7/20/2017 8:22:00 AM / Steve Priolo
Instead of moving into an apartment while he plays in a summer league in Victoria, British Columbia, Bandits defenseman Steve Priolo decided to make a van his temporary residence and hit the road. Each week, he's blogging about his experiences for Bandits.com.
Sailing has never been a part of my life until my first trip out to the island in 2015. As a kid born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, I’m familiar with sailboats that cruise the Great Lakes. But there is something different about Victoria, where you have the ability to sail for months and years without being to the same place twice if you wanted to.
In 2015, we became friends with Captain Rob of the Tall Ship Thane after Jacqueline found a way to get a job on board for a week (I have no idea how she pulls these things off). He runs a three-hour sail out of Victoria Harbour three times a day. This week, we were able to make arrangements to meet up with Captain Rob and go out for a couple sails.
At first, I was intimidated by the look of this Victorian-era looking tall ship, made completely of wood and rope. If you were to go sailing on Thane you would find out that it is completely made from recycled material from building in Victoria, and is a replica model of Joshua Slocum's ship Spray which he used to become the first person to circumnavigate the world.
Captain Rob doesn't take you on a pleasure cruise. You actually go sailing, which in turn means the passengers are the ones who raise and lower the sails, tie off rope, and on certain occasions steer the ship.
With plenty of instructions from Captain Rob, we were sailing!
The feeling of the sails going up and being powered only by the wind, with nothing in the way of you and the open ocean, it is easy to understand the draw of sailing the seas for early explorers. At one point, I actually asked Jacqueline if lacrosse is getting in the way of my sailing career, but I quickly snapped out of it.
Captain Rob is retiring after this summer and going sailing. He doesn't know where yet, but he does know he is goin’ south. The last time he went sailing, he was gone for 12 years until his boat was struck by lightning in the dry dock and he was forced to return home.
We are already making plans to fly down wherever he is and meet up for a couple weeks of sailing and then fly home from wherever we find land again. I can't wait!