This is a record of the people we’ve shared the journey with in some way – whether other sailors, people who live on the route, people who’ve helped us out, people who’ve visited the boat, or people who’ve provided information online that we’ve found useful. It’s organized by where we met them, even if that’s not where they are now.


The online sailing community makes me feel like this every time I sit at my laptop!

In 2012 when we first started planning to get Illusion moving again, I (Sara) read the Windtraveler blog avidly to try to get some idea of life on sailboats. My other go-to online site, back then, was The Boat Galley which has loads of good advice about cooking on board and whose cookbook is a bit of a favourite onboard Illusion. Since then I’ve discovered numerous blogs to enjoy. Two that have GREAT resource lists are Sailing With Totem (a wealth of knowledge and experience and loads of amazing sailing stories) and The Cynical Sailor and His Salty Sidekick (which has a list of sailing blogs so rather than writing out another one here, check out theirs!) Another online resource which has been fantastic is the Facebook group ‘Women Who Sail’ and its local branch ‘Women Who Sail (and power cruise) Pacific NW’ – I highly recommend joining and participating in these groups, along with the family-orientated ‘Kids4Sail’. Full of adventurers with stories, advice and knowledge. Also see this blogpost for our favourite sailing videos – these guys inspire, entertain and keep us dreaming of our own future adventures!

Toby's first sail - thanks Kate!
Toby’s first sail – thanks Kate!

In Vancouver: We’ve really enjoyed getting to know Chris and his family from Sail Mentor. We hope to sail more with them and share plans and experiences of family life aboard. Our friend Kate has also been generous in her offers of sailing opportunities – see here for the tale of Toby’s first sailing experiences! I also want to give a shout out to Jon & Fiona (and family) for friendship, generosity and frequent, but gentle ribbing about our failed sailing plans. It helps to laugh at it all occasionally! Another big thanks to Freddy of SewGreen Vancouver for all her help and offers of showers, laundry, sewing, childcare etc!

In Hawaii:

  • S/V Full Monty: We met these guys in Hawaii, at Kewalo Basin Harbor, and they’ve been a huge help, both while Doug was there working on the boat and while we’re back in Vancouver, keeping an eye on Illusion for us. We look forward to keeping in contact and hopefully sharing some sailing adventures together!
  • Saliander: Also met this lovely couple in Kewalo Basin Harbor and enjoyed being their neighbours for a little while, especially the yummy fish they shared with us!
John - on Nuku Hiva
John – on Nuku Hiva

In Nuku Hiva, the Marquesas Islands:  Doug had a great time hanging out with new friend John, who almost ended up joining him for a passage – hopefully some other time! Also, many thanks to Kevin at Yacht Services Nuku-Hiva for navigating the new import duty charges that French Polynesia imposed in 2013 for parts going to yachts “in-transit”.

In Tahiti: We thought Philippe the marina manager at Marina Taina was brilliant. Always cycling around checking things out, quick to dive in to check moorings, a lovely smile – our stay there was made much more pleasant by his cheerful attitude.

At work in Raivavae - we loved getting to know the mechanics and are grateful for their generosity.
At work in Raivavae

In the Austral Islands:   We loved getting to know the various mechanics who let us use their workshop, and Euloge and his family – thank you for your incredible generosity and for making our stay on Raivavae a really memorable one. Lots of people were amazing on Rapa – in particular Alex, for his tireless support of Doug’s engine overhaul work in their community workshop, and for Illusion‘s tow into and out of the harbour; and Cynthia and Armand for their help navigating the paperwork/administration challenges of having a broken-down boat in French Polynesia (and for allowing us to (ab)use the island’s internet access).

Wild-haired Doug and Alex, just before leaving Rapa

Before leaving New Zealand:

    • Doug’s friends John Kershaw and his partner Amanda Milne were invaluable supporters in New Zealand.  Thanks for watching Illusion, storing the shore gear, providing a place to stay, warm meals and great company during Doug’s visits.  If you like cool, intelligent, novel games, check out Amanda’s board games company: SchilMil Games.  They invent, produce and sell their own games which we’ve been really enjoying playing and introducing to friends since Doug brought some back with him. Doug even features as a pirate in one of them – Manifest – as a result of an innovative crowdfunding campaign!
With the New Zealand crew (see crew page for details!) and Lise
With the New Zealand crew (see crew page for details!) and Lise
  • Doug’s friend Lise was also a great help – lending us her daughter’s partner’s car and providing hospitality for the crew and housing all of us on Waiheke Island. Thank you!
  • Marguerite let us store our camper van at her place while Doug was away in 2013. Thank you! She knows Illusion better than most, having lived and sailed on the boat with Doug and her kids a few years back.
  • squishelle organized a great discount on a bunch of cool Hemp Hoodlamb clothes for Doug and made sure he got to Vancouver airport on time for his flight to New Zealand back in 2013. (Given that he was still packing at the time we’d planned to arrive at the airport, this was impressive.) She is an amazing, giving person, tirelessly working to improve the local community and therefore making life in Vancouver better.