Captain and owner of Illusion: Doug
Doug first sailed as a kid with his family on Lake Grapevine, Texas, on a Cal 21. The family wasn’t full of keen sailors; he was probably the only one sad to see the boat go a few years later. His own first boat was a Prindle, a 16-foot Catamaran, then moved on to bigger things. Since leaving Illusion in New Zealand, Doug pursued many non-sailing activities, mostly work-related (he’s an engineer by trade), traveling to China, the USA, and Spain. During that time, he bored his friends and family with hopes to get back to sailing – finally he’s doing it! Despite a broken engine and injured shoulder preventing the full trip in 2013 (New Zealand to Vancouver turned into New Zealand to Hawaii) he’s still working away to get Illusion up to BC. He loves dolphins and whales, and like all good sailors is a fan of rum. Sailing ambitions still to be fulfilled are to spend time exploring the Great Barrier Reef, plus a return to cruising other parts of the South Pacific. South America is still to be explored too! Check out the ‘Routes‘ page for more about Doug’s travels with Illusion.
A PhD candidate at UBC, Sara was gutted to not be able to head off on the New Zealand part of the adventure because of teaching responsibilities and also due to the realization that months aboard Illusion might not result in many chapters of the thesis being written. She joined Doug on the boat in Raivavae and experienced her first blue water sailing from there to Tahiti, then later onwards to Nuku HIva in the Marquesas. Prior to that Sara had only ever sailed twice – once as a teenager on Ullswater in England’s The Lake District, and more recently around West Van for a couple of hours on a cold, but sunny afternoon – but loves being in water (whether the sea, lakes, freezing rivers, mountain tarns, or hot tubs) and is trying to learn more about sailing so she can be more useful on the boat in future.
New crew: Toby
Born in December 2014 in our home in Vancouver, Toby will be the youngest crew member Illusion‘s ever had. We loved introducing him to the boat and can’t wait to take him sailing – we’ll keep you posted on how that goes! In the meantime, he’s a big fan of bath time and was nearly born in a birthing pool so we’re hopeful he’s going to be into water in general… so far he loves the ocean and seemed really at home on his first visit to the Illusion in July 2015. Yay!
Additional crew from New Zealand to Raivavae (John and Deborah) and Tahiti (Janice) in 2013:
John is a retired lawyer with a passion for sailing, among other things. Owner of Baloo, a C&C 36, he is often to be found exploring the coastlines of British Columbia and participating in local races. When not sailing, he is diving in tropical countries like Hawaii. John Morrison Noble is the only member of the crew to have an ancestor, James Morrison, who was crewing on the HMS Bounty during the famous mutiny. John also plays the piano, recites poetry when asked, and has the best barbecue in Canada!
An engineer, Deborah has dreamed of sailing the South Pacific since she read Robert Louis Stevenson as a child. She took up sailing after university, taking an Outward Bound sailing course and sailing small boats in lakes in Michigan. Work and life took her other places, so she has only had a few opportunities to sail since then. She is looking forward to being on a sailboat again and sharpening her sailing skills. She has an affinity for the ocean and has spent thousands of hours on the water in dragon boats and outrigger canoes as a competitive paddler.
Although we lived right across the street from each other in the Mount Pleasant area of Vancouver, it wasn’t until a mutual friend invited us round that we met and bonded over a game involving a hat, names of famous people and silly mimes. Janice, a physio-therapist by trade, wins the award for ‘most spontaneous crew member’ after hearing about the trip from Doug at a Christmas party and texting the next day to say she wanted to be part of it. An avid traveller, she most recently spent time doing farm work in Indonesia and bee-keeping in Hamilton (NZ) before joining the crew in Warkworth. A keen cyclist and gardener, she also plays various musical instruments and makes the best pies in the whole world as we discovered on her final night in Vancouver.