Tag Archives: discovery sailing

RYA Dayskipper Theory Online

Followers of this blog will know that we have very brutal winters in Cape Breton, especially recently.  Followers know this, because I winge on about it all the time.  But, despite the endless bombardment of snow,  we spent the winter of 2014-15, doing the the RYA Dayskipper Theory course from the comfort of our own living room.  Just recently, the course became available to do online, as opposed to a 40-hour, 5 day session.  We took the course through Dave at Discovery Sailing once again.  It was a created by Navahome.com, and covered a lot of ground.  It features quite a few animations to keep things interesting, and we found the the information covered to be presented well and easy to follow.


A screenshot from the online course.

A screenshot from the online course.

We would find ourselves making our way through the course, a chapter at a time after the kids were in bed, which took us a few months.  By the time we were ready to write the final exam, the topics we had done at the beginning of the course were a bit on the hazy side.  After some revision, we shipped the kids off to Port Morien to their Grandparents house, got some breakfast and coffee and cleared the kitchen table to do the evaluation, which could take up to eight hours.  Luckily we were all done in about three.

We passed!  This was despite the cat's attempts at helping us find a course to steer.

We passed! This was despite the cat’s attempts at helping us find a course to steer.


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RYA Dayskipper Practical

Autumn in Cape Breton Island.  Arguably the best time of year here.  Tourists come by the thousands to see the leaves change on the world famous Cabot Trail.

Cabot Trail



sure is

My friend Jill took this one.  We rely so heavily on tourism in Cape Breton, bloggers are obligated to toot our island horn at any and every opportunity

My friend Jill took this one. We rely so heavily on tourism in Cape Breton, bloggers are obligated to toot our island horn at any and every opportunity

This autumn will also present a good time to get some blogging in.  As the kiddos get older, the house gets busier and the summer was pretty hectic.  Because of an engine issue that I gleaned over in  previous post, our sailing adventures were very limited in the Summer of 2015.  We raced in Ben Eion, had a few trips out in the harbour with my cousin who bought our old boat, but the biggest adventure by far was our 5 days living aboard Michaela during the RYA Dayskipper Practical.

In Canada, the RYA Dayskipper Practical course is only offered by two instructors in the whole country, and they live in the same area!  I suppose we were pretty lucky in how that was only a 6 hour car ride away from where we live.  (In this country it could have just as easily been 6 days!)

We went with Discovery Sailing,  whose owner/instructor Dave DeWolfe was an incredibly experienced and patient sort who let us learn from our mistakes.  I am quite convinced there is nothing about sailing that he does not know.  Although his jokes and puns could use a bit of work, he was a delightful person.

On a 35ft sailboat for five days with three other people, it is easy to see how personalities can clash and one can get a bit bristly over the course of the week.  We were very lucky that Dave, and the other student, Laura, (who was from that area), every got along quite well and were always there with some encouragement or a helping hand!

The week was spent in the Chester Basin, with stops in Mahone Bay and Lunenburg.  The area was beautiful, and challenging, with hundreds of named islands and reefs.  Some shots from the week.

RYA Dayskipper Practical

Little sailing selfie

RYA Dayskipper Practical

Some of the hundreds of named islands on the south shore

RYA Dayskipper Practical

Trying to figure out the best way back to Oak Island

RYA Dayskipper Practical

Passage planning

RYA Dayskipper Practical

Erika’s day as the skip saw a little break for some man overboard drills

RYA Dayskipper Practical

Sharing the V-Berth was surprisingly roomy

RYA Dayskipper Practical

A beautiful and challenging setting for a course such as this

RYA Dayskipper Practical

Lunenburg, quite possibly Nova Scotia’s most beautiful town, is full of places like this

RYA Dayskipper Practical

Lunenburg – I’m sure there is a good reason for this. Just not sure what it is


These guys are building a schooner to travel the world warning of the increasing problem of plastic in the oceans.


Mahone Bay – Another beautiful sunset

RYA Dayskipper Practical

Mahone Bay

RYA Dayskipper Practical

Laura was the other student on board

RYA Dayskipper Practical

Lighthouse on the way into Lunenburg Harbour

RYA Dayskipper Practical

You will eat well after long days on the water



Filed under Adventures, Education