a lovely time.
Nautical stripes - natch *photo by me
3. Canal boat, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Photo by me
Staying in England on a study-abroad trip back in (again) 2007, I had the perfect base from which to travel to several European cities, quickly and cheaply. One such visit we made was to Amsterdam, and you simply cannot visit Amsterdam without a) taking a photo like the one above and b) taking a ride on a canal boat. The canals are basically the heart of the city here and provide not only beautiful scenery, but a convenient travel route. I could definitely see myself living in a houseboat not unlike the one in the foreground of the above photo - whenever you get bored of the view, untie yourself and find another spot! How perfect is that?

View of Amsterdam's famous row houses from our boat

4. Mar II, Halifax Harbour

Check out that sky *photo by me
As a promotion through Teambuy and this blog, I had the opportunity to go whale watching in my home harbour last summer. I have to be honest - the actual whale watching left much to be desired, with only a few, very far-off fins and some hungry seagulls to be seen, however this boat trip stands out in my memory because it was one of the most beautiful sunny days I have ever seen. The sunshine warmed our faces and made the waves sparkle so much that it (almost) made up for not seeing any fish. I was also struck by how different - in a good way - my home city looks from the harbour! Seeing the sites and buildings from a whole new perspective was really fascinating. And hey, checking out the oceanfront mansions wasn't boring either!
photo by me
Speaking of boat rides, I just started reading a great book about a pretty epic one. It's called Rowed Trip: From Scotland to Syria by Oar, by Colin and Julie Angus and if you like travel, sailing, boating, kayaking, water, and/or biking - you should read it! Perhaps inspiration for my NEXT boat trip? Only time will tell...(bc Lord knows it won't be anything like this).

Do you like boats? Have you ever taken a memorable boat trip? Any trips on your 'boat trip bucket list'?


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